Chaitra Amavasya which falls in the month of Chaitra March - April. Since it is the first Amavasya of the year according to the Hindu calendar, Chaitra Amavasya is considered very important for many types of spiritual activities. Here we will discuss what is done on the day of Chaitra Amavasya, and why it is important. In 2021, Chaitra Amavasya is scheduled to fall on Tuesday, April 12.
Importance of Chaitra Amavasya
Since time immemorial, the lunar fortnightly cycle is considered the mainstay of calculating time in the Hindu calendar. The different phases of the moon during waxing and waning in the half of the month mark different occasions, festivals and celebrations in a year. Amavasya is the day between Krishna Paksha (Waning Charan) and Shukla Paksha (Waxing Charan) and hence it sets an important stage in the religious life of Hindus. According to Hindu Amavasya, Chaitra Amavasya falls during the first month of the year.
Chaitra Amavasya Vrat is highly popular among Hindus and Lord Vishnu is worshiped on this day. The Amavasya fast begins from the morning of Amavasya Tithi and lasts until the moon is visible on Pratipada. Lord Vishnu is worshiped in homes on this day. On this day special programs are done to give food to crows and the poor, which is done to reach the ancestors and take their blessings. The Garuda Purana states that Pitars visit their descendants on Amavasya day and if they offer food to them on these days, they are happy and bless them with happiness, peace and prosperity.
Chaitra Amavasya is highly revered for the holy dip in the Ganges or at the sites of dedicated Kumbh Melas including Haridwar, Prayag, Nashik and Ujjain. It is believed that the holy bath performed on this day brings prosperity and happiness in life and liberates from sins committed. Especially those who suffer from mental anguish and bereavement, they should take a holy bath on the day of Chaitra Amavasya and perform Shiva Puja for the attainment of peace.
Shraddha refers to the ritual of worship performed by the ancestors. Hinduism believes that departed souls reach the ancestral world or ancestral world after their death. In this temporary world, they live for some time until they receive a new body on Earth. During this time, they face hunger and thirst that can only be extinguished by offerings made from the earth with mantras given to them by their descendants. Chaitra Amavasya being the first Amavasya of the year, it is considered highly auspicious to perform Shraddha rituals for deceased souls. Shraddha ceremony helps in avoiding sins, Pitru Dosha and many problems in life and taking blessings of ancestors.
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