Ashadha Amavasya is the Amavasya (new moon) that comes in Krishna Paksha
on the Hindu month of Ashadha. This is the fourth month in the Hindu calendar and corresponds to June/July in the Gregorian calendar. Performing Pitru Darpan and Pind Pradhan on this day is considered highly auspicious.
Ashadha Amavasya 2023 falls on June 18, Sunday.
Significance of Ashadha Amavasya
Ashadha Amavasya is a significant auspicious day that holds great importance in various religious ceremonies and traditions. One of the major rites performed on this day is Deepa Puja, where people clean and decorate their homes and light Diyas of various colors.
During Deepa Puja, a sanctified and decorated Chaurang (table) is set up, adorned with beautiful Rangoli (Kolam) designs. The table is then adorned with multiple lit diyas, creating a mesmerizing sight during the Puja ceremony. This ritual is dedicated to one’s Ishta Dev or Family Deity and the Panch Maha Bhoot, the five primordial elements – Air, Water, Fire, Sky, and Earth. Some individuals choose to dedicate the Puja to Goddess Lakshmi, Parvati, or Saraswati.
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The lighting of diyas during the evening hours is believed to drive away evil energies and bring new brightness into one’s life, similar to the festival of Diwali
. Deepa Puja is considered to bestow devotees with Ashta Aishwarya, the eight types of wealth. It also signifies the beginning of the holy month of Shravan.
In Maharashtra, Ashadha Amavasya is celebrated as Gatari Amavasya. It is a joyous festival observed with enthusiasm across the state. As the arrival of the Shravan month requires abstaining from non-vegetarian food and hard liquor due to the susceptibility to stomach disorders during the monsoon season, people indulge in these before the month begins to quench their appetite. Gatari Amavasya is also observed as Bheemana Amavasya in Karnataka, Chukkala Amavasya in Andhra Pradesh, and Hariyali Amavasya in Gujarat.
Furthermore, Ashadha Amavasya is believed to be a day when Pitru Devatas, ancestral deities, are highly active. Performing acts of charity, Puja or any auspicious rituals in their name is believed to guide them towards Moksha, liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
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In summary, Ashadha Amavasya holds significant religious value and is marked by various ceremonies. Deepa Puja, with the lighting of diyas and devotion to deities, is a prominent ritual. The festival of Gatari Amavasya is celebrated in Maharashtra, signifying the arrival of the Shravan month. Additionally, acts of charity and rituals dedicated to Pitru Devatas are believed to provide spiritual benefits.
Ashadha Amavasya rituals
Ashadha Amavasya is a day filled with various rituals and acts of devotion. Some of the important rituals performed on this day include:
Devotees wake up early in the morning and take a sacred bath in rivers or at pilgrim places. This act of purification is believed to cleanse the body and soul.
Throughout the day, devotees engage in religious activities conducted in temples. They offer prayers, chant mantras, and seek divine blessings.
Pitru Puja, Tarpan, Pinda Daan, or Tila Tarpan is performed to honor and appease the souls of deceased ancestors. Offerings are made to the ancestors, expressing gratitude and seeking their blessings.
Donating food, clothes, and other essentials to the poor and needy is considered highly beneficial on Ashadha Amavasya. It is believed that such acts of selfless giving bring blessings and positive karma.
According to holy scriptures, feeding cows on this day is considered auspicious. Devotees offer food, grass, or other feed to cows as a gesture of reverence and gratitude.
Read Significance of Cows in Vedic Astrology
It is believed that ancestors take the form of crows, and feeding them is believed to appease the souls of forefathers. Devotees offer food to crows, considering it a symbolic act of nourishing their ancestors.
These rituals and acts of devotion on Ashadha Amavasya hold deep spiritual significance. They serve as a way to express gratitude to ancestors, seek their blessings, and perform acts of charity and compassion. Through these practices, devotees aim to purify themselves, strengthen their spiritual connection, and cultivate positive karma.
Ashadha Amavasya fasting
Fasting is considered the most important aspect of Ashadha Amavasya, and devotees follow a special procedure on this day:
Devotees wake up early before sunrise, take a purifying bath, and clean their homes. They then set up a Puja altar in a clean and sanctified space.
Idols of Lord Shiva and Parvati are installed on the Puja altar. Devotees perform the Sambha Parameshwari and Shodashopachara Puja, which include sixteen ritualistic offerings. During the Puja ceremony, the Amavasya Vrat
Katha, the story associated with the Amavasya fast, is also read.
Devotees place Naivedya, which is a special offering of food, before the idols of the deities. This food is considered sacred and blessed by the divine presence. Later, it is distributed among the devotees as Prasad, a blessed offering.
Amavasya fasting lasts for one day and one night. Devotees abstain from consuming food and water during this period. The fast is observed as a mark of devotion and self-discipline.
Conclusion of Fast:
The fast is concluded the next morning. Devotees break their fast by consuming a simple and pure meal. This meal is usually prepared with great care and offered as gratitude to the divine.
Fasting on Ashadha Amavasya is believed to purify the body and mind, increase spiritual awareness, and bring blessings from the divine. It is considered a powerful practice for spiritual growth and seeking the grace of the deities. By observing this fast, devotees demonstrate their dedication, humility, and commitment to their spiritual path.
Ashadha Amavasya benefits
Observing Ashadha Amavasya fasting and performing associated rituals offer several benefits to devotees:
Relief from Troubles:
Placing a lit lamp filled with mustard oil under a Peepal tree and worshipping it while reciting holy mantras is believed to bring relief from unexpected troubles in life. This practice is considered effective in warding off negative influences and bringing positive energies.
Sacred Bath and Donations:
Taking a bath in the waters of sacred rivers at pilgrim places and donating food and essentials to Brahmins on Amavasya day are highly rewarding. Such acts of charity and devotion are believed to bring blessings, spiritual growth, and purification.
Circumambulating (Pradakshina) the Peepal tree while worshipping it is believed to bring eternal peace and salvation to the souls of deceased ancestors. Conducting Pitru Tarpan and Pinda Pradhan on Ashadha Amavasya is crucial for ensuring ancestral peace and is said to directly reach the departed souls.
Ashadha Amavasya is significant for individuals experiencing Pitru Dosha, Grah Dosha, or Shani Dosha
in their Janam Kundli
. Offering special prayers and rituals dedicated to the departed souls on this day can help alleviate the negative effects of these doshas and bring about positive transformations.
Fulfillment of Desires:
Performing rituals like Tila Tarpanam (offerings to ancestors) and Annadanam (feeding the poor) on Ashadha Amavasya is believed to fulfill all desires in life. These acts of generosity and service are considered auspicious and bring blessings and abundance.
The Garud Puran emphasizes the importance of charity giving and fasting during Amavasya days for mitigating defects in a birth chart
. Such practices are believed to neutralize negative influences and enhance positive planetary energies.
Pacifying Mangal Dosha:
Worshipping Lord Hanuman on Ashadha Amavasya is believed to pacify Mangal Dosha
and negate its inauspicious effects. Devotees seek the blessings of Lord Hanuman for harmonizing planetary influences and bringing stability and positivity.
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By following these rituals and observances on Ashadha Amavasya, devotees can benefit from the auspicious energies, attain spiritual growth, seek ancestral peace, mitigate doshas, and enhance overall well-being. Consulting experts in astrology
can provide further guidance on specific remedies based on individual birth charts.
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Ashadha Amavasya story
Once, a Brahmin couple had the desire to embark on a pilgrimage to Kashi (Varanasi)
, but they faced a dilemma. They couldn’t take their young and beautiful daughter along with them on the long journey. To ensure her safety, they entrusted her to the care of the Brahmin’s brother and his wife.
The Brahmin couple set off on their pilgrimage, intending to return home after a considerable period. However, taking advantage of the situation, the greedy brother and his wife decided to marry off the young girl to a deceased prince in exchange for wealth.
During the marriage rituals, the king and his soldiers carried the corpse of the prince for the last rites on the banks of the river Bhagirathi. However, the cremation process was interrupted by sudden rain, causing people to scatter and leave the girl in a state of sorrow.
Despite her desolation, the girl did not lose hope. She created two lamp-like structures called Kalikamba and observed the Amavasya Vrat (fast) as taught by her parents. During the Puja, a couple passing by noticed the girl’s prayer and dedication. They inquired about her unfortunate situation, and she narrated her story to them.
Touched by her plight, the couple blessed her unknowingly, saying “Deerga Sumangali Bhava,” which means “may you live long with your husband.” Miraculously, the lifeless prince rose from the dead, and the girl realized that the couple who had blessed her with abundance was none other than Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
This legend highlights the power of devotion, faith, and the divine intervention of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Ashadha Amavasya is celebrated to commemorate this story and is observed with great reverence and devotion. Devotees perform rituals and prayers, seeking the blessings of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati for long-lasting marriages and marital bliss.