Amavasya of any month which falls on Monday is called Somvati Amavasya. It is specially known for the Tarpan of ancestors. Person observing this fast should sit under the Peepal tree and chant the Shani mantra on this day.
Baths and donations performed on Somvati Amavasya have a special significance. Staying Maun (silent) is very fruitful on this day. According to Dev Rishi Vyas, staying Maun and performing baths and donation give virtues similar to donating thousand cows.
Somvati Amavasya: The Legend
While celebrating Somvati Amavasya in 2013, it is good idea to know about the legend associated with it. As per the story of Somvati Amavasya, once upon a time there lived a money lender who had seven sons and one daughter. He married all his sons but could not find a suitable match for his daughter.
A monk visited their house regularly and blessed the money lender’s daughters-in-law but never blessed the daughter. The daughter told her mother about this and she confronted the monk with this question. The monk did reply and left quietly. This really worried the mother and she called a Pandit.
The Pandit told her that her daughter was destined to become a widow. The girl’s mother asked the Pandit for a solution to the problem. He told them that there was a washerwoman who lived on the island of Singhal. If that woman agrees to apply vermilion (Sindoor) on the forehead of the girl, her fate will change. The Pandit also told them that observing fast of Somvati Amavasya will also be instrumental in reversing her fate.
The mother sent her daughter and her youngest son to that island. On their way to the island they came across sea shore and wondered how to cross it. Sitting under a tree they saw a vulture’s nest. A male and female vulture lived there with their babies. One day when both vultures had gone out of their nest to fetch some food, a snake entered their nest and attacked the babies. All this was being witnessed by the girl who was sitting there. She immediately jumped to help the vulture babies and saved them from the attack.
When the vultures returned they were really pleased to know what had just happened. As a token of their gratitude they helped the girl to reach the washer woman’s house. After reaching her destination she started living with the washer woman.
After a few months the woman was really pleased with the girl and applied vermilion (Sindoor) on her forehead. While returning back to her house she also observed Somvati Amavasya. This reversed her fate and then she lived a happy married life with her husband.
Significance of Amavasya
After the Kurukshetra war, Yudhistira was anxious with the Kuru pandava dynasty and asked Bhishma to advice something to rejuvenate the dynasty for his coming generations. Bhishma suggested Dharmaraj to observe Somvati Amavasya Vrata. He also explained him the merits of this vrata as whoever observes the Amavasya Somvara Vrata would get long living and noble children.
Amavasya, or Amavasi, is the name of new moon night in Hindu religion. It is the first night of the first quarter of the lunar month. Since the moon is invisible on the day, Amavasya is also referred as no moon night. Amavasi holds great importance in Hinduism. Many Hindus choose this day to make offering (tharpanam) to the Pitar.
Symbolically, the period from Amavasya to Purnima (full moon) is considered to be the gradual awakening and transcendence into the fullness. From darkness to the gradual realization of the Supreme Soul.