Mouni Amavasya – The Silent New Moon
Afraid of the dark? Running towards light?
On a new moon, the Sun and the Moon are overlapping and aligned with respect to the Earth, signifying the imbuing of light in the emptiness of the mind and consciousness is revealed. One who meditates during this time is ready for the conception of the light of consciousness having conquered not only the emotional and physical disturbances but also the remaining subtle desires.
Mauni Amavasya Vrata is a unique fast that is done on this day when one is not allowed to utter even a single word or noise. It is very difficult if not impossible for most people to do. Observing a fast that prohibits the speech has some very relevant logics behind. Controlling yourself from speaking useless things and having control over what is expressed through speech. The faith of people in god defines the meaning of Mauni Amavasya from a religious context. Texts state that the name of lord must be taken from heart rather than chanting it loud. The importance of prayers increases to a greater extent when we remember from our heart instead of mouth.
Bathing in holy rivers is considered pious on this day as during the churning of ocean in ancient times, a pot filled with amrita came out and drops of the amrita fell down in the rivers.
In some traditions the new year starts on a new moon known as the mouni amavasya or the new moon of inner silence.
This new moon is on the evening of the 7th of Febuary in the USA and on the 8th in India. A meditator who becomes completely absorbed and attains higher realization is known as a muni. This root word transforms into mouni or the great silence of deep meditation. When added with amavasya, denoting the new moon, this word mouni amavasya implies the silence of the great void and a silence attained only through deep meditation whereby all remaining internal chatter and imagery are conquered. The limit of perception is reached after overcoming all thought waves from subtle impressions. This metaphor of darkness is connected with the new moon.
Practicing continuously with breath brings about an understanding of the entrapments from the experience of the world. Having a daily meditation practice defined by structured techniques manifests the highest purification of internal tendencies and latent impressions lodged in the mind stuff (chitta suddhi). The ultimate knowledge of being that transcends subtle feelings and that thoughtless void can then be held by the purified mind. This journey is outlined clearly in texts. It helps to know that our affirmations become real when we synchronize them closely with what creates time and those coordinates based on a dynamic calendar that is correct instead of making things up or by a time which isn’t actually reality except to one’s ego or a calendar that is not accurate to time in this universe. The spiritual life being lived and daily meditation based on this greater synchronization are actually necessary.
A liberated being has no sense of time to feel bored when anchored in the inner silence. Free beings do not cultivate wishful desire fulfilling thinking or get unnecessarily busy with the world. That is why it is not a coincidence that the new year in many traditions begins at a point of transition based on a new moon. A new moon is symbolic of no mind or no thoughts and no mental images. While prayers and blessings bring about benevolence and boons, it is the right knowledge that is the opposite of ignorance, and removes ignorance. When your voluntary action is guided towards a structured meditation practice, you may obtain liberation in the same birth by way of right knowledge revealed that is rendered pure through meditation.