WHY DO WE CALL NEW MOON DAY ‘AMAVASYA’? (Post No.10,423)

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN
Post No. 10,423
Date uploaded in London – – 8 DECEMBER 2021

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We already saw the beautiful description of sun and moon playing Hide and Seek game in the sky/ocean in the Atharvana Veda (please see the article posted yesterday). There are two other poems close to it, one on Newmoon day/Amavasya and and another on Fullmoon day/Purnima.

Hindus are the only race in the world who monopolised all fullmoon days and newmoon days and allocated big festivals or some important events to them. All fullmoon days are festival days for Hindus. All newmoon days are taken for the worship of the departed souls.
Two newmoon days are used by all sects of Hindus to pay obeissance to the departed souls (Adi and Thai; Dakshinayana and Uttarayana Punyakalam. )
Hindus are the only people in the world who observed sun,moon, planets and stars and discovered the imporatnce.
How do we know it?

The names of stars, planets, comets, eclipses are all in the oldest book Rig Veda with additional details in other three Vedas. Babylonians, Chinese, Egyptian aand Mayan might have one or two references here and there to the heavenly bodies, but no religious significance is attached . Now they are in museums unlike Hindu gods. For Hindus it is a continuing tradition. For some people all Ekadasis (11th day after full moon or newmoon) are imporatnt. And for others all Shastis (6th), or Chaturthis (4th) are imporatant. Ashtami (8) and Navami, Newmoon and Full moon days are declared holidays for Vedic schools. This 5000 year old obsession with heavenly bodies is not seen anywhere in the world.
Most famous Hindu festival Deepavali/Diwali is celebrated on Amavasya and previos day. The largest festival on earth known as Kumbhamela is celebrated based on the movement of planet Jupiter.
XXX
Here are two verses and the reason for the name Amavasya:-

HYMN LXXIX, ATHARVANA VEDA, BOOK 7
A hymn to the New Moon
1.Night of the New-born Moon, whatever fortune the Gods who dwell with greatness have assigned thee,
Therewith fulfil our sacrifice, all-baunteous! Blessed One, grant us wealth with manly offspring.
2.I am the New Moon’s Night, the good and pious are my in- habitants, these dwell within me.
In me have Gods of both the spheres, and Sādhyas, with Indra as their chief, all met together.
3.The Night hath come, the gatherer of treasures, bestowing strength, prosperity, and riches.
To New Moon’s Night let us present oblation: pouring out
strength, with milk hath she come hither.
4.Night of New Moon! ne’er hath been born another than thou embracing all these forms and natures,
May we have what we longed for when we brought thee oblations: may we be the lords of riches.
XXX


MY COMMENTS
Ralph TH Griffith’s footnote adds,
Vas- to dwell, and Ama-together, is the night during which the moon dwells together with or in the same qurter as the sun.
Hindus calculated the speed of the heavenly bodies and announced the eclipses etc. They knew that he sun and moon and earth are in same line on those days.
The first mantra in this verse gives Goddess status to Newmoon day. Anumati, Raka, Kuhu and Subhaga are the deities for Fullmoon and Newmoon days. Even today Hindus do Devi Puja (Goddess) on fullmoon days.
Mantra two mentioned Sadhyas; Griffith says they are ‘a class of ancient Gods’.

Anumati- Favour or divine grace personified; According to Hindu scholars, Anumati is also the personifiction of the fifteenth day of moon’s age, and sometimes the Newmoon.
Both fullmoon and new moon days are worshipped as Anumati.
The interesting point is Vas, the verb ‘to live’ is used in all Indian languages includig Tamil.
Sri Nivas- where Goddess Sri lives.
Many buildings and hotels are named with the word ‘Nivas’.
Another interesting thing is Anumati which also means permit,allow, consent, admit. Even Tamils use this word today for Permission or Admission.
Rig Vedic words are used in day today language all over India. (Anumati is also in the Rig Veda).
Griffith’s footnote adds ‘Anumati is a deity connected with procreation; the hymn is used in charms to remove sterilty in cows.
Anumati- Divine Grace, personified as a Goddess representing the God’s favourable acceptance of worship and oblations.
Though Tamils use Anumati everyday, they dont know the significance of the word! It is a Rig Vedic deity!
Sadhyas- meaning probably ‘those who are to be propiated’. According to Yaska, ‘the Gods whose dwelling place is the sky. In the Amarakosha, they are named among the minor deities, but they seem rather to be most ancient of the Gods.
And the hymn shows that ‘you get whatever you wished for whe you worship this 15th day Goddess!’ That is why Anumati is synonymous with Permission/ Admission (given).
Now let us look at the Fullmoon Hymn

xxxx


Hymns of the Atharva Veda, by Ralph T.H. Griffith, [1895], at sacred-texts.com
HYMN LXXX; AV, Book 7
A hymn to the Full Moon
1.Full in the front, full rearward, from the middle the Full Moon’s Night hath conquered in the battle.
In her: may we, dwelling with Gods and greatness, feast in the height of heaven, on strengthening viands.
2.To him, the Full Moon’s mighty Bull, we pay our solemn sacrifice.
May he bestow upon us wealth unwasting, inexhaustible.
3.No one but thou, Prajāpati, none beside thee, pervading, gave to all these forms their being.
Grant us our hearts’ desire when we invoke thee: may we have store of riches in possession.
4.First was the Full Moon meet for adoration among the days and in the nights’ deep darkness.
Into thy heaven, O Holy One, have entered those pious men who honour thee with worship.
xxx
MY COMMENTS
Here also we see ‘Grant us our hearts’ desire when we invoke thee: may we have store of riches in possession’. They pray for inexhaustible wealth.
Manu also mentioned the Darsa Purnamasa Ceremonies. Darsa is Seeing/Viewing.
I wrote about the Sahasra Chandra Darsana Yagnas in the Sun and Moon playing Hide and Seek article yesterday. In our times Sri Sathya Saibaba celebrated it on the grandest scale which showed the significance of such a ceremony.
The first mantra in this hymn reminds us of the famous Upanishad mantra :-
”Om purnamadah purnamidam purnat purnamudachyate purnasya purnamadaya purnamevavashisyate Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaanti.”
Meaning: ”What is visible is the infinite. What is invisible is also the infinite. Out of the Infinite Being the finite has come, yet being infinite, only infinite remains.
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi
The word Purna has so much signifiance for a Hindu.
in this hymn the second mantra says Fullmoon’s ‘Mighty Bull’, which is not explained by anyone. Many Vedic Gods like Indra, Agni, Rudra ar called Bulls. But appaying the same epithet to moon is not explained. One has to use one’s imagination!
xxx
TWO IMPORTANT YAGNAS
Ancient Hindus did fire sacrifices on full moon and new moon days. Following matter taken from Wisdomlibrary.com expalains them in detail:-
Darśapūrṇamāsa (दर्शपूर्णमास) refers to the “new and full-moon sacrifices” according to the Āpastamba-yajña-paribhāṣā-sūtras.—“the Darśapūrṇamāsa, the new and full-moon sacrifices, are prescribed by the Ṛg-veda and the Yajur-veda”.

Darśapūrṇamāsa (दर्शपूर्णमास) refers to one of the seven Haviḥsaṃsthās or Haviryajñas (groups of seven sacrifices).—Hārīta says: “Let a man offer the Pākayajñas always, always also the Haviryajñas, and the Somayajñas (Soma sacrifices), according to rule, if he wishes for eternal merit”.—The object of these sacrifices [viz., Darśapūrṇamāsa] is eternal happiness, and hence they have to be performed during life at certain seasons, without any special occasion (nimitta), and without any special object (kāma). According to most authorities, however, they have to be performed during thirty years only. After that the Agnihotra only has to be kept up.

Source: Shodhganga: Vaikhanasa Grhyasutra Bhasya (Critical Edition and Study)
Darśapūrṇamāsa (दर्शपूर्णमास) refers to a “sacrifice performed on the new moon and full moon days” and represents one of the various rituals mentioned in the Vaikhānasagṛhyasūtra (viz., vaikhānasa-gṛhya-sūtra) which belongs to the Taittirīya school of the Black Yajurveda (kṛṣṇayajurveda).—The original Gṛhyasūtra of Vaikhanāsa consists of eleven chapters or “praśnas”. Each praśna is subdivided into sub-divisions called “khaṇḍa”. But only the first seven chapters deal with actual Gṛhyasūtra section. Darśapūrṇamāsa is one of the seven haviryajñas
xxx
MANU SMRTI SAYS
Manu in his law book says a priest should offer food to all gods incuding goddess of newmoon day Kuhu and goddess on fullmoon day Anumati (Manu 3-86)
Manu bans Vedic recitation on Ashtami, Navami, full moon days and newmoon days (Manu 4-113, 114)
He makes the newmoon, fullmooon sacrifices mandatory for twice born people. (Manu 4-10, 4-25).
–subham–

tags – Newmoon, Fullmoom, Amavasya, Purnima, Darsapurnamasa, Anumati, Kuhu, Raka

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