Last Updated: 3/9/2013 4:53:42 PM
In 2016, Somvati Amavasya will be observed on February 8 & July 4. The New Moon day in the Hindu Lunar calendar is called as Amavasya. In each year, there are total 12 or 13 Amavasya occurring each month. It is believed that performing Pitra Puja on Somvati Amavasya soothes the soul of one’s dead ancestors. The offerings reach them directly and they bless and nurture us.
This is considered very auspicious to please our ancestors and get their blessings. On Somvati Amavasya people perform Pitra Puja and console the soul of their ancestors. As per the Hindu religion our ancestors are an important part of our life and therefore should not be forgotten. We have a special period (Shraddha) dedicated to the worship of our ancestors. Other than that period Somvati Amavasya is suitable for pleasing our forefathers. It is believed that the offerings made to the ancestors on Somvati Amavasya reaches them directly.
Once, the eldest Pandava Yudhistira asked Bheeshma Pitamaha the significance of Somvati Amavasya. He then narrated the entire story of Somvati Amavasya to him in the Epic Mahabharata.
As per the legend, once there lived a money lender who had seven sons and a daughter. One after the other the money lender married off all his sons. However, he could not marry his daughter.
A monk habitually came to the money lender’s house. He received alms from the family and blessed them in return. He blessed all the members of the family except the daughter of the money lender.
She felt very sad and narrated the entire incident to her mother. The mother asked an explanation from the Monk for such a behavior. Hearing the woman’s question the Monk did not reply and returned quietly.
To find the answer to her questions the mother called a Pandit as asked him the same question. To which the Pandit replied that it was in the fate of her daughter to become a widow after her marriage. She then begged the Pandit for a solution. The Pandit told him that only a washerwoman who lived on an island called Singhal could solve their problem. If the woman applied vermilion (Sindoor) on the forehead of the fateful girl, her fate will change. Also, the Pandit suggested the girl to observe a fast on the sacred day of Somvati Amavasya.
Along with her brother, the girl went to see the washerwoman. On their journey to the island they reached a sea shore. Unable to cross it they sat there and waited to find a way out. The girl was sitting under a tree when she saw a vulture couple. The vulture couple lived there with their babies. But a snake always used to eat up all the baby vultures. One day when both the vultures were not present the snake barged in to eat the babies. To protect the babies girl attacked the snake and forced it to run away. The vultures returned and were really happy to see their children safe and sound. They thanked the girl and showed them the way to the reach the washer woman.
On reaching the island she met the washerwoman and started living with her. Observing the girl for many months the washerwoman decided to put vermilion on her forehead. When she was returning back to her home she fasted on the day of Somvati Amavasya. As a result of her hard work and pure heart she was successful in reversing her fate. The girl got married and lived happily ever after with her husband.
While celebrating the Somvati Amavasya it is very important to follow all the rituals that are given in the Puranas. But it should not be forgotten that these festivals lose its importance when performed mechanically. So, it is equally important to understand the spiritual significance of these festivals. Somvati Amavasya also has a high spiritual significance. Somvati Amavasya is the darkest of the month. Therefore, it signifies that any dark day is not the end of the world. After every dark night a beautiful morning comes.
We wish all our readers a very happy and prosperous Somvati Amavasya 2016. We hope that Somvati Amavasya 2016 will provide peace to the souls of our ancestors.
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