Somvati Amavasya 2023: Significance, Rituals, and Story
Somvati Amavasya 2023, which falls on July 17, holds immense importance in Hindu religion, particularly during the auspicious month of Shravana. This New Moon day, also known as Amavasya, carries special significance when it occurs on a Monday and is referred to as Somvati Amavasya. Let us explore the legend associated with this day and the rituals observed by devotees.
Date and Time
Amavasya Tithi Begins – July 16, 2023, at 10:08 PM
Amavasya Tithi Ends – July 18, 2023, at 12:01 AM
Story of Somvati Amavasya
According to the legend, there was a businessman with seven sons and a daughter. Despite his sons being married, he struggled to find a suitable match for his daughter. A poor Brahmin, who visited their house daily seeking alms, blessed everyone but wished for the girl’s happiness with her brothers. Curious about the Brahmin’s blessings, the wife asked him about her daughter’s marriage prospects. The Brahmin revealed that she was not destined to get married and suggested seeking the blessings of a woman named Sona.
The girl embarked on a journey with one of her brothers to meet Sona. Along the way, they encountered a snake threatening to harm two baby birds in a nest. The girl fearlessly saved the birds by killing the snake. Grateful, the birds’ parents guided the girl and her brother to Sona’s house. The girl performed household chores at Sona’s house and revealed her identity when asked. Impressed by her dedication, Sona blessed her and attended her wedding. Sona’s presence altered the girl’s fate as she revived her groom, who had succumbed to a snake bite. Sona’s observance of vrat on Somvati Amavasya brought blessings and transformed destinies.
Significance of Somvati Amavasya
Somvati Amavasya holds immense significance, particularly when it coincides with the Shravana month. This rare occurrence makes it even more special. Amavasya is dedicated to worshiping ancestors, and many people perform Pitra tarpan and Pitra puja on this auspicious day to honor their forefathers. Additionally, Shravana month is considered propitious for worshiping Lord Shiva, and Somvati Amavasya is also known as Shravana Amavasya or Hariyali Amavasya. The day is considered ideal for donations, charity, and observing a fast. Devotees partake in a single meal only after performing the prescribed puja rituals.
Somvati Amavasya Rituals
To observe Somvati Amavasya, devotees perform various rituals to seek blessings and bring prosperity. Here are some customary practices:
- Morning Bath: Start the day by waking up early and taking a holy bath, symbolizing purity and spiritual cleansing.
- Visiting Holy Places: Some people visit sacred places, particularly the banks of the Ganga River, to take a ritual bath.
- Pitra Puja: Many individuals conduct Pitra puja at home, honoring and paying respect to their ancestors.
- Offering to Brahmins: Special meals are prepared and offered to Brahmins as a gesture of gratitude and seeking their blessings.
- Ancestral Rites: Male family members perform ancestral rites to offer peace and solace to their deceased family members.
- Hawan, Yajna, and Bhoj: Conducting hawan, yajna (fire rituals), and organizing community meals (bhoj) are considered highly auspicious.
- Charity: It is customary to donate food, clothes, and dakshina (monetary offering) to Brahmins or priests.
- Worship of Peepal Tree: Devotees often worship the Peepal tree, considered sacred in Hinduism, on this day.
Dos and Don’ts
While observing Somvati Amavasya, it is essential to adhere to certain customs and practices:
- Avoid New Purchases: It is advised to refrain from purchasing new clothes and footwear on this day.
- Auspicious Activities: Avoid undertaking any auspicious activity, as the focus is on prayers and spiritual observances.
- Religious Practices: Engage in religious activities such as reading holy books and chanting mantras.
- Abstain from Alcohol: Refrain from consuming alcohol, promoting purity of mind and body during this auspicious time.
- Tamasik Food: Avoid consuming tamasik (impure) food items and opt for sattvik (pure) food preparations.
- Charity: Emphasize acts of charity by donating food, clothes, or other essentials to the needy or Brahmins.