Magha Purnima is an important day for Hindus that falls on the ‘purnima’ (full moon day) in the month of ‘Magha’ in the traditional Hindu calendar. This date roughly corresponds to the months of January-February in the Gregorian calendar. Magha Purnima is also popularly known as ‘Maghi Purnima’ or ‘Maha Maghi’ and is the last and most important day of the Magha Maas. In the Hindu legends Purnima is known to be an important day for performing religious and spiritual rituals, and of these the Magha Purnima is one of the most auspicious.
On this day Hindu devotees in thousands perform the ritualistic bath at the Triveni Sangam in Prayag. During this time the famous ‘Kumbha Mela’ and ‘Magha Mela’ is also held in which devotees flock from each and every corner of the country. Even in southern states of India like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, it is celebrated with utmost enthusiasm and gaiety. In Tamil Nadu on this day the spectacular ‘float’ festival is held wherein beautifully decorated idols of Meenakshi and Lord Sundeshwara are mounted on floats. Magha Purnima also holds special significance for followers of Buddhism as it is believed that Gautama Buddha pronounced his impending death on the same day.
This year, Sant Ravidas Jayanti is also observed on Magha Purnima day. Guru Ravidas (1377-1527 C.E.) was a famous saint of the Bhakti Movement. His devotional songs and verses made a lasting impact upon the Bhakti Movement. Guru Ravidas is also known as Raidas, Rohidas and Ruhidas.
According to historians Guru Ravidas was born during 1377 C.E. at Mandhuadhe in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. There is controversy on the exact birth date of Ravidas. According to some scholars it was year 1399 when Guru Ravidas was born. As per Hindu calendar Guru Ravidas was born on Magha Purnima. Hence his birth anniversary is celebrated on Magha Purnima as per Hindu lunar calendar.
Rituals during Magha Purnima:
* On the day of Magha Purnima, devotees must get up early and take a holy dip in any water body, before sunrise. For those who cannot take a dip in the river, can take bath at home by mixing Gangajal in water.
* After the ritualistic bath, devotees begin to make preparations for the puja. On this day, they worship Lord Vishnu and Hanuman Ji. Also along with the ‘Ishta Devatas’, the day of Magha Purnima is also dedicated to worshipping Goddess Parvati and Lord Brihaspati’ (as Brihaspati is the God of Magha Nakshatram).
* Devotees perform the Satyanarayana Puja with full devotion and also recite the Satyanarayana Katha. The idol of the lord is worshipped with banana leaves, sandalwood paste, til, supari, moli and fruits. In the most of Lord Vishnu’s temples across India, special arrangements for this puja are made. Hence people also visit the temples in the evening.
* Fasting on the day of Magha Purnima is also considered to be rewarding. The observer of this vrat, fasts during the day and eats only after offering ‘ardhya’ to the moon in the evening. Only Single meal is allowed in a day.
* Making donations in the form of clothes, food, cereals, ghee, jaggery and fruits is highly beneficial. Donations can be any form and should be made to Brahmins and those in need. In the Hindu scriptures, it is believed to be very auspicious to donate ‘til’ (sesame seeds) in the entire month of Magha.
* In some regions ancestor rituals are also held on Magha Purnima. Devotees offer tarpan for the peace f the deceased souls.
Significance of Magha Purnima:
The importance of Magha Purnima is mentioned in Brahma Vaivarta Purana. According to the Hindu mythology, on this sacred day, Lord Vishnu resides in the River Ganga and therefore it is strongly believed that by mere touching the holy water of River Ganga, devotees can attain salvation. Taking a holistic bath in the sacred rivers like Ganga, Saraswati and Yamuna on Magha Purnima is very beneficial. By piously observing the Magha Purnima vrat devotees can gain freedom from their sins and also acquire purity and peace of mind. Doing charity on Magha Purnima gives same benefits as observing Maha Yagyas.
Besides, religious significance, the day of Magha Purnima is also holds importance in the science of astrology. It is held that on this day Sun enters into the Capricorn Sign and Moon moves in the Cancer constellation. Hence it is believed that taking a holy dip on Magha Purnima can put an end to all the problems correlated with Sun and Moon. The month of Magha is also beneficial from scientific point of view. It is believed that this month helps the human body to adjust with the changing seasons. Therefore taking a bath on Magha Purnima will provide strength and power to the body.
Important Timings On Magha Purnima
Sunrise February 09, 2020 7:07 AM
Sunset February 09, 2020 6:15 PM
Purnima Tithi Begins February 08, 2020 4:02 PM
Purnima Tithi Ends February 09, 2020 1:03 PM