Mauni Amavasya

Mauni Amavasya

The English word "silence" doesn't really say much. In the Sanskrit language, there are many words for silence. "Maun" and "nishabd" are two significant words. "Maun" means silence as we generally know it - you don't speak; it is an attempt to create nishabd.

"Nishabd" means "that which is not sound" - beyond body, mind and all creation. Beyond sound does not mean absence of sound, but transcending sound. It is a scientific fact that the existence is a reverberation of energy. All vibrations in human experience translate into sound.

Every form in the creation has a corresponding sound. This complex amalgamation of sounds is what we are experiencing as creation. The basis of all sound is "nishabd." "Maun" is an attempt to transit from being a piece of creation to the source of creation. This attribute-less, dimension-less and boundl- ess state of existence and experience is the aspiration ofyoga: union. Nishabd would suggest nothingness. The word "nothing" has a negative connotation. You would probably understand it better if you put a hyphen between "no" and "thing"; it is a no-thing.

Sound is of the surface, silence is of the core. The core is a total absence of sound. Absence of sound means absence of reverberation, life, death, creation; absence of creation in one's experience leads to anenormous presenceof the source of creation. So, a space which is beyond creation, a dimension which is beyond life and death, is what is referred to as silence or nishabd. One cannot do this; one can only become this.

An Opportunity to Transcend

Mauni Amavasya is the second after the winter solstice or the one before Mahashivratri. It is a generally known fact even to illiterate farmers in our country that during the period of Amavasyaor new moon, sprouting of seeds and plant growth slows down. The sap in a plant faces an uphill task to reach the top and so it is in a human being who has a vertical spine.

During these particular three months, from solstice toMahashivratri, the phase one ofUttarayan, in latitudes ranging from 0º to 33ºN, the impact of both full moon and new moon is in an enhanced state.

Yogic traditions have various processes of making use of this assistance that nature is offering. One of these is to maintain silence from Mauni to Mahashivratri.

During this period there is a great influence upon all water bodies and water vortexes. Not to forget that our body is the most intimate water body that we know, it being over 70% water.

Cycles of the solar and lunar systemare the basic concept of time in human experience. The choice of either riding the cycles of time or to be trapped in endless cycles of time is the choice one has to make. This time and day offers a great opportunity to transcend.