14 Feb 2014 : Magh Poornima (significance and Celebration)
Magh Purnima is the full moon day in the Hindu month of Magh (January – February). Magha, or Maghi, is month during which the famous Kumbh Mela and the annual Magh Mela takes place at Sangam in Prayag or Allahabad.
According to Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Lord Vishnu resides in the water on Ganges on this day. Hence, it is believed that even touching the holy water of Ganges on this day provides salvation. It is also believed that Lord Vishnu is most impressed when a person takes a bath in the holy rivers on this day. Even fasts, donations or charities don’t impress him as much.
Magha is one of the most sacred months. Therefore, a bath in Ganga on this day is of high religious merit. When Ganga is not accessible, one may bathe in any other holy stream, river, tank or pond, Moreover, Gangajal is kept almost in all the Hindu homes. Some of it may be poured into ordinary well water, and then used for bathing.
Magh Purnima is also known as Maghi Purnima. It is believed that a person is freed from all kinds of sins and problems if he takes a bath in Ganges on this day. It also provides peace of mind and purity. A person should chant “Om Namah Bhagvate Vasudevaya Namah” while taking a bath.
The day of Magh Purnima is dedicated to Lord Satyanarayana. An offering to Gods and Goddesses are made with mixture of wheat and sugar roasted well. Lord Satyanarayana is also offered supari, banana leaves, pan, fruits, til, honey, moli, ganga jal, roli, sweets, kumkum etc. Devotees after taking a bath worship Lord Vishnu on the day of Magh Purnima. The prayers and rituals are conducted just like Makar Sankranti. Hindu devotees indulge in charity and donations to Brahmanas who are considered much sacred on this particular day.
It is believed that Lord Vishnu residesin Kshir Sagar during this month and river Ganga is a form of Kshir Sagar. According to astrology, Magh Purnima occurs when Moon is in Cancer and Sun is in Capricorn sign.
It is also believed that taking baths on the day of Magh Purnima relieves a person from all problems related to the Sun and the Moon. This month is believed to be related to Puja, austerities etc. Even Sadhus and Saints consider this month to be very sacred.