|AHYMSIN NEWSLETTER, ISSUE - February 2014|
Mauni Amavasya 30th January 2014
by Daniela Citti
Mauni Amavasya is the annual silence day in the Tradition of India and it take places on the no-moon day of the Maagha month in the Hindu calendar when sun and moon are both supposed to enter the sign of Capricorn (makara rashi). Mauni means ‘of or for silence’, and amavasya means ‘no-moon day.’
Due to the special radiations that affect the Earth in this occasion, it is considered to be auspicious to maintain silence.
Being our Swamiji, a Prince of Silence, he encouraged all of us, his Spiritual Family, to share this silence day with him. I believe many people did all over the world in our Global Community.
At Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama Ashram, everybody was asked to participate to the special event: ashramites, students, guests, and for the first time also the staff members were asked to join. The spiritual leaders organized shifts for them so that everybody could have half day off and spend that time in silence and meditation. It was the first time something like that happened at SRSG.
All people in the ashram gathered the evening before to get information and instruction about the forthcoming day. We received information about the reason for why silence on this special day and the schedule we would follow. Silence is a very blessed time; it is a time where we can really be focused on ourselves and be inward. The encouragement we had from Swami Ma Radha was: “already from this night, after prayer, go to sleep with Atma Tattva Avalokanam and rise up with the same feeling.” Atma Tattva Avalokanam is the state of union with the divinity within, the awareness of being That, awareness of Atman-the Self.
On my waking up on Mauni Amavasya I recalled Swami Ma Radha’s advice and I started remembering my mantra with the feeling “I’m That”. Here in the ashram we have one silence day a week (every Thursday) but that morning, for the first time I had a glimpse of another aspect of silence that I never had before: not just exercising the mind in not talking, where you walk trying to avoid people in sight just because you are in silence, but keeping the mind quiet and focused so to be able to perceive and experience the aspect of the wholeness of the Universe. That was the feeling I got that morning from Atma Tattva Avalokanam: to be one with the Cosmos, and the silence and the silent remembering of the mantra were the link. I felt blessed right upon waking up.
The day started and everything was scheduled: brisk walk, silent meditation, contemplative walking and again silent meditation. To be sure that everybody would observe silence, power was switched off in all the ashram, from morning to evening.
That ‘silence day’ was really a special one. Already at morning, feeling a deep silence surrounding the Campus, observing from my room the gardeners and the cleaners working in perfect silence was so magic, everything was filled with a sense of depth and lightness at the same time.
The way everybody took so seriously that day was so inspiring! Many people sat in the Meditation Hall in deep absorption, meditating, doing japa, but what really moved and motivated and surprised many of us was to see the gardeners, cooks, people from the reception, from the book store and other offices sitting in perfect stillness and silence for a long, long time that day. It was just beautiful.
Swami Ma Radha commented: “The ashram was wonderfully silent. It was beautiful to see people sitting in the sun together yet separately as each was absorbed in japa, writing japa or inspirational reading”
In the afternoon, we had a recorded-guided relaxation done in shavasana and at 4.30 pm I had my personal challenge for I was scheduled to teach the hatha class… and in silence! I didn’t know exactly how I could do it, but it came out to be a very nice and inspiring experience. I had to be much more focused for everything that I would have transmitted by words now could only be conveyed by body language and by the state of mind. With a small bell I was calling for people’s attention to come out from the position or to look at me for a new asana. I enjoyed tremendously that hatha class! Hopefully also the guests did!
For the staff of the ashram a havan [fire offering] was organized at the end of their working day.
The day at the ashram ended with silence prayer, we gathered all together in the Meditation Hall and evening prayers were chanted mentally. A bell rang the end of the day.
I felt filled with a deep sense of peace and fullness, going back to my room at night I was feeling the deep, inner satisfaction that comes when you reach the end of a challenge and you were able to make it. Even if you found difficulties along the day now only a deep sense of peace and serenity is left inside.
Daniela Citti is a student in the Swami Rama Dhyana Gurukulam.
We invite you to read these articles written previously by her (click on title):
We invite you to read Silence Day (Mauni Amavasya) by Swami Veda Bharati at http://ahymsin.org/main/practice/silence-day-mauni-amavasya-2014.html
“As I have entered the five-year vow silence, I would like many of my friends to set aside at least one day to share the silence with me just as you have shared the full moon day for an hour each month for more than a decade now.” – Swami Veda Bharati
Mauni Amavasya in 2015 will be 20th January 2015
Start the New Year with a silence retreat at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama.
You are invited to participate in a group silence retreat guided by Swami Ma Radha Bharati and Swami Prashant Bharati at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, Rishikesh, India:
For either 10 or 20 days. Please plan to arrive a couple of days before the starting date and plan to stay at least one day after the silence retreat.