Tithi, the lunar day
Darshan - Alan Wiuker
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The Sun and the Moon
have a powerful effect on human life and mind.
The Sun affects the life force, physical strength and the
sense of Self.
The Moon affects the mind, emotions, mood, and the process
of growth and nourishment.
Both Sun and Moon represent the two poles of the universal
energy, masculine and feminine, the universal father and mother,
hot and cool, Siva and Shakti, Ying and Yang.
Without the Sun there would not be life at all on earth. The
closeness and distance of the earth from the Sun changes throughout
the year and determines the seasons, like winter, spring,
rainy or dry seasons and so, according to the location on
The waxing and waning cycle of the Moon is very well known
to affect the ocean tides, the growth of plants, the fertility
cycle in females, as well as the mind, emotions and mood.
Even people who proclaim themselves as non-believers in astrology,
know that the cycles of the Sun and the Moon will affect very
much their lives, and everyone plans their lives, activities,
clothing, vacations, and many other aspects of daily life
based on “predicting” the seasons, weather tendencies
and their effects on the mind.
People working in agriculture, farming and gardening know
from ancient times that certain activities should be done
in new Moon, others on crescent Moon other on waning Moon
and so. Isn’t all that a form of popular electional
astrology or “Muhurtha”? choosing and planning
the best time to do certain activities to get the best results?
If we act in accordance with the energies in the nature we
get mental peace and harmony. But if you want to, let’s
say, sowing certain seeds in the beginning of the winter,
you will waste your energy, feel out of tune and disappointed.
The ancient Yogis and Rishis observed
the effect of the Sun, the Moon and the planets with a much
deeper and detailed knowledge.
The Hindu calendar, called “Panchanga” is based
on 5 factors relative to the position of the Sun, the Moon
and the relationship between the two at any particular time.
All the religious life, holidays, festivals, fasts and performance
of specific rituals in the Hindu culture are based on that
The great Yoga master Sri Swami
“The lunar days influence
the function of the Nadis (astral energy channels).
It should be born in mind that the Moon exercises a powerful
influence over the human mind. In the Purusha Sukta you will
find:-Chandrama Manaso Jatah- the Moon is born of the mind
of the Virat Purusha or cosmic being.
In the cosmos, the Moon is controlled by the cosmic mind.
The individual mind being a speck of the cosmic mind has therefore
the connection with the Moon, and being only a speck it feels
controlled by the Moon.
When the Moon waxes and wanes, its connection with the mind
also fluctuates and thus, there arises a sympathetic reaction
in the mind. Hence, the relationship between the flow of the
breath and the lunar days.” S.
Yogis know the relationship between the
Sun and Moon energy on the human life and mind trough its
effects on the flow of energy within the Nadis or astral tubes.
There are two most important nadis called Ida and Pingala,
also called the Moon and Sun nadis, which control all the
processes of the physical chemistry and metabolism as well
as the way the mind works.
These two nadis are connected to the two nostrils, Ida or
Moon energy to the left, and Pingala or Sun to the right nostril.
One of these nadis or nostrils is predominant during a period
of approximately 1 ½ hours and then it alternates.
That regular alternation keeps the balance between heat and
cold, effort and relaxation, sympathetic and parasympathetic
nervous systems, body and mind, extroversion and introversion
of the mind, concrete or abstract thinking.
When these two nadis are kept in perfect
balance for a long period of time, by the practice of Yoga,
then another nadi called Sushumna becomes active, and that
leads to an alternate state of consciousness and the experience
of meditation, the transcendence of all duality on the mind.
There is a great knowledge called “Swara
Yoga” which studies in depth the effect of
the Solar and Lunar energy in relationship with the breath
and how it affects human life, result of an action and state
The practice and self discipline by which the practitioner
can have a control over these flow of energy and direct it
toward the perfection of the meditation experience is called
“Hatha Yoga” which means “union
of the Sun and Moon energy”. They are both sister and
Swara Yoga is much related to the science
of Jyotish and deeply understands the connection between the
astronomical position of the Sun and the Moon and how it affects
in the flow of the nostrils and its effects in life.
Even predictions about different domains of life can be made
according to the flow of the right or left nostril at a particular
moment of a query, but its main goal is to attain spiritual
consciousness and illumination.
According to the Swara Yoga Shastra, the nostril and Nadi
that should be opened at the beginning of each day, at the
time of sunrise should be as follows:
In the waxing cycle, on Tithis 1,2,3,7,8,9,13,14,and 15, the
Moon (left Nadi) should flow first. On the 4,5,6,10,11,12
Tithis the Sun nadi should begin
In the waning cycle, it is the reverse, meaning, on Tithis
1,2,3,,7,8,9,13,14,and 15 the Sun nadi should flow first,
and the Moon on the rest.
If this happens, the mind feels peaceful and in harmony, and
if the opposite happens, there is restlessness, and stress
in the mind, which can also lead to disease.
The flow of the nadis can be corrected by specific yoga practices
and purification of the nadis. The practices should be learned
from a qualified yoga teacher.
Within the Panchanga
or five limbs of the Hindu calendar, the Tithi or Lunar day
plays a very important role to understand the propensities
of the mind for different kind of activities, and the experience
of emotional fulfillment.
There are certain Tithis which are favorable for certain activities
and not for others. Certain Tithis are most favorable for
meditation or worship of certain forms of God, while other
Tithis are most favorable for attaining success in worldly
activities, and others are more destructive in nature.
The Tithi or lunar day plays a very important role in the
branch of Jyotish called “Muhurtha” or choosing
the auspicious time for a particular activity.
It is also important in Natal astrology, because people born
during certain Tithi have different mental tendencies, which
should be considered together with the other planetary factors
in the birth chart reading.
On a spiritual dimension, the Sun represents the Soul or Atman;
the Moon represents the Jiva or individual.
The Scriptures describe the Sun as Lord Siva and the Moon
as Goddess Parvati.
The relationship between the Sun and the Moon shows the relationship
between the soul and the individual mind, the internal and
external life, the eternal and the living.
What is a Tithi?
The Tithi is the distance between the position of the Sun
and the Moon at a particular time.
The moment the Sun and the Moon are conjunct, on the same
degree, it is the New Moon. From there, each 12 degrees that
the Moon gets separated from the Sun is one Tithi.
There are 30 Tithis in one lunar month, between one new Moon
and the next.
15 Tithis belong to the waxing fortnight or bright half of
the month and 15 Tithis belong to the waning fortnight or
dark half o the month Each of the 2 cycles or fortnight is
called a “Paksha”
The waxing cycle is called the Sukla Paksha (from the new
Moon to the full Moon)
The waning cycle is called the Krishna Paksha (from the full
Moon to the new Moon)
Tithis are named from 1 to 15 starting from the beginning
of the Paksha that they belong to. For example, the first
Tithi after the New moon is called Sukla Pratipada, and the
first Tithi after the Full moon is called Krishna Pratipada.
Calculaton of the Tithi.
1. Take the longitude of the Moon
2. Subtract the longitude of the Sun
3. Divide the result by 12
4. Round the remainders up to the next whole number.
Suppose the Sun is in 5 deg Aries (5 deg.) and the Moon is
in 28 deg Sagittarius (268 deg.)
263/12=21,91, which is rounded to 22
Tithi is 22, meaning 7th Tithi of the waning cycle or “Krishna
Groups of Tithis
Tithis are classified into 5 groups.
1, 6 and 11 are the Nanda Tithis. Nanda means happiness. Those
are good days for activities relevant to obtain happiness
and pleasure, like entertainment, arts, social encounters
2, 7and 12 are the Bhadra Tithis.
They are good for activities related to the attainment of
success and prosperity, such as business, beginning a job,
3, 8 and 13 are the Jaya Tithis. Jaya means Victory, and those
are good for activities done for the overcoming of obstacles,
or for attainment of success, like competitions, litigations,
examinations, efforts, etc.
4, 9 and 14 are the Rikta or “empty” Tithis.
They are the most “negative” Tithis for good actions,
they are related to destruction, but they can be favorable
for actions done to get rid of something, breaking, demolishing,
cleaning, purifying, waste disposal, destroying something
negative or pay a debt.
5, 10 and 15 are the Purna Tithis.
Purna means fullness or completion. Those are good Tithis
for activities done to complete something, abundance, harvesting
crops, education, etc.
The Deity that rules a Tithi tells us much about the particular
energy of that day.
The Tithi that you are born at, gives you a connection to
one particular aspect of God, that should be understood and
worshiped to get mental happiness.
The Vedic tradition prescribes rituals and Mantras to propitiate
the Presiding Deity of the Tithi, when an important activity
is started on a particular day.
People born under the Rikta Tithis are advised to understand,
worship or repeat the Mantra of the presiding Deity, as a
form of remedial measure to be protected from adversities.
Favorable and unfavorable Tithis
The Brightness of the Moon is an indicator of its strength
The closest it is o the Sun, either before or after the new
Moon, the more inauspicious or malefic it can be.
For any action to bear a good fruit and be successful, the
Moon should be strong.
Therefore, the first 5 Tithis of the Sukla Paksha or Waxing
Moon and the last 5 Tithis of the Krishna Paksha or Waning
Moon should be avoided to begin activities which are supposed
to grow, last and bring happiness.
The effects of the 2 Pakshas,
waxing and waning Moon
In the waxing cycle, the Moon is newly
born and grows, expands towards its fullness. So the Sukla
Paksha is more auspicious for starting works to accomplish
something which is supposed to grow, expand, prosper and last,
like, important inaugurations, starting of a new business,
getting married, etc.
People born on this cycle are usually more industrious, out
going, emotionally extroverted and successful in their endeavors.(the
chart as a whole should be considered to reach to conclussions)
In the waning cycle or Krishna Paksha, the Moon goes from
its full radiance to its maximum darkness, so it is inauspicious
for the actions mentioned before, but it can be a good time
for purification, fasting, introspection, withdrawing from
the material worldliness, letting go, develop humility, finish
or extinct something.
People born on this cycle are usually are usually more introverted,
shy or have more difficulties to relate to the emotional world.
Some Tithis especially
auspicious for spiritual practices.
Even though we can say that every day is good for spiritual
practices, some days or Tithis are specially regarded as auspicious
for meditation, worship and spiritual practices, like the
Ekadasi, Trayodasi, Purnima o Amavasya and other special times
of the year when the relationship between the Sun and Moon
is such that makes it easier to acces the deeper states of
(The following is an extract from the Book “Hindu
fasts and festivals”, by Sri Swami Sivananda)
"Fasting is prescribed on all
Ekadasis, that is, the 11th day of the lunar fortnight, twice
In this Kali Yuga, even if just one Ekadasi is observed with
dispassion, faith and devotion, and if the mind is wholly
fixed on Hari, one is freed from the rounds of birth and death.
There is no doubt about this. The scriptures give us their
assurance on this point.
Devotees fast on this day, observe vigil the whole night and
do Japa, Hari Kirtan and meditation. Some do not take even
a drop of water. Those who are unable to fast completely can
take some light fruit and milk.
No rice should be taken on Ekadasi days. This is very important.
The sweat that fell down from the head of Brahma assumed the
form of a demon and said to the Lord, “O Lord! now give
me an abode to dwell.”
Brahma replied, “O demon! go and dwell in the rice particles
eaten by men on Ekadasi day and become worms in their stomach.”
For this reason rice is prohibited on Ekadasi. If one observes
the Ekadasi fast regularly, Lord Hari is propitiated. All
sins are destroyed. The mind is purified. Devotion gradually
develops. Love for God becomes intense. Orthodox people in
South India observe complete fasting and vigil even on ordinary
Ekadasi days. For the devotees of Lord Vishnu, every Ekadasi
is a very sacred day.
In the Gita you will find: “Verily, Yoga is not for
him who eats too much, nor who abstains to excess, nor who
sleeps too much, nor to the excessively wakeful”.
The Yogi withdraws his senses from the particular sense objects.
The senses are made to turn into or get involved into the
mind. When one is fully established in these two practices,
supreme control of the senses is achieved.
Scriptural Stories about Ekadasi
Once there was a demon, Mura, who oppressed the gods. The
gods approached Lord Hari for protection. Hari sent Yoga Maya
to kill the demon. Yoga Maya carried out the behests of the
Then the Lord said to Yoga Maya, “Those who observe
Ekadasi will be freed from all sins, and you will be called
by the name Ekadasi.”
King Ambarisha was a great votary of Lord Hari. He practiced
the Ekadasi Vrata for a year. Ambarisha obtained His Grace.
On one occasion he fasted for three consecutive days. He was
about to break the fast when Rishi Durvasa appeared as his
guest. The king received him with due respect and requested
him to take his meals. The Rishi agreed and went to bathe
in the river. The king waited patiently for a long time, but
the Rishi did not return. Time was running out; if the king
did not eat anything before the day ended his Vrata would
not bear fruit. And if he ate, he would be showing disregard
to the Rishi. As a compromise the king took a little water
to serve both the conditions.
When Durvasa returned from his bath, he knew exactly what
had happened, and was angry. He tore a hair from his tuft
and charged it to kill Ambarisha. The king was unmoved. The
discus of Lord Vishnu destroyed the power of the hair of Durvasa.
It now followed the Rishi wherever he went and tried to destroy
Rishi Durvasa went to Brahma and Shiva for help, but to no
avail. He went to Lord Hari who said to him, “I am dependent
on My devotees. My heart is in the possession of My devotees.
Go thou, therefore, to Ambarisha; beg his pardon and thou
shall be saved.”
Ambarisha thereupon prayed to the charged hair to desist from
its course, and saved the Rishi. Durvasa thanked him from
the bottom of his heart."
Trayodasi is a very auspicious Tithi. It is also called “Pradosha”
which means “without flaw”
(The following is an extract from the Book "Hindu
fasts and festivals", by Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati)
"All things in this vast creation function upon definite
laws. There is always a beautiful system and sound rationale
governing every phenomenon and process, mundane or mystical.
Just as the gross elements and physical forces operate differently
under different states and conditions, so also the subtler
and higher forces respond and react in the inner mystic planes,
and in the purely spiritual processes like meditation, prayer,
worship, etc. Therefore, you will find definite injunctions
for performing certain types of worship in the morning, certain
other injunctions for the midday prayers, and still others
for the evening worship. Again, some observances are meant
to be performed during certain phases of the Moon, some when
a particular star is in the ascendant, or at the time of a
particular conjunction of planets.
The Pradosha worship is to be done in the evening twilight
on the 13th day of each lunar fortnight. It is the worship
of Lord Shiva for victory and success in all undertakings,
and the fulfillment of all your heart’s cherished desires.
When you desire to obtain a favor from a superior person,
don’t you naturally approach him at a moment when he
is likely to be in a very pleasant frame of mind? You will
perhaps see him after he has had a good dinner and is happily
chatting with a friend in a hearty, expansive mood. Even so,
the Hindu, especially the Hindu who is engaged in the motivated
type of worship, usually selects the most pleasant aspect
of God for his worship. He performs it at a time which the
ancient Rishis experienced as being the most helpful and efficacious
in propitiating the Deity. The Pradosha worship is based on
such mystic psychology.
Pradosha is the worship of Lord Shiva and Parvati when they
both are in an extremely propitious mood. Repeatedly worsted
in war by the demons, the gods approached Lord Shiva to bless
them with a leader for their celestial hosts. They came to
the Lord at twilight on the thirteenth day of the lunar fortnight
and found Him in the blissful company of His consort, Parvati.
Hymned and glorified by them, Siva immediately granted their
prayerful request. Hence, the extreme auspiciousness of the
One who takes this Vrata fasts on that day, and keeps vigil
at night after the fast is over. Bathing an hour before Sunset,
the worshipper first performs a preliminary worship of Lord
Shiva, together with all the others of His divine family,
namely, Parvati, Ganesha, Skanda and Nandi. After the worship
of Ganesha, Lord Shiva is invoked in the special kalasha placed
on a square mandala with a lotus drawn in it and spread over
with darbha grass. After the formal worship has been completed,
a Pradosha story is read and heard by the devotees. This is
followed by the recitation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra
108 times. In the end the sacred kalasha water is partaken
of, the sacred ash is applied to the forehead, and the water
which was used to bathe the Lord, is drunk. A gift of a pot,
a cloth and an image of the Lord is given to a Brahmin to
conclude the worship.
A very important point to be remembered in this connection
is that during this auspicious period all the hosts of celestial
beings and gods come down from the heavens and attend the
worship in their subtle forms. This adds immensely to the
sanctity of the worship.
This Vrata is highly lauded by the scriptures and is of very
great sanctity and importance to worshippers of Lord Shiva.
The mere sight of the Deity in a temple during this period
will destroy all sins and bestow bountiful blessings and Grace
upon the fortunate beholder. Even a single bael leaf (leaf
taken from the wood-apple tree) offered to the Lord at this
unique, auspicious moment equals a hundred Mahapujas. It is
usual to have special additional lights in the shrine during
the Pradosha. To light even a single wick at this juncture
is highly meritorious and productive of untold benefits, spiritual
as well as material. Most fortunate and blessed is the person
who performs the Pradosha Vrata, for upon him Lord Shiva showers
His choicest Grace and blessings in a very short time.
Here is the Yogic interpretation of the Pradosha:
According to the Shiva-Raja Yoga, concentration is directed
towards the central point in the middle of the eyebrows, where
the spiritual light can be perceived by the Yogi who turns
the vision inwards. The Yogi passes through various stages,
all of which are subdivisions of the four states of waking,
dreaming, deep sleep, and the Superconscious State or Samadhi.
Each one of these states is further sub-divided into four
states, for example, the waking-dreaming, waking-sleep, waking-fourth,
and waking-waking. It will be seen that when the states are
sub-divided in this way, the first three states comprise a
total of twelve sub-states. The thirteenth is the fourth-waking.
There is correspondence between this and the 13th day of the
lunar fortnight, either bright or dark."
"Those who worship Mother Shakti have certain
beliefs of their own, one of which is that the Goddess that
is worshipped acquires one ray on each of the days of the
bright fortnight, starting from the first day. Thus, on the
full Moon night, the Goddess would have received fifteen rays
and would be ready for the final form of worship intended
to benefit the devout worshipper in all ways. That is why
the Navavarana worship is always conducted on the full Moon
"According to Shiva-Raja Yoga there are two channels
through which the Prana flows. These are the Ida and the Pingala,
ruled respectively by the Moon and the Sun. Midway between
these two there is a third, known as Sushumna. The Yogi is
asked to start the practice of Yoga when the breath is passing
through the lunar channel. This coincides with the flow of
the breath through the left nostril. If, however, at the time
of practice the flow is through the right nostril, the Yogi
is asked to perform a special exercise by which to change
the flow to the left. When the Yogi concentrates on the point
between the eyebrows, he transcends, stage by stage, the first
twelve sub-states. The current of breath continues flowing
through the lunar channel. The “Moon” is gaining
more and more strength. When the 13th day is reached, the
spiritual power of the Yogi has correspondingly increased,
and he is in a condition to see the lights which appear in
the nerve centre in between the eyebrows. In inverse proportion
to the increase in concentration is the duration of the Yogi’s
breath. At the start of the practice, the breath will occupy
a space of 16 fingers (inches approximately). The moment the
concentration has led him from the waking to the dream state,
the length of the breath becomes only 12 fingers. In this
way, when he reaches the thirteenth stage, only 4 fingers
of breath would remain. As this breath now circulates only
within the nostril, no breath is noticeable at the tip of
the nose. From that moment the light is fixed permanently
at the centre between the eyebrows, and the Yogi would have
realized the object of his practice.
Let me now describe the actual process of Shiva-Raja Yoga:
The Yogi sits in utter darkness, with the head and body erect,
eyes open, and the gaze directed to the centre of the eyebrows.
He utters the Mantra in his mind and, without restraining
his breath, concentrates his gaze at the middle of the eyebrows,
ever on the thought of the appearance of the lights. The deep
concentration resulting thereby yields the following fruits,
First, he overcomes the distractions of his mind. He reaches
a stage wherein he seems to hear somebody talking somewhere
in the distance. The words are not distinct, but a sort of
murmur is heard. Nevertheless, since his mind is elsewhere,
he pays no attention to it. In fact, the sound comes from
nowhere outside. It is his own mind that produces these sounds.
The mind is actually functioning in its form as sound. Soon
afterwards, this sound ceases, and he begins to see all sorts
of visions, in the same manner as we see pictures in a movie.
It appears (as if in a dream) that he is passing through hills
of varying degrees of beauty, through seas and lakes of all
sorts of colors and shapes, and through clouds of different
hues. The clouds appear dark and thick at first and thin out
gradually. These are scenes which are very pleasant to witness.
But they are only thought-forms, an imagery created by the
mind as it is functioning as a form. It is in this stage that
the Yogi may hear musical notes as well—of the flute,
violin, cymbals or any other instrument.
The Yogi then passes through an entirely different experience.
He suddenly awakens from a deep sleep. He does not remember
when he got into the sleep state, but he is conscious of the
sudden awakening. The truth is that he had not slept at all.
His mind became a complete blank, he lost consciousness of
the workings of the mind, which was nonetheless still active
all the time. When he regained consciousness, he suddenly
felt his awareness once again. He is now tempted to examine
himself to ascertain if his posture is still erect and if
his eyes are still fixed between his eyebrows. Finding no
change in these he realizes that the temporary loss of consciousness
was only a stage which he passed through in his Yoga.
Next comes the stage when he feels as if something of the
nature of a hot nail is pricking him at the centre of his
eyebrows. In the earlier period of his practice there will
only be this sensation, but as he advances, this is followed
by the appearance of the lights. Even then there are various
stages which have to be passed before the lights get their
At first a yellow and a red light appear, the red being in
the centre and two yellow flame-like lights on either side.
After a few days, all these colors pass away and he begins
to see a steady light of the shape and color of the Moon.
As his practice advances, this grows brighter and brighter,
and the whole room in which the Yogi sits is gradually illumined,
starting with the intensity of twilight until it becomes a
flood of bright light. Yet in this state nothing that is in
the room is seen; other things which are not there, begin
to appear. They come and go with amazing rapidity, and reveal
many things to him.
Thus far, we have dwelt upon only the first four stages of
the entire series of sixteen stages which have to be passed
through by the Shiva-Raja Yogi before he finally attains union
with Lord Shiva. The details of the experiences at each stage
vary from man to man, as also from day to day. But, in the
main, these are the stages:
At first, the Yogi is aware of what transpires about him.
He is in the waking part of the waking state. Then the pictures
come in the dream part of his waking state. The feeling of
overpowering sleep occurs in the deep sleep part of the waking
state. The appearance of the light occurs in the fourth part
of the waking stage.
The dream and the deep sleep states also have their four sub-divisions
which have to be passed. When the Yogi comes to the thirteenth
stage, he is in the waking part of the fourth state. The vision
of Lord Shiva in the form of Self-Consciousness now begins.
The form of the Lord appears before him as though coming out
of the lights, which began at stage four of the sixteen stages.
From this stage onwards the mind loses its sense of separate
activity. It becomes deeply absorbed in the Self within.
On the 13th lunar day Nature assists the worshipper in waking
up from his mental deep sleep and in becoming aware of the
fourth state. The Yogi who practices his Yoga on the Pradosha
day gets these experiences of Lord Shiva quite readily.
Similar to the above is the significance of the worship of
Lord Ganesha on the 4th day of the lunar
fortnight. This corresponds to the Fourth part of the waking
state, when the lights are first seen. On the 8th
day or the Ashtami, Mother Durga is adored. This
corresponds to the fourth part of the dream state. Ekadasi
or the 11th day corresponds to the deep sleep part
of the deep sleep state. In this state there is complete unawareness
of the mind. This is the most favorable moment for a direct
contact with God, the indweller. If we fast and pray on this
day, we can reduce our bodily activities to the minimum and
can have the vision of the Lord who resides in our heart.
If we thus analyze the rationale of our holy days, we discover
that our ancients took particular care to effect a synthesis
of Yoga—Karma, Jnana and Bhakti.
At the Sivananda Ashram in India, a special havan and an elaborate
worship are conducted for the long life, health, success and
prosperity of all. The Lord’s sacred prasad is sent
to devotees all over the world."
"The dark fortnight of Aswayuja (September-October) is
known as the Mahalaya Paksha or the fortnight specially sacred
for offering oblations to the departed ancestors. The last
day of this period, the new moon day, is considered as the
most important day in the year for performing obsequies and
The renowned hero of the Mahabharata, Karna, when he left
the mortal coil, ascended to the higher worlds and the great
charity he had done here was returned to him hundredfold.
But, it was all gold and silver; there was no food, as he
had not done any food-charity! He prayed to the god of death.
So, he was sent back to earth for fourteen days, to make up
for this deficiency.
For fourteen days, he fed Brahmins and the poor, and offered
oblations of water. On his return to the higher regions, he
had food in plenty. It is these fourteen days that are commemorated
in the Mahalaya Paksha. Due to the grace of the god of death,
it has been ordained that offerings made during this period
benefit all the departed souls, whether they are connected
to you or not.
Charity in the form of food is important during this observance.
Life depends upon food. You cannot preach religion to empty
stomachs. This human body is the most important vehicle for
realizing God. How precious must food be which keeps the body
fit for Yoga! The gift of food is the greatest gift. Therefore,
give food in plenty, not only during the Mahalaya fortnight
but all through the year."
Swami Sivananda Saraswati
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