The Spiritual Significance of Full Moon Days
Pournami, the full moon day, how serene and blissful is that day! God has created this day for spiritual enrichment. The brilliant rays of the moon and the sun saturate the creation on full moon days helping the spiritual efflorescence of all souls. The harmful influences that trouble and hinder the spirit become subdued during pournami. The spiritual significance of ‘sadhana’ on pournami is quite an old tradition. The Hindus, Buddhists and Jains undertake vows, rites and rituals on full moon days for spiritual enlightenment as well as the appeasement of ancestral spirits. It is well known that the great Buddha got enlightenment on a full moon day. The ancient sage Vyasa, who compiled the Vedas, was born on a full moon day. This day is celebrated as Guru Purnima throughout India.
The concept of the sun and moon has great significance in Indian spirituality. According to the Rigveda, life originates from the copulation of luminous lunar light molecules (mentioned as soma) and the vaporous dust on the earth in a unique blending of cosmic rays from the sun, planets and stars. The Big Bang Theory is based on the theory of Relativity, the gravitational pulls between atomic particles, the simulations and permutations that create certain fundamental matter-molecules and gaseous energies; all these lead us to the theory that the origin of life is from the interplay of cosmic substances and energies diversely inherent in the astral world – the sun, moon, earth, stars and constellations. The soul of man pulsates in synchronization with the cosmic rays percolating down the solar system, 27 stars (nakshatram) and 12 zodiacs. The moon represents the creative energy in living beings.
Pournami prayers help to cleanse the soul. In Santhigiri Ashram, devotees observe three days ‘vritam’ (vow of abstinence) and perform round the clock prayers on full moon days to get rid of their karmic and ancestral ills. In the night of pournami, the devotees, clad in white and chanting the Guru Mantra, carry lamps and ‘kumbhams’ and circle round the Ashram in a bright procession. It is repeated in the evening, at midnight and at the following dawn of the full moon day. Married couples are advised to undertake special prayers on full moon days for begetting good progeny. When vows and prayers are observed as instructed by the Guru, noble souls could take birth through their sacred bonding on the day of pournami.
Spiritual elevation is possible only when we get rid of the spiritual blocks as well as karmic and ancestral debts. Pournami prayers observed under the enlightened Guru helps the soul in the curing of these spiritual ills. Ignorant of the spiritual ill effects of black moon days, the downtrodden communities do ancestral rites mostly on dark moon days dictated by tradition. An example is the ‘pitru bali’ performed in Kerala on dark moon day in the month of karkidaka (July-August). Auspicious will be the results if a person does the ancestral rites on full moon day, not otherwise.