Wednesday, February 6, 2008

New Moon -- Amavasya

Tonite is the new moon, the time when the moon becomes dark. In the West, it goes unnoticed, but in India, especially in the holy places, it is an important part of daily life. Living in Vrindavan and Mayapur, i was always conscious of the moon's movements, both on the calendar and in the sky.

To see the moon in one of the holy dhams is a different experience. Difficult to say how, but somehow, the moon, in its different phases, reminded me of the Lord. And the calendar is based on the moon. Much more immediate and visceral than the solar calendar or the Gregorian calendar. Months are measured by the waning and waxing of the moon, and holy days are pegged to the moon's position. Ekadasis are also calculated following the new moon and the full moon.

The moon is full of magic. Lunatic comes from "luna" meaning moon. I guess that includes just about all of us here in this material world. It's a place for lunatics to chill.

But it's also a place to discover one's sanity, if one is fortunate enough to meet a sane and sober saint.

Amavasya, the new moon day, offers a chance for new beginnings. No matter how badly things have gone, or seem to be going, there is always a chance to start over. That is the good part of the material world. There is always an opportunity to redeem oneself, to remember-- "I am a tiny servant of Krishna (aka Allah, Isvara, Jehovah, Khoda, Paramatma, the Supreme Person, Bhagavan)."

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