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.
The full moon day of Magha (January-February) is known as Magh Purnima. It is a great bathing day, and as important as Kartik Purnima for the practice of piety and devotion. On this day a fast is observed and charities are done. Early in the morning, after ablutions, the dead ancestors are offered libations, and the poor are given dakshina according to one’s means and capacity.
As already stated, Magha is one of the four most secred months. Therefore, a bath in Ganga on this day is of high religious merit. When Ganga is not accessible, because of any reason, 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 Puja
Lord Satyanarayana is worshipped on the day of Magh Purnima. He is worshipped with fruits, banana leaves, supari, pan, til, moli, roli, kumkum etc. Panchamrit is made with milk, honey, banana, ganga jal, tulsi and sweets. Prasad is made by mixing wheat and sugar together and roasting them. Lord Satyanarayana is worshipped after this Katha. After this, Goddess Laxmi, Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma.
On the day of Magh Purnima, Lord Vishnu is worshipped after taking a bath. Just like Makar Sankranti, donating food, clothes etc to Brahmanas is considered sacred on this day. Lord Vishnu blesses any person who takes a bath on this day in some sacred river. He blesses such a person with happiness, contentment, wealth etc.
Religious Importance of Magh Purnima
According to Brahmavaivartpurana, Lord Vishnu himself resides in river Ganga during Magh month and even a touch of this water takes a person to heaven. According to other Puranas, Lord Vishnu is impressed by donation, charities etc in the same way as he is impressed by baths in river Ganga.
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 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.
Magh month of the scientific approach
Magh month has also been considered to be important from a scientific point of view. Magh month helps a body to adjust to the changing seasons. Magh month is the transition from autumn to winters. The winter solstice marks as the beginning of winters. New plants ad flowers can be seen all around.
Hence, taking a bath in the morning during this month provides a person with power and strength. This proves that if a person keeps his soul pure and indulges in religious activities, he becomes more powerful so that he face all problems easily.
It is believed that Vishwamitra performed the ritual bath during the Kumbh Mela on a on a Magh Purnima in 2382 BCE. Magh Purnima is an important bathing date during the Kumbh Mela and the Magh Mela.