Questioner: Sadhguru, what is the significance of the Amavasya or new moon day?

Sadhguru: Amavasya means no moon day or new moon day. Whenever something or somebody becomes absent, through that absence, their presence always becomes more powerful. If you had a friend or a loved one who was with you, you never felt their presence so much. But the moment they disappear, you feel their presence so much – it is so powerful, isn’t it? Even on the emotional level, it is true. You do not really feel their presence when they are around. Only when they are gone, the vacuum that they have left behind has become more powerful than their presence itself. Similarly with the moon, her absence makes her more present than ever before. On any other day, even the Pournami, she is there, but on Amavasya, the presence is felt even more – that quality is even more.

The earth broods on Amavasya; the life process is slowed down on the planet and it is a great opportunity because the integration of life happens much better on this day. When a certain slow down happens, that is when you notice your body. When everything is going well and you are busy, you do not know what is happening with the body; the body is just you. But if a little ailment comes, suddenly the body is an issue and it is something that you have to pay attention to. Only when it does not do well, you know, ‘This is not me. This is just my body giving me troubles.’ Very clearly a distance arises.

Amavasya is a day when one can become easily aware of, ‘What is me and what is not me,’ and from there on, the journey from untruth to truth begins.

So that is the significance of Amavasya. On that day, because a certain integration of the elements is happening, there is a slowdown of everything. If you are seeking wellbeing, Pournami is sacred. If you are seeking liberation, Amavasya is sacred. Accordingly, there are different kinds of practices and sadhanas for those two dimensions of life. It is a day when one can become easily aware of, ‘What is me and what is not me,’ and from there on, the journey from untruth to truth begins. From Amavasya to Pournami, every month the opportunity is created naturally. Even for those who are completely unaware, there is a natural opportunity available beginning every Amavasya and moving on.

The nature of Pournami is more of the Idaa or the feminine. Amavasya is very raw. One day before Amavasya is known as Shivarathri because it is Shiva’s night. It is primordial in nature. When everything is pitch dark, it is like the creation is dissolved. There is a tinge of the destroyer in Amavasya. Generally, on the night of Amavasya a very feminine energy would either be disturbed because it causes certain fear and disturbance in her, or it could turn roguish and man-like.

Pournami is more conducive for a feminine energy. So Pournami is made use of by the women. For a man, the Pournami night is not very good if he is seeking dissolution. If he is seeking wellbeing, man can also make use of Pournami, but if he is seeking liberation or dissolution, Amavasya is better. For all those who are seeking absolute dissolution, Amavasya is great.

You may have heard that if people are a little mentally imbalanced, on Pournamis and Amavasyas they become more imbalanced. Why this is so is, the gravitational impact of the moon is working on our planet. So it is pulling everything up. Whole oceans are trying to rise. Similarly, your own blood is trying to rise to the moon’s gravitation. Because of this, if you are mentally little imbalanced, because of excessive circulation in your brain on that day, you will become more imbalanced. If you are happy, you will become more happy; if you are unhappy, you will become more unhappy. Whatever is your quality, it gets a little enhanced on those days because the blood is being pulled upward. So the whole energy is being pulled upward in some way. For a spiritual sadhaka who is always using every means possible to move his energies upward, these two days are like a boon from nature.

Editor’s Note: Stay in touch with important days in the year and the lunar month with Isha’s Calendar, available as rss feed, ical, html (view in your browser), or embed the calendar on your site.