Amavasya, Amāvāsyā, Amāvāsyā, Amāvāsya, Āmāvāsya: 23 definitions


Amavasya means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

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In Hinduism

Dharmashastra (religious law)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra

Amāvasyā (अमावस्या) refers to the “new moon”. It is used throughout Dharmaśāstra literature such as the Manusmṛti and the Baudhāyana-dharmasūtra.

Source: Sacred Texts: The Grihya Sutras, Part 2 (SBE30)

Amāvāsyā (अमावास्या) refers to the “new moon” and the corresponding sacrifice, as mentioned in the Āpastamba-yajña-paribhāṣā-sūtras.—“let a man sacrifice with the Amāvāsyā sacrifice at the time of the Amāvāsyā, new moon. And let a man sacrifice with the Paurṇamāsyā sacrifice at the time of the Paurṇamāsī, full moon, thus it is said. [...] Let a man observe that new-moon day (amāvāsyā) as a day of abstinence, on which the moon is not seen”.

Amāvāsyā is the dwelling together, i.e. the conjunction, of sun and moon, an astronomical expression which was adopted in the common language of the people at a very early time. It does not occur, however, in the Ṛgveda. In our Sūtra, Amāvāsyā is used in the sense both of new moon and new-moon sacrifice.

Corresponding to these two kinds of Paurṇamāsī there are also two kinds of Amāvāsyā. That which falls on the fourteenth day is called Pūrvā-amāvāsyā, or Sinīvālī, the ἕνη καὶ νέα; that which falls on the pratipad, the first day of the new phase, is called Kuhū, Uttarā-amāvāsyā. Śvoyuktā. See also Ait.-Brāhm. II, 4; Nir. XI, 31-32.

Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wisdom Library: Jyotiṣa

Amāvāsyā (अमावास्या) refers to “new-moon” day. The next day marks the start of the counting of tithis (lunar day), which at fifteen days reaches purṇimā (full-moon), after which the counting of tithis starts again for another fifteen days where it ends with amāvāsya again. The term is used throughout Jyotiṣa literature.

Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

Amāvāsyā (अमावास्या) refers to the “new-moon days”, according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 11), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “Kapāla Ketu is visible on new-moon days [i.e., amāvāsyā]; its tail is of the colour of smoke; its course lies through the eastern half of the visible hemisphere; when it appears mankind will suffer from hunger, death, drought and disease. Raudra Ketu is a comet resembling the dagger’s end and is of a dull red colour; it appears in the south-east and travels through a third of the sky and produces the same effects as the Kapāla Ketu”.

Source: South Indian Festivities (astronomy)

Amavasya (literally the “dwelling together” of the Sun and Moon) is the period of new-moon, or that point of time when the longitudes of the Sun and Moon are equal.

Source: Wikibooks (hi): Sanskrit Technical Terms

Amāvasyā (अमावस्या).—Day of conjunction of Sun and Moon i.e., New Moon day. Note: Amāvasyā is a Sanskrit technical term used in ancient Indian sciences such as Astronomy, Mathematics and Geometry.

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Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Amavasya in Purana glossary
Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

1) Amāvāsyā (अमावास्या) refers to “new moon days”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.4.20 (“The celebration of Gaṇeśa’s marriage”).—Accordingly, after Kārttikeya went to the Krauñca mountain: “[...] On coming to know that Śiva had come there with Pārvatī, Kumāra became unattached and was eager to go elsewhere. On being requested by the gods and sages he stayed in a place three Yojanas away. O Nārada, on the full and new moon days, Pārvatī and Śiva are excited by love towards their son and they go there to see him. On new moon days (amāvāsyā), Śiva himself goes there. On full moon days, Pārvatī goes there certainly. [...]”.

2) Amāvāsyā (अमावास्या) refers to the foremost of Tithis, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.5.2 (“The Prayer of the gods).—Accordingly, as the Gods eulogized Śiva: “[...] Among sacrifices you are the horse-sacrifice. Among the Yugas you are the Kṛta Yuga; among the asterisms you are Puṣya; among the Tithis you are Amāvāsyā. Among the seasons you are the spring; among holy occasions you are the Saṃkrama; among grasses you are the Kuśa grass; among gross trees you are the Banyan tree. [...]”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Amāvāsyā (अमावास्या).—The time when Pitṛs worship moon and when the sun, moon and constellations meet together in the same maṇḍala; Pitṛs drink the nectar of the moon (1/15) part of it remaining; there is no moon, middle sun—half night half day.1 yajñas with 21 saṃjñas.2 Only when two of its kalas remain, the moon enters the orbit of the sun and stays in the ray called amā and hence the period is amāvāsyā,3 fit for śrāddha.4

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 10. 62. 65; 21. 153; 23. 70; 28. 6; 17. 19; Matsya-purāṇa 17. 2; 126. 66. 72; 141. 42-49; Vāyu-purāṇa 52. 64; 53. 92; 56. 1, 6, 42 and 49
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 11. 14. Vāyu-purāṇa 74. 13.
  • 3) Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 20. 38; II. 8. 80; 12. 8; III. 14. 7-10.
  • 4) Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 14. 7-10.
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Arcana-dipika - 3rd Edition

Amāvasyā (अमावस्या) or Pūrṇimā refers to one of the various “lunar days” (tithi):—There are approximately 29.5 lunar days in a lunar month. The first fifteen days begin with the first phase of the waxing moon (pratipat) and end with the full moon (pūrṇimā). [...] In accordance with the lunar day, one would utter, [for example, amāvasyā-tithau].

Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Amāvāsyā (अमावास्या) refers to the “new moon day”.—Out of the thirty lunar nights, three were considered in Vedic times, as they still are today, to be the most important. These are Amāvāsyā—the New Moon and fifteenth day of the dark fortnight, Paurṇamāsī, the Full Moon and the eighth night (aṣṭaka), the Half Moon days. According to the Brāhmaṇas, all the nights are concentrated in two nights. Those of the waxing moon are all in the Full Moon and those of the waning moon in the New Moon. Purified by the gods, these are auspicious days to perform sacrifices. Most important amongst them is the darśapūrṇamāsa iṣṭi, performed on these days.

Note: Unknown as a deity in the Ṛgveda, an entire hymn is dedicated to the goddess Amāvāsyā, the New Moon, in the Atharvaveda. There she declares that the people of good deeds like Indra dwell in her. Amongst them are mentioned, perhaps for the first time, the Siddhas, the mythical precursors of Tantric adepts. She has generated the universe and gives men nourishing food (puṣṭa) and wealth (vasu). [...]

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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: ACHC: Smarta Puja

Amāvāsyā (अमावास्या) refers to a religious rite (pūjā) or observance (vrata) occurring in the month Āṣāḍha (June-July).—Amāvāsyā = Dīpa-amāvāsyā = pūjā of lamps.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Amāvasyā (अमावस्या) refers to “the time when the longitudes of the sun and moon are equal” (i.e., when they are closest together.), as mentioned in chapter 1.5 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism. Accordingly, as Suvega said to Bāhubāli:—“[...] Come now. A good master does not observe stumbling. If you go there now, at once the wishes of the informers will dissolve like a mass of snow when the sun is in the sky. Be brilliant for a long time with splendor from an immediate meeting with the master like the moon from meeting the sun at amāvasyā”.

General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geography

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Amāvāsyā.—cf. ṣaṣṭhī amāvāsyā, caturthī-amāvāsyā, nava rātri- amāvāsyā, mahānavamī-amāvāsyā, etc. Note: amāvāsyā is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

amāvasyā (अमावस्या) [or अमावास्या, amāvāsyā].—f (S) The day of new moon.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

amāvasyā (अमावस्या).—f The day of new moon.

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amāvāsyā (अमावास्या).—f The day of new moon.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Amāvasyā (अमावस्या) or Amāvāsyā (अमावास्या).—(also written amāmasī-māsī) [amāvas -ṇyat, amā saha vasataḥ candrārkau asyāṃ sā. amāvasyardanyatarasyām P.III.1.122 Sk.]

1) The day of new moon, when the sun and moon dwell together or are in conjunction; the 15th day of the dark half of every lunar month; सूर्याजन्द्रमसोः यः परः सन्निकर्षः साऽमावस्या (sūryājandramasoḥ yaḥ paraḥ sannikarṣaḥ sā'māvasyā) Gobhila; अमावास्यायां दीक्षित्वा (amāvāsyāyāṃ dīkṣitvā) Ch. Up.5.2.4.

2) A sacrifice offered at that time.

3) The sacrificial oblation.

See also (synonyms): amāvasī.

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Amāvāsya (अमावास्य).—a. [amāvasyā, vun-ac amāvāsyāyā vā P.IV.3.3-31; amāvāsyāyāṃ jātaḥ] Born or produced on the night of new moon.

See also (synonyms): amāvāsyaka.

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Āmāvāsya (आमावास्य).—a. (-syī f.) [अमावास्या-अण् (amāvāsyā-aṇ)]

1) Belonging to the new moon or its festival.

2) Happening or born at the time of new moon or conjunction.

-syam The new moon oblation.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Amāvāsya (अमावास्य).—mfn.

(-syaḥ-syā-syaṃ) Produced in the day of new moon. E. amāvāsyā and a aff.

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Amāvāsyā (अमावास्या).—f.

(-syā) Day of conjunction or new moon. E. amā with, (the sun and moon,) vasa to abide, ṇyat affix: or with the penult. vowel short, amāvasyā; also amāvasī, &c.

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Āmāvāsya (आमावास्य).—mfn.

(-syaḥ-syā-syaṃ) Occurring on the day of conjunction, &c. E. amāvāsya and aff.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Amāvāsyā (अमावास्या).—[feminine] (± rātri) the night of the new moon (lit. of the cohabitation or conjunction, scil. of sun and moon).

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Āmāvāsya (आमावास्य).—[adjective] belonging to the new moon; [neuter] the new-moon oblation.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Amāvasyā (अमावस्या):—[=amā-vasyā] [from amā] f. = -vāsyā q.v., [Kāṭhaka; Pāṇini 3-1, 122.]

2) Amāvāsya (अमावास्य):—[=amā-vāsya] [from amā] n. ([Boehtlingk’s Sanskrit-Woerterbuch in kuerzerer fassung]) neighbourhood, [Atharva-veda iv, 36, 3] ([perhaps for -vāśtya, ‘lowing (of cows) at home’, as the word is used together with ā-gara and prati-krośa])

3) [v.s. ...] mfn. born in an amā-vāsyā night, [Pāṇini 4-3, 30] (cf. āmāvāsya)

4) [v.s. ...] Name of a Vedic teacher, [Vaṃśa-brāhmaṇa]

5) Amāvāsyā (अमावास्या):—[=amā-vāsyā] [from amā-vāsya > amā] a f. ([scilicet] rātri; [from] √5. vas, ‘to dwell’, with amā, ‘together’) the night of new moon (when the sun and moon ‘dwell together’), the first day of the first quarter on which the moon is invisible, [Atharva-veda; Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa] etc.

6) [v.s. ...] a sacrifice offered at that time

7) [v.s. ...] Name of the Acchodā river, [Matsya-purāṇa]

8) [=amā-vāsyā] [from amā-vasī] b See, [ib.]

9) Āmāvāsya (आमावास्य):—mfn. ([from] amā-vāsyā [gana] saṃdhivelādi, [Pāṇini 4-3, 16]), belonging to the new moon or its festival, [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa; Aitareya-brāhmaṇa]

10) born at the time of new moon, [Pāṇini 4-3, 30]

11) n. the new moon oblation.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Amāvāsyā (अमावास्या):—(syā) 1. f. Idem.

2) Āmāvāsya (आमावास्य):—[(syaḥ-syā-syaṃ) a.] Occurring on the day of conjunction.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Amāvāsyā (अमावास्या) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Amāvasā, Amāvassā, Amāvāsā.

[Sanskrit to German]

Amavasya in German

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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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