Vrindavan, 2018.01.31 (VT) The last of the first month of 2018 is the full moon. For the last few days, the moon has been visible in Braj in the evenings after 5pm, so it is likely that the eclipse, which will be in its full phase after 6pm, will be visible to the naked eye, however, instead of trying to enjoy the view of the astronomical event, most people will remain indoors, hoping to keep themselves safe from the negative influences that are thought to accompany eclipses.
Some temples, such as Banke Bihari, will be closed from 8am, for the entire day. In other temples, the evening services will be held before or after the main eclipse period. Mathura’s Dwarkadhish temple will hold evening aarati at 4pm and will close at 5pm. Vrindavan’s Radha Raman temple will open for evening darshan and aarati after the eclipse has finished, at 8.45pm.
When the eclipse period is over, people will sprinkle Ganga or Yamuna water around their homes to purify the environment. Many people will also take bath with the intention of cleansing any negative influences that have come upon them.
The Yamuna has been touched by Sri Krishna’s feet innumerable times so is infinitely worshipable. Even so, most people keep Ganga water in their homes because it has special uses in pooja and havan ceremonies. In any case, the Ganga and Yamuna are sister rivers, intimately connected, especially at the Sangam point at Allahabad, where the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers meet. On Magha Purnima as well as Kumbh Mela, a special festival is held in which hundreds of thousands of people will flock to the point where the rivers meet to take snan (bath).
Magha Purnima is a particularly auspicious day to donate food grains and cloth, so, many take the opportunity to help those less fortunate than themselves, then, after fulfilling their charitable duties, people sit down in their own homes to perform auspicious rituals, chanting and kirtan.
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