Masi Magam occurs in the month of Magam (February -March) when the star Magam falls on the Full Moon day. The combination is very rare and occurs once in a year and is highly propitious for prayer and pitru seva. The Full Moon denotes the copious energy of the Moon promising abundance and prosperity and the star Magam is noted for majestic power and supreme energy.
Significance of the star Magam
Magam is considered as the birth star of kings and also of the ancestors. It is regarded as the star the bestows energy, authority and power since the lord of the star is the Sun. Masi Magam is considered as very auspicious due to the combination of the star and the full moon and the day is regarded as very sacred for pithru seva as the pithrus are said to come down to the earth on this day to get rid of their blocking karmas. When we do tarpan on this day to our ancestors, we get their blessings and also divine blessings by conducting puja at home and other rituals to please gods like Shiva, Sakthi and Vishnu. It is very auspicious to do annadhanam on Masi Magam.
How Masi Magam is celebrated?
Masi Magam celebration involves the ritual bath of the idols of gods in a river, sea or pond. The priests take the idols in a procession and after the bath do poojas to the idols. Some do Gaja Pooja or Ashwat Pooja so as to help the devotees seek divine blessings to a great extent. The devotees take bath in the sacred water in which idols are dipped for bath and thus get rid of their sins and attain the path to liberation. They are relieved of the cycle of birth and rebirth.
Taking a holy dip in any of the holy waters is considered very religious on this day as it paves way for spiritual purification and refinement in the devotees.
Legends behind observing Masi Magam
Masi Magam- an Important Tamil festival
Masi Magam is an important Tamil festival and is celebrated all over the world by the Tamil speaking people. It is celebrated especially in Kumbakonam, Srirangam, Pondicherry and Kerala at a grand level. In Singapore, the festival is regarded as agrand Tamil festival. When Masi Magam occurs once in twelve years, it is considered as Maha Magam and is treated as the Kumbhamela of South India.
Maha Magam happens once in every twelve years. It denotes the transit of Jupiter into Leo along with the combination of Full Moon and Magam star. It is a very powerful combination and is celebrated very grandly in Maha Magam tank at Adi Kumbeswarar temple in Kumbakonam. Lakhs of devotees rush to Kumbakonam to take a dip in the pond on this day and take the darshan of Kumbeswarar.
Poet Sekkizhaar in his Periapuraanam has mentioned about this Maha Magam tank in the following verse
பூமருவும் கங்கை முதல் புனிதமாம் பெருந்தீர்த்தம்
மாமகந்தான் ஆடுவதற்கு வந்து வழி படுங்கோவில்"
The meaning of the verse is "After Ganges, it is taking bath in Maha Magam tank which is very auspicious"
Thus, Masi Magam is the day to surrender ourselves at the feet of the Lord and seek divine blessings and ancestral blessings to lead a life of prosperity, health and spirituality.