Maasi Magam

Maasi Magam, is an auspicious day in the Tamil month of Masi (February – March). Magam, is one among the twenty seven (stars) Nakshatras in the Hindu astrological system. A major ritual on this day is, the bathing of Temple Idols in sea, pond or lake. Idols of gods and goddess that are worshipped in Temples are carried in a procession to sea shores, rivers or ponds and pujas, rituals are held. Thousands of people gather to witness this auspicious event.
It is believed that those who take bath in the seas or rivers or ponds on the Masi Magam will attain Moksha.Once in twelve years, Masi Magam attains special significance and then it is known as Maha Maham.The reason for observing Masi Magam varies from region to region and sometimes even from temple to temple.The day is of great significance in Pondicherry, Kumbakonam, Srirangam and in numerous other shrines associated with Lord Vishnu, Shiva and Shakti in South India and in those regions around the world which has Tamil speaking population.

There are numerous myths in vogue related to Masi Makam. Each temple has a myth for celebrating Masi Makam. The most important one is related to Lord Shiva. Legend has it that Lord Shiva appeared as a child before King Vallala of Tiruvannamalai who was an ardent devotee. The king had no child and Lord Shiva promised to perform his last rituals. The king died on a Masi Magam day and it is said that the Lord performed his last rites. Lord Shiva also blessed the king by saying that whoever bathes in the sea during Masi Magam will merge with him and will get ‘mukthi.’ It is believed that every year the Lord visits the sea to perform the last rites of the king.
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