Purushottam month – Adhika masa

17 June 2015
(Skype class)

Watch the class here

Today is a very super-excellent auspicious day because from today we have to observe the Purushottam-vrata [vow of Purushottam]. That Sanskrit word is ‘adhika-masa vrata’ — ‘adhika’ means ‘extra month’ [masa means month]. That means we have to observe the extra month, and this month we have to observe in the same way as Kartik-vrata.

Gurudeva told that the month of Kartik is very super excellent auspicious because the presiding deity of Kartik (kartik-masa adhistatri devata) is Srimati Radhika Herself, for this regard Kartik-masa is also called ‘month of Radhika’. In the same way, the presiding Deity of adhika-masa or purushottam-masa is Krsna Himself. So Gurudeva told we have to observe both months very carefully because Srimati Radhika will be very pleased with those who observe the month of Purushottama and Krsna will be very pleased if we observe the month of Kartik, [in which we do the] Urja-vrata or Kartika-vrata [in honour of] Urjesvari Srimati Radhika.

Srila Narottama dasa Thakura explains in one of his songs “radha name gane krsnacandra”, if you glorify Srimati Radhika then Krsna is very pleased and if you glorify to Krsna, then Srimati Radhika will be very pleased. And all of our activities aim is how to give pleasure to divine couple Radha and Krsna.

So Srimati Radhika will be very pleased with one who observes the adhika-masa or extra month or purushottam-month. Purusha + uttama = Purushottama. Purusha means who is the supreme enjoyer. Krsna is called also purusha; He is called the supreme enjoyer. But He manifests many forms. Especially, He manifests in three forms that are called: Karanodakasayi Vishnu, Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, and Ksirodakasayi Vishnu. Krsna is the Supreme of the three Purushas that means that Krsna is the Supreme Controller of Karanodakasayi, Garbhodakasayi e Ksirodakasayi Vishnu. For this regard, His name is called purusha uttama = Purushottama. Purushottama-masa.

In our shastra explain that Vyasadeva Goswamipada manifested the Vedas. Vedas also manifest many things. Trai-guna-visaya- veda nistrai-gunyo bhavarjuna (Bhagavad-Gita, 2.45). Vedas also explain the three motivations about the living entities, because [there are] different kinds of living entities and they have taste for different things. Some they want to karma-marga [path of fruitive activies], some want jñana-marga [path of liberation] and some they want to follow the bhakti-marga [path of devotional service to Lord]. So Vedas also explain about three things karma-marga, jñana-marga, and bhakti-marga. (verse)

Krsna also Himself told to Arjuna [that we should] never disturb to others people those who have the taste in karma, jñana or bhakti, because all the living entities practice according to their previous impressions and their past taste, ruci. But when they are performing these types of karma [and] jñana, when they don`t get their fruits, automatically, they will give up karma-marga and jñana-marga and they will come to path of bhakti, bhakti-marga. That`s why in many places of Vedas, Vyasadev Gosvamipada has written about karma, jñana and bhakti also.

So now we discussed the Vedas, there are especially two sections [in the Vedas]: one is called sruti section and another is called smrti section. Trancendental literature depends on sruti and smrti. Because especially in this material world people like two things: sruti and smrti, so for this regard shastra also explains loka alokik vicara, worldly consideration about the people. They have different kinds of ruci (ruci means taste). So for this regard, in this way, in the scriptures very clearly explain [that] some people they want to follow the rules and regulations of sruti-shastra, some they want to follow the rules and regulations of the smrti-shastra. Those who are following the rules and regulations of sruti, Vedas, that is perfect. Actually, vedera pratijña kahaye krsnake (verse) (Sri Caitanya-Caritamrtam, Madhya-lila, 10.146). Vedas actually exclusively indicate the bhakti and smrti indicates about the material things, especially in the social welfare and social activities, this is the nature of the conditioned soul. Because jivas also have two kinds of adhikara (eligibility), one is called karma-adhikara and another is called bhakti- adhikara.

Karmis they want to perform the karma. Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.20.9) quoted this verse tavat karmani kurvita na nirvidyeta yavata. Karmis they have to follow the path of karma until they will become tired, when they will become tired of the karma-marga, the path of karma, then they will give up automatically the karma. So tavat karmani [kurvita] na nirvidyeta yavata mat-katha-sravanadau va, but when they listen krsna-katha, bhagavat-katha at that time automatically they will give up the karma-marga and they will come to the path of bhakti.

Jivas, living entities, they are following the karma-marga but sometimes they get the good fruits and sometimes they also get the inauspicious fruits, that is called shubha-phala and ashubha-phala. So now coming, in this way, smarta and paramartha. Smarta actually that is called the worldly fruits. Smarta brahmanas pratice different [activities and what they get] that is called the worldly fruits and how to attain to the heavenly planets, for this regard the smarta-phala. And paramartha is one who practices the devotional service to Lord and how to attain beyond the heaven, how to attain to Vaikuntha, Ayodhya, Dvaraka, Mathura and Goloka Vrndavan.

So now coming, in this way, adhika-masa, the extra month is very important in our Vaishnava literature, vaisnava-sahita. The extra lunar month has three names also known as adhika-masa or mala-masa or purushottama-masa. [So] the three names of adhika-masa that is called the adhika-masa, mala-masa and purushottama-masa. Vedas call upon the inhabitants of this world to be reunited with the spiritual entity of one`s prakrti, that means prakrti is comprising of the panca-bhuta: earth, water, fire, air and ether; also mind (manas), intelligence (buddhi) and ego (aham) and the soul divine atma.

Purushottam-masa is the month where the humankind is privileged to become divinely spiritual. This is the month of self-development and self-evaluation and self-assessment, self-reflection, self-retrospection, and introspection.

It is the time for one´s own soul, one´s own spirit of life and no one else. It is the communion of the human, earth and celestial. We pray for an abundance of goodness and materials because time is a very valuable gift that flies as seasons come and go. Peace does not mean to be in one place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. Peace truly means that in the middle of noise and haste, we can bear all of our adversities with calmness and sincerity. If we are unmoved by pain and pleasure, we are at peace.

God grants us the boon of adhika-masa so we have to follow the adhika-masa spiritual terms. This chance comes every three years, so we must take very full advantage of this month.

How this adhika-masa (extra month) is coming? This is very important in our life. Astronomical significance. What is the astronomical significance of adhika-masa?

The concept of adhika-masa is unique to the traditional Hindu lunar calendar, which is based in the cycle of Moon. The lunar month is about 29,5 days long and the solar month is 30 to 31 days long. The solar year is made of 365 days and 6 minutes and the lunar year is made of 354 days. As years pass by, each lunar month starts earlier than the corresponding solar month. Both the solar and lunar year have a gap of 11 days, 1 hour, 31 minutes and 12 seconds. This is the calculation of our sastra. As the gap increases each year, it approximates in three years to become one month. So to match the two calendars, the extra month is added. This is 13th month of the lunar calendar, called adhika-masa.

The adhika-masa is added when the amavasya and surya-sankranti [coincide], very carefully listen to this, surya-sankranti should be coming on the amavasya. It adopts the name of the month that follows adhika-masa. Just as there is the lunar year with the extra month called adhika-masa, there is also a lunar year with a diminished or reduced month called kshaya-masa (they are opposite: adhika-masa and kshaya-masa; kshaya means diminishing), with only eleven months in the year. This lunar year comprising [of eleven months] is very rare indeed, occurring as rarely as once in 140 years or 190 years. That means in 140 or 190 years the kshaya-masa is coming (the diminishing month, reduced month), but mostly this adhika (extra) month is coming. The adhika-masa comes every three years.

Whenever sankranti does not fall within one month, adhika-masa occurs. When there are two sankrantis in one month then becomes one lunar year with a reduced month or kshaya-masa coming.

Little bit some mathematical therms how the adhika-masa is coming and the kshaya-masa (diminishing month) is coming. But just you understand that every three years the adhika-masa is coming and only kshaya-masa (diminishing month) is coming after 140 years or 190 years. But you try to understand this way, the Moon takes about 27,3 days to make one complete orbit around the Earth. The Earth orbits around the sun once every 365,24 days, that means the earth`s orbital speed [is] of 29,79 km/second. The Earth and the Moon in 27,3 days have moved as a system about 1/12 of the ways around the Sun. This means that from one full moon to the next full moon, the Moon must travel 2.2 extra days before it appears full. This is due to the curve of the Earth`s orbit around the Sun. The Moon is still making one complete orbit (circle) in 27,3 days, but to line up with the Earth and Sun to become full moon again it takes 29,5 days. And 29,5 days lunar month equal 354,3 days per lunar year. Thus we arrive a difference of 10,8 days a year between a lunar year and solar year of 365,2 days per year.

So Vasishta Siddhanta explains in this way that adhika-masa occurs after every 32 months, 16 days and 12 minutes. In this way, the calculation explains, the 32 months, 16 days, 3 hours, 12 minutes. So anyhow, we have to calculate these mathematical terms. Kshaya-masa also first arrived after 141 years and then after 190 years. In also shastra explain, Vasishta siddhanta shastra explain (verse). The meaning is that the month that does not carry surya-sankranti is called the adhika-masa and the month carrying two sankrantis is called the kshaya-masa (diminishing, reduced the month). When two sankrantis carrying that is called the kshaya-masa, and the month which does not carry the surya-sankranti is called the adhika-masa.

So now coming in this way, the adhika-masa is mentioned in scriptures (verse). In this smrti shastra explain in this way, one should not perform the kamya-karma. Kamya-karma means whatever you are enjoying the sense gratification in this material world. In this month of adhika-masa, one should not perform kamya-karma such as marriage ceremony. In adhika-masa should not [do] marriage ceremony, because marriage ceremony is called kamya-karma and also should not [do] inauguration of a new house, but should also [do] inauguration of the temple, because this is not kamya-karma. And [should] not also buy new ornaments [and] vehicle, car etc, because all these things are called kamya-karma. But whatever you will do for Krsna, you can do, shastra explain.

So the significance of this month. Many people read shastra, listen to the book. During the purushottam-masa, you have to read some speacial granthas. Especially during purushottam-masa, every day you have to read Srimad-Bhagavatam or Caitanya-Caritamrtam. Especially in India, if you go India, from today, everywhere Bhagavat Saptah is going on, every galis [streets], especially Mathura, Vrndavana, Giriraja Govardhan; all the people they also arrange the Bhagavat Saptah. [For] one month they read Srimad-Bhagavatam or glorify Srimad-Bhagavatam, that is called Bhagavat Saptah.

By reading and listening, high merits are acquired. And there are also are lots of stories in our shastra explaining in this way, especially Bhavishyottar Purana explains and glorifies about purushottam-masa or adhika-masa.

According to the eligibility, you have to every day wake up early in the morning, that is called brahma-muhurta. How will you observe the purushotam-masa? Bhavishyottar Purana explains in this way, it is written on Bhavishyottar Purana that fasting or eating once a day according to the ability of your body. And also do bhajana and sadhana especially in our vaishnava [line], every day you have to chant one lakh holy names, lakhanama. This month, you have to chant 64 rounds holy names, this is very important. Because this month is very important you have to eat once a day and chant 64 rounds of the holy name. This is very important, and you also have to read some shastra such as Srimad-Bhagavatam and or Caitanya-Caritamritam, and should follow the instructions.

Because Lord Krsna is the presiding deity of this month, every day you have to recite Nanda-nandanam astakam, and Srimati Radhika´s kada karisyasihamam krpa-kataksa-bhajanam and worship Thakuraji and Giriraj Govardhan in your mind. Also, take a bath in the holy rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna, and Sarasvati. If your place of residence has no Ganga, Yamuna or Sarasvati just remember the name of them.

There are many reasons this adhika-masa is mentioned in our sastras. The Purusottam-masa, according to the lunar year, there are 12 months. The solar and the lunar years match in days and seasons. Every month has its presiding deity, adhistatri-devata but who is the presiding deity of adhika-masa?

When Brahmaji created this adhika-masa, there was no presiding deity, and all presiding deities of the months rejected this adhika-masa or mala-masa. Mala means a very insignificant and dirty thing. So no one gave respect to him. According to the conception of the smarta brahmanas, they explained that when Brahmaji had manifested this month, mala-masa, all the deities, the adhistatri-devatas rejected him. They kicked him out calling him untouchable.

Adhika-masa became very upset and went to Brahmaji and asked him, “You have manifested me but no one accepts me. Other presiding deities hit me and kicked me out. Where should I go?”

So Brahmaji said, “You have to ask Sri Visnu. Visnu will solve all your problems.” Then mal mas appeared in front of Lord Visnu, and Lord Visnu pacified him saying, “He mal mas, don’t worry. I will be your presiding deity of your month and you will be honored by all presiding deities of all the months. My name is Purusottama.”

Lord Visnu accepted mal-masa, and all the presiding deities of all the months honoured him. But the smarta brahmanas thought, “You are mal.” Mal means stool, a very detestable thing. The smarta brahmanas thought like that because in mal-masa month they cannot collect any money, because sastra says according to the smarta conception, that in mal-masa month you should not perform any fire yajña. If they cannot do fire yajña, and if they cannot perform any marriage ceremony, how will they get money? For this regard, they thought that this month was useless and gave him the name mal-masa. But Lord Visnu accepted him and Lord Visnu gave him the position, masa-siromani, the crown-jewel of the months.

According to the conception of vaisnavas, they also give respect to the extra month as like Visnu. Sastra says that one who takes shelter of Sri Visnu is the highest. Srimad Bhagavatam explains that one who chants the holy name is higher than a brahmana (verse Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.33.7).

aho bata śva-paco ’to garīyān
yaj-jihvāgre vartate nāma tubhyam
tepus tapas te juhuvuḥ sasnur āryā
brahmānūcur nāma gṛṇanti ye te

Srimad Bhagavatam glorifies the holy names. One who chants the holy name; even if he is a dog eater (one who cooks the flesh of a dog) he is higher than a samavedi brahmana. One who takes shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Visnu is higher than others. (verse)

According to the smarta brahmana’s conception (vicara), mal-masa is very insignificant and untouchable, but when the mal-masa month took shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Visnu, mal-masa become the highest and is called the crown-jewel of all the months.

So according to the vaisnavas, this extra month is to be honoured as Purusottama, so he is called Purusottama-masa. In this masa you have to stay in holy places, especially in Jagannath Puri, known as the Purusottam Ksetra.

Many times we observed this Purusottama-vrata with Gurudev (Srila Param Gurudev BV Narayan Gosvami Maharaj) in Jagannath Puri, which was very nice and beautiful. Many westerners were also staying there with Gurudev in Jagannath Puri in 2005, I think.

There is another beautiful story related to how in ancient times through the observance of the mal-masa-vrata, a king (Nahusha) was released from bondage and acquired the throne of Indra (the king of heaven) because of his observance of Purusottama-vrata.

If you properly observe the Purusottama-vrata you will get the highest position and you will also attain the heavenly planets and will attain the position of Indra. But vaisnavas don’t want the position of Indra, the vaisnavas do not even want mukti (liberation), what to say about the position of king of heaven.

Our sastra, vedas, and puranas explained that the Nahusha king knew that he had attained that position because he had observed the mal-masa-vrata, Purusottama-vrata.

Once Laksmi devi asked Sri Hari how to perform adhika-masa puja and how to give dana (charity). Sri Hari told her that He Himself is the deity of adhika-masa with the name Purusottama.

In the month of Purusottama you should perform many kinds of punya karma, pious activities like snana, japa, homa (verse).

In this sloka, it is explained that one who takes bath early in the morning (brahma muhurta) will go to heaven. In the month of Magha (beginning of February, end of March), it is a very super-excellent, auspicious month. Even if you observe the Magha-vrata you will attain the heaven.

Para-stri here means Vrnda-devi (in the verse) (not others wife) It means that one who keeps a Tulasi mala necklace around his neck and takes bath in the river Ganges, will attain Vaikuntha.

In these slokas, Lord Visnu Himself glorified adhika-masa. In this month you have to give some donations – some fruits, some rice to poor people. Give according to your capacity. But the best donation is to preach harinam: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

Tava kathamritam tapta jivanam (Gopi Gita – verse 9)

In the month of Purusottama, there are many kinds of donations you can give, but the best donation is Bhagavat Katha, Krsna katha, this is very important. And every day you have to chant holy names and read Srimad Bhagavatam or Caitanya Caritamrita.

You should live in the dham, especially the birthplace of the Lord, Bhagavat dham, such as Mathura, Vrndavan, Giriraj Govardhan, Nabdvip.

If you cannot physically stay in Giriraji Govardhan, Braj, Vrindavan or Navadvip, you have to stay there in your mind. Stay in Giriraji Govardhan, Radha Kunda, Shyama Kunda, Navadvip dham. Always remember the pastimes of Krsna and glorify Giriraj Govardhan. Everyday you have to recite the Giriraj Govardhanastakam and Yamunastakam, this is very important. Also, everyday you have to take bath in the Yamuna (verse).

Once there was a brahmana named Kausik, he was a jitendriya. Jitendriya means one who controls his senses. He had a son named Maitreya, who was addicted to drinking and was a kamandha, he was such a lusty person. One day, Maytreya went to the forest and he killed a brahmana in Sourastra and he also stole all his money. Because he killed the brahmana, the whole city itself was burnt. Sastra says, one who kills a brahmana has to suffer and all his village will be burned.

So, as he killed the brahmana, then Maytreya was taken by the Yamaduthas. The Yamaduthas threw to the Krumikunda Narak, a very powerful Narak and suffering many kinds of worms, they are cutting his body. He was in the hell for more than ten thousand years. After a long period, when Kausika, the father of Maitreya came to know about the same. Then Kausika searched all the sruti, sastra, and found a remedy for the brahmahatya parihara.

He did this vatra of adhika-masa and then his son was released from Naraka. As such, the Adhikamasa vratha, if done with proper anusandhana, can remove brahma hatya dosha also.

Sastra explains that if you observe the Purusottama-vrata, then all your generations – your father, mother, those who committed many kinds of sinful activities, they will be delivered from the Naraka (Hell).

This masa is very powerful. So Sastra says, “brahmahatya parihara” (verse)

It means killing a brahmana, killing the mother, killing the father, killing the cows, everything will be destroyed, if you just observe the Purusottama-vrata.

This Purusottama-vrata is very powerful, but in this Purusottama- vrata we should not perform any bad things. This month should be brahmacarya. One month, even the married people, brahmacari, sannyasa, very carefully must observe the brahmacarya.

This month it is very necessary. And chanting mantra, especially in this month, everyday you have to chant Gopala mantra, Gayatri mantra and if possible, sit on the bank of the river, or any holy place, or in front of the thakurji, guru or Krsna and chant 108 Gopala mantra, chant at least 108, chant Gopala mantra in front of the Thakurji.

Everyday you have to attend the mangala arati and if possible, if it is very close to your house, go to the temple, sit and chant Gayatri mantra. This is very important also.

If you are not going to any temple, you can sit in front if the Thakurji in your house and chant the holy names and the Gayatri mantra.

Sastra explains, this month if you observe this masa, you will get the result of performing thousands of yagna sacrifices, fire sacrifices and you will never have to take birth in this material world again. The cycle of rebirth will be finished. Performing knowingly or unknowingly will bring spiritual merit. And this month you should not be angry with anyone, you have to control your anger.

In this month you have to control your anger, this is very important. Never associate with bad people and always remember guru and Krsna. Try to read Vishnu sahasra nama Srimad Bhagavatam every day and you can chant the Nirsimha mantra also. It is a very powerful in month, gopala mantra, kama gayatri and worship your thakurji with 16 types of ingredients. And specially, everyday you have to give the dipa-dana, means we have to give ghi lamp in the puja, as like we are doing in kartik, take one ghi lamp, if not three times, if it is not possible then once, everyday, at night, if you take one ghi lamp and do arati for Thakurji. This is very important, everyday do this to Thakurji.

You observe this month by doing bhajana and sadhana, singing, especially also glorifies Krsna, singing “Krsna deva bhavantan vande”, because of this month of Purusottama, and also “Radhe Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite”.

Gaura Premanande! Hari Hari bol!

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