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The Glories of Purushottama Month
From the Padma Purana
Once upon a time, thousands of sages came together in the holy place called Naimisaranya to perform sacrifice. To their very good fortune the great sage Suta Goswami, who had been traveling to different pilgrimage sites, arrived there along with his disciples. The sages present were very enlivened to see him. They all stood up immediately to pay their respects to the great sage, offered him a very nice Vyasasana, and requested him with folded hands to sit down on it.'
The sages of Naimisaranya said to Suta Goswami with folded hands, "0 Sutaji! All of us are humbly requesting you to please tell us something about the wonderful activities and pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are many thousands of such narrations but we want to listen to the most perfect one, by following which we can all be delivered from this material ocean and return back to Godhead.
Hearing the request made by these sages, headed by Saunaka Rsi, Suta Goswami began to speak, "0 sages, please to listen me. I first went to Puskara Tirtha, then after visiting thousands of other holy places, 1 reached Hastinapura. There, on the bank of the Ganges, I saw thousands of sages sitting together with Pariksit Maharaja. Just then the great sage Sukadeva Goswami appeared, and all the sages present paid him proper respect by rising from their seats with folded hands. All the sages unanimously offered the lotus Vyasasana to Sukadeva Goswami, which was meant for the speaker who would speak Krishna katha to Pariksit Maharaja
Suta Goswami said, "0 sages, 1 have just come from Hastinapura where I heard the whole Shrimad Bhagavatam from the lotus mouth of Sukadeva Goswami, So now 1 will tell you about the all-attractive activities and pastimes of the Lord.
Once, long ago, Shri Narada Muni reached. Badrika Ashram, the residence of Lord Narayana Rsi The river Alakananda was flowing down from His lotus feet Narada paid his obeisances to Narayana and prayed, "Oh Lord of the demigods. Oh ocean of mercy! Oh master of creation. You are all truthful, the essence of all truths. And so I am paying my obeisances unto You.
"Oh Lord! In this material world all living entities are busily engaged in sense gratification. They have all forgotten the ultimate goal of life. Therefore please explain something which will be helpful both for householders and sages in the renounced order like me, something that will help us attain self realization and return back to Godhead "
Hearing the sweet words of Narada, Lord Narayana smiled. He said, "0 Narada, please listen to narrations about the supremely pious pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna, for they will diminish all sinful reaction. 0 Narada, you already know of all the activities of the Supreme Lord, but for the benefit of others, you are asking Me again. So now I will tell you about the glories of the sacred Purusottama month, which is fully potent to grant not only all material happiness but also qualify one to return back to Godhead at the end of life.
Naradji enquired, "0 Lord, I have heard the glories of all months including Kartika, Chaitra etc, but which month is this Purusottama month? 0 ocean of mercy, please tell me all about this sacred month. What is the way to glorify this month, what should I do in this month, how should I take bath, give in
charity, etc.0 What should I chant. Who should 1 worship, should I observe tasting in this month" Please tell me everything in detail
Suta Goswami said, "0 sages, after hearing all these questions from Narada, Lord Narayana began to speak from His moon-like lotus mouth. "0 Narada, I am going to tell you something which was previously explained by Lord Shri Krishna to Maharaja Yudhisthira. Once Dharmaraja Yudhisthira lost everything - his empire, his palace and even his chaste wife Draupadi - to Duryodhana in a gambling match. At that time Draupadi was insulted by Dusasana in front of the whole royal assembly. But when Dusasana had tried to strip Draupadi naked, she was saved from such a dangerous situation by Lord Shri Krishna. After this incident, Yudhisthira Maharaja along with his brothers and wife left his kingdom and lived in Kamayaka forest
Once Shri Krishna, son of Devaki, visited the Pandavas in that forest. All the Pandavas, including Draupadi, were very happy to see their Lord, and they forgot their painful forest life immediately. They felt enriched with a new life just by taking Krnsa's darshan. They paid their obeisances at their Lord's lotus feet Seeing the miserable living condition of the Pandavas, Lord Shri Krishna became very upset. and at the same time He became very angry towards Dhuryodhana. It appeared as if the Lord was going to destroy the whole universe, and so the Pandavas became fearful and all began to pray to the Lord in a humble mood. Listening to the humble prayers of Arjuna, the Lord composed Himself and said, "Oh Arjuna, being very pleased with all of you [ Pandavas], and being controlled by your devotion and friendship towards Me, I will now tell you about the wonderful history of Purusottama month.
Oh Arjuna! Once upon a time, by the arrangement of providence an extra month came to this world Every one took this month to be most inauspicious, and even saw it as a stool-like month. Just as one should not touch stool, so this month was also seen as untouchable. It was constantly unprotected and blasphemed, and rejected by everyone as an improper time for any religious and auspicious activities.
Being so rejected by all human beings, and constantly hearing only bad words and blasphemy, this extra month became very sad. She came to Vaikuntha to explain her sorrowful situation to the Lord. Seeing Lord Vishnu on His simhasana, she fell down at His lotus feet in a mood of sorrow and grief. Tears were falling profusely from her eyes. She started praying to the Lord, "Oh ocean of mercy! I have come to You helpless. I have been rejected and blasphemed by all peoples of the world. Please protect me, please show me Your mercy. Please don't be indifferent towards me." Saying these words, the extra month continued crying in front of Lord Vishnu and sat down before Him in a dejected mood. Seeing the humble and pitiable position of the extra month. Lord Vishnu became very merciful towards her. He told her, "Do not lament, I shall give you protection from all of your miseries Please stop crying. It is not proper to lament after taking shelter at My lotus feet."
Being so consoled by the Lord, the extra month began speaking in openhearted language. "Oh Lord, You know all my painful condition No one is in a more miserable situation in these three worlds than I First of all, all other months, years, days, nights, directions etc. are being protected by You, and so they are always moving fearlessly in their unique charming moods. But I [an extra month] don't have any name, nor any protector, nor a husband to give me shelter. All the demigods and human beings have rejected me for any auspicious activities. For this reason. Oh Lord, I want to die immediately." Oh Narada, this extra month repeatedly said, " I want to die! 1 want to die! I want to die!" Then she fainted at the feet of the Lord.
Being requested by Lord Vishnu, Garuda started fanning the extra month. And after sometime she got up and began to speak again, "Oh Lord of the universe I am in need of Your shelter, so please protect me."
Lord Vishnu told the extra month, "Oh child, please don't lament, all of your miserable conditions will be finished very soon. Get up and come with Me to Goloka Vrndavana, which is even unattainable to great yogis. Goloka is the abode of Lord Shri Krishna. Here Lord Shri Krishna is in His two-handed form, surrounded by gopis and enjoying His eternal pastimes
The Supreme Shri Krishna of Goloka will deliver you from all your miseries, please come with Me." Speaking in this way. Lord Vishnu took Malamasa (the extra month) to Goloka by catching her by the hand.
From a distant place Lord Vishnu and the extra month observed the effulgence of Goloka. This dazzling effulgence automatically forced Malamasa to close her eyes. Therefore, keeping the extra month behind Him, Lord Vishnu proceeded farther until He reached the main gate. There the doorkeeper paid his respects to Him. Having reached the Supreme Abode, Lord Vishnu met Lord Shri Krishna who was surrounded by many devoted gopis. Lord Vishnu, who is the husband of Ramadevi, paid His obeisances to Lord Shri Krishna. Then He made the extra month also offer her obeisances at the lotus feet of Lord Shri Krishna, even though she was crying loudly. Immediately Shri Krishna asked, "Why is she crying? She is in Goloka Vrndavana, why is she crying?" Hearing these words from Lord Shri Krishna, Lord Vishnu got up from His seat and started explaining the whole miserable condition of the extra month. He begged Him to please protect this unprotected month. "There is no one except You, Lord Krishna, who can save this extra month from her hellish condition and give her full protection." Having said these words. Lord Vishnu remained standing in front of Lord Krishna with folded hands.
Then Suta Goswami continued to speak, "Oh sages! Lord Vishnu took his seat, and Lord Krishna spoke very confidential words to him. Listen carefully, for 1 am now going to share those words with all of you...
Then Lord Purusottama Shri Krishna said, "Oh Vishnu, you have done a very great deed by bringing this extra month to Me You will become even more famous for performing this act Because You have accepted this Malamasa, 1 will also accept her. I shall make this poor extra month just like Me in quality, fame, opulence, realization, success, and in giving benediction to devotees. This month will become equally potent to Me. I am bestowing all of My divine qualities in this abused month. Named after Me, this month will be famous as Purusottama month in this world.
"Oh Janardana, now that she has imbued My qualities I Myself will become the husband and protector of this Purusottama month. And being equal to Me, this month will be the master of all other months Now this month will become worshipable by one and all. Everyone should pay their obeisances to her, everyone should worship her. This month is equally as powerful as Me to give any type of benediction to its observer. I am making this month desire- free, unlike other months, which are full of some desire or another. The worshiper of this month will be able to burn all his past sinful reactions to ashes, and after enjoying a blissful life in the material realm he will return back lo Godhead.
"Oh Garudadhwaja," Lord Shri Krishna continued, "My Goloka is unattainable to the performers of austerities, mahatmas engaged in pious activities, to people who maintain celibacy, or to those who fast their whole life's duration. But just by observing Purusottama month and becoming a devotee one can easily cross over this material ocean and return back to Godhead. Observance of this Purusottama month is the best of all austerities. Just as a farmer produces a rich harvest by planting seeds in nicely cultivated land, so an intelligent man who practices devotional service towards the Supreme Lord in this
Purusottama month will enjoy a blissful life while in this world and after leaving his body he will return back to Godhead
"An unfortunate ignorant man who does not perform any japa, does not give any charity, does not pay respect to Lord Shri Krishna and His devotees, does not behave properly to brahmanas, makes enmity with others and who blasphemes the Purusottama month will go to hell for an unlimited period." Lord Shri Krishna continued, "How can a person make his life successful unless he performs devotional service in this Purusottama month? A person who is fully engaged in sense gratification and does not give any special importance to this sacred month becomes the best candidate for hell. All human beings should perform some devotional service in this Purusottama month by:
1 Taking a bath in a holy river
2. Worshiping Me, Shri Krishna, by chanting My holy name
3 Giving in charity
A fortunate person who follows My instructions and observes this Purusottama month properly, and in a faithful way worships Me will attain fame, opulence and a good son in this very life And after enjoying a happy life, he will return back to Goloka Dhama. By following My instructions, everyone should worship this sacred month. 1 have made it the best among all other months Oh husband of Rama devi (Vishnu), give up all kinds of mental speculation about (his extra month Just take this Purusottama month with you to your Vaikuntha abode
After narrating this brief history of the Purusottama month. Lord Shri Krishna glanced very mercifully upon Yudhisthira and Draupadi, and then began speaking to Arjuna
"Oh lion among man, can you now understand the reason why you Pandavas are suffering? You did not acknowledge or honor the presence of Purusottama month, which has just recently finished. That month which is most dear to Vrndavana Chandra has passed, but you Pandavas were in the forest and did not worship Purusottama month. So now you are suffering. You have been following the ritualistic principles given to you by Vyasadeva, but unless you worship Purusottama month you cannot perform pure devotional service to Me."
Lord Shri Krishna continued, "Now I am going to narrate a famous historical event concerning the previous birth of Draupadi. In her previous birth Draupadi was the daughter of a great brahmana sage called Medhavi. Her mother died when she was a small child, and so she was under the care of her father. Day by day, she grew to full bloom youth. She was very beautiful, but her father was not interested in arranging her marriage Seeing her other girlfriends with their husbands and young children she passed her days in a very miserable way In the mean time, her father passed away from this material world while uttering the sacred name ofHari.
" This made his daughter even more miserable. Fortunately, the great sage Durvasa Muni appeared in her asrama shortly after her father's death. Seeing the great sage, the girl paid her obeisances to him and respectfully worshiped him. She offered flowers and fruits to the great sage When he expressed his pleasure with her reception, she began lamenting and crying before him. Concerned, the sage inquired about her lamentation. The brahmana girl began to speak, "Oh great saint Durvasa, you know everything - past, present and future. 1 have no shelter in this world. I have lost all of my relatives. My parents have passed away, and I have no elder brother. I am also unmarried, and therefore there is no husband to protect me. Oh great sage, please do something, please help me! Please give me some advice to relieve me from this miserable condition." After listening to her prayer, Durvasa began to consider the unfortunate condition of the girl, and he decided to show mercy towards her.
Durvasa rsi began to speak, "Oh beautiful one, three months from now the most auspicious Purusottama month will begin. This sacred month is most dear to Lord Shri Krishna. Just by taking a holy bath in this month a man or woman can become completely sinless. This Purusottama month is more glorious than all other months, including Kartik month The glories of all other months is not even equal to one sixteenth of the glories of Purusottama month the merit of a person who takes a holy bath even once in this month is equal to the merit of taking bath in the Ganges for twelve thousand years, or the merit achieved by a person who takes a bath in holy water of Ganges or Godavari when Brihaspati [Jupiter] enters to Leo [lion] If you will take a holy bath, give in charity and chant the holy name of Krishna during this month all your miseries will go away, you will attain all kinds of perfection, and all of your desires will be fulfilled. Please follow my advice - please do not forget to worship the forthcoming Purusottama month very sincerely "
After speaking these words. Sage Durvasa remained silent. Unfortunately, the young brahmani did not believe in his words, rather she became angry and started blaspheming, "Oh great sage, you are lying. How could this extra month, which is also called Mala-masa [stool month], be superior to other great months like Magha, Kartika and Vaisakha. I cannot believe your words. You are trying to cheat me. This extra month is known to be most abominable for any kind of pious activity " Hearing these words of the brahmana girl Durvasa became very angry, his whole body started burning, and his eyes became red. But remembering the helpless condition of the girl, he consciously controlled himself
Sage Durvasa told the girl, "Oh untbilLinate one, 1 am not going to curse you because your father was a good friend of mine. You are in such a helpless condition Being an ignorant child, you cannot understand the sastric conclusion. 1 am not going to take your offenses towards me seriously. But at the same time, I cannot and should not tolerate your offences towards Purusottama month. In your next life you will certainly reap the results of your offensive words" The great sage Durvasa then hurriedly left that place to perform his service for Lord Narayana.
Lord Shri Krishna told Arjuna, "Oh sinless one, when Durvasa Muni left that place the brahmin girl [Draupadi in her previous birth] lost all of her opulences in a moment. Being an offender to Purusottama month, her body began to look very ugly, and she lost all of her bodily effulgence. She then decided to worship Lord Siva who is known as Asutosa, one who is very easily pleased.
This young brahmani then began to perform great austerities to please Lord Siva, the husband of Parvati She continued her austerities for nine thousand years. In the summer season, she would sit for meditation surrounded by fire and under the hot sun. In the winter season, she meditated under freezing cold water. Observing her great austerities, even the demigods became fearful. Lord Sankara then appeared before the brahmin girl because he was pleased by her worship and austerities. When Lord Siva appeared before the girl in his spiritual form, the girl immediately stood up rejuvenated. In the presence of Lord Siva all of her bodily weakness disappeared and she again started to look beautiful. Seeing Lord Siva in front of her, she started to worship him in her mind, and then began to recite nice prayers to please Him.
Being very pleased with the girl. Lord Siva said, "Oh performer of austerity, all good fortune to you Now please ask some boon from me. 1 am pleased with you I shall grant whatever you want "
Hearing these words from the mouth of Lord Siva, the girl said, "Oh friend of the poor, if you are pleased with me then please give me husband. Repeatedly speaking the same words - "give me a
husband" - five times, the girl then fell silent Then Lord Siva replied, "Let it be. You have asked for a husband five times, and so you will get five husbands." Hearing Lord Siva's words, the girl became very ashamed. She said, "Oh Lord, it is most abominable for a girl to have five husbands. Please retract your words " Lord Shiva then spoke to her very gravely, ""That is impossible for me. What you have asked from me will be granted. You will get five husbands in your next life. Previously you offended Purusottama month by not following the kind advice of sage Durvasa. Oh brahmana girl, there is not difference between the body of Durvasa and mine All we demigods, including Lord Brahma and all the great saints like Narada, worship this Purusottama month in accord with the order of Lord Shri Krishna A devotee of Purusottama month achieves all good fortune in this life and at the end of his life he goes back to Goloka Dhama, the abode of Lord Shri Krishna. Being an offender to this sacred Purusottama .month, you will get five husbands in your next life." The girl became very remorseful, but Lord Siva immediately disappeared from the place After Lord Siva's departure, the young brahmani became very morose and fearful about her future life In this way, after few days, the girl left her body by the arrangement of providence.
Lord Shri Krishna then said, "Oh Arjuna, in the meantime the great king Draupada had been performing an elaborate sacrifice. From this sacrificial fire, the young brahmani took her birth She appeared as the daughter of Maharaja Draupada. Oh Arjuna, the same daughter of Medhavi Rsi has now became famous in the world as Draupadi - she is none other than your present wife. Because she blasphemed Purusottama month in her previous life, she was insulted by Dushasana in front of the whole Kuru assembly in the presence of all her Pandava husbands. Fortunately she remembered Me [Shri Krishna] and took My shelter Forgiving her offenses, I protected her from that most abominable condition and saved her from the hand of Dushasana. Oh dear Pandava brothers, please don't forget to worship the forthcoming Purusottama month. A person who blasphemes Purusottama month and don't worship her, and doesn't worship Me, will never attain good fortune. This Purusottama month is fully potent to fulfill all your desires and remove all miseries. Now your fourteen years of forest life is coming to an end. Please worship this Purusottama month sincerely, for it will bestow all good fortune upon you." Giving full consolation to the Pandavas in this way. Lord Shri Krishna then left that place for Dwaraka.
After a few days, when Purusottama month appeared, Maharaja Yudhistira reminded his younger brothers and wife Draupadi of the words of Lord Shri Krishna All of them followed the instructions He had given them. They worshiped Purusottama Shri Krishna in various ways during this sacred month The merit they achieved by performing Purusottama vrata meant they regained their lost kingdom, and after enjoying a happy life they all returned back to Godhead by the grace of Lord Shri Krishna.
Suta Goswami then told the sages of Naimisaranya, "Oh sages, now I am going to tell you another famous history in glorification of Purusottama month. It involves Maharaja Hadadhanwa of the famous sun dynasty. Long, long ago, there was a religious king named Citradhanwa, who was the ruler of Haihaya State He had a very qualified son named Hadadhanwa. Hadadhanwa was famous and loved all over the world because of his good qualities like faithfulness and strict adherence to religious principles At an early age Hadadhanwa became a learned scholar by pleasing his Guru. He studied all the Vedas, including all the Angas and Upanisads. After pleasing his Guru and paying him Daksina, Hadadhanwa returned back to his father's palace. His father Citradhanwa was very old, and so he decided to go to the forest and live a renounced life to please Shri Hari. Then Hadadhanwa became the king of Haihaya State. In due time Hadadhanwa achieved a beautiful daughter named Guna Sundari, he also had four other famous sons named Chitrabaka, Chitrabha, Maniman and Chitra-Kundala.
Once this Hadadhanwa began to think of all his material opulences. He could understand that by the influence of previous pious activities he had achieved an undisturbed kingdom, a chaste and beautiful
queen, dutiful sons etc Thinking in llns way, the next day the king went to tlic ibiest on horse back along with his army to hunt. In this forest, a deer which was being attacked by the arrows of the king ran for shelter in another neighboring forest, And the king followed her.
After following the deer for a long way, the king became very tired and thirsty. He began to look for water, and, a little in the distance, he saw a beautiful pond full of clean sweet water. He rode there, got down from the horse's back and tied it to a nearby banyan tree. After quenching his thirst he took rest under the banyan tree. While the king was relaxing in this way, a beautiful parrot which was sitting on the tree started to speak to him. The parrot recited a verse again and again, which meant as follows:
"Oh, deluded by your material opulences you are not even considering the real goal and achievement of human life How then can you cross the material ocean, the cycle of birth and death9"
After hearing these words from the mouth of the parrot again and again. King Hadadhanwa considered the advice very seriously. He started thinking that this parrot may be the great sage Sukadeva Goswami himself showing compassion towards him. In the meantime his army reached that place, and the parrot disappeared However, the king continued to ponder upon the words of the parrot
When King Hadadhanwa was thinking seriously about these words, the great sage Valmiki came to his palace. The king immediately got up from his seat and paid his obeisances to him. Valmiki asked, "Oh king, why do you look so morose9 Please tell me every thing about your dilemma, 1 shall try my best to solve your problems." Feeling some consolation from the sage's words, King Hadadhanwa explained the verse spoken to him by the parrot in the forest. After listening to the king, the great sage Valmiki said, "Oh king, in your previous life you were born in a brahmin family, on the bank of the River Tambraparna in the state ofDravida. Your good name was Sudeva. You were a religious, truthful and self-satisfied brahmana. Your wife was Gautami, the daughter of Gautam Rsi. When you were in grhasta asrama you followed all the religious principles, but despite all these merits you had no child. One day you expressed you unhappiness to your wife. You told her, "Oh beloved one, our human birth is fruitless because we don't have a son who will deliver us from hell. Therefore I have decided to die immediately. Hearing your words, your wife advised you to worship Lord Jagannatha.
She said to you, "Oh dear husband, please don't speak like this. You are a Vaishnava, so you should be more patient in dealing with such situations If you desire a son, then just worship Lord Jagannatha and ask Him for a son as a benediction." Following her advice, you performed great austerities on the bank of the River Tambrapani for four thousand years. The demigods became fearful seeing your austerities, but seing your strong faith and devotion. Lord Hari appeared before you riding His carrier Garuda. Seeing the Lord in His four-handed form, you became very happy and paid your full obeisances at His lotus feet.
The great sage Valmiki continued, "Oh king, after offering his prayers Sudeva brahmana sat down on the floor in front of Lord Hari. Hearing his prayers. Lord Hari said, "Oh Sudeva, you have done great austerities to satisfy Me. And I am satisfied. Please ask some boons of Me - what ever you want. Sudeva brahmana said, "Oh Lord, if You are pleased upon me then please give me a qualified son." Hearing His brahmana's words, Lord Hari told him "Oh Sudeva, by reading your forehead I can understand that because of your prarabdha karma you are not supposed to have a son for the next seven births. Therefore please ask for some other boon. Hearing these words from Lord Hari the brahmana immediately fell unconscious. He fell down on the ground like a dry old tree. Seeing the condition of her husband, Gautami, the wife of Sudeva also started crying loudly Observing the most pathetic condition of this brahmana couple, Garuda, the carrier of Lord Vishnu, became sympathetic. He also
requested Lord Hari to grant them a son. Hearing Garuda's request. Lord Hari empowered him to give such a boon to the brahmin couple. So Garuda started fanning the unconscious Sudeva. Then he told the brahmin couple, "Oh fortunate ones, following the order of my master Lord Hari, I am giving a boon to you, that you will get a son very soon, and he will be as qualified as myself."
In this way, after giving the boon. Lord Hari disappeared from that place on His carrier Garuda. After some time had passed Gautami gave birth to a son named Sukadeva. From his very childhood, Sukadeva exhibited wonderful godly qualities and always satisfied his guru, and all of his superiors, and friends. Once the great sage Devala, who was shining like the sun, came to their asrama. Sudeva and his wife prayed to him and gave him a nice asana on which to comfortably sit. Their son Sukadeva also paid his obeisances to the great sage.
Seeing the face of Sukadeva, Devala Rsi became very happy. But then suddenly he became grave. He spoke to the brahmin couple, "This child Sukadeva has all the good qualities of a great person, but there is one serious disqualification. This boy will drown at the age of twelve." The sage then left the place, and the brahmin couple became very unhappy. However, remembering the all-merciful Lord Vishnu, they continued on in their day to day life.
One day their son Sukadeva was taking bath in a nearby tank with his other friends. Following the dictates of unavoidable providence, the boy went into the deep water and drowned. The friends of Sukadeva informed his parents about death of their beloved son. They started crying very loudly, and coming to the tank, they repeatedly kissed their dead son and lamented. Sudeva took the dead body of his son on his lap and started crying, "Oh son, get up! We are waiting for you. Unless you get up and talk to us, we are both going to give up our lives." Speaking in this way, the brahmana started chanting the Holy Name of Lord Hari
When the brahmin couple were lamenting and constantly chanting the Holy Name of the Lord, an untimely rain came along with a heavy wind. The whole world became filled with water, but the brahmin couple were oblivious to externals because of their lamentation for their son. They were constantly chanting the Holy name of the Lord. In this way, a whole month passed away. And that month was Purusottama month. Unknowingly the brahmin couple had worshiped that most sacred month, the month most beloved to Lord Shri Krishna. Being pleased by their austerities. Lord Shri Krishna appeared before them and then the rain immediately stopped. Seeing their Lord, the brahmin couple immediately paid their full obeisances keeping their son side. Lord Shri Krishna was very, very pleased because they had worshiped Purusottama month [unknowingly]. The Lord said, "Oh fortunate Sudeva, your son Sukadeva will live with you for twelve thousand years in this material world to give you all pleasure and at the end of that time both of you will return back to Me in Goloka Dhama."
As soon as Lord Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, had finished his words their son got up. It was just like he had been sleeping for a long time. Seeing their son alive again, the brahmin couple became extremely happy. In the mean time the demigods started showering flowers from heaven. Then Sukadeva paid his obeisances to his parents and Lord Shri Hari. Garuda, the carrier of the Lord, also became very happy seeing the brahmin couple with their son All these incidents seemed extraordinary to Sudeva brahmana, and so he asked Lord Shri Krishna why He gave them back their son.
Lord Shri Krishna, who is controlled by His devotees, then spoke to Sudeva, "Oh fortunate one, don't you know the reason why I am so pleased with you? Both you and your wife observed fasting and worship during the whole of Purusottama month - and that month is most dear to Me. When both of you were lamenting for your son by observing full fast and chanting my Holy Name is was the Holy Purusottama
month. You worshiped me throughout the entire Purusottama month, and that pleased Me very much. Once Lord Brahma was measuring the value of Purusottama month against all the other pious austerities and religious activities mentioned in Vedas. However, the value of Purusottama month is far more valuable than all types ofVedic religious activities.
Lord Shri Krishna continued, "Any human being who observes My Purusottama month is ever the most fortunate one in all three worlds. At the end of his life, he will return to My abode Goloka." Saying these words, the Supreme Lord left that place riding His carrier Garuda.
Then Sage Valmiki told King Hadadhanwa, "Oh king, your question has now been answered. The parrot who advised you in the forest was Sukadeva, your beloved son in your previous life. Sukadeva achieved his perfection by the mercy of the Lord, but he was feeling some sympathy for you [Hadadhanwa], his father in his previous life. Seeing you engaged in a materialistic way of life, he reminded you of your duty to worship Lord Hari in forthcoming Purusottama month. By such merit you will return back to Godhead."
Then King Hadadhanwa eagerly asked Sage Valmiki about Purusottama month "Oh sage, please tell m. How should one observe this most fortunate Purusottama month which is most dear to Lord Shri Krishna? Who is the worshipable Lord for this month? What are the processes to worship this month and observe austerities9 Please tell me all these secrets.
The great sage Valmiki replied, "Oh king, one should get up early in the morning [in Brahma Muhurta] thinking about the Supreme Lord Hari who is also known as the Param Brahman Then he should finish his morning duties, take bath, do pranayama and offer prayers to the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna. Lord Shri Krishna with His consort Shri Radhika are the worshipable Deities for this Purusottama month. One should continuously chant gayatri until the sun rises in the east. Then one should pay his obeisances and offer [Arghya] water, flowers etc. to the sun-god, who is also known as Surya Narayana. After finishing all of these morning duties one should start worshiping Lord Hari.
A worshiper of Purusottama month should take a vow to remain truthful, not to speak any lie. He should remain very peaceful, and not be engaged in any violent activities. He should collect some fresh cow dung and mixing it with some water, he should purify a certain area in the shape of a circle. Within that purified circular area, he should draw an eight-petal lotus flower with the help of some rice powder. Then he should place a new pot full of sacred water collected from different holy rivers, or he can call all the different tirthas or river to enter that pot of water. The water pot may be made of gold, silver, copper or of earth, according to the worshiper's financial ability.
After placing the Holy water pot properly he should call, "Oh river Ganges, Godavari, Kaveri, Saraswati, Jamuna, etc. Please enter to this sacred pot and also purify my body and mind." Then he should worship that water pot with the help of sandalwood pulp, different other scented things, flowers etc. He should place a copper plate covered with a new yellow cloih upon that water pot. Then one should place Deities of Shri Radha Krishna upon that pot After placing the Deities properly, one should start worshiping Them with faith and devotion.
The great sage Valmiki continued to speak again, "He should purify the Deities by a fire sacrifice and establish Them with life though the Vedic process, otherwise the Deities made of metal remain a lump of metal only. A brahmana who is qualified with Vedic knowledge should perform these activities. First of all he should chant Purusa Sukta, starting from "om tad vishnur param padam", followed by the vijaya mantra of Purusottama. By placing his thumb on his heart, he should chant all these mantras to
establish the Deities with life He should take a vow that "1 shall live for this Deity, or 1 shall die for this Deity " He should chant many other mantras prescribed in Yajurveda adding 'swaha" at the end of each mantra In this way. he should meditate upon Lord Purusottama, Shri Krishna Then he should speak like this.
"Oh Purusottama! 1 am offering this noble seat to Shri Shri Radha Krishna. The holy water brought by me from different holy rivers including Ganges is for Your pleasure. Oh Lord, please accept this water for washing Your feet." Saying this, one should offer padya. Then one should offer acamana to the Deities. Then one should bathe the Deities with pancamrita. Again offering acamana, to fulfill one's ultimate desire and attain perfection one should offer new yellow silken,clothes to the Deities. Then he should pray, "Oh Purusottama, please save me from this nescience, this cycle of birth and death."
One should offer brahminical threads with the new cloth also. Then he should chant, "Oh Lord! Please accept this sweetly scented sandalwood pulp which is prepared by me in careful way." Then he should offer sandalwood pulp to different parts of the bodies of the Deities. He should pray, "Oh Purusottama, please accept these scented and unbroken flowers carefully collected by me " Then he should offer the flowers to the Deities He should worship the different parts of body of the Lord by chanting the mantras consisting of twenty- four different names of Lord Vishnu starting from kesavaya namah. In this way one should worship Lord Puaisottama properly
Then king Hadadhanwa inquired- "Od sage' What should be the prescribed foods for a performer of Purusottama vrata9 What should one not eat in this month9 Please explain everything very clearly to
Sage Valmiki said, "Oh King! Listen, I am now explaining everything to you in brief. In purified consciousness one should collect, wheat, rice, sugar candy, sesame seeds, ginger, green leafs, banana, cucumber, rock salt, butter, ghee, curd, mango, potato etc, and should cook them without oil. One should not eat meat, fish etc. or any kinds of non-vegetarian things. One should not use mustard, or mustard oil, or any kind of intoxicant in his daily fare.
One should prepare one's food in a purified way, in pure consciousness, and one should not cook in an iron pot. One should not speak any nonsense, nor think any nonsense, while preparing prasadam. One should avoid any type of contaminated food prepared in a contaminated or improper way. In Purusottama month one should not blaspheme the demigods, the Veda or any literature in pursuance of the Vedic version, brahmanas, the spiritual master, cows, and person [man or woman] who performs Purusottama vrata, the king and all other saintly people. One should try his best to please Lord Vishnu by performing various austerities to the best of his ability A worshiper of Purusottama month should follow the above rules and regulations in the month ofKartika and Magha month as well, otherwise he could not get the full benefit from performing his Purusottama vrata. If possible one can worship Purusottama month by observing a full fast from food throughout the month If he cannot observe full fast, he could live by drinking ghee or drinking some milk which he should collect by begging. If he cannot do this, he can simply eat some fruits An intelligent person should take a vow according to his capacity to observe and follow it. One should not break his vow in the middle of it. If one worships the Lord in His Saligram form, offering Him one lakh ofTulasi leaves, then he will achieve such unlimited merit and success that even Lord Brahma cannot describe it.
If one worships Purusottama month in this way, he will achieve more glories than performing one hundred horse sacrifices. The performer of Vedic karma-kanda yajnas achieves Swarga loka, but the worshiper of Purusottama achieves Goloka Dhama. All the holy places of the world come to live in the body of a person who performs Purusottama vrata.
King Hadadhanwa asked, "Oh great sage' What are the benefits one achieves by offering a lamp to Lord Purusottama in this month9" The great sage Valmiki then began speaking enthusiastically, "There was king named Citrabahu who ruled over the kingdom ofBhagyanagar. He was a great devotee of Krishna, and possessed all good qualities like truth fulness, nonviolence, forgiveness, cultured behavior. kindness, respect towards saintly people and brahmanas, and knowledge of all the religious principles mentioned in the sastra. Once the great sage Agastya came to his palace Seeing the great Rsi, the king paid his obeisances even though from a distance When the sage came closer, he gave him a nice place to sit. He then worshiped him with great respect and very pleasingly said, "Today my life has become successful because a great devotee of Shri Krishna has entered my palace He sincerely tried his best to please the sage The king then began to question Agastya Muni about his past life He said, "Oh great sage, in my present life I am enjoying such an undisturbed kingdom, and 1 have a beautiful and chaste wife, and nice sons and daughters. What pious activities did 1 perform in my past life to give such an enjoyable result in my present life " Agastya Muni replied, "Oh fortunate one, please listen carefully to me 1 will now explain your previous life to you.
In your previous life your name was Manigriva. You were a most cruel, non-believer of God and a person of very bad character. But your wife [who is also your present wife] was a very pious and religious lady. She was very chaste and beautiful, and always engaged to please you. Your bad character and cruel behavior meant no one in society liked you. Every one broke their relationship with you Even the king of your country took away everything from you - including your wealth and property. In this way, being rejected by society, you began to live in the forest with your chaste wife. Once when you were going to hunt for some food, you came across a man who had fallen down unconscious on the forest road His name was Sage Ugradeva
Seeing the brahmin Sage Ugradeva in such an unconscious and helpless condition, some mercy arose us your heart Sage Ugradeva was on his way to Prayag tirtha, but because of lasting and the influence of an unbearable hot sun he fell down unconscious in the forest. You brought him to your small cottage, and both you and your wife began to serve him by fanning him, giving him some water to drink and cooling his forehead. After a little time the sage came back to consciousness. He looked around in wonder Then you described everything to him - how he had fainted, and you had brought him to your cottage. You then offered some fresh water to the sage He was very pleased with you and asked about your impoverished living condition. The great sage Ugradeva inquired, "Oh Manigriva, why are you are suffering so much here in the forest9 Please tell me everything about your past situation, so that I can find some way to bring you good fortune in the future." You then humbly explained your wretched life and asked him to find some solution to your miseries.
Ugradeva listened attentively and then said, "Oh great soul, you will definitely become famous in this world because you have served me so well as your guest. So to eradicate your
previous sinful reactions, I am now going to explain to you the simplest and easiest way for you to attain all good fortune. In three month's time the sacred Purusottama month will begin. In order to please the Supreme Lord Purusottama, you should daily offer a lamp to the Lord By doing this all your misfortune will vanish. The best lamp to offer is a ghee lamp, but because you are living in the forest you can offer a lamp made from sesame oil When you attain some wealth, you must then offer a ghee lamp." Having spoken in this way. Sage Ugradeva left that place for Prayag, constantly chanting the Holy Name of Shri Krishna.
Following the order of Sage Ugradeva, Manigriva and his wife offered an oil lamp to Purusottama regularly though out that sacred month. After some time, the couple left their bodies and attained Swargaloka due to the merit they attained from offering a lamp to Lord Purusottama. After enjoying many years in the heavenly planets, the same couple came back again to this material world and achieved a very glorious position in society as King Citrabahu and his queen. Agastya Muni then said to King Citrabahu, "Oh king, such was your previous life, and such is the glory of simply offering an oil lamp to Lord Purusottama in the sacred month of Purusottama. A person who offers a ghee lamp to the Lord daily in this month receives unlimited merit Oh king, please do not doubt that such great merits are achieved simply by offering a lamp to the Lord "
Then the great sage Valmiki continued, "In this way, after explaining the previous life of King Citrabahu, and being worshiped by him, Agastya Muni became very pleased and blessed him the king He then left the palace
King Hadadhanva further inquired li'oiii Sage Valmiki, "0 saintly one, please tell me how to perform udyapana - the bonafide breaking of Purusottama vrata. Which rules and regulations should one follow'7 Which are the special days to finish one's vow of worship to Lord Shri Krishna in Purusottama month." The great sage replied, "In Purusottama month, one can break his worship and vows on the fourteenth day, ninth day or on the eighth day of the dark fortnight. Early in the morning one should leave his bed After performing his morning duties, he should invite qualified brahmanas and give them charity according to his ability. If it is not possible to invite thirty brahmanas, one should invite five or seven according to his capacity. At mid-day one should purify a certain area with cow dung and water. Then he should draw a round circle with the help of rice powder. He should bring four new pots and place them in the four directions with a coconut upon each of them. The pots should first be filled with water. He should then establish Lord Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha in each pot serially, and invite four qualified brahmanas to sit inside the circle and chant the holy name of Krishna. By presenting new clothes, two sets for each brahmana, he should welcome them and humbly request them to chant the Holy Name He should also present each of them a ring to wear To purify himself, he should perform the purifying processes mentioned in the sastra. When the invited brahmanas are engaged in their chanting, one should start his worship to Lord Purusottama with his wife. He should engage the brahmanas to separately chant the names of Chaturbhuja, [Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha] in the four corners of the circle. Four different lamps should be offered in the four directions. Then one should offer Arghya [oblations]. And while performing worship by giving Arghya, one should chant the following mantra:
"0 Supreme Lord! 0 Sanatana, 0 Purusottama, 0 Hari, I am paying my obeisances unto You. Please, along with Your beloved Radha, accept my offerings. 1 am paying my obeisances unto You, Shri Shri Radha Shyamasundara, whose bodily color is like a beautiful dark blue cloud, and who wears effulgent yellow garments on His body most gracefully." In this way one should pay his obeisances to Lord Purusottama. Then he should offer flowers [puspanjali] to Shri Radha Krishna and pay his full obeisances to the Lord along with his wife. Next he should give some charity to the invited brahmanas according to his ability. The brahmanas should be pleased to the best of his ability. He should also offer some new clothes and ornaments in the name of Lord Siva and goddess Parvati, and offer two pairs of new shoes to them
The best of all kinds of charity is to present Shrimad Bhagavatam to a qualified brahmana. By presenting Shrimad Bhagavatam, which is the literary incarnation of Lord Purusottama, to a Vaishnava devotee of the Lord, one can deliver his forefathers for one crore of lifetime's succession. All his forefathers will attain Goloka Dhama and live blissfully with Lord Purusottama
After performing the above concluding ceremonies and worship, one should break his vows and worship." Sage Valmiki then said, "Now I will explain how to avoid the reaction of offences committed during the Purusottama month. One should feed some qualified brahmanas and present them some gold to nullify his reactions at the end of the Purusottama month . If one has taken his meal on Amavasya day, he should present cows along with other daksina to qualified brahmanas. One who has not taken his bath properly in a holy place should present some milk and curd to brahmanas. If some one eats fruits, oil or ghee during Purusottama month then he should give the same in charity to brahmanas at the end of Purusottama month If someone eats rice and wheat, he should give the same in charity at the end of the month. If someone sleeps on the floor during Purusottama month, he should break his vow by presenting in charity a nice bed along with a pillow to a worthy brahmana.
A person who eats on leaf plates during Purusottama month, should feed some brahmanas with ghee and sugar One who did not cut his nails and hair during Purusottama month should give a mirror in charity to a brahmana. One who has offered lamps throughout the month should give some new lamps and new pots in charity to brahmanas. A person who broke any of the rules during the Purusottama month should feed brahmanas with different kinds of sweet juice. Anyone who thus observes Purusottama month in a faithful and devotional way will attain Goloka at the end of his life."
Having narrated everything about Purusottama month. Sage Valmiki then told King Hadadhanva, "Oh King, now I am going to the river Sarayu to take a bath." The king then worshiped him in a very submissive way to please him. After blessing the king with all good fortune. Sage Valmiki left that place for Sarayu. When Sage Valmiki left the palace, the king along with his queen left his kingdom and started to live in a simple and peaceful way in the forest. When the sacred month Purusottama appeared, both husband and wife performed their worship exactly as they had heard of it from Sage Valmiki. At the end of Purusottama month, a celestial aeroplane came to carry King Hadadhanwa and his queen to Goloka.
Lord Narayana then told Narada, "Oh Narada, in this world there is nothing equal to Purusottama month. The result or merit one gets from performing severe austerities for one thousand births is in no way comparable to the merit of worshiping Purusottama month. There is a nice story in this connection. The story of a monkey who was delivered from this material ocean and attained Goloka simply by taking a holy bath for three days during Purusottama month. The sins of his previous one crore of lifetimes were destroyed."
Hearing these words, the sages of Naimisaranya asked Suta Goswami, "Oh great sage, please tell us in detail about this monkey's past life. Who was that monkey? Where and how did he take his bath during Purusottama month? What was he eating during the month? What results did he receive by worshiping Purusottama month unknowingly?"
Suta Goswami then continued to recount what Lord Narayana had said, "In the province ofKerala there was a greedy brahmana. His given name was Citra Sharma, but because of his greedy and cruel nature, people called him Kadarya (greedy). Being banished from his village, he went to the forest. There he made a pious friend who was a gardener After sometime that gardener wanted to visit some holy places, and so he asked Kadarya to look after his fruit garden. The gardener was a simple person, and so he left everything under the care of his new friend Kadarya. However, when the gardener left, Kadarya started eating all the best fruits in the garden. When the gardener returned and asked him about the situation, Kadarya told him that the monkeys and birds had destroyed all his best fruits.
In this way, Kadarya cheated his gardener friend. After sometime Kadarya died and was forced to accept the body of a monkey due to his previous sinful activities and cheating his gardener friend Though he was a most sinful person, he had also achieved some merit in his previous life by seeing an Udyapana (concluding ceremony of Purusottama month vrata) performed by a vaisya merchant who had sincerely worshiped that sacred month He had also worshiped Purusottama month in his greediness in the hope ofaquiring some wealth from that same vaisya merchant These merits meant that Kadarya. in his monkey body, took his birth in a holv place on the bank ot'a sacred lake known as Mnga lirllia Tha;
Mriga tirtha was a very beautiful place The trees were full of fruits and flowers. The water in the lake was very sweet and cool, and very good for health. That place was very beautiful and pious because of a boon given by Lord Ramacandra, the Supreme Personality of (Godhead After conquering Lanka, He was very pleased with His monkey army, and so the Lord had given this sacred place to them for their enjoyment.
From the beginning of his birth Kadarya the monkey was suffering from various pitta diseases Therefore blood was always coming out from his mouth He could not eat anything But due to his nature lie was jumping from one tree to another, picking fruits and then throwing them down. In the meantime, Purusottama month arrived. During that sacred month, the monkey's suffering increased. He could not eat anything, and so he observed a full fast unknowingly during this month. One day, while jumping from one tree to another, the monkey fell down into the lake of Mriga tirtha. After five days, he died, and when he died, a celestial aeroplane came and took him to Goloka Dhama He recieved a very beautiful spiritual body and lived happily in Goloka.
Seeing the amazing good fortune of this monkey, all the demigods started to glorify Purusottama month Then Narada asked "0 Lord, whatever You have explained previously in principle is meant to guide one's activities for the first part of the day during Purusottama month. Please elaborate on other favorable daily regulations and activities " Lord Narayana then said, "After finishing his noon duties. one should welcome any guests who come to his door A guest who comes to him when he is engaged in milking his cows, should be worshiped very properly and fully satisfied by charity given according to one's ability.
After satisfying one's guests, one should take his meal (prasadam) very peacefully in a purified place facing the east. He should first chant the mantra "swaha om" and then begin to honor his meal with the help of his tongue (i e , without chewing). Then one should eat any sweet items in peaceful mind. One should not eat any food that is in any way contaminated. While engaged in honoring prasadam, one should not discuss anything material, nor blaspheme anyone
An intelligent person should then engage himself in listening to Krishna katha from a pure soul. In this way, one should always meditate on Krishna and discuss his pastimes with other devotees. When evening comes, one should take a bath and perform his regular evening duties. After finishing his evening prayers and offering some oblations to the fire god, he should sit down and honor prasadam with his followers or family members Some time shortly after this, he should take rest thinking of Lord Shri Krishna within his heart.
If a grhastha, he should perform his home duties in a truthful and peaceful way He should not comrni! violence to others and should be merciful towards saintly people as wel! as the poor Protection of animals, truthful speech, mercifulness, and nonviolence are some of the important principles a grhastha should follow
Narada then said, "0 Lord, please describe some thing of the qualities and activities of a chaste wife in general, and of she who offers auspicious assistance to her husband in his performance of Purusottama vrata " Lord Narayana replied, " 0 Narada, please listen carefully. I will now describe in general some of the good qualities of a chaste wife. Whether one's husband is beautiful or ugly, has all good qualities or all bad, is either healthy or diseased, peaceful or angry in nature, a drunkard, illiterate or well educated, a chaste wife should pay proper respect to her husband and other superiors like her mother-in-law, father-in-law, etc. She should co-operate with her husband in the performance of all sorts of religious and pious activities She should save some thing from their family's daily expenses for future emergencies. An ideal wife should be very intelligent in the performance of her daily duties and her dealings with family members. She should not give anything in charity to relatives or other people without the knowledge other husband She should not speak to any man other than her husband in a private place All of the above principles should be followed by a woman who desires to be chaste Lord Narayana then continued, "There is no one more worshipabie for a wife than her husband. B pleasing her husband, a woman achieves all perfection Among men and demigods, one's husband . , most worshipabie for a chaste woman
Once upon a time goddess Parvati worshiped Purusottama month on the advice other husband. Lord Siva She then asked her revered husband what is the best thing to give in charity to conclude one's worship of Purusottama month successfully Lord Siva replied that one should fill a bell metal pot with thirty malpuras, and then bind the pot with seven new threads.
To conclude the Purusottama vrata successfully, one should give this bell metal pot to a worthy brahamana. If someone is very rich, he or she should give thirty such pots in charity to thirty qualified brahmanas Hearing these instructions from Lord Siva, goddess Parvati became very happy. She concluded her Purusottama vrata by giving thirty bell metal pots full of malpuras to thirty qualified brahmanas, and in this way became successful in observing her Purusottama vrata."
Suta Goswami then continued to relate this discussion between Lord Narayana and Naradji to the sages ofNaimisaranya. He said, "0 brahmanas, the great sage Narada Muni became very pleased by hearing all about Purusottama month from Lord Narayana. He paid his obeisances again and again to Him and began to speak, "Oh, this Purusottama month is the best of all months, it is best of all kinds ofvratas and austerities. Even if one just hears the glories of Purusottama month faithfully, he will achieve devotional service to the Supreme Lord Purusottama, and all of his sinful reactions will be immediately nullifiec And one who performs the whole vrata and worships Purusottama month properly will achiev unlimited merit and thus attain Goloka
Narada Muni then told Lord Narayana, "0 Lord, now 1 am fully satisfied and my heart and my mind are completely in bliss. Therefore I do not need to hear anything more on this topic. All glories to You!"
After so explaining these glories of Purusottama month, Shrila Suta Gosvami asked permission from the assembled sages to take their leave, bathe in the Ganges and perform his other regular duties. They gratefully agreed, and he then paid them his humble obeisances and went to the Ganges. The sages of Naimisaranya then spoke among themselves, "Oh, this sacred Purusottama month is most glorious, and its history is ancient. It is so merciful that it fulfills all a devotee's desires just like a desire tree. How glorious is Purusottama month!"
By His Holiness Bhakti Ballabha Tirtha Maharaja
Purushottama, the holy month, occurs once every three years. This time, it began on July 17 and will culminate on August 16, a period believed to be the most favourable for spiritual uplift. Devotional practice during the month is said to bring to offenders the chance to be forgiven.
According to the Indian Almanac, every three years, an extra month, Purushottama, is included in the year in order to harmonise the lunar month with the solar month. It is technically called an 'intercalary month'. According to the Smarta school of thought this month is unholy, as they refer to it as being 'tarnished'. Prescribing various holy functions for all months of the year, they left this additional 'unholy' month out of their plans.
However, the Vaishnava school of thought objects to this, arguing that not a single moment is to be spent without the worship of the Supreme Lord during Purushottama. The god who is associated with the holiest of all months is Shri Purushottama, who is none other than Shri Krishna, since His favourite month is this.
In the Gita, Krishna says: "I am celebrated both in the world and in the Vedas as that Supreme person: Purushottama" (15.18). The Lord of the Universe, Jagannath, is also known as Purushottama. His abode, Puri, is known as Purushottama-Dhama.
The best spiritual practice during the month, according to the Shrimad Bhagavatam, is to hear the glories of the Supreme Lord, the Hari Katha. This time the month of Purushottama has come in the Shravana season. Krishna said: "This additional month is like Me. I cannot be comprehended by the conditioned souls of this world — I am Supreme, and so I am designated as Purushottama."
Everything in our spiritual culture has got consciousness (in the background) — the Sun is presided over by the Sun-god, the moon is presided over by the Moon-god and Ganga Devi is the presiding deity of the river Ganga. Similarly, there is a presiding deity for the Purushottama month.
Depressed because of her seemingly useless existence, this deity approached Lord Narayana and asked Him: "What offence did I commit? Why is that no one performs any pious activities during my time?" Narayana directed her to Krishna who said: "I am Purushottama and I cannot be comprehended by finite beings of this world... as I am beyond their means of comprehension."
Krishna explained: "This additional month is like Me. You (Purushottama) are Me. You are the holiest month. If anybody observes vrata (vow of austerity) during your time, he can get everything. If the austerities are observed according to scriptural injunctions, it is even more auspicious than Kartik vrata, the holiest of months. So you will be known by the name Purushottama."
During the holy month of Purushottama, certain spiritual practices are observed by devotees: Recitation of Shri Jagannathastakam in the mornings, of Chauragraganya Purusashtakam in the afternoons, performance of japam or chanting as instructed by Kaundinya Muni, Deep daana or ghee-lamp offerings in the evenings at the Vishnu, Krishna or Ram mandir, and last but not the least, reading the Brahmastava, 40 slokas in Sanskrit, from the Bhagavatam, chapter 14, Canto 10. This spiritual technique, when performed with devotion in Purushottama, can bestow manifold results on the sadhak. Observance of Purushottama vrata brings eternal joy to the soul.
Purusottama Adhika Maasa : (Adhika Aswayujam)
Every two (sometimes three) years in Vedik Sidereal astrology there is a time compensation month added to correct, and adjust the time movements. This is something similar to the western Leap Year.
This month is considered to be very auspicious (adhika = best or greatest), as Vishnu Himself appearing in a Calendrical Form to rectify our astrological and astronomical calculations.
The astronomical parameters differ only slightly in different astronomical texts. For our present discussions, these differences will not matter much and so we follow the Suryasiddhanta. According to this text,
1 Lunar year = 29.5305 X 12 = 354.366 days
1 Solar year = 365.2587 days.
Thus one lunar year lags behind the solar year and one lunation has to be added after 3 years to fit the lunar year into the solar one. Astronomers have called this intercalary lunation as adhika month, and have asserted that this month is to be added to the lunar year.
Adhika (Purushottam) Maase Since the calendar is based on the phases of the Moon, the transits take 354 days, 8 hours and 34.28 seconds. This creates a difference of 10 days, 21 hours and 35.16 seconds from the actual solar year (365 days, 6 hours, 9.54 seconds) When the accumulated difference exceeds 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.865 seconds, an adjustment is made with an extra month (Adhika Maas), which carries the name of the previous or the next month, depending on the proximity of the month. Normally, seven extra months occur in 19 years.
Astronomical & Astrological technicalities explained regarding origin of, and purpose of Adhika mase, and also symbolically what the Adhika represents.
Purushottama adhika masa vratas from Mahanidhi Swami,
submitted by Mahamantra (das) ACBSP (Vrindavan - IN) 
...this may be useful to you or yours Recommended Vows for Purusottama Month
(2001 18 September-16 October) The main vrata is to worship Radha Krishna Yugala
***Rise Brahma-muhurta DAILY (bm means one . hours before sunrise til one
hour; if sunrise at 6am then bm starts 4:30 goes to about 5 a.m.) Means
taking rest EARLY night before.
***take vow to REMAIN TRUTHFUL for whole month.
***Careful not to BLASPHEME any devotee,sastra, brahmin, cows, saints, or one observing the Purusottama Vrata.
1.fixed increased chanting 25, 32, 64,128 rounds daily!
2. hearing hari katha (Study Krishna Book (chapters dealing with Vraja lila and Krishna meeting gopis at kuruksetra) Shrimad Bhagavatam & Chaitanya Charitamrita specifically desc. Radha Krishna guna and lila) and/or speaking daily hari-katha
3. worshiping Radha Krishna, which means, unless you have deity with = you, then daily offer fresh first class lotus or rose plus tulasi = garlands to Radhe Shyam photo or painting of Radha-Govinda Yugal.
*if worship Salagrama (could apply to Radha-Govinda also) offer 100,000 tulasi leaves and achieve "unlimited merit beyond the powers of Brahma to describe."
4. Sing bhajans and kirtans specifically glorifying Yugala Kishora. Such as Jaya Radha Madhava; Radhe jaya jaya madhava dayite; radha-krishna prana mora; Radha-krpa kataksa (in back our radhakunda book or in Giti Guccha song book; also sing Nandanandana Astakam (also in Giti Guccha song book); jaya radha madana mohan.. sanatana prana dhana he; jaya madhava madana murari radhe shyam shyama shyam; radha-krishna bol bol bolo re sobhai; vrndavana ramya sthana; tulasi arotik prayers with deep prayer of longing and meditation;
5. MUST OFFER Daily GHEE (pure cow's ghee only) lamp to Radha-Krishna Deity or photo.
6. Bathe DAILY in Yamuna around sunrise. Or if not in holy land then pour drops on head from bottle of Radha-kunda water or Yamuna after offering obeisances and prayers to Radha-kunda or Yamuna.
7.Eating--Fast till noon and eat only fruits or just vegetables without any beans or grains. (like ekadashi preps for one month!) once a day if you can. Or just eat mahaprasadam, full to neck ONCE A DAY. Take a vow according to your capacity to follow, and in no condition can one break his vow in the middle of the month.
HOW TO BREAK THE PURUSOTTAMA VRATA AFTER ONE MONTH?
1. Worship Radha-Govinda and chant this mantra: "O Supreme Lord! O Sanatana! O Purusottama! O Lord Hari! I offer my obeisances unto You. May You and Your beloved Shrimati Radhika please accept my offerings. I offer my repeated obeisances unto Radha-Syamasundara, who wears effulgent yellow garments on His beautiful body."
2. Offer pushpanjali and dandavats to Radhe-Syama.
3. Give charity to 3,5,7,9, 11 brahmanas to best of your ability.
**Best charity to give Shrimad Bhagavatam to qualified Vaishnava devotee brahmana. This charity will deliver all you forefathers to Goloka dhama and the association of Lord Purusottam!
***Other recommended gifts: new clothes, gold (rupees, bucks, pounds), two pairs of new shoes
4. Feed brahmanas with prasadam
SPECIAL ACTIONS AT END OF MONTH:
1. If not bathed in sacred waters---nullify reaction by donating milk and yogurt to brahmanas
2. If eat rice, wheat, fruits,oil, or ghee during P.M.-give charity to brahmanas (as mentioned above)
3. If eat on leaf plates for month-then feed brahmanas with ghee and sugar
4. Not cut hair and nails for P.M.-give mirror to one brahmana.
IF BROKE ANY RULES DURING PURUSOTTAMA MONTH:
Must feed brahmanas with different kinds of sweet juice. (sugar cane, oj, grape, etc)
BENEFITS OF OBSERVING PURUSOTTAMA VRATA
1. All the holy places in the world come to reside in your body.
2. One who observes Purusottama Month with faith and devotion will go back home, BTG to serve Radha-Govinda eternally in Goloka Vrndavana at the end of his life!
These are the recommended vratas described in Padma Purana PUrusottama = Mahatyam. We are sure Prabhupada will help you honor this month nicely.
More on Adhika Masa
As the name itself suggests it is the extra month in the lunar calendar. Once in three years we get an extra month and this year "Jesta" is the "Adhika Masa". It has started on the 16 of May and is up to 13 June. The two months are called Adhika Jesta and Nija Jesta. In Adhika masa good things like marriage are not done. They wait for the Nija Jesta to come. But to do poojas and danas in this month is very good, The offerings done now are weighed 33times more than the offerings of the ordinary month.
Ladies put 33 Padmas in rongoli every day, put 33 flowers. Light 33 lamps and finally do 33 namaskars throughout the month. 33 Appupas made and given to a good Brahmin, put in a container along with good dhakshina, How to make Appupa I will tell you later. Dear Akkama used to do all this and the Brahmin invariably used to be Shri, Subbanacharya of Madras. If Appupa is difficult for you can make any sweets in 33 numbers and give, I do hope that our M.B. Family people read this and appreciate it.
The year 1999 has an Adhika Mas or additional month between May 16 to June 14. The Hindu calendar is based on the cycles of the Moon and the months are based on lunar months which vary from 27 to 29 solar days. The lunar year of twelve months consists of 354 solar days. However a solar year consists of 365 days which is the basis of civil calendars. There is a difference of 11 days between the lunar year and the solar year. Due to this difference the two calendars move out of synchronization and we notice that Holi is celebrated earlier and earlier in Spring every year as well as Diwali in the Fall. However in about two and a half years a difference of 29 days accumulates between the two calendars. Hence every two and half years an additional month or adhika masa (thirteenth month) is added to the Hindu calendar to bring it back in synchronization with the solar calendar. The astronomical rule for adding the Adhika Mas is that it occurs in a lunar month when no Solar Samkranti or transit occurs. Dwisankranti Masah Kchaykhyah Kadachita or a lunar month that falls between two Sankrantis is additional or expunged.
Since this is a floating month, no celebrations are held in this month. However this month is also called Purusottam Mas and it is dedicated to the Uttam Purush or Lord Krishna himself. The Maha mantra for this month is:
"Govardan dharang vande Gopalang Goprupinang.
Gokulotsava Mishanang Govinda Gopikapriya."
The one who held the Govardhan mountain aloft and who also tended the cows, I sing his praise. Govinda who is celebrated in the festivals of Gokul and who is loved by all Gopis.
In this month one is supposed to live simply, chant the Maha mantra, worship idols of Shri Krishna clad in a yellow robe accompanied by Shri Radhika, sing Kirtan in the streets, protect cows and help widows or women in distress.
More technicalities about the year and Puroshottam Adhika mAse and symbolicly what it is.
This information comes from Shyamasundar prabhu's page:
Is the 360 day year advocated for Mahadasa usage some how Moon related and the 365 day year Sun related?
Those who advocate the 360 day year say it is Lunar while the 365 day year is Solar and say something like the following:
"I once had a conversation with a jyotishi here in Australia who told me he uses the 360 day calendar as opposed to the 365 day calendar when calculating Vimsottari dasa. His argument was, why should we use a solar based calendar for calculating a lunar based dasa system?"
This argument reveals several fallacies:
The first fallacy is that Vimsottari Mahadasa is "lunar based." Simply because the apparatus used for ascertaining what the mahadasa should be is based upon the Moon and Naksatras doesn't mean we should reject the standard year simply because it is based on the movement of the Sun. There are other systems of mahadasa which are not based on the Naksatras does that mean we should shift definitions for the length of the year to suit them? There is also the fact that Satyacarya has suggested that the Janma-naksatra be chosen from the stronger of the Moon or Lagna. If the Lagna were stronger then this would not be based on the Moon. In such cases would the length of the year be a different amount?
Of course I want to quickly point out that Satycarya's suggestion of using the Lagna is not followed by any astrologers and the Moon's position is universally accepted as the standard for the janma-naksatra.
The second fallacy, is the assumption that since 365.25 is a solar year, we should reject it because mahadasa is a lunar based phenomena and rather accept a 360 day year. The unspoken assumption is that a 360 day year is somehow "Lunar." As we have pointed out before the Lunar year is not 360 days long but rather 360 tithis (lunar days) long, which is about 354.36 solar days long. Thus, since the 360 day year in not "lunar" then it should not be favored and the 365.25 day year should not be rejected for being "solar."
There is a third fallacy in this argument which leads us to the next question.
What is the relationship between the Solar and Lunar year?
The third fallacy is a bit more complex. The implicit assumption is that time measured by the lunar and solar calendar somehow yield different results. If we were to use a 360 day-year rather than a 365.25 day-year, for mahadasa calculations then there would be a difference. After some time they would become more and more divergent. After one year they would only be different by five days, but in six years it would be a gap of 31.5 days (counting leap years). After 35 years it would be about six months out of phase and after 70 years a whole year out of phase. Thus the older the person got the farther out of phase the mahadasas would be. Thus using the 360 d/y Jupiter mahadasa may start at age 35 but at age 35 y 6m using the solar year. This would introduce serious difficulties in timing events especially in regards to the Bhuktis. This difficulty would only increase with age. However, contrary to the implicit assumption of the advocates of the 360 d/y, there is no such discrepancy between the Vedic Lunar calendar and the Solar calendar. Actually the Vedic Lunar calendar is Solar as will be seen from the following quotation from Dikshit's BJS (emphasis mine):
"They purchased 'Soma' juice from the thirteenth month, and hence the thirteenth month is censurable". Aitareya Brahmana
"Should the reins in the horse-sacrifice be twelve cubits in length or thirteen? The year consisting of (six) seasons is a kind of bullock whose hump is the thirteenth month. The horse-sacrifice is the best of all sacrifices. The year in the form of a bullock has got a hump (in the form of the thirteenth month)." Aitareya Brahmana
"It is clear from the above quotations that the year was solar in the Vedic age. The natural means of measuring a year used to be one complete cycle of the seasons, just as the natural means of measuring a day was the period between two consecutive sunrises or that for measuring a month used to be the period between two full moons. The year as a unit of time could not come into being if seasons didn't exist. It is, therefore, obvious then that the year must have been solar.
". . . the seasons were naturally supposed to recur after 12 lunar months. Although, one complete cycle of seasons required 11 days more than 12 lunar months . . .[and the result of this difference of 11 days]. . . . . the lunar month which used to fall in the summer must shift to occur in the winter and later on in the rainy season and thus have gradually receded through all the seasons.
Every month of such a calendar, like the Muharram of the Muslims, was bound to pass through all the seasons, thus completing a revolution in 33 years. [To avoid such a 33 year cycle] . . .to insert an intercalary month; and the fact that such an intercalary month used to be reckoned in the Vedic times goes to prove that the year was solar [even] in those days. This may appear trivial today, but it certainly was no ordinary matter that our people conceived the idea of inserting an intercalary month in those days of hoary antiquity. As a matter of fact it is extremely significant. The ancient Romans were at one time a very powerful nation, they used to regard the year as consisting of 10 months for quite a long time. . ." (BJS vol. 1, pp. 20-21)
The Vedic Lunar calendar is actually a luni-solar calendar, that is, it is not independent from the Sun. A lunar month starts with the new Moon after the Sun enters into a sign and is named in accordance to the Solar sign or sometimes to the Naksatra in which the full Moon will take place in that Lunar month, the naming conventions differ in various geographical areas of India. In any case the lunar month is tied to the solar month. How the Solar year and Lunar year are linked shall now be explained.
The Lunar year consists of 12 lunar months each consisting of 30 tithis but this does not add up to 30 solar days since in the course of a lunar month a tithi will vary from about 19 hours to 26 hours with an average length of 23h 37m 28s. The lunar month would be 29.530589 days. Because the Lunar year is 360 tithis long, that is only 354.36 solar days long after only three years it would be about one month out of phase with the solar year. However to keep it in phase with the solar year, and thus with the seasons and religious observances, a leap month (adhika-masa) is introduced. The introduction of the adhika-masa is not artificial, but a natural occurrence (Metonic cycle) because about every third year there will be experienced the phenomena of two new Moons while the Sun transits through one Rasi. And since the lunar month is defined as the length of time between successive new Moons and that there can only be one Lunar month corresponding to a solar month, the extra lunar month becomes a leap month. Thus the solar and lunar years would continue to stay in phase perpetually, their difference never being more than about 22 days. In the first year they would be out of phase by 11 days, the second year out of phase by 22 days, the third year the leap month brings them back in phase, the fourth year out of phase by 11 days, etc.
If the Vedic Lunar year were not linked to the solar year then within only a few years there would be very noticeable differences in a change of seasons in relation to the calendar. By an accumulation of about 11 days per year it would not take long before a festival associated with the summer such as Krishna Janmastami would be observed in the spring when Gaura Purnima should be observed. That would be absurd. However, there is a Lunar calendar which is independent of the Sun, the Islamic. In this calendar, based on a cycle of 30 years, 19 of which are 354 days long and 11 of which are leap years, having 355 days each. In 30 years each lunar month will have cycled through all the solar months. Thus the first month of the Muslim calendar Muharram will retrogress through the whole solar Gregorian calendar, and also through the Vedic luni-solar calendar. Returning to our argument; the Vedic lunar calendar is tied to the Sun thus the Vedic Lunar calendar is actually a Solar calendar. It will always be very close to the Solar calendar and never go out of phase as would a 360 day year which would only become more divergent with time.
Padmini - Visuddha EkAdasii
PadminI EkAdasii - from the Skanda PurANa.
Shri SUta Goswami said, “Yudhishthira MahArAja said, Oh JanArdana, what is the name of the EkAdasii that occurs during the light fortnight (shukla paksha) of the extra, leap year month? How does one observe it properly? Please narrate all this to me.’
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Shri Krishna, replied, ‘Oh PANDava, the meritorious EkAdasii that occurs during the light fortnight of the extra month of leap-year is called PadminI. It is very auspicious. The fortunate soul who observes it with great determination and faith will return to My personal abode. This extra-month EkAdasii is as powerful as I am in nullifying sins. Even four-headed Lord BrahmA cannot glorify it sufficiently. Long ago Lord BrahmA told Narada about this liberating, sin-removing EkAdasii.’
“Lotus-eyed Lord Krishna became very pleased by the enquiry of Yudhishthira and spoke to him the following pleasing words: ‘Oh king, please listen carefully as I narrate to you the process of fasting on PadminI EkAdasii, which is rarely done even by great sages.
“’One should begin his fast on the Dashami, the day before EkAdasii, by not eating any Urad dAhl, pink dAhl, chickpeas, spinach, honey, or sea salt, and also by not dining in homes of others or off bell-metal plates. These eight things should be avoided. One should eat only once on the Dashami, sleep on the ground, and remain celibate. On EkAdasii the devotee should rise early in the morning but should not brush his teeth. Then he should thoroughly bathe – in a place of pilgrimage, if possible. While chanting sacred hymns from the Vedas, he should smear his body with cow dung mixed with clay, sesame-seed paste, kusha grass, and the powder of AmalakI fruits. Then the devotee should take another thorough bath, after which he should chant the following prayers:
“’”Oh sacred clay, you have been created by Lord BrahmA, purified by Kashyapa Muni, and lifted by Lord Krishna in His form as VarAha, the boar incarnation. Oh clay, please purify my head, eyes, and other limbs. Oh clay, I offer my obeisances unto you. Kindly purify me so I may worship the Supreme Lord, Shri Hari.
“’”Oh cow-dung, you posses medicinal and antiseptic qualities because you have come directly from the stomach of our universal mother, the cow. You can purify the entire planet Earth. Please accept my humble obeisances and purify me.
“’”Oh AmalakI fruits, please accept my humble obeisances. You have taken your birth from the saliva of Lord BrahmA, and thus by your very presence the entire planet is purified. Kindly cleanse and purify my bodily limbs.
“’”Oh Supreme Lord Vishnu, Oh God of the gods, Oh master of the universe, Oh holder of the conch, disc, club, and lotus, please allow me to bathe in all the holy places of pilgrimage.”
“’Reciting these excellent prayers, chanting mantras to Lord VaruNa, and meditating on all the places of pilgrimage located on the banks of the Ganges, one should bathe in whatever body of water is at hand. Then, Oh Yudhishthira, the devotee should rub his body, thus purifying his mouth, back, chest, arms, and waist as a prelude to worshipping the Supreme Lord, who wears brilliant yellow garments and gives pleasure to all creatures. By so doing, the devotee will destroy all his sins. Afterwards, he should chant the sacred Gayatri mantra, offer oblations to his forefathers, and then enter a Vishnu temple to worship Lord NarAyaNa, the husband of the Goddess of Fortune, Laxmi-devi.
“’If possible, the devotee should then fashion Deities of Shri Shri Radha and Krishna or Shiva and Parvati out of gold and offer them nice devotional worship. He should fill a copper or clay pot with pure water mixed with scents, and then he should cover the pot with a cloth lid and a gold or silver lid, in this way preparing an Asana upon which the Radha-Krishna or Shiva-Parvati murthis may sit for worship. According to capacity, the devotee should then worship these murtis with fragrant incense, a bright ghee lamp, and sandalwood paste along with camphor, musk, kumkum, and other scents, as well as selected aromatic flowers like white lotuses and other seasonal blooms, and also very nicely prepared foods. On this special EkAdasii the devotees should dance and sing ecstatically before the Deity. He should avoid prajalpa (talking unnecessarily of ordinary, mundane conversational topics) at all costs and should not talk to or touch low-born persons (untrained persons habituated to low acts) or a woman in her menstrual period, or others so absorbed. On this day he should be especially careful to speak the truth and certainly not criticise anyone before the Deity of Lord Vishnu, the brahmins, or the spiritual master. Rather, with other devotees he should be absorbed in listening to Vaishnavas read the glories of Lord Vishnu from the PurANas. One should not drink or even touch water to his lips on this EkAdasii, and one who is unable to perform this austerity should drink only water or milk. Otherwise, the fast is considered broken. One should remain awake that EkAdasii night, singing and playing musical instruments for the transcendental pleasure of the Supreme Person.
“’During the first quarter of the EkAdasii night the devotee should offer some coconut meat to his worshippable Deity (Isthadeva), during the second part he should offer soothing bel fruit, during the third part an orange, and as the night draws to a close some betel nut. Remaining awake during the first part of the EkAdasii night bestows on the devotee/sadhaka the same merit as that gained by performing the Agnistoma-yajna. Staying awake during the second part of the night bestows the same merit as that gained by performing a VAjapeya-yajna. Stay awake during the third part gives one the same merit as that attained by performing an Ashvamedha-yajna. And one who remains awake throughout the night receives all of the above mentioned merit, as well as the grand merit of having performed a RajasUrya-yajna. Thus there is no better fasting day in the year than PadminI EkAdasii. Nothing can compare to it as a giver of merit, whether it be a fire sacrifice, knowledge, education, or austerity. Indeed, whoever observes this sacred EkAdasii fast receives all the merit attained by bathing in all the places of pilgrimage in the world.
“’After remaining awake throughout the night, the devotee should bathe at sunrise and then worship Me nicely. He should then feed a qualified brahmin and respectfully give him the Deity of Lord Keshava and the pot filled with pure scented water. This gift will guarantee the devotee success in this life and liberation in the hereafter.
“’Oh sinless Yudhishthira, as you have requested, I have described the rules and regulations, as well as the benefits, regarding the EkAdasii that occurs during the light fortnight of the extra, leap-year month. Fasting on this PadminI day bestows merit equal to that gained by fasting on all other EkAdasiis. The EkAdasii that occurs during the dark part of the extra month, which is known as ParamA EkAdasii, is as powerful at removing sin as this one, PadminI. Now please listen to Me carefully as I narrate to you a fascinating account connected with this sacred day. Pulastya Muni once recited this history to NAradji.
“’Pulastya Muni once had occasion to rescue the ten headed demon RAvana from the prison of KartaviryArjuna, and upon hearing of this event Narada Muni asked his friend, “Oh greatest of sages, since this Ravana defeated all the demigods, including Lord Indradev, how could KartaviryArjuna defeat Ravana, who was so skilled in battle?”
“’Pulastya Muni replied, “Oh great Narada, during the TretAyuga, KArtavirya (KArtaviryArjuna’s father) took birth in the Haihaya dynasty. His capital city was Mahishmati, and he had one thousand Queens, whom he loved very dearly. None of them, however, was able to give him the son he wanted so badly. He performed sacrifices and worshipped the devas (demigods) and forefathers (pitris), but due to the curse of some sage he was unable to beget a son – and without a son, a king cannot enjoy his kingdom, just as a hungry man can never really enjoy his senses.
“’”King KArtavirya carefully considered his plight and then decided to perform severe austerities to achieve his goal. Thus he donned a loincloth made of bark, grew matted locks, and turned over the reins of his kingdom to his ministers. One of his queens, Padmini – who was born in the IkshvAku dynasty, who was the best of all women, and who was the daughter of King Harishchandra – saw the king leaving. She felt that, since she was a chaste wife, her duty was to follow in the footsteps of her beloved husband. Removing all the regal ornaments from her beautiful body and donning but one piece of cloth, she thus followed her husband into the forest.
“’”At last KArtavirya reached the summit of Mount GandhamAdana, where he performed severe austerities and penances for ten thousand years, meditating and praying to Lord GadAdhara, who wields a club. But still he did not get a son. Seeing her dear husband waste away to mere skin and bone, Padmini thought of a solution to the problem. She went to the chaste AnasUya. With great reverence, Padmini said, ‘Oh great lady, my dear husband, KArtavirya, has been performing austerities for the last ten thousand years, but Lord Krishna (Keshava), who alone can remove one’s past sins and present difficulties, has not yet become pleased with him. Oh most fortunate one, please tell me a fast day we can observe and thus please the Supreme Lord with our devotion, so much so that He will bless me with a nice son who will later rule the world as emperor.’
“’”Upon hearing the appealing words of Padmini, who was very chaste and deeply devoted to her husband, the great AnasUya replied to her in a very cheerful mood: ‘Oh beautiful, lotus-eyed lady, usually there are twelve months in a year, but after every thirty-two months an extra month is added, and the two EkAdasiis that occur during this month are called Padmini EkAdasii and ParamA EkAdasii. They fall on the DvAdasiis of the light and dark part of the month, respectively. You should fast on these days and remain awake throughout the night. If you do so, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Hari, will bless you with a son.’
“’”Oh Narada, in this way AnasUya, the daughter of the sage Kardama Muni, explained the potency of these special EkAdasis. Hearing this, Padmini faithfully followed the instructions to fulfill her desire for a son. Padmini fasted completely, even from water, and remained awake all night, chanting the glories of God and dancing in ecstasy. Lord Keshava thus became most pleased with her devotion and appeared before her, riding on the back of the great GaruDa. The Lord said, ‘Oh beautiful one, you have greatly pleased Me by fasting on the special EkAdasii of the extra month of Purushottama. Please ask Me for a benediction.’
“’”Hearing these sublime words from the overseer of the entire universe, Padmini offered the Supreme Lord devotional prayers and asked Him for the boon her husband desired. Lord Keshava (Krishna) was moved to reply, ‘Oh gentle lady, I am very happy with you, for there is no month dearer to Me than this, and the EkAdasiis that occur during this month are the most dear to Me of all EkAdasiis. You have followed My devotee AnasUya’s instructions perfectly, and therefore I shall do what will please you. You and your husband will have the desired son that you wish.’
“’”The Lord, who removes the distress of the world, then spoke to King KArtavirya: ‘Oh King, please ask of Me any boon that will fulfill your heart’s desire, for your dear wife has pleased Me greatly with her devotional fasting.’
“’”The king was very happy to hear this. Naturally he asked for the son he had desired for so long: ‘Oh master of the universe, Oh killer of the Madhu-demon, kindly grant me a son who will never be conquered by the demigods, human beings, snakes, demons, or hobgoblins, but whom only You can defeat.’ The Supreme Lord immediately replied, ‘So be it!’ and disappeared.
“’”The king became so very pleased with his wife and returned to his palace in her company. Padmini soon became pregnant, and the mighty-armed KArtaviryArjuna appeared as her son. He was the mightiest person in all the three worlds, and thus even the ten-headed RAvana could not defeat him in battle. Except for Lord NArAyaNa, who holds a club, a disc, and other symbols in His hands no one could overcome him. By the merit that resulted from his mother’s strict and faithful observance of PadminI EkAdasii, he could defeat even the dreaded RAvana. This is not at all surprising, Oh NAradji, for KArtaviryArjuna was the fulfillment of the benediction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” With these words, Pulastya Muni departed.’
“The Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, concluded, ‘Oh sinless Yudhishthira, as you have enquired from Me, I have explained to you the power of this special EkAdasii. Oh best of kings, whoever observes this fast will surely attain to My personal abode. And similarly, if you want all your desires fulfilled, you should do likewise.’
“Hearing these words from the mouth of his beloved Keshava, DharmarAja (Yudhishthira) became filled with joy, and when the time came he faithfully observed PadminI EkAdasii.”
SUta Goswami concluded, “Oh sage Saunaka, I have explained to you all about this meritorious EkAdasii. Anyone who devotedly fasts on the EkAdasiis that occur during the extra, leap-year months, carefully following all the rules, becomes glorious and happily goes back to Godhead. And one who merely hears or reads about these EkAdasiis will also obtain great merit and ultimately enter the abode of Lord Shri Hari.”.
Thus ends the narration of the glories of PadminI EkAdasii, the EkAdasii that occurs during
the light fortnight of the extra, leap-year month of Purushottama, from the Skanda PurANa.
These stories have been summarised and slightly changed or abbreviated from how they are found in the celebrated book, "Ekadashi: The Day of Lord Hari" 1986. HH Krishna Balaram Swami. Bhaktivedanta Institute Press. Pages 147-153
ParamA - Shuddha EkAdasii
ParamA EkAdasii - from the Skanda PurANa.
Shri Yudhishthira MahArAja said, “Oh Supreme Lord, what is the name and character of that EkAdasii that occurs during the dark fortnight (krishna paksha) of the extra, leap year month of Purushottama. Also, Oh master of all the universes, what is the process for observing it properly? Kindly narrate all of this to me?”
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Shri Krishna, replied, “Oh Yudhishthira, this meritorious day is called ParamA EkAdasii. It bestows the great benediction of an enjoyable life and ultimate liberation, release from birth and death. The process for observing it is similar to that for observing the EkAdasii that occurs during the light part of this month of Kartika. That is to say, on this EkAdasii one should worship Me, the best of all living beings, with full love and devotion. In this connection I will now tell you a wonderful history, just as I heard it from the great sage in the city of KAmpilya.
“Once a very pious brahmin named SumedhA resided in KAmpilya with his wife, PavitrA, who was extremely chaste and devoted to her husband. On account of having committed some sin in his previous life, SumedhA was without any money or food grains, and even though he begged many people for food, he could not obtain any substantial amount. He hardly had adequate food, clothing, or shelter for himself and his beautiful young wife, who was of such excellent character that she continued to serve SumedhA faithfully despite their poverty. When guests would come to their home, PavitrA mataji would give them her own food, and although she often went hungry, her beautiful, lotuslike face never faded. This fasting made her weak, but her affection for SumedhA remained unbreakable.
“Seeing all this, and lamenting his bad luck, SumedhA one day said to PavitrA, ‘My dear wife, Oh most beautiful one, I beg alms from the rich but receive scarcely a scrap. What am I to do? What possible relief is there for our plight? Where should I go for relief? Oh most obedient and loving wife, without enough wealth, household affairs are never successful. - na vandhu madhye dhanahina jivanam. Therefore please permit me to go abroad and attain some wealth. If I make such an effort, I shall certainly obtain whatever fortune I am destined to enjoy. Without making some endeavour a person cannot satisfy his desires or meet his needs. Thus wise men have said that enthusiastic endeavour is always auspicious.’ The revealed scriptures declare, udyoginah siNgham upaiti laxmi daivena deyati kA purushAh vadantii: “One who endeavours enthusiastically will certainly attain success, but one who merely says, ‘I accept my lot in life’ is a lazy man”.
“Upon hearing this from her husband as he spoke these words, PavitrA joined her palms and, her eyes brimming with tears, spoke to him with great respect and affection: ‘I think there is no one greater or more learned than you, my dear. One who, though in misery, is interested in the welfare of others speaks just as you have. However, the scriptures state that whatever wealth a person attains in his life is due to his having given charity in previous lives, and that if one has not given charity in previous lives, then even though he may sit atop a mound of gold as big as Mount Sumeru, he will still remain poor.
agre dhAvati dhAvatiH
“Transcendental knowledge, spiritual education, satisfying wealth, and pleasing family members are acquired by a person who has given profuse charity. Whatever good a person does returns to him many fold.”
In Manu-nitii, Manu MahArAja says, bhAgyaM phalanti sarvatra na cha vidyA na cha paurusham: “Whatever is predestined by ViddhAtA, the fortune-maker, will surely happen. One’s so called good education, skill, and enthusiasm will not necessarily guarantee to bring one success.”
Whatever charity a person gives in the form of education, money, fertile land, and the like is returned to him in a future lifetime. We gain what we have given, when given with a good heart. Indeed, whatever the Lord of destiny, the creator, has written as one’s fortune will certainly come to pass. No one attains any wealth without having given in charity in his previous life. Oh best of the brahmins, since we are now poor, in our previous lives neither you nor I must have given any/sufficient charity to worthy persons. Therefore, Oh gracious husband, you should remain here with me. Without you I cannot live even a moment.
“’Bereft of her husband, a woman is not welcomed by her father, mother, brother, father-in-law, or any other family members. Everyone will say, “You have lost your husband; you are bad luck/fortune personified!” In this way I shall be criticised severely!
The Nitii-shastras says, vinaAshraye na tishthanti paNDitAH vanitA latAH: “Without proper shelter and support, the following three things cannot survive; a learned man/brahmin, a woman, and a creeper.” Therefore the modern women’s liberation movement is a total failure. Furthermore, the GaruDa PurANa states,
pati dharma pati sargaH
pati hi paramaM tapaH
patiri pritim Apanne
priiyante sarva devatA
“A chaste woman always thinks that pleasing her spiritually situated husband is her heavenly pleasure, utmost duty, and greatest austerity. If her husband is pleased (as Kulottama, Vishnu personified), she thinks the Supreme lord and all the demigods are pleased. The Supreme Lord includes all the devatas (demigods).”
PavitrA continued, ‘Please, therefore, stay with me and be satisfied with whatever wealth we get. Whatever is destined, we shall obtain in due course of time and enjoy here in perfect happiness.’
“Hearing these plaintive words from his wife, SumedhA decided to remain in their native village. One day the great sage KauNDinya arrived at their place, and upon seeing him the brahmin SumedhA and his wife stood up before him and then offered him their respectful obeisances. With his head bowed, SumedhA welcomed him: ‘We are very fortunate to behold you here today, Oh wisest of sages. My life has become successful, and I am much obliged to you.’
“SumedhA offered KauNDinya Muni a comfortable seat and highly praised his austerities and learning. '‘Just by having your darshan today,' said SumedhA, ‘I have become very fortunate.’ The poor brahmin couple fed the sage as sumptuously as they could afford to according to their means, and afterwards PavitrA asked the mendicant, ‘Oh most learned one, what process can we follow to be relieved of our poverty? How can a person who has not given anything in charity in his previous life get a good family, much wealth, and a fine education in this life? My husband wants to leave me here and go abroad to beg alms, but I have earnestly prayed to him to stay here with me. I humbly told him that if one lacks wealth in the present life, it is because of not having given sufficient charity in previous lifetimes. And so he has consented to remain here. It is only due to my great fortune that you have so mercifully come here today. Now we are certain to see the end of our poverty very soon.
“Oh best of the brahmanas, please tell us how we can be free of this perpetual misery brought on by poverty. Oh merciful one, kindly describe some means – a place of pilgrimage we may visit, a day of fasting we may observe, or an austerity we may perform – by which our ill fortune will end forever.’
“Hearing this sincere supplication from the patient lady, the great sage KauNDinya reflected silently for a moment and then said, ‘There is a fast day very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Hari. Fasting on this day nullifies all kinds of sins and removes all miseries caused by poverty. This fast day, which occurs during the dark part (krishna paksha) of the extra, leap-year month, is known as ParamA EkAdasii. It is the topmost day of Lord Vishnu, hence the name ParamA. This extra month (Purushottam Mase), dark fortnight EkAdasii bestows all the necessities of life, such as money and food grains, and at last gives liberation/release. When the evening of this day comes, one should begin singing the glories of the Lord and dancing in ecstasy, and one should continue through the entire night.
“This holy fast was once observed faithfully by Lord Kuvera (the treasurer of the devas). When Lord Shiva saw how strictly he had fasted, Shiva became very pleased and made Kuvera the treasurer of heaven. Also, king Harishchandra fasted on this EkAdasii after his dear wife and son had been sold, and the king was able to get them back. Thereafter he ruled his kingdom with no further impediments. Therefore, Oh broad-eyed lady, you also should observe the sacred fast of ParamA EkAdasii, following all the appropriate rules and regulations and remaining awake all night.’”
Lord Shri Krishna continued, “Oh Yudhishthira, son of PANDu, in this way KauNDinya Muni mercifully and affectionately instructed PavitrA about the ParamA EkAdasii fast. Then he said to SumedhA, ‘On the DvAdasii, the day after EkAdasii, you should vow to observe PaNcharAtriki fasting according to all the rules and regulations. After taking a bath early in the morning, you and your good wife, along with both your parents and hers, should fast for five days according to your ability. Then you will all become eligible to return home, to the abode of Lord Vishnu.
“’A person who simply makes use of only one seat during these five days goes to the heavenly planets. Whoever feeds qualified brahmins nicely on these five days has in effect fed all the demigods, all human beings, and even all the demons. Whoever donates a pot of drinking water to a twice born brahmin during this five-day period will gain merit equal to that gained by donating the entire planet in charity. Anyone who gives a learned person a pot filled with sesame seeds resides in heaven for as many years as there are seeds in the pot. One who donates a pot filled with golden ghee will surely go to the abode of the sun god after fully enjoying the pleasures of this earthly planet. Whoever remains celibate during these five-days will attain celestial happiness and enjoy with the maidens of Indraloka. Therefore both of you – SumedhA and PavitrA – should fast during these five days of PaNcharAtrika in order to be rewarded with ample grains and wealth for the rest of your lives on this planet. The spiritual world will be your abode thereafter.’
“Hearing this sublime advice, the brahmin couple, SumedhA and PavitrA, properly observed the ParamA EkAdasii and the fast of PaNcharAtrika, and very soon thereafter they beheld a handsome prince approaching them from the royal palace. On the orders of Lord BrahmA, the prince gave them a beautiful, exquisitely furnished house and invited them to live in it. Praising their austerity and patience, he also gave them an entire village for their livelihood. Then he returned to the palace. Thus SumedhA and his wife enjoyed all kinds of facilities in this world and at last went to the abode of Lord Vishnu.
“Anyone who observes a fast on ParamA EkAdasii and also the fast of PaNcharAtrika is freed from all his sins, and after enjoying life he returns to Vishnuloka, as did the brahmin SumedhA and his faithful wife, PavitrA. It is impossible, Oh Yudhishthira, to calculate the extent of the merit one obtains by fasting on ParamA EkAdasii, for such an observance is equal to bathing in places of pilgrimage such as Pushkara Lake and the Ganges river, giving cows in charity, and performing all sorts of other religious activities. One who fasts on this day has also completed the offerings of oblations to his forefathers in GayA. He has, in effect, fasted on all other auspicious days.
“As in the social order the brahmin are considered the best, as amongst four-legged creatures the cow is best, and as among demigods Lord Indradev is the best, so among all months the extra month of leap-year is the best. The PaNcharAtrika fast – the fast of five days (panch = five, ratri = nights) in the extra, leap year month – is said to remove all kinds of abominable sins. But the PaNcharAtriki fast, together with the fasts of ParamA and Padminii EkAdasii, destroys all a person’s sins. If a person is unable to fast on these days, he should observe the fasts during the extra month according to his ability. A person who, having received a human birth, does not take a proper bath during this extra month and then observes these EkAdasiis, which are very dear to Lord Hari, commits suicide and suffers in the cycle of 8,400,000 species. The rare human birth is meant for accumulating merit and at last achieving liberating release from this material world. Therefore one should by all means observe fasting on this auspicious ParamA EkAdasii.”
Lord Shri Krishna concluded, “Oh sinless Yudhishthira, as you have requested, I have described to you the wonderful merit one can attain by fasting on the EkAdasii named ParamA, which occurs during the dark part of the extra, leap-year month. You should observe this fast if at all possible.”
King Yudhishthira did exactly as Lord Krishna had instructed, and so did all his brothers and their wife, Draupadi. After enjoying pleasures rarely achieved in the material world, they returned home, back to Godhead. Whoever, after taking a proper bath, observes a fast on these two extra-month EkAdasiis will go to heaven and finally attain to the abode of Shri Vishnu, and as he travels there he will be praised and prayed to by all the demigods.
Thus ends the narration of the glories of ParamA EkAdasii, the EkAdasii that occurs during the dark fortnight of the extra, leap-year month, from the Skanda PurANa.
These stories have been summarised and slightly changed or abbreviated from how they are found in the celebrated book, "Ekadashi: The Day of Lord Hari" 1986. HH Krishna Balaram Swami. Bhaktivedanta Institute Press, Pages 155-160.
The Hindu calendar by Pt. Sanjay Rath explaining Adika mase
There is a need to review the calendar system used in Vedic astrology and to set the standards for the right calendar to be followed in this regard. There have been various calendar reform committees set up in various forum, yet there has not been any consensus as deep inside they realize that some vital point is being missed out. The calendar being followed by the Indian Government, is widely off the mark as it just blindly superimposes a lunar calendar on a solar calendar! Without trying to harmonise them as had been originally done by the Vedic Seers. The Rashtriya Panchang, although correct in its delineation of the planetary positions, (uses Lahiri’s Ayanamsa, that is the closest to the truth so far) does not address this issue.
Second- 1/86,400 of a day
Ephemeris Second- 1/31,556,925.9747 of a tropical year
Atomic Second- oscillations of cesium atom= 9,192,631,770
Sidereal Day- 23H 56M 4.09S
Lunar Month- 29.53059 days
Lunar Months in a Solar Year- 12.36827
Sidereal Month (time moon around earth)- 27D 7H 43M 11.5S
Synodical Month (new moon to new moon or full moon to full moon)- 29D 12H 44M 3S = 29.53059D
Tropical Year- 365D 5H 48M 46.43S = 365.2422D
Sidereal Year- 365D 6H 9M 9.5S = 365.2564D
Solar Year- 365.2422 days
Obliquity of the Ecliptic (angle of ecliptic and Celestial Equator)- 23 degrees 27'
Tropics- 23 degrees 27' (Ant)Arctic- 66 degrees 30'
Canonical Hours: Catholic- prime(one)=6AM, tierce(three)=9AM, sext(six)=Noon, none(nine)=3PM
Saros Period (eclipses repeat)- 18 years 11 1/3 days
Metonic Cycle (aligning Lunar calendar to Saros period)
Sothic Cycle (Sirius's heliacal rising period)- 1461 years
Julian Cycle (Lunar months, Saros period, etc align)- 7980 years
Precession of the Equinoxes- 25,800 years
Julian Day/Astronomical Day= # of days since Julian cycle started
1 year = 365 days = 8760 hours = 525,600 minutes = 31,536,000 seconds
360 degrees/24 hours=15 degrees/1 hour=1 degree/4 minutes
Names of months are Roman gods
Names of days are Teutonic deities (Norse gods)- Moon, Tiw, Woden, Thor, Fria, Saturn-Roman, Sun
"PZT"= Photographic Zenith Tube- can determine spinning of the earth to 1 second
Master Clock- vibrations of cesium atoms / 24 hours by PZT sightings- atomic clocks
Universal Time (UTO) is the equivalent to mean solar time at Greenwich Meridian
Universal Coordinate Time (UTC) is the average of several atomic time scales
The equation of time equals the difference between apparent and mean time.
The whole world has the same day when the international date line is at midnight.
June 21- summer solstice- longer days
December 21- winter solstice- shorter days
September 23- autumnal equinox
March 20- vernal equinox- night and day equal
Sun & Moon movements
The Saura Varsha or the solar year has been precisely measured as equal to 365.2421896698 days long, although it is gradually becoming shorter by about half a second per century. This movement of the Sun around the zodiac (or movement of the earth around the Sun) is the primary model on which the lunar movement has to be superimposed.
The movement of the Moon in the zodiac can be measured by two methods –
1) The movement around the zodiac considered independently, which is approximately 27 days and 7 ¾ hours. Based on this, the zodiac of 3600 was divided into 27 Nakshatra, (each 130 20’ of arc). Each Nakshatra was identified with a star, (or star cluster) and derived its name from it. The 7-¾ hour shortfall in a sidereal lunar transit was made up by a short-span intercalary (hypothetical) Nakshatra called Abhijit. The span of Abhijit is determined proportionally as (7h 38min / 24 hrs) x 130 20’ = 40 14’ 13". This span is from 2760 40’ to 2800 54" 13" overlapping the 21st Nakshatra (Uttarasadha).
2) The relative motion between the Sun and the Moon from one conjunction to another (or from one opposition to another) defines the Lunar Month (Chandra Masa). This period is 29.5305888531 days long, but getting longer by a fiftieth of a second per century. Thus, there are 12.36826639275 lunar months in a tropical year. We can use various types of approximation to synchronize these two periods of the Sun & Moon i.e. the Solar Year and the Lunar Month.
The history of the calendar is the attempt of various astronomers, astrologers, priests and mathematicians to perform the ultimate magic of synchronizing the Solar and Lunar periods. There is also the constant attempt to tinker with the solar calendar itself to have perfect months. This is a separate issue which we shall discuss as we study the history of the calendar.
Ancient calendars were based on lunar months, but in order to keep the calendar in step with the seasons, it was necessary to insert extra months, because 12 lunar months are 10.8751234326 days short of a tropical year. The point to be noted is that the Vedic astrology paradigm uses the sidereal zodiac where the relative motion of the solar system itself, in this universe is noted and its precession has been measured @ 50.23 seconds of arc per year. This translates into an additional 20 minutes of time in a solar year.
The Vedic Calendar is the oldest and tries to cover this shortfall of 10.87 days between 12 lunar months and a year by interpolating an extra month every third year called he Adhika Masa. Since the names of the months were based on the Nakshatra position of the Full Moon, I have every reason to believe that the months were initiated from the end of the full Moon called Poornima (when the Satya Narayana Vrata is performed and a person promises to abide by Dharma and be truthful). This Vedic calendar called ‘Suklanta’ is in vogue even today in some parts of Punjab and Orissa, although the later period New Moon calendar has become popular. These divergent views of reckoning of the starting of the Lunar Month are called as Amanta (i.e. Amavasya + Anta or the end of Amavasya the last day in the dark half) and Suklanta (i.e. the end of Sukla Paksha as the starting point of the Lunar Month). Yavanacharya (called Yavanas) preferred the Amanta method of reckoning Lunar Months, whereas Varahamihira who followed the ancient Maharishi’s and was no less than a Maharishi himself, followed the Suklanta. Thus, I would prefer to follow Varahamihira and believe that this must have been the correct method of reckoning the Lunar Months.
This was the first approximation and had an inbuilt error of 3.095 days in every 3 years that would tend to shift the seasons back by as much time. This inbuilt error can be rectified by having another Adhika Masa every 30 years i.e. every 30th year has two Adhika Masa (leaves an error of about 1.417 days in 30 years) and yet another every 625 years (i.e. every 625th year has 3 Adhika Masa).
Saturn’s years & Metonic cycle
Around 432 B.C., Meton of Athens noticed that 235 lunar months were almost exactly equal to 19 tropical years and proposed a 19-year cycle of intercalation. This is the same as the dasa period of 19 years for Saturn. We know that Saturn has Brahma the creator as its deity and that the entire creation process evolves on the mutual relation between the Sun (representing the father) and the Moon (representing the Mother). Thus, it may not be too far fetched to say that the Vedic seers were well aware of this Metonic cycle of 19 years where the relative periods of the Solar Year and the Lunar month matched. They referred to this as the cycle of creation and attributed the period to Saturn.
The Eclipse factor & Gaurabda
The basic difference between the two methods of reckoning of Lunar Month is based on the eclipse. It is well known that the solar eclipse occurs only at a new Moon, as the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, casting its shadow toward the Earth whereas the lunar eclipse occurs only at the Full Moon as the earths shadow falls on the Moon. The fact that the birth of Shri Gauranga (Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu) is used as the starting of a spiritual calendar called the Gaurabda shows that the Full Moon (i.e. Suklanta) was used to determine the lunar month. Further, Shri Chaitanya was born during a lunar eclipse.
Eclipses do not occur in every month, due to the fact that the shadow cast by the Moon (Solar eclipse) or the earth (lunar eclipse) passes over the Earth/Moon respectively. This pass over is caused as the Moons orbit is tilted to the earths orbit (called the ecliptic) by 5 degrees. The points of intersection of the lunar orbit on the ecliptic are called Rahu (the ascending Node) and Ketu (the descending Node). Only at those times when the new Moon is near one of its nodes can an eclipse occur. Thus, when the new Moon appears within 18-3/4 days before or after the alignment of a node, a solar eclipse will take place. This creates a 37 &1/2-day time frame for eclipses, called an eclipse season, indicating the conditions being favorable for an eclipse to occur.
The nodes of the lunar orbit are gradually shifting their orientation in space and moving in a retrograde manner leading to a shift in successive annual eclipses by 18.62 days. Thus, the eclipse year is about 346.62 days (i.e. 365.24 – 18.62 = 346.62 days). Now, the synodic month (called Masa) does not match this period. However the ancient Vedic seers had known that in about every 18 years cycle this does fall in place . Thus, a period of 18 years 11-1/3 days (or 18 years 10-1/3 days if five February 29ths fall within the period), Saros cycle coincides closely with 19 eclipse years: 223 synodic months (29.5306 days) = 6,585.32 days and 19 eclipse years (346.6200 days) = 6,585.78 days. This is the period of Rahu in Vimsottari Dasa and it was apt to give this period to Rahu, the ascending node that causes the eclipse of the luminaries.
The paths of the solar eclipse (shadow on earth) gradually widen as they shift to more northerly latitudes in every successive eclipse. The longitude for each successive eclipse in the series shifts to the west by about 120 degrees. The Solar eclipse has a profound impact on geo-politics. The areas traversed by the Umbra are normally those where political upheavals are definitely going to occur, although this may not be immediate. For example, the death of Herod the evil king and child slayer occurred close to an eclipse that is used to time the birth of Christ as occurring before that period. As another example, we see that the Moon’s umbra never passed over the city of London during a period of 837 years between consecutive total solar eclipses in the years 878 and 1715. During this period the British Royalty was at its height. I finish here for the Jyotish Pundits to do their research.
 Saura is derived from the word Sura or Surya
 Mukunda Daivagya in his immortal classic Nasta Jataka often uses the term ‘Sukladi Chandra Masa’ i.e. use of the lunar months whose names are based on the position of the Moon in a constellation during the full moon.
 Ref: Mukunda Daivagyna in Nasta Jatakam; chapter Varahadi Yukti Prakaranam Sloka 17-20.
Normally we have 12 lunar months in a year, which contains roughly 355 days (29.53*12). This falls short of the solar year by 10 days, which will need a correction approximately every 3 years. This correction is not done by arbitrary rules but by the natural motion of Sun and the Moon. The occurrence of Amavasyas solves this deficiency in the number of days.
Usually there is only one Amavasya between Sankrantis. But sometimes, two Amavasyas occur between successive Sankrantis, one at the very beginning and the other near the end; the lunar month first occurring is termed Adhika and the next one Nija. Both the months carry the same name with the prefix Adhika and Nija. There are rare cases when then there is no Amavasya between two Sankrantis. Then a Lunar Month is suppressed - Kshaya. Such an event occurred in 1963 and again in 1982 and may occur in the future as well. In Adhika Masa, no festivals are celebrated.