The Best Month of the Year 09/18 – 10/16/2020
Name and meaning.
To keep the lunar and solar months coincident every 2.5 to 3 years, the Vedic calendar includes an additional month. This month is called Purushottama month or extra month.
Having divided the year into twelve parts, the Vedas distributed all kinds of pious karma between the twelve months of the year, so that it turned out that the additional month was left without pious karma. People who work only for material gain avoid this time, calling it “mala masa” – a bad month, because they cannot get material results.
All forms of rewarding activities, sacrifices and rituals will not bring any results this month. In this respect, the month is useless.
However, pious people undertake serious austerities (vratas) at this time, because the spiritual actions performed in this month quickly and easily destroy the mental dirt, filth and contamination caused by sin, ignorance and bad habits. Thus, for people who are conscious of God, this is the most purifying and beneficial month.
What makes this month so great?
The Vedas say that the month of Purushottama is the favorite month of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, who personally created this month. The month of Purushottama, which occurs every 32 to 36 months, is the most powerful month of spiritual reward of all months.
It is far superior to the pious months of Magha, Vaisakh and Karttika. On planet earth and throughout the universe, the month of Purushottama is honored and worshiped by devotees and sages.
Purushottama month vow (vrata)
In Vedic culture, all elements have their own ruling deity (Varuna – the sky, Agni – fire, etc.). Each month also has a worshipable Personality. But during this additional month, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna Himself becomes ishta-devata (the ruling deity). If one sincerely worships Radha and Krishna in the month of Purushottama, he will achieve whatever he desires. Observance of the vows at this time burns away all the negative consequences of one’s karma and makes one eligible to directly serve Radha and Krishna.
The month of Purushottama is the best month for spiritual growth because Krishna ignores all sins. Staying in a holy place this month provides 1000 times more benefits than living elsewhere.
The glories of Purushottama month.
All quotes come from Padma and Skanda Purana.
- “Purushottama month has all the power to bless its observer. One who follows Purusottama pledge will destroy all his past sinful reactions”.
- “One becomes sinless just by bathing in a holy river during Purushottama month. The glory of all other months is not equal to one-sixteenth of the glory of the Purushottama month. Bathing in a holy place, giving charity and chanting the Holy Names of Krishna during Purushottama month destroys all miseries, awards all kinds of perfection and fulfills all desires.”
- “All holy places live within the body of an observer of the Purushottama month vow”.
- “Purushottama month is the best of all months, pledges and austerities. Just by faithfully hearing the glories of Purushottama month, one attains perfection and immediately nullifies his sinful reactions. One who performs Purusottama vow properly will attain unlimited piety and spiritual merit (sukrti) and go to the spiritual world.”
- “Merciful Purushottama month acts like a desire tree to fulfill a devotee’s desire.”
How to observe the Purushottama month vow:
- Observe celibacy and bathe daily before sunrise; chant extra rounds and read Srimad Bhagavatam daily; give charity.
- Rise at brahma-muhurta (1½ hours before sunrise), and jump out of bed chanting “Jaya Radhe!”
- Daily chant fixed number of the Hare Krishna Mantra: 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 32, 64, 108,192 rounds (always multiples of four rounds).
- Observe the Vrata in Vrndavana, Navadvipa or any holy place to experience the maximum benefits and bliss.
- Daily offer full service or at least a ghee lamp to Radha-Krishna Deities or Their picture.
- Daily worship Tulasi (Holy Basil plant).
- Daily read Srimad Bhagavatam.
- Take a vow to remain peaceful and 100% truthful throughout the month.
- Be careful not to blaspheme any saints, cows, holy scriptures and especially anyone observing the Purushottama month vow.
- Don’t ask anyone for anything; be satisfied with whatever you have, and don’t endeavor to acquire any material thing during this month.
- Perform devotional austerities according to your abilities. Don’t break your vow in the middle of the month. Be determined, pray intently for mercy and tolerate your crazy monkey mind.
- No cooking in oil or rubbing oil on your body.
Be your own guide and choose an eating program that is realistic within your means.
If you can, it is best to eat once a day after sunset or at noon one of the following diets:
- i) only milk; ii) only fruits (no milk, no veggies.); iii) no grains (selected veg., fruits, nuts, milk); iv) food you selected for this month.
A nice humility vow:
Daily offer 33 full obeisances to Krishna and/or His devotees.
How to complete the vow made this month:
- Consult the local Vedic calendar for the exact day and time the ceremony will end.
- Take a bath during the brahma-muhurta time (96 minutes before the sunset).
- Perform deity worship.
- Chant this mantra: “O Supreme Lord, O Sanatana, O Purusottama, O Lord Hari! I offer my obeisances unto you. May you and your beloved Radhika, please accept my offerings”.
- Offer pushpanjali (handfuls of fresh fragrant flowers or petals) and then dandavats (bows) to your personal Deities or Deity image.
Some people have no money or sufficient wealth to donate substantially. However, according to your means, donate some money or a new object to a qualified person, begging for his mercy and blessings. And in your mind, (manasi-seva), you can sincerely donate generously to many good devotees.
When you give charity (dana) such as different items like cloth, land, gold, cows, books, sweets, flowers, clothing, shoes, umbrellas to a brahmana, one must simultaneously donate dakshina (i.e. money equal to the monetary value of the dana). For example, if you give a 300 rupees pair of new shoes, then you must give 300 rupees to that same person in cash.