Saturday, August 18, 2012

Adhika maasam

Did you know there are 13 months in some years of the calendar?
The thirteenth month in a lunar calendar is called Adhika (extra) maasam. This additional month is not calculated by the followers of solar calendar. Lunar calendar has 354 days in a calendar year. Solar calendar has 365 days. The difference of these days is added on average once in two and half years. In states like Karnataka, Andhrapradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, etc, the adhika maasa begins on the day after amavasya day (no moon day) and ends on Amavasya day. In North India, Adhika Masa begins on the first day after pournami (Full moon day). Whereas in states like Assam, Bengal, Kerala, Tamilnadu, there is no adhika maasa for them, as they are following solar calendar. The lunar calendar completely synchronizes with the solar calendar in a period of 60 years.
Other names are Purushottama maasa (month of the Lord Vishnu), mala maasa (intercalary or month). Scriptures say that Lord Vishnu will remove all our sins during this maasa for notable noble acts.  Charity or donation given in this month have more weight-age. Religious rites performed to obtain certain material benefits or personal gains are not advised to perform. Hence auspicious functions like marriage, housewarming ceremony are not performed. This year Bhadrapada maasam i.e., from August 18 to September 16 is the Adhika Bhadrapada maasam. An important festival Vinayaka chavithi performed during this month on the fourth day after amavasya is performed in the nija or actual Bhadrapada maasam which happens on September 19th.
The next adhika maasam will be the Ashada maasam, fourth month of the Lunar year 2015-2016.
There is a story related to Adhikamaasa, it goes like this: (from )
Once Lakshmidevi asked Srihari as to how to perform the Adhika Maasa pooja and what daanaas (donations) are to be performed during Adhikamasa.
Then Srihari told her that he himself is the God for the Adhika maasa with the name Purushottama. What ever punya kaarya lika snaana, japa, homaa will bring akshaya phala. He also told that those who does not do any punya karya during Adhika Maasa will be getting daaridrya, putrashoka, etc
Those who could not do for the whole month can do it atleast on Krishna paksha Astami, navami, chaturdashi, Dwadashi, pournami, chaturdashi, etc.
Earlier there lived a brahmana by name Kaushika who was a jitendriya(one who is free from lusts). He had a son by name Maitreya who was addicted to drinking and was a kamaandha. One day Maitreya went to forest. He killed a brahmana in Sourashtra and snatched all the money with the Brahmin. Because he killed that brahmana, the whole City itself was burnt. As he got brahma hatya dosha, Maitreya was taken by Yamadoothalu and was thrown in Krimeekunda (pit full of worms). He was in the Hell for more than 10000 years. After a long period, Kaushika, the father of Maitreya came to know about the same. Kaushika searched all the shruthi – shaastraas and found a remedy for brahmahatya parihara.
He did the Vratha named Adhikamasa Vratha and donated 33 apoopas (sweet cake made of rice flour and jiggery) and his son was saved from the Hell.
As such, Adhikamasa vratha, if done with proper anusandhana(recitation of sacred texts) can remove brahma hatya dosha (negative effects of killing a Brahmin)also.

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