1. What is ‘ Adhik Maas ’ ?
All festivals, religious festivals, rituals, sacred fire, marriage dates are decided as per the ‘Chandra Maas (lunar month)’ (movement of moon). Names of ‘Chandra-maas’ are given based on the ‘Nakshatra/ constellation’ of ‘Pournima (full moon day)’ of respective month.
Seasons are based on solar months (on sun’s movement). Lunar year has 354 days and solar year has 365 days. There is a difference of 11 days between these two years. Therefore, to reconcile the difference and account for both lunar and solar years, a month (Adhik Maas) is added after approximately 32-1/2 months. So such ‘ adhik maas ’ is counted after 27 – 35 months.
2. Other names of ‘Adhik Maas ’
‘ Adhik Maas ’ is also known as ‘Mala Maas’ or ‘Dhondyacha Mahina’. Religious rituals and observances are performed in ‘ Adhik Maas ’ rather than auspicious rituals; therefore, it is also known as ‘Purushottam maas’.
3. In which month is this ‘ Adhik Maas ’ counted ?
‘ Adhik Maas ‘ is generally counted in one of the 7 months from Chaitra to Ashwin; sometimes, it is also taken in ‘Phalgun’; but it is not counted in Margasheersha, Pausha and Magh months. There is gap of 19 years for counting the ‘ Adhik Maas ’ in the same month.
4. Reasons of keeping observances and
performing virtuous acts during ‘ Adhik Maas ’
The sun moves through one star/ zodiac sign in every month; but during ‘ Adhik Maas ’ it remains stationary; therefore, there is no ‘Surya-sankrant’ in ‘ Adhik Maas ’. It affects the movement of moon and sun and change is observed even in atmosphere like during period of eclipse. To avoid adverse effects of such changing unfavorable atmosphere on our health, it has been advised to follow different vowed religious observances and virtuous acts. During ‘ Adhik Maas ’, one should keep fast, ‘avachit Bhojan’, ‘Nakta-bhojan’ or eat only once for Shri. Purushottam. One, who is weak, can observe one of the above four types at least for 3 days or one day in this month. If it is not possible to give donations/ offerings throughout the month, donations can be given on ‘Shukla’ and ‘Krushna’, on ‘tithi’ like Dwadashi, Pournima, Krushna Ashtami, Navami, Chaturdashi, Amavasya and on ‘Vyatipat’ and ‘Vaidhruti’ Yoga, is what is prescribed in science.
During this month, perform puja’ of Shri. Purushottam Krushna and chant His name; try to be in constant communion with Him.
Have meals once in a day; do not talk while eating as it increases inner strength. Having meals without talking helps to absolve one’s sins.
Have holy bath; having bath in River Ganga even one day helps in elimination of all sins.
Donate ‘Deep (lamp)’. If a lamp is kept lighted all the time before God, it helps in financial gains (Lakshmi).
Go on pilgrimage. Have ‘darshan’ of God.
Donate Beetle-leaf/ money (Vida-dakshina). By donating beetle leaf throughout the month, one’s fortune can change for better.
Worship cow (Gou-pujan). Feed a cow.
‘Apush-dan (anarasas, a sweet)’ is also advised.
5. Work to be done in ‘ Adhik Maas ’
Usual daily chores, which cannot be avoided, should be done. Tasks without which it is not possible to attain ‘gati / progress’ may carried out. Usual tasks like ‘Jwar-shanti’, ‘Parjanyeshti’ etc. should also be done. Re-installation of idol can be done in this month. ‘Sanskars’ like ‘Grahan-shraaddha’, ‘Jaat-karma’, ‘Naam-karma’, ‘Anna-prashan’ etc. should be done. ‘Shraaddha’ related to ‘Manvadi’ and ‘Yugadi’ may be done; including ‘Teertha-shraaddha’, ‘Darsha-shraaddha’ and ‘Nitya-shraaddha’.
6. What kind of work should be avoided in ‘ Adhik Maas ’ ?
Beginning and end of ‘Kamya-karma’ should be avoided. ‘Maha-daan’, ‘Apurva Deva-darshan’, Gruharambha, Vastu-shanti, ‘Sanyas-grahan’ Nootanvrata-Grahana Deeksha’, marriages, thread-ceremony, ‘Chaul’, Deva-pratishtha’ etc. should be avoided.
7. When to perform ‘shraaddha’ during ‘Adhik Maas’ ?
If ‘Adhik Maas’ is the month of death, then the first yearly ‘shraaddha’ should be performed in ‘Adhik Maas’ only; e.g. if death occurred in the month Ashadh of 1936 (last year), the first annual ‘shraaddha’ may be performed on the same ‘tithi’ in the year Shaka 1937 (this year) in ‘Adhik’ Ashadh. Yearly ‘shraaddha’ may be performed in ‘nij’ ashadh for those whose death of month is ‘nij’ ashadh. If death had occurred earlier in ‘Adhik Ashadh’, the annual ‘shraaddha’ may be performed in Adhik Ashadh this year. In other cases, shraddha for death occurred last year, may be performed in the respective months like Shravan, Bhadrapada etc. on respective ‘tithi’. It need not be performed a month earlier because there are 13 months in a year when there is ‘ Adhik Maas ’. Also if death occurs during this year’s ‘Adhik’ or ‘Nij’ Ashadh, the first annual ‘shraaddha’ may be performed next year in ‘Nij’ Ashadh.
8. Method of calculating ‘Adhik Maas‘
When ‘Surya (Sun) Sankrant’ falls on Krushna-Panchami in any month, the same month becomes ‘ Adhik Maas ’ next year; but it is a rough estimate.
Shalivahan Shaka to be multiplied by 12 and the product to be divided by 19. If the remainder that is left is 9 or less number, there will be ‘Adhik Maas’ in that year. E.g. This year, it is Shalivahan Shaka 1937; so 1937 X 12 = 23244 and 23244 divided by 19 = 1223 with remainder as 7; therefore, there will be ‘Adhik Maas’ this year.
9. Chart of the future ‘ Adhik Maas ’
|Shalivahan Shaka||Adhik Maas|
|Shalivahan Shaka||Adhik Maas|
Reference : Sanatan Sanstha’s Holy Text on ‘Holy Festivals, Religious Festivals and Vowed Religious‘