Purushottam Maas – 16th May to 13th June 2018.
Wednesday, 16th May begins Purushottama Adhik Maas, the very auspicious month of Purushottama which comes every two, sometimes three years. It is a special month and very dear to Krsna. When the full moon occurs twice in a month, i.e. in less then 29 solar days then the month is divided into 2 and a leap month is added. This leap month is known as Adhika maas or Purushottama month. Performing austerities in this month is equal to performing 16 Kartik Vratas and therefore it is a very good time to engage in full devotional service.
THE GLORIES OF PURSHOTTAMA MONTH
(Translated from 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, “O Sutaji!
We humbly request you to 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 hear the most perfect one, by following which we can all be delivered from this Material Ocean and return back to Godhead.
Suta Goswami said, “O sages, I am just now coming from Hastinapura where I heard Srimad Bhagavatam from the lotus mouth of Sukadeva Goswami. Now I will tell you about the all-attractive activities and pastimes of the Lord.
Once, long ago, Sri Narada Muni reached Badrika Ashram, the residence of Sri Nara Narayana Rishi. The river Alakananda was flowing down from His lotus feet.
Narada paid his obeisances to Lord 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. I offer 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, “O Narada, please listen to the narrations about the supremely pious pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, for they will diminish all sinful reaction. 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 Purushottama 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, “O Lord, I have heard the glories of all months including Kartika, Chaitra, etc., but which month is this Purushottama month? O 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. What should I chant? Who should I worship? Should I observe fasting in this month?” Please tell me everything in detail.
Suta Goswavmi said, “O sages, after hearing all these questions from Narada, Lord Narayana began to speak from His moon-like lotus mouth, “O Narada, I will tell you something which was previously explained by Lord Sri 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 Sri Krishna.
After this incident, Yudhisthira Maharaja along with his brothers and wife left his kingdom and lived in Kamyavan, Vrindavan.
Once Sri 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 Sri Krishna’s darshan. They paid their obeisances at their Lord’s lotus feet. Seeing the miserable condition of the Pandavas, Sri Krishna became very upset, and at the same time He became very angry towards Duryodhana. 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 Purushottama month.
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, [Khar-maas], and even saw it as a stool-like month. Just as one should not touch stool, 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, the personality of 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 prayed to the Lord, “Oh ocean of mercy! I have come to You because I am helpless. I have been rejected and blasphemed by all people of the world. Please protect me; please show me Your mercy. Please don’t be indifferent towards me.” Saying these words, the extra month [adhik maas] 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 of My lotus feet.”
Being so consoled by the Lord, the extra month said, “Oh Lord, You know my painful condition. No one is in 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 then repeatedly said, “I want to die! I 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, please protect me.”
Lord Vishnu told the extra month, “Oh child, please don’t lament, your misery will be finished very soon. Get up and come with Me to Goloka Vrindavana, which is unattainable even to great yogis. Goloka is the abode of Lord Sri Krishna. Here Lord Sri Krishna is in His two handed form, surrounded by gopis and is enjoying His eternal pastimes. The Supreme Sri Krishna of Goloka will deliver you from all your miseries, please come with Me.” Then Lord Vishnu took Malamasa (the extra month) to Goloka by catching her by the hand.
From a distant place Lord Vishnu and Malamasa 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 further until they reached the main gate. There the doorkeeper paid his respects to Him.
Having reached the Supreme Abode, Lord Vishnu met Lord Sri Krishna who was surrounded by many devoted gopis. Lord Vishnu, the husband of Ramaadevi, paid His obeisances to Lord Sri Krishna. Then He made the extra month also offer her obeisances at the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna, even though she was crying loudly. Immediately Sri Krishna asked, “Why is she crying? She is in Goloka Vrindavana, why is she crying?” Hearing these words form Lord Sri Krishna, Lord Vishnu got up from His seat and started explaining the miserable condition of the extra month. He begged Him to please protect his 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 I am now going to share those words with all of you.
Purushottama Sri 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, I 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 the 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 Purushottama month in this world.
“Oh Janardana, now that she has imbued My qualities, I Myself will become the husband and protector of this Purushottama 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. 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 to Godhead.
“Oh Garudadhwaja,” Lord Sri 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 Purushottama month and becoming a devotee one can easily cross over this material ocean and return back to Godhead.
Observance of this Purushottama 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 Purushottama 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 Sri Krishna and His devotees, does not behave properly to brahmanas, who makes enmity with others and who blasphemes the Purushottama month will go to hell for an unlimited period.”
Lord Sri Krishna continued, “How can a person make his life successful unless he performs devotional service in this Purushottama 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 Purushottama month by daily:
- Worshipping Me, Sri Krishna, by chanting My holy names
- Study of Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita
- Giving in charity
- Offering ghee dipa (lamp)
A fortunate person who follows My instructions and observes this Purushottama month properly, and in a faithful way worships Me will attain fame, opulence and a good son in this very life. After enjoying a happy life, he will return back to Goloka Dhama. By following My instructions, everyone should worship this sacred month. I have made it the best among all other months. Oh husband of Ramaa Devi (Vishnu), give up all kinds of mental speculation about this extra month. Just take this Purushottama month with You to Your Vaikuntha abode.
After narrating this brief history of the Purushottama month, Lord Sri Krishna glanced very mercifully upon Yudhisthira and Draupadi, and then began speaking to Arjuna:
“Oh lion amongst men, can you now understand the reason why you Pandavas are suffering? You did not acknowledge or honor the presence of Purushottama month, which has just recently finished. That month which is most dear to Vrindavan Chandra has passed, but you Pandavas were in the forest and did not worship Purushottama month. So now you are suffering. You have been following the ritualistic principles given to you by Vyasadeva, but unless you worship Purushottama month you cannot perform pure devotional service to Me.
Lord Sri 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 meantime, her father passed away from this material world while uttering the sacred name of Hari.
“This made his daughter even more miserable. Fortunately, the great sage, Durvasa Muni, appeared in her ashram 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.
I 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.
Sage Durvasa began to speak, “Oh beautiful one, three months from now the most auspicious Purushottama month will begin. This sacred month is most dear to Lord Sri Krishna. Just by taking a holy bath in this month a man or woman can become completely sinless. This Purushottama 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 Purushottama 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 the Ganges or Godavari when Brihaspati [Jupiter], enters Leo. 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 Purushottama 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 criticizing, “Oh great sage, you are exaggerating. 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 unintelligent one, I 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 shastrik conclusion. I am not going to take your offenses towards me seriously. But at the same time, I cannot and should not tolerate your offences towards Purushottama 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 Sri Krishna told Arjuna, “Oh sinless one, when Durvasa Muni left that place the brahmana girl [Druapadi in her previous birth] lost all of her opulences in a moment. Being an offender to Purushottama month, her body began to look very ugly, and she lost all of her bodily effulgence. She then decided to worship Lord Shiva who is known as Ashutosh, one who is very easily pleased.
This young brahmani then began to perform great austerities to please Lord Shiva, 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 Shankara then appeared before the brahmana girl because he was pleased by her worship and austerities. When Lord Shiva appeared before the girl in his spiritual form, she immediately stood up rejuvenated. In the presence of Lord Shiva all of her bodily weakness disappeared and she again started to look beautiful. Seeing Lord Shiva 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 Shiva said, “Oh performer of austerity, all good fortune to you. Now please ask some boon from me. I am pleased with you. I shall grant whatever you want.”
Hearing these words from the mouth of Lord Shiva, the girl said, “Oh friend of the poor, if you are pleased with me then please give me a husband.”
Repeatedly speaking the same words, “Give me a husband,” five times, the girl then fell silent. Then Lord Shiva replied, “Let it be. You have asked for a husband five times, and so you will get five husbands.”
Hearing Lord Shiva’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 Purushottama month by not following the kind advice of sage Durvasa. Oh brahmana girl, there is no difference between the body of Durvasa and mine. All we demigods, including Lord Brahma and all the great saints like Narada, worship this Purushottama month in accord with the order of Lord Sri Krishna. A devotee of Purushottama month achieves all good fortune in this life and at the end of his life he goes back to Goloka Dham, the abode of Lord Sri Krishna. Being an offender to this sacred Purushottama month, you will get five husbands in your next life.”
The girl become very remorseful, but Lord Shiva immediately disappeared from the place. After Lord Shiva’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 Sri 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 Rishi has now become famous in the world as Draupadi. She is none other than your present wife. Because she blasphemed the Purushottama 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 [Sri 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 Purushottama month. A person who blasphemes Purushottama month will never attain good fortune. This Purushottama 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 Purushottama month sincerely, for it will bestow all good fortune upon you.” Giving full consolation to the Pandavas in this way, Lord Sri Krishna then left that place for Dwaraka.
After some time, when Purushottama month appeared, Maharaja Yudhisthira reminded his younger brothers and wife Draupadi of the words of Lord Sri Krishna. All of them followed the instructions He had given them. They worshipped Purushottama Sri Krishna in various ways during this sacred month. From the merit they achieved by performing Purushottama vrata, they regained their lost kingdom, and after enjoying a happy life they all returned back to Godhead by the grace of Lord Sri Krishna.
An intelligent person should engage himself in hearing Krishna katha from a pure soul. In this way, one should always meditate on Krishna and discuss His pastimes with other devotees. He should take rest thinking of Lord Sri Krishna within his heart. If one is a grihastha, he should perform his household duties in a truthful and peaceful way. He should not commit violence to others and should be merciful towards saintly people as well as to the poor. Protection of animals, truthful speech, mercifulness, and nonviolence are some of the important principles a grihastha should follow.
Suta Goswami then continued to relate this discussion between Lord Narayana and Naradji to the sages of Naimisaranya. He said, “O brahmanas, the great sage Narada Muni became very pleased by hearing all about Purushottama month from Lord Narayana. He paid his obeisances again and again to Him and began to speak, “Oh this Purushottama month is the best of all months, it is the best of all kinds of vratas and austerities. Even if one just hears the glories of Purushottama month faithfully, he will achieve devotional service to the Supreme Lord Purusottama, and all of his sinful reactions will be immediately nullified. One who performs Purushottama vrata and worships Purushottama month properly will achieve unlimited merit and thus attain Goloka.
Narada Muni then told Lord Narayana, “O Lord, now I am fully satisfied and my heart and mind are completely content. All glories to You!”
After so explaining these glories of Purushottama month, Srila 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 obesiances and went to the Ganges. The sages of Naimisaranya then spoke among themselves, “Oh, this sacred Purushottama month is the most glorious, and its history is ancient. It is so merciful that it fulfils all of a devotee’s desires just like a desire tree. How glorious is Purushottama month!”
The following vratas are recommended by His Holiness Bhanu Maharaja:
- The main vrata is to worship Radha Krishna
- Arise by Brahma-muhurta daily (1.5 hours before Sunrise.
- Take vow to REMAIN TRUTHFUL for whole month.
- Be careful not to BLASPHEME any devotee, shastra, brahmin, cows, saints, or one observing the Purushottama Vrata.
- Fixed increased chanting 25, 32, 64,128 rounds daily!
- Hearing/reading pastimes of Radha Krishna
- Worshiping Radha Krishna with flowers such as lotus or rose and Tulasi leaves. Offering 100,000 Tulasi leaves bestows “unlimited merit beyond the powers of Brahma to describe.”
- Sing bhajans and kirtans specifically glorifying Yugala Kishora Radha Krishna such as Jaya Radha Madhava; Radhe jaya jaya madhava dayite; Radha-krishna prana mora; Radha-krpa kataksa stotra, Nandanandana Ashtakam; Tulasi arotik prayers with deep prayer of longing and meditation.
- MUST OFFER Daily GHEE (pure cow’s ghee only) lamp to Radha-Krishna Deity or photo.
- 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.
- Eating–Fast till noon and eat only fruits or just vegetables without any beans or grains.
Take a vow according to your capacity to follow, and in no condition can one break his vow in the middle of the month.
BENEFITS OF OBSERVING PURUSHOTTAMA VRATA
- All the holy places in the world come to reside in your body.
- One who observes Purushottama month with faith and devotion will go back home, back to Godhead 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.