What is Adhik Maas
Adhik Maas is an extra month in the Hindu lunar calendar. It usually comes every third year.The other names for Adhik Maas are Mal Maas,
Hindus follow a very scientific,mathematical and logical calendar that is based upon ingenius use of Solar as well as Lunar calendars.
The solar year has 365.2422 days while a lunar year on average is about 354 days only.Hence each year we have a gap of 11 days and few hours between both calendars.To maintain balance once every 27 to 35 months an extra lunar month is to be added.So on average after each 32.5 month a Adhik maas is to be observed. Adhik maas is a month in which no Sankranti takes place and it is the thirteenth lunar month.
Purushottam Maas, Malimluch maas. Adhik Maas has a special significance in the Hinduism. Lord Vishnu Himself gave it the name of Purushottam Maas and further He said that the persons who would do Jap, Puja, Aaradhana Daan etc. would enjoy the worldly pleasuresand after death would go to Vishnu Lok.
What is to be done during Adhik Maas
According to the Hindu scriptures , the following things or activities should be done—
According to the Bhavishyottar puran, the Lord Krishna Himself is the Phal Daataa,, Bhokta and Adhishthaata. So Adhik Maas Vrat produces positive results. This Vrat washes away the sins of the Vrati.
1)The reading of holy scriptures –
During the Adhik Maas the reading or listening to the holy scriptures is considered very fruitful.
2)Daan or donations
– According to the Devi Bhagvat , the Daan -Punya whatever is done during Adhik Maas , brings good results to the person who does it. It is said that the money spent on holy or sacred deeds or actions, does not go in vain. It increases and produces good results.
3)Selfless actions –
During Adhik Maas selfless actions are done. In other words these actions are done without any expectation of any result.
4)The deeds or sanskaars –
There are some actins or deeds or Sanskaars which are done at the fixed time in the prescribed period. Such type of work can be done during Adhik Maas.The Sutika Snaan, Shraadh karm, Punswan etc. come under this category.
5)The other activities / actions / deeds –
Anushthan for getting rid of serious diseases, donations during eclipse etc.Parikrama of Goverdhan giriraj, Bhajan, Keertan, giving food to Sadhoos, Saints or Brahamans etc.
Adhik Maas Legend
The legend behind Purushottam Maas:
There are twelve months in a lunar year. Whereas each and every month is represented by a God, Adhik Maas was not assigned to any God which made Adhik Maas go to Lord Vishnu to share his plight. He approached Lord Vishnu. Seeing him in pity, Lord Vishnu assigned himself to adhik Maas. Since then, Adhik Maas is also called as Purushottam Maas and has more significance than the other months.
How it got its name, Mal Maas?
As there are 12 months and each month is dedicated to specific god but every God refused to become Deity of this month and sidelined it completely. This is how Adhik maas got its name as Mal Maas.
Lord Krishn was not a human but was God Himself. He is the Purush at the center of the lunar orbit known as Purush. His elder brother is Shesh Naag or the Adhik-maas, which makes way for the Shuddh lunar months. We cannot have Shuddh lunar months if we do not have Adhik-maas. Thus Adhik-maas which comes first is the elder brother of Krishn (Purush of Shuddh Maas). Total, there are about 33 lunar months from one Adhik-maas to another one. When we multiply this by 30 days in each month we have, about 990 days or say, about 1000 days. This one thousand days is represented by 1000 arms of His Vishwa Roop, which was shown to Arjun before the MBH war started. Raamaayan is the story of one year (Bhaarat Varsh) and MBH is the story of about 3 years from one Adhik-maas to another Adhik-maas. Thus both these epics are legends to illustrate certain spiritual facts and are never the history as many people are prone to believe. Mahaatmaa Gandhi also thought them both to be allegorical legends. There is a difference of one day between one solar and the one lunar month. This remainder 1 day adds to 11 days in one year and to 30 days in about three years. Remainder is known as ‘Shesh’. Thus the 33rd month which is the Adhik-maas or extra month becomes like a sleeping Naag Konas the Shesh Naag of the Sun or Vishnu. This Shesh Naag representing the difference of the solar and the lunar months is Balaraam.
People say that Krishn was Poorn Avataar : an absolute incarnation. What is the meaning of Poorn Avataar? In fact Poorn Avataar is not an Avataar in real meaning, but The Lord Himself; hence it should possess all the characteristics of The Lord.
This proves that this extra month is not bad but very auspicious and important for everyone.This is excellent period for accumulating spiritual merit .
One must live Satwik life and do as much fasting,vrat,havan,katha,daan,japa etc in this period as possible.Reciting of texts like Bhagwat Gita,Vishnu Shasranaam,Bhagwat Puran etc is much extolled by sages.One should wake early and do Shodasopchar worship of Laxmi -Vishnu daily .
What should be done:
One should observe fasts as it is said observing a fast in adhik maas is equivalent to performing hundred Yagnas. Lord Vishnu should be worshipped. Recitation of bhagwat gita and carrying out other religious activity yields multiple good results. One should do daan, light diyas and go to pilgrimages.
What should be avoided:
As it is also considered as Mal (unclean) Maas, therefore Manglik Karya like naamkaran, marriage, grah Pravesh, installation of Hindu God and Goddess, yagna, purchasing of a vehicle, commencement of construction of the new home is prohibited to conduct during this month.