is an extra month in the Hindu calendar that is added to keep the lunar and solar calendars aligned. It is also known as Purroshottamma Maas/ Mal Maas. This entire month is dedicated to Purshottam, who is an epithet of Lord Vishnu.
This is the thirteenth month of the lunar calendar in which there is no solar transition (Saur Sankranti). There will be a mal maas (extra month or repetition of one month) in the Lunar year, in which there is Adhik Maas. This is the reason why there are total of 13 months in that lunar year. Adik Maas occurs after every third Lunar Year.
Adhik Maas in 2020
In 2020, Adhik Maas will be from September 18, 2020, to October 16, 2020, as per North Indian Calendar.
The genesis of Adhik Maas
The Hindu calendar is a Lunar calendar which is based on the cycles of the Moon. A Hindu Lunar month comprises of 29.5 days. On the other hand, a Solar month is 30 or 31 days long. Accordingly, the Hindu Lunar year consists of 354 days and Solar year consists of 365 days. Due to this, there is a difference of 11 days between the two calendars. This difference increases to 29 or 30 days after every 2 or 3 years. Hence, an extra month is added to make the two calendars indistinguishable. This is the reason why Adhik Maas occurs after every 32.5 months.
“It is given in Sri Surya Siddhanta that in one maha yuga, there are 1,593,336 extra months and 51,840,000 solar months. Therefore, there is one extra month after every 32 months, 16 days and 4 hours of the solar calendar.
The adjustment of extra days after a fixed periodicity is not peculiar to the lunar calendar only but is also prevalent in other calendars. Just as the Leap Year is used to adjust mismatch in time and gives us an additional day after every four years. A similar phenomenon is observed in religious calendars of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs and Parsis as they too have an adjustment or reference to the thirteenth month.
This adjustment of days in the Hindu calendar holds a great significance because all Hindu festivals signify a particular time and indication of seasons. Hindu’s main festival “Diwali” signifies the start of the winter season and Holi (festival of colours) signifies the beginning of the Summer season. If these adjustments are not carried out, then the association of festivals with seasons would be baseless.
Reasons for Performing Virtuous and Religious Acts during Adhik Maas
Adhik Maas is an auspicious month and is regarded as a special holy month as per the Hindu traditions and beliefs. During this sacred and divine period, many people perform the ‘Adhik Maas Vrata’ during which they perform extra mala japans, pradakshinas, do scriptural reading and parayans.
There is a mythological belief that the spirit of this new month was worried and sad because every month has a lord associated to it, however, Adhik Maas being an extra month did not have a lord connected to it. The Astrologers say that Lord Vishnu supported this spirit and since then, Adhik Maas is associated with Lord Vishnu. This is the reason why people worship him during this month. This is how Adhik Maas came to be known as the ‘Purshottam Maas’ or ‘God’s Month’.
The Adhik Maas brings a balance among forces of darkness and light after every 32.5 months by aligning the Lunar and Solar calendars. During this auspicious period, prayers and charity enhance the auspiciousness of this month, blessing the people and fulfilling their desires.
The pure and divine month of Lord Vishnu can reward the devotee with immense and unparalleled spiritual benefits.
Mythological belief says that Adhik Maas can wash away all the sins and evil deeds of human beings, by worshipping Lord Vishnu and observing fast during this month. Hence, during this period it is advisable to make a donation/ do charity, help the needy people, pray to the almighty and do good deeds. This definitely would bring beneficial and auspicious gains for everyone.
Astrological significance Of Adhik Maas
During this month, Moon transits all 12 signs. This year, Moon will transit in Virgo sign at the beginning of Mal Maas/Adhik maas.
On 4 and 5 October 2020, Moon will be exalted and benefic. According to Astrologers, the exalted Moon is very strong as it gives favorable outcomes. As Adhik Maas belongs to Lord Vishnu, the devotees should worship Lord Vishnu/ Vasudeva, during this month.
As per the Hindu traditions and customs, this maas/ month is considered auspicious for re-installation of an idol of the god/deity.
Adhik Maas is different from the rest of the months because it does not have a Sankranti (the movement of the Sun from one Rashi/Zodiac to the other). Every typical Lunar month has one Sankranti, but the Adhik Maas doesn't have any. This period is significant for balancing the difference between the Lunar and the Solar cycle.
What kind of work should be avoided In Adhik Maas?
An important aspect associated to this Adhik maas is that the auspicious events like marriage, engagement, Deeksha, thread ceremony, buying a new house, new vehicle etc. should be avoided during this maas as these tend to bring in-auspicious results in the long run. On the contrary, any religious and spiritual works could be performed during this month, as these are likely to bring auspicious results.
Auspicious work to be done In Adhik Maas.
Worshipping Lord Surya (Sun) by offering him water is believed to have a powerful cleansing effect during the month.
Humble daan made by a person, proceedings of which would go to a noble cause.
Moreover, no manorath is complete without the Prashad, which should be made and distributed by women, every day, during this month.
Adhik maas brings with itself learnings for many, the major ones being patience, respect, the importance of religious deeds and spirituality. This month has a very pious and divine meaning attached to it, which is to cleanse the heart and soul of a person who adheres to and follows all the rituals with pure deeds.
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