Purushottam Maas 2020

Purushottam Maas , Adhik Maas ,Maal Maas is an extra month in the Hindu calendar that is inserted to keep the lunar and solar calendars aligned. Purushottam is an epithet of Vishnu, to whom the month is dedicated.

In 2020, Adhik Ashwin will be from 18 September to 16 October 2020 as Adhik Ashwin Maas.

This is the thirteenth month of the lunar calendar.Adhik Maas adopts the name of the month that follows. It is a time for prayer, fasting, charity, and self-improvement . Recitation of Vishnu Sahastranam is highly recommanded.

As per Vasishtha Siddhantha , Purushottam Maas or the extra lunar month occurs after every 32 months, 16 days and 8 ghati In this reference the concept of Adhik Maas is unique to the traditional Hindu lunar calendars. It is one of the most accurate methods to adjust the gap between Solar and Lunar Year.

When the Sun does not at all transit into a new rāshi (30° sidereal zodiac) but simply keeps moving within a rāshi in a lunar month (i.e. before a new moon), then that lunar month will be named according to the first upcoming transit. It will also take the epithet adhik or “extra”. The transition of the sun from one rāśi to the next is called sankranti. For example, if a lunar month elapsed without a sankranti and the next transit is into Mesha , then this month without transit is labelled Adhik Chaitra. The next month will be labeled according to its transit as usual and will get the epithet nija (“original”) or shuddha (“clean”), in this case Nija Chaitra. The terms Pratham  Chaitra and Dwitiya Chaitra may also be used. Adhika māsa is the first of two whereas an adhika tithi is the second of two.

Extra Month, or Adhika Māsa falls every 32.5 months on an average. It is also known as Puruśottama Māsa, it is said that the name was given by Lord Vishnu as his name to this month. The solar year is made up of 365 days and about 6 hours, and the lunar year is made up of 354 days. Thus there is a gap of 11 days, 1 hour, 31 minutes and 12 seconds between the lunar and the solar years. As this gap accumulates each year, it approximates in three years to one month. No adhik mas falls during Margsheersh to Magh. A case of Adhik Karttik is extremely rare, but in the 250-year span (1901-2150 AD) it would occur once, in 1964 AD.

Significance of Adhik Maas-

Since this is a special month which does not come every year, there are no specific festivals like Dasara or Diwali in this month. Rather this month is treated as special and holy month and many people perform the adhik maas vrata. People perform extra mala japas, pradakshinas, pilgrimages, scriptural reading and parayans.

Purushottam Maas, people perform various types of religious rituals such as keeping fast, recitation of religious scriptures, mantras, prayers, performing various types of puja and havanVratas  of various durations (full day, half day, weekly, fortnight, full month) are often undertaken. The vratas may be of complete fasting with liquids only or without liquids, fasting with fruits only or keeping fast with vegetarian food, as the individual can tolerate. It is said that the persons performing good deeds in this month conquer their senses and they totally come out of punar janam .