Purushottama, the holy month:

Purushottama month occurs once every three years. This year (2020) it started on September 18th and scheduled to last until 16th October. It is also called adhika (extra) masa and it is said that Sri Krishna has earmarked this month for most of his mercy and blessings in this month.

This month is very important for Krishna devotees and it is believed that any sincere spiritual practices done during this month, like chanting, kirtan etc., would have 1000 times the effect as compared to doing it in other months. Just as Krsna is the supreme among all incarnations, Purushottama is the supreme and holiest among all the months.

Here is a nice sound track for the Hare Krishna Mantra that you can chant along with. You can also just play it in the background while doing your household chores or while driving.

 

Hare Krishna Mahamantra track

Why is it called Purushottama month?

There were 12 lunar months and each was assigned to 1 demi God. As the ancient seers created the Purushottam month to balance solar and lunar years, it was considered Maal (unclean) Maas (month) and therefore, no lord agreed to become the deity of the month. Lord Vishnu was then approached and He graciously assigned this month to Himself. Since Lord Vishnu is the Lord of this month, this month is called Purushottama month.

Scientific context:

According to Vasishtha Siddhantha (one of the earliest astronomical systems in use in India), Purushottama Maas or the extra lunar month occurs after every 32 months, 16 days and 8 ghati. (A ghati is ​1⁄60th of a sidereal day, approximately 24 minutes, so 8 ghati is about 3 hours). In this reference the concept of Adhik Maas is unique to the traditional Hindu lunar calendars and it is one of the most accurate methods to adjust the gap between Solar and Lunar Year.

According to the Hindu Lunar calendar, the moon takes about 29.53 days to revolve around the earth. This makes lunar month 29.53059 days.  Adding all these 12 lunar months the year will have only 354.36708 days while Solar year is about 365 days. To adjust lunar months to the solar year, Lunar calendar adds one extra month every third year.

So let us make the most of this month and chant as many rounds as we can.

Hare Krishna!

Your servant,

krsnadaasa