The lunar month in which the sun does not
transmigrate clearly is called adhik mas- additional month. It
is also termed a residual month. The Jyotish texts mention how
this naming came about:
Shakunyadichatushkam tu ravermalamudahrutam,
tadurdhwam kramate bhanormasaha syattu malimluchaha
i.e. the four Karanas,
namely Shakuni, Chatushpad, Nag and Kimstugna are the sun's residue.
The duration of transmigration that occurs in these Karanas is called
the residual month.
In Jyotish's Falsamhita, great merit is attached to the Karana
in which the sun transmigrates. That is, out of the 7 Karanas beginning
with Bav, etc., the 4 Karanas namely Shakuni, etc. (cited above) are
rather stable and are termed the residue of the sun. Therefore the transmigration
that occurs in these 4 karanas is known as the residual month. This
occurs once every 32 months.
on performing auspicious rituals in the Residual Month
The ancient sages declared that when
the moon is in the sun's aura (mandal), and if at this time,
the sun transmigrates from one zodiac (sign) to another, it destroys
the merit of the yagna, or other rituals. Therefore auspicious rituals
should not be performed during this period. Instead holy acts and deeds
such as bathing (in sacred rivers), donation, listening to kathas,
etc., for propitiating God, should be performed, rather than idling
There are several stories associated
with Purushottam Mas.
In ancient times,
the rishis Asit, Deval, Angira, Vamdev and others gathered at
Naimisharanya Kshetra. Soon Sutpurani too arrived, while on a
pilgrimage. Welcoming him, the others requested him to do katha
which would imbue moksha.
"Once Naradji visited Nar-Narayan rishi's ashram. He humbly
prayed, "O Prabhu! What is the way to moksha in
this KaliYuga - age of darkness, which is plunging in ever increasing
The rishi replied,
"O Muni! If man was to listen to the divine lila
of Purushottam Narayan, then even in Kali Yuga, He will grant
Therefore the rishis
listened to the lila in Adhik Mas, henceforth
also known as Purushottam Mas.
- Prior to this name, the month was known
as Mal Mas (meaning waste).
Since the sun did not
enter any rashis during Adhik Mas, people considered it inauspicious
and hence referred to it as waste.
Grieved by this blot,
Adhik Mas took the form of a human and travelled to Vishnu
in Vaikunth. With heartfelt prayers he requested to be delivered
from this ignominy and attain honor. Merciful Vishnu blessed him,
gracing him Shri Krishna's darshan in Golok.
In turn Shri Krishna
blessed him with the boon, "Henceforth I have accepted Mal
Mas! From today, I will uplift him to a status similar to mine."
Atanmasadhipashchaham mayaivayam pratishthitaha,
Purushottameti mannama tadapyasmai samarpitam.
i.e. "All the
virtues that have rendered me fame as Purushottam in this world,
and my name Purushottam, I gift both to this month!"
Shri Krishna then added,
"Whoever performs satkarmas - good deeds in this month, their
misery will be eradicated by these satkarmas. Those who perform
penance in this month will conquer their indriyas - senses.
Whereas by performing satkarmas in other months one attains
Swarg, and also returns (to earth) after their depletion,
performing them in Purushottam Mas will totally eradicate punarjanma
- cycle of rebirth.
He then added that,
"I will forgive all the sins of those who perform penance in
- Another story relates how Draupadi,
in her past birth as Medhavati suffered spinsterhood. Durvasa rishi
instructed her to perform penance in Purushottam Mas, which she hotly
refused. Therefore she suffered Durvasa's curse. To be delivered from
his curse she prayed to Mahadevji. When this pleased him, she blurted
out a request for a husband five times! This resulted in her being
married to the five Pandavas in her next birth, as Draupadi.
Additionally, for insulting
Purushottam Mas, she suffered humiliation at the hands of Duhshasan
in a packed assembly.
Later, after hearing
Purushottam Mas's katha from Shri Krishna, the Pandavas and
Draupadi performed penance in this month and attained peace.
glory is such that performing penances in any form even unknowingly
in this month imbues spiritual merit.
Once a wealthy king
named Dradhdhanva in his former birth, being childless, performed
penance for a son. When the son was 12 years old he died. In great
grief the king and queen forsook food and sleep for a month, sitting
near their son's corpse. This month was Adhik Mas. This
earned them Paramatma's grace, who then resurrected the boy!
There are other similar
stories in the Padma Puran extolling Purushottam Mas's
In this month, devotees
awaken at Brahma Muhurt - around 4.30 a.m. After the ritual
ablutions, they perform puja.
They do pranayam
for physical and mental purity. If circumstances are favorable devotees
should offer Shodshopchar puja - worship with 16 different
types of materials.
If physically healthy,
devotees should fast; either on water only for the whole month,
or do farar, or ektana - one meal a day. The days should
be devoted to listening to katha.
- The merit of this vrat is greater
than that of performing a hundred yagnas, since this leads
to attainment of Paramatma's abode.
has also enjoined the observance of Purushottam Mas by offering special
devotion. The unparalleled feature of this month is that each tithi
- date of this month celebrates a sacred festival which falls on that
tithi during the year. For example on the first - Padavo,
Annakut is celebrated, since it is celebrated on the first of Kartik
month, after Diwali.
Hindus worldwide celebrate
this sacred month, which arrives every thirty-two months, by performing
extra malas, pradakshinas, pilgrimages, scriptural reading
and parayans - holding a katha series of a sacred text.