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    In Hindu religion, each and every God is worshipped in a unique way and there is custom of finding God in each and every festival. All the 12months in the Hindu calendar has its own significance. “Adhika Masa” comes once in 3years and it holds as a very special month. There are no festivals in this month but the daana(donations) and spiritual rituals done in this month are very sacred. Below is a small description about this month.

    According to Vashishta philosophy Adhika Masa comes in 32months, 16days, 3hrs, and 12mins. The month of moon in which surya sankranti is not there, is known as Adhika masa. Sankranti is the time when sun moves from one zodiac to another. To say in a modern way, Adhika masa is a mixture of scientific and mathematical theorems.

    The calculation of time on earth should be in respect with the season of 2months (ruthu). Revolution of seasons occurs accordingly to the rotation of Earth. Hence the solar measurement of time is dependent on the counting of seasons. Since from ages even the moon is seen at different stages, even the lunar measurement of time is considered. Hence both solar measurement of time and lunar measurement of time are used. Solar measurement of time and lunar measurement is adjusted in accordance to the period or season of two months.

    Earth takes 2422 days to complete one revolution. This time is calculated on the basis of solar measurement of time. Moon takes 27.3days to revolve round the earth. This time is calculated on the basis of lunar measurement of time. That means, earth and moon together takes 27.3days to go round the sun i.e they complete 1/12th of the sun.

    Moon takes 2.2 more days from one full moon to another full moon. There is a difference because of the change in the orbit of earth round the sun. Moon takes 29.531 days to revolve from one full moon to another full moon since earth revolves round the sun even when moon is revolving around it. Hence the lunar measurement of time is calculated as 29.531*12=354.372 days.

    Solar measurement of time for one revolution = 365.2422

    Lunar measurement of time (29.531*12) = 354.372

    Difference between solar and lunar measurement of time = 10.8702 days

    This difference counts to 32.6106 days for 3yrs. To balance this difference Adhika masa comes in 3rd year. Which means every 33rd month is adhika masa. On this basis a custom of giving 33danas came into force.

    Adhika masa starts from the next day of full moon and lasts till amavasya in Karnataka, Andra Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. But in North India Adhika Masa starts from the first day of Vyshaka month and lasts till full moon of the month.

    Adhika Masa: Sri Vedavyasa has composed 18puranas. Among these, the one which tells about the importance of adhika masa and 33 apoopadaana is “Bruhannaaradeeya Puraana Grantha”. Since it specifies the conversation between God Srihari and Narada, it is famous as “Bruhannaaradeeya Puraanaantargata Adhika Maasa Mahatme”. It’s been described in 21 chapters(1563 shlokas).

    Adhika masa is also known as “Malimlucha Maasa”, “Asankraanta Maasa” and “Purushottama Maasa”. This month is known as Asankraanta Masa as sun stays in just one zodiac the whole month. In the Kaala Nirnaya epic it’s been described as:

    Chaandramaasohya sankraanto malamaasa prakeertitaha iti malatwancha kaalaadhikyaat |

    Taduktam gruhya parishishto-malamvadantikaalasya maasam kaalavidhodhikamiti ||

    (Among the 12 months of Hindu calendar, Sun will be in one zodiac not just in adhika masa but also from chaitra masa to karthika masa and the last phalguna maasa. Hence these months are known as asankraanta maasa since sankraanti won’t be there in these months)

    The two ekadashi’s which come in every month has its own individual mythological significance. (For e.g. the ekadashi which comes in shukla paksha of chaitra month is known as “kaamadaa ekadashi” and the one which comes in Krishna paksha of the same month is known as “varuthini ekadashi”.) The ekadashi which comes in shukla and Krishna paksha of adhika masa is known as padmini and paramaa ekadashi respectively. Adhika masa is also known as Purushotama masa since both the ekadashi’s of this month is in accordance with Radha and Purushothama.

    33 Gods of Adhika Masa:

    Ashta - (8) Vasu

    Ekadasha - (11) Rudra

    Dwadasha - (12) Aaditya

    (1) Prajaapati

    (1) Vashatkaara

    Totally 33 Gods

    Apoopa Daana given in Adhika Maasa:

    There is a lot of a value for the Apoopa daana given during Adhika maasa. Apoopadaana inclusive of pooja to 33couples, deepadaana is equal to pruthvidaana (Donation of land). If not on each day of Adhika Masa, atleast on Dwadashi, Hunnime (full moon) and few other days tamboola and dakshine with jagerry and tuppa all kept in a kanchinapatre (bronze vessel) should be given to a Brahmin. This should be done by keeping the 33Gods of apoopa in mind. If done in this way then the number of holes in apoopa is equal to the number of days staying in Swarga( heaven).

    Shloka recited during Apoopadaana:

    Trayastrimshada poopaannam kaamsyapaatre nidhaaya cha |

    Saghrutam hiranyamcha braahmanaaya nivedayet ||

    33 Bhagavadroopa Avahane in Apoopa

    Drona namaka Vasum tadantargatam VISHNUM avahayami
    Dhruva namaka Vasum tadantargatam JISHNUM avahayami
    Drona namaka Vasum tadantargatam MAHAVISHNUM avahayami
    Arka namaka Vasum tadantargatam HARIM avahayami

    Agni namaka Vasum tadantargatam KRISHNAM avahayami
    Dyunamaka Vasum tadantargatam Adhokshajam avahayami
    Prana namaka Vasum tadantargatam Keshavam avahayami

    Vibhavasu namaka Vasum tadantargatam MADHAVAM avahayami
    Bhima namaka Rudram tadantargatam RAAMAM avahayami
    Raivata namaka Rudram tadantargatam ACHYUTAM avahayami

    Voja namakam Rudram tadantargatam PURUSHOTTAMAM avahayami
    Ajaikapat namaka Rudram tadantargatam GOVINDAM avahayami
    Mahannamaka Rudram tadantargatam VAMANAM avahayami
    Bahuroopa namaka Rudram tadantargatam SHREESHAM avahayami

    Bhava namaka Rudram tadantargatam SHREEKANTHAM avahayami
    Vamadeva namaka Rudram tadantargatam VISHVASAKHSINAM avahayami
    Ugra namaka Rudram tadantargatam NARAYANAM avahayami
    Vrushakapi namaka Rudram tadantargatam MADHURIPUM avahayami

    Ahirbudna namaka Rudram tadantargatam ANIRUDDHAM avahayami
    Vivasvan namaka Adityam tadantargatam TRIVIKRAMAM avahayami
    Arya namaka Adityam tadantargatam VASUDEVAM avahayami
    Poosha namaka Adityam tadantargatam JAGADYONIM avahayami

    Tvashtru namaka Adityam tadantargatam ANANTAM avahayami
    Savitru namaka Adityam tadantargatam SHESHASHAYANA avahayami
    Bhaga namaka Adityam tadantargatam SANKARSHANAM avahayami
    Dhatra namaka Adityam tadantargatam PRADUYMNAM avahayami

    Parjanya namaka Adityam tadantargatam DAITYARIM avahayami
    Varuna namaka Adityam tadantargatam VISHVATO MUKHAM avahayami
    Mitra namaka Adityam tadantargatam JANARDHANAM avahayami
    Shakra namaka Adityam tadantargatam DHARAVASAM avahayami

    Uruktama namaka Adityam tadantargatam DAMODARAM avahayami
    Vashtkara namaka Apoopa devataantargatam AKSHADHANAM avahayami
    Prajapatim Apoopa devataantargatam SHREEPATIM avahayami
    Adhika Masa Dana

    Godana, Apoopa dana, Deepa dana, Akhanda Deepa, Daily river bath, Fast on Ekadashi, Dharane,parane, Tamboola dana. etc.

  • #2

    Thanks for your in-depth information on Adhik masam. The month reserved for prayer and dhanam. One more small thought. It is because of this wonderful concept of Adhik masam we celebrate our festival in a particular ruthu (season). See what happens to Muslim calendar which also follow lunar month but because of absence of Adhik masam their festivals come any time of the year.