#Festivals of India

October 1 Is Adhika Mass Purnima; Know Its Origin And Significance

Important Dates Phalgun Month, pradosh vrat dates, jivitputrika festival, hindu festival calendar, pradosh vrat

On October 1, 2020, India will be observing Adhika Mass Purnima. In other words, it is the full moon day of the Adhika Mass. The day will mark the end of Pratham Ashwin Maas of the year 2020, according to the North Indian calendar. It will also be the end of Adhika Ashwin Shukla Paksha according to the Amavasyant calendar followed in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Telangana, Karnataka and Gujarat. Shukla Paksha is a period of 15 days, starting from the day of new moon day till the Purnima or full moon day.

How It Is Celebrated

Adhik Mass Purnima is dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Vishnu and hence it is called as Purushottam Mass. On this day, people observe fasts throughout the day and consume food only after watching the full moon. The fast can be with or without liquid, with fruits only or with a one-time vegetarian meal. On this day, many households conduct havans and read out religious scriptures to absolve their sins. It is also believed that if people perform these rituals and good deeds on Adhika Mass Purnima and all the days of Adhika Mass, they get rid of the cycle of rebirths, all their miseries are eradicated till they gain enlightenment. Observing fasts on these days is considered as auspicious as performing 100 yajnas which provides happiness and prosperity.

Also Read: Why Does The Onus Of Following Religious Rituals In A Family Often Fall On Women?

What Is Adhika Mass

The Adhika Mass is the extra month added to the lunar calendar that Hindu religion follows. The Hindu calendar follows the movements of the moon to calculate the number of days, months and years. So a lunar calendar has a month of only 29.5 days as opposed to 30 or 31 in the solar calendar (based on the movements of the sun). Hence there is a difference of 11 days between one complete year of both calendars. But the difference increases to 30 or 31 in a span of 2 to 3 years making it a complete month. So in order to align the lunar and solar calendar, the Hindu priests compiled these extra days into a month naming it as Adhika Mass. Adhika Mass, which etymologically means extra month, occurs every 32 months, 16 days and 3 hours (8 ghati). In 2020, Adhika Ashwin Mass is from September 18 to October 16, half of the month will end on October 1. The next Adhik Mass will appear in the year 2023 from July 18 to August 16.

What Is Ashwin Maas?

Ashwin Mass is the third of the four months that are considered as auspicious in Hindu traditions. The four holy months are also known as Chaturmas. Ashwin month is auspicious because it lies near the festival of Durga Puja. In 2020, the first or Pratham Ashwin Mass began on September 3 and will end on October 1.

Historical significance

According to the legends, every 12 months in the Hindu calendar had a dedication to God. However, the extra month, i.e. the Adhika Mass, was not assigned a deity. Upset of being sidelined, Adhika Mass approached Lord Vishnu and narrated his plight. So Lord Vishnu decided to give his name and importance to Adhika Mass and hence it is known as Purushottam Mass and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

Another legend says that once Goddess Laxmi inquired Lord Vishnu about the Adhika Mass puja. He then revealed to her that he himself was the lord of the month. And that the worshippers need to chant his shlokas and mantras, perform good deeds of sacrifice and holy bathing. He also said that the once who do not perform these rituals will have to live a life of poverty and childlessness.

In ancient times, King Nahush observed the Adhika Mass fast. As a result, he was free of all the bondages and even received the throne of Indra, who is regarded as the king of the Gods and the ruler of heaven. So this shows that there is no specificity that the fast should be observed by a male or a female member. However, as per the dominant practices, it is mainly women who observe these fasts. While men tend to ignore it citing the burden of financial responsibilities.

Timings of the day:

Adhika Mass Purnima will begin at 00.25 am on October 1 and will remain till 02.34 am on October 2.

Also Read: Hindu Festival Calendar: A Comprehensive List of Festivals and Holidays