Purushottam Month, which had started on 17th of June, 2015 has come to an end today, the 16th July, 2015. Purushottam Month is also known as Adhik Maas (Extra Month). Vaishnava Calender which follows the Lunar route usually has 28 or 29 days in a month which results in roughly 10 less days in a year. So, after every 3 years, comes an extra month of 30 days which is considered to be highly auspicious. This entire month is considered highly auspicious to express deep love and devotion towards Lord Shri Hari as he is the Purushottam and the month is dedicated to Him. Vaisnavas, all over the world take great advantage of this highly beneficial month and completely immerse themselves in devotional services with complete surrender of mind and soul.
Purushottam Month is considered to be the best of all other months in Hinduism. This month is dedicated towards worshiping of Lord Vishnu and his Avatars. Vaishnava devotees follow many rules and disciplines this month as an offering of their love and devotion towards the Supreme Lord. Most of the devotees give up all sorts of materialistic pursuits and completely immerse themselves in faith and devotion. Everything that they do, they do it with only one motive and that is to raise in spiritual life. These are a few of the disciplines they follow during this month. I’m not an expert in this vast nectar of knowledge. I wish to write down all that I have learnt from my visits to Temple and attending classes there.
1. Reading of Bhagwad Gita, specially of chapter 15, which is also known as Purushottam Yoga and also of Srimad Bhagwatam and Chaitanya Charitamrita.
2. Offering of ghee lamp to their Lordships and singing of the Chaurashtam, throughout the month.
3. Singing of Jagannath Ashtakam (Rath Yatra – The Chariot Festival of Lord Jagannath falls on 18th July, 2015)
4. Offering of donation and charity to the Vaishnavas, Brahmanas and also to the poor and needy people.
5. Waking up early in the morning and offering prayers to Lord Krishna and Goddess Tulsi.
6. Attending Mangal Arati (Morning Prayers) everyday in the Temple.
7. Eating of prasadam (Food after having offered to God).
8. Singing of Vaishnava bhajans like ‘Jaya Radha Madhava Kunja Bihari’, ‘Radha krishna Pran Mora jugala kishore’, Radha-kripa Kataksh, Nandanashtakam etc
9. Taking a dip in a Holy River like Ganga, Yamuna or Godavari specially when Jupiters transits to Leo zodiac sign. When it is not possible for people to take a dip in any of these holy rivers, they can also sprinkle water form any of these holy rivers or also of water from Radhakund from Vrindavan.
10. Chanting of the Holy Name with divine consciousness.
Many devotees eat only one meal a day and many others eat only fuits and milk. They completely dedicate their time towards chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord and in singing the glory of the Lord.
As this month is specially loved by Lord, all the prayers surely reach him and all are devotees are blessed by him which results in more love and devotion for the Lord.
This year, something very interesting has happened. The dates of Purushottam Month has coincided with the date of the Holy Month of Ramadan. Purushottam Month will be celebrated next in May, 2018.
Finally, I would like to say that I’m the most ineligible person to write anything on such a huge topic. I have made an attempt based on all the articles that I have read the entire month and attended classes at our temple – ISKCON Bahrain.
Anyone interested in knowing on this topic can visit: http://www.iskcondesiretree.com/profiles/blogs/the-glories-of-purushottam