Purusottama Masa

vishnu:

Beginning on the 17th of May (this coming Thursday) is Purusottama Masa. This is a special extra month in the Vedic lunar calendar which only appears every two and a half years.

It is considered very auspicious as Lord Vishnu Himself is the presiding Deity of the month, hence the name ‘Purusottama’ meaning the topmost personality. All spiritual activities during this period (and specifically those infused with bhakti, or devotion) are considered much more beneficial.

Every two (sometimes three) years in Vedic Sidereal Astrology there is a time compensation month added to correct and adjust the time movements. This is something similar to the western Leap Year. This month is considered to be very auspicious.

The astronomical parameters differ only slightly in different astronomical texts. According to the Suryasiddhanta:

1 Lunar year = 29.5305 x 12 = 354.366 days

1 Solar year = 365.2587 days

Thus one lunar year lags behind the solar year and one lunation has to be added after 3 years to fit the lunar year into the solar one. Astronomers have called this intercalary lunation as adhika month, and have asserted that this month is to be added to the lunar year.

Since the calendar is based on the phases of the Moon, the transits take 354 days, 8 hours and 34.28 seconds. This creates a difference of 10 days, 21 hours and 35.16 seconds from the actual solar year (365 days, 6 hours, 9.54 seconds).

When the accumulated difference exceeds 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.865 seconds, an adjustment is made with an extra month (Adhika Masa), which carries the name of the previous or the next month, depending on the proximity of the month. Normally, seven extra months occur in 19 years.

One very auspicious activity to perform in this month is to read or recite the fifteenth chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, entitled Purusottama Yoga (the Yoga of the Supreme Person). It is my favourite chapter.

“This is the most confidential part of the Vedic scriptures, O sinless one, and it is disclosed now by Me. Whoever understands this will become wise, and his endeavors will know perfection.” {verse 20, Purusottama-Yoga}
Posted by Kurma on 14/5/07; 6:26:42 AM

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