[Advaita-l] The observance of chaturmasa

Ravishankar Venkatraman sunlike at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 1 21:51:24 CDT 2004


That is a nice narration. I would like to point the interested readers to 
the following link in Kamokoti peetam website, based on the lectures of Sri. 
Paramacharya in 1957.


God bless,

>From: "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at braincells.com>
>Reply-To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta 
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>To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta 
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>Subject: [Advaita-l] The observance of chaturmasa
>Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 21:17:10 -0400 (EDT)
>Chaturmasa means 4 months.  The chaturmasa vrata began due to the virtuous
>Asura king Bali.  Through his observance of Dharma he usurped the position
>of Indra and became ruler of all the worlds.  Vishnu Bhagavan took the
>form of the Brahmana boy (or dwarf), Vamana, and begged king Bali for the
>boon of three steps of land to establish a yajna.  The king laughingly
>granted the wish thinking how much land could such a little person take
>up.  But Bhagavan Vamana grew to immense size and in two strides had
>covered the entire universe.  In order to keep his word the virtuous king
>offered his own head as the third step.  Vamana Bhagavan took the third
>step sending him straight to Hell.  But Bhagavan was pleased with king
>Balis' devotion to Dharma and offered to grant a boon in return.  King
>Bali asked that He join him in Hell for one third of the year and during
>chaturmasa, Bhagavan fulfills His devotees request.
>There are two forms of the chaturmasa vrata, for Sannyasis and Grhasthas.
>Sannyasis start chaturmasa on Ashadha Purnima and continue until
>Bhadrapada Purnima.  So they actually only observe it for 4 fortnights
>or 2 months instead of 4 months.  During this time, Paramahansas who are
>parivrajakas (wanderers) who shouldn't stay in one place for more than 3
>days, stop travelling.  They often spend this time giving lectures to the
>public on Vedanta.
>Grhasthas start chaturmasa on Ashadha shukla 11 and continues for 4 months
>until Kartika Shukla 11.  Actually this year there is an adhika masa (leap
>month) of Shravana so chaturmasa is 5 months long.
>The following shlokas from a 19th century work Shikshapatri by Swami
>Sahajananda summarize how to practice chaturmasa vrata.
>visheShaniyamo dhAryashchAturmAsye'khilairapi |
>ekasmin shrAvaNe mAsi sa tvashaktaistu mAnavaiH || 76 ||
>Additional duties should be taken up for the entire period of Chaturmasa.
>Or only for the month of Shravana if a man is incapable.
>viShNoH kathAyAH shravaNaM vAchanaM guNakIrtanam |
>mahApUjA mantrajapaH stotrapaTHaH pradakshiNAH || 77 ||
>sAShTA~NgapraNatishcheti niyamA uttamA matAH |
>eteShvekatamo bhaktyA dhAraNIyo visheShataH || 78 ||
>Listening to or reading the stories of Vishnu Bhagavan or singing His
>praise, elaborate puja, repetition of mantras, recitation of
>stotras, circumbulation...
>...and prostration to His murti are known as the best additional duties.
>One or more of them should be observed with faith [for chaturmasa.]
>Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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