Chatur Masa (Chaturmasya) is a period of four months beginning from the Shayani Ekadashi in Aashadha month and ends on Utthana Ekadashi in Kartik Month.
The four months of the Hindu calendar, Shravan, Bhadrapad, Ashwina and Kartik are considered very holy and this period is believed to be the sleeping period (Yoga Nidra) of supreme lord Vishnu.
Since lord Vishnu goes to bed on the Shukla Ekadasi of Aashadha, it is called Sayani Ekadashi.
As He turns on His side on the Shukla Ekadashi of Bhadrapada, it is called Parivarthani Ekadashi.
When he wakes up on Shukla Ekadashi of Karthika, it is called Utthana Ekadashi.
A consists of 2 halves- Uttarayana and Dakshinayana, tracing the patch of Sun. The seasons vary according to this.
The food habits also change according to these. We should consume the food which is good for our body based on the seasons.
These four months are very auspicious. Any good deeds like ‘Japa’, ‘Vrata’, ‘Daana’ and so on done in these months shall yield an infinitely greater merit than done in other months.
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What are the Vrutas in Chaturmasya?
Certain foods are prohibited during chatrumasa. The restrictions are imposed for reasons of health, keeping in mind the climatic changes.
- Shakha vruta
- Dadhi vruta
- Ksheera vruta
- Dwidala vruta
From Aashadha Shukla To Shravana Shukla Ekadashi.EkadashiShakha vruta starts in the monsoon. So vegetables and fruits are prohibited.
During Shaka Vruta, only rice, wheat, green gram, green gram dal, black gram dal, cumin and pepper are acceptable. Other pulses, green chillies, spices and leafy vegetables like Methi are not permitted. Among fruits, only mango is permitted by some (please check with your gurus and elders).
From Shravana Shukla Ekadashi To Bhadrapada Shukla Ekadashi.In this month, monsoon will be at peak. So eating curd might increase the kafa dosha for body. So, curd is prohibited in this month.
By this time, monsoon would be reducing and consuming milk would cause bacteria infections. Due to this milk consumption is prohibited.
From Bhadrapada Shukla Ekadashi To Ashwini Shukla Ekadashi.During Dwidala Vrata, banana, yam, sambrani, sweet potato, pepper, cumin and sesame (til-since it is offered to the deceased ancestors is permitted) are permitted. Green vegetables, leafy vegetables, pulses, tamarind, lemon and all fruits except plantains, dates, mangoes and dried dates are forbidden.
Special Vruthas in Chaturmasa
Apart from vruta in food consumption there are special vrutas which are done duging chaturmasa.
Let us see some of them:
Dharana-Parana means performing fasting on one day and eating food (having bhojana) on the next day.
Dharana parana vruta can be done for all 4 month in chaturmasa. If its not possible, it can be done in 2 months (Aashdha & Karthika). If its difficult perform for 2 months, can be performed in for 1 month (either Aashadha or Karthika)
Procedure for Dharana – Parana vruta
- To be started with sankalpa and Punyahavachana
- On the day of parana (having bhojana), Arghya to be given to lord Narayana for 108 times before food
- Once vruta is complete, Udyapana has to be done
- On the day before udyapana, Lakshminarayana pratima (statue) to be worshipped with panchamruta abhishekha.
- On this night (day before udyapana), have to perform jagarana (stay awake) whole night by listening to puranas
- On the day of udyapana, should invite yogya brhmanas for bhojana. (Should invite 15 brahmanas if vruta is performed for 1 month, invite 30 brahmanas if vruta is performed for 2 months and should invite at least 20 brahmanas if vruta is performed for 4 months)
- Udyapana homa is to be performed
Laksha Batti etc Vrutas
The number 1 lakh has great significance in dharma.
Many vrutas with 1 lakh (laksha) number can be performed in chaturmasa like Laksha Namaskara, Laksha Flower offering to lord Vishnu, Laksha Tulasi, Laksha Pradakshine, Laksha Batti (for lighting).
Except Laksha Deepa, all other vrutas here can be started in Aashadha masa and can be ended in Karthika masa.
Best time for Laksha Deepa vruta is Karthika masa.
Procedure for Laksha Deepa, Laksha Pradakshine, Laksha Tulasi, Laksha Namaskara, Laksha Hoovu (flower) vruta
- Start the vruta with sankalpa
- Its great to perform Punyahavachana during start of vruta
In Gopadma vruta, 33 rangoli will be drawn in the shape of cow’s toes and worshipped with Gandha and Pushpa.
Procedure for Gopadma vruta
- Start with sankalpa on Aashadha Shuddha Ekadashi
- Daily draw Gopadma (cow’s toe) in rangoli in 33 numbers
- Worship these 33 Gopadma with Gandha (Sandlewood paste) and flowers
- Perform 33 pradakshine to these
- This has to be done daily till Karthika shuddha dwadashi (Tulasi Vivava/Utthana Dwadashi day)
- Same has to be repeated every year for 5 years
- Udyapana is to be performed after 5 years of vruta
In Vishnupanchaka vruta, fasting will be performed for 5 different days in a month. This will be done for entire year starting from Bhadrapada or Margashira Dashami.
Procedure for Gopadma vruta
For more details, please contact gurugalu or any matha near you.
Other Vrutas in Chaturmasa
Apart from other vrutas,apart from those listed above, some sacrifices can be done to gain the vairagya and other punya.
|Bella (Jaggery)||Melodious voice|
|Enne (Edible Oil)||Beauty|
|Tamboola (Areka nut+Betel leaf)||Bhoga|
|Tuppa (Ghee)||Friendship with all|
|Beyisida aahara (Cooked food)||Inner cleansing|
|Mouna (Silence)||Get obedient people|
|100 Pradakshine||Vishnuloka sadhane|
|Ekantavasa (Staying alone)||Bramhaloka sadhane|
|Parna Bhojana||Kurukshetra yatre|
|Nakha, Roma Vardhan|
(not cutting hair & nail)
- For more details, please consult your elders/Gurus or any matha
- The content is indicative only. There are many other vrutas which can be performed. Please refer other sources for more details.