The Vedic scriptures glorify the month of Purushottam Adhik Maas as one of the most auspicious times for spiritual progress. Scriptures further recommend fasting, giving charity, and observing penances during this period. In this regard the Founder Acharya of ISKCON His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada did not delineate much. In fact, His Divine Grace created such a morning program that all essential activities of devotional service are encompassed within it. Furthermore, the preaching program of ISKCON ensures that devotees always think of Krishna and never forget Krishna, which is the essence of all Vedic knowledge. The Puranas, especially Padma Purana talks of this adhika masa extensively. It talks of Snana, Japa, Dana, Dipa, and Yajna. In this article, we will try to explain how these 5 components of Purushottam Adhik Mas can be utilized to extract maximum spiritual benefit.
What to keep in mind before observing Purushottam Adhik Mas?
It is a good thing that one is excited to progress in devotional service and is looking to reap benefits of the Purushottam Adhik Mas for the same. However, one should not try to avoid any regular services that have been assigned by one’s spiritual authorities. In fact, it would be more fruitful if one performs one’s regular sadhana and service with more Krishna Consciousness, more respect and more humility.
What is the significance of Snan or Bathing in Purushottam Adhik Mas?
During special periods like Purushottam Adhik Mas, one can bathe with awareness of “cleansing oneself”. Scriptures tell us that water of a river, pond, or sea becomes sanctified when it is connected with Lord Krishna like Yamuna, Ganga, Rameshwaram etc. Vedic scriptures also tell us that Lord Krishna is the taste in water and only He can quench our thirst or cleanse us of material contamination. One can meditate as such and be absorbed in Krishna Consciousness even while bathing.
What is the significance of Japa or Chanting in Purushottam Adhik Mas?
Japa or Mantra Meditation is one of the primary processes of Sadhna Bhakti. During this month one should try to chant with more concentration and feelings. One can also Increase the number of rounds. The Purushottam Adhik Mas can be considered an opportunity to enhance both the quantity and quality of japa. This will certainly please one’s spiritual master.
What is the significance of Dana or Charity in Purushottam Adhik Mas?
A person can donate a certain portion of one’s earnings regularly for spiritual progress. These resources can be utilized for Prasadam distribution, construction of temples, book distribution, Deity worship, etc. The charity that pleases an Acharya the most is Dana of Divya-Gyan because it will be eternally beneficial to the giver and receiver. Both will receive extreme mercy from the Acharya and the Lord. Hence, in this auspicious month, one should strive to distribute, as well as read more spiritual books by AC Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada, listen to more lectures and organize devotee gatherings where one can hear and speak Krishna Katha.
What is the significance of Dipa or Lamps in Purushottam Adhik Mas?
Dipa can be interpreted as offering lamps of ghee to the deities. And it can also be interpreted as offering Archana or Puja to the Lord. The puranas especially talk of installing Radha Krishna on a golden throne and offering Them opulent worship. A person who has already established the Lord and is actually worshiping Their Lordships every day can try to perform it with more respect, more feelings, more concentration. This also simply enhances our Krishna Consciousness.
What is the significance of Yajna or Sacrifice in Purushottam Adhik Mas?
Hari Nama Sankirtana is the best form of yajna in Kaliyuga, therefore, one can enthusiastically participate in Sankirtan. Devotees can also organize Hari Naam in their neighbourhoods. One can also sing more Vaishnava bhajans and glorify the Lord more.
What not to do in Purushottam Adhik Mas?
One can avoid all sinful activities, accept only the Prasadam of the Lord and not commit Vaishnava Aparadha or indulge in Prajalpa. We have only 24 hours in a day and it would be seemingly wiser to waste as little of this time as possible and utilize the greater part of our day in spiritual pursuits.
Why wait for Purushottam Adhik Mas?
One can see that the devotional activities given to us by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada and inculcated in our routine Sadhna are all inclusive. And for doing any or all of these things, one need not wait for the Purushottam Adhik Mas. One can do it 365 days a year, every year, year after year. This is also the target that Srila Prabhupada has tasked us with – i.e. To spend every moment Krishna Consciously.
Srila Prabhupada has intelligently designed the life of an average ISKCON devotee taking into consideration all of the best practices recommended by the satvika shastras. So, if we can simply stick to His Divine Grace’s instructions, it is like doing chaturmasya, Purushottam Adhik Mas… everything on a daily basis! Imagine the amount of spiritual merit one can gain by simply following Srila Prabhupada’s instructions!