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Enchanting History of Purushottama Month

The history of the extra (adhik) month of Purushottama, which occurs once in three years, is based upon a fascinating story from the Padma Purana. The eastern hemisphere of this planet follows a spiritual calendar based upon lunar calculations, wherein each year is divided into 12 months of 30 days each. Once, unexpectedly, an extra 13th lunar month appeared, & sought to be accommodated within the year. There was chaos! Human beings, including sages and demigods, refused to recognize this illegitimate month; everyone refrained from observing any ‘muhurats’ or ‘mahotsavs’ in this month, declaring it to be most inauspicious and untouchable – they dubbed it ‘mal maas’ or the month that is obnoxious.

Unable to bear the barrage of infamy and insult, the hapless female month fell at the lotus feet of the four-handed Vishnu, weeping piteously for help; she fainted, trying to explain her woes. The kind and soft-hearted Garuda brought her back to consciousness by fanning her with his wings. Lord Vishnu suggested that she approach Lord Hari for a solution. He personally took her to Goloka Vrindavana – the jubilant touchstone abode of Krishna, where every step is a dance and
every word a song. The dark complexioned son of Nanda and Yashoda was playing exquisite melodies on His flute, enchanting the minds of the cowherds and stealing away the hearts of the ‘gopis’ with enticing smiles. Upon being appraised of the utterly despicable condition of ‘mal maas’, Lord Hari cast His compassionate glance upon her. In a deep reassuring voice, He exhorted her, “Arise, O lady! Today, I award you My very own name – ‘Purushottama’. From now onwards, till all of eternity, you will be worshipped as the most illustrious and auspicious of all months by the greatest of saints, sages, devotees, demigods, demons and all pious beings. Your endless glories will be sung in all the three worlds. Anyone who worships or takes shelter in you will be personally blessed with pure devotion and promoted to reside with me in My supreme abode of Goloka Vrindavana. If ever anyone happens to blaspheme this month, then I will personally punish that person with hellfire and tribulation!”

Draupadi is a striking example of an offender of Shri Purushottama ‘adhik maas’. In her previous life, she was the daughter of Medhavi rishi; her mother passed away very early in her childhood. Medhavi tended to neglect his little daughter even after she grew up. He finally passed away, leaving her alone and helpless without the protection of a husband. One day, the great sage Durvasa saw her sitting alone and lost in misery. She broke down and began lamenting about her pitiable condition. When Durvasa muni recommended that she worship the Purushottama month and perform various spiritual practices, whereby all her difficulties would vanish, she became agitated and insulted the sage saying that he was a liar because that extra month (‘mal maas’) was abominable and unfavourable for any auspicious activity. Enraged, Durvasa warned her of the sufferings that awaited her because of her blasphemy of the supremely auspicious month of Purushottama. That is why, in her next birth, as the daughter of Maharaja Drupada, Draupadi had to face extreme humiliation when she was being disrobed by the Kauravas in front of the assembly. But Krishna rescued her by incarnating as her endless saree because Draupadi called out to Him with complete surrender. This was revealed to the exiled Pandavas, by Krishna Himself, when He visited them in Kamyavana. By meticulously following the instructions of Lord Krishna to worship the Purushottam month, the Pandavas were able to win back their kingdom at the battle of Kurukshetra, thus revealing the unlimited benedictions that anyone receives by worshipping the all auspicious Purushottama ‘maas’.

The Lord concluded: “Whosoever shall pray, keep fast, chant, sing, worship during the month of Purushottam, will bespecially blessed, and get maximum recognition by me."