What is Chaturmasya Vrata ?
Chatur means Four, Masya means Month, and vrata means Austerity. Chaturmasya Vrat is observed for a period of 4 Holy Months and it begins from the day after Deva Sayana Ekadashi in Ashada Month (June – July) and ends on Uthana Ekadashi in Kartik Month (October – November). Some Vaishnavas also observe this from the Full Moon day of Ashada until the full moon day of Kartika. That is a period of 4 Months of Chaturmasya.
It is Believe that Lord Vishnu falls asleep in the Kshir Sagar (the ocean of Milk) on Shesh Naga (Ananta sesha). Hence the day is called Sayana Ekadashi. He awakens from his deep sleep after four holy months on Uthana Ekadashi which comes in the month of Kartik.
Who Can Observe this Vrata?
This Vrata can be observed by anyone whether they belong to Brahmachari Ashram, Grihastha Ashram, Vanaprastha Ashram, and Sannyasi Ashram. Also, it can be observed by any person belonging to any varna – Brahman, Kshatriya, vaishya, sudra.
Which Are the 4 Holy Month Of Chaturmasya.
Chaturmasya Includes 4 Holy Months –
First Month – Sravana (24Jul 21-21 Aug 21)
(Fasting from Green leafy vegetables)
The first month of Chaturmasya Vrat is known as Shaka Vrata. Shaka Vrata begins on Shukla Paksha dwadashi day in Ashada month and ends on Shukla Ekadashi day in Shravan month.
ONE SHOULD NOT EAT – Spinach, Coriander Leaves, Fenugreek Leaves, Mint Leaves, Curry Leaves, etc.
Second Month– Bhadrapada (22 Aug 21-19 Sep 21)
(Fasting from Yoghurt)
The second month of Chaturmasya Vrata is known as Dadhi Vrata. Dadhi Vrata begins on Sravana Shukla Paksha Dwadashi and ends on Bhadrapada Shukla Paksha Ekadashi.
Third Month– Ashwin (20 Sep 21-19 Oct 21)
(Fasting from Milk)
The third month of Chaturmasya Vrata is known as Ksheera Vrata. Ksheera Vrata begins on Shukla Paksha Dwadashi in Bhadrapada month.
Forth Month– Kartik (20 Sep 21-19 Oct 21)
(Fasting from Urad Dal)
The fourth month of Chaturmasya Vrata is known as Dwidala Vrata. It begins on Dwadashi day in Shukla Paksha of Ashwin month and ends with Kartik Shukal Ekadashi.
What are Benediction of Chaturmasya
The Real Purpose behind the vow taken during this four-month is to minimize the quantity of sense gratification. One should perform spiritual activities in these four months as much as possible. This Vrata is not very difficult. The person observing this fast is considered to be good and best. Every auspicious and spiritual activity becomes more fruitful in these four months. Vaishnava observes this fast by chanting the names of Lord Krishna.
As per Padma Purana, one can achieve the below achievements by doing the below spiritual activities.
- Temple Cleaning- The person who serves by doing temple cleaning will get enjoyment for seven births.
- Those who bathe the Lord with milk, curd, ghee, honey, and sugar become prosperous in the world and go to heaven and get enjoyment like Indra.
- The person who donates 28 or 108 earthen pots filled with tila to qualified Brahamana becomes free from all sins done by body, words, and mind.
- One who sings for the pleasure of Lord Vishnu in Chaturmasya gets the Gandharva Loka.
- The one who does circumambulation of the temple goes to the abode of Krishna sitting in a swan plane.
- The person who renounces Jaggery will get a son or grandson.
- The one who does not observe this Vrata is a fool and is like a dead person even though he is alive.
What We Should Do In Chaturmas?
- Get up before sunrise and take bath.
- Chant early in the morning before sunrise
- Chant more number of rounds than regular days.
- Follow Celibacy (Brahmacharya) for four months.
- Give a donation to the temple as per your capacity
- Read Prayers of Srimad Bhagavatam-(Gajendra Moksha Lila, Prayers of Kunti Maharani, Gopi Geet)
- Read and Meditate on Bala Lila from Krishna book, Bhagvat Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam
- The eight Ekadashi falling in these four months should be followed strictly.
- One should worship Tulasi Maharani and do Circumambulation to Tulasi Maharani.
- One should offer Tulsi Leaves to Lordship.
- One should engage himself to Vaishnava Sewa (Invite them for Prashad, chant with them, and do other spiritual activities with them)
- Take target to at least read one book of Srila Prabhupada in this Chaturmasya.
- Read Vaishnava Bhajan with meaning.
- One must visit Pilgrimage.
- Taking responsible service to help and promote this Krishna Consciousness movement.
- Daily pray and thank Krishna before going to sleep.
What We Should Not Do In Chaturmas?
- One should not break four regulative principles (No Meat eating, No gambling, No Intoxication, No illicit sex)
- One should not criticize others.
- One should not sleep on the bed but can sleep on the floor with proper bedding.
- One should avoid excessive sleep.
- Few auspicious activities deny in Chaturmaas for ex- Wedding Ceremonies, Buying land, etc.
Chaturmasya Vrat Ki Jai.
Sri Sri Rukmani Dwarkadhish Ki Jai.
Shobha Radhika Devi Dasi
(ISKCON Dwarka , New–Delhi)