(Chaturmasa: 12th July to 8th November)
– Pujya Bapuji
Lord Vishnu is in Yoga Nidra (completely absorbed in the state of meditation) during the chaturmasa period commencing from the Ekadashi in the bright half of Ashadha to the Ekadashi in the bright half of Kartika. Just as many parts of India become cool when there is snowfall in the Himalayas during winter, similarly the environment also becomes more sattvic when Lord Narayana remains absorbed in the peace of Atman during the state of Samadhi. This environment also helps others in meditation, devotional practice and observance of mauna (silence). Just as heavy food prepared for winter gets easily digested in the winter, similarly meditation and devotional practice become more fruitful to meditators and devotees during these days. Cloudy atmosphere, drizzling of rain and blooming natural beauty are conducive to sadhana and devotional practice and encouraging, hence the more important anushthana, japa, mauna, etc., are during these days. A Sadhaka experiences divine joy in his heart quite naturally during chaturmasa.
Dos and don’ts during the Chaturmasa period
During Chaturmasa, one should be free from jealousy. One speaking ill or hearing ill of others during these days incurs sin more grievous than doing the same on other days.
“There is no sin as grievous as speaking ill of others.”
(Shri Rama Charita Manasa, Uttara Kanda: 120.11)
Therefore avoid slandering others especially during these days. Taking meals served on a pattala (a plate made of leaves sewn together) is highly meritorious. But nowadays, pattala are laminated with dirty materials. One who takes food on a pattala made from the leaves of Palaasha (Butea frondosa) or banyan tree gets religious merit of performing a yajna.
Put 2-4 leaves of Bilva tree (Bael tree) into water and consecrate it by repeating the mantra ‘Aum Namah Shivaaya…’ and take a bath with that water or take a bath with water mixed with some sesame seeds and powder of dried Amla (Indian gooseberry) fruit while chanting names of sacred rivers “Gangey… Yamune…” Take a rub and scrub bath. It is considered as meritorious as a sacred bath in a pilgrim centre. It cures physical ailments and increases religious merit and peace. Auspicious events done for the fulfillment of desires or motives and marriages, etc. are prohibited in these days. Conjugal sex is harmful to health in these days. Sex indulgence will be debilitating and if conception takes place it will result in the birth of a weak child.
A golden period for worship of the Eternal
The sky remains overcast during these days. Since the process of digestion slows down due to cloudy atmosphere, it is preferable to have only one meal a day. The person who takes food once a day expends less energy in digesting food. The energy saved should be spent in devotional practice for the realisation of the essence of God, the Giver of life. Another point; those who do japa and meditation should understand that they must do worship (during these days). Since eight months of the year are being used up in acquiring worldly things, at least these four months should be preserved only for attainment of the Eternal. You can take a religious vow for these months. If you cannot give anything to God, you can give at least your love to God. You are independent to love God, consider Him your own and hear satsang discourses on Vedanta. By believing ‘I belong to God and God is mine’ you will experience a surge of sacred love and bliss. Make a resolve “I will do this many malas and observe silence for this much time, everyday during chaturmasa. I will do this much spiritual practice of this type by all means...” Thus take a religious vow and make a resolve to increase your spiritual wealth. Om Om Om…
[Rishi Prasad-Edition-318-June 2019]