Chaturmas 2016 : The Meditation Phase
Here, AstroSage presents Chaturmas 2016 which will begin on 15th July and end on 11th November. Chaturmas is a four month period which begins with the Devshayani Ekadashi and ends at Prabodhini Ekadashi.
On the other hand, Prabodhini Ekadashi is observed on the Shukla Paksha of the Karthik month of Hindu calendar. In literal words, Chaturmas means four months and this word is derived from Sanskrit words Chatur, meaning four and Masa meaning month.
At the beginning of this period, the Sun enters Zodiac sign Cancer (Karka) and moves toward the South in the Hindu month Ashada. The four months of Chaturmas consist of Shravan, Bhadrapad, Ashwina and Kartik. The collective period of four months is considered the most suitable for the meditation and introspection.
Chaturmas: The Legends
While celebrating Chaturmas in 2016, it is a good idea to understand the legend behind it. As per the Hindu mythology, at the beginning of Chaturmas Lord Vishnu goes down into the Kshir Sagar (ocean of Milk) to rest. He sleeps there for complete four months on the Shesha Naga (The Divine Snake) and only wakes up on Probhodini Ekadashi.
It should be understood that the sleep of Lord Vishnu signifies a phase of complete meditation and awareness. This period is not suitable for weddings and other similar rituals as the Gods are in their sleep during this month.
This duration is perfect for meditating, listening to religious discourses and taking Holy dips in rivers. It is believed that fasting and praying during this period is very effective. One should maintain a proper vegetarian diet to avoid any diseases as the monsoons bring along a horde of ailments.
During this sacred period of Chaturmas many festivals like Guru Purnima, Krishna Janmashtami, Raksha Bandhan, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri and Diwali are celebrated. The Hindu Calendar is divided into two major parts of Uttarayana and Dakshinayana.
The six months of Uttarayana is one day for the Gods and the other Six months of that come under Dakshinayana is one night for the Gods. Since no auspicious ceremonies take place during the night, this period was considered inauspicious for all sorts of celebrations.
Goddess of Dakshinayana with an axe in her hand threatened to end her life for being considered inauspicious. She pleaded to Lord Vishnu and she was spared the first four months of being inauspicious.
The first four months of Chaturmas are Shravan, Bhadrapad, Ashwina and Kartik. From then these months are considered very fortunate for performing Japa, Puja and other rituals.
This is the most beloved period of the Gods and Japa done in this period bears 1000 times greater results. During the period of Chaturmas, Sanyasis avoid travelling and stay at one place. A lot of insects are produced during the monsoons and movement can trample these insects under their feet. This is the period of enhancing one�s spiritual power by meditating.
As per another legend, when Lord Vishnu incarnated as Vamana he stepped on King Bali�s head to push him down to the Patal Lok. After that King Bali requested Lord Vishnu to come every year to the Patal Lok with his wife Laxmi. From that time Lord Vishnu goes to his place during the Chaturmas and rests there.
Jain Chaturmas: Significance in Jainism
In Jainism, this period is called the Varsha Yog and is recommended for Jain Monasticism. As per the Jain religion it is believed that during the monsoons a variety of insects are developed in the environment. These insects cannot be seen through the naked eyes.
To cause minimum harm to these insects, the Jain monks do not move during the monsoons. These monks otherwise do not stay at the same place for long as this can cause attachment which is prohibited for them.
Charturmas in Buddhism
During this period Vivekananda had stayed in the royal gardens of king Bimbisara who had recently converted to Buddhism. In Buddhism also it is suggested to stay in one place to avoid the trampling of insects by travelling Monks.
Time to Introspect
We hope we have been able to present an article that has enhanced your knowledge about the Chaturmas. Being the best time for meditation Chaturmas 2016 should be utilized to introspect and connect to the Divine power. We wish you a Happy Chaturmas 2016!
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