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Adhik Maas: Thirteenth Extra Month


Adhik Maas: Extra Month-13th Month of the Luni-Solar calender

2018 will have 13 instead of 12 months in the Indian Luni-solar calendar system. This year, we will have an extra(adhik) month(Maas) of Jyeshtha (Sun in zodiac Gemini) beginning 16th May 2018, which is inserted to balance the luni-solar calendar.*

*The sun cycle has 365 days:6 hours and the moon has a cycle of 29.5 days x12=354 days around the earth. This difference adds up after 32 months, 16 days, 192 minutes to make an extra 29 odd days=one lunar month.To balance this gap between the solar and lunar calendars, an extra month comes up every third year: this is one of the most accurate methods to adjust the gap between the Solar and Lunar Year.

During each lunar month, the Sun ingresses into a new zodiac (30° sidereal) sign. The transition of the Sun from one zodiac sign(30° each) to the next is called a sankranti and prefixed with the name of the zodiac that the sun is in. During Adhik Maas, there is no Sun ingression/ Surya Sankranti. This is specific only to Adhik Maas. When the Sun does not at all transit into a new zodiac but simply keeps moving within a zodiac sign(in this case, Gemini) in a lunar month (i.e. before a new moon), then that lunar month will be named according to the first upcoming transit. It will also take the epithet adhik or "extra".

For example, if a lunar month elapsed without a transit-sankranti and the next transit is into Gemini, then this month without transit is labelled Adhik Jyeshtha(Sun in Gemini). The month with the transit will be called as is, or will be labelled Neeja(original) Jyeshtha for clarification from the Adhik Jyeshtha.

Adhik Maas is devoted to self-development, evaluation, introspective assessment and reflection. It is a time to detoxify the body with fasting, access the soul(meditation on the five elements and kosha/sheaths) and to literally spring cleanse all the mind body work that remains pending from the past three years. During Adhik maas, Sadhana(spiritual practice) like naam japa(chanting the name of the divine), giving charity, Bhagavat katha are performed by sadhaks(spiritual seekers) to gain vitality, mental balance, firmness of thought and actions, calmness and spiritual progress. The main significance of Adhik Maas is associated with spiritual enlightenment and deliverance from earthly sins. This extra month is to regain oneself in physical, mental, emotional and spiritual terms. It was during Adhik Maas that the demon Hiranyakashipu was killed by Vishnu, the creator as the Narasimha avatar. Vishnu is the deity for this 13th month. Hence, the month got its name Purushottam (a man who is imbued with all best qualities) Maas.

As humans, we have been blessed with the Chitta(discerning intellect) and can understand how to use these opportunities from the cosmos to strive to better and refine our selves; with the aim to fulfill our human existence of merging our individual soul into the infinite soul of Purusha (supreme consciousness).


Comments 1

Guest - Radica Maharaj on Thursday, 17 May 2018 15:18

Very helpful guide.

Very helpful guide.
Saturday, 15 June 2024