Adhik Maas Vrat Katha, story of Mal Maas Vrat is mentioned in some scriptures. Also known as Purushottama Maas, Adhik Maas is considered very sacred as per Sanatan Dharma and most preferred for Daiva Karyas such as special pujas, vratas and other rituals.
The story of Adhik Maas vrat is associated with Lord Vishnu. As per the lunar year (Chandramana Varsha), there were only 12 months and each month was assigned to each god. But what about the Adhik Maas? No god was assigned to the extra lunar month.
Adhik Maas disappointed with this and approached Lord Vishnu and informed him that he has no god assigned, hence he (adhik maas) is considered Mal Maas and requested Vishnu to assign him a god.
Lord Vishnu understood the problem and assigned Adhik Maas to himself and signified the name Purushottama Maas to this month. Sriman Narayana also gifted the Adhik Maas with a boon that whatever good deed a performer does during this month, would get the result of ten times that of the normal month. Hence, performing good deeds like daana, japa, puja, sadhana, upasana, deeksha, etc. during this month would fetch ten times results than a normal month for devotees.
An ancient scripture ‘Purushottama Granth’ listed out many aspects of religious significance and spiritual importance of Adhik Maas. Purushottama Grantha Parayana is also considered auspicious during this period.
According to the Bhavishyottara Purana, fasting or eating once a day (Nakta Vrata) is very auspicious ritual during Adhik Maas. Naktha Vrata begins on the first day of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) and ends on the last day of Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight).
Sacred texts like Devi Bhagavata also mentioned about Adhik Maas and its significance. Fasting and charitable acts during this month would fetch a lot of good results to the performers.
Purushottam Maas Mahatmya Katha from Padma Purana
Once upon a time, thousands of sages came together in the holy place called Naimisaranya to perform sacrifice. To their very good fortune the great sage Suta Goswami, who had been traveling to different pilgrimage sites, arrived there along with his disciples. The sages present were very enlivened to see him. They all stood up immediately to pay their respects to the great sage, offered him a very nice Vyasasana, and requested him with folded hands to sit down on it.
The sages of Naimisaranya said to Suta Goswami with folded hands, “O Sutaji! We humbly request you to tell us something about the wonderful activities and pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are many thousands of such narrations, but we want to hear the most perfect one, by following which we can all be delivered from this Material Ocean and return back to Godhead.
Hearing the request made by these sages, headed by Saunaka Rsi, Suta Goswami began to speak, “O sages, please listen to me. I first went to Puskara Tirtha, then after visiting thousands of other holy places, I reached Hastinapura. There on the bank of Ganges, I saw thousands of sages sitting together with Pariksit Maharaja. Just then the great sage Sukadeva Goswami appeared, and all the sages present paid him proper respect by rising from their seats with folded hands. All the sages unanimously offered the Vyasasana to Sukadeva Goswami, who would speak Krishna katha to Pariksit Maharaja.
Suta Goswami said, “O sages, I have just come from Hastinapura where I heard Srimad Bhagavatam from the lotus mouth of Sukadeva Goswami. Now I will tell you about the all-attractive activities and pastimes of the Lord.
Once, long ago, Sri Narada Muni reached Badrika Ashram, the residence of Sri Narayana Rishi. The river Alakananda was flowing down from His lotus feet. Narada paid his obeisances to Narayana and prayed, “Oh Lord of the demigods, Oh ocean of mercy! Oh master of creation, You are all truthful, the essence of all truths. I offer my obeisances unto You. “Oh Lord! In this material world all living entities are busily engaged in sense gratification. They have all forgotten the ultimate goal of life. Therefore please explain something which will be helpful both for householders and sages in the renounced order like me, something that will help us attain self realization and return back to Godhead.”
Hearing the sweet words of Narada, Lord Narayana smiled. He said, “O Narada, please listen to the narrations about the supremely pious pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, for they will diminish all sinful reaction. You already know of all the activities of the Supreme Lord, but for the benefit of others, you are asking Me again. So now I will tell you about the glories of the sacred Purushottama month, which is fully potent to grant not only all material happiness but also qualify one to return back to Godhead at the end of life.
Naradji enquired, “O Lord, I have heard the glories of all months including Kartika, Chaitra, etc., but which month is this Purushottama month? O ocean of mercy, please tell me all about this sacred month.
What is the way to glorify this month? What should I do in this month? How should I take bath, give in charity, etc. What should I chant? Who should I worship? Should I observe fasting in this month?” Please tell me everything in detail.
Suta Goswavmi said, “O sages, after hearing all these questions form Narada, Lord Narayana began to speak from His moon-like lotus mouth, “O Narada, I will tell you something which was previously explained by Lord Sri Krishna to Maharaja Yudhisthira.
Once Dharmaraja Yudhisthira lost everything-his empire, his palace and even his chaste wife Draupadi-to Duryodhana in a gambling match. At that time Draupadi was insulted by Dusasana in front of the whole royal assembly. But when Dusasana had tried to strip Draupadi naked, she was saved from such a dangerous situation by Lord Sri Krishna. After this incident, Yudhisthira Maharaja along with his brothers and wife left his kingdom and lived in Kamyavan, Vrindavan.
Once Sri Krishna, son of Devaki, visited the Pandavas in that forest. All the Pandavas, including Draupadi, were very happy to see their Lord, and they forgot their painful forest life immediately. They felt enriched with a new life just by taking Sri Krishna’s darshan. They paid their obeisances at their Lord’s lotus feet. Seeing the miserable condition of the Pandavas, Sri Krishna became very upset, and at the same time He became very angry towards Duryodhana. It appeared as if the Lord was going to destroy the whole universe, and so the Pandavas became fearful and all began to pray to the Lord in a humble mood. Listening to the humble prayers of Arjuna, the Lord composed Himself and said, “Oh Arjuna, being very pleased with all of you Pandavas, and being controlled by your devotion and friendship towards Me, I will now tell you about the wonderful history of Purushottama month.
Once upon a time, by the arrangement of providence, an extra month came to this world. Every one took this month to be most inauspicious, and even saw it as a stool-like month. Just as one should not touch stool, this month was also seen as untouchable. It was constantly unprotected and blasphemed, and rejected by everyone as an improper time for any religious and auspicious activities.
Being so rejected by all human beings, and constantly hearing only bad words and blasphemy, the personality of this extra month became very sad. She came to Vaikuntha to explain her sorrowful situation to the Lord.
Seeing Lord Vishnu on His simhasana, she fell down at His lotus feet in a mood of sorrow and grief. Tears were falling profusely from her eyes. She prayed to the Lord, “Oh ocean of mercy! I have come to You because I am helpless. I have been rejected and blasphemed by all people of the world. Please protect me; please show me Your mercy. Please don’t be indifferent towards me.” Saying these words, the extra month [adhik maas] continued crying in front of Lord Vishnu and sat down before Him in a dejected mood. Seeing the humble and pitiable position of the extra month, Lord Vishnu became very merciful towards her. He told her, “Do not lament, I shall give you protection form all of your miseries. Please stop crying. It is not proper to lament after taking shelter of My lotus feet.”
Being so consoled by the Lord, the extra month said, “Oh Lord, You know my painful condition. No one is in more miserable situation in these three worlds than I. First of all, all other months, years, days, nights, directions etc. are being protected by You, and so they are
always moving fearlessly in their unique charming moods. But I [an extra month] don’t have any name, nor any protector, nor a husband to give me shelter. All the demigods and human beings have rejected me for any auspicious activities. For this reason, oh Lord, I want to die immediately. “Oh Narada, this extra month then repeatedly said, “I want to die! I want to die! I want to die!” Then she fainted at the feet of the Lord.
Being requested by Lord Vishnu, Garuda started fanning the extra month. And after sometime she got up and began to speak again, “Oh Lord of the universe, I am in need of Your shelter, please protect me.”
Lord Vishnu told the extra month, “Oh child, please don’t lament, your misery will be finished very soon. Get up and come with Me to Goloka Vrindavana, which is even unattainable to great yogis. Goloka is the abode of Lord Sri Krishna. Here Lord Sri Krishna is in His two handed form, surrounded by gopis and is enjoying His eternal pastimes. The Supreme Sri Krishna of Goloka will deliver you from all your miseries, please come with Me.” Then Lord Vishnu took Malamasa (the extra month) to Goloka by catching her by the hand.
From a distant place Lord Vishnu and Malamasa observed the effulgence of Goloka. This dazzling effulgence automatically forced Malamasa to close her eyes. Therefore, keeping the extra month behind Him, Lord Vishnu proceeded further until they reached the main gate. There the doorkeeper paid his respects to Him.
Having reached the Supreme Abode, Lord Vishnu met Lord Sri Krishna who was surrounded by many devoted gopis. Lord Vishnu husband of Ramadevi, paid His obeisances to Lord Sri Krishna. Then He made the extra month also offer her obeisances at the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna, even though she was crying loudly. Immediately Sri Krishna asked, “Why is she crying? She is in Goloka Vrindavana, why is she crying?” Hearing these words form Lord Sri Krishna, Lord Vishnu got up from His seat and started explaining the miserable condition of the extra month. He begged Him to please protect his unprotected month. “There is no one except You Lord Krishna, who can save this extra month from her hellish condition and give her full protection.” Having said these words, Lord Vishnu remained standing in front of Lord Krishna with folded hands.
Then Suta Goswami continued to speak, “Oh sages! Lord Vishnu took his seat, and Lord Krishna spoke very confidential words to Him. Listen carefully, for I am now going to share those words with all of you.
Purushottama Sri Krishna said, “Oh Vishnu, you have done a very great deed by bringing this extra month to Me. You will become even more famous for performing this act. Because You have accepted this Malamasa, I will also accept her. I shall make this poor extra month just like Me in quality, fame opulence, realization, success, and in giving benediction to the devotees. This month will become equally potent to Me. I am bestowing all of My divine qualities in this abused month. Named after Me, this month will be famous as Purushottama month in this world.
“Oh Janardana, now that she has imbued My qualities, I Myself will become the husband and protector of this Purushottama month. And being equal to Me, this month will be the master of all other months. Now this month will become worshipable by one and all. Everyone should pay their obeisances to her, everyone should worship her. This month is equally as powerful as Me to give any type of benediction to its observer. The worshiper of this month will be able to burn all this past sinful reactions to ashes, and after enjoying a blissful life in the material realm, he will return back to Godhead.
“Oh Garudadhwaja,” Lord Sri Krishna continued, “My Goloka is unattainable to the performers of austerities, mahatmas engaged in pious activities, to people who maintain celibacy, or to those who fast their whole life’s duration. But just by observing Purushottama month and becoming a devotee one can easily cross over this material ocean and return back to Godhead.
Observance of this Purushottama month is the best of all austerities. Just as a farmer produces a rich harvest by planting seeds in nicely cultivated land, so an intelligent man who practices devotional service towards the Supreme Lord in this Purushottama month will enjoy a blissful life while in this world and after leaving his body he will return back to Godhead.
“An unfortunate ignorant man, who does not perform any japa, does not give any charity, does not pay respect to Lord Sri Krishna and His devotees, does not behave properly to brahmanas, makes enmity with others and who blasphemes the Purushottama month will go to hell for an unlimited period.”
Lord Sri Krishna continued, “How can a person make his life successful unless he performs devotional service in this Purushottama month? A person who is fully engaged in sense gratification and does not give any special importance to this sacred month becomes the best candidate for hell.
All human beings should perform some devotional service in this Purushottama month by:
1. Worshipping Me, Sri Krishna, by chanting My holy name
2. Study of Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita, particularly Chapter Fifteen, Purushottama Yoga
3. Giving in charity
4. Offering ghee diya (lamp) daily
A fortunate person who follows My instructions and observes this Purushottama month properly, and in a faithful way worships Me will attain fame, opulence and a good son in this very life. After enjoying a happy life, he will return back to Goloka Dhama. By following My instructions, everyone should worship this sacred month. I have made it the best among all other months. Oh husband of Rama devi (Vishnu), give up all kinds of mental speculation about this extra month. Just take this Purushottama month with You to Your Vaikuntha abode.