Adhik Maas

Mrs. Prajakta Joshi

1. What is the meaning of ‘Adhik maas’?

1A. Lunar month

Lunar month begins starts on the day of the new moon and ends on the following no moon day falling in the next month. All activities as prescribed by the scriptures in Hindu Dharma such as Holy festivals, religious festivals, vowed religious observance, worships, offering of oblations in the fire, recitation of mantras to obtain peace, marriages are performed as per lunar calendar (movement of moon). Names of the months in the lunar calendar are as per the lunar constellations that are associated with the full moon day of the month, e.g. Chaitra constellation is present on the full moon day falling in Chaitra month.

1B. Solar month

Seasons occur as per the solar calendar month (movement of sun). Sun moves from Ashwini constellation and returns in a year to the same place. This period is called as ‘solar

1C. Provision of adikmaas for aligning lunar and solar year

There are 354 days in lunar calendar year and 365 days in solar calendar year. This means that there are 11 days of difference in 2
consequent years. In order to meet this gap and to synchronize the lunar calendar year with solar calendar year, after around 32.5 months 1 adhikmaas (Extra month) is added to the lunar calendar. Specifically, after every 27 to 35 months one extra month is added.


2. Other names of adhik maas

Adikmaas is also called as ‘Malamaas’ or ‘Dhondyacha mahina’. Instead of performing auspicious tasks, special vowed religious observances and acts deriving merits are performed in the adhik maas. Hence it is also called as ‘Purshottam’ month.


3. In which lunar calendar month does adhik maas fall?

A. Adhikmaas occurs on one of the months between Chaitra and Ashwin.

B. Occasionally, it also occurs during Falgun month.

C. Adikmaas never occurs adjacent to Kartik, Margashirsha and Poush months. One of these three months can be a kshay (decay) month; because movement of Sun is faster therefore in the time
period of 1 lunar month the sun may cover two movements. Whenever a decay month occurs, within that one year two adhikmaas fall near to each other, one before and one after the decay month. Adhikmaas occurs in the same lunar month after every 19 years.

D. Magh month is never an adhikmaas or kshay maas.


4. Science behind performing vowed religious
observances and merit bestowing acts in the adhik maas

In every month transmigration of the Sun from one rashi (Constellation of the zodiac in Indian astronomy) to the next occurs; however in adhik maas, sun does not move into the next zodiac sign. Thus there is no transmigration in adhik maas. Therefore, there is a change in the speeds of the movement of sun and moon, and also there are changes in the atmosphere akin to the period of eclipse. In order to avoid adverse effect of the distressful atmospheric condition on our health, the scriptures have advised us to perform vowed religious observances and acts bestowing merits during adhik maas. In adhik maas one should perform complete fasting, eating only one time in the day or only in the night for the entire month as worship towards Shri Purshottam. Those who are weak, can perform any one type of fasting for three or at least 1 day in the month. If it is not possible to offer donation during the entire month, one should donate on the 12th day of dark or bright fortnight, full moon day, 8th, 9th, 14th day of the dark fortnight and on no moon day and also make special donations on the days when Vyatipat and Vaidhruti yoga occurs.

A. One should perform ritualistic worship of Shri Purshottam Krushna and chant His Name daily. One should try to remain in constant communion with God.

B. Consume meals only one time in the day. One should not speak while consuming food. Power of the soul increases by following this code of conduct. One also can get rid of the demerits by maintaining silence while eating.

C. One should bathe at the holy places. One can get rid of the sins by having bath in the river Ganga.

D. Lamp should be donated. By placing a continuously lit lamp in front of the Deities, it is said that one can acquire wealth.

E. One should go for pilgrimage to holy places and pay obeisance to Deities.

F. One should donate betel-nut leaves along with money. By doing this for 1 month, one can attain longevity of married life.

G. One should worship cows and feed them.

H. One should donate a sweet dish named Anarsha.


5. Which activities should be performed in adhik maas?

One should perform the rituals and acts that are to be performed daily. Those acts which are unavoidable should be performed. If one chants continuously the Name of God during adhikmaas,
Shri Purushottam Krushna gets pleased.

A. One should perform fruit bearing acts such as Jwarshanti, Parjanyesthi etc.

B. One can re-install idol of the Deities in the temple at home.

C. Vedic rituals such as Grahanshraddha, Jatakarma, Naamkarma, Annaprashan should be performed.

D. Shraddha rituals related to Manvadi and Yugadi should be performed. Shraddha rituals performed at holy places, Darshsraddha and regular Shraddha should also be performed.


6. Which activities should be avoided in adhik maas?

Fruit-bearing acts should not be initiated or stopped. Acts such as Mahadaan, Apurva Devdarshan, Gruha-arambha, Vastushanta, Sanyasgrahan, Nutanvratagrahandeeksha, marriage, ritual of thread ceremony, Choul, Devpratistha should be avoided.


7. When should one perform Shraddha during adhik maas?

If the lunar month in which the death has happened, occurs in adhikmaas, then the first annual Shraddha should be performed in adhikmaas itself. For e.g. in the year 2017 if the death has occurred in the month of Jyestha, then the first annual Shraddha should be performed on the same lunar day in Adhik Jyeshtha month this year (2018). This is applicable only in this year since 12 months post death of the person in Jyestha last year gets over in adhikmaas this year. If adhikmaas is not there then yearly Shraddha should be performed as per the lunar date.

A. In Shak year 1939 (i.e. 2017 AD) if death has occurred in Jyestha month, then the first annual Shraddha in the Shak year 1940 (i.e. 2018 AD) should be performed on the lunar date in adhik
Jyestha month.

B. The yearly Shraddha to be performed in the month of Jyestha should be performed in Nij-Jyestha month this year. However if death has happened in Adhik Jyestha in previous years, then the annual Shraddha should be performed this year in Adhik Jyestha month.

C. If death has occurred in the month of Shravan or Bhadrapad in 2017, then the first annual Shraddha should be performed on the particular lunar day in that lunar month itself in this year. One
should not perform the Shraddha in the previous month considering that otherwise 13 months would get over.

D. If death occurs on Adhik or Nij Jyestha months this year, then the first annual Shraddha should be performed in the month of Jyestha on the particular lunar day in the subsequent year.


8. Method for finding out adhik maas

A. The month in which sun’s transmigration occurs on the 5th day in the dark fortnight, the same month is considered to be adhik maas in the subsequent year. However this is a provisional way of finding adhik maas.

B. One should multiply the Shalivahan Shak year by 12 and the result should be divided by 19. If the reminder is equal or less than 9 then adhik maas will occur in that year.

For e.g. this year, the Shalivahan Shak year is 1940. 1940 multiplied by 12 is 23280. 23280 divided by 19 gives 1225 and reminder 5. Therefore, adhik maas will occur this year.


9. What should one do if birthday falls during adhikmaas?

If the month in which a person’s birthday falls occurs as an adhikmaas, then the birthday should be celebrated in the Nij month. E.g. In the year 2017 if a person’s birthday occurred in the Jyeshta
month, since in this year (2018) adhikmaas happens in the month of Jyeshtha, the birthday should be celebrated in the Nij Jyestha month this year rather than in the adhikmaas. Birthdays of the babies born in the Aadhik Jyeshta month in 2018, should be celebrated on the particular lunar day in the Jyeshta month every year.


10. Upcoming adhik maas in subsequent years

Shalivahan Shak year Adhik maas month
1937 Aashad
1940 Jyestha
1942 Ashwin
1945 Shravan
1948 Jyestha
1951 Chaitra
1953 Bhadrapad
1956 Aashad
1959 Jyestha

– Mrs. Prajakta Joshi, Astrologer, Sanatan Ashram, Ramnathi, Goa.