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Chaturmas Vrat- Chaturmas Date2013-Importance of Chaturmas-Chaturmas Vrat Katha-Chaturmas Rituls and Legend-Chaturmas Images

Chaturmas Date2013

Chaturmas Vrata, or Chatur Mas Vrat, is observed for a period of four months and it begins from the Deva Sayana Ekadasi in Ashada month and ends on Utthana Ekadasi in Kartik Month. In 2013, Chaturmas Vrat begins on July 19 and ends on November 13. The four months of Shravan, Bhadrapad, Ashwina and Kartik are considered as the holiest months in the Hindi calendar.

Importance of Chaturmas

Chatur Mas is a period consisting of four human months and it begins from the Deva Sayana Ekadasi in Ashada month and ends on Utthana Ekadasi in Kartik Month. The four months of Shravan, Bhadrapad, Ashwina and Kartik are considered as the holiest months in the Hindu calendar. The four months is of great importance to Lord Vishnu devotees as this period is believed to be the sleeping period (Yoga Nitra) of Vishnu.
As Vishnu goes to bed on the Sukla Ekadasi of Asadha, it is called Sayana ekadasi; As He turns on His side on the Sukla ekadasi of Bhadrapada, it is called Parivartana ekadasi and when He wakes up on Sukla ekadasi of Kartika, it is called Uttana ekadasi. 


Chaturmas Vrat Katha

Chaturmas Vrat, or Chatur Mas Vrat, is observed for a period of four months and it begins from the Deva Sayana Ekadashi in Ashadh month and ends on Utthana Ekadashi in Kartik Month. The four months of Shravan, Bhadrapad, Ashwini and Kartik are considered as the holiest months in the Hindu calendar. Different types of vows and Vratas are observed by Hindus during this period.
The Supreme Lord and the Demi-gods are at rest. This period is referred to as Chaturmas - four months
You may wonder how did this Vrat come about and what is the significance of Devashayani (When the God sleeps) and Devprabodhini (When the God wakes)? It is explained in the Bhagavata Purana.
The Asuras and Devas, bitter enemies though they may be, are brothers. Their father is Maharishi Kashyapa and their mothers are his two wives Diti and Aditi respectively, Who are also sisters and the daughters of Tvastr Prajapati. Although Prajapati is properly the name of Brahmaji, his mind-born sons such as Tvastr, Kardama, Daksha etc. are called Prajapati because the actual work of creation was done by them. Thus another name of Brahmaji is Pitamaha or Grandfather as the entire creation is the children of His children. Narada refused to take part. Narada realized that as vast and magnificent as this Brahmanda is, it is insignificant and momentary compared to Bhagavan. Enraged, Brahmaji cursed him to wander forever through the worlds but Narada Muni took it as a blessing, the chance to meet all the various Bhaktas and watch them praise Shri Hari.
Because their mothers are Diti and Aditi respectively, the Asuras are called Daitya and the Devas are called Adityas (Especially Suryadev who is the oldest.) The difference between the two can also be explained by their mothers names. Diti is what is finite and Aditi is infinity. It is explained in the Chandogya upanishad and elsewhere that both the Devaraja Indra and the Asura raja Virochana had an opportunity to study Brahmavidya. But Virochana thought it meant “There is nothing but the self so one can do whatever one likes.” Indradeva on the other hand was able to understand the true meaning, that the self is beyond the limits of the petty whims and desires that make up the mortal body. For this reason, Bhagavan favours the Devas over the Asuras.
But the good guys don’t always stay good and the bad guys don’t always stay bad. Sitting in Amaravati, his palace in Swarga, Indradeva became puffed up with pride and forgot the true source of his power. Meanwhile, Bali the son of Virochana was thinking. Realizing the error his father had made, he resolved to purify himself of all evil and engage in rigorous tapa. Because of this the Daityas were able to overcome the Devas and Indra was dethroned. For all its exaltation and power, to be Indra is just an office. Just as through had work one can hope to be promoted in ones job, through earning much Punya one can hope to be promoted to the post of Agni, Surya, or even Indra. But the converse of that is that through the accumulation of sin, one can lose that position again. In the Vishnu Purana there is a story of how once Bhagavan showed Indradeva a line of ants winding their way at the foot of his throne all of which had once been an Indra in a former life than sunk all the way down to the condition of an insect. Thus a wise man should realize the ultimate futility of karma and seek Vairagya alone.
Accompanied by the Devas, Indra went to Goloka and begged Vishnu Bhagavan to save him. Bhagavan who is ever merciful to his Bhaktas agreed. He took the form of Vaman, 8 year old Brahman boy. Shiva takes a similar form in his Batuk Bhairava rupa. Bhagavan Vaman went to see Bali who received him cordially and offered him a gift. Bhagavan in his Vaman rupa asked him for enough land to cover three steps. Looking at the little legs of the boy in front of him, Bali burst out laughing and urged him to ask for more. But Bhagavan was adamant so Bali granted the strange request. Immediately, Bhagavan grew to collossal size. With one stride he covered the Earth and with a second, the heavens. Laughingly he asked Bali “I have covered everything and still have one step to go. Where shall I put it?” This is why one of His names is Vikram or Trivikrama. “Who takes (three) wide steps.” Bali realized who he was dealing with and immediately offered up his own head for the third step. This is the sign of true nobility. When he was left with nothing Bali gave up his own head rather than break his word. Bhagavan took the third step and crushed Bali back down to Sutala again.
Pleased with this display of devotion, Bhagavan went to visit Bali and offered him a wish. Bali replied “As I provided the third step, I request that you together with your wife Lakshmiji should come and live with me one third of the year. Bhagavan agreed and since then we have observed the Chaturmas Vrat. During this time, Bhagavan is considered to be asleep. Thus the start of Chaturmas is called Devashayani Ekadashi and the day Bhagavan wakes up and Chaturmas ends is called Devprabodhini Ekadashi.

Chaturmas Rituls 

Chaturmas Vrat is not very hard and fast but the hardcore devotees observe the vrat very strictly,as mentioned here-
The devotee gets up before sunrise,takes holy bath and worships Lord Vishnu.Chatrumas Vrat fast is observed ie no food items such as milk,jaggery,curd,oil,brinjals ,leafy vegetables, salty,spicy food ,sweet dishes meat and hard liquors are consumed.
Some devotees observe the fast monthwise,
Shravan month - avoid leafy vegetables,
Bhadrapad month - curd is avoided.
Ashwin month - milk is avoided,
Karthik month - udit dal is avoided.
Vishnu Maha puja is performed,by giving a sacred bath to the Idol of Lord Vishnu(Abhishek), by chanting the mantras i.e. Vishnu Sahasranama and stotras etc.Chaturmas is believed to be the night of Lord Vishnu, So,Vishnu devotees listen to his stories,also recite them to others,through stories or hymns(bhajans).
On the final day of Chaturmas Vrata (Utthana Ekadasi or Kartik Shukla Ekadashi), the devotee offers Dakshina (includes food, clothes and other daily commodities) to a Brahmin and gets his blessings.
Many devotees read the epics Mahabharat,Ramayan, Bhagwad Gita and Bhagwad Puran.There are also few devotees who daily attend the religeous activities in the temple.Devotees spend time in helping the poor and maintaining the Vishnu temples.

Chaturmas Legend

The King of Gods,Indra was sitting in his palace, in heaven.Indradeva became very proud of himself and forgot the true source of his power.
On the other hand,Bali the son of the Asura king,Virochana,vowed to purify himself of all evil and got involved in a rigorous penance.With this, the Daitya superceded the Devas and Indra was dethroned.Indra,with other devas,soon approached and requested Lord Vishnu to save him.Agreeing to his request,Vishnu took the form of Vaman, 8 year old Brahman boy(batuk). Shiva Bhagavan takes a similar form in his Batuk Bhairava rupa.
Lord Vishnu visited Bali,who received him with great pleasure and offered him a gift.Vishnu asked for enough land to cover three steps.Looking at the little legs of the Batuk, Bali started laughing and told him to ask for a bigger thing.
Vishnu was stubborn and stuck to his demand, so Bali granted the strange request.Soon, Lord Vishnu got transformed in to a huge form,with one stride on the Earth and second in the heavens.
Laughingly he asked Bali ' I have covered everything and still have one step to go. Where shall I keep it? ' Bali soon realized who he was and immediately offered his own head for keeping the third step.Vishnu placed the third step and pushed Bali back down to 'Narak' again.
Vishnu was pleased with Bali and offered him a wish.Bali requested that Vishnu together with consort Lakshmi Mata should come and live with him one third of the year.
Vishnu agreed and during this time, Vishnu is considered to be asleep. Thus the start of Chaturmas is called Devashayani Ekadashi and the day Bhagavan wakes up and Chaturmas ends is called Devprabodhini Ekadashi.
Whomsoever will hear this Katha (story) of the great Bhakta Bali and practice the Chaturmas Vrat will have the blessings of Vishnu Bhagavan forever.


Chaturmas Images