Chaturmas - Chaturmasya - Chatur Month

Chaturmas is a valuable time for saints, devotees and sadhus. It is believed that Lord Vishnu remains in deep meditation during the four months of chaturmas. These four months of ancient yagya is also known as Chaturmasya. It commences from the poornima or phalgun, chaitra or vaishakh and concludes on Ashadh Shukla dwadasi or poornima. Vaishryadeva, Varunghaas, Shakmegha and Sunasheeriya are celebrated during this time. The importance of chaturmas can be read in the ancient scriptures such as Katyayana Shrotsutra.

According to Varshakaal, everyone must perform puja and devote themselves in the worship of god during these four months. Saints and priests can be seen observing Chaturmasa fasts during this time. People who observe this fast must follow brahmachari custom, sacrifice the use of addictive food, sleep on the floor and worship Lord Vishnu. It is also believed that reciting Vishnu Sahasranama path during this time give beneficial results. The four months of chaturmas are considered to be very auspicious in every aspect.

Chaturmas rituals for  fast and puja

There are certain rituals to observe chaturmas fast. According to those rituals, devotees should avoid taking any addictive food during this time . It is also believed that use of salt in food reduces the auspicious results of the fast. The observer must sleep on the floor and avoid eating food items such as wheat, moong dal and oat. He should follow the path of honesty and should resist himself from saying words that could hurt anyone’s sentiments.

Other than these, an observer must strictly follow the rituals of fasts described in ancient scriptures. A person observing the fast should wake up early in the morning and complete his routine work like bathing etc. However, taking early morning bath in a holy river is considered to be very auspicious for the observer, but if it is not possible then regular bath using the paste of mud, sesame and kush can also give beneficial results. Since this fast is observed in devotion of lord Vishnu, chanting\ the mantra “ Om Namo Bhagwate Vasudevaya Namah” and “ Om Namo Narayana” gives relief from all sufferings.

After taking the bath, worship Lord Vishnu. Before commencing the puja establish an urn tied with red cloth and place the idol of lord Vishnu on it. Worshipping the lord with incense sticks, lamps, flowers etc. pleases lord Vishnu and helps in attaining salvation.

Significance of Chaturmas

According to the ancient scriptures, Lord Vishnu resides in the patal lok from the beginning of chaturmas. Chaturmas is the duration between the month of ashadh and mid of kartik. It is believed that lord Vishnu rests on the latex bed of the ocean for complete four months. Therefore, any kind of religious or auspicious work such as marriage, farming etc. are not  performed during this phase. Braj yatra is the only pilgrimage that is open during chaturmas period since it is believed that all the gods and goddess gather at this place and reside here for four months of chaturmas.