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Adhik Maas or Mal Maas or Purushottam Maas
see also Blue Moon, Sankraanti
"Origin and Development of Calendars in the World" under the Calendar, Vaidik
The Adhik Maas (additional Lunar month) or Mal Maas (unclean Lunar month) or Purushottam Maas comes once more or less in 2 and a 1/2 years, or precisely every 31.4 Lunar months in Lunar calendar in order to achieve a balance between the Lunar months and the Solar months; both of which govern the Hindu calendar.
Normally Adhik Maas must be decided vis-a-vis solar Madhu, Maadhav etc months (see Hindu Lunar Calendar). The Solar year has 365 days whereas the Lunar year has fewer days, because each month is roughly 29.53 days only according to Moon's speed. To bring the two years in sync, the Adhik Maas (an extra month) is added to the Lunar year once in approx 2 and 1/2 years. This is the month when the Moon is not near any Nakshatra (stellar constellation) and the Sun has not entered any Raashi or Sign of Zodiac. Complicated as this is, it is easy to remember at the Adhik Maas balances the Lunar and Solar calendars. Also because the earth's rotation around the Sun is slightly slower during the months of July-October, the Adhik Maas comes in this period only. Shraavan, Bhaadrapad, Aashwin are the common Adhik Maas months. In the year 2004, the Adhik Maas (month) started on July 18 and ended on August, 15.
Legend Behind Adhik Maas
Once upon a time, it so happened that all the 12 months of the year felt very burdened by the sins committed by mankind. So all the "12 months of the year" went to Krishn and complained about it. The 12 months begged the Lord to redeem them of this horrible weight [of sins]. Lord Vishnu blessed them and said: “I shall create an extra month to carry the burden. This extra month (Adhik Maas) will be known as "Mal Maas" - Mal means "Unclean". Because of being an unclean month, naturally no festival would take place during this month."
Hearing this, "Mal Maas" felt very sad and took his plight to Lord Krishn. He cried - “Why only me to carry the burden of all the sins?” Lord Krishn was filled with compassion. He said - "I bless you, O Mal Maas. Henceforth you will be named after me. You will be known as the Month of Purushottam (Purush means "man", and Uttam means "the best" - thus Puroshottam refers to the Highest Being, means 'God or Paramaatmaa), so you will be known as "Purushottam Maas" from today."
The Lord further stated: “Whosoever shall pray, keep fast, chant, sing, worship during the month of Purushottam, will be specially blessed, and get maximum recognition by me." Adhik Maas got very happy to hear this and never got sad after that.
Understanding the concept of Adhik Maas / Adhik Masa
Any Solar calendar has 365 days. However, a Lunar calendar has only 354 days. These difference in the days, over years, make up for the additional month upon which there will be a sync between the two calendars. Generally, an Adhik Maas comes every years (32 months, 16 days and 8 Ghadee to be precise). A Ghadee is 24 minutes.
Adhik Maas is followed by any Hindu regional calendar that follows the Lunar-based calculations. The regional calendars of the states of Aandhra Pradesh, Karnaatak, Mahaaraashtra and Gujaraat will have the lunar month which starts and finishing with the new moon (Amaavasyaa day) while the states of North India have their lunar month starting and finishing with a Full Moon (Poornimaa day).
While the concept of Adhik Maas is really technical in nature, for
the common man, it would mean that there might be slight changes in
which celebrations are conducted at the temple. For instance, there
might be two Brahmotsav at popular temples, such as that at Tirupati.
Tirumala Tirupati Dev Sthaan for instance celebrates two Brahmotsav
during the Adhik Asauj. Further, Adhik Maas are often special prayer
time for the devotees of Krishn.
By AK Kaul
First of all, for this purpose, we have to clarify the definition of an
Adhik Maas, and it is: --
Example is better than precept,
New Moon was on July 19, 2012 at about 9.56 am IST. That means Lahiri Lunar Shraavan started from July 19, 2012, three days after Lahiri "sidereal" solar Shraavan had started.
(2) Lahiri solar Bhaadrapad started at 6.00 pm IST of August 16, 2012. Phalit-waalaa call that moment as Lahiri "sidereal" (sic) Sinha (Leo) Sankraanti.
New Moon was on August 17, 2012 at 9.26 pm IST. That means Lahiri Lunar Bhaadrapad
started about 27 hours after Lahiri Solar Bhaadrapad.
(3) Lahiri Solar Aashwin month starts from September 16, 2012 at about 5.50 pm IST. It is also known as Lahiri "sidereal" (sic) Kanyaa (Virgo) Sankraanti.
There will be a New Moon on September 16, 2012 at about 7.40 am IST, ie about 10 hours before the Lahiri solar "sidereal" (sic) Aashwin stars.
And that is the fly in the ointment.
And the first one is. therefore, a Lahiri Adhik Maas, also known as Mal Maas. This
will last till the next Lahiri Lunar Bhaadrapad starts, i.e. September 16, 2012.
Now the question arises as to how long will the Shuadha Lahiri Bhaadrapad Maas last?
Lahiri Solar Kaarttik will start on October 16, 2012 at 2.43 pm IST. Phalita-waallaa call the same as Lahiri "sidereal" (sic) Tulaa (Libra) Sankraanti.
Thus you can see it for yourself that Lahiri Lunar Shuadha Bhaadrapad will last
from September 16, 2012 to October 15, 2012.
You are well within your rights to ask me as to why I have all along been saying
"Lahiri" solar or Lunar Shraavan or Bhaadrapad etc.
But ironically, all the sidereal-waalaa including the much touted Chandra-Hari and Chandra-Hari waalaa will observe Lahiri Adhik Lunar Bhaadrapad Maas, if they observe any Adhik Maas at all.
In other words, none of these stalwarts has any faith in his own Ayanaansh. And that is why I call "Lahiri" Ayanaansh as almighty. It overrules every other Ayanaansh, though all these Ayanaansh-waala claim to be siderealists, with their special Ayanaansh having some special qualities.
Now coming to the real Vaidik Adhik Maas in 2012.
The Adhik Vaidik Aashaadh Maas lasted till Jun 19, 2012, and the Nija or Shuddha Vaidik Lunar Aashaadh Maas started from that date, which lasted till the next New Moon (Amaavasyaa) that was on July 19, 2012 at 9.56 am.
I hope the gamut of Lunar calendar vis-a-vis Solar calendar has become very clear now and the people will understand that Lunar months are named as per Poornimaant Nakshatra. It has been proved by now that Lunar months of the same name follow only after the Solar months, and it is not the other way round.
In 1974 AD, a similar situation arose when Lahiri Lunar Bhaadrapad was an Adhik Maas. At
that time even the Lahiri "sidereal" (sic) months started only after the same
Lahiri Solar months had starte, eg. Lahiri Solar Bhaadrapad started on August 17, 1976,
whereas Lahiri Lunar Adhik Bhaadrapad started on August 18 of the same year, and Lahiri
Nija or Shuddha Lunar Bhaadrapad Maas started on September 17, 1974. Similarly, Lahiri
Solar Aashwin Maas started on September 18, 1974 but the same Lahiri Lunar Aashwin Maas
started on October 16 of the same year.
List of Adhik Maas up to 2027
According to sidereal zodiac system Sun enters the first zodiac sign Aries (Mesh) on about April 15 of every year. And as the Sun takes 1 month (30 days) to move to another Sign, he moves in the next Sign about 15th of every month. For example, on Makar Sankraanti, about January 14, the Sun enters the sidereal zodiac Sign Capricorn. While Sun remains in a zodiac Sign for approximately 30 days, the Moon travels through the zodiac Sign in about 27.5 days. As a result, on average, once about every 2 and 1/2 years, the entry of the Moon in the same zodiac Sign occurs twice while the Sun remains in the same sign.
In other words, when the Sun is traveling through the same zodiac Sign, in whichever month during which two new moons (Amaavasyaa) occur, happens once about every 2 and 1/2 years. The lunar month corresponding to the period between these two new moons is treated as the extra month or the Adhik Maas. Thus, if the Adhik Maas occurs at the beginning of the lunar month Chaitra, then it’s called as Adhik Chaitra, and the following lunar month would be then the regular or Neej lunar month Chaitra.
The concept of this Adhik Maas (the extra month) is similar to the “Blue Moon” in the West, which occurs almost with the same frequency of 2 and 1/2 years. Blue Moon is the second Full Moon when two Full Moons occur in the same month. Naturally the Blue Moon must occur towards the end of month (some where between 29th, or 30th, or 31st of the month).
Normally the entry of Sun in a sidereal zodiac Sign occurs around the middle of the calendar (solar) month (near 15th of the month), thus, the Sun stays in a sidereal zodiac Sign from about 15th of one month to about 15th of the next month. Since for Adhik Maas to occur, two New Moons must occur during when Sun remains in the same zodiac Sign; consequently, those New Moons must occur near 15th of the successive months. As a result, around the time of Adhik Maas, the successive Full Moons are very likely to occur near the beginning and the end of the same month. Thus the occurrence of the Blue Moon usually precedes the Adhik Maas.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 08/30/12