Adhika Masam or Adhik Masa
In Hindu religion each and every god is worshiped in a unique way and there is custom of finding God in each and every festival. All the twelve months has its own significance in the Hindu Calendar.
Adhika masam comes in every 3 years and it holds as a very special month. There are no festivals in this month, but the donations and rituals done in this month are very sacred.
The month of moon in which surya sankranti is not there, is known as Adhika masa. Adhika masa is also known as “Malimlucha Maasa”, “Asankraanta Maasa” (as sun stays in just one zodiac the whole month) and “Purushottama Maasa”.
How Adhik Masa Calculated?
The calculation of time on earth should be in respect with the season of 2 months (ruthu). Revolution of seasons occurs accordingly to the rotation of Earth. Hence the solar measurement of time is dependent on the counting of seasons. Since from ages even the moon is seen at different stages, even the lunar measurement of time is considered. Hence both solar measurement of time and lunar measurement of time are used. Solar measurement of time and lunar measurement is adjusted in accordance to the period or season of two months.
The moon takes 29.531 days to revolve from one full moon to another full moon (Purnima to Purnima) since earth revolves round the sun and even when the moon is revolving around it. Hence the lunar measurement of time is calculated as 29.531*12 = 354.372 days.
Solar measurement of time for one revolution is 365.2422
Lunar measurement of time is 354.372
The difference between solar and lunar measurement of time is 10.8702 days.
This difference counts to 32.6106 days for 3yrs. To balance this difference Adhika masa comes in 3rd year. Which means every 33rd month is adhika masa. On this basis a custom of giving 33daanas came into force.
Adhika maasa starts from the next day of full moon and lasts till amavasya in Karnataka, Andra Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. But in North India Adhika Masa starts from the first day of Vyshaka month and lasts till full moon of the month.
Rituals in Adhika Masa
Masa Snana: Snana during Arunodaya on all days of the masa.
Ayachitha Vratha: Being content with what you have and not ask anybody for anything.
Akhanda Deepa: One lamp should glow continuously without a break during the entire masa.
Deepa Seva: Lighting of 33 lamps, 108 lamps, 1008 lamps on all days / special days / one day or any combination.
Vishnu Panchaka Vratha: Five fasts during the masa on – Shravana Nakshatra day, Two Ekadashis, Pournami and Amavasya
Naktha Bhojana / Eka Bhuktha: Complete fasting during the day and just One meal at night time.
Thamboola Dana: On all days of the masa to brahmin couples.
Bagina dana: Women should give away baginas to at least 33 mutthaides.
Apoopa Dana: Apoopas prepared out of Rice, Jaggery and Ghee. At least 33 apoopas to be given away. This is said to bestow Vishesha Phala.
Phala Dana: Minimum of 33 plantains or mangoes or Jack fruit lozenges.
Those who cannot give on all days of the masa should try and give on the special days: Shukla Dwadashi, Pournima, Krishna Ashtami, Navami, Dwadashi, Chathurdashi and Amavasya.