Friday, March 27, 2009

Significance of Chaitra maasa

The Chaitra maasa (चैत्र मास) which came in the Bhavishyottara purANa (भविष्योत्तर पुराण) is described as follows:

ವೈಶಾಖಾತ್ ಕಾರ್ತಿಕಃ ಶ್ರೇಷ್ಠಃ ಕಾರ್ತಿಕಾತ್ ಮಾಘ ಎವ ಚ

ಮಾಘಮಾಸಾದ್ ವರಶ್ಚಾಯಂ ಚೈತ್ರಮಾಸೋ ಭವಿಷ್ಯತಿ.

वैशाखात् कार्तिकः श्रेष्ठः कार्तिकात् माघ एव च ।

माघमासाद् वरश्चायं चैत्रमासो भविष्यति ॥

The month of Kaartika (कार्तिक)is more important than Vaishaakha (वैशाख), Maagha (माघ) is more significant than Kaartika, and Chaitra is much more auspicious than Maagha.

All good deeds, alms given to the deserving, yajgna-yaagas (यज्ञ-याग) performed, baths taken in holi places, learning sastras in this month of Chaitra, will pay thousand times more rich dividends. Especially, if all these activites are performed in Ayodhya.

Being the first among the twelve months, this month of Chaitra grants to all living beings whatever pleases them and thus assumes the form of mother. Maryaada purushottama Sri Ramachandra was born in this month and upon his birth, the gods and the people who were satisfied by the avatara praised him with several various hymns along with music-instruments-dance. Praising the significance of the month of Chaitra, people requested Sri Rama to grant special boons to this month. A gracious Sri Rama said thus:

ಸರ್ವೇಷಾಮೇವ ಮಾಸಾನಾಂ ಶ್ರೇಷ್ಠಾಶ್ಚಾಯಂ ಭವಿಷ್ಯತಿ

ಅಯೋಧ್ಯಾಯಾಂ ರಾಮತೀರ್ಥ ಸರಯಾಜಲ ಮಧ್ಯಗೇ

ಚೈತ್ರಸ್ನಾನಂ ಪ್ರರುರ್ವಾಣಾ ಸ್ತ್ರೀ ನರಾ ಮೋಕ್ಷಭಾಗಿನಃ

सर्वेषामेव मासानां श्रेष्ठाश्चायं भविष्यति ।

अयोध्यायां रामतीर्थ सरयाजल मध्यगे ।

चैत्रस्नानं प्ररुर्वाणा स्त्री नरा मोक्षभागिनः ॥

Being the embodiment of the mother of all the months, the month of Chaitra shall be most auspicious. Having blessed thus, Sri Rama himself took birth on this Earth in the very same month. For people who take bath in the Sarayu river in Ayodhya shall be saved from all difficulties which they will encounter.

The following deeds shall be done during the month of Chaitra

-arranging drinking water for travellers

-arrangement of shelter to people walking in the sun/heat

-arrangement of food for the hungry and poor

It is said in the sastras that if a person fails to provide water for the needy, such a person will be born as a Jataka bird in future birth and will have to suffer to get water. Wheat, bedding, jaggery, ghee, curd, nellikai, mango are considered very auspicious.

During the month of Chaitra, one should take bath in the Sarayu river and listen / read the Ramayana. A sloka in the sastras says thus:

ಸರ್ವ ತೀರ್ಥೇಷು ಯತ್ ಪುಣ್ಯಂ ಸರ್ವ ದಾನೇಷು ಯತ್ ಫಲಂ |

ರಾಮಾಯಣಸ್ಯ ಪಠಣಾತ್ ತತ್ ಫಲಂ ನವರಾತ್ರಕೇ ||

सर्व तीर्थेषु यद् पुण्यं सर्व दानेषु यद् फालम् ।

रामायणस्य पठनात् तत् फलं नवरात्रके ॥

That result / fruit (punya) which is be obtained by taking bath in all holi places, that (punya) which is obtained by daana of all kinds, can be obtained just by listening to the Ramayana.

The important days of this month are as follows:

1. Yugaadi - 1st day of the bright fortnight

2. Gowri truteeya - 3rd day of the bright fortnight

3. Raamanavami - 9th day of the bright fortnight

4. Ekaadashi - 11th day of either fortnight

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