Guiding Light: Ashadha Maasa

Guiding Light: Ashadha Maasa

Prof S AinavoluUpdated: Tuesday, July 02, 2024, 06:17 PM IST
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Ashadha is an auspicious month for religious and spiritual practices. | Representative Image/Pixabay

Ashadha month as per the lunar calendar happens in the English months of June/July every year. This is a rainy season in our country, happens after the hot summer in most parts, and witnesses first round of bounty rains. Ashadha is treated auspicious month for the religious and spiritual practices. Often the mundane shubhakarya (auspicious functions) are avoided during the season.

Ashadha month is known for Ashadha Ekadashi during which celebrations happen in pilgrim places. In the Ashadha month the Shri Pandharipur congregation in the western parts to Shri Jagannadha Puri rath yatra in east, the boundless energy of the devotees has to be seen in action. The Ashadha month’s particular Ekadashi is treated as Shayana Ekadashi, meaning the day on which lord Vishnu enters the yoga nidra. This period continues for next four months, after which the ‘waking up’ happens in the form of uthhana Ekadashi in the month of Kartika which often falls in November. Figuratively yognidra indicates ‘withdrawal’. The activities that keep us busy in the normal formats are relooked at and a pause to be given for recalibrating the work schedules and life aspects.

The pilgrims walk hundreds of miles to reach the Pandharipur to have the darshan of lord Vithal. The long and arduous journey is converted into a spiritual up-movement and social belongingness and festivity makes the congregations look like Vrundavan’s people on the move to meet the lord Krishna. On eastern part the lord Jagannadha embarks an annual visit to moushi’s place along with Balabhadra and Subhadra. The stay that happens at the destination Gundicha mandir gets completed and return to the original place of the Jagannadha mandir happens after the customary seven days. It is like a young aspirant visiting his moushi’s place for a purpose, and returning to own home after the fulfilling the purpose, say appearing for an exam or interview.

Ashadha month is for our upliftment. As the season change happens, the wakeful and eating schedules have to be relooked at. As the Varsha ritu sets in, the ‘prakriti’ changes and we need to be alert to the changing requirements. Many saints/sadhus enter into static phase of chaturmasa vrata, meaning staying at a single place for significant period. Rivers overflow, jungles re-green, and the spiritual practices soar high.

Prof S Ainavolu is a Mumbai-based teacher of Tradition and Management. Views are personal. https://www.linkedin.com/in/s-ainavolu-6831b724/

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