Chaturmaas Starts from Wednesday 9th July 2014 – Shree Swaminarayan Temple Perth Australia

Chaturmaas Starts from Wednesday 9th July 2014

Chaturmaas

What do we mean by Chaturmaas? This is a period of four months namely Ashadh, Shravan, Bhadarvo and Aaso (monsoon period). It starts on Devshayani Ekadashi in the month of Ashadh and ends on Prabodhini Ekadashi in the month of Kartik.

The significance of Chaturmaas is to observe extra penance, engage in extra devotion aati and control over sense gratification etc. Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan writes in the Shikshapatri :-

All my disciples shall take a vow to observe additional austerity during the four months of monsoon (beginning from the eleventh day of the bright half of Ashadsh month and ending on the twelfth day of the bright half of Kartik month ) and those who are unable to do so, may serve at least during the month of Shravan.

The following are the best methods of observances to be adopted and followed daily as rules:-
1.    Reading religious scriptures

2.    Listening to religiuos scriptures

3.    Reciting songs in praise of his divine qualities

4.    Performing Mahapuja of the Lord’s images

5.    Chanting his Mantra

6.    Reciting his hymns

7.    Performing Pradikshana

8.    Prostrating before God’s image.

Along with the observances of daily religious austerities, my disciples shall choose any one of the above methods as additional devotion practice during Chaturmaas and follow it daily with deep devotion (Shiktapatri shloka 76-78) & Satsangi Jivan; 2 : 41-43.

Extra Niyams’s

During the chaaturmaas period
In this auspicious period one should strive to perform good deeds. We are devotees of Lorf Shree Swaminarayan and He has ordered us to take up an extra niyam in the chaaturmaas period. You can take up any of the niyams listed below or others that you wish to take. Once you have decided on the niyam which you wish to follow you must then make a vow in-front of the Lord and/or Holy saints that I will follow this niyam during the chaaturmaas period:

Oh lord! (or Swami!)
Please give me strength and courage so that i may able to follow my chosen niyam. Confide in the saints of which niyam you are taking and request them to remind you frequently about your niyam. Oh Lord! with your grace,

I will…

  • Chant 108 mantras every day.
  • Sing Janmangal mantra once every day.
  • Do maha pooja 11 times during chaatur maas and also encourage others to do it.
  • Do 11 Pradikshna every day.
  • Sing 1 Kirtan every day.
  • Do 11 Danvats every day.
  • Listen to Katha every morning and evening.
  • Listen to Katha once a week.
  • Sing Chesta every day.
  • Read 1 Vachnamrut or 1 question at.
  • Not eat a chosen saak during this period.
  • Go Mandir everyday Sunday without fail.
  • Go to Mandir to do 1 of the 5 aartis every day.
  • Do divo and sing Dhun with the family in front of Lord.
  • Fast on the special days during this period.
  • Only eat once during Ekadashi.
  • Not eat at all for 3 of the special Ekadashi.(asad sud, badhar sud, karthick sud)
  • Donate everyday use items or money to Lord on full moon days.
  • Say Lords name 11 times before I go to sleep.
  • Say Jay Shree Swaminarayan when I receive a phone call.
  • Say Jay Shree Swaminarayan to everyone I meet.
  • Say Jay Shree Swaminarayan to any Satsangis without fail.
  • Not eat or drink anything until I have completed my pooja.
  • Only eat once every day during the month of Shravan.
  • Complete at least 1 Holy Scripture during this period.
  • Go to the Mandir and do Darshan on lord or do it over the internet or on your iPhone.

The Origins of Chaturmaas

King Bali was the grandson of Prahladji, and grew up with the guidance of his grandfather which gave him a good sense of righteousness and bhakti. When King Bali succeeded his grandfather, he became King of the Demons. Bali Raja’s kingdom expanded quickly in all directions, even up towards heavens and this made the Demi-gods (Devtas) very nervous. There was peace and prosperity in Bali Raja’s kingdom, with all the people living happily and without fear from any crime.
With guidance from his Guru (Sukracharya), Bali Raja decided to conduct an Ashwamedh Yagna. The fruits of this yagna included being able to banish Indra and take over his world (lok). Indra and the other demi-gods went to Lord Vishnu and it was at this time that He said that He would take care of everything. During this yagna Bali Raja had vowed that he would not refuse anything that anyone asked from him. It was at this time that Vaaman Bhagwan came to Bali Raja’s kingdom and asked for 3 steps of land from him. Even though his Guru told him not to agree, Bali Raja stuck by his vow and agreed to give the 3 steps of land promptly. Vaaman Bhagwan then increased His physical size to the extent that with the 1st and 2nd step He measured all the worlds and the sky. For the 3rd step Bali Raja offered himself and was banished to Paataal when Vaman Bhaghwan placed His foot on his head. Vaaman Bhagwan was impressed with Bali Raja’s unselfish devotion and unwavering dharma, and so granted him a boon where he was allowed to visit his kingdom once every year to make sure his subjects were still happy. Thus Bali Raja is one of a few who are chiranjivis (lives for eternity).
As Bali Raja was a true devotee of Vishnu, Vishnu Bhagwan brought him back from Paataal and promised to protect him until the next era. Here, Bali Raja would be crowned as Indra. Vishnu Bhaghwan disguised Himself as a doorman and protected Bali Raja from all dangers. As a result of this, Vishnu Bhagwan was not in Vaikunt and Laxmiji became restless. She took on the form of a Brahmin woman and claimed that her husband had gone away for a large length of time for work, and that she has no where to stay. Bali Raja took her in whole heartedly and protected her like she was his sister.
Finally, on the Puranima day of Shravan, the Brahmin woman tied a colourful string of cotton on the wrist of Bali Raja, praying for protection and happiness (this is how Raksha Bandan came to be). Bali Raja was touched by this and granted her a wish. She immediately looked at the guard and asked for Him, as that was her husband. It was at this point that both Vishnu Bhagwan and Laxmiji revealed their true identities. As Bali was a virtuous man, and a protective brother he requested that Lord Vishnu go back to Vaikunt with Laxmiji, but for the Lord to return as a guard for the 4 months of the year during the monsoon months (chatur maas).