So fast approaching is the Purushottam month. There are twelve months in a year and one can earn good karma. That is called sakaama months. So they think that this extra month if you do not offer fruitive works it is bad. Medha Rishi, he went to Godhead quite quick and he had a daughter and he did not have time to marry her. So she went to Durvasa muni and asked him for a blessing and he advised her that she should follow the Purushottam month. She criticized him and said I came expecting a blessing and you gave me the worst thing! Normally Durvasa muni is not somebody you mess around with. He is known to curse. And he thought that this is the daughter of my friend and her offense to the Purushottam month is so bad that anything I would curse it would be light compared to that. So then she became very ugly and she started worshipping Lord Shiva and Lord Shiva appeared to her and He asked what do you want? She said, I want a husband, I want a husband, I want a husband, I want a husband, I want a husband. Five times. You asked for five, so you get five husbands. No, no, I just want one she said. But she said five times, so that was given to her. So she took birth as Draupadi and she had five husbands. That is another story.
Since everyone criticized the extra month, she was lamenting that I am being criticized by everyone. So Narayana took her up to see Lord Krishna and she explained her plight that everyone was calling her mala maas and so on. So Krishna said this will be the month known as Purushottam as I am known as Purushottam, this month will be known as Purushottam. All My good qualities will be present in this month. And one can get spiritual advancement quickly in this month. This month will be called Purushottam month. So the month became known as Purushottam and every three years there a leap month.
So this is a month of nishkaama and it is especially good for advancing in Krishna consciousness. One can be a grihastha, have kids and at the end of life end up in Goloka. So actually if you want to be Krishna conscious it is a very good month. But if you want to go to Swarga or get some good karma, it is not a good month. That is why most smaartha brahmanas do not like it because they are into sakaama. But the devotees like this and it is good for nishkaama karma. You observe it by following the basic rules of Kartik month, offering lamps, chanting Hare Krishna, worshipping the deities of Radha and Krishna and such spiritual activities. Like giving out food to the vaishnavas, prasadam, even give charity, bathing in the morning if possible. It is not very difficult for devotees. But it has so many glories that even Krishna, He cannot say all the glories. I posted a short synopsis but devotees speculate, I will fast for one month, some people do havishanna. I will be publishing havishanna recipes. Some say they want to do Ekadasi for one month. It is not said in the shaastra. Do not speculate. Do what is said in the shaastra. For the full time devotees, they take prasadam and observe the Purushottam month. If they want the brahmanas can worship the Shaligram shila. And worship Radha and Krishna. The vrata lasts for one month, it starts on Amavasya and ends on Chaturdashi. So this is a bonus. Bhakti Vinod Thakur, he wrote about the glories of Purushottam month. Also Sanatan Goswami in the Hari Bhakti Vilas. It is mentioned about it in certain puranas – Brihad Naradiya Purana and mentioned by Valmiki in the Ramayana. It is optional. Prabhupad did not require that the devotees do this. But in general, our previous acharyas say that it is a good thing to do. Any way we chant Hare Krishna, offer maps, worship the deities of Radha and Krishna. WE should hear attentively Srimad Bhagavatam. That is what we would do in any case. There was a devotee, he was falling asleep during Bhagavatam class. Prabhupad told him go out and plough the fields. He could not stay awake and so, go plough the fields.!
So this is Purushottam month. Coming to be in mid-May till mid-June. And it changes its location every three years. So this year it is in May. In some other years it has some other place.
Are there any questions?
Prabhupad did not want us to stop our devotional services. So in Purushottam month we can go on with our devotional service plus a little extra.
Question: How this month can be used for preaching like Damodar month?
Guru maharaj: This month has three levels. One is for those who are fully doing devotional service. One is for those who are practicing varnashrama dharma and little devotional service. The other one is for those who are partially following varnashrama dharma and for the rest of the time doing devotional service. So I do not think anyone really does varnashrama dharma. That is why we are concentrating on the first one. If someone wants to know we can tell the other two levels. The point is to awaken our love for Krishna, to respect Radha and Krishna and since we have lots of people who are partially practicing devotional service – two rounds, four rounds, we can get them to practice some aspect of devotional service. In this way we can preach.
Question: By what name Prabhupad used to call you guru maharaj?
Guru maharaj: Das. When I was a brahmachari he called Jayapataka Das. When he gave me sanyas he would call me Jayapataka swami or Tridandi Swami Jayapataka. And later when I became a guru, I became a Tridandi Goswami. That is what I remember. Sometimes he would say Maharaj, sometimes he would call me by name. What is he supposed to call me? Ha!
One more question.
Question: What extra services can a person perform if he or she is away from devotees in the temple? From Dhruv, Arijit prabhu’s son.
Guru maharaj: Dhruv? One can visit the temple; one can distribute books to other hostel mates. Or pass out some invites to some functions of the temple. They can also chant and read. In temples devotees say they have no time to read, they are too busy! So being separated you get more opportunity to read. And almost anything that do you can do it for pleasing Krishna. So you get education, you think I am doing this to use it in Krishna’s service because then people will listen to me. Or I will be able to maintain my family. Everything we do, we do that for Krishna.
10 May 2018