The Significance of Chaitra Masam
Chaithra maasam also known as Madhu maasam marks the beginning of spring season, known as Vasantha Ruthu first among the Hindu seasons. Madhu means honey and Chaithra maasam is as sweet as honey. In Bhagawadgeeta, Vibhoothi Yoga (canto#10 sloka#35) Lord Sri Krishna says that He is the Vasantha Ruthu among the seasons “Ruthunaam Kusumaakarah” All pervading Supreme Lord, Kaala Purusha, Lord Vishnu is the presiding Deity (Maasa Niyaamaka) of Chaithra maasam and hence this month is also known as Vishnu maasam.
It is so auspicious that in this month Lord Brahma had commenced the creation and to commemorate that day we celebrate Ugaadi festival. Ugadi festival or new year festival is celebrated by Telugu, Kannada and Marathi speaking people on the same day. Maharashtrians call it as Gudi Padwa. Ugaadi is in fact Yug + aadi = Yugaadi. It means begining of Yug.
Chaithra maasam is the sacred month in which Maryaada Purushottama; Lord Sri Raama was born on the 9th day of bright fortnight, which is celebrated as Sri Raama Navami. It is the most sacred and auspicious month in which highly meritorious and powerful Thaaraka manthra” RAMA ”took birth. It is the sacred month in which Lord Vishnu incarnated as Matsyaavathara (Giant Fish), the very first among the Dasaavatharas and restored the lost Vedas. That day is celebrated as Matsya Jayanthi on Chaithra sukla Trutheeya. It is said as per scripts that it was the first day of the bright fortnight in the month of Chaithra Maasam that Lord Sri Krishna’s Niryaana took place, which marked as the beginning of Kaliyuga.
It is the sacred month when Sun God transits into first house of the zodiac viz. Aries (Mesha Raasi) where Sun gets exalted. That day known as Mesha Sankramana is celebrated as Vishu festival in some parts of South India. Chaithra maasam is the sacred month in which the mighty God, Lord Hanuman was born that is celebrated as Hanuma Jayanthi on the full Moon day. It is the sacred month in which the sixty year cycle of Hindu Calendar Samvatsara had begun, starting from Prabhava and ending with Akshaya.
Full Moon day during Chaithra maasam known as Chittraa Poornima or Maha Chaithri is the day when Moon will be at or nearer to the constellation of Chitta and hence the name Chaithra maasam. Mars (Kuja) is the star Lord of Chitta constellation and star Deity is Lord Subramanya. Third day of the bright fortnight in the lunar month of Chaithra maasam is known as Gouri Trutheeya when Goddess Gouri and Lord Shiva are specially worshipped. Starting from this day for a period of one month Goddess Gouri & Lord Shiva and Lord Sri Rama along with other Deities are offered with special pooja ritual known as Dolotsava (Aandolini Vratha). While Chaithra Sukla Trutheeya and Pournami are Manvaadi days the days Manvanthara had begun, Chaithra sukla Panchami is known as Kalpaadi the day Kalpa had commenced.
Like we celebrate Devi Navarathri during Aaswayuja maasam known as Sharannavarathri which falls in Dakshinaayana, a nine day festival known as Vasantha Navarathri is also celebrated during Chaithra maasam starting from Ugaadi day during Uttaraayana. During this nine day period Goddess Durga is worshiped in some parts of the country while in some other parts, it is known as Sri Raama Navarathri worshiping Lord Sri Raama. During this period sacred texts like Ramayana, Sundarakaanda, and Devi Bhaagavatham are read.
With so much of significance attributed to Chaithra maasam, almost all the Deities are worshiped during the bright fortnight of this month apart from Lord Sri Rama, Lord Hanuman, Lord Shiva and Goddess Gouri. On the first day (Paadyami) Lord Brahma, second day (Dwiteeya) Lord Shiva and Goddess Gouri, on the fourth day (Chaturthi) Lord Ganesha, on the fifth day (Panchami) Naaga Devathas, on the sixth day (Shasti) Lord Subramanya, on the 7th day (Sapthami) Sun God, on the ninth day (Navami) Goddess Durga and on the 15th day (Full Moon day) all the Deities are worshipped.
Chaithra is a Sanskrit word meaning a temple or a memorial. It is the month to commemorate so many auspicious and sacred events including the commencement of creation (Srushti). It is also a sacred month for commencement for Vedic learning. That’s why it is one of the auspicious and sacred months for performing Upanayana that marks the formal eligibility to commence the study of Vedas and Upanishads.
Donating water during Chaithra maasam starting from Ugaadi day for 4 months (summer months) is said to be very auspicious and sacred.
” Prapeyam SarvaSamanya Bhoothebhya:
Thrupyanthucha Pithamaha Anivaarya
Mithodeyam Jalammaasa Chathustayam”
We would have observed in many towns voluntary organizations erecting the spots called Chalivendram where passersby are served with water stored in earthen pots covered with cloth during summer months. It is said that by doing this activity all the fore fathers gets pleased.
Udaka means water, Kumbha means pot. Giving charity of water stored in a pot made up of Copper, Silver, or at least earthen pot (made up of mud) covered with a new cloth to a Brahmin during this period is said to be very sacred and highly meritorious.
“Yesha DharmaGhato Dhattoh Brahma Vishnu Sivathmaka
Asya Pradhanathsakalam mamasanthu manoratha”
Meaning: This water pot called Dharma Ghata signifying the trinal lords (Brahma, Vishnu and Siva) bring unto me fulfillment of all desires.
Taking bath in sacred rivers, arranging of water and shelter to the travelers and people walking in the Sun, Anna Daana (food) to the hungry and needy are some of the maasa dharma prescribed during Chaithra maasam.
Important days to remember in Chaithra maasam:
Ugaadi (Chaithra Sukla Paadyami)
Gouri Trutheeya (Chaithra Sukla Trutheeya)
Sri Raama Navami (Chaithra Sukla Navami)
Kalpaadi (Chaithra Sukla Panchami)
Manvaadi (Chaithra Sukla Trutheeya & Pournami)
Hanuma Jayanthi (Chaithra Sukla Pournami)
Mesha Sankramana (Transit of Sun into Mesha Raasi)
It is said as per Bhavishyottara Purana that, Kartheeka maasam is more meritorious than Vaisakha maasam, Maagha maasam is more significant and meritorious than Kaartheeka maasam, and Chaithra maasam is much more auspicious than Maagha maasam. First and the best among the Hindu lunar months, Chaithra maasam has acquired lot of merits and significance in Hindu philosophy and is regarded as the mother of all the months.
Courtesy: Bhargava Sharma
Listen to M.K. Thyaga Raja Bhagavatar duet with Jayalakshmi about Vasantha Masam.
Listen to divine voice of Bharata Rathna M.S Subbulakshmi praising Lord Shri Rama in Vasantha Ragam
Lyrics: Saint Thyaga Raja
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