In our lives, whatever actions we perform are categorized in four ways according to the scriptures. This categorization is known as “Purushartha Chatushtaya” in the scriptures.
A famous saying by Veda Vyasa is:
“धर्मार्थकाममोक्षाणाम् चतुर्विधम् पुरुषार्थम् ।
– वेद व्यासजी , महाभारत
The fourfold aims of human life are dharma (righteousness), artha (wealth), kama (desire), and moksha (liberation).”
Ved Vyasa, Mahabharata,
The Acharyas have said that Arth(wealth) and desire(kama) lead to materialistic growth, while righteousness(dharma) and liberation(moksha)lead to spiritual growth.
The additional month, known as Malmas or Purushottam Mas, does not contribute to materialistic growth but provides opportunities for spiritual growth.
Let us see the words of Madhusudan Shastri:
“मलमास: लौकिककर्मेषु दोषः प्रदुष्टः संसारवर्जितः ।
तथापि आध्यात्मिकसिद्धिषु सर्वश्रेष्ठः स एव मासः ॥
Malmas, though criticized for worldly activities, is devoid of flaws and detached from the material world. However, it is considered the best month for spiritual accomplishments.”
Clarifying this point, the Bhavishya Purana further states that a person who engages in spiritual activities like charity, austerity, meditation, chanting mantras, or other virtuous deeds during the extra month (Malmas), their planetary afflictions are also alleviated. We can refer to the shloka in the Bhavishya Purana :
“मलमासे विधिः प्रोफ़्तो दानं तपश्च कर्माणि ।
तदानीं फ़लदातारौ ग्रहावां विशेषत: स्मृतौ ॥
– भविष्य पुराण
During the month of Malmas, rules for charity, austerity, and actions are prescribed. It is believed that during this time, the results of these actions are especially bestowed by the planetary deities.”
– Bhavishya Purana
So, by performing good deeds or involving ourselves in spiritual activities, we can overcome the suffering that is written in our destiny and create opportunities in such a way that the extra month (Malmas) provides. It not only allows us to improve our future but also enables us to enhance our destiny. We can increase the balance of our merits in such a way that it provides us with greater opportunities.
In this month, Sage Narada has provided this verse, demonstrating the types of actions one should undertake:
“व्यजतोऽपि कृते तस्मिन् मासे पुरुषोत्तमे ।
उपवासेन दानेन स्नाने च जपादिना ॥
– महर्षि नारद
Even a little effort made during this auspicious month, known as Purushottam Maas, through fasting, giving charity, bathing, and chanting, yields great rewards.”
– Maharshi Narad
First and foremost, Sage Narada assures us that regardless of how we engage in these spiritual activities, the extra month (Malmas) will undoubtedly bring us benefits. Whether we perform them with wholehearted devotion or even forcefully, this additional month will surely yield fruitful results. This is the uniqueness of this month. So, do not worry about the process of how to engage in these spiritual activities. Just do it, and you will definitely see the outcome. Let’s look at these spiritual activities one by one.
The first remedy is fasting. It involves refraining from food for the sake of disciplining the body, mind, and senses. Remember, the importance here lies in the self-control of the senses. Anshan (hunger strike) and upvas (fasting) are different entities. Here, the purification of the senses is significant. Another meaning of upvas is sitting near a guru. Up means “near” and vas means “to sit.” Therefore, it refers to spending time with mentors or individuals who possess greater knowledge, listening to their teachings, and gaining wisdom.
Secondly, as suggested by Sage Narada: Charity. Giving donations of wealth, performing physical labor for someone, or even offering compliments to uplift someone’s mood, all fall under the category of charitable acts. Here, the purification of wealth is of utmost importance.
The third remedy is bathing. This involves visiting specific holy places or pilgrimage sites and taking a sacred bath in places like the Ganges. The main emphasis here is on the purification of the body and maintaining personal hygiene.
The fourth remedy is mentioned as “jap,” which refers to reciting mantras, engaging in meditation, or practicing mindfulness.
So, by engaging in activities that bring about the purification of the body, mind, senses, and wealth, one can attain unimaginable benefits during the extra month (Malmas).
Any activity that takes you inward and purifies you, when performed during this additional month, will lead to long-lasting happiness, peace, and prosperity.