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Chaturmasya-vrata



We recently have very nicely celebrated Lord Jagannatha’s Ratha-yatra maha-mahotsava, where Jagannatha is taken from His temple in Jagannatha Puri to Gundicha. After nine days, He returns to His temple in Jagannatha Puri. Becoming very tired, the Lord now takes rest for four months, called Shayana Ekadashi. However, Purushottama month is also approaching, where throughout the month we fast from tomatoes, eggplant, sesame, mustard seeds and oil, honey and urad-dahl.


Shortly after comes the start of our chaturmasya-vrata, which lasts four months. This year comes with some austerities as between Purushottama masa and Chaturmasya, we will take the vrata, the vow, of fasting from restricted foods for five months. And there are many rules and regulations to follow during Chaturmasya.


During the first month you should not eat leafy greens, like spinach or cabbage, kale, even leafy herbs like coriander, mint, parsley and curry are restricted. Aside from this, throughout the entire four months, tomatoes, eggplants, loki, beans and several other foodstuffs are prohibited.


All you can do during these months is eat potatoes, however, potatoes are actually very nice. There are never any restrictions for eating potatoes, anyday of any month, throughout your whole life, you can take potatoes with no problem.


Joking aside, the first month you should not eat greens like saag, spinach and cabbage. Throughout the entire second month you should not take yogurt (if one requires it for health, it can be mixed with water). During the third month, you should not take milk (if required, it can be mixed with a drop of lemon juice). And on the fourth and final month of Chaturmasya you should not eat mustard oil or sesame seeds.


A complete list of the restricted foodstuffs can be found on purebhakti.com. There, it will state exactly what you can and what you cannot eat. On purebhakti.com you will also find our Vaishnava calendar that gives the exact dates of each Chaturmasya month. Also, more instructions on how to properly observe both purushottama-vrata and chaturmasya-vrata can be found there.


However, the main thing to observe during these months of Chaturmasya, is you have to take a vow that every day you will chant a fixed rounds of the Lord’s holy names, ‘saṅkhyā-pūrvaka-nāma’. Like our Gosvamis, who have performed their bhajana and sadhana in Vrindavana.


saṅkhyā-pūrvaka-nāma-gāna-natibhiḥ kālāvasānī-kṛtau

nidrāhāra-vihārakādi-vijitau cātyanta-dīnau ca yau

rādhā-kṛṣṇa-guṇa-smṛter madhurimānandena sammohitau

vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau


Sri Shad-gosvami-ashtaka (6)


[I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvamis, namely Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, and Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, who were engaged in chanting the holy names of the Lord and bowing down in a scheduled measurement. In this way they utilized their valuable lives and in executing these devotional activities they conquered over eating and sleeping and were always meek and humble enchanted by remembering the transcendental qualities of the Lord.]

The day after tomorrow is Guru (Vyasa) Purnima which in our Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, marks the start of our chaturmasya-vrata. And during the months of Chaturmasya you have to follow certain dietary restrictions, and simultaneously remain absorbed in Krishna consciousness by chanting a fixed number of rounds of the holy names, remembering Krishna, His pastimes and performing other activities which go into your daily bhajana and sadhana.


Thank you so much for your kindness,


Gaura Premanande!

Hari Haribol!



Date: 3 July 2020 Location: Zoom


 

Transcriber: n/a Editor: Sanatana dasa (USA) Integrity check: Divya-premamayi dasi (Slovakia) Proofreader: Chandrika dasi (UK) Image: Navina-krishna dasa (Holland)



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