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Caturmasya

Caturmasya: Vows and Benefits
Nayana-ranjana Das

"One who passes the Caturmasya season without observing religious vows, austerities and chanting of japa, such a fool although living should be considered to be a dead man." (Bhavisya Purana)

If one can't follow the things given below, at least one should follow the following basic rules:

Month

Sravana
Bhadra
Asvina
Karttika
Fasting from

Spinach, sak, green leafy vegetables
Yoghurt
Milk
Urad and masur dahl

"In the month of Sravana (July, August) one should refrain from eating spinach. In the month of Bhadra (August, September) of yogurt, in Asvina (September, October) milk. In Karttika (October, November) meat and urad dahl." (Skanda Purana, Nagara Khanda)

Various vows and austerities during Caturmasya and their respective results:

"O King, one who is My devotee and is fixed in vow, whether man or woman, for the purpose of dharma, should accept these various austerities and observances. I shall now describe to you all of them along with their respective results.

01) No salt - One's voice becomes sweet.
02) No oil - One's life is prolonged and gets progeny.
03) No oil massages - One's body becomes beautiful.
04) No cooking with oil - One's enemies are vanished.
05) No licorice and oil - One becomes wealthy.
06) Give up wearing unoffered flowers - One becomes a Vidyadhara in Devapura.
07) Give up six kinds of tastes (spice, sour, bitter, sweet, salty and harsh) - One never becomes ugly, smelly, or obtains a bad birth.
08) Practice of yoga - One goes to Brahmaloka.
09) No betel nuts - One becomes happy.
10) No cooked food (raw fruits and vegetables) - One obtains purity.
11) No honey - One becomes lustrous.
12) No yoghurt or milk - One attains Goloka.
13) No cooking with earthen pots - (?)
14) No hot food - One gets offspring with a long life.
15) Take rest on the ground or on stone - One becomes an associate of Visnu.
16) One who gives up meat and honey is a yogi and muni.
17) No intoxicating liquors - One becomes powerful and free from disease.
18) Fast for one day - One is honored in Brahmaloka.
19) No cutting of hair and nails - One gets the benefit of taking bath daily in Ganges.
20) No speaking of grama katha (nonsense) - One's order will never be disobeyed.
21) Eat food on the ground without dish or plate - One obtains a kingdom on Earth.
22) Chant the mantra Namo Narayana - One obtains the result of giving in charity 100 times.
23) Offer prayers to the Lord - One gets the result of giving cows in charity.
24) Touch the lotus feet of the Deity - One becomes a successful person.
25) Clean the temple of the Lord - If one is king he remains so for a kalpa.
26) Circumambulating the temple three times offering prayers - At the time of death one will mount a swan airplane and go to Vaikuntha.
27) Singing or playing musical instruments in the temple of the Lord - One goes to Gandharvaloka.
28) Take pleasure in studying the sastras - One goes to Visnuloka.
29) Sprinkle water in the temple - One goes to Apsaraloka.
30) Take bath in a holy place - One's body becomes pure.
31) Worship Lord Visnu with flowers - One goes to Vaikuntha.
32) Eat pancagavya - One gets the result of observing candrayana fasting.
33) Eat one meal a day - One gets the results of performing an Agnihotra.
34) Eat at night only - One gets the result of going to all the places of pilgrimage.
35) Eat at noon only - One attains Devaloka.
36) Take food not obtained by begging or any extraneous endeavor - One gets the results of opening water stands and digging wells.
37) Take bath daily - One will never see hell.
38) No eating on a plate - One gets the result of bathing at Puskara.
39) Eat on a leaf - One obtains the result of living at Kuruksetra.
40) Eat on a stone - One obtains the result of bathing at Prayaga.
41) Giving up drinking to six hours - One will not be attacked by diseases.
42) During the Caturmasya, garlands, caranamrta, candana and water from the conchshell of the Lord, mahaprasadam, Deity garlands must be accepted.

"In this way one who performs this vrata for the satisfaction of Lord Kesava becomes satisfied himself. O best of the Pandavas, among My devotees, he who accepts these vows and austerities during the Caturmasya goes to My abode at the time of death, of this there is no doubt."

Visnu Rahasya (Lord Brahma to Narada Muni): "If one accepts all these Vaisnava austerities and observances with devotion, one attains the supreme destination, O Narada. One who desires within himself to execute all these Vaisnava austerities and vows, his sins obtained within one hundred births are destroyed. If one is exclusively devoted, peaceful, takes daily bath, is fixed in vow and worships the Lord during these four months, he goes to the abode of the Lord. He who accepts the austerity of sleeping on the ground this time when the Visnu Deity is sleeping in yoga nidra underwater, he goes to the abode of Laksmi."

Related:
Chaturmasya in HBV
Chaturmasya Sankalpa

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