KRISHNA FOR ALL
Since the Supreme Lord Krishna has placed all His potencies, mercy and blessings in the holy month of Purusottama it is the most auspicious and holiest of all months, vratas and austerities. Devotional activities performed in this month destroy the dirt and contamination caused by our past sinful activities. It is a period believed to be most favourable for spiritual upliftment.
Here are the key points on how to religiously observe the sacred Purusottama Vrata as proclaimed in the Padma Purana:
1. Keep celibacy for one month. (Sleeping on the floor - optional).
2. Wake up in the morning in brahma - muhurta time.
3. Chant Hare Krsna Mahamantra and meditate on Radha-Krsna's name, form, qualities and pastimes. Daily chant extra rounds: aspire for 24, 32 or 64 rounds.
4. Daily offer ghee lamp to Radha-Krsna Deities or Picture.
5. Daily perform arati and parikrama of Tulasi Devi.
6. Daily perform mandira parikrama (we must circumabulate the temple 4 times).
7. Daily offer Radha-Krsna Deities or Picture roses, lotus flowers and as many Tulasi leaves as you can.
8. One should bathe everyday before sunrise preferably in a holy place.
9. Daily read Srimad Bhagavatam – especially the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha & Krsna.
10. According to bonafide writings of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur our daily sadhana during this auspicious month should comprise the following –
We must Daily chant Sri Jagannathastakam in the morning,
Sri Caura graganya – Purushaastakam in the afternoon,
Sri Nanda-Nandanaastakam, Jaya Radha Madhava, other Radha-Krsna bhajans and prayers during the day.
Daily chant the shloka prescribed by Kaundinya Muni:
Govardhana dhaaram vande, gopaalam gopa rupinam
Gokulutsava ne isanaam, govindam gopika priyam.
"I worship the lifter of Govardhana Hill, Who has the beautiful form of a cowherd boy, and who continually plays with the gopas. He is the Lord of Gokula wherein everyday is a festival.
Then in the evening – perform Deep-dan i.e. offer a lamp of pure ghee to the Lord.
Lastly, at night we must read 'Brahmastava' 40 shlokas, from Srimad Bhagwatam, 10th Canto, 14th Chapter.
Vande navaghana-syaamam dvibhujam murlidharam
Pitambardhaaram devam saaradhaam purusottamam
"I offer my obeisances to Navaganasyam (Krsna, who has the color of a fresh rain cloud), who is holding the flute with His two hands. I worship Purusottama who is so beautiful in His yellow dress (pitambhara)."
11. Take a vow to remain peaceful and truthful throughout the month.
12. Be careful not to blaspheme any devotees, brahmanas, saints, cows, sastras or vratis i.e. observers of Purushottam vrata.
13. Try your best to please Radha and Krsna by performing devotional austerities according to your abilities. Don't break your vow in the middle of the month.
14. Eat on leaf plates sitting on the floor (optional).
15. Refrain from cutting hair or nails (optional).
16. Refrain from cooking in oil, consuming or rubbing oil on your body.
17. Diet: It is best to eat once a day after sunset or noon, and select one of the following diet
i) only milk ;
ii) only fruits (no milk, no vegetables);
iii) no grains (selected vegetables, fruits, nuts, milk);
iv) selected foods (all categories as per Chaturmasya standards).
18. This is one of the best months to offer Charity to qualified Brahmanas and Vaisnavas.