Pt. Pawan Ji Pandita 
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Adhika Masa (Mal Mass)

Significance of Mal Mass in (Martand Teerath)
Mattan, Anantnag, Kashmir

- Pt. Pawan Ji Pandita

Astronomy

When the sun does not at all transit into any rashi but simply keeps moving within a rashi in a lunar month (i.e. before a new moon), then that lunar month will be named as adhik or "extra The Hindu calendar is a lunar calendar and is based on the cycles of the Moon.The lunar calendar adds one extra month every third year. This extra month is known by various names: Adhik Maas, Mal Maas, Purushottam Maas. This is the thirteenth month of the lunar calendar. 
Just as there is the lunar year with the extra month (Adhik Maas), so is there a lunar year with a diminished or reduced month, with only eleven months in the year. 

The lunar year comprising of eleven months only is very rare indeed. It occurs once in 140 years or once in 190 years. But the extra month or Adhik Maas comes every third year. Adhik Maas adopts the name of the month that follows adhik Maas.

Whenever Sankranti does not fall within one month then Adhik Maas occurs. When there are two Sankrantis within one month then it becomes the lunar year with one reduced month (11 months in the year).

Vasishtha Siddhanta mentions that Adhik Maas or the extra lunar month occurs after every 32 months, 16 days and 8 Ghadis (a Ghadi is a period of 24 minutes and 60 Ghadis equal 24 hours).

It is a fact that the solar year is made up of 365 days and about 06 minutes and the lunar year is made up of 354 days. Thus both the solar and the lunar years have gaps of 11 days, 1 hour, 31 minutes and 12 seconds. As this gap increases each year, it approximates in three years to one month.

[The moon takes about 27.3 days to make one complete orbit around the earth. The earth orbits around the sun once every 365.2422 days (= earth’s orbital speed of 29.79 km per second). The earth and the moon in 27.3 days have moved as a system about 1/12 of the ways around the sun. This means that from one full moon to the next full moon, the moon must travel 2.2 extra days before it appears full. This is due to the curve of the earth’s orbit around the sun. The moon is still making one complete orbit (circle) in 27.3 days. But to line up with the earth and sun to become a full moon again it takes 29.531 days. 29.531 day Lunar months = 354.372 days per lunar year. Thus we arrive at a difference of 10.87 days a year between a lunar year and a solar year of 365.2422 days per year.]

Religious significance of Adhik Maas (Mal Mass) in Martand Teerath, Anantnag, Kashmir

There is a beautiful story related to Sun (God) in Martand (Mattan) Anantnag Kashmir. Aditi was much perturbed about the future of her sons. She performed great penance for twelve years in order to please Vishnu. Sage Kashyapa became worried about her health so he advised Aditi to leave that austere penance. He told her "Toyah Marate Mandam" (You have killed the egg i.e. ova. 

Aditi got a still egg which was of gold. She then prayed to Brahma. Brahma Ji finally advised Aditi to throw the egg into the Satisar and gained prosperity because a very pious and sacred shrine in the three worlds will become known at that place by the name of "MARTAND" (Mritand) i.e. one begotten from the still egg. Twelve sons (twelve months) were given twelve different names and places to preside over. 

A way out was made near Baramula for the water of Satisar to flow out. On one side of de-watered Satisar was found the still golden egg which had been thrown there. Lord Vishnu struck this egg with his chakra into two parts and great light came out of it which pervaded all round. Thus it was prayed as Sun God Martanda. From the two parts of the broken still egg sprang out two sacred springs; Vimla and Kamla; from the chakra flows the Chaka stream which destroys great sins and satisfies the dead by a pious dip in it and offerings of sacrifice. Vimal Kund, the stainless and pure gives salavation to the dead; and Kamal Kund gives solace to the living; water in the Vimal Kund bear Vishnu and Shiva and that of the Kamal Kund bear Brahma and Mahesh. 

Adhik Maas (Mal Maas) is capable of washing away all the sins of people. During this month Shraadh, fasting etc are undertaken and garments etc. are distributed to poor people. One more beautiful story relates to how, in ancient times, through the observance of Mal Maas Vrat, king Nahush was released from all bondage.

Devi Bhagavat says that charitable and meritorious acts, shraadh and fastings etc. carried out during this Mal Maas (Adhik Maas), inevitably produce results. Just as atomic sized contents within a seed produce a giant and long living big tree, so in the same manner even a little charitable act done during Mal Maas (Adhik Maas) produces big results. 

Martand Prohit Sabha had worked a lot in the past twenty one years,and build new temple and Dharmshala's and are offering rooms at a very less price to the Shardalu's who come to visit Martand Shrine.


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