Adhik-Maas is the Extra (adhik) Lunar Month (maas) that occurs every 3 years 3 months in the Vedic Calendar (Panchang). The Vedic/Hindu lunar calendar adds one extra month approximately every third year. This extra month is known by various names according to one’s locality in India viz. Adhik Maas, Mal Maas, Purushottam Maas, and Malimmacha. This is the thirteenth month of the Vedic/Hindu lunar calendar. (sc)
As mentioned before, Mal Maas or Adhik Maas is also known as Purushottama Maas. There is a nice story about this. According to the lunar year, there were only 12 months. Each of the twelve months was assigned to 12 gods. So that the lunar and the solar years do not get out of step with days and seasons, the far-sighted Rishi-Munis calculated and facilitated Adhik Maas (extra month) and shown its importance. But one problem still remained. Each of the 12 months was assigned to 12 different gods. But the 13th extra month was not assigned to any god. Adhik Maas (Mal Maas) felt sadness and approached Lord Vishnu and said that no god was assigned to him (Adhik Maas) and for that reason he was called Mal Maas or Malimmucha. Adhik Maas further spoke to Lord Vishnu:Iam filled with anxiety and I have therefore come to seek your refuge and help. (sc)’
Lord Vishnu took pity on him. The Lord (Vishnu) agreed and assigned Adhik Maas to Himself and gave the name Purushottama Maas to this month. Lord Vishnu also said that acquisition of merits during other months through good deeds, japa, austerities etc can be acquired by japa, austerities etc. carried out within this one month. Since then it is known as the Purushottama Maas and acquired greater significance than the other months. (sc)
What’s forbidden in Adhik Maas:-
Any “Kaamya Rites” (a rite performed for securing some object or result), viz. the below:-
Commencement of Studies.
Upanayanam Samskara (The Sacred thread/ Jeneo ceremony).
Entering a new house (Griha Pravesha) or signing of any papers pertaining to the house.
Munda Samskara (Hair cutting ceremony generally performed in the 3rd or 5thyearfor a boy).
Vivah Samskara (Wedding ceremony).
Commencement of a Pilgrimage.
Commencement of a Graha (planetary) fast or performance of a Graha Shanti Puja/Havan.
Commencement of construction of a new building.
Purchasing of a vehicle (vahan).
Signing of any important papers. (On this matter common sense should prevail)
Try to refrain from any meat, alcohol or smoking consumption and partake in simple vegetarian foods. (sc)
What is acceptable to perform in Adhik Maas:-
Offering of Surya jal, lighting of deeyas, performing aartee and other forms of daily puja which constitute one’s nityakarma (daily worship) should continue.
Japa (chanting the holy names of God).
Performing charity liberally.
Reading of shastras (scriptures).
Performing ceremonies relating to death and birth. (sc)
The Puranas sing high praises about Adhik Maas and prescribe performing puja, reading, studying and hearing of scriptures & selfless actions without the expectations of results. (sc)
In the Padma Purana the Supreme Lord Krishna states “All human beings should perform some devotional service in this Purushottama month by:
Worshipping Me, (Shree Krishna) and by chanting My holy names.
Study of Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-Gita, in particular Chapter Fifteen named Purushottama Yoga.
Giving in charity.
Offering ghee diya (lamp) daily unto Me.
So we can deduce from the above that the Lord specifically said that only the above is to be performed in this month. Hence very significantly/purposefully Homa (a.k.a Homam/havans) is not mentioned. If Havans are mentioned then weddings and the like can and should be performed. “Auspicious actions and other works of great importance are generally avoided in the 13th month (Adhik Maas). In particular the performance of special Vratas like The Shree Satya-Narayana Vrata Puja, Shree Durga Saptashati (Chandi Paath), Lakshmi Vrata, Upanayanam (sacred – Janeo – thread), Vivah Samskara (Weddings), Griha Pravesha Samskara (House entering puja), Commencement of the construction a new building, Mundan Samskara (shaving of hair of a new born baby), etcshould be avoided during Adhik Maas. Dharma Sindhu and History of Dharma Shastra also supports these views. Performance of ones Nitya Karma (daily worship), Japa (repetition of the Lord’s name), studying and reading of scriptures, attending Satsangs, ceremonies relating to birth (like Chatti) and death (Shraddha) should continue”. (sc)