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Tirumala Tirupati

Welcome to Adiyen Sri Ramanuja Dasan !

" Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha !"

ChaturmAsya

A brAhman is called a ‘dvijan’ ie one with two births. Just like how UpAkarmA is considered very important for a brAhman, ChaturmAsya Sankalpam is considered very important for a SanyAsi (yathivara). The number of chaturmAsya sankalpams observed by a yathivara is used a measure of a sanyAsi’s age in thuri-Ashramam (i.e. after becoming a sanyAsi) and not his actual age. Our shAstras require that if a yathivara who is of older age meets a younger yathivara who has observed more chaturmAsya vrathams, the older yathivara should prostrate in front of the younger yathivara. This is because the number of chAturmAsya vrathams observed by the younger yathivara is more than the older yathivara and hence is considered elder in position.

In the 4 months of Aavani, Purattasi, Aippasi and Karthigai, it normally rains heavily in India. This helps in enormous procreation of many insects and other tiny living creatures in the soil during this rainy season. Because they are everywhere on the ground, they are harmed immensely by the people treading upon them and even gets killed. As Thiruvalluvan beautifully summarizes the yathi dharmam in a KuraL: "uRRa nOy nORRal Uyir KurugaN Seyyamai, aRRe thavathiR guru" about a sanyasi's dharma, the sanyAsis have undertaken an “ahimsa dharmam” towards all living beings, they avoid any harm to these insects and worms by stopping all sanchAram in these months and by taking a vow to stay in that place for this 4 month period. This vow is called ChAturmAsya Sankalpam.

There is a veda vAkyam which says “pakshA vai mAsA:” i.e. a paksha (15 days) can be considered as a month. Since it is very difficult nowadays for yathis to stay in a place for 4 months due to their sishyas wishes for their achArya to undertake sanchAram constantly and reach out to them, the sankalpam is nowadays undertaken by yathivaras for 4 pakshams i.e. 2 calendar months instead of 4 calendar months. This vratham is generally started on the Pournami following Aani- AmAvAsyai and completed on the Pournami day following Aavani-AmAvAsyai.

On the day of the beginning of this vratham, the yathivaras complete their nithya karmas and bhagavadh arAdhanam. A small piece of soily land will be consecrated and purified with AvAhanam and aradhanam to Sri Boovaraha Perumal and Sri Bhoomi Piratti. Sishyas will congregate in this place and chant Bhoo sooktha veda parayanam during the aradhanam. After the ArAdhanam, the achArya yathivara will collect this soil himself  required for their anushtAnams during the period of the vratham. After this, the yathivara will undergo thirumudi viLakkam (shave), will have bath and then perform special aradhanam again. After the ArAdhanam, yathivara will be joined by all the sishyas in reciting pancha shanthi. After the completion of this veda parayanam, both the AchArya and his sishyas will undertake a sankalpam (vow). First the AchArya will say

“AashAda PournamAseem Arabhya bhAdrapada PournamAsi paryantham ChaturmAsya vratham sthAsye”

meaning “I undertake this chaturmAsya vratham from Aadi Pournami till Aavani Pournami”.

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