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Chaturmas Vrat in India
The name of this occasion, chaturmas vrat signifies the four holiest month of the Hindu calendar which is considered very auspicious among Hindu people. This vrat starts from Deva Sayana Ekadesi in the Ashada maas or month of Hindu calendar. It ends on the Utthana Ekadasi, which falls in the Karthik month of the Hindu calendar. In the year 2013, this auspicious occasion has started from 19th July and it will be ending on the 13th November. According to Hindu calendar, Shravan, Bhadrapad, Ashwina and the Kartikh are usually considered as the holiest months and different kinds of rituals takes place in these months. These four months are also considered as the holiest month in Jainism and Buddhism calendar.
This vrat is observed with certain rules and regulations as it is believed that doing it in the proper way will save one from any harm. The Devotees of this vrat have to maintain some food restriction. Usually people, who involved in this vrat, do not consume non-vegetarian food, especially garlic and onion based food. There is nothing special kind of restriction. Most of the people used to follow some flexible fasting or controlled diet for these four months. Some people have one or two meals or have fasting on some specific days. They sometimes avoid sweet and salty preparations during these months.
Another important thing is that some people prefer to read regularly some sacred books like Ramayana, Gita, Bhagavad Purana, and Mahabharat. There are such people who regularly visit different temples and involved in various spiritual activities. On this occasion, Lord Vishnu has great importance between the devotees. They believe that it is the Holy sleeping period (Yog Nidra) of Lord Vishnu. And, it is important to have some activities, which can show the devotion for Lord Vishnu. The devotees often spend their time by listening different kind of stories related to Lord Vishnu. Some of them also spend a certain time by helping the poor people. They also clean and maintain different temples of Lord Vishnu. The devotees avoid some certain kind of foods like jaggery or oil. They also practice to control themselves from any kind of unnecessary excitement.Devotees believe that they can get prosperity and happiness through worshiping the Lord Vishnu. During this vrat, different Sanyasis and their disciples also restrict their movements. The main reason is it is believed that this rainy season is the perfect time for the breeding of different creators. And they do not want to disturb the creation of Lord Vishnu.
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