Every two (sometimes three) years in Vedic Sidereal astrology there is a time compensation month added to correct, and adjust the time movements. This is something similar to the western Leap Year. This month is considered to be very auspicious (adhika = best or greatest), as Lord Krishna imself appearing in a Calendrical Form to rectify our astrological and astronomical calculations.
The astronomical parameters differ only slightly in different astronomical texts. According to Suryasiddhanta,
1 Lunar year = 29.5305 X 12 = 354.366 days
1 Solar year = 365.2587 days.
Thus one lunar year lags behind the solar year and one lunation has to be added after 3 years to fit the lunar year into the solar one. Astronomers have called this intercalary lunation as adhika month, and have asserted that this month is to be added to the lunar year.
Adhika (Purushottam) Maase Since the calendar is based on the phases of the Moon, the transits take 354 days, 8 hours and 34.28 seconds. This creates a difference of 10 days, 21 hours and 35.16 seconds from the actual solar year (365 days, 6 hours, 9.54 seconds) When the accumulated difference exceeds 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.865 seconds, an adjustment is made with an extra month (Adhika Maas), which carries the name of the previous or the next month, depending on the proximity of the month. Normally, seven extra months occur in 19 years.
Astronomical & Astrological technicalities explained regarding origin of, and purpose of Adhika masa, and also symbolically what the Adhika represents.
- Try to wake up during the Brahma-muhurta period (one hour before sunrise) as this part of the day is peaceful, clam and very favorable for spiritual pursuits.
- A vow of celibacy and truthfulness during this period also gives lots of pious merits.
- Visit the temple and offer Lord Krishna a ghee lamp daily.
- Chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. As this Maha Mantra is simple and can be chanted at any time, any where.
- Reading literatures which narrate the pastimes of Lord Krishna Sri Bhagavat Puran, Bhagavad Gita, etc is also very helpful as it helps us channelize our mind towards the Lord.
- Visiting holy places such as Vrindavan, Jagannath Puri, Dwarka, Ayodhya and bathing is rivers such Ganga, Yamuna, Govadvari is also highly recommended during this time.
- Offer charity.
Any pious or spiritual activity performed during this time is compounded 1000 times and is highly pleasing to Lord Krishna.