Purushottam Mass also popularly known as Adhik Mass is an extra month in the Hindu calendar that is inserted to keep the lunar and solar aligned. Purushottam is one of the avatars of Vishnu and this holy month is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is believed that devotional service towards the Lord Vishnu can award a person with all the necessities of life and after death, he will surely residence under the Supreme Lord Krishna.
The position of Adhik Mass month occurs about every 32.5 months which is in contrast to other lunisolar calendars that are inserted in an intercalary lunar month at a fixed point of the year. This month is considered inauspicious for occasions such as weddings, buying new properties, moving into a new house or starting up a new venture. This month is only dedicated to prayer, worship, fasting, and self-employment.
Talking about its history, the story around Purushottam month has been mentioned in Padma Puran and the 31st chapter of Narad Puran. According to the story, around 88,000 sages along with Shaunaka Rishi assembled at Naimisharanya and enquired from Sri Suta Goswami about the holy month. He narrated the incident when Sri Narada visited the Badrikashram to meet Narayan Rishi who is an incarnation of the supreme lord. On seeing him, Narada Muni enquired from him the words, “Oh Lord! In this material world, all living entities are busily engaged in sense gratification. They have all forgotten the ultimate goal of life. Therefore please explain something which will be helpful both for householders and sages in the renounced order like me, something that will help us attain self-realization and return back to Godhead.”
After listening to Narada Muni’s words, he narrated the story which was narrated by Lord Krishna to the Pandavas when they were in exile. The story goes, Each of the 12 months in the Hindu calendar was assigned to 12 different gods. But the 13th extra month was not assigned to any god. Adhik Maas felt sad and approached Lord Vishnu and said that no god was assigned to him and for that reason, he was called Mal Maas. Adhik Maas further prayed to Lord Vishnu and is pleased with his worship, Lord Vishnu said that he is filled with anxiety and therefore come to seek to refuge and help.. Lord Vishnu listened to him and gave his name to this month and communicated that this is the special or best month.
During this month, people perform various religious rituals such as recitation of mantras, perform puja, havan, and perform various fast. It is also believed that the person who performs good deeds during this month comes out of the cycle of rebirth and also their miseries are eradicated and reach till enlightenment.