By Giriraj Swami
We are in the last days of the extra month in the Vedic calendar, called purusottama-adhika-masa. Srila Prabhupada’s friend from Mumbai, Dr. C. P. Patel, wrote about it in an article published in Back to Godhead magazine:
“Every third year an extra month is inserted into the lunar calendar to bring it into line with the solar calendar. As per astronomical calculations, one year sacred Sravana was the month that came twice. The first month of the double month is called purusottama-masa, and devotees of Lord Krsna observe it by fasting, praying, and reading Srimad-Bhagavatam. The last day of this month was somavati-amavasya, a very auspicious occasion. On this day all religious people take a bath in the early morning in the sea, or in a river or sacred lake.
“I proposed that on that auspicious day Srila Prabhupada take a dip in the sea along with me and the others. He agreed at once. We all planned to go to the sea with extra clothes, take a bath, and change. He accompanied us, but just near the edge of the water someone suggested that he not take a bath in the sea, since he had had a coronary episode some time back. So he halted then and there and would not enter the water. He pondered for a while and then suddenly asked me to bring some water in my palm and pour it on his head. He said, ‘That is as good as a bath on this auspicious day.’ Very intelligently, he found the means, and I obliged him. He was pleased. I touched his feet and felt satisfaction at having taken a bath in the sea with him on a very auspicious day.”