Shravan, Bhadrapada, Ashwina and Kartik are the four months that comprise the period of Chaturmas. These months are considered to be the holiest months in Hindu mythology. Most of the religious Vratas or fasts of significance relevance are observed during this period.
Schedule that Devotees follow during ChaturmasDevotees usually desist from consuming any kind of non vegetarian food during the Chaturmas period. Items that require jaggery and oil are generally avoided during the Chaturmas period. Some devotees give up using food prepared in garlic and onion during this period.
However, as the festivities go on for four long months, no set of restrictions have been imposed on the devotees. It is up to one s devotion as to how they wish to celebrate the Chaturmas months. Devotees spend quality time reading religious scriptures as Ramayana, Gita and Bhagwad Purana during these four months. As the months are considered to be the resting time for Lord Vishnu, the devotees spend time listening to his stories and serving the needy.
Devotees of Lord Shiva too wait for Chaturmas period as the month of Shravan too comes in this period. Mondays during Shravan are considered auspicious by the devotees and they make special preparation for fasting during this period.
Food items to be avoided during ChaturmasSince the festivities continue for a period of over four months, the devotees need to follow a rigorous dietary schedule. Green leafy vegetables are generally avoided during the Shravan month. The month begins from Ashada Sukla Ekadashi and goes till Sravana Sukla Ekadashi. Bhadrapada month begins from Sravana Sukla Ekadashi and continues till Bhadrapada Sukla Ekadashi. In the Bhadrapada month, devotees avoid consuming curd and other items prepared from the same.
Ashwin month begins from Bhadrapada Sukla Ekadashi and continues till Asweeja Sukla Ekadashi. Items prepared from milk are avoided during the Ashwin month. Kartik month begins from Asweeja Sukla Ekadashi and continues till Karthika Sukla Ekadashi. Pulses with seeds are generally avoided during Kartik month.
Saints usually avoid much movement during the Chaturmas period. This they do in order to avoid hurting any of the life forms as rainy season is considered to be the breeding time for insects. It is believed that killing any life form during the religious period can cause harm to the saints and they restrict their movements accordingly.