The “Chaturmas” begins on Ekadashi in the month of Ashadha (June/July) and ends with Ekadashi in the month of Kartik (overlaps October/November) and has got both spiritual and health implications. It is a period when no marriages and auspicious functions are held.

The four months of monsoon are called holy months of the year or Chaturmas and coincide with many festivals. Chaturmas starts with Guru Poornima, a festival to worship your teacher. Then comes the month of Shravana, in which Mondays are worshiped for Lord Shiva. The Narali Poornima in this month marks the end of heavy rain and the throwing of the coconut in the sea appeases it and it calms down. Nag Panchami and Gokul Ashtami are also a part of this month.

Bhadrapad is the next. The first half is dedicated to the worship of Ganapati, the lord of removal of obstacles and the second half to shradhs when religious ceremonies are held in memory of the departed souls.

The month of Ashwin starts with “Navratri” through Dussehra to Diwali. Kojagiri Purnima in this month is the bright Purnima. The last two days of Ashwin and the first two days of Kartik are usually the days of the Diwali festival. Ekadashi in the first half of the month of Kartik marks the end of the Chaturmas.

The days of monsoon are not usually healthy days. For doctors it is a healthy season as they get a large number of patients.

Health implications

  • In the monsoon, all the three doshas (movement, metabolism and structure) are vitiated.
  • Light diet and less oily food are advised, as digestive power is weak. Stomach upsets are common.
  • Most ground worms come to the surface and contaminate underground and surface vegetables.
  • Community feasts, marriages, social functions, gatherings are therefore prohibited in this season.
  • River water gets contaminated.
  • Observance of regular fast counteracts these unhealthy conditions.
  • Snakes come out and snakes bites are common. Nag Panchami tells us not to kill them unnecessarily as most of them are not poisonous.
  • Green leafy vegetables are avoided in the Shravan month, curd in Bhadrapad, milk in Ashwin and pulses (split variety) and oils in Kartik month. The reason is that in rainy season Vata dosha is aggravated (vegetables aggravate vata) and pitta is accumulating. Pitta producing foods are therefore avoided (curd and fermented foods). In Kartik, the kapha is accumulating and hence oils are restricted. In allopathy, vata is movement, pitta is metabolism and kapha is structural functions.
  • In general, the advice is to abstain from tea, coffee, sugar, rice, wheat, etc., and avoid garlic and onion as it can stimulate unnecessary excitements and cause indigestion.
  • Chaturmas is the time to meditate, read spiritual scriptures and strengthen inner immunity by meditation.
  • Negative thinking and emotions are common in Chaturmas due to vata imbalance and hence most agreements and important celebrations are avoided during this period.