Jyeshta Maasam – Merits and Significance

Om! Sri Raghavendraya Namaha!

Om! Gam! Ganapathaye! Namaha!

Om! Ham! Hanumathe! Sri Rama Doothaaya Namaha!

Om! Namo! Bhagavathe! Vaasudevaaya!

The month in which Moon would be at or nearer to the constellation of Jyeshta on the full moon day is reckoned as Jyeshta maasam.  Jyeshta is the 18thconstellation (star) among the 27 constellations and it falls in the zodiac sign of Scorpio (Vrishcika raasi). Mercury (Budha) is the star Lord of Jyeshta constellation and the star deity is Devendra. Jyeshta maasam marks the beginning of new season (Ruthu) known as Greeshma Ruthu when summer will be very severe with scorching Sun during which time Sun will be transiting in the constellations of Krittika and Rohini. When Sun enters into the constellation of Mrigasira it is known as Mrigasira Kaarthi when we expect the South-West monsoon to begin. This generally occurs around 7th of June every year.  During this month Sun will be transiting into Mithuna (Gemini) raasi that is known as Mithuna Sankramana.

Jyeshta means elderly, most ancient, the oldest, senior most, supreme, eldest of all beings, the first and the foremost, who else, none other than Lord Vishnu. In Sri Vishnu Sahasra Naama Stothram sloka number 8 we find Lord Vishnu being referred to as Jyeshhtah Sreshhtah Prajaapatih. Lord Vishnu is the supreme Brahma who has created Chaturmukha Brahma the creator. That’s why Lord Vishnu is also referred to as Prajaapathih. He is the best (Sreshtah) among the best. Maasa Niyaamaka (governing Lord) of Jyeshta maasam is Lord Vishnu in the form of Trivikrama. It is a very popular name of Lord Vishnu that we come across in Vishnu related prayers and epics. Trivikramah means the one who has conquered the three worlds. In Sri Vaamana avathara, Lord Sri Vishnu in order to suppress the pride of King Bali, assumed the cosmic form Trivikrama roopa and measured the three worlds (entire universe) with his three steps.


In Sri Ganesha worship we find Lord Maha Ganapathi being referred to asJyeshtaraajam the senior Lord that we come across in the popular Vedic sloka Ganaanaam Twaam Ganapathi Gam Havaamahey… In Sri Sooktham we come across reference to Jyeshta in sloka # 8 Jyeshtaam-alakshmeem, the one who is elder to, born prior to and who is just opposite of Goddess Lakshmi Devi.

Jyeshta maasam is the sacred month in which Sri Vishnu Paadodbhavi, holy river Ganga (Ganges) had descended on earth due to the vigorous efforts and penance of King Bhagiratha. Though religious calendars indicate Jyeshta sukla Dasami as the day of Gangaavatharana that is commemorated as Bhaagirathi Jayanthi or Ganga Jayanthi, Dharmasindhu indicates Jyeshta Sukla Dwaadasi as the day of Gangaavatharana.

An austerity known as Dasa Paapa Hara Vratham is observed during the first ten days of Jyeshta maasam starting from Sukla Prathama (Paadyami) and ending on Sukla Dasami.  During this period Goddess Ganga is worshiped by taking bath in the holy river Ganga early in the morning before sunrise. Those living in Kaasi Kshethra are required to take bath in Ganga River at Dasaaswamedha Ghaat and those who are staying away from Ganga should take bath at least in any nearby river.  If no river is available one should take bath by recollecting the holy Ganga.  On the tenth day Dasa paapa hara vratham is observed by exclusively worshipping Goddess Ganga, giving charity to at least ten Brahmin couple and suitably honouring them with new clothes along with Dakshina and feeding them. Charity of Thila (Black sesame seeds), Wheat (Yava) and Go-daana are also prescribed on this day.

If ten Yogas (strengths) are coinciding on the day of Jyeshta sukla Dasami it is considered as highly meritorious that can absolve one from committing ten ghastly sins. These ten strengths are …

Jyeshta maasey, sithey pakshey, Dasamyaam, Budha-Hasthayo, Vyatheepaathey, GaraaNandey, Kanyaa-Chandrey, Vrushou-Ravey…

[Coinciding of Jyeshta maasam, sukla paksha (bright fortnight), Dasami thithi (tenth day), Budha Vaasare (Wednesday), Hastha star (constellation), Vyatheepaatha Yoga, Garaji karana, Aananda Yoga, Moon in Kanya (Virgo) raasi, and Sun in Vrushabha (Taurus) raasi].


Ekaadasi falling in sukla paksha of Jyeshta maasam is known as Nirjala Ekaadasi.  Nirjala means abstaining from taking water.  As per the norms of Ekaadasi, fasting should be observed on every Ekaadasi day without taking even water.  However, if total fasting is observed without taking even water at least on the day of Ekaadasi that occurs during the bright fortnight of Jyeshta maasam, the merits of it are believed to be equivalent to that of observing 24 Ekaadasis that generally occurs during a year. It is said that Sage Sri Vedavyaasa had explained the merits and significance of Nirjala Ekaadasi to Sri Dharma Raaja and Sri Bheemasena as per the directions of Lord Sri Krishna.

Full Moon day (Pournami) during Jyeshta maasam is reckoned as Manvaadi when Manvanthara had begun which is a sacred day for giving charity and for performing Pithru Thila tharpana (Shannavathi).  Charity of black Thil seeds (sesame) is prescribed on this day.  When Jupiter (Bruhaspathi) and Moon are together in Jyeshta constellation and Sun is in Rohini constellation on the day of Jyeshta Pournami it is referred to as Mahaa Jyeshti which is considered as highly meritorious day for performing sacred deeds like Theertha snaana (taking bath in a holy river) and for giving charity.


Jyeshta Pournami is celebrated as Vata Saavithri Poornima when we observe married women performing special pooja rituals at the base of a Banyan tree (Vata Vruksha) for the good health and longevity of their spouse. There is also a tradition of performing this Vratha on Jyeshta Bahula Amaavaasya day. This vratham is assigned and named after Maha Pathivratha Shiromani, Savithri who fought with Yama Dharmaraja the Lord of death to bring back the life of her deceased husband Satyavanta.  Hence, it is known as Vata Saavithri Vratham. This festival is celebrated across the country by married women and in some parts of the country we observe women resorting to fasting on this day.

At Tirumala Sri Venkateswara Swamy temple an annual ritual known asJyeshtaabhishekam is held during Jyeshta maasam for three days starting from Sukla Trayodasi. During this ritual gold plating of the Utsava Vigrahas (procession idols) of Malayappa Swamy (Lord Venkateswara), Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi will removed and all the pooja rituals will be held to the original idols.  Thereafter the idols are covered again with the gold plating.


During Jyeshta maasam we have Aaaraadhana festivals of Madhva Saints Sri Vaadeendra Theertharu (Mantralayam), Sri Sreepaada Raayaru (Mulabagalu) and Sri Vijayeendra Theertharu (Kumbhakonam).


Charity of water (Udaka Kumbha daana), Paada raksha (Chappals), Chatthri (umbrella), Hand fan, Thila, Chandana are prescribed during Jyeshta maasam.Udaka Kumbha daana is preferred to be given on the day of Dwaadasi after performing Nirjala Ekaadasi Vratha.

Third in the row of Hindu lunar months, Jyeshta maasam is no mean a month in terms of its merits and significance compared to the other months. If Kaartheeka maasam and Maargasira maasam are dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu respectively, Jyeshta maasam is said to be a favourite month for Lord Brahma the creator. Dharmasindhu prescribes worshiping Lord Brahma during Jyeshta maasam. We have very few temples in India dedicated to Lord Brahma and among them the best known and the biggest one we find at sacred place Pushkara in Rajasthan.

Sri Krushnaarpanamasthu

Posted 1st June 2012 b

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