Everyone is taught in school that a year is the amount of time it takes the earth to go around the Sun, right? And it takes just about 365 days for that to happen. So everyone knows the that we have a new year every 365 days.
Well that is sort of true. It doesn’t take exactly 365 days for the earth to go around the Sun… it takes 365 and a quarter days to be exact. So every 4 years you get a “leap year” where we have to add an extra day to the calendar, to account for those 4 “quarter” days that have been adding up unaccounted for. If we didn’t do that, in a few hundred years our seasons would be completely screwed up. Since we want to keep the calendar in sync with the real seasons, we need leap years.
But there is more to it that this. A truly accurate calendar is not based only on the Sun alone (“how long it takes the earth to go around the Sun”) but is based on both the Sun and the Moon.
This is how the lunar calendar works:
It takes the Moon almost 30 days to go from being full to being black and come back again. So that counts as one completely lunar cycle, which we call a “month” (obviously you can see the word “moon” in “month”).
The moon has 12 cycles in the amount of time it takes the Earth to go around the Sun. That’s why we have 12 months in a year.
So a “lunar year” is counted as the completion of these 12 cycles. But go ahead and make a quick estimate. If each lunar month lasts 30 days, and there are 12 of them, then a lunar year should last 360 days. But wait, the Solar year lasts about 365! So there is a discrepancy between the two, which needs to be accounted for in the same way we account for things with “leap years.”
To be accurate, the Moon’s cycle is not exactly 30 days. Its 29.5. So the exact length of the lunar year is not 360 days, but 354.
Solar Year = 365 days
Lunar Year = 354 days.
Subtract! That means there is a difference of 11 days between the solar year and the lunar year! We have to keep these things in sync, though – otherwise we just don’t stay accurate with nature over a long period of time. So how can you keep the lunar and solar calendars in sync?
Break out a calculator!
Every 33 lunar months you have a left over of almost exactly 30 days. So what you do is every 33 months, you put in a leap month! You add to the lunar calendar one extra month. And this keeps the solar and lunar calendars in sync with each other.
Just to be fair, I am rounding off numbers. I don’t feel like getting complicated with the math, since we are not trying to build a calendar – I’m just trying to explain to you what this month is. But every 60 years you get a perfect re-sync of the lunar and solar cycles.
Well, guess what?
That leap month… it just started.
The Sun just started it’s first full day in Aries, in connection with 33rd month of the cycle. So what we are in right now is a very special month which only occurs every few years.
It’s leap month!
What should you do?
Well every month in every year belongs to a different astrological planet. But this special month is called the “month of the Supreme Being” (purushottam-maas). It does not belong to any planet. It is under the control of the being controlling the planets, the Supreme Being.
Thus this month opens up a window for connection to the transcendent.
During this month it is not advised to begin anything of a mundane, material nature. Things pertaining to ordinary life should not be started in this month. New jobs, marriages, new houses, etc. These do not get the karmic backing from the karma agents (the astrological planets) because there is no astrological planet in control of the month. Therefore it is better to avoid doing such things during this month.
On the other hand all spiritual and transcendental efforts and activities are EXTREMELY empowered by this month.
– Vic DiCara