Dhanurmaas 2018- 2019
Dhanurmas / Khar Maas / Mal maas begins on 16th Dec 2018 and ends on 14th Jan 2019. Dhanurmas is considered inauspicious in some regions. Only prayers and godly functions are performed during the period. The importance of Dhanurmas is mentioned in the Dhanurmas Mahatmya of Pancharatragama, Agneya Purana and also in a scripture called Smruti Muktavali.
Dhanur Mas is basically the period the sun shifts from the Sagittarius / Dhanur rashi to Makar rashi and it ends on the Capricorn / Makar Sankranti.
Worship of Shri Hari Vishnu during the morning hours in Dhanurmasa is considered highly auspicious. Vishnu Sahasranama is chanted during the period. Other important mantras chanted are those dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi.
The most popular offering made to Shri Hari Vishnu in the month is Moong dal, Bhog smagri prepared out of Moong Dal.
There is a belief that worshiping Shri Hari Vishnu on a single day during Dhanurmas is equal to worshiping him for 1000 of years.
In Pancharatragama, the greatness of Dhanurmas is presented in 4 chapters, as a conversation between Shri Hari Vishnu in the form of a Swan and Brahmaji. The dialogue between them is narrated by Sage Suta in response to a query by Sage Shaunaka.
The greatness and holiness of Dhanurmas and the rewards one gets by observing austerities in the holy month is found in the first chapter. The story of the King Satyasandha and the holiness he achieved by observing Dhanurmas Vrata is mentioned in the second chapter. The third chapter talks about the importance of giving alms during the Dhanurmas. Numerous pious deeds a devotee can perform are mentioned in the chapter. The final chapter talks about feeding the poor. It is said that the best way to reach the feet of Shri Hari Vishnu is by feeding the hungry and poor.