By ISKCON Mayapur
“The real purpose behind the vow taken during these four months is to minimize the quantity of sense gratification. This is not verydifficult.”
– Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya Lila 4.169, Purport
In the purport to Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya-lila 4.169, Srila Prabhupada writes that “the Caturmasya period begins in the month of Ashadha (June-July) from the day of Ekadasi called Sayana-ekadasi. The period ends in the month of Kartika (October-November) on the Ekadasi day known as Utthana-ekadasi. This four month period is known as Caturmasya.” In the Sri Hari-bhakti-vilasa it is recommended that for the first month of Caturmasya, which is known as Sravana (July–August), one should give up eating any green, leafy vegetables. This includes but is not limited to all types of spinach, coriander, curry leaves, basil and other herbs. In the second month known as Bhadrapada (August –September), one should avoid eating yogurt. For the third month, Asvina (September –October), it is recommended that one should abstain from milk. In the last month, Kartika (October –November), one should not eat white lentils (masura and urad dhals).
In the Varaha Purana, it describes the significance and origin of the Caturmasya period. Once Mother Earth approached Lord Varaha, the boar incarnation of the Lord, and expressed her concerns about the people who take birth in Kali Yuga. She pointed out how these people are ignorant, short-lived and always afflicted with weakness and disease, and she begged the Lord to reveal a method which would allow the people of Kali Yuga to get great benefits with very little effort.