Āṣāḍha

The fourth month of the Hindu lunar calendar is called Āṣāḍha (June-July) when the full-moon is said to be near the constellation Āṣāḍhā. The ekādaśī (11th day) of the bright fortnight of this month is christened ‘śayanī’ since it was believed that Lord Viṣṇu went to bed on this day, to wake up again on the ekādaśī of kārttika bright fortnight, called ‘prabo-dhinī or bodhinī.’ The legend of Viṣṇu’s going to bed for four months might be symbolic of the disappearance of the sun (who is also Viṣṇu) behind the clouds during the rainy season.

The deity Subrahmaṇya (also known as Ṣaṇmukha and Skanda) is associated with this month. The sixth day of the bright fortnight called ‘Skandaṣaṣṭhī’ is an important festival observed especially in South India.