Chaturmasya period begins
Guru Purnima, which fell on 7 July this year, also marks the beginning of the four months of Chaturmasya period . Srila Prabhupada explains the meaning and the purpose of Chaturmasya in the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya – lila 4.169 purport:
"The Chaturmasya period begins in the month of Asadha (June-July) from the day of Ekadasi called Sayana-ekadasi, in the fortnight of the waxing moon. The period ends in the month of Kartika (October-November) on the Ekadasi day known as Utthana-ekadasi, in the fortnight of the waxing moon.
This four-month period is known as Chaturmasya. Some Vaisnavas also observe it from the full-moon day of Asadha until the full-moon day of Kartika. That is also a period of four months. This period, calculated by the lunar months, is called Chaturmasya, but others also observe Caturmasya according to the solar month from Sravana to Kartika."
"Chaturmasya should be observed by all sections of the population. It does not matter whether one is a grhastha or a sannyasi. The observance is obligatory for all asramas. The real purpose behind the vow taken during these four months is to minimize the quantity of sense gratification. This is not very difficult.
In the month of Sravana one should not eat spinach, in the month of Bhadra one should not eat yogurt, and in the month of Asvina one should not drink milk. One should not eat fish or other non vegetarian food during the month of Kartika. … On the whole, during the four-month period of Chaturmasya one
should practice giving up all food intended for sense enjoyment."
Following are the four Chaturmasya period beginning from 7 July to 2 November 2009.
7th July 2009– First month of Chaturmasya begins. (Fast from Shak, green leafy vegetables, for one month)
5th August 2009 — Second Month of Chaturmasya begins (Fasting from yogurt for one month)
4th September 2009– 3rd month of chaturmasya begins (Fasting from milk for 1 month)
4th October 2009– Fourth month of chaturmasya begins (fasting from Urad dahl for one month) KARTIKA MONTH BEGINS
2nd November 2009 Chaturmasya ends.