Tamil month of ''Purattasi'' and the important religious rituals - brief note

Though  almost all Tamil months are  special, among them  Purattasi Aippasi Karthigai and Thai gain much importance; the former has many rituals and temple festivals and these and other rituals in ensuing Tamil months are focussed on   the healthy living of human beings. The important celebrations that fall in this month are Purattasi Saturdays, Maavilakku, Mahalaya Amavasya, and Durga Navaratri. 

Rathayatra, a form of Hindu festival. no.pinterest.com

Purattasi month is dedicated to Lord  Sri Vishnu and saturdays are considered auspicious  for Vishnu devotees. It is believed that Lord Venkatajalapathi  descended on  earth this month and at Tirupati balaji temple, AP special prayers and thirukalyana  rituals are done with religious fervor. Devotees from different parts of india go on a pilgrimage to the hill temple in this particular month to get blessed by the lord of the universe. As a matter of fact in almost all Vaishnava temples in South India Purattasi rituals are celebrated with great devotion and bhakti. Mention may be made of Srirangam temple, Srivilliputhur Andal temple, Sri Vishnu temple, Mandya, KA, etc. Padavedu Kottaimalai Sri Venugopala Swamy temple (atop the hill near  Vellore) on Saturdays is open from 9 am  to 4 pm and  the  the sun rays fall right  on the holy feet (Patham) of the lord who is supposedly trying to raise his  head in the early morning. On Saturdays countless devotees go on a fast  - skipping meal to cleanse their body and mind so that they could prepare themselves to attain salvation - free from the mundane and seesaw battle of life and death. 

Much importance is given to the worshiping Sani Bhagavan on Purattasi Saturdays as no earthling is free from his bad effects. The assumption has been that  during this phase of time Sani Bhagavan losses his harmful or evil  malefic powers. So offering prayer to him at his shrine will negate the malevolent effects and the devotees will be free from negative forces. 

Hindu festivals and oil lambs pngtree.com/
Purattasi Maavilakku is yet another ritual dedicated to Lord Vishnu on Saturdays. Particularly women folks light up  Maavilakku in their homes and in many homes   Maavillakku  is offered to  goddess Shakti. The ghee light will dive away the dark forces in the homes.  

Mahalaya Amavasya

Every month (whether in Tamil or Kannada or Malayalam, etc), has an  Amavasya or New moon day and tradition has it on that day only tharpanam or oblations are  are done to get blessed by our pithroos or forefathers.

Purattasi month Amavasya is  said to be the most auspicious one and it is believed that our forefathers visit our place and and stay here for sometime  before the New moon and the entire 15 days are said to be  auspicious for doing tharpanam or oblations for our ancestors. The waning period of the moon is known as  Krishna Paksha in Sanskrit and Purattasi month Amavasya is called Mahalaya Paksham. The ritual is a must for every Hindu regardless of region or birth and the people who do he rituals with dedication will be blessed twice by the departed ancestors. .

Purattasi Navaratri -  In Sanskrit  Nava meaning nine and Rathri meaning  night is an important religious function in this month and in west Bengal Durga Puja is the most important ritual  on par to Onam festival of Kerala in which the return of Mahabali is celebrated with much ado. This month marks the beginning of winter and the  autumnal equinox occurs in this month. An important celestial occurrence is that the sun crosses the celestial equator and moves southward in the northern hemisphere.

In Sanskrit Nava means nine and Rathri means night. Purattasi Navaratri is called as Durga Navaratri and most important among Navratri's. This month marks the beginning of winter. The autumnal equinox occurs this month. An important celestial occurrence is that the sun crosses the celestial equator and moves southward in the northern hemisphere. Navaratri Golu is one of the most important ritual and Golu - displaying  dolls of deities, saints, animals, etc is set at homes and also in temples. Each night is dedicated to the worship of goddess. The first three days are dedicated to  Devi Durga. Next three days for  Devi Lakshmi and last three days are for worshipping Devi Saraswathi. On the tenth day, Sarasvati Pooja or Ayudha Pooja is celebrated on a grand manner. Vijayadasami day is chosen by countless Hindu parents to initiate their young kid into the world of learning and writing. In the state of tamil nadu in the month of Purattasi non-vegetarian food is a taboo and people skip it so that they could focus more on meditation and worship of god. 

Among the Tamil months only on this Purattasi month, a fast of meat-eating is observed. As I said at the beginning of the article this is the special feature, Purattasi month deserves.