The Significance of Purattasi Month and Purattasi viratham

Purattasi Month

Purattasi is the sixth month of the Tamil calendar, correspondingly falling between mid-Sep to mid-Oct of the Gregorian calendar. The month is sacred and dedicated to Lord Venkateswara.

The month got its name from the star(s) on the Full Moon Day – Poorattadhi (Purva Phalguni) or Uttrattadhi (Uttra Phalguni). As per the sacred texts, Lord Maha Vishnu took the form Venkateswara and descended to the Earth plane during the Purattasi month to preserve the universe when the Kali Yuga comes to an end.

During this month, several spiritual events like the annual Brahmotsavam happen at the Tirumala Tirupati temple. Moreover, during Purattasi month, people abstain from consuming non-vegetarian dishes. Significantly, the Saturdays falling in this month are considered very auspicious.
 

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Purattasi Viratham

Devotees throng the Thirumala temple in large numbers and observe fast during the Saturdays of the Purattasi month.

This year Purattasi month starts on September 17, 2021 (Friday) and ends on October 18, 2021. The days of the Saturday Purattasi Viratham for the year 2021 are below

  • September 18, 2021
  • September 25, 2021
  • October 2, 2021
  • October 9, 2021
  • October 16, 2021

Purattasi Story

A long time ago, there lived a poor potter named Bheeman in the sacred town of Tirupati. He was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu and had taken a vow to observe fast every Saturday in honor of Lord Venkatachalapathy. However, as he was busy all day and had none to assist him, he couldn’t find time to visit the temple and have the Lord’s darshan.

As a solution to the problem, he decided to bring the Lord nearer to him and made a clay idol of Lord Venkateswara. As he was poor, Bheeman found it difficult to buy fresh flowers for the Lord, so he made flowers from the left-over clay and hung them in garlands on the clay Venkateswara idol.

His poor state of affairs made it impossible for poor Bheeman to offer sweets and other delicious dishes as Prasad to the Lord; all he could contribute to the Lord was the humble curd rice that he ate. King Thondaimaan, who ruled the areas around Tirupati back then, was also an ardent devotee of Lord Venkateswara. He used to visit the temple every Saturday and adorn the deity in gold chains. But when he came the following Saturday, he would find garlands of clay flowers adorning the Lord’s idol. Thondaimaan came to suspect the priests of stealing the garlands made of gold. However, Lord Vishnu appeared to him in a dream and told him about the potter and his devotion.

King Thondaiman send out men in search of the potter. The soldiers brought Bheema to the King, who praised his devotion and offered him financial aid. Bheema refused to accept all that and said to the King that worshipping the Lord itself was more than enough for him. King Thondaimaan, impressed by the piety of the potter, from then on, passed a decree that offerings to Lord Venkatachalapathy during the Purattasi month were to be made in a clay pot.

Thus, even when a grand feast is cooked and offered to Lord Venkateswara, the devotees always keep a clay pot of curd rice among the offerings.

Purattasi fasting procedure

  • It is highly beneficial to rise during the Brahma Muhurtham, between 4 am to 6 am.
  • Clean the house, sprinkle some water mixed with turmeric, and then take a bath and wash your hair without applying any oil.
  • Place the Thiru Namam, the sign of Lord Vishnu, on your forehead. It is a Three-pronged mark featuring a red line in between the two white lines.
  • Decorate the house with beautiful Kolams and tie Mango leaf thoranams on your home’s main door frame.
  • Replace the oil from the lamp with fresh oil or pure cow ghee and replace the wick with new cotton or cotton cloth wick and light the lamp.
  • Prepare a simple naivedyam for the Lord.
  • Take a Kalash, clean it with water, and wipe it dry with a soft, clean cotton cloth. Draw three Thirunamams on it, put some raw rice and coins inside the Kalash, and place it in front of the deity.
  • After praying to God, prepare a vegetarian meal. A typical vegetarian meal during Purattasi comprises of Boiled Rice, Sambar, and roasted vegetables.
  • Delicacies like South Indian sweets like Sweet Pongal, Payasam, and Savouries like Vada are also prepared.
  • Before partaking the lunch, the food is first offered to Perumal (Lord Vishnu). A whole plantain leaf is spread in front of the deity, and a small quantity of each prepared food item is placed on the leaf.
  • Perform a small puja, pray to Lord Venkateswara and ask him to accept your humble offerings. Chant the divine names of Lord Vishnu and recite his mantras, and sing songs in praise of him.
  • Sit down as a family to eat lunch after the puja. If you are inviting others for the puja, you have to eat only when they finish eating.
  • You can also offer food and other aid to the poor, homeless, children, and older people living in shelters.
  • Visit a Perumal temple in the evening and pay your respects to the deity.

     

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