Lord Venkateshwara’s Blessings to all observing the sacred month of Puratassi!
Crown The Brown Exclusive: The Significance of Puratassi. Puratassi is the 6th month in the Tamil Hindu calendar which falls between mid-September to mid-October (17/09/2020 to 16/09/2020). Saturdays in this month are auspicious to worshiping Lord Vishnu in the form of Lord Venkateshwara to receive his blessings.
Puratassi is in the month where the sun is in the sign Virgo, ruled by Mercury. Mercury’s overlord is Lord Vishnu, the God of preservation. Hence, the whole month of Puratassi, especially Saturdays are very important for Lord Vishnu Devotees.
According to legend, Lord Vishnu descended on the earthly plane at the Tirupati Hills, in the human form as Venkateshwara during the month of Puratassi. It is also believed that Shani (Saturn) loses his powers in this month. Therefore, worshiping Lord Vishnu on Saturdays brings you his graceful blessings and minimizes the malefic effects of Saturn.
On Saturdays in the month of Puratassi
Devotees make and offer various food items including the Mavilakku, a mixture of milk, sugar and Tulsi leaves, payasam, vadas and fruits along with other sweet items. It is believed Lord Vishnu smiles on the devotees through the light from the Mavilakku. A coconut cracked open in front of the Lord and camphor lit at the front of your home.
The devotees move inside the house or temple, chanting prayers. This movement signifies the journey of the Lord from darkness to light. Each verse of the prayer ends with the chanting ‘Govinda, Govinda, Govinda!’. Prayers are accompanied with the singing of hymns, ringing of bells and blowing of conch shells.
The observance of fasting removes impurities. Which are essential for attaining the abode of the Lord, Vaikunta. Devotees gather at Vishnu temples for grand rituals and ceremonies, which include the custom of a ‘flag hoisting’ with the Garuda emblem (Lord Vishnu’s vahana or vehicle) at the start of the Brahmotsavam, with special pujas, hymns and chanting.
During the Puratassi Vrat or the fast for Lord Venkateshwara, we abstain from non-vegetarian food, consuming alcohol, smoking and practicing celibacy, which can elevate you inner self and help attain the Lotus Feet of the Lord.
Scientifically, fasting detoxifies your body, and offers peace to your mind, body and soul. Hence, fasting for the divine Lord must not be treated as a burden and is to be followed with true devotion and wholeheartedness, which shall give you immense benefits.
Sage Bhrugu, who according to Hindu mythology, is believed to have an extra eye in the sole of his foot, once visited Sri Maha Vishnu. At that time, Vishnu was in a private meeting with his consort, Goddess Lakshmi, and failed to immediately receive and honour the Sage.
The sage felt humiliated and angry, and kicked Lord Vishnu in the chest. Vishnu did not react and remained silent. Lord Vishnu’s chest is the abode of Goddess Lakshmi. The Goddess felt highly insulted at the Sage’s misdemeanor and Lord Vishnu’s silence at the act. She left Vaikunta, the heavenly abode of Vishnu and Lakshmi.
Lord Vishnu, in an attempt to pacify the Sage, got a hold of the legs of the Sage and started to press them gently in a way that was comforting to the Sage. During this act, he poked the extra eye that was present in the sole of Bhrugu’s foot. The extra eye represents the Sage’s egotism.
The Sage then realized his grave mistake and apologized to Lord Vishnu.
Lord Vishnu had then incarnated Himself as Venkateshwara and came to earth in search of Lakshmi, who had taken birth as Princess Alamelu (Padmavati) in the household of Akasa Raju. The princess’s father agreed to give his daughter’s hand in marriage to Venkateshwara if he provided proof of his wealth.
Similarly, towards this end, Venkateshwara obtained a heavy loan from Kubera, a God (Yaksha) who is considered, according to Hindu mythology, as the treasurer of the virtuous wealth in the Universe. Princess Padmavati and Lord Venkateshwara then wed.
Lord Vishnu, in the form of Venkateshwara, and his consort are believed to have enshrined themselves at Tirumala Tirupati for the benefit of mankind. This phenomenon is called Swayambhu loosely translated to mean “self-existent and established on earth of one’s own accord, without any external cause”.
Above all, Lord Venkateshwara’s temple is at the top of the seven hills in the place called Tirumala. The temple of Lakshmi, in the form of Princess Padmavati, is located at the foot of the seven hills at Tirupati, in a town called Tiruchanur.
Manthras to Chant, and their meanings:
Om Venkateshwara Namaha –
Means I offer unto the supreme God who destroys the sins of the people in this material world.
Venkateshwara Gayatri Mantra:
Om Namo Narayna Vidmahae,
Tanno Vishnum Prachodadayat
May we realize this, Narayana, the indwelling being who is the spirit of all. May we meditate upon your manifested Vishnu aspect and thus become illumined ones.
You will need:
- Rice flour – 1 cup
- Jaggery – 1 cup
- Grated coconut – 1/2 cup
- Grated nutmeg – a pinch
- Elaichi / cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
- Pachai Karpooram / edible camphor – teeny weeny pinch
- Ghee – 3 TBSP
1) Grate Jaggery finely or pound into very small pieces.
2) Mix rice flour, jaggery and coconut well for about 8 – 10 minutes till they finely incorporate into each other. You may need to extend this for 5 more minutes depending on how coarse the rice flour is. Do remember to sieve the rice flour before use.
3) One the jaggery melts with all the kneading, add the ghee, cardamom powder, nutmeg, edible camphor and mix lightly till you get to make a roundel without adding any water. Make a big roundel for distributing as prashad (naivedyam) and a smaller one to light the lamp in
4) Make a dent with your thumb on the smaller roundel and place a ghee soaked wick in the dent. Add a tsp of ghee and light the lamp and complete the pooja. Once the lamp dies down, distribute the roundels as bits of prasadam.
Wishing all a prosperous vrat!