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Avani Avittam

On the day of Raksha Bandhan, i.e., Shravan Purnima, various states like Tamil Nadu, Kerela, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, etc celebrate the festival of Avani Avittam. It is an extremely important day for the Brahmin community. On this day, the Sacred Thread ceremony (Yajnopavitam) is held as per the Vedas and rituals. It is also a day for traditional Vedic studies. This festival is also known as Upakarmam in various cultures. Recitation of the Vedas on this great day is highly beneficial.

On this day, Brahmin boys are bestowed with the Sacred Thread (Yajnopavit or Janeyu). It is said that the third eye, that is the eye of wisdom opens on this day. A Mahasankalpam or a vow is taken for the expiation of all the sins in the past year. Thereafter Brahmins take a Holy water dip and wear a new holy thread called Yajnopavit or Janeyu.
This day is also auspicious as the Brahmins offer libations of water to their ancestors to whom they owe their birth and to the great Rishis to whom they are highly indebted for spiritual knowledge and the Vedas themselves.

There are four Vedas and accordingly there are different sects of Brahmins who follow these four Vedas. Avani Avittam or Upakramam is followed by Brahmins who read Yajurveda. The rituals of Avani Avittam for these Yajurvedic Brahmins are:

  • First the Rishi Tharpanam (offering prayers to the ancient Rishis) is read out.

  • Brahmin bachelors perform 'Samitha Daanam' and 'kamo karshith japam' after Mahasankalpam.

  • Thereafter, Kaanda Rishi tharpanam is performed with the help of family priest or elders.

  • As per the rituals, all the male members should have a light meal at night.

  • Next day after an early bath, 'Gayathri Japam' is read out by everyone. Thereafter, Appam & Idli are served.

  • Green Gram, Dhal or Kondai Kadalai Sundal are offered as Neivedhyam for the Homam (Fire ritual).

  • The Homam is performed either in the house or in temples and the Arti is performed after everyone returns home.

  • Neivedhyam - Payasam, Vadai, Gingely seeds, Rice. The other items that are served on this day are Curd Pachadi, Kosumalli Curry, Koottu, Pitlay, buttermilk, soup, rasam, dhal and chips, appalams.

    The other Vedic Brahmins too follow the ceremony of Avani Avittam in the same month of Shravana, but on different days.

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