Tirumala, 09 Aug 2011(P.R.O): On the first of ongoing three day Annual Pavithrotsavam at Tirumala which began on Tuesday Aug 09, priests performed Snapana Tirumanjanam to the processional dieties of Lord Malayappaswamy and His consorts at Sampangi Prakaram inside Sri Vari Temple.

Sri L.V.Subramanyam, Executive Officer, Sri K.S.Srinivasa Raju, Joint Executive Officer, Sri Munirathnam Reddy, DyEO(Temple), Sri Chandrasekhar Pillai, Peishkar and large number of devotees took part.

The purpose is purification:

Pavithrotsava, an important three-day festival at the Tirumala temple, begins on August 09. Pavithrotsava will be observed at Tirumala. This is one of the important festivals at Tirumala with a hoary antiquity, agamic sanction, puranic reference and high religious significance. Basically during this utsava, the presiding deity and the other deities in the hilltown and in the temple itself are adorned with pavithras (sanctified garlands of thread). Homa is performed, vedic mantras are chanted, puranas are read.

This utsava is penitential as well as propitiatory and its main objective is to get rid of the evil that might have been caused due to omissions and commissions in the performance of various rituals throughout the year. That is why this utsava is referred to severally as “Dosha Nivaarana,” “Sarva Yajna Phalapradha,” “Sarva Doshopasamana,” “Sarva Tushtikara,” “Sarvakaamapradha, “Sarvalokasantida.”

Pavithrotsava,as the very word indicates is derived from the combination of two words “pavithra and utsava.” Pavithra is a means towards purification. That is why a darba grass worn in a loose knot round the finger usually heralds the performance of any religious rite. The Jayakhya Samhita explains that pavithra protects one from evil.

The puranas also prescribe “Pavithra Aaropana,” i.e., adorning the deity with pavithra, as an integral part of the rituals during the worship of Lord Vishnu. For example, the agni purana specifies that the first day of a lunar fortnight either in the beginning of the month of Aashada or the end of the Krithika should be chosen for performing pavithrotsava for Lord Hari so as to earn riches! The Garuda Purana says that this rite should be done on the 12th day of the dark or bright fortnight. It is amazing to find the puranas even detailing the type of colour of the thread that should be used for preparing the pavithra.

The origin of Pavithrotsavam in Tirumala dates back to 1463 A.D. The stone inscription found on the northern wall of the Vagapadi verandah in the first “Prakaara” of the Tirumala templegives a very detailed account. The inscription refers even to the items of expenditure to be incurred in connection with the celebration of “Pavithra Tirunal.”

The attention paid to details, especially in a stone inscription speaks volumes about the meticulous planning that went into the celebration of the Pavithrotsava.

The festival appears to have been celebrated till 1562 A.D. as we find numerous inscriptions referring to this Tirunal at Tirumalaiand the food offerings to be made during that festival, but suddenly after 1562, there is a gap, which makes one believe that perhaps this utsava was not celebrated as many of the villages endowed by the devotees for performing this festival might have been lost due to the various political changes at that time. This utsava was revived only about 38 years ago i.e. 1962.

This festival is celebrated for three days at Tirumala in the month of Aavani and is so planned as to conclude on Aavani Pournami day. The utsava is preceded by Ankurarpana the previous evening. The Ankurarpana and Mritsangrahana rituals are identical to those performed during Brahmotsava. Veda recitation is started after the Mritsangrahana ritual and this recitation of the Vedas concludes on the third day.

Aavahana is done in the Pradana Kumbha for Lord Vishnu and His Consort. There will be 16 other Kumbhas surrounding this Pradana Kumbha. The various mantras which are recited are believed to infuse voice vibrations which have great religious and spiritual force. It is this Kumbha which is taken to the Moolasthana on the concluding day of the Pavitrotsava and from that Kumbha the augmented spiritual power is believed to be transmitted to the Moola Vigraha (Kumbha Aavaahanam). The sanctified pavithras are offered to the various deities on the morning of the second day of the utsava.


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