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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Avani Avittam / Upkarmam Upakramam Upanayanam Raksha Bandhan 2011 Mantras Significance Rituals Hindus Prayers

What is known as Avani Avittam in South India, is same as Raksha Bandhan which is popular festival celebrated in North India. This festival falls on the full moon day of the Hindu month 'Shravana'. Previously, it is purely a Hindu festival but gradually the festivity of Avani Avittam has spread its spirit to other religions around the world. Hindus wear a holy thread and offer libations of water to the ancient Rishis on this day. It is a beautifully celebrated religious religious observations by the Brahmins in south India.

Rituals of Avani Avittam/ Upakramam

Avani Avittam is also known by 'Upakramam' which signifies the beginning of of studying the Veda, which is performed during the period of Avani to Tai. The period corresponds from mid-August to mid- January as per the english calendar. The Upakramam ceremony of Brahmins follow with the recitation of poem, which is called 'prayashchita'. Early in morning, Brahmins take out their Mahasankalpam or thread for penance of their all wrong doing which they have done in past one year. After that they take a holy bath and wear a new thread, called as Janeyu or Yajnopavit.

Being celebrated with great enthusiasm in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, this festival is rigorously being followed in some parts of Orissa and Maharashtra. This festival is celebrated on the Shravana Purnima and quite well-known as Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi around the globe. In northern India, sisters tie an amulet called Rakhi on the wrist of their brothers. The thread is entwined with blessings and good wishes of sister for their dearly brother. In exchange brothers vow to stand by her during thick and thin of life.

Avani Avittam : its Significance
For Brahmins, Avani Avittam is marked as one of the most auspicious event. The day is dotted as an important one for Yajurvedis also as they started reading Yajur Veda, which they remain continuing for next 6 months. It is believed that on Avani Avittam, Lord Vishnu has reincarnation itself into Lord Hayagriya, which is the symbol of wealth and knowledge. On this day, God Vishnu who is worshiped as the high deity power actually restored the Vedas to Brahma.

Prayer Mantras and Meaning :-
The prayer of that people recite to wash away all the sins on this day is something like :-

"For the removal of all my sins and thereby to secure a divine blessing and for qualifing myself to perform the essential duties of Brahmanas as prescribed in the vedas and smritis and adopted by the really good in their conduct I put on this Yagnopavita".

While removing the old thread, the mantra recited means :-

"I throw away the broken dirty old thread, may the new one bring on long life and Brahmana's brilliance."

When the new thread is worn then another mantra is recited which means: "I put on the sacred thread which is highly pure, is inseparable from God, is capable of prolonging life and is the foremost in the accomplishment of a Brahmana. May such pure Yagnopavita bring strength and dignity."

RAKSHA BANDHAN is called Avani Avittam in South India. This falls on the full moon day of the month of Sravan (August-September). It is an important Hindu festival. Hindus wear a new holy thread and offer libations of water to the ancient Rishis on this day.

Recitation of the Vedas on this great day is highly beneficial. This festival is also known as Upakarmam, and is specially sacred to the Brahmins, who have been invested with the sacred thread. When the Brahmin boy is invested with this holy thread, symbolically his third eye, or the eye of wisdom, is opened. This festival of Upakarmam reminds the wearer of the sacred thread of its glorious spiritual significance. Brahmins also 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 their spiritual knowledge and the Vedas themselves. The true Hindu never forgets his benefactors!

The followers of the four different Vedas have their Upakarmam on different days.

On this day, Sachi, the consort of Indra, tied a holy thread or amulet around the wrist of Indra, when he was defeated by the demons. Then Indra, the king of gods, gained victory over the demons by the power of this protection (Raksha means "protection") and recovered the lost city of Amaravati.

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