Purattasi is the sixth month of the Tamil calendar, which falls between mid-Sep to mid-Oct every year. This month is one of the auspicious months and is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara (form of Lord Vishnu). The month is named after the star(s) on the Full Moon day – Poorattadhi (Purva Phalguni) or Uttrattadhi (Uttra Phalguni). According to sacred texts, Lord Vishnu descended to the Earth plane in the form of Venkateswara during the month of Purattasi, to preserve the universe at the end of Kali Yuga.
Purattasi Month – Rituals and Religious Practices
Vishnu devotees regard Purattasi month as the ideal period to worship Lord Vishnu and gather at Vishnu temples for grand rituals and ceremonies. Special Poojas and rituals are offered to Lord Venkateswara and there exists a custom of hoisting flags with Garuda emblem (divine eagle vehicle of Vishnu) at temples.
Devotees of Lord Venkateswara observe strict or partial fasting on all days of Purattasi, especially on Saturdays. Few people observe strict fasting without consuming even water, which is called as ‘Nirjala Vrat’ (fasting). Some people avoid consuming non-vegetarian food, alcohol and smoking for one month. On Purattasi Saturdays, there is a practice of drawing Namum (the two-feet symbol of Lord Vishnu) on forehead. Hymns in praise of the Lord are chanted in temples. There is also a practice of lighting Maavilakku (lamp made out of rice flour) to the Lord.
Thousands of devotees visit the Tirumala Tirupati temple to offer their ardent prayers and seek graceful blessings of Lord Venkateswara. According to sacred texts, Lord Venkateswara pacifies Lord Shani (Saturn), as a result of which Shani loses his power during the month of Purattasi. Hence, by offering ghee or ellu (sesame seeds) lamp to Saturn in this month can help mitigate the malefic effects of the planet.
Other festivals in the month of Purattasi include Durga Navaratri, Saraswati Pooja and Vijayadasami.
Purattasi Vrat or Fasting
Fasting for Lord Venkateswara by abstaining from non-vegetarian food, consuming alcohol, smoking and practicing celibacy can elevate your inner self and help attain the lotus feet of the Lord. Scientifically, fasting detoxifies your body and offers peace to your body, mind 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.