Avani Avittam


Avani Avittam marks the Upakarma ritual and is celebrated on the Shravana Poornima. Avani is a month in the Tamil calendar that falls between mid-August and mid-September, Avittam is the Tamil name for the Dhanishta nakshatra which is the 23rd star of 27 Nakshatras (stars). The day ruled by Avittam nakshatra during the Tamil month of Avani, harmonising with the full moon is celebrated as Avani Avittam in Tamil Nadu and Kerala states, India. Brahmin communities and all the communities who wear the sacred thread called Poonal or Yagnopavitham change it on this day.  

Avani Avittam 2023

Wed , 30th Aug 2023

Significance

On Avani Avittam, the male members of the Brahmins family change their sacred thread. This sacred thread called Yagnopavitham. This ritual is called Upakarma- where they begin learning Vedas. Brahmins who follow Yajur Veda commence their 6-month-long reading of the Yajur Veda on the day of Avani Avittam and conclude the reading during the Makara (mid-Jan to mid-Feb) masa. The Holy thread is believed to pave way for the third eye opening, rightly so because Upakarma marks the onset of intense Veda studying phase in a person’s life, third eye – eye of wisdom awakening process is well supported by the Vedas. Avani Avittam is an opportunity to pay gratitude to Sages, Saints and Rishis for the spiritual knowledge and ancestors of their won lineage for their existence and blessings. 

Rituals

Avani Avittam is the most auspicious day in the Brahmin community. Men wake up early, take a holy dip in the river or in temples ponds. Then make a Mahasankalpa or a vow for the sacrament of all the sins in the past. Then a prayer is recited for cleansing away all sins and to be receptive to the divine blessings to perform the basic duties of a Pure Brahman as prescribed in the Vedic texts. While wearing the new sacred thread, another mantra is chanted signifying the sheer purity of the holy thread, which is inseparable from the mighty Lord and a perfect tool to lengthen earthly life, to impart strength and dignity. Parallelly, while removing the old sacred thread, a specific mantra is recited that signify cleansing of old energy patterns and marking new beginning

The old yagnopavitham is placed under a tree in a garden or discarded into a holy river. Vedic students also commence their first day of learning of Vedas on this day. Vedic knowledge is best imbibed if began on this day. This day symbolizes retrospection and a chance to reexamine life for a new beginning. Performing Tarpanam -ancestral rituals to our ancestors to who we owe our birth and to the great Maharishis to who are highly indebted for spiritual knowledge and the Holy Vedas.  

Mythology behind Avani Avittam

Lord Vishnu had just taught Brahma about creation of life forms through Vedas. Brahma after learning the techniques, got super embossed into the practice and became head strong, His pride started to overpower him. Lord Vishnu to teach a lesson to Brahma about his pride and ignorance, created two demons by the name Madhu and Kaitapan to steal the Vedas from Lord Brahma. Brahma rushed to Lord Vishnu after losing the Vedas and pleaded mercy for his unnecessary pride and ego. He realised that his pride and ego has resulted in ignorance. Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Hayagriva to recover the stolen Vedas. He killed the demons and returned the Vedas to Brahma. This day marks the Avani Avittam, the revival of Vedas.

Benefits

  • Offering Rishi Tarpanam for the ancient seers on Avani avittam is a way to show respect to the sages who shared Vedic knowledge to humankind 
  • When properly performed, this Avani avittam vratham will protect from sins, sorrow and disturbances from foes
  • Gayathri Japam performed the next day to Avani Avittam washes off our accumulated sins and purify our mind 

Avani Avittam festival dates between 2019 & 2029

Year

Date

2019

Thursday, 15th of August

2020

Monday, 3rd of August

2021

Sunday, 22nd of August

2022

Thursday, 11th of August

2023

Wednesday, 30th of August

2024

Monday, 19th of August

2025

Saturday, 9th of August

2026

Thursday, 27th of August

2027

Monday, 16th of August

2028

Saturday, 5th of August

2029

Thursday, 23rd of August

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