Avani Avittom, a day in the Tamil month of Avani that marks a new beginning, was observed by the members of the Brahmin community here with rituals that largely symbolise retrospection and penitence.

More than 300 members of the community took part in the ceremony held at the Anandawalleshwaram temple pond.

Avittom is one of the 27 nakshatras or stars falling on the full moon day of the Avani month.

It is on this day that male members of the community change the poonul (sacred thread) worn by them and this ritual, also known as upakarmam, takes place on the banks of a pond or a river. They take a dip in the river or pond and then wear a new poonul.

The members of the Brahmin community also offer libations of water to their ancestors to whom they owe their birth and to the great Rishis to whom they are indebted for spiritual knowledge and the Vedas.

Pledge renewed

They also renew their pledge to uphold their Vedic duties to the society.

Devotees believe that it is on this day that Lord Hayagriva, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, brought back the Vedas that were stolen by the demons. The ritual also symbolises the permission to study the Vedas.

The Rig Veda upakarmam ritual observed in connection with the ceremony on Tuesday was led by Brahma Sri Gomati Sankarana Narayana Sasthrikal and the Yajur Veda upakarmam ritual led by Brahma Sri Narayana Sasthrikal and Bhaskara Vaidyar.

On Wednesday, the Gayatri Japam ritual will be observed. This ritual is held at homes of Brahmins.

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