KERALA

Avani Avittam celebrated

Renewing pledge:Members of the Brahmin community performing the ‘poonul’ ritual on the occasion of Avani Avittam at the Anandawalleeshwaram temple in Kollam on Wednesday; and (right) Brahmins performing ‘Upakarmam’ at Subrahmanyaswami temple at Kodunthara near Pathanamthitta.

Renewing pledge:Members of the Brahmin community performing the ‘poonul’ ritual on the occasion of Avani Avittam at the Anandawalleeshwaram temple in Kollam on Wednesday; and (right) Brahmins performing ‘Upakarmam’ at Subrahmanyaswami temple at Kodunthara near Pathanamthitta.  

Members of the Brahmin community here celebrated Avani Avittam on Wednesday by performing traditional rituals. It is on this day that the male members of the community change their sacred threads (poonul).

The ceremonies connected with Avani Avittam are a community observance and held on the banks of a pond or a river. In Kollam, it was performed on the banks of the Anandawalleeshwaram temple pond. Members of the community took a dip in the pond and changed their sacred threads chanting mantras.

The festival falls on the full-moon day of the Tamil month of Avani. Also known as ‘Upakarmam’ which signifies the beginning of the studying of Vedas, it marks one of the most auspicious events for the Brahmin community. It is believed that it was on Avani Avittam that Lord Vishnu, incarnated as Lord Hayagriva, restored the Vedas stolen by the asuras to Lord Brahma.

As part of the rituals, members of the community also renewed their pledge to uphold their Vedic duties to society. The reading of the Yajur Veda is also held on this day. The rituals were organised by the district unit of the Kerala Brahmana Samajam.

Thanking ancestors

Staff Reporter writes from Pathanamthitta: Brahmins celebrated Avani Avittom with religious fervour in different parts of the district on Wednesday.

Hundreds of Brahmins changed their sacred thread and paid obeisance to their ancestors. The Kerala Brahmana Sabha district unit organised celebrations at the Subrahmanya Swami temple at Kodunthara, near here.

P. Narayana Swami, sabha district president, said Brahmins performed the rites thanking their ancestors and ‘rishis’ as a thanksgiving gesture. Changing of the sacred thread is known as ‘Upakarma.’ The Avani Avittom celebrations were a reminder of the spiritual significance of the sacred thread, Prof. Swami said.

Kallidakurichi Kalyanasundara Vadhyar was the chief priest at the ceremony held at the Subrahmanyaswami temple ghats of the Achenkovil river.

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