13th Aug 2011
The significance of rituals during Avaniavittam
We usually start Avaniavittam with the recital of Kamo Karshia Mantra. There is not anyone in earth who has not sinned knowingly or unknowingly( manasa, vacha, karmana). Kamo Karshia mantra eliminates all types of sins and purifies us. Avaniavittam is not just a thread changing ceremony ; instead it is an unexplainable auspicious function. Only we the Brahmins get an opportunity every year to perform this holy ritual.
We conduct Kandarishi Tharpanam and Pithru Tharpanam to show our gratitude to our Devadas, Gurus, Navagrahas, our forefathers,all pitrugal and also all living things and nonliving things and Rishis who have given us the Upanishads and vedas , itihasa Puranas, Dharma Shastra , Ayurveda, Yoga ,Siddha, Vedic Mathematics etc.We do these Tharpanam not only to get their blessings but also for the good of the world.
Avaniavittam is followed by Maha Gayathri Jabam with pranayamam the next day, during when we acquire cosmic energy - the energy of the Universe and blessings from all devadas. It protects us from all diseases( mental and physical ) and all evils and also improves our health and gives us ability to have magnificent visions.
The Maha Sankalpam , the self introduction,is done before the sacred thread is changed. It tells the Deavadas, who is doing the pooja, where it is being done, nakshatram, month, date etc.,for what purpose it is being conducted, etc. According to our Mythology, there are 14 worlds like our earth in this universe. That is the reason the rishis introduced the detailed introduction. If you carefully observe, we realise how small we are in this universe. What we thought to be a big house or a big town will seem too small to even speak of. There is nothing to feel egoistic or proud about.
The Sankalpam is mainly to make our ego vanish and to make us feel humble and love everyone.
Coming to the Sankalpa Mantras, let us first understand the Hindu Cosmic cycle:
Mahayuga= Sum of 4 Yugas ( Krita, Treta, Dwapara and Kali ) = 4,320,000 Years
1000 Mahayugs = A kalpa and it is a daytime of Brahma
The Kalpa is ruled by 14 manus in succession. The reigning period of one manuvantra is 71.42 mahayugs ( 1000/14 )
There is equivalent night time of 4,320,000 Years.
The Day -night of Brahma constitutes one Brahma day ( 8.64 billion years ).
360 Brahma days constitute one Brahma year while 100 Brahma years represent the lifetime of Brahma which is the life of Cosmos.
Brahma is supposed to have completed 50 Brahma years and is in his 51st Year. That is why this period is called the Dviteeya parardhe - in the second half of Brahma's life.
We are presently in the Sveta- Varaha Kalpa in the reigning period of Vaivaswatha
-the 7th Manu.
The actual Sankalpa mantra and its meaning runs like this :
"dviteeya parardhe" - in the 2nd half of Brahma's life.
"Svetavaraha Kalpe "- in the Kalpa of Svetavaraha
"Vaivaswatha Manuvantare" - in the reigning period of Manu vaivaswatha
" Kaliyuge" - in this Kali yuga
"prathame padhe "- in the first quater of this yuga
"Jamboodveepe"- this denotes the place where the ritual is performed - India was known as Jamboodveepa
"Bharata Varshe, Bharata Kande "- in the land of Bharat
" Sakhade Mero , Dakshine Parsve"- to the south of Meru mountain,
"Asmin Varthamane Vyavaharike "- in the current period now reigning
Prabhavadi Shasti Samvatsaranam Madye"- among the cycle of 60 years starting from Prabhava
".....nama Samvatsare"- the name of the year in the 60 year Hindu calendar
".....Ayane"- Dakshinayane ( Aadi to Margazhi), Uttarayane ( Thai to Aani )
".....Ritou"- denotes the 6 seasons of rirus- Vasantha, Greeshma, Varsha, Sharadh, Hemantha and shisira
".....Mase" - the tamil month
".....Pakshe"- either Shukla Paksham or Krishna Paksham )
".....Subha Thithou"- one of the 15 days between Pournami and Amavasyaya - From Prathama to Pournami or Amavasya
".....vasara yuktayam"- the day of the week -from Bhanu ( Sunday) to sthira ( Saturday )
".....Nakshatra yuktayam"- the day's star or Nakshatram ( from Aswani to Revathi )
May God bless us all on this Auspicious Occasion of Avaniavittam
Extracts from a handout given by Tamilnadu Brahmins Association , Tiruvanmiyur during the Avaniavittam function today.