Avani, the fifth month in the Tamil Calendar, is highly auspicious and of great spiritual significance as we observe several important pujas, vratams and festivals during this month. Starting with Varalakshmi Vratam, the series of festivals continues with Avani Avittam, Gayathri Japam, Krishna Janmashtami and Vinayaka Chathurthi!
Varalakshmi nombu / vratam
This festival is observed to propitiate Goddess Lakshmi in the form of Varalakshmi – the granter of boons. It is believed that worshipping Goddess Varalakshmi is equivalent to worshiping Ashtalaksmi - the eight Goddesses of Sri (Wealth), Bhu (Earth), Saraswathi (learning), Prithvi (also Earth), Keerthi (Fame), Shanti (Peace), Santushti(Pleasure) and Pushti(Strength).
It is cited in Skanda Purana that when Goddess Parvati asked Lord Shiva about a fast that married women could observe to benefit them and their families, Lord Shiva explained the virtues of the Varalakshmi Vratam. He narrated the story of Charumati, a humble devout brahmin woman who lived in Kundina in the ancient Magadha Kingdom. Goddess Mahalakshmi, impressed by her pious nature, kindness and devotion to her family appeared in her dream and asked her to perform VaraLakshmi puja and prescribed the procedure. Charumati invited her kith and kin and performed the puja as prescribed with utmost devotion. Pleased with this, the Goddess blessed her as well as all present with abundant prosperity and long life.
Avani Avittam / Upakarma
Upakarma denotes beginning or Arambham i.e., to commence the study / Adhyayana of Vedas. It is the day on which MahaVishnu incarnated as Hayagriva, the God of knowledge, and brought back the Vedas to Lord Brahma.
On the Avani Avittam day, the sacred thread, 'yagnopaveetham' is changed. Yagna denotes “Sacred ritual” and “Upaveetham” means a covering. Yagnopaveetham means a sacred covering on the body without which a Yagna cannot be performed. It is also called as Brahmasutram. It is said that a Brahmin's real wealth is his penance, and it is this Brahmasutram which protects that accumulated penance / tapas. Therefore ensuring the purity of the thread by 'nootana yagnopaveetha dhaaranam' assumes utmost significance.
To emphasize the importance of this festival, when Lord Mahavishnu incarnated as a son to Adithi and Sri Kaashyapa rishi in his Vaamana Avataaram, He himself assumed the form of 'vatu' and underwent Upanayanam and Upakarma under the guidance of the Lord Surya. Surya, being the Adishthana Daivam for Gayathri mantra, receiving Brahmopadesam from him, exemplified the significance of Gayathri Upadesam.
Persons belonging to all the Vedas perform Gayathri Japam on the day after the Yajur Upakarma day. It is interesting to note that, though other mantras generally change for each veda, Gayathri Mantra is one that is exactly the same for all the vedas right through 'pranavam', 'vyaahruthi' and 'mantra'. The Goddess Gayatri is considered as the mother of Vedas, and though there are crores of mantras, the Gayathri mantra is considered the foremost of them and reigns supreme. The Vedas proclaim,
"Na Gayatryaah Paro mantraha, Na Matru daivatham param"
meaning "there are no greater mantras than Gayatri, and none of the goddesses equal this mother.”
Regular chanting of the Mantra is believed to give one prosperity, knowledge, tejas, and salvation in the end.
The Krishnaavataram, along with that of Rama, is considered the most significant, being 'Poorna Avataram. Krishna through his life showed the importance of fulfilling each role that one plays in life, he was a delightful mischievous child to Yashoda, a dutiful son to Devaki and Vasudeva, a soulful mate to the Gopikas, a protective brother to Draupadi, a compassionate friend to Sudaama and most importantly a great Guru and guide not only to Arjuna but also to the entire world as the giver of Bhagavad Gita. He reinstated Dharma and showed modes of leading an exemplified life demonstrating the significance of performing one's duties / Karma with complete dedication.
Lord Ganesha is believed to be the God of new beginings. He is hailed as "Vighnaharta", the one who averts obstacles both of material and spiritual nature, and is invoked before initiating any new task / auspicious ceremony. It is believed that worshipping Vinayakar grants one success, prosperity, and protection against adversity. May we pray that Lord Ganesha remove all obstacles and bless everyone with success in all undertakings.
We wish all our patrons a festive and spiritually profound Avani!
Important days this month:
|Avani Avittam (Rig Veda)
|Avani Avittam (Yajur Veda)
|Avani Avittam (Sama Veda)
Special Upanyasam by Sri. S. Seetharaman
Topic: Appar Sambandar Sandhippu
Date/Time: Sat, Aug 28th from 3:00 to 4:00 PM BST
Zoom meeting details: Please join
by clicking this link: Special Upanyasam
by using Zoom meeting id: 893 7969 2612 and passcode 1234
Sri. S. Seetharaman is an eminent literary scholar, historical exponent, and noted speaker. He holds an M. Phil in history and is also a published author. Two volumes of his novel "Serar Kottai" have been published and has also written articles in many weekly/monthly magazines notably “Ponniyin selvan Yatthirai”, “Vandiyathevanudan Santhippu” which have been published in Kalki and Dinamalar Deepavali Malar.
He is the managing director of SR Estates, a renowned real estate company which is well known for constructing residential and senior citizen properties in spiritualistic locations. He has also held various positions in Rotary and other charitable organizations and won several awards for his charitable services to the club including the President award. He is also keenly interested in Agama Shastram and is pursuing his doctorate in temple architecture. He also serves on the editorial board of Varalaaru magazine.
He has kindly agreed to give a special discourse for SIS on 'Appar Sambandar Sandippu'. We welcome all our patrons to attend the event. It is going to be an unique and interesting talk that is not to be missed!
Looking forward to seeing all of you.
SIS September Satsang
In keeping with the continuing tradition of monthly Satsangs, September 2021 Satsang will be conducted online.
Date/Time: Sat, Sep 4th from 3:00 to 5:00 PM BST
Zoom meeting details: Please join
by clicking this link: Sep 2021 Satsang
by using Zoom meeting id: 841 9340 8871 and passcode 1234
Satsang will include reciting
- Vishnu Sahasranaman and Mahalakshmi Ashtakam
- Lalitha Sahasranaman
- Hanuman Chalisa
- Short spiritual talk
Please attend with your family and importantly involve the next generation.
SIS Satsangs are generally held on the first Saturday every month. If you wish to conduct the Satsang at your home, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
SIS Deepavali Celebrations - Nov 6th
SAVE THE DATE!!!!
We are excited to announce that this year's SIS Deepavali Celebration event will be held on November 6th, hopefully as an in-person event. Do mark the date in your calendars and we look forward to celebrating Deepavali with you all. Details will follow later.
We are glad to inform you that 'South Indian Society' is now an eligible charitable organization in AmazonSmile.
AmazonSmile is a wonderful initiative where Amazon donates to charities chosen by customers, everytime an eligible purchase is made and there is absolutely no additional cost to the customer. AmazonSmile is available at smile.amazon.co.uk on your web browser and can be activated in the Amazon Shopping App for iOS and Android phones. The prices, manner of shopping, account, etc., remain the same with the added bonus that AmazonSmile will donate a portion of the purchase price to the selected charity.
You can find more details about this initiative in this link, SIS - AmazonSmile.
We request you to select 'South Indian Society' as your favoured charity by clicking this link: https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ch/1053076-0.
SIS WhatsApp group
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