Purattasi masam is the masam in which full moon normally occurs on Poorattadhi/Uttirattadhi stars. During this auspicious month, believers commemorate Lord Venkateswara's earthly appearance and express gratitude for his preservation of the Universe. Special prayers and gatherings at Lord Vishnu temples mark this period, accompanied by the hoisting of flags with the Garuda emblem, symbolizing the divine presence.

According to lore, the influence of Lord Shani diminishes in Purattasi, allowing devotees to engage in focused worship and seek blessings. The devotees observe fasts and offer prayers on Saturdays, which are considered propitious and devoid of Shani's malevolent influence.

In the sacred month of Purattasi, followers of Lord Vishnu hold profound reverence as it is believed to mark the divine manifestation of Lord Venkateswara on Earth. Devotees observe this month as an opportune time to express gratitude to Lord Vishnu for his vigilance in preserving the Universe, especially at the conclusion of Kali Yuga. This period witnesses a significant congregating of devotees at Lord Vishnu temples, where special prayers are fervently offered, and the emblem of Garuda is raised on flags.

According to prevalent beliefs, Lord Venkateswara graced the earthly realm during Puratasi and returned to Vaikunata, further adding to the significance of this month. An intriguing legend surrounds Lord Shani Dev, suggesting a temporary loss of his malevolent influence during Puratasi, providing respite to the devotees.

The inquisitive sage Narada once sought guidance on worshipping Lord Venkateshwara after his return to Vaikunta. Lord Vishnu offered solace, affirming blessings for those observing fasts and offering prayers on Saturdays during Puratasi. These Saturdays, believed to be devoid of Lord Shani's adverse effects, present an opportune time to please the deity and seek Lord Venkateswara's blessings without hindrance. This divine month offers a unique juncture to connect with the revered Lord Balaji and receive his benevolent grace.

The devotees may visit temples on Saturdays during Puratasi, or engage in symbolic rituals, such as lighting rice flour lamps (Mavilakku), to connect with Lord Vishnu and receive his blessings. Hence, this practice is being followed on Saturdays.

Significance of Purattasi:

The month of Purattasi holds significant reverence, particularly due to its influence on Saturn, the God of Wealth, Vishnu. Saturdays in this month are believed to possess a unique potency, effectively mitigating negative Saturn effects. It is a time when people make offerings in the form of Ghee Lamps or Ellu Lamps to Lord Shani. Any fasting, prayer, or sacrifices performed during this month are considered to yield greater benefits than in other months.

Additionally, a ritual involving a mixture of rice flour and cow's ghee is practiced, emitting carbon that is believed to cleanse homes of negative energies. The recitation of Lord God's name while performing this ritual enhances its sanctity. Devotees often recite 'Govindaa, Govinda, Govindaa' several times during the process, creating an ambiance reminiscent of a temple, inducing a sense of refreshment and happiness.

Let’s have a look at the famous story behind Purattasi:

Long ago, in the sacred town of Tirupati, lived a humble potter named Bheeman, deeply devoted to Lord Vishnu. He had vowed to observe a fast every Saturday in reverence to Lord Venkatachalapathy. However, his daily responsibilities left him with no time to visit the temple and seek the Lord's blessings.

In a heartfelt solution, Bheeman decided to bring the divine closer to him. He crafted a clay idol of Lord Venkateswara, pouring his devotion into the creation. Struggling with poverty, fresh flowers for the Lord were a luxury he couldn't afford. So, he ingeniously molded flowers from leftover clay, adorning the clay Venkateswara idol with these garlands.

Financial constraints limited Bheeman's offerings to simple curd rice, a meal he shared with deep sincerity. Nearby, King Thondaimaan, an ardent devotee of Lord Venkateswara, regularly visited the temple, adorning the deity with gold chains. However, one Saturday, he found clay flower garlands adorning the idol, suspecting foul play by the priests.

In a divine revelation, Lord Vishnu appeared to the King, revealing the truth of Bheeman's unwavering devotion. Thondaimaan sent his men to find the potter, who was brought before the King. Impressed by Bheeman's piety, the King offered financial aid, which Bheeman humbly declined, stating that his worship was fulfilment enough.

Touched by the potter's devotion, King Thondaimaan declared that offerings to Lord Venkatachalapathy during the Purattasi month should be made in clay pots. Even amidst grand feasts, devotees continue to include a clay pot of curd rice as a sacred offering to Lord Venkateswara

Purattasi fasting procedure

• Purify the space and bring positive energy into your home by sprinkling turmeric water

• Adding a touch of tradition to the house with beautiful kolams and mango leaf thoranams on the main door frame

• Replacing the oil or with cow ghee and wick with new ones

• Offering prayers to the Lord with a simple naivedyam, thanking Him for all His blessings.

• Prepare a wholesome vegetarian meal for Purattasi - Boiled Rice, Sambar, and roasted vegetables

• Prepare a variety of sweets and savouries like Sweet Pongal, Payasam and Vada

• Chant the divine names of Lord Vishnu and recite his mantras and sing songs in praise of him.

• Visit a Perumal temple in the evening and pay your respects to the deity.

Source: Dundee HINDU temple , HinduPad, PillaiCentre , Giri