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  • Category: Festivals

    Avani Avittam and the thread changing ceremony

    Please forgive my ignorance in asking this question. But I am curious to know what is the significance of Avani Avittam when the sacred thread of a divorced male is changed. Is it a religious requirement or just a traditional formality?

  • #706549
    This is for males who had completed the Sacred thread ceremony. There are mild variations in the formalities and the mantras. Those who follow and perform will have their own tradition. It may be asked from the family elders or from the family/community priest in that place. The relevant priest is the best person who can guide, as he knows about different variations also.

    It is referred as Avani Avittam by Iyers of TN and Kerala. It is referred so because generally it falls on the Tamil/Malayalam month Avani and on the day with star Avittam. The Vedic name in Sanskrit is Upakarma.

    It is a wrong notion propagated by people who had half baked knowledge that it is a thread changing function only. It is not that. Sacred Thread has to be changed before any ceremony and also whenever the thread is dirty, weak, broken, splintered or damaged otherwise. So on Avani Avittam day also the thread is changed to a new one. That is all.

    Basically it is a 'Tharpan' giving function to one's Pitrus or deceased ancestors, the Devas(gods) and the Rishis. The function includes an open atonement for the sins committed, by not performing the expected duties and rituals as per the Vedic scriptures and texts; the deviations and aberrations committed from the expected path etc. It is atonement for sins by errors of commission and omission of Shastra-prescribed way of life. Specified Mantra is chanted about one thousand and eight times. The function also includes a homa (yajna fire) and Vedic chanting by all participants guided by the chief priest conducting it.

    As such a divorced male person in a community that follows this system also has to perform Upakarma/Avani Avittam.

    (Note: Kindly correct the word as 'Avani Avittam' in the thread)

  • #706552
    Thank you very much for your response, really appreciate sir. I will try and change to the word, need to figure out.

    Thanks again!

  • #706561
    Nice question asked by the author. I take the pleasure in wishing all the male members of Tamil Nadu and other states who are going to renew their poonal or the sacred thread today. Every year this festival falls on the Rakhi day and while the sisters would be busy in tying the rakhi to the brothers, the brothers who have the threads around the neck would be renewing it with rituals to be done at a temple. This is most important festival for every male either Brahmachari, Grahastha or widower. There is no exception and they have to wear the poonal today. Even those who lost the near and dear ones during the year, this festival cannot be discarded and has to be performed. The next day ie tomorrow the Gayatri Japam has to be done for 1008 times for sure. So Avani Aattam is for every male and there cannot be exceptions.
    K Mohan @ Moga
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #706585
    In both the Telugu speaking states the changing of the sacred thread will be done on Sravana Poornima day that means on 3rd August but not on 2nd. This will be done by all the gents whose thread function is over in some castes.
    It is not only for divorced males but also for all males. As mentioned by Venkiteswaran the sacred thread is to be changed on many occasions but on Sravana Poornima, all should change.
    After doing Tarpan also people will change the thread. Also after Lunar or Solar eclipse also it a custom to change the sacred thread.

    always confident

  • #706586
    In Northern part of our country the sacred thread ceremony is observed by many Hindu families and they replace their old sacred thread on this day. This is a ritual followed in accordance of our culture.
    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • #706720
    In the original sense, wearing the sacred thread is common to all male members but nowadays as many people do not wear this, it is becoming named only for Brahmins. But during the Avani Avittam I have seen people other than Brahmins are also coming to temples and halls for changing the sacred threads. Rather than mere changing the old one into new one, it is better to have by chanting the mantras before and after changing through a priest by doing homa etc., is good. Doing nithya karma such as sandhyavandhanam etc., by the persons wearing sacred thread is good not only for themselves but also for the universe. It is told that their Arkya and Homa smokes will please the devathas concerned and give flourish to the world.

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