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Re: Question about Pavithra Utsavam..

From: Venkatesh K. Elayavalli (
Date: Sun Aug 13 2000 - 18:39:26 PDT

Dear Sri Ramanan

Pavithrothsavam  is celebrated in all temples for the purpose of 
rectifying any omissions on the aagama injunction in the matter of 
festival and pujas during the entire year. The ustsavam is celebrated 
to redeem from the failure to follow the prescribed rules. This is 
generally celebrated once every year, but not restricted to such a 
schedule. The Annual function is usually elaborate last for 6days or 
so. Some temples may do a shorter one in between the annual ones.

This utsavam is celebrated during the month of avani. At Srirangam it 
is celebrated for 9 days, at Tirumala it is done in 4 days starting
SravanSuddha Dasami. It was only 550 years ago (1463), this function 
was started at Tirumala. 

Srirangam Pavithrothsavam:

The utsva commences on the ekadasi day inthe bright (first) half of 
the month of Avani. The God (utsavar) is taken to the Yagasala 
and is kept on a bed of multicolor flowers and the worship starts. 
Tirumanjanam and Naiveydyam is performed for the utsavar. 

In the meantime pavitras are made for each part of the deity like 
hands, feet, neck etc. These are cotton thread bundles of different 
sizes tied together in the form of knots resembling beeds. Then Vedic 
hymns are recited to instill life into them.

After this, the longest pavitra called vanamaala pavitra is taken out 
to the Moolavar. The Utsavar is then taken to the Sanctum from the 

On the second day (dvadasi) aradhana is done 360  times to each of
seven deities in the sanctum (Periya perumal, Azakiya manavalan, his 
two consorts Sri and Bhu, and the four murtis for Snaanam, Sayanam, 
Bali and Teertham). The pavitras from the yagasala are now removed
are placed on various parts of the deities (including moolavar)
the Sanctum.  The devotees are allowed to get the dharshan with the 
pavithram throughout the day. This goes on for next 4 days 

On the 7th day, the Utsvar with ubhayanaacimaar (two goddesses) are 
taken out in procession to thirkkottaaram or the granary and the 
Dhanyaamaanam ceremony takes place. This is used to measure the stock 
available to the temple. 

On the 9th day, theerthavaari is done in the evening. The
is taken out to the mandapam on the banks of Chandra pushkarani and 
tirumanjanam is done. The arcaka takes the image in his hand and dips 
it in water. The image is then taken to the Sanctum. This concludes 
the Festival. 

For more information on this and other Utsavas, please refer to 
"Impact of Sri Ramanuja on Temple Worship" by Smt Sarojini 
Jagannathan, published by NAG Publishers, New Delhi.