Aaadi Amavasya or Aashad Amavasya is a very auspicious day for all Hindus. This time it came on a Friday, which made it all the more auspicious. In any case, South Indians consider Tuesdays and Fridays in Aadi month very auspicious. Deities in temples are worshiped with lots of flowers.
On Tuesdays and Fridays, Maa Vilakku and Koozh Vartal are important rituals in this month. Since this time the Amavasya was on Friday, I would like to share a post about a ritual celebrated in Karnataka.
We decorate Parvati Devi’s picture or idol with flowers at home. We also offer panchopachara and sodashopachara pooja. Pairs of sandal sticks or sticks made of mud are tied together with auspicious thread and married women and unmarried girls perform pooja to them. Married women perform this pooja for the long life of their husbands. Unmarried girls perform this pooja for a good husband. In this respect, this pooja is similar to the North Indian Karva Chauth.
Sacred threads are also placed in the pooja, which after the rituals are tied on the right wrist by the ladies. During sunset, Kuttu Vilakku (tall diyas made of brass or silver) is lighted and offered pooja with flowers.
Maa Vilakku: Required amount of rice is soaked till it becomes tender, dried and ground into powder. A banana leaf is spread before the devi. Rice powder or atta is spread on the banana leaf. Two hollows are made for lighting diyas. Gur (jaggery) is ground into powder and sprinkled over the atta. The ratio is 1:1. Elaichi powder, cashew and dried grapes are fried in ghee and sprinkled over it for decoration. Pure ghee is poured into the hollows made in the atta and using cotton batti, diyas are lighted and offered to God. A coconut is broken into two equal parts and offered with it. When the ghee in the hollows gets over, the lit diya will go off. After the temperature reduces, the cotton battis are removed. The atta is mixed with the other edible things on it. Add ground coconut. This preparation is edible as prasad and may be served as powder or as laddos.
Panchopachara Pooja: Panchopachara is actually a way in which we summon God in a photograph or an idol and welcome Them with respect. The process of summoning God, is called Avahanam. The process of invoking God entirely requires the use of pure mantras. We first utter mantras to purify the place where God would be seated. Then using mantras we summon God and give our respects to Them. After God is seated on the given place, we offer water for Them to bathe; and dress, sacred thread and jewels to wear. We wash Their feet and give some water to drink. We then offer turmeric powder, vermilion, sandal powder, akshada (rice granules mixed with turmeric or vermilion), flowers, naivedya (prasad) and aarti.
Sodashopachara Pooja: Watch this space for details of this elaborate ritual.