Puratasi Masam is of great importance to Tamilians as it is believed that Lord Venkateswara (Balaji) appeared on the earth in this month. Puratasi sanikizhamai (saturdays) are dedicated to Lord Shani or Sani bhagavan. Some people observe partial fasting on all days in Puratasi while others limit it to Puratasi Saturdays.
Some devotees of Lord Venkateswara opt for strict fast on Puratasi Saturdays which involves not even drinking a drop of water - Nirjala Vratam. Some devotees do not include onion, garlic in their meal throughout this month.
The ritual of doing Mavilaku Mavu poojai for Lord Venkateshwara on Saturdays (1st or 3rd or 5th Saturday).
During the month of Purattasi Saturday, a lamp made of rice flour with added jaggery, Cashew, Ghee etc. is lit in front of Lord Venkateswara. Normally, this is done on any one of the Saturdays, on the first, third or fifth Saturday of Purattasi Tamil month. Mainly, this is done when there is no Utsavam and Dwajarohanam going on in the Tirupati Hill Temple.
Many of the Tamilians [irrespective of the Sect & sub-sects] offer Maavilakku to the GOD of their choice; Amman, Perumal, Murugan in temples or at their homes.
In Shivites custom, they offer this on the 1st Aadi and 1st Thai Vellikizhamai [Kataka/Karkatam and Makara months' first Friday]
Mavilaku Mavu Receipe:
1. Take 1cup of rice flour and mix it with 1cup of sugar/jaggery.
2. In blender dry grind little sugar/jaggery and 2pods of cardamom.
3. Add it to the rice mixture and mix well. Break a coconut and take the water in a cup.
4. By using this water little by little to the rice flour make it into a thick dough.
5. Then shape it into vilakku with a beak in front.
6. Keep kumkum to it and into the deep hole in the centre put ghee and thread.
7. Light it as a lamp to God Venkateshwara.
1. Raw Rice 2 cups
2. Jaggery (preferred one is jaggery powder) 1 cup.
3. Cardamom 2 nos. [powdered]
4. Ghee 2 table spoons.
5. Cotton Wick 1 [not the conventional one]
1. Wash the rice and keep it soaked for 10 or 15 minutes
2. Drain well and spread on a clean white cloth
3. Grind the rice in a mixer [in small quantity] and sieve
4. When the powdered rice is ready, mix the flour with the jaggery powder [to add more taste, one can add honey, grated coconut and benzoine known as Pacchaikarpooram] and powdered cardamom
5. Spread the dough on a plate or basin and make one cup shape mould of the dough
6. Pour ghee
7. Put the wick
8. Now the authentic Maavilakku is ready
Draw a kolam and place the plate containing the Maavilakku. Decorate with flower. Light the lamp by chanting slokams or Govinda, Govinda or Venkataramana Govinda, Sankata harana govinda..etc. followed by Vishnusahasranamam and Devi slokams.
When the lamp is about to go off, do offerings, neivedhyam of Milk or Fruits. Afterwards, remove the burnt wick, mix the dough properly, distribute the Maavilakku Mavu Prasadm.
You have now had the tasty bud of MaviLakku. Now let us see the meaning behind this practice!
The entire DakshinayaNa (Mid July to Mid January) period is said to be of night time for the Devas. During these time, it is entirely devoted to prayer, offering and pooja etc. When the DakshinayaNa begin during Mid July, the Tamil month Aadi begin. From here on all the following six months known as Dakhsinaya is of festivities and celebrations and all to the Lord God.
Beginning from the first Friday of Aadi, then Varalakshmi Vratham, Sri Jayanthi - Gokulashtami, Vinayakar Chathurthi, Deepavali (Diwali), Navaratri all the festivals aiming at offerings to the Lord Gods of various Status.
During Every Saturday of the Purattasi month, it is said Lord Sri Balaji expecting his devotees to come closer to his consort hills. And for those who could not afford to travel at length, he beams himself through the light of this specific Mavilakku. Thus, a devotee getting His Lord's Darshan without climbing the seven hills of Thirumala Tirupati.
Also, the carbon emanated through the mixture of rice flour and cow's ghee is said to remove all the ill radiations and negative vibrations from one's home and that too when one recites aloud the name of the Lord God. To make it worthy, devotees recite the Lord Gods name several times.Surely, the fragrance, a temple like atmosphere and the divine recitals and the devotion, all that makes one refreshed and happy.
The Saturdays of the month are also auspicious and are dedicated to pleasing Shani (Saturn). It is believed that Shani loses its powers on Purattasi month.
Devotees offer Ghee or Ellu Lamp to Lord Shani in the month. They also prepare Yellu Rice as Neivedya to Shani Bhagavan. Navagrahas are also worshipped in the month. The popular belief is that Lord Shani loses his powers in the month and therefore he can be easily pleased.
Yellu (Sesame Rice) Prasaadam..
Sesame seeds - 2tsp Dry red chilli - 1 or 2 nos Hing - little Mustard - 1tsp Urad dhal - 1tsp Channa dhal - 1tsp Curry leaves - little Rice - 1/4cup Salt - to taste Sesame oil - 2tsp
1. Wash and cook rice. Allow it to cool.
2. Dry roast sesame seeds and red chilli.
3. In a blender dry grind redchilli, sesame seeds and salt. Add it to the rice.
4. In a heated kadai, add oil, then add mustard, hing, urad dhal, channa dhal and fry. Once it is golden brown add it to the rice. Add curry leaves and mix the rice well.