Why is Purattasi Month Considered Sacred?

 Purattasi is an important month for devotees of Vishnu. It is believed that the deity, who is the Preserver of the Universe, appeared on earth on this day as Venkateshwara.

Venkateswara is the main deity of the Venkateswara Temple in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India. He has many other names, like Srinivasa (in whom Lakshmi dwells), Narayana (the creator and destroyer), Perumal (the great lord), Malaiyappa (the lord of the Hill) and Govinda.

Venkateswara literally means "Lord of Venkata". The word combines the words Venkata (the name of a hill in Andhra Pradesh) and iśvara ("Lord").


As per the Brahmanda and Bhavishyottara Puranas, "Venkata" has the meaning "destroyer of sins." It comes from 2 Sanskrit words - vem (sins) and kata (power of immunity).


The Hindu scriptures claim that Vishnu incarnated as Venkateswara due to his love for his devotees. He appeared for the salvation and upliftment of humanity in the Kali Yuga. This form is believed to be the supreme form of the deity in this age. The Venkateswara Swami temple is also known as Kaliyuga Vaikuntam.


The story goes that during Dwapara Yuga, Yashoda, the foster mother of Krishna, another form of Vishnu, complained to Krishna that she could not witness any of his marriages. To please her, Krishna manifested as Venkateshwara during Kali Yuga, while Yashodha was reborn as Vakula Devi. With her help, Venkateshwara married Padmavathi Devi, who was an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi.


Significance of Purattasi Month

Purattasi is an ideal month for devotees to worship Vishnu and express their thanksgiving to him for protecting them during Kali Yuga. During this month, the malefic effects of Shani are also less. People fear Shani as the planet can create many problems in their lives. But, Shani’s ill effects are reduced during this period as people perform many rituals and offer prayers to please the gods in this month. Also, Mahalaya Paksha falls during this month, and many people perform rituals to appease the Pitrus. This is also the month when Hindus celebrate Navratri. For all these reasons, Purattasi month is very sacred and has great spiritual significance.  


This is a time for special Poojas and prayers to please Shani Bhagwan. Devotees also offer special prayers at the Srirangam Ranganathaswamy Temple.


Devotees observe a total or partial fast during this month. Many eat only one meal on all Purattasi Saturdays. Non-vegetarian food is avoided. Purattasi Saturdays are very holy and are also called Vishnu Saturdays.


In Purattasi, Planet Budhan or Mercury enters the house of Virgo. Budhan is fond of vegetarian food, so this is another reason why Hindus consume only vegetarian food during this month.


The Potter’s Devotion

There is a story that throws light on the significance of Purattasi month.


Long ago, a potter named Bheeman lived in the holy town of Tirupati. He was an ardent Vishnu devotee and had taken a pledge to fast on all Saturdays to please Vishnu. However, as he was busy with work, he could not visit the temple and worship the deity.


The potter had an idea. He made a clay idol of Vishnu and a clay flower garland for the idol. He had no money to make sweets and other items for the Prasad either. The only thing he had was some curd rice, which he offered to the deity with great devotion.


King Thondaiman was the ruler of the territory at the time. He, too, was a devout Vaishnavite who visited the temple on all Saturdays and offered gold chains for the deity. But one Saturday, when he visited the temple, he was shocked to find only garlands of clay flowers on the idol. He was sure that the priests were stealing the jewelry.


But Vishnu came in his dream and told him about the potter. The king was impressed and met him in person. He also offered him help. But Bheema did not accept the king’s help and continued to worship Vishnu as before. The king was so moved by his devotion that he began to make his offerings to Vishnu in a clay pot after that day. Even when a grand feast is offered to the deity, devotees keep a clay pot of curd rice among the offerings to honor Bheema.


Why People Fast during Purattasi

As Saturday is associated with the planet Shani or Saturn, which causes many issues when afflicted, fasting is believed to minimize the malefic effects of Shani.


Fasting on Purattasi Saturdays also brings blessings from Vishnu. It is equivalent to fasting every Saturday and performing Vishnu Pooja for the entire year. This is why Purattasi Saturdays are considered so important and sacred.


During Purattasi month, there will be rains, and people may fall sick. Eating non-vegetarian food at this time is not advisable as it may cause indigestion. However, vegetarian food helps detoxify the body.

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