Puratasi Saturday – Perumal Maavu Thiruvilakku

Tamil Month – Puratasi

The Tamil month of Puratasi started from yesterday. This month is considered very auspicious and its of great importance as Tirupati Venkatachalapathy appeared on Earth in this month. My mother-in-law would light the Maavu Thiruvilakku on the first Saturday of this month. The belief is that Balaji comes to your house when you light this Maavilakku and meditate upon him.

Many Iyengars keep a fast during Puratasi Saturdays and many other Tamilian Hindus who eat non-veg become vegetarians during this month.

To read more do click on this link – Maavu Thiruvilakku.

Note : Maavu – flour (in this case, rice flour); Vilakku – Lamp (in this case, a ghee lamp with a cotton wick).

Perumal Maavu ThiruVilakku

The Perumal Maavu is made using rice flour. In earlier times, rice would be soaked, drained and partially dried. It would then be powdered and sieved to remove the larger grains. Lightly roasted coconut, this “finely” sieved rice flour and jaggery is mixed well. A pinch of powdered cardamom and ghee is also mixed into this and a small cavity is made in the middle where a cotton wick dipped in ghee is put in along with some ghee. The Maavilakku is lit and kept in the Puja room or the temple at home.

I used organic rice flour and instead of fresh coconut I used Copra (desiccated coconut). Followed the rest of the recipe as given above.

Its believed that Tirupati Balaji has reached home when the ghee lamp goes out. We remove the cotton wick and just mix in the ghee with the Perumal Maavu and eat this absolutely delicious naivedhyam.

Krishnan loves the Perumal Maavu so I make a lot of it. The first ever time that I ate it, was after we got married because I don’t remember Amma or my grandmothers making it. Amma tells me that both my grandmothers would make it during Puratasi Saturday. What a beautiful tradition.

Interestingly, the Perumal Maavu would be made in large quantities when people travelled. It is very nutritious and keeps hunger at bay. There weren’t many hotels or restaurants in those days and most people would not eat food from outside, so this was the “energy mix” back then. A genuine energy mix because it has ghee, jaggery, coconut and rice !

Puratasi Maavu Thiruvilakku 2021

The Maavilakku is lit early in the morning and it was done by Kousalya. I managed to do it in the evening.

Puratasi Maavilakku
This is at Nachi and Kousalya’s home.
Puratasi Maavilakku
The Maavu Thiruvilakku that I lit today
Puratasi Maavilakku

For us Tirupati Venkateswara is our kuladaivam. So its very important that we thank him on this auspicious day specially.

As the first two verses of Vishnu Sahasranamam say –

शुक्लाम्बरधरं विष्णुं शशिवर्णं चतुर्भुजम् ।
प्रसन्नवदनं ध्यायेत् सर्वविघ्नोपशान्तये ॥

O Vishnu, HE who is wearing white clothes and is vast like the sky, HE who is all pervading, HE who has four arms, the ONE who glows with bliss and compassion like the Moon, we meditate on you as you help us get across all the obstacles.


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