Purtassi – A hindu fast
Today marks the month long fast of Purtassi for all Telegu and Tamil speaking Hindus. It is a very auspicious and religious time for all who observe this fast.
I have always done this fast even as a little child and have always loved this time of year.My parents and my grandmother have always stressed the importance and significance of this fast to us from a very young age for which I am very grateful for.
During the month of Purtassi we observe certain practices.These include :
- Not eating meat in any form eggs and fish included.
- No alcohol.
- We don’t go out unless its to family homes or to the temple.
- We don’t eat food from people who are not fasting.
- We try not to eat any meals from takeaways or eateries unless it is pure vegetarian.
- A detox of mind ,body and soul
In preparation for the fast our homes are spring cleaned, fridges and freezes cleaned out.Vegetarian supplies are stocked up in the form of pulses,beans,fresh vegetables and other meat free products.It is a time when Mum and I become creative creating interesting vegetarian meals for the family.
The main prayer day is on Saturday when families offer fruit, food(veg only) and sweetmeats to Perumalsami the God that is worshipped during this month of Purtassi.Saturday is a busy day with a very early start to ensure everything is ready for the prayer.Gran and I would often only have milk and fruit till after the prayer.
The Purtassi prayer is done at 3pm every Saturday, for 4 weeks,extended family members are often invited to pray together and share the evening meal together. In our family we have extended family members who observe and perform a Raam Bhajan which is a prayer that starts at 6pm on the Saturday and finishes at midnight. Worship is in the form of songs of praise and offerings including fruits and Indian sweets to Lord Perumalsami.
This prayer has a very powerful significance and the entire family gets involved. It is very moving spiritual experience to spend the evening in prayer with your loved ones while having one goal and focusing on your faith.To me personally the month of Purtassi means a time to reconnect to my maker, ask for forgiveness and fast as a form of sacrifice. I love this month of Purtassi .
To all my friends, family and followers who are observing Purtassi, I wish you a blessed fast and may Perumalsami bless you richly. Govinda! Govinda! Govinda!
Be Inspired !