Maavilaku for Lord Venkat
In Srivaishnava Community, during the month of Purattasi (Mid August/Mid September) on a Saturday, they used to lit a lamp made of rice flour with added jaggery, Cashew, Ghee etc. 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 is going on in the Tirupati Hill Temple. So finding a Saturday when the Festivities are going on in the Balaji Mandir of Tirupathi, it is very difficult, so in case of no odd number Saturday available, then they avail any other suitable Saturday. 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. INGREDIENTS:
- Raw Rice 2 cups Jaggery (preferred one is jaggery powder) 1 cup.
- Cardamom 2 nos. [powdered]
- Ghee 2 table spoons.
- Cotton Wick 1 [not the conventional one]
Method: Wash the rice and keep it soaked for 10 or 15 minutes.Drain well and spread on a clean white cloth.Grind the rice in a mixer [in small quantity] and sieve. 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: spread the dough on a plate or basin and make one cup shape mould on the dough.pour ghee ; put the wick. Now the Maavilakku is ready. Draw a kolam and place the plate containing the Maavilakku. Decorate with flower. Lit the lamp by chanting slokams of the GOD to whom it is offered. Srivaishnavites used to chant Govinda, Govinda etc. during the time of lighting the lamp and also when it is at going off stage of the lite. Shivites and others used chant VENKATRAMANA GOVINDA, SANKATA HARANA GOVINDA at the time of lighting the lamp 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 Prasadam. 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 when the lighted cotton soak goes off. To make it worthy, devotees used to recite the Lord Gods name several times. Govindaa, Govinda, Govindaa. Sure, the fragrance, a temple like atmosphere and the divine recitals and the devotion, all that makes one refreshed and happy.