Annual Pavitrotsavams are purificatory rituals recommended by Aagamas to expiate the commissions and the omissions associated with daily worship (Aaraadhanam) of the Lord at His consecrated temples. Lapses in the performance of the Aaraadhanam are recognized and a detailed ceremony consisting of homam in front of the Utsava Moorty at a specailly constructed yaaga saala. The decoration of all the Moortys of the temple with specially prepared necklaces made of dyed cotton thread is carried out and the day concludes with a pornahoothi. This is an elaborate utsavam , which can be conducted from 3-10 days depending on the temple tradition. The time for the performance of the Pavitrotsavam is different from temple to temple.
Pavitrotsavam is a well prescribed ritual , where the archaka prays for forgiveness for all lapses–conscious or otherwise– in the daily worship of the Lord .
On the evening before Pavitrotsavam, a prayer to the Lord (Bhagavath prArthana) is offered ;this is followed by (1) Acharya-Yajamaana sankalpam ( vow to perform the Pavitrotsavam), (2) Vaasudeva PunyahavAchanam( cleansing act before any ritual at the temple with appropriate veda mantras and sprinkling of the areas of utsavam with consecrated water ), (3) Mrudh sangrahaNam ( Collection of earth ), (4) ankurAarpaNam ( germination of seeds in special vessels in the earth housed in special vessels ) and (5) VAstu ShAnti ( prayers to VAstu Purusha of the temple for auspiciousness)
On the morning of the second day, a ritual known as theertha sangrahaNam is performed and is followed by Acharya-Bhagavan raksha bandham (tying of raksha on the wrists of the Lord and AcharyAs) . The special priests versed in aagama rituals enter the yaaga saala ( pravesam ) and the dwAra pooja is performed. Next Kumbha, Mandala, Bimba poojaas are conducted. Consecration of the Agni for the homams (agni pratishtha) follows. All the specially constructed pavitra maalas are consecrated and adorn all the Utsava and Moola-berams. PradhAna homam and PoorNaahuti followed by laghu Saatrumurai concludes the morning’s ceremonies.
On the evening of the second day , Yaaga Saala pravesam, Dwaara Pooja are perfomed first and is followed by Chatu:-sthaana archana , Kumbha-Mandala-Bimba & Agni poojaas . Nitya homam and Poornaahuti conclude the day’s rituals.
On the morning and the evening of the third day, the sequence of procedures of the second day is followed. The special events for the third day evening are: the abhishekam (Tirumanjanam) for the Lord with 81 kalasams as at Srirangam. A very special homam with deep ritualistic significance known as ” Shodasa Tatva Nyaasa Homam” is performed . ShAnti homam and Saatrumurai are the final rituals for the third day.
On the morning of the fourth day , the ceremonies of PavitrOtsavam come to a conclusion in the following sequence: Yaaga saala pravesam , dwaara pooja, chatu:- sthAnArchana, nitya homam , Mahaa PoornAhuti, MahA dwAra devata yathA- sthAnam, Kumbha yathA sthAnam , Kumbha yAtrA dAnam . The consecrated waters from the three day long ceremonies are sprinkled over all corners of the temple. A big Saatrumurai and Mangala Aarati are then performed. The Pavitra mAlas are removed and distributed to devotees , who took part in the goshthi and prasAdam is offered to the Lord and distributed to all .
The PavitrOtsavam is concluded this way and the path is laid out for another year of worship at the temple to recieve the blessings of the Dhivya Dampatis.
Writeup courtesy: Sri Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan