With any religious observance one is required to forego various vices and changes in diet.
The Purtassi fasting period is an abstinence of eating meat, smoking, consuming alcohol, some even do not sleep with their spouse and sleep on the floor, clean pots were no meat was cooked are used.
So can you have sex during Purtassi?
Aiyoh! No, no & no! Purtassi is a period in which Lord Vishnu descends on Earth. Refrain from sex for two reasons
- One is that He is away from his consort
- Secondly respect his presence and contribute to the resistance to temptations.
Why is the Saturday so important?
While the daily observance is observed, Saturday is reserved for prayer activities. On this day most people observe a Nirjala fast i.e. a fast were not even a single drop of water is taken.
In the morning preparations are underway for the prayers in the evening. When preparing food items for the prayer the strictest of precautions are taken to ensure cleanliness and purity.
Some would highly recommend that no shoes should be worn while cooking and no talking as the saliva can go into the pot and thus contaminate the food.
Around the evening the food that was cooked together with coconuts, fruits, milk, boiled whole gram are offered to Lord Venketeswara on a tray.
Benefits of fasting?
It helps to discipline the mind, removes waste and toxins from the body and helps to revitalize the body in its capacity to function well. It further helps the mind to become more alert and reflexes become sharper.
Devotion to God especially during this Kaliyuga period is important. This period, which is characteristic of excessive greed for power, extreme hatred, jealousy, anger and intolerance have polluted the life of man in general all over the world. We must strive, seek and maintain the following virtues: truth, peace, righteousness and non-violence. This helps people in directing their thoughts towards God Realization.
Why do some temples take the deity of Lord Balaji out on Saturdays?
Generally, one goes to the temple, and at the temple songs are sung in praise of Lord Venketeswara. Some temples take out the Deity of Lord Vishnu on a procession during these Saturdays for worship by those who cannot come to the temple, (the sick and elderly).
What is the point of the fast during this period?
By fasting impurities are decreased and purity is increased which is so essential in the attainment of the Supreme Lord. The benefits are inconceivable if the fast is properly observed.
How many meals per day can I have during the Purtassi period?
Many faithful devotees just have one meal for the day while others give up their favourite foods in dedication to the Supreme Lord. This fast should not be like a torturous burden. The abstinence increases one’s will power and concentration to be able to pray to the Supreme lord even more faithfully.
Can you buy a house or car in Purtassi month?
Purtassi is the holiest month for Hindus when particular reverence is paid to God the Preserver through offerings to the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. Many restrictions are expected during this month-long festival including fasting. To my knowledge, there are no restrictions on financial activities including the purchase of a house or car.
Can I use the same utensils and cooking pots during the month?
Clean pots and utensils are a orthodox practice that needs to be adhered to.