Definition - What does Thirupavadai mean?

Thirupavadai is part of the weekly puja, or ritual of worship, in Hinduism. The term comes from the Sanskrit, thiru, meaning “sacred,” and pavadai, meaning “skirt,” “robe” or a skirt-like undergarment. It is so-named because the food offerings are arranged in a display that resembles a robe.

In certain Hindu temples, each weekday has a specific ritual of worship that has a religious significance. These are called the weekly seva (selfless service). The thirupavadai seva is performed each Thursday.

Yogapedia explains Thirupavadai

Thirupavadai seva involves cooking a large amount of tamarind rice as an offering and then piling it in a trapezoid shape similar to a skirt. It is decorated with a variety of sweet foods, coconuts, flowers and other delicacies, then offered to God as mantras are chanted.

The weekly sevas are:

  • Vishesha puja – Monday
  • Ashtadhala swarna padma puja – Tuesday
  • Sahasrakalasha abhishekam – Wednesday
  • Thirupavadai – Thursday
  • Abhishekam – Friday

These weekly sevas are outlined in the texts of the "Vaikhanasa Agama," which is the text of Hindu scripture that details how to perform rituals, both at home and in the temple.

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