Yajurveda Upakarma 2023: Avani Avittam History, Significance and Rituals of Yajurveda Upakarma

Upakarma, meaning beginning, is a holy ritual of Hindus, especially Brahmins, and is the day to begin the learning of Vedas. Yajurveda Upakarma means the beginning of learning Yajur Veda, one of the four Vedas in Hinduism. This ritual is mainly performed by the Brahmin men on the full moon day of Hindi month Shravana. Apart from starting the learning of Vedas on this day, there is also a ritual of changing the sacred thread (Janeyu) worn by the Brahmins. On the day of Yajurveda Upakarma, Hayagriva Jayanti and Gayatri Jayanti are observed as well. The article below presents some insight on Yajurveda Upakarma 2023 such as its date, way of observance, important rituals, etc.

Yajurveda Upakarma 2023 Overview


Yajurveda Upakarma

Also known as

Avani Avittam


August 30, 2023



Yajurveda Upakarma 2023 Date

Yajurveda Upakarma falls on the Purnima (full moon day) in the month of Shravana, also called as Shravan Purnima day (considered as one of the most auspicious day for the Hindus). In Gregorian calendar, this day is normally observed in the month of July or August. Calculated according to the Hindu calendar, Yajurveda Upakarma in the year 2023 falls on Wednesday, August 30.

It should be noted that Upakarma for different Vedas, i.e., Yajurveda, Rigveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda are observed on different days. Followers of Rigveda observe the Upakarma on Shravana Nakshatra day in the month of Shravana. Samaveda Upakarma day usually falls after fortnight of Yajurveda and Rigveda Upakarma day.

Hayagriva Jayanti and Gayatri Jayanti

On the day of Yajurveda Upakarma, Hayagriva Jayanti and Gayatri Jayanti are also observed. Lord Hayagriva is an avatar of Lord Vishnu and the god of knowledge and wisdom, who restored the Vedas stolen from Brahma. Hayagriva was incarnated on the day of Upakarma and therefore it is observed as Hayagriva Jayanti. Goddess Gayatri, also known as the Mother of the Vedas, is believed to be born on the day of Yajurveda Upakarma and therefore Upakarma is also observed as Gayatri Jayanti.

Lord Hayagriva is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu with a human body and a horse’s head. As per the legend, Lord Vishnu gave the four Vedas to Lord Brahma which got stolen from the later by two demons named Madhu and Kaitabha. To retrieve the Vedas from the demons, Lord Vishnu took form of a human with head of a horse known as Hayagriva. He killed those demons and restored the four Vedas. It is also a belief that Lord Vishnu created the two demons himself and asked them to steal the book when he saw a feeling of pride in Brahma after learning the Vedas and he wanted to curb the pride and return him to humility. According to another legend, Vishnu compiled the Vedas in the Hayagriva form.

Significance of Yajurveda Upakarma

The ritual of Upakarma is performed to express gratitude to the rishis who gave the knowledge of Vedas and Vedic Mantras. Upakarma is of great significance to the Brahmins and they offer water to their ancestors and to the great rishis who offered them spiritual knowledge of the Vedas. Also, since the Vedas were restored on the day of Upakarma, it is considered as an auspicious day to begin something new.

Rituals of Yajurveda Upakarma

On the occasion of Avani Avittam, men perform early morning Sandhya Vandanam that begins before sunrise when the stars are still visible. After Sandhya Vandanam, Kamokarsheet Japam begins which is done as a Prayaschita to seek forgiveness for the sins committed by learning Vedas in the prohibited period as well as other general sins.

Other Tarpanam rituals such as Brahma Yagyam, Deva Tarpanam, Rishi Tarpanam, Pitru Tarpanam, Maha Sankalpam, Yagnopaveetham Dharanam, Kaanda Rishi Tarpanam and  Veda Parayanam are followed on the day of Yajurveda Upakarma. These rituals are followed by chanting of the sacred mantras as mentioned in the Veda. Homam (a fire ritual) is also performed on this day with gram, dhal, etc offered as Neivedhyam for the ritual. Prasada is prepared on this day is specially made from different kind of fruits, dry fruits, milk, ghee, til, jaggery, cucumber and rice flour.

The day after Yajurveda Upakarma, also known as Gayatri Japa, Gayatri Mantra is recited 1008 times. Normally this special day coincides with the Raksha Bandhan festival of north and central India.


When is Yajurveda Upakarma in 2023?

30th of August

Does Yajurveda Upakarma fall on Shravan purnima every year?


What is Avani Avittam?

Upakarma is also recognized as Avani Avittam in Tamil Nadu.

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