Our Indian tradition is rich while it’s coming to any rituals. We should feel proud when it comes to obeying all religious beliefs. We should not celebrate a day to get any benefits out of it. We should know the significance of a day, What is the specialty, what makes this particular day different? By knowing the importance of a day, we realize that we belong to the greatest history. And that makes us feel proud.I believe we all should feel the same.
Let’s discuss today. What’re specific details this day keeps with itself. Today is Shravan Somvar.
Shravana is considered to be a holy month in the Hindu calendar due to the numerous festivals that are celebrated during this time. Also special worship of Lord Shiva and fasting is observed on Mondays. Shravana is the fourth month of the Hindu year, beginning in late July from the first day of the full moon and ending in the third week of August, the day of the next full moon.
Significance and importance of Shravan Month
why is this month called Shravan?
It is believed that on Poornima or a full moon day or at any time during this month, the Shravan Nakshatra or the star rules the skies and hence, this month derives its name from this nakshatra.
In this month each Somvar or Monday is called Shravan Somvaar and is considered highly auspicious. All Mondays in Shravan month are celebrated in Lord Shiva temples. A Dharanatra is hung over the Shiva Lingam filled with Holy water and milk, to continuously bathe the lingam, throughout the day and night. Lord Shiva devotees then offer Bilva leaves, holy water, milk and flowers, also known as” Falam toyam and Pushpam patram” to the Shiva Lingam every Monday throughout Shravana Month. Devotees fast until sunset and the Akhand Diya burns throughout this time.
According to another school of belief, Monday fasts this month ensure good prospective husbands for unmarried girls and good health for husbands of married women. They believe Goddess Parvati observed fast for the entire month of Shravan before Lord Shiva was married her.
Shravan is also the month when pilgrims go on “Kanwar” journeys. The destination for Kanwar journeys are Shiva temples and are ideally done on foot. The most popular destinations are Kashi Vishwanath (Uttar Pradesh) and Deoghar (Jharkhand). Shiva devotees carry holy water from the river Ganga, which hangs on their shoulders with the help of wooden lathis called “Kanwar”.
According to religious scriptures, Lord shiva was reunited with his wife Sati who was incarnated as goddess Parvati in the month of Shravana.
Mythology of Shravan Maas
As per ancient Hindu mythology, the Samudra Manthan or the churning of the sea was the joint effort of the Gods (Devatas) and the demons (Danavs). According to age-old legends, the holy Shravan maas was the one during which the Gods and Demons decided to churn the ocean to decide who among them was the strongest. This was done to please Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth. And also so that she would reward them with the nectar from the ocean. The Gods and demons had agreed to share the nectar equally among themselves. Snake Vasuki, who is depicted on Lord Shiva’s neck and Sumeru Parvat was used for the Manthan.
It is said that 14 kinds of pious things came out of the ocean. An innumerable amount of gems and jewels along with the poison (Halahal) came out of the sea. But the demons and the Gods were unsure of what to do with the poison, as it had the ability to destroy everything. Lord Shiva then came to the rescue and stored this poison in his throat, which became blue. Hence, earned the name Neelkanth. Lord Shiva gave life to everyone in this world by drinking the destructive poison, this is why this entire month is dedicated to him and is considered very auspicious. The impact of this poison was so strong that Lord Shiva had to wear a crescent moon of his head and all the Devatas or Gods started offering him the holy water from the river Ganges so that poison is tamed. As these events took place during this month that is why this Shravan month is considered highly propitious.
Shravan Maas is also important as three days are also considered highly auspicious, the Shravan Mangalvar or Tuesdays in this month, Shravan Shukrawar or Fridays during this month, and Shravana Shaniwar of Saturdays during this month. Newly married girls, also perform the Mangala Gauri Vrata on Tuesdays during this Sawan month to avoid bad and negative omens. On Shravan Shukrawar or Fridays of this Shravan month, Vara Lakshmi Vratam is observed by married ladies and during Saturdays or Shravan Shaniwar Lord Vishnu also known as Lord Balaji or Lord Venkatesh is worshipped by devotees.
How to observe the fast of Shravana somvaar (Shravan Monday)
Devotees fast for the entire day and worship Lord Shiva, offering water (jalabhishek), sandal paste or powder, dhatura (flowers and fruits of a poisonous flowering plant), belpatra (leaves of golden apple). Some devotees also gather in nearby temples and sing bhajans in honour of Lord Shiva and Parvati.
Things to follow during the holy month of Shravan
- Fasting during this entire Sawan month, popular as- Sawan Month is considered very auspicious. Waking up early morning, visiting the Lord Shiva temple, and offering a mixture of milk, ghee, yogurt, gangajal, and honey also known as Panchamrut along with Bilva leaves is a must. One can have milk and milk products, fruits and other fasting approved items during this sacred Shravan Month.
- If one is unable to fast for the entire Shravan month, one must fast at least every Monday during this time.
- Chanting the Maha Mrutyunjay Mantra, during Shravana Month is very important.
The Sanskrit text of the mantra reads:
Om Tryambakam yajamahe Sugandhim pushti-vardhanam Urvarukamiva bandhanan Mrityor mukshiya mamritat
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