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Vrat & Vrat Katha

Shravan Mass - Importance and Observance

The month of Shravan is the fifth month of the Hindu calendar beginning from Chaitra, and is the most auspicious month of the Chaturmas. On Poornima or full moon day, or during the course of the month the star ‘Shravan’ rules the sky, hence the month is called Shravan. This month is spread out with innumerably religious festivals and ceremonies and almost all the days of this month are auspicious.

Shravan is considered the holiest month of the year. Each Monday of this month, known as Shravana Somvar, is a special day in Shiva temples where the Dharanatra hangs over the linga or the idol to bathe it with holy water, day and night. Devotees pile the linga high with Bel leaves and flowers and fast till sunset. The nandadeep (24 hour lamp) burns steadily in the temples.

Lord Shiva and Shravan Maas:

The legend says that when the churning of oceans - Samudra Manthan - took place in the month of Shravan, fourteen different types of rubies came out. Thirteen of these were distributed amongst the demons, except Halahal (poison). Lord Shiva drank the Halahal and stored it in his throat. Hence the name Neelkanth (meaning blue throat) is attributed to Shiva.

To reduce the strong effect of poison, Lord Shiva wore the crescent moon on his head. All the Gods thereafter started offering the Ganges water to Lord Shiva to make lessen the effect of poison.

Since, this happened in the month of Shravana, since then the Shiva devotees offer the Ganges water in this month.

It is considered highly auspicious to wear a Rudraksha in Shravan month. As, Mondays or Somvar of Shravan month are specially observed with austerity. All Mondays are devoted to the worship of Shiva as this day is sacred to Lord Shiva. No other Mondays of other months are so greatly honoured.

The belief is that in Shravan month, offering milk to Lord Shiva earns a lot of Punya.

Things to do during Shravan month:

• Wear Rudraksha, and also use a Rudraksha mala for Japa.
• Offer Lord Shiva Bibhuti and place some on your forehead.
• Make offerings of Bel leaves, Panchamrita (milk, yoghurt, clarified butter, honey and jaggery) on Shiva Ling.
• Recite Shiv Chalisa and Aarti.
• Chant Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra.
• Fasting on Mondays. Girls who fast on all Mondays of Shravan get a good husband. Shravan Somvar Vrat (Monday fasting on Shravan month)

One of the names of Lord Shiva is soma - saha uma. For the Lord Someshvara Who wears the soma, the moon crescent on the matted hair, on the Somvar day (Monday), this festival is observed.

Though all Mondays can be observed as Vrat there are special Mondays when it is much more emphasised to observe like the Shravan Somvar and karthikai Somvar. According to Skanda Purana, on the Mondays of the month karthikai (mid Nov to mid Dec) this Vrata is observed.

Way of observing:

After taking bath pray to the Auspicious and Graceful Lord Shiva. Anointing the Lord with panchamrita and other pleasant substances, hail the Lord offering Bilva leaves. During the day don’t take any solid food. U can take Milk/ buttermilk/ fruit juice/ fruits. After 6′o clock in the evening pray to Lord Shiva and break your fast and eat normal solid food (avoid onions and garlic). Your fasting should start from 12 in the midnight and ends at in the evening on Monday. It is believed that one who fasts on all Monday of Shravan has all prayers from the heart answered. It is not necessary to undergo rigid practices. Even for this fast, different people may have different practises….e.g. some people may not have buttermilk or some may have specific mantras to be chanted. You can follow whatever gives you a peace of mind. Significance of Shravan Weekdays.

Each day in the month of Shravan has a special significance and has its own ritual. Monday: is the day of Lord Shiva worship. Tuesday: Gauri is worshipped in every home, by women for the good health of their family. Wednesday: are dedicated to Vithala, a form of Vishnu or Krishna. Thursday: are also days for worshipping Budha and Guru. Friday: every home worships Lakshmi and Tulsi. Saturday: are for Saturn (Shani). It is also known as Shravan Saturdays, with the object of object of obtaining wealth. These days are known as Sampat Sanivar (wealth Saturdays). Sundays: are meant worshipping the Sun god. Sun worship was general in the Vedic period and even now it is so. Especially in Shravan, every Sunday the Sun is worshipped without fail. Festivals in Shravan Month.

During this month people practice many rules and regulations while praying and also fast. Shravan has a special importance as it ushers in a host of auspicious days and festivals like:

Naga-Panchami, Kalkyavatara, Putradaikadashi, Hindola or Swinging, Narali Poornima, Shravani Poornima, Pavitraropana, Raksha Bandhan, Vara Lakshmi Vrata, Rishi Panchami, Govatsa and Bahula, Shitala Saptmi, Janmashtami, Ajaikadasi, Pithori Pola

       

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