The Holy Month of Shravan
‘Shravan Mass’ is the holiest month of the year for Hindus. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are worshipped during this extensively religious period. Shravan Mass is also known for its fasting and religious rituals that are observed for the entire month or at least on every Monday of the month. According to the Vedas, Shravan month is considered as the most beloved month of Lord Shiva.
Shravan Mass starts from 14 July 2022 and ends on 12 August 2022 for states including Bihar, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh, where the Purnimanta Hindu Calendar is followed. It starts from 29 July 2022 and ends on 27 August 2022 for states including Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu, where the Amavasya Lunar Calendar is followed.
The Story Behind It -
According to the Hindu mythology, the Gods (Devas) and Demons (Asuras) were churning the sea during the Shravan Mass to please Goddess Lakshmi. The Gods and Demons would be rewarded with divine nectar called as ‘Amrit’, after determining which among them were stronger. Amrit would help them become immortal after consuming it. This churning event was known as the ‘Sagar Manthan’ and 14 precious gems were known to found during the churning. While the first thirteen gems were acquired equally by the gods and demons, the fourteenth gem (Halahal) was not desired by anybody since it was considered poison that had the power to wreck the entire universe. Lord Shiva took upon himself the task of drinking the Halahal and only allowed it to remain in his throat, and not let it enter his body. As a result of this, his neck turned blue. Since then, Lord Shiva is known as ‘’Neelkantha’’, which means ‘blue neck’.
According to another legend, Devi Parvati performed ‘tapasya’ (penance) during the month of Shravan to appease Lord Shia to marry her. Her tapasya impressed Lord Shiva, who then decided to marry her.
The Significance -
Hindus believe that anyone who worships Lord Shiva during the month of Shravan get all their desires fulfilled. All Mondays that fall in the month of Shravan are considered extremely auspicious to observe fasting, and hence these days are called as the ‘’Shravan Somwar Vrats’’. Some devotees also observe fasting on Tuesdays during the Shravan month, as Tuesdays are dedicated to Goddess Parvati.
The Vrats -
Vrats are observed during the month of Shravan to seek blessings from Lord Shiva. There are five types of Vrats that are observed during this month –
- Mangala Gauri Vrat – This Vrat is observed on the Tuesdays of Shravan month for a happy married life and dedicated to Goddess Parvati.
- Pradosh Vrat – This Vrat is observed to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and is observed on the Trayodashi Tithi of Krishna Paksha of Shravan month.
- Sawan Somwar Vrat – This Vrat is observed by devotees on all Mondays that fall in the month of Shravan.
- Shani Vrat – This Vrat is observed on all Saturdays of Shravan.
- Solah Somwar Vrat – This Vrat is observed by devotees for sixteen consecutive Mondays, starting from the first Monday of Shravan month.
The Shravan Somvar Vrat Puja -
Devotees start the day by waking up before sunrise at ‘Brahma Muhurta’. They then bathe and put on clean clothes. They clean the Puja mandir with holy water and spread uncooked rice on it. Then Lord Shiva’s idol is placed on it. Water is offered to the Lord to wash his hands and face and is also poured at his feet. ‘Achaman’ is performed where devotees drink the water from their palms after offering it to the Lord. Then the idol of the Lord is bathed in milk, holy water, honey, curd, and ghee. The Lord is then cleaned with a cloth. The Lord is then offered Janeyu, Akshat, chandan paste, datura flowers, vilva leaves, etc. Incense sticks and dhoop are lit, along with a lamp. The Lord is also offered sattvic food. Aarti is performed using a thali and flowers are offered at the Lord’s feet.
India Sajawat and Puja Hut wishes you and your family a happy and auspicious Shravan Mass.
Om Namah Shivay