Shravan Month , Shravan Maas
The fifth month in Hindu calendar is Shravan Maas, starting in late July and ending in the third week of August. The star 'Shravan' rules the sky during Purnima or full moon day, or during the course of the month, hence the Month is known as Shravan Month. Shravan Maas is considered the holiest month of the year as it comes with innumerable religious festivals and ceremonies. Almost every day of the month is considered auspicious.
The story behind Shravan Month, says that the churning of oceans or Samudra Manthan took place in this month. During the churning, Halahal (poison) came out, which was consumed by Lord Shiva and stored it in his throat. His throat turned blue due to the impact of the poison, hence the name Neelkantha (meaning blue throat) is attributed to Shiva. To reduce the impact of the deadly poison, Lord Shiva wore the crescent moon on his head. Also, Gods and people started offering the water of Holy Ganges to Shiva to lessen the effect of poison.
When is Shravan Month 2015?
An auspicious period of Shravan month in 2015 for Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar begins from 1st August (Saturday) which is observed as the ‘first day of Shravan Month’, followed with “Sawan Somwar Vrat“ on every Monday i.e. on 3rd August, 10th August, 17th August, 24th August and ends on 29 th Aug (Saturday).
While in Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu Shravan month begins from 15th August (Saturday) followed with “Sawan Somwar Vrat“ on 17th August, 24th August, 31st August, 07th August and ends on 13th August (Sunday). These Mondays are dedicated to worship Lord Shiva.
During this entire month of Shravan Maas (month), offering prayers, flowers and abhishekam to Lord Shiva is advised to gain long and prosperous. You can find Shiva Abhishekam Procedure here.
Shravan Maas Puja
The Shravan Maas ushers in a host of auspicious days and festivals.
First of all Shravan Maas Puja is Shravan Somvar Vrat, where in people observe fast on all Mondays of Shravan Month. Shravan Somvar is more emphasized for fast as the entire month is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The fast should be observed after taking bath. People should pray to the auspicious and graceful Lord Shiva, anointing the Lord with Panchamritam and other pleasant substances like bilva leaves. One can liquid food or fruits during the day and pray to the Lord in the evening to break the fast.
As per the popular belief, one who fasts on all Monday of Shravan has all prayers answered by the Lord.
Shravan Month Festivals also includes Mangala Gouri Puja, which is observed on Tuesdays in Shravan Month.
Procedure and Benefits of fasting on Shravan Maas Mondays:
Shravan Maas Somvar holds a very important place in the hearts of Lord Shiva’s devotees. On this auspicious day, believers show their respect to the Almighty by observing fast from sunrise to sunset.
There are two ways in which fast can be observed and they are:
1) Strict Fast: If one follows this kind of fasting, the person does not eat or drink anything for the whole day except for water.
2) Partial fast: In this one can consume fruits and juices during the fast.
Throughout the day while fasting, many people chant Shiva Mantra “ Om Namah Shivaya” and Mahamrityunjaya Mantra.
Some devotees go to the extent of keeping silent for the whole day (Maun Vrat) to align themselves to Lord Shiva.
The fast is broken after sunset only. Devotees pray to Lord Shiva and consume normal food. In some cases the fast continues till next day.
Benefits of Fasting on Shravan Maas Somvar:
• Devotees are blessed with spiritual augmentation
• They develop good health
• They develop willpower and sharp memory
• Women fast on Shravan Mondays (Somvars) to get perfect partner
• Fasting expels negativity and removes obstacles
Other festivals and auspicious days in Shravan Mahina 2015:
• Kamika Ekadashi – August 10
• Hariyali Amavasya- August 14
• Independence Day- August 15
• Hariyali Teej- August 17
• Nag Panchami- August 19
• Shravan Putrada Ekadashi- August 26
• Varalakshmi Vrat- August 28
• Raksha Bandhan- August 29
Importance of Shravan Month/Shravan Maas:
Each day of the Shravan Month has its specific significance and 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: is dedicated to Vithala, a form of Vishnu or Krishna.
• Thursday: are also days for worshipping Buddh and Guru.
• Friday: for worshipping Lakshmi and Tulsi.
• Saturday: are for Saturn (Shani). It is also known as Shravan Saturdays, to obtaining wealth. These days are known as Sampat Sanivara (wealth Saturdays).
• Sundays: are meant to worship 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 fai
Things To Do during Shravan Month/Shravan Maas:
• Wear Rudraksh
• Use a Rudraksh mala for Japa
• Offer Lord Shiva Bhibhuti and place some on your forehead
• Perform Monday Fast with austerity to please Lord Shiva. It is a popular belief that girls who fast on all Mondays of Shravan get a good husband.
• Make offerings of Bel leaves, Panchamrut (milk, yoghurt, clarified butter, honey and jaggery) on Shiva Ling.
• The popular belief goes by saying that in Shravan month, offering milk to Lord Shiva earns a lot of punya.
• Recite Shiv Chalisa and Aarti.
• Chant Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra.