The holy month of Shravan
NASHIK: The holy month of Shravan began from 9th August in the Western and Southern parts of India. In Northern India, it commenced in the last week of July, and many states have already reached the mid-Shravan Month. Irrespective of the dates, people who observe this holy month follow strict fasting and indulge in spirituality. Sawan or Shravan is the fifth month in the Hindu Solar Calendar.
It is considered auspicious as it’s the first month of Chaturmas (the holy period of four months). The rest three months, Bhadrapada, Ashwin, and Kartik, follow in order after the commencement of this holy month. The whole month holds utmost significance for Lord Shiva Devotees as the entire month is dedicated to him. The devotees fast on Mondays, called Shravani Somwars. They visit the Shiva Temple, where they bathe the lingam with panchamrit and holy water; the ritual known as ‘Abhishek’. They even chant Shiva Mantras throughout the day or 108 times a day as it is considered an important ritual.
Lord Shiva is worshipped every day as per the Vedic rituals. Shiv Pujan is an essential aspect of Shravan. It is believed that the Shiva Tattvas (Shiva elements) purify the mind, senses, body, and souls as the holy month changes the entire cosmos. Even though the month belongs to Lord Shiva, devotees can cleanse and aim at controlling their five elements. As stated in Hindu Mythology, the historic Samudra Manthan, the churning of ocean milk, happened in the Shravan month.
While Gods and Demons churned the ocean to obtain nectar, along with 14 religious things, Halahal, a lethal poison, came out of the ocean. As the poison would have destroyed everything, Lord Shiva gathered the poison in his throat that turned his throat blue, thus the name Neelkanth. To calm Lord Shiva and lessen his pain, Gods offered him the Ganga water. As a result, people offer water to Shiva Lingam in Shravan to tame the impact of poison. Another story states Goddess Parvati fasted for an entire month in Shravan to please and marry Lord Shiva.
Worshipping the idols
Monday: Lord Shiva
Tuesday: Dedicated to Goddess Parvati.
Wednesday: This day is dedicated to Vithala, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu or Krishna.
Thursday: Devotees worship Buddh and Guru.
Friday: Lakshmi and Tulsi
Saturday: Saturn (Shani Dev).
Sunday: Sun god is worshipped every Sunday in the holy month of Shravan.
Festivals line up in Shravan
Nag Panchami (13th August)
Shravan Putrada Ekadashi (18th August)
Varalakshmi Vratam (20th August)
Shravani Purnima (22nd August)
Raksha Bandhan (22nd August)
Gayatri Jayanti (22nd August)
Krishna Janmashtami (30th August)
During this holy month, many people eat a sattvic diet and refrain from foods that contain garlic, non-veg, salt, and onion. The whole idea revolves around eating freshly cooked items and keeping the digestive system healthy. To remain healthy during the fast, you must drink water and stay hydrated. Moreover, it is also important to eat fruits and vegetables, including leafy greens as this helps in easing digestion. You can also include during your fast are nuts, dates, and raisins.