Shravan the most holiest Month
Shravan (श्रावण) is the fifth month of the Hindu calendar, beginning with
Chaitra. It is the holiest month of the Hindu calendar year, full of festivals and ceremonies.
This year Shravan month begins on July 23, 2013 ( Shrvan Krishna 1) and ends on August 21, 2013 (Purnima). Shravan month is dedicated to
Lord Shiva (शिव)
Shravan is the month of festivals
The Shravan month is full of festivals and special days: Naga Panchami, Kalkayavatara, Putradaikadashi, Hindola, Narali Purnima, Shravani Purnima,
Raksha Bandhan, Vara Lakshmi Vrata, Sitala Saptami,
Krishna Janmasthmi , Ajaikadasi and Teej. During Shravan, married women visit
their parents' home, celebrate Teej there and return to their homes in
time for Raksha Bandhan. The break gives them respite from their daily household chores.
Teej is a green festival that celebrates the rain. Women and girls dress up in traditional clothes and decorate their
hands with mehendi or henna. Playing on the swing outdoors is a common
activity in this month. Special sweetmeats are prepared and eaten.
There are three types of Teej. In Hariyali Teej, women wear green
clothes and offer prayers to the moon and to Radha and Krishna. Then comes Kajari Teej which is celebrated in the Krishna Paksha or dark half
of the month. Women sing devotional songs and gather near a
Neem tree and offer prayers. Hartalika Teej is celebrated over three days. On the
second day, women keep a nirjal or no-water fast, praying for the long life and prosperity of their spouses.
Naag-Panchami which falls on the fifth day of Shravan and is held in honour of Nagas
or snakes. Gujurattis this day denotes the return of Krishnafrom the Yamuna after overcoming the snake Kaliya. Krishna's
herdsmen celebrated the Naga panchmi day by treating Kaliya with milk as
a gratitude for not harming their beloved Krishna. There is much folklore in connection with snake cult.
Rishi Panchmi observed on the day of Shravan full moon, stars other than the
planets are worshipped. In Vedic times it was believed that the spirits of certain departed great sages of the earth were believed to inhabit
certain stars, the most famous being the constellation Ursa Major i.e.the seven brightest stars of the north (The Great Bear).
Later, the seers became identified with the stars they inhabited. The seven
worshipped on Rishi Fifth are - Kasyapa, Atri, Bharadvaja, Visvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni and Vashishta.
Each day of Shravan is special
Monday, also called Shravani Somvar, is dedicated to
Lord Shiva (शिव). A dharanatra or container with a tiny hole in its base and filled with water or milk
is hung over the shivalingam, the liquid dripping over the deity as offering. Bael (Aegle marmelos)
or wood apple leaves and flowers are offered while chanting the Shiva mantra. Devotees fast until sunset.
Performing this ritual is equivalent to invoking Neelakantha the whole year round. Unmarried girls who perform this are believed to find a suitable spouse soon.
Tuesdays are dedicated to the goddess Gauri. Goddess Gauri is invoked for the family's good health.
Wednesdays are dedicated to Vitthal or
Lord Vishnu विष्णु)
Thursdays are reserved for the
Buddha and Guru.
Fridays are dedicated to worship
Goddess Laxmi (लक्ष्मी) and Tulsi. The entire month is dedicated to Vishnu and Lakshmi. Saturdays are dedicated to
Shani Deva (शनि) or Saturn; the day is also known as Sampat Shanivar or day of wealth. Sundays are reserved for thanking the
Lord Sun (सूर्य).
During Shravan month devotees chant the Shiv Chalisa and the Maha Mrityunjaya
Mantra, wear rudraksha, fast every Monday and make offerings of panchamrit made of milk,
yoghurt, ghee or butter, honey and jaggery to
the shivalingam. The prasadam is distributed to all. The fast is broken in the evening with vegetarian food.
According to scriptures, 'Krishna Amavasya' of Shravan month is considered very auspicious. The day is also
observed as 'Hariyali Amavasya'. This day is dedicated to our ancestors and it is believed that offering food to needy people appease out ancestors and Gods.
On this day devotees conduct special puja of Lord Shiva's pitra rup and donate according to his/her ability.
According to Hindu mythology the samudra manthan or churning of the
ocean took place in this month and 14 types of gems and treasures emerged from it. These were distributed between the gods and demons.
Shiva drank the 14th, Halahal or poison, and stored it in his throat. That's why he is called
Neelakantha, the blue-throated god. To negate the poison, Shiva wore the crescent moon on his head and the pantheon of Hindu gods
started offering Ganga water to Shiva. Devotees of Shiva commemorate this incident by offering
Ganga water to shivalingams in temples.
Shravan was celebrated at Somnath Temple
On first Somvar of auspicious month of Shravan, Shri Somnath mahadev’s
Shiva linga is decorated with around 1,25,00,000 pallets of 11,000 kg
flowers. More than 100 persons worked for three and half hours for decoration of Shri Somnath’s Shiva linga. This year 2013 , the month of
Shravan has four Somvars.
of Shravan at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varansi
A rush of devotees increases at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple during
the auspicious Shrawan month. Thousands of bare-foot kanwariyas from different parts of the country throng
the city after making an arduous journey. Many kanwariya camps are located on the banks of the holy
River Ganga (गंगा) , close to the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple (KVT) in Varanasi (वाराणसी) also known as Benares or Kashi (काशी) .
Nepalese Holy month of Shrawan
Nepalese are observing the beginning of the Holy month of Shrawan (July-August) from Sunday.
Shrawan is the fourth month in the Nepali Hindu calendar. The month is also observed as a Holy month amongst the Hindu population in India and
all over the world. The month is considered highly auspicious as it is devoted to great Lord Shiva, the supreme god in Hindu religion.
People in large numbers gather at the Pashupatinath temple, one of the
holiest temples of Lord Shiva, which is located in the Nepali capital Kathmandu. They light butter lamps and incense in the name of the lord.
Young Nepalese women fast on Mondays of this month wishing for a great husband while the married women fast praying for long lives of their
husband. Women dress in red attire and wear green bangles which are considered auspicious for the month.
The Kanwar Yatra is the month long ceremony and worshipping lord
Shiva during the month of Shravan. Devotees of lord Shiva have been all set for their long journey
for various temples of Lord Shiva. Devotees bath in the holy river such as
River Ganga (गंगा) ,
Godavari ( गोदावरी) River ,
River Narmada ( नर्मदा} and take holy water for the
performing their rituals. They worship lord Shiva with the very holy water dedicating to the lord Shiva. They finish the journey by foot and
it took many days. The entire journey is a tough one and saffron-clad pilgrims carry water from various spots like Haridwar, Gangotri or Gaukukh.
Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Bengal are such states where maximum Kanwar
yatri took part in the Yatra and worship Lord Shiva. In Bihar and Jharkhand devotees reaches to worship
Baba Baidyanath in Deoghar after taking holy Ganga water from Sultan Ganj and
various many places. Allahabad and Varanasi is also a famous for Shravani Mela festivals.
Devotees of Shiva (Kawadia) offering Ganga water to shivalingams in temples.
Shravan fast: Girls pray for perfect match
The significance of Shravan Somvar
is even more for young girls, who observe the fast on all the Mondays of
the month and believe that doing so will get them a good husband.
Shravan month in India
The Shravan month, a rainy season in India is so pleasant
that we remember the famous films geet of
सावन का महीन, पवन करे सोर
जियरा रे झूमे ऐसे, जैसे मनवा नाचे मोर |