Why Is Shravan Maas The Holiest Month In Hinduism?
Shravan Maas (month) dedicated to Lord Shiva is the most auspicious and divine month to pray to Lord Shiva than any other month in the year. This sacred hindu month falls between the months of July and August according to the Gregorian calendar. This holy Shravan month is also referred to as ‘Avani’ and ‘Sawan’ in the state of Tamil Nadu. The entire Shravan Lord Shiva month and all the Mondays of this month known as ‘Shravan Somvar’ are extremely auspicious and powerful to seek and receive the blessings of Lord Shiva. Let us delve deep into this topic by knowing more about Sawan month.
Importance of Sawan month
Shravan month is even more auspicious as many other Hindu festivals (related to Lord Vishnu and other deities) also fall in this month. This month essentially is a more powerful month as all many and divine energies are active. Interestingly this month got its name from the Nakshatra (star) called ‘Shravan’. During the period between July and August, on purnima (the full moon day) or sometime during the month, the Shravan nakshatra or star rules the skies, which is the reason this month derives its name from Shravan nakshatra (star). It is believed that in this month if sadaks/worshippers offer prayers to Lord Shiva with a true heart and pure intentions, their prayers/wishes will be granted.
It is this time of the year when many devotees of Lord Shiva and new sadhaks/worshippers indulge in strict fasting, perform Shiva Lingam abhishekam, listen to Sawan Vrat Katha, perform good deeds which include helping others, donating for a good cause, feeding the poor, performing penance to seek forgiveness for the past deeds. During this period the unmarried girls observe fast and listen to sawan somvar vrat katha every Monday with the intention of getting a groom who has the qualities like Lord Shiva.
Every Monday (a day dedicated to Lord Shiva and planet Moon) in this month known as ‘Shravan Somvar’ is supremely powerful, devotees – men and women observe strict fast for the entire day, visit nearby Lord Shiva’s temple or make trips to the 12 Jyotirlingas (the sacred spots of where Lord Shiva manifested himself) spread out in India, perform Rudra Abhishekam (Holy Bathing of Shiva Lingam, Rudra is another name of Lord Shiva), listen to shravan somvar vrat katha, feed birds and animals and maintain brahmacharya and discipline through words and actions. All Shiva temples are crowded with devotees filled with the ritual of Abhishekam. It is believed that Shravan is the time to carry out all auspicious activities as it is one of the Shubh (auspicious) months where everything you do will be fruitful and successful. Many devotees often start new ventures, undertake new activities, and like.
What is Abhishekam or Rudra Abhishekam?
The holy bathing of Shiv Lingam is known as ‘Abhishekam or Rudra Abhishekam’. During this process, the Shiv Lingam is thoroughly cleansed with clarified butter, curd, honey, water, milk, and decorated with sandalwood paste, bel leaves, datura, fruits, white flowers, lotus and other varieties of flowers become a part of the offerings to Shiva Lingam and its decoration. Simultaneously, the Dharanatra which is hung over the Shiva Lingam with Holy water and milk is constantly dripping water and milk. Eventually, a ghee lamp is lit which is known as ‘Akhand Diya’ that burns day and night during this month. The symbolic reason behind abhishekam is cleansing of one’s sins, mistakes and bad qualities, the Rudra Abhishekam is essentially an act of purification to connect with our own soul and live life with greater consciousness.
Sawan Somvar Vrat Katha
There once lived a wealthy moneylender who had all the riches and enjoyed all the luxuries of life but despite all of these, he was not happy, he had a wonderful wife, a wonderful family but did not have any offspring of his own. This moneylender was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and he performed severe penance and austerities to please Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati in order to get a boon from them. Soon, the money lender’s prayers were answered and He was blessed by a beautiful and healthy son. But the money lender’s happiness was short-lived as He was told by the Supreme voice that His son would be able to live only up to the age of 12.
The merchant did not disclose this secret to his wife. The moneylender child too became a great devotee of Lord Shiva and performed regular fasts and worshipped the Lord as he was growing. Soon the time came when the child became eleven years old, the moneylender started to get worried and thought of an idea. He handed over his son to his brother and told him to indulge in religious activities with the hope that these activities would appease Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and they would grant his boy the gift of life. Soon, the boy along with his uncle went to Kashi and performed Yagna and other holy rituals to appease Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Simultaneously or accidentally on the other side, a rich man was getting his daughter married to an eligible prospect unaware of the fact that the groom had a defect in one of his eyes. As soon as the rich man realized the defect of the groom he cancelled the wedding and asked his soldiers to search for a beautiful eligible groom for his daughter. Soon the soldiers came across the rich money lender’s son who was busy performing his puja rituals and other good deeds. The rich man convinced his uncle and the boy to marry the daughter. Soon the boy and the rich man’s daughter got married but on the day when the boy turned 12 he died. During that time his uncle was feeding the Brahmins, instead of mourning his nephew’s death, the uncle continued serving the Brahmins. Once the uncle was done feeding the Brahmans he went to the place where his nephew laid dead. He sobbed and cried.
After hearing the loud cries of his uncle, all the people and the boy’s new wife came to the scene. She then performed severe penance and austerities to bring life back to her husband. Looking at this scenario, Lord Shiva and Parvati were appeased and they blessed the dead boy with the gift of life. Happy with this, the boy took his newlywed wife back to his parents and they blessed them happily. Everything can be possible if one is true, sincere, devoted and determined. Hope you all like the information that we offered about Shravan Month. Reading the Sawan Somvar Vrat Katha is one of the many things you can do to get blessings of the divine and to lead a spiritually elevated life.
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