Thursday, 23 June 2011

What is religious importance of this "Shraavan or Savan" month?

Shravan month is basically connected with worship of Lord Shiva. People bring Ganga water from Haridwar or Gangotri on foot covering from 250 to 500 Kms on foot and do Abhishek of Rudra with that water.

The month of Shravan is the fifth month of the Hindu calender beginning from Chaitra, and is the most auspicious month of the Chaturmas. On Purnima or fullmoon day, or during the course of the month the star 'Shravan' rules the sky, hence the month is called Shravan. This month is spread out with innumerably religious festivals and ceremonies and almost all the days of this month are auspicious.

Shravan is considered the holiest month of the year. Each monday of this month, known as Shravana Somvar, is a special day in Shiva temples where the dharanatra hangs over the linga or the idol to bathe it with holy water, day and night. Devotees pile the linga high with Bel leaves and flowers and fast till sunset. The nandadeep (24 hour lamp) burns steadily in the temples.

Lord Shiva and Shravan Maas

The legend says that when the churning of oceans - Samudra Manthan - took place in the month of Shravan, fourteen different types of rubies came out. Thirteen of these were distributed amongst the demons, except Halahal (poison). Lord Shiva drank the Halahal and stored it in his throat. Hence the name Neelkantha (meaning blue throat) is attributed to Shiva. Read more about Lord Shiva.

To reduce the strong effect of poison, Lord Shiva wore the crescent moon on his head. All the Gods, thereafter started offering the Ganges water to Lord Shiva to make lessen the effect of poison.

Since, this happened in the month of Shravana, since then the Shiva devotees offer the Ganges water in this month.

It is considered highly auspicious to wear a rudraksha in Shravan month. As, Mondays or Somvars of Shravan month are specially observed with austerity. All Mondays are devoted to the worship of Shiva as this day is sacred to Lord Shiva. No other Mondays of other months are so greatly honoured.

The belief is that in Shravan month, offering milk to Lord Shiva earns a lot of punya.

Things to do during Shravan month

• Wear Rudraksh, and also use a Rudraksh mala for Japa.• Offer Lord Shiva Bhibhuti and place some on your forehead.• Make offerings of Bel leaves, Panchamrut (milk, yoghurt, clarified butter, honey and jaggery) on Shiva Ling.• Recite Shiv Chalisa and Aarti.• Chant Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra.• Fasting on Mondays. Girls who fast on all Mondays of Shravan get a good husband.

Another story

"It goes like this: There was a wise King called Bali who was so powerful that he conquered all of Earth. Soon the Devthas began to worry that someday this King would take over Heaven as well. So they went to Lord Vishnu, the protector of the Universe and asked him to do something about it. So he came down to Earth as a dwarf called Vamana. One day, the King was about to commence a ritual ceremony that would give him the necessary powers to take over Heaven, when Vamana came to him. He asked the king if he would give him land the size of two of his footsteps. The king laughed and said, "Sure!" As Vamana took two steps, he began to grow, and grow until he was big enough to cover all of Earth. The king realized that Vamana was none other than Lord Vishnu. He then bent to offer his head. Lord Vishnu was pleased and stepped on his head, sending him to the third world (Not sure, but I think it's Hell). Since this third world was not really a pleasant place to be, Lord Vishnu offered to stay with him there. A month passed, and Goddess Laxmi started to miss Lord Vishnu up in Heaven. So she decided to come to Earth as Vishnu's sister, and ties a thread on his wrist to signify the holy festival of Rakhshabandhan. To complete the custom of Rakhshabandhan, he asks Laxmi what she wants in return. Of course, she asked him to come back to Heaven. So he leaves. Since he spent a month with the King in this unpleasant place, the Hindus (mainly from South India) celebrate this month as the Shravan month."

Shravan Weekdays and their Significance
Each day of Shravan month has its own ritual with a special significance as different Gods and Goddesses are worshiped on different days.

Monday: Monday is dedicated in Lord Shiva's worship.
Tuesday: The day is dedicated in Gauri (Lord Shiva's wife) worship especially by women for the wellbeing of their families.
Wednesday: Wednesday is dedicated in Vithala's (form of Vishnu or Krishna) worship.
Thursday: This day is dedicated in Lord Buddha and Guru's worship.
Friday: The day is dedicated in the worship of Goddess Lakshmi and Tulsi.
Saturday: The day is dedicated to Saturn (Shani).
Sunday: Sunday is dedicated in Sun God's worship. Festivals in Shravan Month

Shravan month is full of festivals and this is the reason why it is called as the holiest month of a year. Here is a list of festivals that fall in this month.

Naga Panchami
Shravani Purnima
Raksha Bandhan
Vara Lakshmi
VrataRishi Panchami
Sitala Saptami

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