Worship of Lord Shiva during the holy month of Shravan

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According to the Hindu tradition there are specific periods when a god is to be worshipped for eg the most auspicious time to worship Shivji is during the holy month of Shravan Maas that come in the months of July and August. It is the first and most auspicious month of Chatur Mas, the four holiest months of the Hindu calendar. 

 

It is said that the Shravan Nakshatra or star, rules the skies during this month. Therefore, this month receives its name from this Shravan nakshatra and is known as the Shravan maas. As per Vedic astrology, Shravan Maas is said to set in when the Sun joins the zodiac Leo. It is on the New Moon Day that the Shravan sets in.

 

On Full Moon Day (Purnima or Punam), the spiritual atmosphere (sky) is under the divine supremacy of Shravan Nakshatra (one of the twenty-seven Nakshatras). Hence it is called Shravan. In order to get the blessings of Shivji Vedic ceremonies and prayers are done in temples. A number of important festivals take place during the month of Shravan Maas such as Govatsa, Naga-Panchami, Vara Lakshmi Vrata, Shravani Purnima, Rishi Panchami, Kalkyavatara, Raksha Bandhan, and Putradaikadashi.

 

The significance of Shravan Maas

Followers go through fasts and invocations during the holy month of Shravan. During the churning of the ocean - Samudram manthan by Devas & Asuras the first to manifest was a poison called Halahala. Since none were willing to deal with the poison they approached Shivji who swallowed the poison. His devoted spouse saw him taking the poison, and at once caught his throat to stop the poison from going down. This was the reason for his throat turning blue and since then he was called Neelkantha.

 

Once the danger passed the Asuras & Devas started churning the ocean again. Thereafter several objects came out for e.g. Kamadhenu (wish fulfilling cow), white horse, white elephant etc.

 

The importance of Lord Shiva in the month of Shravan

According to the Puranas Samudra Manthan was a significant event. Lord Shiva had to wear a crescent moon on his head due to the grave effects of the poison that he swallowed and all the other gods began pouring water from the holy river Ganga. This was done to reduce the effect of the poison on Shivji.

 

Since these incidents took place during Shravan Maas it is considered auspicious to offer holy Ganga water to Shivji during Shravan. Symbolically speaking the pouring of holy water on the Shivling is believed to remove away negativity and effects of negative karmas thereby bringing in positivity and kripa.

 

Also read: The science behind pouring water on the Shivling

 

Ceremonies to follow during Shravan (Sawan)
  • Offering milk to Shivji.
  • Offer Panchamrit (a mixture of clarified butter, milk, curd, honey, and jiggery) to the Shivling.
  • Chant Shiva Chalisa and do daily aarti of Lord Shiva.
  • Offer Bhibhuti to Shivji and apply some on the forehead as well.
  • Wear Rudraksha and use it for chants.
  • Fast on Shravan Somvar. This tradition is important for unmarried women. Fasting sincerely might help them get a good husband.  
  • Chant Mahamritunjay mantra.
Rudra Abhishek and Homa

“The literal meaning of the term Rudra seems to be roaring storm. The other meanings associated with this word are fire and fiery red. Looking from several angles, the term Rudra appears to focus on the fiery aspect of Shiva which is destruction.” Shiva assumes this form while delivering His Tandava, the cosmic dance. “Tandava is a vigorous dance that is the source of the cycle of creation, preservation and dissolution. Tandava depicts his violent nature as the destroyer of the universe.”

 

Shiva Abhishek is performed on a Lingam ie a manifestation of good or destroyer of evil. Different type of abhisheks give varied benefits to the performer. For e.g. milk gives long life and honey removes all obstacles.

 

Shiva Abhishek carries the contributions of Panchamrit Dhatura and other holy items dear to Lord Shiva. Homa and Rudra Abhishek offers peace, clears your body and mind, fulfils wishes and illuminates your soul.

Mantra Chanting

Chanting of the Shiva Stotra gives a sense of composure and power.  Its benefits include wealth, prosperity, and happiness, removing negative thoughts and getting aashirwad of Shivji. Chanting may be done at the designated time and with a particular number of counts. Usually every mantra is chanted 108 times. One can keep track by counting beads in the rosary garland. Chanting can be done in the morning or evening, or even throughout the day.

Benefits of Fasting on Monday - Somvar in Shravan Maas
  • Enhances mental and physical health.
  • Devotees enjoy spiritual peace. 
  • Promotes memory and willpower.
  • Removes obstacles by expelling negtivity.  
Benefits of this puja
  • Blessings and Divine kripa of Shivji.
  • Removal of malicious effects of various Planets. 
  • Success in job and career. Overall good for personal and professional lives.
  •       Protection against various diseases and ailments. 

During the holy month of Shravan devotees visit temples and spend time in contemplation. Many visit Jyotirlings during this auspicious period. During a recent visit to Omkareshwar Jyotirling the hotel manager said the town would get very crowded with devotees during Shravan.

During Shravan every day of the week is important 

Monday: is when Shivji is worshiped.

Tuesday:  Shivji’s wife Gauri is worshiped by women for well-being of their family.

Wednesday: is dedicated to Vithala, an embodiment of Lord Krishna or Vishnu.

Thursdays: Guru and Buddha are worshipped.

Friday: Tulsi and Lakshmi are worshiped.

Saturdays: are for Shani Dev or Saturn. These days are also known as Sampat Sanivara or Shravan Saturdays or (wealth Saturdays) as one can pray for acquiring wealth.

Sundays: are devoted to Surya Devata or Sun god.

Om Namah Shivay

Also read

1. Pictures of 12 Jyotirlings

2. Pictures of Shiv Temples in India and Indonesia

3. Siva His Form and Cosmic dance

4. The Giant Dance of Shiva

5. Ujjain, Maheshwar and Omkareshwar Yatra