The month of Shravan presents a unique opportunity to connect with divine forces that rule our fate. It is a highly auspicious period to connect with the deities by offering worship and obeisance. This month is also ideal for worshiping Lord Shiva and brings in highly favorable results from the deity. The month of Shravan is the fifth month according to the Hindu calendar and falls in July-August according to the Gregorian calendar. Since the ruling deity of this month is Lord Shiva, fasting on Mondays (Shravan Somvar) is considered highly rewarding. The ritual of fasting is observed with great dedication by devotees, especially women, for the well-being of their spouse and household. Many unmarried women also observe the Somvar Vrat in the month of Shravan to be blessed with a good husband and a happy married life.
Significance of Sawan Somwar Vrat
Observing the Sawan Somvar fasting ritual is believed to be highly rewarding for women, especially unmarried girls. The belief is that by observing the Somvar Vrat with deep dedication, a girl can get married to a person of her choice. This ritual is considered highly significant because it is believed to fulfill the desires of a person and make all their dreams materialize. Therefore, by observing the Sawan Somvar fast and offering prayers to Lord Shiva, one can reach out to the Lord and achieve the desired results.
Legend of Shravan Somvar Vrat
The Puranas state that the Samudra Manthan (churning of the cosmic ocean) by the Gods and the Demons occurred in the month of Shravan. This process saw the emergence of fourteen divine things from the ocean. It also threw up a deadly poison known as Halahala. In order to save the cosmos from destruction, Lord Shiva swallowed the poison, the effect of which was so deadly, that it turned his throat blue. Hence, he came to be known as ‘Neelakanta’ (one who has blue throat). This incident led to the practice of observing Sawan Somvar Vrat in the month of Shravan as a mark of reverence to the deity, Lord Shiva.
Celebrations and Rituals observed during Sawan Somvar Vrat
Sawan Somvar Vrat is the fast observed on Mondays, in the month of Shravan. This ritual entails the observance of sixteen fasts on consecutive Mondays commencing in the month of Shravan. The fast is observed for the duration of the day and lasts till the evening.
Those who observe the Sawan Somvar Vrat, wake up early in the morning and first have a purifying bath. Visiting Shiva temples and offering milk to the Shiva Lingam is also an important ritual on the day of the fast.
Those who wish to perform the ritual at home start by first cleaning the worship altar, where they place the deity with due reverence. A Sankalp (oath) is taken to observe the ‘Vrat’ with full dedication and veneration for the deity.
The Shiva Puja is performed once in the morning and then again in the evening after Sunset. Reciting the ’Solah Somvar Vrat Katha’ or ’Sawan Vrat Katha’ on the day of the fast is very important since it portrays the life of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
It is also vital to perform the Puja and Katha in the evening only after cleansing oneself thoroughly. After completion of the Puja, holy ‘Prasad’ is distributed among friends and family members.