Shravan Month is considered as one of the most auspicious months in the entire sub-continent of India. This holy month is solely dedicated to Lord Shiva and His consort Goddess Parvati. Legend says that Lord Shiva drank poison in the month of Shravan to save the world. According to teachings of the Shiva Purana, this auspicious month Shravan and specifically the day-Monday, both are very dear to Lord Shiva. Therefore, Hindu devotees maintain austerity, observe strict fasts and pray to Lord Shiva in this holy month of Shravan to fulfill all their desires and wishes with His divine blessings. During the whole month, devotees fast on Mondays which is popularly known as 'Shravan Somvar Vrat'. They offer milk, Gangajal, and bel leaves (leaf of golden apple tree) to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Shravan Somvar Vrat Vidhi / Monday Fast procedure: Experts say, there is a very specific method of fasting during the Mondays of Shravan. Chanting of mantras and offering water (Gangajal or water of any other holy river) on shivling is considered auspicious.
• Wake up before sunrise and take a holy bath.
• Observe a fast from Sunrise to Sunset with utmost devotion.
• Visit a temple of Shiva to perform the ritual OR
• Set up an altar (Vedi) in your house after cleaning the area of worship.
• Light a Diya (lamp) of ghee and incense sticks.
• Place Shivling on the altar and do Abhishek with panchamrit (a mixture of milk, curd, butter or ghee, honey, and jaggery).
• Then offer milk and water to the Shivling.
• After that offer bel leaves, flowers, supari (betel nuts), fruits, and coconut to Mahadev.
• Chant the mantra “Oṃ Namaḥ Shivaya” along with “Mahamritunjay mantra” and “Shiva Gayatri mantra” during the puja.
• Recite the Shravan Vrat Katha (story) during the puja.
• Offer aarti at the end to complete the puja.
• Distribute prasad among your family members as soon as the puja concludes.
• A devotee must break the fast only in the evening after offering aarti to Lord Shiva. Afterward, one can have normal food.
Food for Shravan Somvar fast: Hindu devotees observe a sattvic lifestyle during the month of Shravan, which includes food or beverages of sattvic nature.
• Saltless Chips
• Sago Stew (Sabudana Khichdi)
• Curd, buttermilk
(Avoid food that makes you feel heavy and also avoid salty, spicy, and oily foods on this day)
Mantra to chant on Shravan Somvar:
There are various types of Shiva Mantras; each having its own purpose and importance. Following mantras can be chanted on this day to praise Lord Shiva:
Shiv Mantra (Panchakshari): Om Namah Shivaya
Shiva Gayatri Mantra:
Om Tatpurushaya Vidmahe, Mahadevaya Dhimahi, Tanno Rudrah Prachodayat.
Om tryambhakam yajamahe, sugandhim pushti-vardhanam
urvarukam-iva bandhanan, mrityor mukshiya maamritat.
Religious Significance: It is believed that one who observes fast during Shravan month is blessed with spiritual bliss. Rudra Abhishek and Yagna on a Monday of this month purifies the soul, brings peace of mind, and fulfills all wishes.
According to Hindu popular belief, a woman who observes fast on Shravan Mondays (Somvars) is bestowed with a suitable life partner. It is also believed that Mata Parvati observed a complete fast during this holy month of Shravan and was blessed with the boon of having Lord Shiva as Her husband. Wedded couples jointly observe this fast for a happy and blissful married life. Fasting on this day is believed to remove all the obstacles and difficulties from your path with the blessing of merciful Lord Shiva.
The cosmos is highly charged with Shiva tattvas during this month. So, chanting of Shiva mantras and a fast on this day helps to improve physical and mental health that increases your willpower as well as sharpens your memory.
Shravan Somvar Vrat Katha / Shravan Mondays fast story: According to Hindu mythology, the churning of the sea (Samudra Manthan- with the Mount Mandara as the churning rod, and Vasuki, the biggest snake as the churning rope) between the devas and the demons happened during this month of Shravan in the Satyuga. During this process, numerous jewels and Airavat (divine elephant of Lord Indra) was released from the ocean of Milk (Kshirsagar). One such mesmerizing thing that emerged was the Halahala (deadliest poison) from the sea. It is clearly written in various sacred texts that this venom was so lethal that it could have destroyed the entire universe. In such a scenario, the merciful Lord Shiva decided to drink it to save the creation. However, when Goddess Parvati saw him taking poison, she at once held His throat so that the deadliest poison wouldn’t go down further. As a result, this turned His throat blue, and henceforth he was also called Neelkanth.
Hindu Devotees observe Shravan Somvar Vrat with utmost devotion to express their gratitude and to thank Mahadev for His great sacrifices in stopping the massive destruction of the universe. Many devotees undertake the Kanwar yatra during which they collect water from the different holy rivers to perform Abhishek on Shravan Somvar. Keeping fast every Monday of this month (Sawan Somwar) brings fruitful results and help to live a happy life.
Summary: Shravan is the fifth month of the lunar calendar dedicated to Lord of the lord's Shiva and believed to be the most auspicious and beneficiary month. Shravan Maas is a holy month filled with other popular rituals such as Raksha Bandhan, Naga-Panchami, Govatsa, Shravani Purnima, Vara Lakshmi Vrata, Rishi Panchami, Kalkyavatara, and Putradaikadashi. Mondays of Shravan maas are very important as these days are dear to Lord Shiva. Every temple of Lord Shiva celebrates Shravan Somvar Vrat, offers prayer, and performs Vedic rituals to please Him.
Devotees of Lord Shiva celebrate this auspicious day with a fast which is popularly known as Shravan Somvar Vrat. Devotees observe a full day fast, they visit a temple of Shiva to offer water from a holy river and bel leaves to receive His graceful blessings. As per Shiva Purana, repeated chanting of Shiva Chalisa, Panchakshara Mantra and Mahamritunjay mantra on this day brings miraculous results to the life of a devotee. Unmarried women, seeking a perfect partner observe fast on this day to appease Lord Shiva and to receive His blessings.