Shravan or Sawan: The Holiest of Months in Hinduism is dedicated to Lord Shiva

According to Hindu Mythology, in this month Lord Shiva drank Halahala, the poison that emanated from Samudra Manthan along with Ambrosia, a drink that conferred immortality to the Gods

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Shiv Linga. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
  • In 2016, Shravan month will start from July 20. The whole month is dedicated to Lord Shiva
  • Shravan month is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Mondays during the month are considered highly auspicious
  • All Tuesdays or Mangalwar are dedicated to Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva. Tuesday’s fasting during the Shravan month is known as Mangal Gauri Vrat

Shravan month (July- August) is considered as the holiest of months, according to the Hindu Calender. In 2016, Shravan month starts from July 20 and the whole month is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Legend has it that, in this month, Lord Shiva drank Halahala, the poison that emanated from the churning of the ocean (Samudra Manthan) along with Ambrosia, a drink that conferred immortality to the Gods.

The Mondays during the month are considered highly auspicious. The story of the churning of the ocean milk , one of the most popular in Hinduism, is retold by Savities, worshipers of shiva, at this time. The story begins with devas, or demigods, complaining of the weakness of curse that had been placed on them, mentioned the Speakingtree.com Website.
The deity Brahma told them that they needed to drink amrit, the nectar of immortality, which could be obtained by the churning of the ocean. the devas were assisted by the asuras (demons) in the churning activity, which was so successful that the turbulent ocean threatened to become destructive of force, and Vishnu was forced to take action to calm it.
Lord Shiva consuming Halala Image source: legendsofmagadha.blogspot.com
Lord Shiva consuming Halahala during churning of Ocean. Image source: legendsofmagadha.blogspot.com

Due to the churning of the ocean by the asura and devas, a pot of poison called Halahala was produced. This poison was determined to be so toxic that it could destroy all the creation. The devas thus approached god Shiva, and out of his compassion, he drank the poison. Alarmed at his action, Shiva’s wife Parvati strangled his neck and prevented the poison from moving downward and spreading all over the universe, supposed to be in Shiva’s stomach. And the colour of Shiva’s neck turned blue and he got the name Neelkanth.

Churning of the Ocean. Image source: divinations.wordpress.com
The Churning of the Ocean. Image source: divinations.wordpress.com

Shravan month is also known as Sawan in North Indian states. All the Mondays or Somwar(s) which fall during this month are considered highly fortunate for fasting and known as Sawan Somwar.

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All Tuesdays or Mangalwar are dedicated to Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva. Tuesday’s fasting during the Shravan month is known as Mangal Gauri Vrat.

Major Festivals of Shravan month

  • Nag Panchami: In the month of Shravan, on the fifth day, serpent Gods are worshipped across India and is observed as an auspicious day by the Hindus. Usually, this festival falls two days after Hariyali Teej. During the festival, women worship Nag Devta as well as offer milk to snakes on this auspicious day. Apart from that, women also pray for the well-being of their brothers as well as their family.
  • Shravan-Narali Purnima: Is celebrated on the day of the full moon in the month of Shravan. On this day coconuts are thrown into the sea because it is a good omen for trade; ships resume voyages which had been interrupted due to the monsoons; Brahmins renew their sacred thread (zan’vem) and evoke the memory of rishis (who are believed to be their ascendants).
Nariyal Poornima. Image source: magnificentmaharashtra.wordpress.com
Narali Poornima. Image source: magnificentmaharashtra.wordpress.com

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  • Janmashtami: The birth of Krishna is celebrated in one in the fourth waning quarter of the moon in the month of Shravan. The Hindus fast, worship Krishna at midnight, offer him Tulasi leaves and then take their first meal of the day. On this day, the birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated.
Children celebrating Janmashtami. Image source: www.bagariaschool.org
Children celebrating Janmashtami. Image source: www.bagariaschool.org
  • Rakshabandhan: According to the Hindu Calender, Raksha Bandhan falls on the Purnima of the Shravan month, generally, in the month of August. It is one of the most important Hindu festivals which celebrates the unconditional love and affection of between brothers and sisters.
Rakhi 3.jpg
Rakhi, Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The meaning of Raksha is ‘protection’ and the meaning of Bandhan is ‘bond’. On this day, sisters tie sacred thread Rakhi on their brothers’ wrist symbolises the sister’s love and prayers for well-being and good future of their brothers and the brother’s lifelong vow to protect their sisters.

  • Teej: A seasonal festival is celebrated in northern Indian states, heralding the onset of monsoon season after the season of oppressive heat. It is a festival of womenfolk and is celebrated on the 3rd day of waxing phase of the moon (Shukla Paksha) in the month of Shravan. The festival is named after a small, beautiful, red insect ‘Teej’ which comes out of the soils during rains.
Giddha dance Teeyan Punjab Teej India.jpg
Giddha dance Teeyan Punjab Teej India, Wikimedia Commons

The girls and the women on this day go to temple after taking bath and offer prayers to Lord Shiva’s consort, Goddess Parvati. They also perform ‘puja’ at home. Commemorating Goddess Parvati’s union with Lord Shiva, the festival is celebrated for marital bliss, the well-being of spouse and children and purification of own body and soul. the festival is a three-day-long celebration that combines sumptuous feasts as well as rigid fasting.

– by Akansha Sharma of NewsGram. Twitter: Akansha4117

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