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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 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 Halahala during churning of Ocean. Image source:

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.

The Churning of the Ocean. Image source:

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).

Narali Poornima. Image source:

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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:

  • 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, 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, 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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Israeli Ambassador Naor Gilon said that the Pegasus snooping issue is India's internal matter.

Israeli Ambassador Naor Gilon on Thursday said that the Pegasus snooping issue is India's internal matter.

The NSO is a private company and it has a license to sell its software to the government entities only, he added.

Gilon said: "This is an internal issue of India and I can't speak beyond this point. This is the only main requirement that... under the requirements, they cannot sell it to non-governmental actors".

Responding to a query if the Indian government will contact them, he said that he has no idea whether the Indian government has contacted them or not.

Referring to the explosion that took place last year near the Israeli embassy in Delhi, he said that the perpetrators are yet to be nabbed; however, the investigating agencies of both countries are cooperating with each other.

"We are thankful to the government of India for providing security to all embassy personnel," Gilon said.

Talking about the newly-formed quad with Israel, India, the US, and UAE, the Ambassador said it is totally an economic forum based on mutual cooperation among the participant countries.

"It has nothing to do with the military component as of now," he added.

Talking about Afghanistan, Gilon said that the country should not be used for extremism.

"There should not be any human rights violation and women and children should not suffer there", he commented.

Saying that Israel is a technologically sound country but it cannot go for industrial manufacturing, the partnership between India and Israel can work better for industrial productions.

Sharing the details of the recently-concluded visit of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, he said that the visit was most successful in terms of bilateral relations.

Jaishankar met all important Ministers of the Israeli government and also met the Indian Diaspora, the Indian Jews who have recently settled there.

"It was a very warm visit, very friendly which I think emphasized the strategic partnership declared during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Israel. I think that the visit was in the spotlight of 30 years of diplomatic relations which we are going to celebrate on January 29 next year," Gilon added. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Israel Politics, Indian Diaspora, Pegasus issues, Pegasus snooping issue, a partnership between India and Israel.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The Sher Bahadur Deuba governmentrecommended veteran diplomat Shanker Sharma as the next ambassador to India.

The Sher Bahadur Deuba government on Thursday recommended veteran diplomat Shanker Sharma as the next ambassador to India.

Sharma earlier served as Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission and Nepal's Ambassador to the United States of America from 2009 to 2013.

The post in the New Delhi embassy of Nepal fell vacant recently after Deuba recalled the ambassadors from 12 countries including India. The outgoing ambassador, Nilamber Acharya has already returned to Kathmandu.

Sharma has extensive experience in government, international institutions, and economic research. Before joining the National Planning Commission as a member in 1997, he worked as a Senior Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Nepal; a Senior Economist in the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore; and a Fellow in the East-West Center, Hawaii. He also served as a Professor of Economics in the Centre for Economic Development and Administration, Tribhuvan University.

He worked regionally and globally for many organizations, such as the UNESCAP, World Bank, and ASEAN. Sharma is close confident of Prime Minister Deuba. (IANS/JB)

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that 2022 will be celebrated as the friendship year for India and ASEAN countries

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced that 2022 will be celebrated as the friendship year for India and ASEAN countries as both have completed 30 years of partnership.

The event will coincide with India's celebrations of the 75th year of Independence from the colonial regime, he added.

While participating in the 18th edition of the India-ASEAN Summit, Modi said, "India is committed to deepening its relations with the next presidency, Cambodia and country-coordinator Singapore."

"History is witness to the fact that India and ASEAN have had relations for thousands of years. India-ASEAN relations are reflected in everything, including in our shared values, traditions, languages, scriptures, architecture, culture, food," the Prime Minister noted.

Speaking about the Covid pandemic which engulfed the whole world, he further said that the Covid period was also a test of India-ASEAN friendship. "Our mutual ties in the Covid time will keep strengthening our corporations in future and form a base for goodwill between our people," Modi added.

He further said that the unity and centrality of ASEAN have always been a priority for India and history has witnessed the fact that "we have had ties since thousands of years," he said.

The Prime Minister also said that India's Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) and ASEAN's Outlook for the Indo-Pacific are the framework for their shared vision and mutual cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

During the Summit, the head of the member states will review the progress of India and ASEAN Strategic Partnerships which was signed in 2012. They will also review the progress achieved in the sectors like Covid-19, health, trade and investment, connectivity, education among others, the officials of India's Ministry of External Affairs said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: India, and ASEAN partnership, COVID-19, India, and ASEAN, India, and history, Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative.