Sawan or Shravan is the holiest month of Hindu calendar and has special significance among Hindus, especially the devotees of Lord Shiva. Savan is the fifth month of the Hindu year, usually beginning from the full moon in late July and ending in the third week of August. This year according to North Indian calendar, Savan begins from July 10 and ends on August 7. According to Telegu, Kannada, Marathi and Gujarati calendar, Savan begins on July 24 and ends on August 21. During this time, Mondays or Shravan Somwar are considered highly auspicious for fasting and worshipping Lord Shiva. We bring to you some simple steps on how to observe sawan vrat, vrat dates and the puja vidhi or procedure.
Savan Vrat Dates
As per the North Indian calendar, the sawan somwar vrat dates for this year are – July 10, July 17, July 24, July 31 and August 7.
In Marathi, Gujarati, Telegu and Kannada calendar, the vrat dates are- July 24, July 31, August 7, August 14 and August 21.
Puja Vidhi/ Rituals
During this time, devotees of Lord Shiva get up early in the morning and take a shower in order to wash away all their sins. The puja starts with a resolution to not think or do anything wrong. Lord Ganesha is prayed to before starting the main puja as he is the one to be worshipped first among all Hindu deities.
The main puja begins with dhyana or meditation in which we pray to Lord Shiva. Next, Lord Shiva is offered a bath with gangajal or holy water which is known as Shuddhodaka Snana. In the next step, we offer milk, honey, ghee and curd to the Shivalinga. Various other things like bel petra or Bilva leaves, bhaang, dhoop, sandalwood, fruits and fresh flowers are also offered while chanting the mantras.
Some devotees also read the Savan Somwar ‘vrat katha’ which is the marvellous story of the journey of Lord Shiva from life to eternity. There are many versions of this Katha and each story ends with the conclusion about how on observing Savan Vrat for sixteen consecutive Mondays (Solah Somwar), devotees of Lord Shiva managed to appease him and were released of their curses or bad fortune.
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