Shravan is considered as the holiest month of the year, it is fifth month in the Hindu calendar. It is believed that one can be blessed with grace of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu during this holy month. The word “Shiva” connotes Kalyan (welfare). From ancient times it has been belief of hindus that the cosmos is super charged with Shiva tattvas (Shiva elements) that purify the mind, the senses, the body and the self (Soul) through the rituals dedicated to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is the main God in the worship of Panchadev (The Five Gods).
The legend of Shravan Maas Shiva Puja is referred to the ‘Samudra Manthan’ which was performed during the month of Shravan. When poison emitted from the ocean while it was being churned by gods and demons. The understanding was that whatever comes out during churning of ocean will be shared equally between gods and demons but none of them agreed to accept the poison. Gods and Demons decided to throw away the poison but Lord Shiva prevented it by saying that if the poison is thrown away it could be the cause of Earth’s end. So to prevent that from happening Lord Shiva consumed the poison himself. Lord Shiva held the poison in his neck and due to that his neck turned blue in colour. He came to be known as “Neelkanth” meaning blue throat. Afterwards all the gods offered Gangajal (water from river ganga) to Lord Shiva to minify the effect of poison.
Significance of Shravan Maas:
1. Shravan Maas is marked by the appearance of the Shravan constellation of stars in the sky. Performing the Lord’s worship during this auspicious month can bring several great benefits to the lives of devotees, who are blessed by the grace of Shiva.
2. It is the month that is associated with the monsoon season which is crucial to the harvesting of crops and the prevention of droughts. Thus Shravan Maas is considered to be especially significant for gaining the blessings of the Gods.
3. The Mondays of Shravan Maas or Shravan Somvars are the most auspicious days for Lord Shiva’s worship. Performing Rudrabhishek pooja during Shravan Somvars can help one attain great physical and spiritual wellbeing.
4. The Saturdays of Shravan Maas or Shravan Shanivars are also great occasions for the worship of Lord Shani. Performing Tailabhishekam on Shanidev at Shani temples (especially at Shingnapur) can eliminate the negative effects of Shani Dosh.
5. Fasting on Mondays is a ritual that is followed by most devotees of Lord Shiva during the holy month of Shravan. Devotees take baths in the morning, visit Shiva temples and take part in the worship ceremonies to seek the Lord’s powerful blessings.
Rituals followed in Shravan Month:
• Bhibhuti is considered very important if offered to lord Shiva. Some of it should be smeared on the forehead as well.
• Offer panchamrit (a mixture of milk, curd, butter or ghee, honey and jaggery) and bael leaves to Shiva linga.
• Chant the shiva chalisa and perform regular aarti of lord Shiva.
• Chanting the Mahamritunjay mantra is very auspicious.
• Feeding fresh green grass to cows, buffalo (specifically) during the Shravan month attracts prosperity and opens opportunities for success.
• For those experiencing health issues, chanting ‘Mahamrityunjay Jap’ daily for 108 times, is beneficial. Those who can manage can also perform ‘Mahamrityunjay Havana’ every Shravan Somvar.
• Month of Shravan is also considered auspicious and holy, due to many Hindu festivals falling within this month, like Krishna Janmashtami, Raksha Bandhan, Naag Panchami, and Teej.