Thursday Oct 6, 2022
Thursday Oct 6, 2022

Devotees celebrate Shrawan's last Monday

Picture Source: RSS

Today marks the last Monday of the month Shrawan (4th month in the Hindu/Nepalese calendar). Hindu devotees are queuing up in Shiva temples all over the country to worship the Hindu deity.

Monday, known as Sombaar in Devanagiri, is derived from the Sanskrit name ‘Soma’ which translates to Lord Shiva. On this day, Hindu people observe fasting and worship Lord Shiva. Mondays of Shrawan in particular are believed to be very auspicious. Additionally, it is considered even more auspicious if there are five Mondays in the Shrawan month, as it doesn’t happen every year.

The month of Shrawan also marks the start of many festivals for the next seven months until Maghe Sakranti (1st day of the month of Magh). Fasting on Mondays during Shrawan resembles devotion toward Lord Shiva. It is believed that these fastings help to cleanse the soul and revitalize the physiology of the human body.

There are two types of Monday fasting prevalent among Hindu devotees. One is for the month of Shrawan only and the other one is “16 Somvaar Brata” (fasting for 16 Mondays). The fasting starts from the 1st Somvaar (Monday) of Shrawan month and continues for the next consecutive 16 Mondays.

Though anyone can observe the fast, it is most popular among women; especially unmarried ones. It is believed that fasting helps unmarried women get the life partner of their preference. Married women, on the other hand, are found observing the fast asking for the prosperity, peace, and well-being of their family members.

According to Hindu mythology, this time of the year is when Lord Shiva drank the poison extracted during elixir/potion mining in the ocean (Samundra Manthan). Goddess Parvati is believed to have observed the fasting and got Lord Shiva as her husband.

Apart from religious significance, the month of Shrawan also has other important features:

1. Green Lush Nature

After heavy monsoon and paddy plantation in the muddy fields, people rest and relax during this month. There is less muddy work to be done this month. Forests are greener and hills are covered by grassy meadows this month.

2. Months for Mehendi/Tiuri, green bangles & gifts

After all the field chores during the core monsoon period, people usually get more free time during this time of the year. Women decorate their hands and legs with Mehendi or tiuri. It is said that the woman with dark and strong Mehendi will be loved more by her husband.

Women wear colorful bangles, especially green, yellow and red on their hands. Their partners offer various ornaments and gifts to them as well this month.

3. Learning to Listen

Shrawan means to listen in Nepali Devanagari. Therefore, the month teaches us to listen more and be knowledgeable by listening more rather than talking.

4. Longer Days & Shorter Nights

Days start to get shorter and nights become longer from this month.

5. Month of festivals

Shrawan is a month full of festivals. Naag Panchami, Raksha Bandhan, Janai Purnima, Sombare Brata, Krishnajanmastami, Gaijatra, Shrawane Sakranti, 16 Sombara aarambha, etc. fall on this month.

As the sun rises, the fast begins and it ends with the sunset. Devotees offer pure water, milk, flowers, and fruits to Shiva Statue (Shiva Linga). During fasting, people consume only water, fruit juice/fruits, and herbs. The staple food is taken only after praying to Lord Shiva again after the sunset.

The chanting of “Om Namah Shivaya'' endows positive vibes around people. This five-syllable chant is the most used chant while worshiping lord Shiva. However, some people recite the Mahamrityunjay chant as well.


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