Sawan Somwar is an event that embodies the essence of spirituality in India, attracting devotees from all corners. Recognized primarily in the Northern and Central regions of India, this sacred day is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva during the holy month of Shravan or Sawan.
7 Facts You Must Know about Sawan Somwar
During Sawan, Mondays (or Somwar in Hindi) hold exceptional importance and are observed with utmost devotion. In this article, we'll be delving into the depths of Sawan Somwar - the significance, history, associated gods and stories, special foods, and the process of worship.
Significance of Sawan Somwar
Sawan Somwar holds great significance in the Hindu religion as devotees observe fasts and perform prayers to show their devotion towards Lord Shiva. This month is considered highly auspicious and it's believed that praying to Lord Shiva during Sawan grants all wishes and leads to spiritual growth. Moreover, Sawan is known as the month of the union of Shiva and Parvati, adding to its importance.
Historically, Sawan Somwar holds a profound space in Hindu scriptures. This tradition dates back to ancient times and has been mentioned in the Puranas. According to legends, the Samudra Manthan (churning of the ocean) took place during this month and the deadly poison, Halahala, was consumed by Lord Shiva to save the universe, which turned his throat blue.
Though Lord Shiva is primarily worshipped during Sawan Somwar, Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva’s consort, is also honoured. Known as the Goddess of love and devotion, it's believed that she performed intense penance and observed fasts during Shravan month to be united with Shiva. Hence, unmarried girls often observe fasts on this day seeking a good life partner.
Special Food for Sawan Somwar
During Sawan, devotees observing fasts usually consume food items that are permissible during fasting like sabudana khichdi, kuttu ka atta, singhare ka atta, fruits, milk, and other dairy products. It's also customary to consume ‘Falhaar’ meals that include fruits and water, sago, potato, and food made from Rajgira flour. It's believed that the consumption of these foods detoxifies the body and enhances spiritual purity.
On Sawan Somwar, devotees wake up early, take a holy bath, and wear clean clothes. They visit Shiva temples or create a peaceful environment at home for worship. They offer water or milk to the Shivalinga and apply sandalwood paste to it. Bilva leaves, which are dear to Lord Shiva, are offered, and fasts are observed. Devotees also recite the 'Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra' to seek blessings from Shiva.
Importance of Kanwar Yatra
Kanwar Yatra is an annual pilgrimage carried out by Shiva devotees, known as Kanwariyas. They travel barefoot to fetch holy water from the river Ganga, often from Haridwar, Gangotri, or Gaumukh, to offer to Shivalinga in their local Shiva temples. The Yatra takes place during the Sawan month, emphasizing the significance of Sawan Somwar.
Solah Somwar Vrat
Solah Somwar Vrat is a 16-week Monday fast observed by devotees, particularly by unmarried women for a good life partner. The fast begins on the first Monday of Sawan. Devotees listen to Solah Somwar Vrat Katha as a part of the fasting ritual.
Sawan Somwar stands as a symbol of devotion, love, and the divine union of Shiva and Parvati. The sacred practices observed during this holy day are much more than mere rituals; they are a gateway to understanding India's rich culture and spiritual depth.
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