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Shravan, which is also called the month of Shiva, is often also known as the month of festivals. Women, both married as well as unmarried, wait for the onset of the month and start making preparations well in advance. This month holds religious significance in Hinduism.
This also marks the change of the season from summer to monsoon. The changed season adds beauty to the celebrations that go on throughout the month. The month of Shravan will begin from July 17th 2019 and goes on till August 15th 2019.
Different Names Of The Month
This month is known as Avani in the Tamil calendar. In the lunar religious calendar, it is the fourth month and is known as Sharavan. This month is called Adimasa in other parts of South India. It is known as Srabona in the north-eastern region of India including West Bengal.
Shiva Drank The Halahal Poison During Shravan Month
This month is particularly associated with Lord Shiva. A month when married women pray for the well-being of their husbands to Lord Shiva and the unmarried women worship him in order to get a good and desired husband. The men offer their prayers as they carry Kanwars on their shoulders and go for Kanwar Yatra travelling to Haridwar, Gangotri and Gaumukh to fetch the water of the river Ganga.
Religiously speaking, the month of Shravan was the time when the gods and the demons set for churning the milk of the ocean. This month is the time when Lord Shiva drank the halahal poison.
When Goddess Lakshmi, disappointed with Lord Vishnu, left his abode, Lord Brahma suggested that the only remedy was to churn the milk of the ocean, Kshirsagar. For this task, the gods would need extra effort and, therefore, asked the demons to help them. The demons agreed on the condition that the nectar extracted from the ocean must be shared equally between the demons and the gods.
Thus, all the demons and the gods churned the Kshirsagar. But before the nectar and Goddess Lakshmi, the vessel of poison appeared, which had the potential to destroy most of those present there. To protect the lives of all, Lord Shiva drank the poison, knowing that the effect of the poison would be negligible on him. His throat became blue and then the colour spread to the rest of his body. Shiva now needed water and the water of river Ganga was brought to him.
That is why Lord Shiva is also known as Neelkanth, where "neel" means "blue" and "kanth" refers to "throat" in Hindi. To celebrate that day, Lord Shiva, in the form of a Shivalinga, is offered coconut water in the month of Shravan. Since the day he drank the milk was a Monday, Monday of Shravan month is particularly dedicated to him.
Thus, Shravan month is associated with Lord Shiva. Men, women and girls all worship him with high devotion and dedication. For Lord Shiva, it is believed that he can be pleased with minimal offerings, more so in the auspicious month of Shravan. Thus, this month, Lord Shiva will fulfil all the wishes of his devotees.
Festivals And Fasts In The Month Of Shravan
Though the whole month in itself is a festival, a number of other auspicious days, fasts and festivals will add to the religious fervour. Festivals such as Kamika Ekadashi, Hariyali Teej, Nag Panchami, Shravan Putrada Ekadashi, Raksha Bandhan, Gayatri Jayanti, Kalki Jayanti, Hayagriva Jayanti, Naralim Purnima and Sanskrit Diwas are all celebrated in the month of Shravan.
There are four types of fasts that can be followed by people during the Shravan month. Such as, Shravan Somvaar Vrat on all Mondays, Mangal Gowri Vrat on all Tuesdays and Varamahalakshmi Vrat on all the Fridays, along with the Ekadashi fasts, are observed by Hindus across the globe.
About the dates and the significance of the festivals in this month, we will let you know in another article.