July 03rd 2012 is the beginning of the Shravan month in 2012 according to the North of India. Shravan is the 1st month in the series of the Chaturmaas(read about the Chaturmas here). It is the 5th month in the Hindu lunar calender, one marked by auspicious activities and poojas.
Pujas dedicated to Lord Shiva and all the animals that are dear to Him are worshipped this month. Shravan Somavar(the Mondays of the month of Shravan) are highly revered and special pujas and archanas are done on this day to please Shambu- Bholenath. The Ujjain Tryambakeshwar Shiva temple amidst the chanting of the Maha Rudram, offers Panchamrut and several other abhisheks to Lord Shiva.
Next comes NagaPanchami, another festival for the Snake God- dear to Lord Shiva. Then comes Pola- when the bullocks are worshipped for helping the farmer- a symbol of Nandi, the carrier of Lord Shiva, the emissary who sits in front of the Shiva Ling, guarding the Lord.
Importance of Shravan Month
As we have already discussed, the Chaturmaas- the month when Shravan actually falls in, is a month of austerity and simplicity. People observe fasts and prayers in this holy month. This is the time when Lord Shiva drank the poisonous Halahala that emanated from the churning of the ocean(Samudra Manthan) for the quest of the Nectar(ambrosia). As he drank the poison, Goddess Parvati held his neck to stop him from drinking it and he held it in his throat, making it go blue- Hence the name – Neelakantha (the One with the Blue throat).
In Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, Shravan month begins on23rd July, 2012 and ends on August 17, 2012.
Ways to Observe the Shravan rituals:
- Observe fast and abstain from meat, eggs, onion
- Observe Mauna Vrat(silence in speech) atleast for a few hours of the day.
- Eat austere and stay simple
- Wake up early and visit Shiva temple and offer