New Delhi: With the chant of ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ echoing in the temples, the auspicious month of Sawan (Shravan) began on Monday.
Shravan, the fifth month in the Hindu calendar, is considered to be the most auspicious month of the year. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva who, according to Hindu religious beliefs, is the creator, preserver, and destroyer of this universe.
While Lord Shiva is worshiped on Mondays throughout the year, Somwar or Mondays during this particular month are considered highly significant and auspicious. The festival is predominantly celebrated in North Indian states.
There will be four Mondays falling in the month of Sawan this year- 22 July, 29 July, 5 August and 12 August. On these holy days, devotees will worship Lord Shiva and seek his divine guidance.
On these ‘sawan ke somwar’ (Mondays falling in the month of Shravan), to please their Lord, devotees observe a special fast and throng Shiva temples across to offer fruits, flowers, and milk to the Shivaling, an iconic representation of Shiva- one of the deities of Hindu triumvirate.
Long queues of Shiva lovers were seen at various temples to Him since the break of the dawn today.
Following the traditional rituals, people were seen offering bael leaves and milk to ‘Shivling,’ while chanting various mantras dedicated to their Lord.
With the belief that their ‘Bholenath’ (a name used by devotees for Lord Shiva) will listen to their prayers and take all their troubles away, many Hindus were seen visiting Gauri Shankar temple, situated in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk.
Mankameshwar temple, situated on the banks of river Yamuna, in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj, was also crowded with pious devotees who came to offer prayers to their Lord.
A long queue of Shiva worshipers was seen outside Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. Mahakaleshwar temple, according to Hindu religious believes, is one of the 12 most auspicious Shiva temples across the country.
In addition to fruits, flowers, and milk, priests here were seen offering ‘Bhabhuti’ (ashes) to the ‘Lingam.’
The ‘Lingam’ worshipped at this temple is believed to be ‘swayambhu’ (self-manifested), as opposed to various other lingams which are ritually established after an elaborate prayer ceremony.
Similar fervour was seen in various temples across Haryana, Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh and the festivities will continue till the last Monday of Shravan month.