Mondays in the Hindi month of Shravan or Shrawan (July – August) is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Hindus in North Indiaobserve Shravan Mas Somvar Vrata or Sravan Somavara Upvaas. In this month, Shivling is bathed with holy water from River Ganga. Fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset on all Mondays in the month. In 2016, ShravanSomvar days are July 25, August 1, August 8 and August 15 as per traditional calendar followed in North India.
In Maharashtra and Gujarat, Shravan Somvar Vrat in 2016 is on August 8, August 15, August 22 and August 29.
Married women observe the fast for a happy and long married life. Unmarried women observe it for getting good husbands. Men observe it for a happy and peaceful life. Those who observe fast eat only a single vegetarian meal.Shivlinga is bathed with Ganga water or milk at temples. Devotees also offer flowers or Bilva or Bel leaves to the Shivalingam.
Mondays in Hindu religion is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The importance of Shravan Somvar is because it is believed that the Samudra Manthan (Churning of Ocean) took place in this month and Lord Shiva drank the poison Hala Hala to save the world during this period.
Offering milk to Lord Shiva in this month is considered highly auspicious. People also worship Goddess Parvati, Ganesha and Lord Kartik in this month.
In South India, the Mondays in Kartik month (October – November) is considered highly auspicious and similar rituals are observed.
Sri Somavara Vrata
One of the name of Lord shiva is soma – saha uma. For the Lord someshvara Who wears the soma, the moon crescent on the matted hair, on the somavara day (Monday), this festival is observed.
Though all Mondays can be observed as vrata there are speacial mondays when it is much more emphasised to observe like the shrAvaNa somvAr and kArthikai sOmavAram. According to skandha purANa, on the Mondays of the month kArthikai (mid Nov to mid Dec) this vrata is observed.
Way of observing
Getting up at the dawn one meditates on the Supreme shiva. After taking bath and having done the morning twilight salutation, praying the Auspicious and Graceful Lord shiva, worships the couples who are devotees of the Lord, chaste and loveful as the Divines couple pArvati-paramEshawara themselves. Saluting those couples, offering them feast, the observer of this vratam eats only one time food that day. If unable to do the worship, then one would go to the temple and salute and pray the umA-maheshwara. Anointing the Lord with panychAmR^itam and other pleasent substances, hailing the Lord offering bilvaleaves, not being money-minded offering the nice food materials to the Lord, sharing the food with the kind hearted devotees one eats the food. One may fast also completely.
One who observes this vratam would get to enjoy many pleasures in this world and finally would reach the kailAsham. The moon observed this vratam and got his “moonness”. He saluted the Lord gauri- shankara and requested that this vratam be called soma vAra vratam (One of the names of the moon is soma. One of the name of Lord shiva with goddess umA is also soma) and whoever follows this vratam should get their wishes materialised by the grace of the Lord and finally should get the liberation. God granted the boon.
Long ago a princess called sIman^thini was observing this vratam regularly. Then two young boys cunningly came as if they were a married couple. The princess worshiped them. The young boys really became male and female couple ! The austerous sage vaShiShTa got the chaste arun^thadhi as his wife. One gets blessed by the shiva-shakti on observing this vratam sincerely.
பைங்கண்வாள் அரவணை யவனொடு பனிமல ரோனுங்காணா அங்கணா அருளென அவரவர் முறைமுறை யிறைஞ்சநின்றார் சங்கநான் மறையவர் நிறைதர அரிவையர் ஆடல்பேணத் திங்கள்நாள் விழமல்கு திருநெல்வே லியுறை செல்வர்தாமே. 3.92.9
IF TOLD SIMPLY- WORSHIPPING SHIVALING IN YOUR OWN HOME BRINGS AUSPICIOUS MARRITAL LIFE.
PLEASE READ THE OTHER NOTES ON- THE INNER MEANING OF SHIVALING
Shivling or Shiva lingam connects a devotee with the Supreme Being – Lord Shiva. The lingam is the symbol of Lord Shiva and the lingam puja helps the devotee in understanding Lord Shiva. The Lord cannot be described but still we say he is without a beginning and an end and is without a form. It is difficult for a devotee to understand this formless nature. Therefore Lord Shiva appeared in the form of Jyotirlinga before Brahma and Vishnu. The Lingam thus is a symbol of Lord Shiva. Each Lingam puja, step by step, takes the devotee to the eternal truth – that he/she is part of the Supreme Being.