Shravan, also called Sawan, is the fifth month in the Hindu calendar. It is a period of austerity and fasting, when people devote themselves to the worship of Lord Shiva, the god of destruction. Devotees believe pleasing Shiva during the month of Shravan will ensure prosperity and happiness in life. This year, Shravan begins on July 25. With it, the four-month-long Chaumasa, anauspicious period, starts in the Indian Subcontinent. The next three months are Bhadrapada, Ashwin and Kartik.
According to Vedic astrology, Shravan is said to set in when Sun enters the zodiac sign Leo. The Lunar Calendar says the holy month begins with the New Moon Day. During this holy month, it is believed that the cosmos is supercharged with Shiva's elements and they help in purifying the mind, the body and the soul.
Hindu epics say that Shiva once drank poison to save the world, which caused him to turn blue. He had to drink the holy water from the Ganges to cure himself. So many devotees, called kanwariyas, transport water from the sacred river to honour Him during Shravan. After the puja, people meet and greet each other and share prasada.
As the coronavirus pandemic has forced people to maintain social distance, here are a few messages you can use to wish others as the auspicious month begins:
1. May Lord Shiva give power and strength to everyone. Wishing you and your family Happy Shravan!
2. May Lord Shiva bless you with success, happiness, peace and prosperity this Sawan. Happy Shravan!
3. There is no difference between the soul and Shiva. Your true nature is Shiva, and Shiva is peace, infinity, beauty and the non-dual one. Happy Shravan!
4. May the almighty Lord Shiva bless you all good health. Happy Shravan!
5. May the glory of the Shiva remind us of our capabilities and help us attain success.