The month of Sawan or Shravan, which comes after Aashad as per the Hindu calendar, is currently underway. During this month, the worshippers of Lord Shiva seek blessings by observing fasts, offering prayers, and paying visits to temples. While the entire month is special for devotees of Lord Shiva, the Mondays are particularly significant. They observe the Somwar vrat on all four Mondays of Sawan. The third Somwar vrat of this year's Sawan is today (August 9). The worshippers of Lord Shiva pray and believe that the more devoted and dedicated they are, the more prosperity and happiness will come their way.
Third Somwar vrat
The four Mondays are of special importance for devotees and August 9 is when the third Somwar vrat will be observed. For devotees, it's not just about observing fasts but also visiting temples and immersing themselves in the worship of Lord Shiva while following certain dos and don'ts. While the first Somwar vrat of Shravan fell on July 26, the fourth will be observed on August 16.
Auspicious and inauspicious muhurta
For worshippers, muhurta is another significant part of their faith. This year, according to Panchang, the auspicious occasion -- Abhijit Muhurta -- is predicted to be between 11.59 am and 12.53 pm, while the inauspicious occasion -- Rahu Kaal -- falls between 07:26 am and 09:53 am.
Significance of the month and Somwar vrat
During the month, the worshippers wake up early in the morning, take a bath, visit a temple and offer prayers. While most of the devotees observe fast on Mondays, many do it the entire month, for they see it as an integral part of their faith and devotion to God.
Prayers and mantras
The devotees of Lord Shiva observe fast, eat only fruits, and drink water. They are, at the same time, are expected not to consume alcohol. Non-veg, as well as food items containing ginger and garlic, are also avoided.
All over the country, they visit temples and chant mantras, including "Om Namah Shivaya". Besides, as part of the ritual, they offer a mixture of milk, yogurt, ghee, gangajal, and honey called Panchamrut, along with bilva leaves to Lord Shiva. Every Monday, Shravan Somwar Vrata Katha is also recited.