Sawan Somvar, also known as Shravan Somvar, is a significant day dedicated to Lord Shiva in the Hindu calendar. It falls on Mondays during the month of Sawan (Shravan), which usually occurs between July and August. Devotees observe fasting and perform special rituals on these Mondays to seek blessings from Lord Shiva.
Here are some common practices followed during Sawan Somvar:
- Fasting: Devotees observe a fast on Sawan Somvar from sunrise to sunset. Some people follow a strict fast, abstaining from food and water throughout the day, while others may consume only fruits, milk, or light meals. The fast is observed to express devotion and seek the blessings of Lord Shiva.
- Puja and Abhishek: Devotees visit Shiva temples and perform special puja (worship) rituals on Sawan Somvar. They offer prayers, chant mantras, and perform abhishek (ritual bathing) of the Shiva linga with water, milk, honey, and other sacred substances. It is believed that performing abhishek with holy water and offerings pleases Lord Shiva and brings blessings.
- Rudra Abhishek: Some devotees perform Rudra Abhishek, which involves reciting the Rudra Sukta or Rudram and offering various sacred items to Lord Shiva. This elaborate ritual is considered highly auspicious and is believed to invoke the divine blessings and grace of Lord Shiva.
- Fervent Prayer and Bhajans: Devotees engage in fervent prayer, singing devotional songs (bhajans), and reciting hymns dedicated to Lord Shiva. Many people also participate in group chanting of Shiva mantras, such as the “Om Namah Shivaya” mantra.
- Wearing Rudraksha and Offering Bilva Leaves: Some devotees wear Rudraksha beads, which are considered sacred to Lord Shiva, on Sawan Somvar. Additionally, offering Bilva leaves (Bel Patra) to the Shiva linga is considered highly auspicious and is believed to please Lord Shiva.
- Observing Vrat Katha: Devotees may gather to listen to or narrate stories and legends associated with Lord Shiva, such as the Samudra Manthan (Churning of the Ocean) and the wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
It is important to note that specific rituals and customs may vary based on regional traditions and personal beliefs. Devotees observe Sawan Somvar with utmost devotion and faith, seeking blessings, and expressing their love for Lord Shiva.