The auspicious month of Sawan holds significant importance in the Hindu calendar, especially for devotees of Lord Shiva. It marks the arrival of the rainy season in India, bringing with it a sense of renewal and spiritual significance. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the start date of Sawan, its customs, rituals, and the various ways in which it is celebrated across the country.

Understanding Sawan:
Sawan, also known as Shravan, is the fifth month in the Hindu lunar calendar and is considered one of the holiest months for Hindus. It is believed to be a time when Lord Shiva drank the poison Halahala to save the world, hence earning him the title of Neelkanth. This act is commemorated during the month of Sawan with various rituals and offerings dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Sawan Start Date:
The start date of Sawan varies each year according to the Hindu calendar. In 2021, the month of Sawan is expected to begin on July 25th and will continue till August 22nd. Devotees eagerly await the arrival of Sawan as it is a time for fasting, prayer, and seeking blessings from Lord Shiva.

Significance of Sawan:
– Sawan is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the destroyer of evil and the transformer.
– It is believed that offering prayers and fasting during this month can bring prosperity and fulfillment of desires.
– Many devotees undertake Kanwar Yatra, where they travel to rivers to fetch holy water and bathe Lord Shiva’s idol.

Rituals and Customs:
During the month of Sawan, devotees follow various rituals and customs to show their devotion to Lord Shiva. Some of the common practices include:
1. Fasting: Many devotees observe fasts on Mondays, known as Shravan Somvar, to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva.
2. Offerings: Offerings of milk, water, bael leaves, and flowers are made to the Shiva Lingam.
3. Kanwar Yatra: Devotees carry decorated pots filled with holy water on their shoulders and walk to Shiva temples to offer it.

Celebrations Across India:
Sawan is celebrated with great fervor across India, with each region having its unique way of observing the month. Some of the notable celebrations include:
Kanwar Yatra in North India: Devotees from states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand undertake the Kanwar Yatra to fetch holy water from the Ganges and offer it to Lord Shiva.
Ritual Bathing in South India: In states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, devotees take ritual baths in rivers and temples to seek Lord Shiva’s blessings.
Month-long Fasting in West India: In Maharashtra and Gujarat, many devotees fast throughout the month of Sawan and visit Shiva temples regularly.

Importance of Prayers:
Prayers form an integral part of the Sawan celebrations. Devotees recite mantras, sing bhajans, and perform aartis to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. It is believed that sincere prayers during this month can bring peace, prosperity, and happiness into one’s life.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

  1. Q: Is fasting mandatory during Sawan?
    A: Fasting during Sawan is not mandatory, but many devotees choose to observe fasts on specific days to show their devotion to Lord Shiva.

  2. Q: What is the significance of offering bael leaves to Lord Shiva?
    A: Bael leaves are considered sacred and are believed to please Lord Shiva when offered during prayers.

  3. Q: Can anyone participate in the Kanwar Yatra?
    A: The Kanwar Yatra is usually undertaken by devotees who have faith in Lord Shiva and wish to seek his blessings.

  4. Q: Are there any specific mantras to be recited during Sawan?
    A: Various mantras like the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra and the Om Namah Shivaya mantra are commonly recited during Sawan.

  5. Q: How long is the Sawan month celebrated for?
    A: The month of Sawan typically lasts for around 30 days, starting from the new moon day and ending on the next new moon day.

In conclusion, the month of Sawan holds immense spiritual significance for followers of Lord Shiva. It is a time of prayer, fasting, and seeking blessings from the divine. By understanding the start date of Sawan, its rituals, customs, and significance, devotees can make the most of this auspicious month and deepen their connection with Lord Shiva. May this Sawan bring peace, prosperity, and spiritual growth to all who observe its traditions.


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