New Delhi: The holy month of Sawan or Shravan began with much gusto and fervour on July 17 this year. Lord Shiva's bhakts immerse themselves in utmost devotion to the god and goddess Parvati, seeking abundant blessings for their loved ones.
As per Hindi calendar, Shivratri takes place every month. It usually falls on the 13th night/14th day of the month. However, 'Maha Shivaratri' is different. It is celebrated once a year either in February or March (Magha), before the arrival of Summer.
The Shivratri which takes place during the auspicious month of Sawan is known as Sawan or Shravan Shivratri. This year it is celebrated on July 30.
Devotees throng Shiva-Parvati temples in huge numbers from early morning and offer water (jal) or Ganga Jal to the god (Shivalinga).
During the month of Shravan or Sawan, devotees observe fasts on Mondays and visit Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati temples. Special pujas are also conducted in some temples during Shravan month. Gangajal Abhishekam is performed by various bhakts during this time.
Sawan Shivaratri is more popular in North Indian states - Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar where Purnimant Lunar Calendar is followed. In Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu where Amavasyant Lunar Calendar is followed Sawan Shivaratri corresponds to Ashadha Shivaratri.
Sawan Shivratri Puja Timings:
According to Drikpanchang.com, here are the puja timings:
Sawan Shivaratri on Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Nishita Kaal Puja Time - 12:07 AM to 12:50 AM, Jul 31
Duration - 00 Hours 42 Mins
On 31st Jul, Shivaratri Parana Time - 05:47 AM to 11:57 AM
Ratri First Prahar Puja Time - 07:10 PM to 09:49 PM
Ratri Second Prahar Puja Time - 09:49 PM to 12:28 AM, Jul 31
Ratri Third Prahar Puja Time - 12:28 AM to 03:08 AM, Jul 31
Ratri Fourth Prahar Puja Time - 03:08 AM to 05:47 AM, Jul 31
Chaturdashi Tithi Begins - 02:49 PM on Jul 30, 2019
Chaturdashi Tithi Ends - 11:57 AM on Jul 31, 2019
Popular Shiva temples such as Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi and Badrinath Dham Temple organise special puja arrangements during the auspicious month of Sawan.
A day before Shivratri fast, devotees usually consume food only one time. On Shivaratri day, after performing the morning rituals, a Sankalp has to be taken which means a full day fasting on Shivaratri. During Sankalp, devotees pledge for self-determination throughout the fasting period and seek the blessings of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati to finish the fast without any interference and obstacle.
On Shivratri, devotees take the second bath in the evening before sitting for the Shiva Puja or visiting the temple. The puja is conducted during the night and devotees break the fast next day after taking a bath. Hariyali Amavasya, an auspicious day during Shravan month, falls one or two days after Sawan Shivaratri.
During the month of Shravan or Sawan, several devotees set out on a yatra by foot, popularly known as 'Kanwar Yatra'. In the Kanwar Yatra, bhakts carrying sacred water in pitchers that are tied to a bamboo pole set out on a spiritual journey. The pole is carried by devotees who balance it on their shoulders without letting the pitchers on either side move from its position.
They fill the pitchers with holy water from different Shiva temples they come across while travelling. Usually, they travel on foot to Haridwar and Gangotri for holy water from Shiva-Parvati temples. The devotees also sing and dance while on their spiritual journey.
Har Har Mahadev!