Pradeep Pattanayak

Shravan, the fifth month in the Hindu calendar, is considered as one of the holiest months of the year because it is Lord Shiva’s auspicious period and He is worshipped during the entire month. 

Since Mondays (Somvar) are dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Mondays falling in the Shravan month are considered even more propitious. Devotees across the country throng Shiva shrines to invoke Mahadev and seek blessings.

This year, the four Mondays in the Shravan month are falling on July 18, July 25, August 1 and August 8. 

Shravan month and its significance

According to mythology and tales from Puranas, the Samudra Manthan took place in the month of Shravan. During the churning of the ocean by Devas and Asuras in order to obtain ‘Amrit’ (nectar of immortality), Halahala, emerged from the ocean. It was a poison so deadliest that it could have destroyed the entire universe. 

To save the world, Lord Shiva drank the poison but held it in his throat without letting it go down into His stomach. His neck turned blue under the impact of the poison. This is why he is also called Neelkanth, the one with blue neck. It is the portmanteau of two words Neel (Blue) and Kantha (Neck). 

In order to reduce the effect of the poison, Lord Shiva wore a moon crescent on His head. Besides this, the devas started pouring water from the holy river of the Ganges on Lord Shiva. 

This is why Shravan month is considered to be the holiest to offer holy water to Lord Shiva.