Shravan Month or Sawan Maas is considered to be the holiest month of the year. It is the first and most auspicious month of Chatur Maas, the four holiest months of the Hindu calendar. In the year of 2018, Shravan Maas Somvar (Mondays) fall on August 13th, August 20th, August 27th and September 3rd. Janmashtami (the birth of Lord Krishna) happens during Shravan Maas.
Lord Shiva is worshipped during this entire month. Mondays of this month are dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva and Tuesdays are dedicated to Parvati Maa. Devotees fast on either of these days as ‘Shravan Somvar Vrat’ or ‘Mangal Gauri Vrat’. As described in our sacred texts, Samudra Manthan (churning of the cosmic ocean) was done during this month. A large number of valuable gifts came out of the ocean when it was churned. However, the ocean also gave up halaahal, a poison that was so powerful that it could destroy everything. Lord Shiva, in his infinite kindness, drank this poison and stored it in his throat. This turned his neck blue, thus giving him the name Neelkanth. As Lord Shiva saved everyone during this month, devotees of Lord Shiva offer Him their prayers during this time.
How to observe:
Recite Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra
ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम्
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान् मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात् ॥
Om Try-Ambakam Yajaamahe Sugandhim Pusstti-Vardhanam
Urvaarukam-Iva Bandhanaan Mrtyor-Mukssiiya Maa-[A]mrtaat ||
Recite “Om Namah Shivay” while offering Lord Shiva milk, water or Panchamrut. Lord Shiva favors Bilva leaves which may also be offered to him.
Devotees fast on Mondays to pray to Lord Shiva or on Tuesdays to pray to Parvati Maa.
Wearing a Rudraksha during this month is considered auspicious.