31 July, 2011
30 July, 2011
Lord Shiva, one of the most complex gods of India, embodies seemingly contradictory qualities – He is the destroyer and the restorer; the great ascetic as well as the symbol of sensuality; the benevolent herdsman of souls and also the wrathful avenger. Images of Lord Shiva have various symbols representing the powers and qualities of the deity.
Ganga, or the river Ganges, is the most sacred river in India and represents the causal waters from which the earth arises. The holy water of the Ganges also signifies the essential element of ritual purification. By holding the Ganges in his matted hair, Lord Shiva allowed the holy river to traverse the earth and bring its purifying water to humans.
Shravan Month starts from next sunday, 31 July 2011. Shravan month is the fifth month of the Hindu calender beginning from Chaitra, and is the most auspicious month of the Chaturmas. On Purnima or fullmoon day, or during the course of the month the star 'Shravan' rules the sky, hence the month is called Shravan. This month is spread out with innumerably religious festivals and ceremonies and almost all the days of this month are auspicious.
Shravan is considered the holiest month of the year. Each monday of this month, known as Shravana Somvar, is a special day in Shiva temples where the dharanatra hangs over the linga or the idol to bathe it with holy water, day and night. Devotees pile the linga high with Bel leaves and flowers and fast till sunset. The nandadeep (24 hour lamp) burns steadily in the temples.
Importance of Shravan Month:
Legend believe that when the churning of oceans - Samudra Manthan - took place in the month of Shravan, fourteen different types of rubies came out. Thirteen of these were distributed amongst the demons, except Halahal (poison). Lord Shiva drank the Halahal and stored it in his throat. Hence the name Neelkantha (meaning blue throat) is attributed to Shiva.To reduce the strong effect of poison, Lord Shiva wore the crescent moon on his head. All the Gods, thereafter started offering the Ganges water to Lord Shiva to make lessen the effect of poison.
Since, this happened in the month of Shravana, since then the Shiva devotees offer the Ganges water in this month. It is considered highly auspicious to wear a rudraksha in Shravan month. As, Mondays or Somvars of Shravan month are specially observed with austerity. All Mondays are devoted to the worship of Shiva as this day is sacred to Lord Shiva. No other Mondays of other months are so greatly honoured.The belief is that in Shravan month, offering milk to Lord Shiva earns a lot of punya.
14 July, 2011
मन्नाथः श्रीजगन्नाथः मद्गुरुः श्रीजगद्गुरुः । मदात्मा सर्वभूतात्मा तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः ॥