The auspicious month of Shravan has started in the South of India. This sacred and festive month is one of the significant months of our Sanatana Dharma and there are many rituals and festivities practiced in this month in the entire country. In north, this month starts fifteen days earlier than in the South region. But, the rituals and the festivities are practised with great devotion and fervour in the entire country. According to the South Indian Calendar, this year, it has started on the 9th of August.
According to Hindu mythology, it is in this month, that the Samudra Manthan by the Devas and the Asuras had taken place and Bhagwan Shiv had saved the three worlds from the deadly fumes of the Halahal. Hence, one worships Bhagwan Shiv every Monday as it is the favourite day of Bhagwan Shiv. On the four Mondays of Shravan, Bhagwan Shiv is worshipped by observing a fast and praying to him for good health and prosperity.
In the South, the most important festival and the worship of Bhagwathi Lakshmi takes place with great devotion in this month, as Bhagwathi Lakshmi emerged from the Samudra Manthan on the Pubba Nakshatr in the Shravan Month. The most important ritual of Varalakhmi Vrat is observed by the married women of the household for the long life of their husbands and prosperity of the family, on the Second Friday of the Shravan, before Pournima.
Bhagawathis Lakshmi is worshipped by placing an idol made especially for the festival. Bhagwathi Lakshmi‘s face is painted on a coconut, decorated with jewels placed in a kalash (sacred Utensil of water) with mango leaves and a variety of flowers and then worshipped. She is worshipped in her eight forms which are
• Aadi Lakshmi (the Protector)
• Dhan Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth)
• Dhairy Lakshmi (Goddess of Courage)
• Sowbhagy Lakshmi (Goddess of Good Fortune)
• Vijaya Lakshmi (Goddess of Victory)
• Dhaany Lakshmi (Goddess of Prosperity)
• Santaan Lakshmi (Goddess of Progeny)
• Vidya Lakshmi (Goddess of Wisdom)
These eight forms signify the eight important aspects needed for a family and the society to prosper.
It is believed that Goddess Parvathi has also observed this ritual for the well-being of Lord Shiva, when she was newly wedded to him, hence Goddess Parvathi too is worshipped every Tuesday by observing a ritual named the Mangal Gauri Vrat, by the newly wedded wives in the household.
This ceremony is completed by inviting the neighbouring women to the house, and offering the auspicious beetel leaf with nuts to them as a token of blessings of the deity and as a sign that the rituals have been successfully completed. This brings prosperity to the ones who give it and also to those who receive it. Shravan is a month where one is reminded of our radiant culture and varied styles of celebrating the same. Shravan is a month wherein unity of our diverse culture is seen in every nook and corner. With the major festivities connected to Bhagwan Vishnu and Bhagwan Shiv, the essence of Vishnu and the Shiv Tatv is spread with great devotion in this month and all celebrate the oneness of both Bhagwan Vishnu and Bhagwan Shiv, who are never different, but one and the same.