Upvaas, or fasting, in Hinduism is mainly observed for the fulfillment of a vow. Upvas is also referred as 'Vrats.' But 'Vrat' has a wider meaning and it is not just curtailed to the fasting observed for material or other gains. Each day in a week is dedicated to one or more of the gods in the Hindu pantheon. A particular deity is appeased by the devotee on a particular day. Thus Monday is usually dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Upvass, or fasting, on Mondays begins at sunrise and ends at sunset. On the day, food is only eaten after evening prayer. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are worshipped on the day. Of course, no worship begins without remembering Lord Ganesha. The fasting on Mondays in the Shravan month is considered even more auspicious.
It is believed that those people who observe Upvaas on Monday will have their desires fulfilled and will be blessed with wisdom. In some areas, fasting on Mondays is observed by unmarried women to get an ideal husband.
The reason for fasting on a day is usually traced back to a particular incident in one of the Hindu Puranas or folk tradition. There are numerous myths associated with a particular fast. The stories vary from region to region and from community to community.Somvar Vrat, or Monday fasting, dedicated to Lord Shiva too has numerous stories. Among the several myths, three have gained popularity – the first is the story of a poor Brahmin gaining wealth due to Monday fasting, second is the story of a rich merchant begetting a son after long wait and the subsequent death of the son and his rebirth due to the grace of Lord Shiva and Parvati and the third story is the most famous involving the game of dice played between Shiva and Parvati.Any Upvaas or Vrat is directly or indirectly connected with some sort of material comfort. This is a sweet lure used by ancient saints to attract a devotee to the concept of Brahman.The concept of Brahman in Sanatana Dharma is not easily digestible to many people. And they are least bothered about Brahman concept all they need is material comfort. For this many devotees are ready to go to any extend. They are ready to observe any harsh vow. Ancient wise men used this tendency among the common people to spread the awareness of Brahman. During each upvas there are occasional flashes when a person thinks beyond material comforts. This is a realization of Brahman. Gradually many devotees begin to think beyond material comforts.
Somavar Vrat, or Monday Fasting, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Somavar takes its name from Soma or Chandra – the Hindu moon god. Fasting on the day is done by many to appease Lord Shiva and get prayers and wishes fulfilled. It is believed that observing Somavar Vrat will help in getting good husbands. It is also believed to help in attaining prosperity and peaceful family life.Somavar Vrat begins from sunrise on Monday. Usually those devotees observing the Vrat visit a Lord Shiva temple in the morning and in the evening. If this is not possible prayers are offered at home.White color dress is worn by those observing the fast. White flowers are also offered to the Shivling.A single meal is taken on the day after midday. Those observing partial fast take fruits or Sabudana Khichadi.In the evening a story related to Somavar Vrat is listened to or read by those observing the fast.Apart from white flowers, people also offer Bilva leaves or Bil patra while doing the puja.The mantra that is chanted is Om Namah Shivaya…The fast ends on the next day morning after usual prayers and rituals.When Amavasi, or no moon day, falls on Monday it is considered highly auspicious and the day is known as Somavati Amavas.Mondays in Shravan month (July – August) in North India, Gujarat andMaharashtra is considered highly auspicious. Special pujas are offered to Lord Shiva on Mondays in temples and homes.Mondays are auspicious in Kartik month (October – November) in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.Mondays in Karthigai Masam (November – December is also auspicious in Tamil Nadu.
Solah Somwar Vrat is observed for sixteen consecutive Mondays and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. A devotee can start Solah Somvar Vrat on the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) in any month. But devotees usually begin the fasting in Shravan or Kartik month. Solah Somvar Vrat is observed by women to get good husbands and many also observe it when they are blessed with a good married life. It is also believed that observing this Vrat will help in getting one’s wishes fulfilled.Legend has it that moon (Chandra or Soma) was cursed by Daksha that his body will fade away. It is said that Chandra escaped from this curse after observing the Somvar Vrat.Many devotees choose the Chaturmas period to observe the Solah Somvar Vrat.Solah Somvar fasting begins at sunrise and ends at sunset. Some devotees observe 24-hour fast and they only consume water or tender coconut or copra.Some devotees opt for nuts, milk and fruits while fasting.On the 17th Monday of the fasting, special pujas dedicated to Lord Shiva are held.It must be noted that Monday is dedicated to Lord Shiva and there are several devotees who observe partial fast on all mondays or do special pujas or visit Lord Shiva temples on the day.
Fast on Monday is observed to please Lord Shiva. In Monday fast, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are worshipped. All men and women can observe this fast. Observing the fast in systematic manner is beneficial. According to the scriptures, fasting period of this Vrat is between sunrise and sunset. As food is taken at night, the fast is also called as Nakta Vrata.Starting of Monday FastMonday fasting is considered auspicious if started from first Monday of Shukla Paksha orShravan month. Proedure of this fast is similar to the Vrata observed in Shravan Masa for God Bhole Nath. In this month, specially the Parthiv(terrestrial) Shiva Lingam is worshipped.If a person is not able to start this fast from Shravan month, then he can start it on the first Monday of Shukal Paksha in the following months:- Chaitra Masa, Baishak Masa,Kartik month or the Margshirsh month( as per Hindu calendar). Out of these, Shravan Masa is considered the most auspicious time. This month is most dear to Lord Shiva. All sins of a person are destroyed, if he starts the Monday fasting from Sharavan month.
Significance of Shravan MonthThere is a mythological belief about the Monday fasting. This fast was observed first by Goddess Parvati in order to get Lord Shiva as her husband. by the auspiciousness of this fast she got Lord Shiva in form of her husband. That time the Monday fast was known to be kept by girls for getting their wish fulfilled of their choice husband.The fast is important for getting blessing of Lord Shiva and worshipping him. Mainly this fast is dedicated to family and society. The fast gives a lesson to live life with love, faith, brotherhood and socialization. The 16 Monday fasting (Solah Somwar) is considered the most favorable out of all the fast of Lord Shiva.This fast can be observed by both men and women. This fast is kept by unmarried girls for a happy and peaceful life. The fast of 16 Mondays is kept by married girls for the longevity of their husbands, safety of child and happiness of brother. Monday fast is kept by men for getting child, wealth and prestige.Method of Monday FastThe fast is started in any of the auspicious month as stated above. This fast should be kept for five years or 16 Monday with full faith and confidence. The person doing Upvas should get up early in the morning and complete his routine work. The water used for bathing should contain black Til.After bathing, Ganga Jal should be sprinkled all over the house. Place an idol or picture of Lord Shiva in a peaceful corner of Ishan Kon (North- East direction) of the house and chant the mantra "ऊँनम: शिवाय: - Om Namah Shivay". The resolution of this fast should be taken infront of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati with white flowers, sandalwood, rice, Panchamrit, betel nuts, fruits, holy water. While taking the resolution, the following mantra should be chanted.‘ममक्षेमस्थैर्यविजयारोग्यैश्वर्याभिवृद्धयर्थंसोमव्रतंकरिष्ये | Mum Khsemstharyavijayarogyashwaryabhirvadhyayarth Somvratam Karishye’After taking the resolution and doing Puja, Vrat Katha should be heard. Then, the Aarti should be performed and Prasadam is to be distributed. Avoid using salt in meal.While the Udhyapan (conclusion) of fast, white things should be donated, like rice, white clothes, sweets (Barfi) milk, curd, silver etc. This fast is also done for mental peace. After the full day fasting, person should have a vision of Lord Shiva in the Shiva temple. At the time of sunset, food materials made of milk should be used in offerings.Lord Bholenath should be offered the Bhog, and after worshipping with incense stick, deep, the Moon God is given the Ardhya. And, the mantra mentioned above should be chanted. After the completion of Solah Somvar Vrat, on the day of Udhyapan, Brahmans and children should be given Kheer, Puri, sweets etc and donations as per the capacity of an individual. On sunset, worshipping of Lord Shiva in Pradosh Kal is considered the most favorable.Results of Monday FastingOn regular observation of Monday fast, blessings of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati is always on the person. Life is full of health. And, the person gets rid of all the sins.Astrological Significance of Monday FastingMonday Vrat should be observed by those people who have moon in weak position in their Kundali, or moon is not able to give favorable results. For the best results of moon, the fast of Monday should be observed. Also, to remove pessimism and increase mental happiness, this fast is observed. Lord of lunar eclipse is God Shiva. Because he holds the moon on his head.Out of all the planets, moon is the closest to earth, Hence, it effects our life and mind. So, the people whose birth sign, birth Nakshatra is of moon, they must observe the fast of Monday. This Vrat is also observed for health of mother and maternal happiness.
This is an intro and details about the procedure of the fast...as the post got long i decided to do katha story post for the story that you have to read in the evening after that days fast...its in the next post...may god fulfill all your wishes....i finished my vrat today and this is what i made for prashad rawa semolina ladoo...i m sooo happy that i completed it smoothly...
om namah sivai :
om namah sivai :
om namah sivai :