I knew it was shraavan meditation time . When I was sitting out on the deck swing this morning and the rain drops started falling on me with the sky full of dark clouds, my heart just wanted to meditate and not get up. (Quiet meditation). Yes it is the first day of The month of Shraavan has always been one of my favorites as it starts all the religious festivities of the season.
In Gujrati we call it : Shraavan naa saravdaa – શ્રાવણ નાં સરવડા means shraavan brings light showers.
In Marathi we have a really short and sweet poem from my childhood school days that is embedded in my mind since and always reminded by my brother it goes like this: “Shraavan maase harsha maanasi hiravad daate chohi kade, kshanaat padti sar sar dhaaraa kshanaata firuni uuna padey.” श्रावण मासी हर्ष मानसी हिरावाड दाते चोही कडे क्षणात पडती सर सर धारा क्षणात फिरुनी ऊन पडे. (it means my heart fills happy in the month of Shraavan as there is greenery all around and it would rain showers the one minute and the next we see bright sunshine).
We are also lucky enough to see quite a few rainbows in India (Mumbai) during this season. My of my other favorites nature’s colorful bounty.
So….Most importantly the Mondays Shri Shivji temple visits and offering the milk to the lingam.Tomorrow starts the first shraavan somvaar for this year. 2014. Shraavan Monday. So if you have read one of my earlier blogs, it is considered very auspicious to offer milk on Mondays of the month of Shraavan and fast if possible.
So let’s get ready for the fasting of Shraavan if we can but if not we can still chant all the hymns, prayers, chants and prayers of our beloved Lord Shiva. Visit the Shri Shivji’s page tab for ore and the fasting recipes on my recipes blog if you are fasting during this month. Fasting then and now is available to get tips and process I feel helpful for today’s modern lifestyle. Om Namah Shivaay!!!
Meditation, relaxation,chants and prayers at the beach during sunrise and sunset are traditionally the best times and when done on the beach they just have a totally different effect on the mind body and the spirit within us. Here s to sharing with you.
Surya Prarthanaa at the Beach in gujrati Namu aaj aaditya ne
In the North part of India, the month of shraavan starts the day after Gurupoonam. A very religious auspicious and sacred month of the entire 12 month hindu calendar cycle. This month brings many fasting days, and is considered to be spiritually uplifting and beneficial to fast and pray as much as you possibly can. Here are some of the special days in this month:
Sitala Aaatam or sital saptami
Narali Poornima/ Rakshaa Bandhan
All mondays of shraavan- known as Shraavan Somvaar. Fast if you wish and do special prayers to Lord shiva. Many hindus also believe in offering milk to the shiva temples during these Mondays of the month of Shraavan.
Naag Panchami or Naag paancham, when hindus worship the snake.
Yet another one during this month is Raandhan chath and Sitalaa saatam or sitalaa saptami – are two days back to back where the first day we cook a lot of food in the evening and at the end of the cooking clean up the stove and worship the stove with rice red kumkum a small betalnut and a coin. Keep it for all day next day and this is the only day when we are not to turn the stove on for the whole day we are supposed to consume the food that was cooked overnight. So typical in olden times the kind of food prepared for this occasion was one that would have a shelf life of at least 24 hours. Since we did not have refrigerators then. And what do we do with all the extra time on our hands on that day? We pray, meditate and go to temples etc to spend time in spiritual upliftment of our selves on the day of sitala saptami. The day of sitali saatam, is the day when we do not light the stove. We worship the Sitala maata- of the mother goddess Sitala and give a one day break to our cooking appliance.
Another important occasion that falls on the last day of the month of shraavan is on the fullmoon day is Narali Poornima/ Rakshaa Bandhan. Narali poornima is the day when in ancient times the brahmins changed their threads of the thread ceremony. know as Janoi of Jaanav. and people also offer coconuts to the ocean on this full moon day. Falling on the same day is raksha bandhan where mostly in west and north of India this social occasion is about sisters tying a symbolic thread around her brother’s right hand wrist and praying for his health and prosperity, while the brother reciprocating the sister by offering a symbolic gift and extending his help and support to the sister for her life and well being. So, Understand the meaning and reasoning behind fasting on this page of my recipes BLOG. Pray to Lord shiva during the month of shraavan especially on mondays I have most of the commonly used pujas on this blog site, Here are some links to various shiv puja audio/videos from this blog. Veda saar shiva stav audio Shiv Manas PoojaDwadasha JyotirlinganiAatma Shatkum. Fast as much as you can and remember to stay healthy- check out the fasting recipes on my vegetarianrecipes blog, and stay happy and healthy. Last but not the least: Remember to do meditation. Here is one video to start you with Introduction to Meditation Video