Monday Fast - Rituals, Method, and Benefits
Monday fasting is observed in the name of Lord Shiva. The word Somvar is derived from the Sanskrit word Soma which means Moon meaning the Hindu deity Moon. Also, Lord Shiva is known as 'Someshvara' as he wears a crescent moon shape on his matted hair. Somwar Vrat is observed on Monday to please Lord Someshwar and also fulfills his wishes. Even though this fast is observed on any Monday, the Hindu calendar mentions special Mondays in which Mondays are very popular on the new moon day. Yes, the first Monday after the new moon of any month is very popular. This month is known for the Shivaratri festival. When no lunar day or Amavasya falls on Monday, then fasting on Monday is considered very correct. It is also called 'Somavati Amavasya'.
Somwar Vrat is observed in different ways in different states of India. In Maharashtra, Gujarat, and the northern states of India, the Hindu months are Shravan and July to August according to the Gregorian calendar. In the South Indian states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the Mondays falling in the Hindu month of Kartik are considered sacred. Whereas in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the Monday in the month of Tamil month Karthigai (November-December) is considered auspicious and is celebrated as 'Karthikai Somavaram'.
Monday Fasting Method
Somwar Vrat starts from sunrise on Monday. One who observes this fast should wake up in the morning and meditate on Lord Shiva. Thereafter after taking a holy bath, devotees offer their prayers to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Also, the one who observes fast should wear a white colored dress on this day.
Apart from this, special worship of Lord Shiva is done on this day, offerings are offered. Devotees also offer Bhasma (Vibhuti) and Bilva leaves to Lord Shiva on the day of this fast as these are considered to be the favorites of the Lord. Naivedya or special food offerings are also offered on this day. While offering white flowers on Shivling is also very important.
Later in the evening, Somwar Vrat Katha is read. Devotees chant 'O Namah Shivaya' while worshiping. One who observes the Monday fast can fast completely or can have one meal afternoon. While devotees can observe a partial fast by eating Sabudana khichdi or fruits.
Devotees end their fast the next day after performing the usual morning rituals and prayers. Then the Prasad is distributed among other devotees. Usually, devotees observing Monday fast visit any Lord Shiva temple in the morning and evening. If however, this is not possible, the prayer can be done at their home itself.
Devotees wake up early in the morning to take bath and go to the temple. They fast on Mondays. Abhishek is done on Shivling with water, milk, curd, honey, sugar, etc. Bilva leaves are offered on Shivling. Devotees worship Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. Shiva mantras are chanted. Food is donated to cows, fish, and birds. Charity work is considered very auspicious.
Monday Fasting Benefits
Although everyone benefits from fasting on Monday, there is something different you should know. Let us tell that young unmarried girls observe this fast to get a good husband. While married couples also observe the fast and offer prayers to a divine couple of Shiva and Parvati and seek peaceful family life. It is said that the observer of Somvar Vrat is blessed to enjoy all the pleasures of the world. With this fast, there is always peace and happiness in the house and that is why it is kept by countless devotees today.
Monday fasting is very important. Talk to Astrologer to know how to do puja during Monday's fast.
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