RAMESH SAVAIKAR | NT
Shravan, the second month in Chaturmasa, four holy months in Hinduism, is the most auspicious month for Hindus in Goa and Maharshtra.
During this month most of the Hindu festivals are celebrated, with utmost devotion. This year Shravan begins today, August 12 and ends on September 9.
Shravan maasa is observed by Hindus with full devotion to Lord Shiva. Vratas are observed with fasting, performing pooja, offering prayers seeking success, prosperity and happiness in life. It is a belief that Lord Shiva grants a boon to devotees who repent for their misdeeds and ask for success and evade negative energies.
Hindus refrain from consuming non-vegetarian food throughout Shravan month.
A sankrut and Veda scholar Devidas L Umarye said that according to Hindu Puranas worship of different gods and deities and their utmost devotion during Shravan, the month is much more fruitful than that of performing religious rituals in the other months of Hindu calendar.
The other main festivals celebrated include Nagpanchami, Narali Pournima, Raksha Bandhan, Gokulashtami. Besides this, all seven days of the week are observed with vrata dedicated to different gods and deities. Shravani Somvar (Monday) is dedicated to Lord Shiva .Brahmins observe Shiva muth. Hindu devotees observe fast and consume only liquid and fruits. They perform Abhishek on Shiva Linga, offer 21 bilvapatra, perform pooja with religious rituals, offer naivedya, prayers and seek blessings for success, prosperity and happiness.
Tuesday- ‘Shravani Mangalvar’ is celebrated by fasting, performing pooja. This is mostly observed by unmarried girls.
Shravani Guruvar (Thursday) is dedicated to God Dattatreya and is believed to be immensely fruitful for protection from enemies and success in life. Shukravar( Friday) is dedicated to Goddess Laxmi, deity of wealth. Varad Laxmi varta is also observed by performing Laxmi pooja with religious rituals.
Shanivar (Saturday) is dedicated to God Shanideva. Devotees offer oil, flowers to Shanideva or Maruti.
Nagpanchami festival, the fifth day of the bright half of the lunar month of Shravan falls on August 15 this year. On this day, the traditional vedic worship of snake or serpents is performed and milk is offered to the snake.
On Sheetala Shasthi and Saptami, the sixth and seventh day of the bright half of the Shravan month, Gauri poojan is performed, aartis are chanted
Narali Purnima which falls on August 25 this year is celebrated mostly by fisherman in Goa and the Konkan region. Coconuts are offered to God Varuna
by throwing it into sea. On this day, the monsoon is declared broken and the sea is believed to become calm for fishing.
Raksha Bandhan falls on August 26. It symbolises the relationship of the sister and brother. The sister ties a cotton holy thread on the brother’s wrist; apply tikka on the forehead and requests his protect in all situations. The brother in return gives her some gifts.
Gokulashtami signifies Lord Shrikrishna’s birth anniversary. Hindu devotes of Shrikrishna observe fast, perform pooja of the idol Krishna and offer prayers
In Goa, Ashtami festival is held at Nirthar- Narva in Bicholim. This place is located on the banks of the river Mandovi. Devotees take a deep in holy water and perform pooja of Lord Shrikrishna. Palanquins of different deities from Piligaon, Narav, Mulgaon, Bicholim, are brought here. Devotees across the state throng to Narva where a big fair is held. Different items used during Ganesh festival like chaurangas, paatas, makaras are sold during the fair.