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Somvar Vrat or Monday fast is practiced to propitiate Lord Shiva. Bhagvan Shiva is also recognized with names like Mahadev, Shankar, Umapati, Rudra, BholeNath, Bhole Bhandari, and so on. Mahadev is the supreme Lord for Hindus. Millions of Hindus admire this Lord from the depth of their hearts with extreme devotion. Every Monday a massive crowd of devotees is noticed in shrine or temples of Mahadev, because Monday is very dear to Mahadev. The Panchakshara Mantra “Om Namah Shivaya” is repeated on this day in the name of Lord Shiva.
People who are facing obstacles in their married life or facing delays in marriage can observe the Monday fast. Fasting on Mondays is also beneficial for accomplishing the wish of getting a desired partner.
There are three types of Somvar Vrat and the Vrat Katha associated with them are :
Once there lived a wealthy merchant in a city. He always had immense wealth and prosperity. However, despite all the worldly possessions, he remained sad because he had no son. He regularly observed Monday fast to have a son. He went to the Shiva temple and worshipped Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati there with full faith. Goddess Parvati was extremely pleased with his devotion and implored Lord Shiva saying, “My Lord, this wealthy merchant is your faithful devotee. He regularly observes Monday fast but still he has no son. Please fulfil his desire.” Hearing the implorings of Parvati, Lord Shiva said, “Let your desire be fulfilled. I grant him a boon. He will be the father of a son, but he will live for twelve years only”. Fortunately, this wealthy merchant could hear their conversation. As time passed on, the merchants wife gave birth to a beautiful son. He celebrated his sons birth with great pomp and show and distributed food, clothes and money among the poor. All prayed for his sons long and happy life. But the merchant was still sad because he knew that his son would not live beyond twelve years and that Yama, the god of Death, spares none. Knowing what the situation was, the merchant started observing the Monday fast with greater zest but there was no let up in the worship of Lord Shiva. At the age of eleven, the merchants son looked quite smart and mature. All desired that he should be married to a beautiful girl. The merchant’s wife also wanted her sons marriage. She insisted for it again and again but the merchant did not agree to this proposal. He sent for his brother-In-law and said, “Accompany my son to Kashi. Arrange for his best spiritual knowledge. Take enough money from my treasure. Arrange devotional gatherings on your way to Kashi at every halt and distribute alms among the beggars.” The merchant’s son started his journey for Kashi with his maternal uncle. They arranged devotional gatherings and distributed clothes at every halting camp. They also arranged best eats for the Brahmans and made enough offerings to them. One day they made a halt at a capital of a king. The marriage of the King’s daughter was to take place that day. The marriage party had already reached the city. The bridegroom’s party was terribly disturbed because the bridegroom was blind, of one eye. They were in search of a beautiful boy to replace him.
The bridegroom’s father sent his men in search of a beautiful boy. The men spotted the merchant’s son who was camping in an inn with his maternal uncle. The bridegroom’s father was a rich person. He said to the boy’s maternal uncle, “My prestige is at stake. I need a handsome bridegroom in place of my one-eyed son. I shall give enough wealth if your ward agrees to have a temporary marriage with the kings daughter. He shall be free immediately after the marriage ceremony is over.” The merchant’s brother-in-law convinced the boy for a temporary marriage. The bride’s party praised their luck when they saw a handsome bridegroom with the marching band at the head of the marriage procession. The merchant’s son and the kings daughter were, thus, married around the holy fire. At the time of departure, the merchant’s son picked his brides scarf and wrote, “Now we are husband and wife. I am not the son of a king. I am the son of a rich merchant. I was on way to Kashi for spiritual studies. Your real bridegroom is blind on one eye.” The bride noticed her bridegroom writing something on the scarf. She could not read his message at that time. When the marriage party was about to depart, the bride read the message. She was shocked to know the reality. She refused to accompany with the one-eyed bridegroom. The marriage party returned without a bride. The boy reached Kashiji and devoted himself fully to spiritual studies. His maternal uncle arranged devotional gatherings in the name of Lord Shiva and gave donations everyday for the well-being of his sister’s son. On the last day of the twelfth year, the merchant’s son felt pain in the chest. His maternal uncle was performing the religious rites as per his routine. As he went inside the room, he found the boy dead. He was full of grief, but kept silent as the Brahmans would not accept food from such a house. With courage, he completed his routine.
When his routine was over, he started crying. Many people gathered around him and shared his grief. Fortunately, Lord Shiva and Parvati were also passing by that house. When Parvati heard the cries, her motherly compassion got aroused. She was a mother, after all. Having known the facts, she said to Lord Shiva, “My dear Sire, please ask Yama to return his life. Yama is always at your command. Please do this favour to me. You are the protector of all creatures.” Lord Shiva agreed to this because of the family’s devotion towards him and sprinkled water from the holy river Ganga on the dead body. The boy got up as if he was making an excuse for sleep. The spiritual education of the merchant’s son was over. They started their journey homeward. They arranged spiritual discourses and distributed aims among the needy throughout their way. Now, they were back in the city where this boy was married. The king recognized the boy immediately. He took him to his palace with full honor and on an auspicious day, he arranged to happy departure for his daughter. He also gave adequate dowry. The merchant’s son reached his city along with his bride. His father could not believe it. He was sitting on the roof of a big mansion with his wife, waiting for his son. They had decided that they would not come down until their son supported them himself; otherwise they would commit suicide.
Therefore, finding him alive, his parents were glad and thanked Mahadev.
Som Pradosh Vrat
‘Pradosh’ means ‘the dusk of the early night’ or ‘evening tide’. This fast is observed in the evening twilight, and so it is called Pradosh Vrat. It is observed on the 13th day of each lunar fortnight. It is practiced to propitiate Lord Shiva, in order to obtain his blessings and boons leading to fulfillment of one’s cherished desired and spiritual upliftment.Those who practice it with unflinching faith and devotion are bound to possess wealth, health, happiness.
Solah Somvar Vrat – 16 weeks Monday fast
Once Lord Shiva visited the famous city of Amravati. Parvati also accompanied him. On their way, they saw a beautiful Shiva temple and decided to spend some time there. One day, Parvati found Lord Shiva in a playful mood. She said to him, Oh my Lord, let us have a dice game. Lord Shiva obliged her and the game started. Meanwhile, the priest of the temple had come there. Parvati turned towards him and said Please foretell who will win this game? The Brahman gave no serious thought to her question and abruptly said, Lord Shiva will win the game. Incidentally Parvati won the game. She was angry because the Brahman had told a lie. Lord Shiva tried to pacify her, but she cursed the Brahman that he be a leper. In due course, the Brahman became a leper and spent a miserable life. After some time a few fairies descended on the earth and pitied the fate of the priest. On asking him, the priest narrated the whole episode. One of the fairies said, “You observe Monday fasts for sixteen weeks without break. On the seventeenth Monday, prepare some holy food or Prasad with flour mixed with ghee and gur. Distribute this prasaad among the members of your family and take some yourself. You will be free from this leprosy.” The fairies disappeared and the priest followed the instructions. Soon, he regained his normal health.
Once Lord Shiva and Parvati again visited that temple. Parvati was surprised to see the priest. He was his normal self. She enquired about this feat and the priest narrated the whole story. Parvati was happy, she also decided to observe Monday fasts for sixteen weeks. Incidentally, on the seventeenth Monday, when she broke her fast, her beloved son Lord Kartikeya, who was displeased with her, appeared and said, “Oh dear mother what is that power with which you have called me? What is the mystery?” Parvati said, “Oh my dear son, all this miracle is due to observing Monday fasts for sixteen weeks without interruption.” Kartikeya’s Brahman friend had been in a foreign land for quite some time. Kartikeya said, “I shall observe Monday fasts for sixteen weeks for happy reunion with my friend.” He, then, observed the 16 weeks fasts as per rules and to his great surprise, his friend returned hale and hearty.
The friend enquired about the miracle and Lord Kartikeya told him the modalities to be observed for Monday fast. The Brahman friend was very curious about his marriage. He decided to observe the Monday fasts for sixteen weeks. On the seventeenth Monday, the Brahman friend went to a city. The ruler of the city decided to marry his daughter to a person on whose neck his well-decorated elephant would put the garland. The Brahman joined the show. Incidentally, the elephant garlanded him. The ruler of the city gave him his daughter and also a lot of money. The couple departed the next day and were back in their home. On the honeymoon night, the bride said, “Oh my dear, how is it that the elephant ignored all the princes and garlanded you? How did you succeed on the auspicious moments?” The bridegroom said, “I observed fasts on sixteen Mondays. Monday is Lord Shiva’s day. It is due to his blessings that I got a beautiful wife like you. My friend Kartikeya revealed this secret to me.” The bride too decided to observe fasts on sixteen Mondays for a beautiful son full of knowledge. Her devotion bore fruit and she gave birth to a beautiful son. As the son grew up, he said to his mother, “Oh my dear mother, what is the mystery behind my birth? Please reveal it to me.” The mother told him how she observed Monday fasts. The son also decided to observe the fasts to gain a kingdom for his parents.
Incidentally, an old kings messengers from a nearby State came there in search of a beautiful and learned bridegroom for the princess. They proposed the princess hand for him and he readily agreed. The king expired after sometime and the boy became the king. The newly-made king continued his fasts for the next sixteen Mondays. On the seventeenth Monday, he arranged a large prayer party at a temple. All the arrangements were made well in advance. The king requested the queen to accompany him to the temple for breaking the fast after taking pras ad from the priest. The queen refused to go with him. The king had to go alone. The king heard an oracle who echoed, “Oh king, turn out the queen from the palace or destruction will fall upon you.” The king returned to his palace. He summoned a conference of his ministers and told about the oracle. All of them were taken aback, as it was due to that princess that he became the king of the state. They agreed to his proposal only with a heavy heart. The queen was ultimately turned out. The queen left the palace bare footed and in worn-out clothes. She was thirsty and fatigued. She met an old lady who had a load of spinned spindles on her head. She was going to the city. She felt pity on her and asked to help her in selling the yarn because she did not know the art of selling. The queen took that load on her head. Incidentally, strong wind blew away the spindles which disappeared in the dusty wind. The queen felt sorry and the old lady asked her to go away. The queen went to an oilman’s house and sought shelter. The oilman obliged her, but as she stepped in, all of his oil pots developed cracks and the oil began to flow on the ground. The oilman immediately turned her out. The queen was now disheartened. She went to the bank of a river to quench her thirst. As she touched the water, the water dried up. She then went to a deep jungle and saw a tank of water. As she went down the stairs and touched the crystal dear water, it became muddy. She cursed her fate and put a few drops of the muddy water in her mouth. She was now tired and wanted to take rest under a shady tree. As she went near the tree its leaves began to fall and soon it became leafless. The cowherds saw this incident and told the whole story to the priest of a nearby temple. The priest called for the woman. He was surprised to see that the woman had royal features. He consoled her and provided her with all the facilities. But after some days, he also got fed up with her because whatever the woman touched became impure, may it be milk, food or water. One day, the priest said, “Oh lady, what curse has fallen upon you? You reveal the mystery.” The woman told him how she rejected a proposal to attend Monday fast prayer. The priest understood the whole thing. He knew it was Shiva’s curse. He said, “Oh dear lady, you observe fasts on sixteen Mondays and Lord Shiva will absolve you of your sins.” The woman realised her mistake and observed the Monday fasts for sixteen Mondays. On the seventeenth Monday, the king said to himself, “My queen left my palace long ago. Her condition must be very miserable.” He called for his courtiers and ordered them to search out the queen. The courtiers reached the temple where the queen was residing. The priest refused to hand over the queen to them and said, “Let the king himself come to receive her.” The courtiers went to the king and related the whole story. The king was happy to hear the news. He went to the temple and requested the priest to return his queen to him. The king admitted that he deserted the queen to avoid Lord Shiva’s wrath. The priest trusted the kings words and the queen returned to the palace. She was given a royal welcome. The king distributed money among the needy and arranged food for the hungry. The king and queen now regularly observed fasts on sixteen Mondays each year and lived a very happy life. After their death they found abode in Lord Shivas city, Shivapuri. Since, then it is believed that a person who observes fasts on sixteen Mondays, gets all pleasures and enters Shivapuri after his death.
Most devotees also observe fast during four or five Mondays of Shravan month. It is believed that worshiping Lord Shiva during Shravan month is very auspicious and observing Monday fast and reciting SolahSomvarVrat Katha during Shravan month can make Lord Shiva happy for sure. This is because Shravan month is deeply dear to Mahadev as it is believed that Goddess Parvati deeply wanted to marry to Lord Shiva, and thus she did solah somvar vrat with immense devotion to get Mahadev.
Solah Somvar Vrat Timing
It is believed that Monday fasting would be very fruitful if started from the first Monday of Shukla Paksh of Shravan month (June-July). Four or five Monday fasting can be done in a go. And as per willingness the person can continue this fast till 16 weeks of Monday starting from Shukla Paksh (waxing period of moon) of Shravan month.
However, simple Monday fast can also be started from first Monday of Shukla Paksha of Hindi Months – Chaitra, Baisakh, Kartik and Margsheersh.
Sawan Somwar Vrat Dates 2017
Sawan Somwar Vrat Dates for Rajasthan, U.P, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar
|10||July||(Monday)||First day of Shravana Month|
|10||July||(Monday)||Sawan Somwar Vrat|
|17||July||(Monday)||Sawan Somwar Vrat|
|24||July||(Monday)||Sawan Somwar Vrat|
|31||July||(Monday)||Sawan Somwar Vrat|
|07||August||(Monday)||Sawan Somwar Vrat|
|07||August||(Monday)||Last day of Shravana Month|
Sawan Somwar Vrat Dates for Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu
|24||July||(Monday)||First day of Shravana Month|
|24||July||(Monday)||Sawan Somwar Vrat|
|31||July||(Monday)||Sawan Somwar Vrat|
|07||August||(Monday)||Sawan Somwar Vrat|
|14||August||(Monday)||Sawan Somwar Vrat|
|21||August||(Monday)||Sawan Somwar Vrat|
|21||August||(Monday)||Last day of Shravana Month|
Somvar Vrat Vidhi
Somvar Vrat or Monday fasting is very simple since there isn’t much colossal rituals attached to this vrat. But the person who does this vrat should be pure from his heart. On every fasting day, he should wake up early in the morning and start his routine activities after worshipping Lord Shiva. For worshiping Lord Shiva one can install idol or picture of Lord Shiva at poojaghar (shrine place) at home. Ideally people are known to install Shiva linga in their shrine place. It should, however, be kept in mind that Pooja ghar should always be in North-East of direction of the home and face of Shiva linga should be in North direction.
With devotion one should offer Bel Patra, Roli, chawal, flowers, Dhoop, Dip, Diya, chandan, Dhatura, Milk, Curd, Camphor, Kanherphool, Janeu, and blessed food to Lord Shiva. All materials should be arranged in a poojathali (plate).
Red Kumkum or Sindur is never offered to Lord Shiva.
After taking bath, one can begin yhis Monday fast and offer all collected materials one by one to the Sivalinga. And after doing Shiva Pooja, the SomvarVrat Katha is read or heard, as hearing SomvarVrat Katha is important part of Monday fast. The Mantra OM NAMAH SHIVAY is chanted throughout the day. And late in the evening after worshipping Lord Shiva again, one can have a one time sweet meal without salt. Eating fruits like banana, apple, papaya is also good in Monday fast.
The rituals are same for all the three fasting.