Shravan is the fifth month as per the Hindu calendar and is synonymous with auspicious festivals and events. The holy month is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it marks a month of fasting on Mondays dedicated to the deity. Many people give up non-vegetarian food and alcohol during the month-long observance. In Hindu calendar, there are two methods to mark the lunar month – one from Purnima to Purnima (known as Purnimanta calendar) and the other from Amavasya to Amavasya (known as Amanta calendar). Hence, the dates of Shravan may vary in Western and Southern parts of India. The Northern states follow Purnimanta calendar while the Southern ones follow Amanta calendar. According to the Purnimanta calendar, in 2019, the month of Shravan begins on July 17 (Wednesday) and ends on August 15 (Thursday). The states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand will follow the calendar. The Southern states that follow Amanta calendar are Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. According to Amanta calendar, shravan begins on August 2 (Friday) and ends on August 30 (Friday).
It is believed that those observing fast in the month of Shravan have their desires fulfilled and are blessed with the grace of Lord Shiva. If you are planning to observe fast on Mondays, here’s a quick guide.
Types of fasts:
Austere Fast – In this fast, a person must not eat anything except for drinking water. The fast is broken in the evening after puja and food without onion and garlic is consumed.
Partial Fast – In this fast, a person can consume fruits and vrat foods like sabudana and break the fast in the evening after puja by consuming food without any onion and garlic.
Benefits of fasting on Shravan Mondays:
Observing fasts on the four Shravan Mondays is considered auspicious and is considered an auspicious custom associated with Lord Shiva. There are multiple benefits of fasting on Shravan Mondays; some of them are listed below.
· Those observing fasts are blessed with spiritual bliss and all pleasures of the world.
· Observing fasts in the month of Shravan improves physical and mental health.
· It is believed that those observing fasts on Shravan Mondays attain 108 times more benefit.
· According to a belief, Lord Shiva resides in the roots of bel patra. Worshiping Lord Shiva with bel patra provides the benefits equal to a pilgrimage visit.
· It is believed that observing the fast ensures a happy marital life.
· Married women observe the fast for the long of their husband, while unmarried women observe fast to get a good husband.
· Medical experts believe fasting in the month of shravan and consuming vegetarian food has a lot of health benefits. It also has a detoxifying effect on the digestive system.