The Month of 'Shrawan'
JULY 27 - AUGUST 24, 2010
The month of Shrawan is filled with devotional fervours for the devotees of Lord Shiva. The full moon day to full moon day festival - Guru poornima to Rakhi Poornima - is the most devoted worship filled with austerities and faith though not marked with festive colours as we have for Diwali or Durga Puja.
The worship is offered at all Jyotirlinga shrines throughout the month, more particularly on Mondays and the last day - Shravan Poornima day falling on August 24, 2010.
Jyotirlingam, ‘the linga of light’ is so called as the God is in the symbolic form of a stone tinctured with a cycle of light. The Jyotirlinga is an attempt by humans to give a form to the formless Brahman.
The twelve temples with Jyotrilinga in India are:
1. Somnath Temple at Saurashtra in Gujarat.
2. Mallikarjun Temple in Srisailam, or Shrishailam, in Andhra Pradesh.
3. Mahakal Temple, or Mahakalaswar, in Ujjain Madhya Pradesh.
4. Omkar Temple, or Amishvar, at Omkareshwar on the banks of Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh.
5. Kedarnath Temple or Kedareshwar in Uttarakhand.
6. Bhimashankar Temple at Dhakini in Maharashtra.
7. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, or Viswesh, at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
8. Trimbakeshwar Temple near Nasik on the banks of Gautami River in Maharashtra.
9. Baidyanath Dham or Vaidyanath Temple at Deoghar in Jharkhand.
10. Nageshwar Temple near Dwarka in Gujarat.
11. Rameshwaram Temple in Tamil Nadu.Grishneshwar
12. Temple Near Ellora in Maharashtra.
For the people of Bihar and Jharkhand, visit to holy Jyotirlinga shrine at Baidyanath, Deoghar is an important form of worship of Lord Shiva during Shrawan month. Lakhs of devotees called as “Kanwarias” carry water from Ganga for offering to Lord Shiva. The name Kanwarias comes from the pole the yatris carry called ‘Kanwar’ on their shoulders. Pots with Ganga Water hang from the two sides of the pole.
Nearly a million Kanwarias carry Ganga water from Sultanganj, to the famous Deogarh Shiva Temple during Shravan Mela. Some prefer to walk the entire stretch from there home to the River Ganges silently chanting prayers. Some go in groups singing praise of Lord Shiva. Some devotees create a Mela atmosphere by travelling on trucks and carts with loudspeakers playing different types of music. Then there are the relay marthon runners called ‘dak kanwarias.’ In it each yatri runs a certain distance and is then taken over by another yatri.
Numerous Hindu spiritual organizations and other voluntary organizations setup camps along the National Highway during the Kanwar Yatra. The Kanwarias are provided food, shelter and safe place to keep the Ganga water.
The Shiva temple of Deoghar is a recognized place of Siddh. With the slogans of ‘Bol-Bam, Bol Bam’ the environment of the region becomes spiritually elevated one. From the first day of Shrawan month, which started on July 27, 2010 lacs of devotees will travel to Deoghar for 105 kilometers, taking the holy water from Sultanganj’s uttarvahini Ganga wearing the traditional saffron dresses and as Kanwariyas. The devotees will devote the holy water to one of the twelve jyotirlinga’s of Mahadev Shiva and will be the participant of virtue.
More over this holy place is further sanctified by the foot prints of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna during his pilgrimage to here, on his way to Varanasi. It was in the month of January 1868, Sri Ramakrishna accompanied with 125 persons headed by Mathurnath Babu visited this holy shrine. And it was here the first relief operations of Ramakrishna Order was inaugurated by Sri Sri Ramakrishna Himself. During his stay here, Sri Ramakrishna happened to see the miserable plight of men and women. He requested Mathur to feed them and to give pieces of cloth to each of them. Thus, Sri Ramakrishna’s “Shiva jnane, jiva seva” was started here as he saw the Lord of Baidyanath in the faces of those poor ones.
(Lord Ravaneshwar at Baidyanath, Deoghar)
Shiva known for his name “Asutososhin” – one who is easily pleased, is the beloved deity of people of all walks of life - school going children, married ones and the sannyasins.
May the Lord Shiva bless us all for pure devotion towards Him!!
nishthatmananda of muzaffarpur