KATHMANDU, July 22: Devotees have thronged various Lord Shiva temples including Pashupatinath temple in the capital and across the country to mark the first Monday of Shrawan, a month considered holy among the Hindu devotees.
The devotees of Lord Shiva, especially women, pay a visit to temples in the belief that one can win the special grace of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu during this holy month.
The Mondays of the month, especially, is considered most sacred. On Mondays, unmarried girls fast to get good husband while married women fast for the long life of their husband. It is believed that by worshiping Shivaling on Shrawan Monday, one can win Lord Shiva’s special grace.
The daughter of Daksh had sacrificed her life and was reborn as Parvati in the home of Himalaya King. Parvati wanted to marry Lord Shiva. That is the reason why she performed penance during Shravan month. Lord Shiva was pleased with the devotion of Parvati and he had fulfilled her wish.
Shrawan is also the month of greenery and love. Married women wear green, red and yellow bangles in this month as a symbol of married life and being closer to nature.
Not just married women but also unmarried girls are found clad in green and yellow bangles these days.
It is also believed that the churning of the milky ocean (Samundra Manthan) in search of Amirt took place in the month of Shrawan. Legend has it that, during the churning, 14 different rubies emerged from the ocean. Thirteen rubies were divided among the devas and the asuras, however, Halahal, the 14th ruby remained untouched as it was the deadliest poison which could destroy the whole universe and every living being. Lord Shiva drank the Halahal and stored the poison in his throat. Due to the impact of the poison, his throat turned blue and he came to be called Neelkantha.
Because of the impact of the poison, Lord Shiva wore a crescent moon on his head and all the devas started offering water from the holy river of Ganges to Lord Shiva to reduce the effects of the poison. Both these events took place in the Shravan Maas and therefore, it is considered very auspicious to offer holy Ganga water to Lord Shiva in this month.
Here are some photos of devotees visiting Pashupatinath temple in the Kathmandu valley.
Photos: Mukunda Kalikote/Reporters’ Club Nepal