Mystic Mantra: Significance of Shravan maas

Columnist  | Sadguru Rameshji

Opinion, Oped

Shiva had consumed poison during this month, when poison emitted from the ocean while it was being churned by gods and demons.

Lord Shiva (Photo: PTI)

As per astrophysics, metaphysics and other sciences of physics, which deals with matter and energy, and their interaction and behaviour, every moving matter emanates some vibratory affect (energy) which, in turn, influences other matter and beings in this universe.

Astrology more specifically predicts the behaviour of stars and their vibratory influence on human beings and thus declares some days and some months as auspicious and some as inauspicious. Shravan month in which “Shravan” star rules the sky, is considered good from religious point of view but not very good from materialistic world point of view.

Several mythological events took place during this month hence their celebrations take place but marriages, griha pravesh (house warming ceremony) etc are not performed during this month as it is not considered very auspicious. Some people don’t even buy any new things during this month such as a new house, new vehicle, new clothes etc.

It is also the month of Lord Shiva. Shiva had consumed poison during this month, when poison emitted from the ocean while it was being churned by gods and demons. The understanding was that whatever comes out during churning of ocean will be equally shared between gods and demons but none of them agreed to accept the poison.

Gods and demons decided to throw it away but Shiva prevented them from doing so by saying that if poison is thrown away, the world will be destroyed. So, eventually to save the world, Shiva himself consumed it. The poison was held by Shiva in the neck only as if it goes down into the stomach he would die and if it is thrown out, the universe will get destroyed. So he had to hold it in his neck and because of this, his neck turned blue in colour. From then onwards he was also called by the name “Neelkanth” meaning blue throat. All gods thereafter started offering Gangajal (water from the River Ganga) to Lord Shiva to lessen the effect of poison. Since, this happened in the month of Shravan, Shiva devotees also offer Gangajal to Lord Shiva in this month.

Spiritually, the churning of oceans indicates contemplation of mind and when the mind is contemplated upon then all the past incidents buried inside the subconscious mind surface on the conscious mind. The most dangerous of all is the negativity and negative impressions such as hatred, anger, greed, jealousy and enmity etc.

Lord Shiva, who held the poison in his throat, indicates that we should also not spit these negativities on others nor allow them to go down deep within us. We should hold them at a safe place within us for some time that they neither affect us nor destroy others, and at the earliest opportunity neutralise these negativities through positive emotions. All Mondays during the month of Shravan have special significance as Shiva is worshipped by japa (Panchakshri mantra “Om Namah Shivaay”), abhishek (offering water and milk), fasting and bhajans (divine songs).

The first month of chaturmas (the four-month period) for Jains is the Shravan month. Starting from this month, wandering Jain monks settle down at one place for four months. It is believed that during these four months countless insects and tiny creatures are born, who cannot be seen by naked eyes and hence to avoid stamping and killing them (non-violence being one of the main pillar of Jainism) they settle down at one place. During this period they conduct discourses and spiritual practices. Jain householders also perform austerities, fasts, penance, food restrictions and observance of silence etc.

Right kind of knowledge, logical understanding of scriptures and avoidance of superstitious beliefs is what is spirituality all about. For a spiritual person nothing is more important than purushartha (effort, action, deed) and surrendering at the feet of God.