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Religious significance of Sawan or Shravan for women

The month of Sawan or Shravan, the fifth month of the Hindu calendar, is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is a period of cleansing and spiritual purification. While most of us are aware that during this holy month devotees observe fast on Mondays, which is known as Shravan Somvar Vrat; little is known that some women keep fast or Vrat on Tuesdays, known as Mangla Gauri Vrat.

Mondays of this month are the days for the worship of Lord Shiva, and the Tuesdays of this month are devoted to Goddess Mangla Gauri. It is observed on every Tuesday of Shravan month. The Vrata is mentioned in the bhavishyottara Purana and is performed by married women believing that they will be blessed with long-lasting and happy married life.

The Goddess Mangla Gauri is worshipped as the Goddess of benevolence and epitome of benignity. It is believed Goddess Mangla Gauri bestows her devotees with happiness and prosperity in their lives. Observing this vrat brings immense benefits and helps get blessings of Maa Gauri on the devotees. It is generally performed by newly married for the first five years and married women during the month of Shravan for a long, prosperous and happy married life. When observed by girls, this Vrat helps them get a good or desired husband.

Goddess Mangla Gauri Temple, Gaya, Bihar
Goddess Mangla Gauri Temple, Gaya, Bihar

Goddess Mangla Gauri Temple:

According to the Hindu mythology, Devi Sati's breast, a symbol of nourishment, fell at this place and it is one of the eighteen Maha Shakti peeths in India. The temple complex consists of small shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, Goddess Sati, Durga, and Kali.

The Mangla Gauri temple in Gaya, Bihar has been mentioned in Padma Purana, Vayu Purana, Agni Purana and Shri Devi Bhagwat Purana. The present temple dates back to 15th century.

Goddess Mangla Gauri Vrat Katha:

Goddess Mangala Gauri
Goddess Mangala Gauri

Long time ago, there lived a king and his queen who were ardent devotees of Lord Shiva. But the couple was childless. There was a boy who was going around seeking alms. When the queen offered him alms, he refused and went away. The same thing happened the next day, urging the king to interfere. When asked why he was denying the alms, the boy said it was inauspicious to accept alms from a childless couple. The king grew furious; however, he realised that the boy was none other than Lord Shiva. The king apologised, and Lord Shiva blessed him with a son but said that he would live till the age of16. The boy was named Chandrashekhar. When he turned 15, his parents decided to send him to Kashi (to free him from the cycle

of birth & death) with his uncle.

On the way, while passing through one of the kingdoms, the uncle and the boy overheard the princess of that kingdom talking about Mangla Gauri Vrat, saying that whoever will marry her will have a long and happy life as she has observed the Vrat will complete devotion.

Chandrashekhar and his uncle moved to another kingdom and met the prince of that kingdom. The prince was supposed to get married but could not go because he was sick. He urged Chandrashekhar to go in his place and attend the rituals of the first day of the marriage and that he would get there for the remaining ceremonies.

Chandrashekhar went to replace the prince and saw the girl was the princess he had met earlier. After the day's rituals were done, Chandrashekhar told the princess truth about his fate and the real prince who couldn't come on time for the rituals. Chandrashekhar said he will leave for Kashi the next morning.

That night, the princess saw a snake approaching Chandrasekhar; she took a handful of grains used to perform Mangla Gauri Puja and threw it on the snake. The snake fell dead and she hid it in the Kalash used to perform the Mangla Gauri vrat.

Chandrasekhar left for Kashi the next morning but left his wedding ring. Later, the real prince came to take place for the day's wedding ceremony, but the princess refused to marry him, saying that Chandrasekhar was her husband.

Chandrasekhar reached Kashi, and a year passed. He did not die. It was the devotion with which the princess had performed the Mangla Gauri Vrat that saved him. While returning back to his kingdom, Chandrasekhar thought of seeing the princess once last time. He went and sat among the people whom the princess was feeding. The princess instantly recognized Chandrasekhar and revealed the wedding ring. The princess said she knew he was alive. Soon they got married and lived happily ever after. This story explains how performing the Mangla Gauri Vrat with complete devotion and dedication can save a person's life.

Goddess Mangla Gauri Vrat:

The method or the rituals followed for performing Mangla Gouri Vrat differs from region to region.

  • Take a bath in the Brahma Muhurta. Clean the place of puja. You can make a rangoli. Spread a piece of new blouse piece on a wooden platform and place the idol of the Goddess Mangla Gauri over it. Alternatively, you can wrap the idol of the Goddess in a red cloth and place it on a small wooden platform.

  • Make a Diya (lamp) made of wheat and use a wick made of sixteen strands of thread.

  • Decorate the Idol/photo of the Goddess with flowers, kumkum, dhoop, and shringaar items (16 in number).

  • Keep fruits, kheer along with fruits/dry fruits as prasad/bhog.

  • Narrate the vrat katha and conclude with the arti

Important dates related to Shravan:

According to the Hindu calendar, the auspicious month of Sawan or Shravan in 2021 begins on July 25 and will end on August 22.

July 26 : First Shravan Somwar (First Monday and the first day of Shravan)

July 27 : First Mangla Gauri Vrat

August 2: Second Shravan Somwar

August 3 : Second Mangla Gauri Vrat

August 9 : Third Shravan Somwar

August 10 : Third Mangla Gauri Vrat

August 16 : Fourth Shravan Somwar

August 17 : Fourth Mangla Gauri Vrat

Shravana Ends: August 22, 2021


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