Shravan Mahina (July – August) is one of the holiest months in a traditional Hindu calendar. The month is dedicated to Lord Shiva and millions of Shiva devotees visit various shrines and offer water, milk and belpatra (Bilva leaves). Mondays in Shrawan month is considered highly auspicious to offer prayers to Lord Shiva. Shravan month in 2016 in North India begins on July 20 and ends on August 18. In Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, Shravan month begins on August 3 and ends on September 1, 2016.
The month is known as Shravan because it is governed by the star ‘Shravan.’
Legend has it that during the famous Samudra Manthan episode (Churning of Ocean) mentioned in the Puranas, 14 types of precious things came out as a result of the churning of the ocean. Asuras (Demons) and Devas (Demi Gods) shared thirteen of them. The last precious thing that appeared was the called ‘halahal’. It had the power to destroy the universe. To save the universe, Lord Shiva consumed the ‘halahal’ and stored it in his throat.
When Lord Shiva started consuming the poison, all the Gods and holy saints appeared on the sky and started offering the holy
Ganga water to Lord Shiva to make lessen the effect of the poison Halahala.
This auspicious event is believed to have taken place in the Shravan Month. From that day onwards people started bathing the Shivling with water and it became a tradition.
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