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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Holiest - Shravan' month draws thousands of 'Kanwarias

'Shravan' month draws thousands of 'Kanwarias' to Haridwar

Haridwar (Uttarakhand), Aug 3 (ANI: Thousands of 'Kanwarias' have started descending the Haridwar city on the banks of Ganges River with the onset of Shravan (monsoon) month.

Clad in saffron dress, 'Kanwarias' carry sacred water from the river ghats to pour them on Shivalingas at other places on Mondays of this auspicious month.

Pilgrims take a dip in the Ganges and collect the river water to be carried back to their native places.

It is believed that by taking a dip in the holy river and offering prayers on its banks during the Shravan month would cleanse them of their sins.

Barefoot pilgrims, chanting 'Bol Bam' and 'Har Har Mahadev' (Hail Lord Shiva) carry the vessels filled with the 'holy waters' of Ganges in pails on their shoulders.

'We visit the place every year in monsoon and carry holy water back. We pray to God that all our wishes are fulfilled and we reach our native places safely before Shivratri,' said Gajender Singh, a devotee.

Many devotees, who visit Haridwar, also visit nearby Rishikesh in Dehradun District on the banks of the Ganges.

'I came here to thank God as my niece is born and I have passed my exam. From here, I will visit Rishikesh, then come back, take holy water and return to my native place,' said Kuldeep, another devotee from Delhi.

Meanwhile, the State authorities have made tight security arrangements in view of a large number of devotees expected to arrive on the banks of River Ganga.

The State Government has closed the National Highway connecting Delhi to Haridwar for vehicular traffic, as thousands of pilgrims would be taking the road on foot.

Ajay Joshi, Superintendent of Police, Haridwar said all arrangements have been made for the devotees.

He said: 'We have uniformed personnel and plain cloth personnel. Besides, there are bomb disposal squads, and railway stations and bus stands have been thoroughly checked'.

Over the years, the number of pilgrims has increased manifold. From 100,000 two decades back, it has increased five-fold in the last three years.

The pilgrimage continues through the Shravan month and is considered the longest fair of the world.

Shravan Maas- The Holy Month of Festivals
The month of Shravan is the fifth month of the Hindu calendar beginning
from Chaitra, and is the most auspicious month of the Chaturmas. On
Purnima or full moon day, or during the course of the month the star
'Shravan' rules the sky, hence the month is called Shravan. This month
is spread out with innumerably religious festivals and ceremonies and
almost all the days of this month are auspicious.

Shravan is considered the holiest month of the year. Each Monday of this
month, known as Shravan Somvar, is a special day in Shiva temples where
the dharanatra hangs over the linga or the idol to bathe it with holy
water, day and night. Devotees pile the linga high with Bel leaves and
flowers and fast till sunset. The nandadeep (24 hour lamp) burns
steadily in the temples.

It is considered highly auspicious to do Shiva pooja in Shravan month.
As, Mondays or Somvars of Shravan month are specially observed with
austerity. All Mondays are devoted to the worship of Shiva as this day
is sacred to Lord Shiva.

The belief is that in Shravan month, offering milk to Lord Shiva earns
a lot of punya.

second Monday of sravan is considered to be one of the most sacred days to worship Lord Shiva.

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This blog is an offshoot of a website that I had conceived as a result of the spiritual grace and resultant inspiration during Shivaratri Y2K (http://www.jyotirlinga.com) on the joy of Shiva Bhakti and my quest for spiritual progress. Not finding the time (yep, bad excuse!), this blog suits me fine in quickly adding content... my spiritual forays and thoughts - helps log them too. My spiritual journey started with Hinduism and it's simple stories/ teachings as far back as when I was a 2nd grader, with Lord Shiva and has now found convergence with Advaitism / Duality. The Advaitism gurus like Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi, Nisargadatta Maharaj; they have provided that spiritual boost of energy in many lagging moments and have tremendously influenced me ... little baby steps at a time... that will hopefully all lead upto a final crescendo. The merits of satsangh are many!

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