Offerings: Monday is the day of Shiva. The god's favourite colour is white. He likes white flowers, white clothes and a white seat. Even his home is amidst the snow-covered gleaming white peaks of the Himalayas. When offering a puja to the god, do it with white flowers and white sweets for the naivedyam . Ritual: Shiva's devotees should observe a strict fast on Mondays, eating only after sunset. Unlike other fasts, one cannot eat in the afternoon and skip the evening meal. A rudra abhishek (ritual bath amidst chanting of mantras ) should be offered to the Shivalinga in the home shrine. During the puja , a specific number of bilva leaves must be offered to the Shivalinga. In the evening, a naivedyam of rice and curds should be offered.
However, unlike usual practice, this naivedyam cannot be eaten as prasad . It should instead be taken to a Shiva temple and given to the priest or offered to a cow. Occasionally, a Brahmin or a married woman should be invited for meals. Devotees should chant the mantra Om Namah Shivay throughout the day.
Special Mondays: If it is not possible to observe a fast every Monday, one should at least observe a fast on the Mondays in the month of Shravan. These days are especially auspicious.
Sixteen Mondays: If you are seeking something specific from the God, it is advisable to observe a vrat (religious ritual) of 16 Mondays. Observed in honour of Lord Shiva, it can be started on any Monday of the bright fortnight of the months of Vaishakh, Shravan, Kartik or Magh. A fast is observed on next 16 Mondays and the udyapan of the vrat (conclusion) is performed on the 17th Monday.
Every Monday, a detailed puja is performed with 16 offerings. Although the devotee is allowed to eat food cooked without salt, crystal sugar or thick sweet roti (bread), many observe a strict fast. A naivedyam of crystal sugar or roti (thick sweet bread) is prepared for Lord Shiva. Before offering it to the god, the naivedyam is divided into three parts. One part is offered to the god, one part is distributed amongst friends and relatives and the third part is eaten by the devotee. On the 17th Monday, the devotee offers a mahapuja to Shiva at a Shiva temple. Flowers of golden champak, bilva, lotus, bakuli and punnag are essential for this puja .
Naivedyam: Sweet rotis are made of 5 kg of wheat flour, one and quarter kilogram of clarified butter and one and quarter kilogram of jaggery. These are roasted on fire fuelled by cow dung cakes. One third of the rotis are offered to the Shivalingam in the temple, one third are distributed as prasad and one third are distributed amongst relatives during meals.
Vrat for Jagannath: During the month of Chaitra, the Somvar vrat is observed for Lord Jagannath. A person who has been on a pilgrimage to Jagannath Puri or whose family member has undertaken this pilgrimage can observe it. Devotees observe a fast and, in the evening, Lord Jagannath is ritually worshipped. A naivedyam is offered and the prasad is eaten. The devotee can then break the fast.
You have to fast till evening and do Puja. You should not eat onions, garlic, nonveg etc. In the evening you can take the Prasadam after offering it to God. You can recite Shiva manasa puja slokam and Shivanandalahari. Read the somavar vrat katha .
One who observes this vratam would get to enjoy many pleasures in this world and finally would reach the kailAsham.
The moon observed this vratam and got his "moonness". He saluted the Lord gauri- shankara and requested that this vratam be called soma vAra vratam (One of the names of the moon is soma. One of the name of Lord shiva with goddess umA is also soma) and whoever follows this vratam should get their wishes materialised by the grace of the Lord and finally should get the liberation. God granted the boon.
Long ago a princess called sIman^thini was observing this vratam regularly. Then two young boys cunningly came as if they were a married couple. The princess worshiped them. The young boys really became male and female couple !
The austerous sage vaShiShTa got the chaste arun^thadhi as his wife. One gets blessed by the shiva-shakti on observing this vratam sincerely
Rituals to be followed for the Monday fast:
The Monday fast is upto the third phase. During the fast phalahar (fasting food) can be eaten. There is no hard and fast rule except that there should be only one meal eaten on that day and worship or puja of Shiva and Parvati is to be done.
There are three types of Monday fast.
1).Simple every Monday fast. 2).Som pradosh fast 3).16 weeks Monday fast.
The rituals are same for all the three fasting. After doing the Shiva puja the story must be read or heard. The stories of Pradosh fast and 16 Mondays are separate and are given here.
if married then u have to prepare the food like kheer chapati or sweet rotis and fruits for 16 married womans and have to give 1 utelsil like glass or dish and other thing u have to give them tika or chudi and some mone like 11 or 21 Rs. each,if Unmarried then do same for 16 Unmarried girls. Do not worry if you have no pundit or shiva temple near by, just do all these vidhis at your home in front of shivaling or photo....your feelings towards the God should be true and pure.Remember God is everywhere....May your wish be fulfilled..God bless you.
Congratulations on your performing 16 somvar vrat. Many people suggest visiting Shiva Temple on the 17th week Monday. Your problem is u r living in a place where there is no shiva temple or there is no pundit. This confirms u r not living in India but probably in USA or middle east. On the 17th week the person is supposed to go to nearby Siva temple and see pooja/archana being done with offerings of fruits and flowers and then distribute prasad to available people. Now take ur case -- the place where u live has no pundit or shiva temple. If it is possible for u to travel by car and visit siva temple it is worth it. Otherwise as I suggested already u can have a picture of Siva and Parvathi and do pooja yourself- read somvar vrat katha once and also listen Sivastakam. Then if u can offer prasad (fruit) to ur friends nearby that will do. Supposing u do not have Siva and Parvathi pictue with u in ur place now, please use this link to get many pictures of Siva and Parvathi.
Choose one and take print out and paste it on the wall of pooja room/place. Imagine as if u r in Siva Temple, (I am sure u must have visited the Siva temple near ur place - try to recollect before your mind -- If u r from Tamil Nadu imagine the film TIRUVILAYADAL - Sivaji - Nagesh - Siva emerging out of lingam etc.--If u are not from Tamil nadu then imagine a movie in ur language. I am sure u must have seen many, U can also see in internet and recollect.). Transfer ur mind to pooja atmosphere and perform the rituals as usual. U will play the role of punditji also. Keep aside Rs.100 or one dollar to be deposited by you in the Siva Temple hundial next time u visit the temple. All your wishes will be satisfied soon. U will have an excellent and happy life.
UshaRani r, Registered Member on
This information comes from my own knowledge.
As the name.... solah somwar.... one requires to fast on each monday for 16 continuous ones...... you will have your periods in between and in those cases it can not be counted in the 16...... you still have to keep the fast as in others (you cant skip any mondays in between till you complete the 16 fasts).... now about the procedure..... like in any hindu fast the day starts from sunrise and the fast is generally kept till next sunrise.... (you may do that 12 to 12 midnight at your convinence but its not advisable because the day doesnt end till next sunrise).....in the morning after bath (head bath) you offer pooja to lord shiv... go to a temple and do puja as adviced in the katha book.... it includes offering milk, water, chandan, chawal, haldi, (do not offer kumkum except in the savan month), beel patra, akde ka phool (a special flower which is offered only to lord shiv)..... fruits and other things as per your choice...... also pray goddess parvati and lord ganesh..... all the things has been spelled out in the book...... then speak the katha and aarti......
you generally do the fast on something.... that you need to spell out before hand..... i fasted once with churma, then on one galss milk and once on tulsai patta...... so whatever your fast with you have to keep in three portions..... one to be offered to lord shiv, one to be distributed as prasad and one to be eaten by you and this is all the things you can eat in that day (in one time) apart from water, may be tea coffe if you cant go without it!!!..... the portions may vary if you want..... i took equal!!! you can do it on fruit, or any thing you want....
my mother does repeatedly so these days she eat once in a day...... i would advice that if its your first time do it with churma..... you will have a stomach full and also it is said in the book..... milk and tulsi patta is a little difficult..... while food once in a day is not said in the katha.... as you have to make three portions!!!! the last day fast as usual but make the thing sava ser (thats i think about 1.25 kg) and distribute as prasad..... (i am forgetting the detail on that but it could be found in the katha book)!!!
i hope this was elaborative and useful..... may lord shiv showerr his blessing on all!!!! happy fasting!!!!
sir, 16 somwar is a very tough vrat to follow..four months, every somwar the devotee has to keep fast, not eat anything...there are other rules also. vrats have to be done exactly as they are prescribed in the shastras...pls consult a good guruji before you embark on this... i would suggest you all just start chanting shree swami samarth, shree swami samarth, shree swami samarth...swami maharaj is the aadi bhagwan...from whom all deities have taken form.... you can see more on www.swamisamarth.com… or search google for shree swami samarth...the group below will also help you... http://groups.yahoo.com/group/swami… i am pretty sure swami maharaj will show you light....pls do not think that swami maharaj as some sadhu or a mere sadguru.....as you read more about Him you will realise who He was...to some he appeared as shree datta guru, to others as venkatesh, to many others as krishna....
This fast series is done to please Lord Shiva, the naive God who is so easy to please. One begins the fast on a Monday of the bright fortnight of any month.
Many people observe this serial fast during the Chatur Maas (The four holy months from June/July to October/November). On the 17th Monday, Udyapan or thanksgiving to Lord Shiv is done.
The person who observes the fast should do Shiv-Parvati Pooja after having a bath, the person should then read the “Solah Somvar Katha” and fast till sunset. During the fast hours, the person may have some fruits, nuts and milk. He/She can have one meal at sunset. For complete details on solah somvar vrat and udyapan read this article: http://gyanreading.blogspot.com/200…
Do not worry i there is no temple or pundit do it at your home with true faith and devotion.
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