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Sawan- Month of Lord Shiva

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Shravan or Sawan is the most sacred month in the Hindu religious year. It is the month with the fragrance of devotion and has multiple important festivals like Raksha Bandhan, Janmashtami, Nag Panchami, etc, but this month is predominantly dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is the period when the monsoon is at its peak. The freshness and greenery of nature can be experienced, and the complete environment seems lively.

The whole month of Sawan is dedicated to Lord Shiva. However, Mondays have the most significance. This is the month when all the temples of Lord Shiva, are stuffed. A usual scene in the month of Sawan is the long queues of devotees carrying pots of unprocessed milk, and water in their hands, waiting for their turn for the worship of shivling. Once devotees reach near shivling, they huddled together around shivling- pour milk, water, honey, curd, betel leaves, sandal paste, flowers, and a lot more on it. Sometimes filling the vessel with water, suspending over the shivling from which water keeps dripping on Shivling. The followers worship shivling with eternal trust, which shows their devotion, faith and love for their Lord Shiva. 

According to Hinduism, in the month of Shavana, the cosmic churning of the ocean was performed, with the joint effort of gods and demons. In this churning, 14 pious objects emerged, second last item that came out was dreadful poison (before the nectar). This poison could destroy everything in the universe. Neither god nor demon was willing to accept this poison. Eventually, Lord Shiva came to rescue and consumed the entire poison, but after drinking it, Lord Shiva started radiating due to the warmth produced by that venom. It is believed, that to provide ease to lord Shiva, water and other cool things are poured on the shivling to reduce the heat of that poison.

Shiva is depicted entirely dissimilar compared to all other Hindu plethoras of gods and goddesses. With three eyes, whitish ashes of corpses smeared over the body, amidst blue neck, wearing crescent moon and a stream of river trickling through his hairs with a garland of a serpent around his neck. He is one of the most significant and one of the oldest gods in the Hindu pantheon.  

Shiva embraces many unconventional, unusual, and unprecedented manifestations. Shiva is the biggest ascetic yogi, and at the same time, he is family-oriented. Sometimes, Shiva is represented in a pacific mood with his consort Uma and son Skanda as Uma-Maheshwari. Occasionally embraced as a divine dancer as Natesa or Nataraja, sometimes as half male – half female as Ardhanarishvara, and sometimes he is Vishnu and Shiva both as Harihara. Shiva is also the god of destruction as Rudra and is the lord of cattle as Pashupatinath.

Shiva is the chief of the gods as Mahadev, slaughterer of beasts as Samharamurtis, or the teacher of yoga as Yoga Dakshinamurti. Shiva is also represented, as a supreme beggar, holding a bowl in one of his hands, a drum in another, and a dog by his side as Bhikshatana. He is also represented as Lord of Music, playing vina or listening to himself, sitting under a banyan tree and facing towards the south as in his Vinadhara form. Shiva is also called Dakshinamurthy as a teacher and is worshipped as the god of knowledge. However, Gajasurasamhara is the most fierce aspect of the Hindu god Shiva as the Destroyer of the elephant demon, Gajasura.

With all its ambiguous forms and manifestations, it differentiates him from every other god of Hinduism and is the most innocent in the Hindu plethora of gods and goddesses. 

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