How to perform shravan vrats like solah somvar and mangala gauri vrat

Here I have explained about two important shravan month vratas. It includes the process and time of taking the vratas for achieving what we desire in life. Solah somvar and Managal gauri are the two vratas that woman should know about and should do.

Shravan month starts according to lunar calendar from 4th of the july 2012 to august 2nd. This is a really divine period and hope all hindus do take the vratas.

Solah Somvaar Vrat

This is a vrat that is dedicated to lord Shiva and taken for getting a good husband d happy married life. Eventhough taken by single women, it can also be taken by married ladies and also men. It says that we have to be ready for the Vrata at first and then perform it in the right way. Fast begins in the sunrise and ends with the sunset. On performing it in continuous mondays we will achieve what we desire for. It is said that a person can have fruits, milk and water during the fast. And the katha behind this vrata should be read. And prayer to lord Shiva for whatever it is.

Method of taking the Solah Somvar Vrat

1. Take bath in the morning and try to wear white cloths.
2. Clean your puja room and place lord shiva, parvathy, ganesh pictures or idols in the room.
3. Light a ghee lamp and take aarati of god.
4. Ther should be dhoop offered for lord.
5. 16 types of offerings must be placed before lord like flowers, nuts, fruits, white sweets(if possible), a white cloth, dry fruits, sindur, turmeric, milk and also water. In total there should be 16 offerings for god.
6. Also you have to keep any fruit or churma(wheat, jaggery and ghee mixed dosa) or even milk additionally as prasad for solah somvar vrat which you need to part into 3 one for god, one for others as prasad and the rest one for you to have at the end of the puja or vrat.
7. You need to hear or read the katha or story behind this vrat about lord shiva and parvathy. And pray for your wish.

The katha behind solah somvar vrat
Once Lord shiva and parvathy on their way to city called Amaravati. There they came to see a wondeful temple of Lord Shiva. They both liked the temple and reached there. While sitting there being in a joyous mood Maa gauri wished to play dice with Shiva. And they started their game. Suddenly the pujari of the temple came there and he was happy to see both of them in the temple. Parvathy asked the pujari who will win the game. Without thinking about the question and the outcome he answered that Lord Shiva will win. But at the end of the game Parvathy won it and she became angry for what the pujari did. She cursed him to become leper. And they went from there. After some period of time, some fairies passed the temple and saw the pujari in this condition. They asked him what happened and pujari told them everything. This made the fairies feel sad on the pujari and one of them advised him to take fast of 16 continuous mondays and worship lord Shiva and get rid of the disease. Thus the Brahman pujari started the solah somvar vrat and thus on the 17th monday he got rid off the disease. This made parvathy and shiva ask the pujari brahman how he got perfect off the disease on another visit of theirs later. He told them about the solah somvar vrat procedure he had taken. Thus parvathy devi also took the vrat and thus her parted son, Karthikeya came back on 17th monday. Its the perfect vrata for finding good partner and also for anyone to accomplish their wishes in life.

Mangal Gauri Vrat

It is taken by newly married ladies for long life of their husband. All married women can take this vrata for both husband and children. This should be taken for the gauri matha with a certain method of performing pujas.

Materials for mangala gauri pooja

1. Idol of Ganesh, Mangal Gauri, Shoddesh goddess with wheat flour, 9 planets of rice
2. Garland of flowers.
3. White and red cloth and a red coloured dress for Mangal gauri
4. 16 items should be offered for god here too and each items should be maximum of 16 numbers like cereals, fruits, flowers, dry fruits etc.
5. Mangal gauri must be given 16 make up items like sindur, mascaara, mirror, comb, bangles, rosemary and so on.
6.`Urn is needed for taking water
7. A lamp of wheat flour must be made with four wick and in that 16 threaded cloth wicks must be made to light the lamp.
8. Roli, water, milk, sandalwood, rice, cardamom, cloves, cumin, coriander, bel leaf, betel nuts etc can be arranged.

Method of taking Mangal Gauri Vrat

1. Take bath in morning
2. Spread red and white cloth in the pooja room
3. On a side keep white cloth and on it 9 planets of rice and on the other side shoddesh goddess of wheat on red cloth.
4. Keep lord ganesh on one side along with rice and flowers and also the wheat is kept on another.
5. Then water is kept in the urn which is a vase made of metal or clay
6. The four wick wheat lamp is lighted.
7. Lord ganesha is worshipped at first
8. Items like bel leaf, sindur, sandalwood, rice flowers, cardamom, fruits, nuts etc are given to god.
9. Then the urn is given to ganesha.
10. Then 9 planets and shoddesh goddess are worshipped and many items are dedicated to them and those items afterwards given to brahmans or cow.
11. After that Mangal gauri idol is washed with water, milk and made to wear clothes. Then she is given 16 makeup items and done makeup possibe with that. Mirror, comb, 16 bangles, dry fruits, flowers and leaves are all given to mangal gauri.
12. Mangal Gauri vrat story is then heard.
13. This is repeated for four continuous tuesdays and at the end of pooja 16 laddoo must be given to mother in law and sister in law. And prasadam is given to brahman also.
14. After the last vrat day that is on wednesday, the Mangala gauri idol should be immersed in sea or a pond.

Katha behind mangal gauri pooja
Long before a boy went from house to house seeking alms. He was studying under a guru. This was followed as a tradition and both guru and shishya took just what they needed. One day the boy refused to take alms from the great queen and took alms from just a normal woman. The king and queen where lord shiva devotees but did not have any children. They started thinking about this incident of the boy not taking alms from the queen and queen thought that they were unlucky for that boy to take alms. This made the king angry and he said lord shiva will decide about who is lucky and who is not. Then the king came to know that the boy was lord shiva in disguise. He started praying to lord shive to forgive and bless them with a child. But shiva blessed them with a child with just 16 years of life. He was named Chandrashekhar and when time passed and the boy became a teenager he was sent to Kashi by his parents. His uncle went with him and he came to know about the truth of his life. It is believed that those who die in Kaashi is never born again. On their way they saw a princess who was discussing with her friends about mangala gauri pooja. She said that the boy who she marries will live happily for long period. It was actually the shravan month and she was performing mangala gauri vrata. Afterwards they met a prince who had fallen sick and was about to marry that princess the next day. But the sickness made the prince be ashame and he asked Chandrashekhar to marry the princess instead of him. And he married the princess. He told her everything and the very next day he was turning to 16 years old and he planned to go to Kaashi. That night princess saw a snake coming to him while he was asleep and the princess throw it with the unbroken grains taken for pooja of mangala gauri. The snake was dead soon. Snake was hidden in the kalash by princess. Chandrashekar left the palace and also the wedding ring. In mean time the other prince came to complete the wedding ceremony and princess rejected him. Although the young man reached Kaashi he did not die since the power of mangala gauri vrat done by his wife was with him. Finding himself not dead for about a year in Kaashi, chandrashekhar returned from Kaashi and on the way reached the same place. He thought she would have married the prince and is living happily. And he heard that the princess use to feed the people passing through her place. Chandrashekhar went for partaking this offering and thus the princess appeared before him and she was checking each person having the offering thinking that she could find her husband. And the princess recognised her husband. He was in tears and the princess said that she knew everything and also explained everything happened on that night. Then they married and lived happily.

Thus you can start the 2 vratas in this shravan month and solah somvar last for 16 mondays and mangala gauri last for 4 tuesdays. You can start mangala gauri from 24th july also.

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