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Important Aspects Of Shrawan



important-aspects-of-shrawan

Ram Dayal Rakesh

The month of Shrawan is considered very sweet and soothing in Maithili culture. It is also considered very religious. This month is also very momentous in terms of season. Poets are very fond of this month.
Even the great poet Kalidas has described its importance in his famous epic named Meghdoot. He has described its natural as well as material beauty and importance. His hero Yakshchha sends a message to his forlorn heroine through the clouds. His heroine is weeping bitterly in the absence of her lover. It is in the month of Shrawan when there is a soft shower of rain throughout the whole night. The lightning is shining all around.

Forlorn Females
The black clouds are roaming and roaring day and night. The whole sky is covered with silky and silvery clouds. It increases the pangs of separation to a great extent. Everything is stimulating and exciting. Her pain of separation has doubled this month because her lover is far away from her. Thus, this month is not so welcoming for forlorn females.
There has been a long poetic tradition of this month in Sanskrit, Hindi and Nepali languages .Kali Das's epic has become immortal in the true sense of the term. He consoles his bereaved beloved by the blessings of this month. This month has been mentioned even in the folklores of Mithila.Maithili folksongs have been sweetened by the fragrance and flavour of this pleasing and pleasant month.
Those folk songs which are sung this month are called Barahmasa and Chhaumasa and Chaumasa. These songs are sung during the whole night by the men and women of Mithila. They forgot the fatigue of physical labour done while planting the saplings of paddy in their fields during this month. The whole atmosphere has started resounding with these melodious folksons. Actually speaking this month is very sweet and soothing. The womenfolk of Mithila began swinging in the orchards of mango singing these sweet songs. I would like to quote one folksong in this context:
"Sakhi (friend) peacock began to dance.
The clouds are pouring and roaring all around.
The lightning is frightening me by shining
I feel a thirst for sexual pleasure
The night is dark and clouds are black
Madan (the god of love) is giving pain.
The Maithil womenfolk love to have green Saris and bangles this month in Madan. The lovely ladies of Mithilanchal adorn their wrists with vibrant and beautiful bangles. They also worship Lord Shiva, the enemy of Madan (Kamdeva).They also have (Mehendi) henna on their hands and feet to beautify themselves.

Importance of Mehendi
They also love to have the reddish hue and attractive patterns of MEHENDI. It signifies auspiciousness, good luck and sensuality. It is a kind of traditional skin adornment. Its significance has been mentioned in ancient scriptures. It is considered an inseparable part of marriage ceremonies. Its main purpose is to avoid evil eyes. It spreads a good smell in the surrounding area and catches the eyes of beholders. Nowadays ladies of all ages are fond of it. Men and women equally colour their hair either with red or green Mehdi. Many of them decide to be vegetarian throughout the whole month.
They offer trifoliate leaves of the Bel fruit which are naturally ever green to pacify angry god Shiva. They also observe fast on every Monday of this month to please their favourite god Lord Shiva. The Terai plain is very hot and humid during the rainy season. So they wear green Saris and bangles to avoid the hot temperature and also to please Lord Shiva. The whole Terai belt looks like green velvet because of green paddy plants in the fields. They also have aesthetic sense as well as colour psychology. Green colour is considered very soothing especially in this month.
In Hinduism, Shrawan is considered a very auspicious month because it has religious significance. This is the fourth month according to the Hindu calendar. The worshipping of Lord Shiva begins with the first Monday of this month because Monday is the favourite day of Lord Shiva. It is regarded as an auspicious day for worshipping and at the same time pleasing Him. So the woman folk worship Him very attentively and regularly for the long life of their husbands. The maiden girls worship Him for getting suitable husbands.
It is also said that Parvati worshipped Him to get Him as her constant consort. Hindus of the world regard this month as the holiest. They throng to Shiva temples every Monday of this month. They frequently visit Baidyanath Dham and Pashupatinath temples during this month. Some devout devotees crawl throughout the whole way to have His Darshan. Many fairs and festivals are held this month.

Nagpanchami, Rakshabandhan
Nagpanchami (Worshipping of Snake) is a very useful festival. By offering milk and Lava (fried paddy) to the snake god is to get rid of snake biting the whole year especially during the rainy season. Snakes frequently come out in this season and bite people. So the people of Mithila worship the snake god every year on the fifth bright lunar day of fortnight. Rakhi (Rakchhabandhan) is celebrated on the auspicious occasion of the full moon day every year. Brahmins used to wear new sacred threads on this occasion. Sawaneghadi is also observed in the whole Mithilanchal in which family deity is worshipped by every family according to one's religion. I would like a quote here:
'Religion is each individual's sacred relation with his God. This divine transformation is the result of faith in God who is Truth, Justice and Love. This is universal and common to all religions.''

(The author writes on culture and religion)