Shravana Fasting to Lord Shiva
Shravana is the fifth month of the Hindu Calendar Year, beginning in late July and ending in the third week of August. Shravana begins with the Sun's entry into Leo . In lunar religious calendars, Shravana begins on the new moon and is the fifth month of the year. This is also the 2nd month of Varsha (rainy) season.
For many, the month of Shravana is a month of Vrat (fasting). Devotees fast every Monday to Lord Shiva. It is believed that the worship of Lord Shiva during Shravana month is 108 times more powerful than worshipping during normal days.
High merits are attached to the observance of Vrat according to the ordinance. Especially the 4 Mondays that come in the month of Shravana are very auspicious and devotees fast these mondays in the entire Shravana month.
The Shravana Shiva vrat is particularly significant for women. Both married and unmarried keep this fast for different reasons. Usually, unmarried women keep the Shravan Somvar vrat so that they find good husbands. Married women keep this fast to pray for the long life of their husband. Keeping this fast is also supposed to ensure a long and happy marital life.
Devotees also fast every Tuesday to the Goddess Parvati during the entire month of Shravana. Fasting on Tuesdays of this month is known locally as "Mangala Gauri Vrat".
It is also believed that he, who observes fasts strictly as per rituals, become free from maladies of every kind and is endued with prosperity and energy. Such a person reaps an abundance in life, acquires great wealth, good fortune and fame.
There is no penance that is superior to the observance of fasts. It is a common belief that by fasts the deities have succeeded in becoming denizens of heaven. It is by fasts that the Rishis have attained to high success.