The night is dark, yet the moon shines bright. The cool breeze carries the faint fragrance of burning incense and the rhythmic chanting of Vedic hymns grows louder as I make my way to the temple. It is Shravan Purnima, a sacred night dedicated to Lord Shiva.
My heart swells with devotion as I join the throng of worshippers circumambulating the lingam, the symbolic representation of Lord Shiva’s infinite nature. On this night, as the moon reaches its fullest and brightest in the month of Shravan, I feel closest to the Lord of Lords.
My senses are awakened, my consciousness expanded, and in the glow of the moon, I see Mahadev’s divine and graceful form. This is a night of prayer, penance and transcendence. A night when heaven and earth meet. This is the night when I realize that I am not separate from the universe – I am the universe and the universe lives within me.
What Is Shravan Purnima?
As a devout Hindu, the full moon night of Shravan holds special meaning for me. Known as Shravan Purnima, this auspicious day is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the destroyer of evil and one of the Trimurti in Hinduism.
What is Shravan Purnima? Shravan Purnima falls during the holy month of Shravan, typically between July and August. On this full moon night, devotees offer special prayers and rituals to Lord Shiva. We fast, chant mantras like the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra, and bathe Lord Shiva’s Shiva lingam with water, milk and honey.
Why is it Significant? Shravan Purnima is important because it was on this day that Lord Shiva drank the poison that emerged from the ocean of milk when the demons and devtas were churning it. He saved the world by consuming the poison, and Shravan Purnima is when we honor Lord Shiva for his act of sacrifice.
How is it Celebrated? Devotees wake up early, bathe and offer prayers to Lord Shiva. We visit temples and pour water over the Shiva lingam. Some people fast or only eat fruit and milk products. At night, we light diyas around the Shiva lingam, chant hymns and offer bilva leaves as a sign of devotion. The Shravan Purnima Snan and Rudrabhishek are two important rituals performed.
By honoring Mahadeva on this most blessed of nights, I feel inner peace and connection with the divine. Shravan Purnima strengthens my devotion and reminds me of Lord Shiva’s eternal presence as the protector of the universe.
The Significance of Shravan Purnima.
As a devout Hindu, Shravan Purnima holds special significance in my heart. This auspicious night, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is a time for spiritual connection and renewal.
On Shravan Purnima, the moon is at its brightest and fullest. This celestial event is believed to energize the sacred waters of rivers and lakes. Devotees bathe in holy waters, especially the Ganges, to wash away sins and achieve moksha or salvation.
The Shiva Purana says Lord Shiva appeared in the form of a lingam of fire on this day. Worshiping the Shivalingam on Shravan Purnima is thought to bring prosperity and fulfillment of desires. I make it a point to offer bilva leaves, datura flowers and cold water to a Shivalingam.
Staying up during the night, chanting Shiva mantras and singing devotional hymns are customary. The vibrations from the chants and bells are thought to resonate through the universe, bringing positivity and peace.
Donating to the needy and performing acts of charity on Shravan Purnima are believed to appease Lord Shiva. I try to do my part by donating food, clothes and other necessities to the underprivileged.
Shravan Purnima reinvigorates my connection with the divine. The festivities fill me with joy and remind me of the blessings in my life. By worshiping Lord Shiva and following rituals passed down through generations, I feel centered and at peace. This night of devotion nourishes my soul, giving me strength for the days ahead.
Shravan Purnima Rituals and Traditions.
The pious month of Shravan holds special significance for devotees of Lord Shiva. The Shravan Purnima, or full moon night, is dedicated to worshiping the Neelkanth – the one with the blue throat. On this night, I observe the Shravan Somvar vrat, fasting and praying to the Destroyer of evil.
Prayers and Puja.
I begin the Purnima puja by offering bilva leaves, dhatura flowers and raw milk to the Shivling. As I chant the Rudrashtadhyayi, the Shiva Sahasranama, and the sacred Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra, I feel a profound sense of peace and calm descend upon me. My worldly worries and anxieties melt away, leaving my mind clear to focus solely on worship.
On Shravan Purnima, devotees observe a strict fast, consuming only fruit, milk, and water during the day. We break the fast at night after sighting the full moon and completing Lord Shiva’s puja.
The fast is a means of purification, helping us conquer physical cravings and turn our minds inward. By foregoing food and drink, our senses become sharpened, allowing us to feel a deeper connection with the Divine.
Jagran or All-night Vigil.
Many Shiva bhaktas stay awake the whole night, singing bhajans, chanting mantras and meditating upon Lord Shiva. Keeping an all-night vigil on this sacred night is believed to bestow the blessing of the Lord. I find that the stillness of the night, free from the usual daily disturbances, greatly enhances my ability to focus single-pointedly on my ishta-deva. The hours pass swiftly, lost in chanting the sweet names of Shankara.
Shravan Purnima is a night filled with ritual, reverence and remembrance of the Lord of Kailash. By honoring Mahadev through fast, puja, and jagran on this most auspicious night, I feel I have earned a special place in the heart of the blue-throated one. On the following morning, my soul feels purified, blessed and wrapped snugly in Shiva’s grace.
Legends Associated With Shravan Purnima.
The Legend of the Descent of Ganga.
On Shravan Purnima, devotees worship Lord Shiva and Mother Ganga. According to legend, King Bhagirath prayed to Lord Brahma to bring the river Ganga down to earth from heaven to purify the ashes of his ancestors. Brahma granted his wish but told him to pray to Lord Shiva, as only He could withstand the torrential descent of the mighty Ganga.
King Bhagirath prayed to Lord Shiva for a solution. Pleased with Bhagirath’s devotion, Lord Shiva agreed to hold the Ganga in his matted locks and release her to the earth in a gentle trickle.
When Ganga descended on Shiva’s head, she meandered through His thick tresses. Although Ganga’s turbulent waters could not wet Shiva, Bhagirath still feared that the earth would not be able to withstand her force. He appealed to Shiva to release Ganga in a gentle trickle.
Compassionate Shiva released Ganga as a gentle trickle, and she followed King Bhagirath, who showed her the way to his ancestors. She purified their ashes, liberated their souls, and attained salvation. Ganga then flowed across India, giving life and purification to all. On Shravan Purnima, we honor Lord Shiva for his kindness in breaking Ganga’s descent, and Ganga for her life-giving waters.
The Legend of the Churning of the Ocean.
Another legend associated with Shravan Purnima is the churning of the ocean. The devas and asuras decided to churn the ocean to obtain amrit, the nectar of immortality. They used Mount Mandara as the churning rod and Vasuki, the king of serpents, as the churning rope.
During the churning, poison emerged first, terrifying the devas and asuras. They prayed to Lord Shiva for help. Shiva drank the poison to save creation. Parvati held his neck to prevent the poison from spreading, and thus Shiva’s neck turned blue. We honor Lord Shiva’s selfless act by offering bilva leaves, which are dear to him, on Shravan Purnima.
Shravan Purnima Mantras to Chant.
As Shravan Purnima approaches, my heart fills with devotion for Lord Shiva. This auspicious night of the full moon is especially sacred to worshiping the compassionate one. I look forward to chanting mantras to please Mahadev and receive his blessings.
Om Namah Shivaya.
This most sacred mantra honors Lord Shiva’s beneficence. Translated as “I bow to you, O compassionate one”, chanting it evokes Shiva’s grace. I recite it with reverence, feeling immense gratitude for all Shiva has given.
This powerful mantra grants longevity, health and liberation from the cycle of life and death. As I chant each word, I reflect on their meaning:
“Om trayambakam yajamahe sugandhim pushti-vardhanam urvarukamiva bandhanan mrityor mukshiya mamritat”
which translates to “We worship the three-eyed one, fragrant and nourishing, may he release me from bondage, as a cucumber is released from its vine.” I offer salutations to the healer of all sorrows.
Shiva Tandava Stotram.
Composed by Ravana, this hymn praises Shiva’s power revealed through his cosmic dance. As I recite it, I visualize Shiva dancing vigorously, channeling the energy that creates, sustains and destroys the universe. The evocative verses leave me in awe of the lord’s magnificence.
On this moonlit night, I will continue my sadhana by chanting Shiva’s sacred names, immersed in contemplation of his formless essence. Though these mantras originate from Hindu tradition, Shiva’s grace transcends all boundaries. May the rhythmic recitation of these ancient verses bring you peace and unite you with the divine. Om Namah Shivaya!
Shiva Temples to Visit on Shravan Purnima.
On the auspicious night of Shravan Purnima, I make it a point to visit temples dedicated to Lord Shiva to offer my prayers and seek His blessings. Some of my favorite temples to visit on this sacred occasion are:
Somnath Temple, Gujarat.
One of the oldest Shiva temples, Somnath Temple is believed to be the first among the 12 jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. The lingam at Somnath is swayambhu or self-manifested, making it a very powerful site of worship. I feel immense peace and spiritual solace upon gazing at the swaying flag atop the temple and hearing the continuous chants of ‘Har Har Mahadev!’
Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand.
Located in the serene Himalayas, Kedarnath Temple is one of the holiest pilgrimages dedicated to Lord Shiva. Accessible only during summer, the temple opens its doors on Shravan Purnima for a special ‘Rudrabhishekam’ ritual. Witnessing the early morning abhishekam of the Shiva lingam and then the evening aarti are experiences that fill me with eternal bliss.
Mahakaleshwar Temple, Ujjain.
One of the 12 jyotirlingas, Mahakaleshwar Temple is an important center of Shiva worship. Legends say the Shiva lingam in the temple is ‘swayambhu’ and the temple’s architecture is a beautiful blend of different styles. The bhasm aarti performed here, where Shiva’s lingam is adorned with ashes, is a spectacular sight.
- Trimbakeshwar Temple, Nashik
- Bhimashankar Temple, Pune
- Amarnath Cave Temple, Jammu & Kashmir
On the pious Shravan Purnima night, visiting these sacred abodes of Shiva helps me connect deeper with the Almighty. Seeing thousands of devotees from across the world coming together to offer their prayers fills me with hope and strengthens my faith in humanity. Jai Bholenath!
How to Observe Shravan Purnima Vrat?
Tonight is Shravan Purnima, the full moon night dedicated to Lord Shiva. On this auspicious day, I observe the Shravan Purnima vrat to honor Mahadev.
I wake up before sunrise and take a holy bath. As I have been fasting since sunrise, I only drink water and consume fruit throughout the day. I meditate on Lord Shiva and chant his name and mantras. Fasting cleans the body and mind, making one more receptive to divine grace.
In the evening, I perform abhishekam to a Shiva lingam using water, milk, honey, and bel leaves. I offer bilva leaves, dhatura flowers, and vibhuti to the lingam. I light an oil lamp and incense sticks while chanting ‘Om Namah Shivaya.’ Doing puja on Shravan Purnima is very dear to Lord Shiva.
After puja, I stay awake the whole night singing bhajans and hymns in praise of Lord Shiva. This is known as jagran or night vigil. The night is filled with devotional fervor as Shiva bhaktas come together to glorify the Lord. Singing, dancing and chanting his name, I lose myself in ecstatic devotion.
At sunrise, I break my fast by consuming fruit and milk. This is known as parana. By observing this vrat with sincerity, Lord Shiva showers his grace and blessings upon the devotee. Jai Bhole Nath! Har Har Mahadev!
Shravan Purnima Prasad or Food Offerings
On the auspicious night of Shravan Purnima, devotees make special food offerings known as prasad to Lord Shiva. As I reflect on the significance of this ritual, I am filled with devotion and gratitude.
Prasad: An Offering of Love.
The prasad prepared on Shravan Purnima is more than just food – it is an offering of our love, faith and devotion to Bholenath. Some of the items traditionally offered include:
Panchamrit: A sweet mixture of milk, curd, honey, sugar and ghee. This cool and nourishing prasad is especially suited for the hot summer month of Shravan.
Dhatura flowers: The fragrant white flowers of the Dhatura plant are offered to please Lord Shiva.
Bel leaves: The trident-shaped bel leaves are sacred to Lord Shiva and offered as a symbol of respect.
As I lovingly prepare the prasad in my kitchen, my mind is filled with veneration for the one who is pleased by such simple offerings. I chant His name with each stir of the spoon and offer each ingredient into the flames as I cook.
A Night of Celebration.
Shravan Purnima is a night of great celebration, and prasad is generously distributed among friends, family and neighbors. There is a beautiful spirit of community as people from all walks of come together to honor Lord Shiva.
As the moon rises high in the sky, bathing us in its cool light, I join the throngs of devotees making their way to the local Shiva temples. At the strike of midnight, bells ring out and aartis are performed as bhajans praising the Lord of Lords fill the air. When I finally return home, tired but spiritually rejuvenated, I smile knowing that my humble offering of prasad was accepted and blessed by Bholenath himself on this most auspicious of nights.
FAQs About Shravan Purnima.
Why is Shravan Purnima significant?
Shravan Purnima is considered extremely sacred as it falls during the holy month of Shravan, which is devoted to Lord Shiva. It is believed that on this night, the moonbeams have nectar (amrit). Offering prayers to Lord Shiva on this night is very rewarding.
What can I offer to please Lord Shiva?
You can offer bilva leaves (bael leaves), which are Lord Shiva’s favorite.
- You can also offer milk, water, bel patra, dhatura, etc. These offerings are known as Shiva archana.
- Chanting the name of Lord Shiva (Om Namah Shivaya) and his mantras are also a way to please him.
- You can keep an all-night vigil at the temple and sing bhajans praising Lord Shiva.
- Visiting Shiva temples, especially the 12 Jyotirlingas, is considered very auspicious on Shravan Purnima.
What are the rituals performed on Shravan Purnima?
Some of the major rituals and customs observed on Shravan Purnima are:
- Offering prayers every Monday of Shravan, known as Shravan Somvar Vrat.
- Fasting during the day and staying up at night, known as Shravan Purnima Upvas or Jagran.
- Chanting the Rudram, a sacred Vedic hymn dedicated to Lord Shiva.
- Performing abhishekam or pouring several items on the Shiva lingam.
- Lighting diyas around the tulsi plant at night.
- Seeking blessings from elders by touching their feet.
On this pious Shravan Purnima night, I pray that Lord Shiva blesses us all with happiness, prosperity, and peace. May the divine grace of Lord Shiva be with you!
The night of Shravan Purnima holds deep spiritual significance for devotees of Lord Shiva. As I sit under the light of the full moon, chanting the name of Bholenath and reflecting on His divine qualities, a profound sense of peace and calm washes over me.
The usual worries and anxieties that trouble the mind melt away, and all that remains is a deep connection with the Mahadeva. On this auspicious night, I open my heart to receive the grace and blessings of the compassionate Lord.
My soul soars high on the wings of devotion, seeking to unite with the Supreme Consciousness embodied in the lingam of light. Shravan Purnima is indeed a night dedicated to Lord Shiva, but also a night dedicated to awakening the divine within.