Sacred month of Sravanam brings prosperity

A family performing the auspicious Varalakshmi vratham in Visakhapatnam. — Photo: C. V. Subrahmanyam

A family performing the auspicious Varalakshmi vratham in Visakhapatnam. — Photo: C. V. Subrahmanyam  

While the month of Aashadam is considered very inauspicious, people anxiously wait for the advent of Sravana masam that follows Aashadam for performing all the auspicious activity. This year, Aashadam ended on August 10 and with it the Greeshma Ruthu or the summer season. Sravanam and Bhadrapadam months form the Varsha Ruthu or rainy season and the Vizagites can consider themselves lucky as the rainy season this year began in Aashadam itself.

Sravana masam is particularly sacred for women who perform the great Valakshmi Vratham on the Friday before Poornima or Full Moon Day which normally is the second Friday of the month. However, some perform the Vratham on any Friday of the month – beginning from the first Friday to the last Friday, according to their convenience which makes all Fridays of the month very important.

Another important ritual women perform during the month is the famous Mangalagowri Vratham or Sravana Mangalavaram Nomu peformed on all Tuesday of the month. This year, the Sravanam Tuesdays fall on August 17, 24, 31 and September 7.

According to legend, Droupadi once asked her brother Lord Krishna on what women should do to prevent widowhood and lead a life of joy and prosperity. Krishna then told her about Sravana Mangalagowri Vratham in which people pray to the Goddess to achieve the goal.

To perform the Mangalagowri Vratham, women have to wake up early in the morning, take a head bath, prepare a mantap or worship place by cleaning it and decorating it with rangoli. Then rice is spread on the rangoli and small image of Mangalagowri made with turmeric paste to which worship is offered. After the puja, the women give tamboolam to other women along with soaked bengalgram.

Normally, this ritual is performed by women from the Sravanam month immediately after their marriage. This is continued for five years when it is said to be complete, with worship completed on all Tuesdays during the five years. Some may take even more time to complete the five years' prayer.

In Visakhapatnam, women are seen visiting neighbours with loads of bengalgram, plantains and betel leaves for giving tamboolam to their counterparts. They apply turmeric paste and offer obeisance while presenting tamboolam. Chanting of Sri Lalitha Sahasranamam and offering kumkum pujas is also witnessed in temples.

As no marriages are performed in the preceding months, a sudden burst of marriage activity is also found during the month of Sravanam.

B. Prabhakkar Sharma

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