There are a lot of indications about the beginning of Sawan month. Dense clouds can be seen in the sky during the Sawan month. These clouds relieve the earth from the heat on raining. This month gives us a message to deal with the difficulties in our life. The rain gives a new life to nature and the surroundings. New buds can be seen along with flowers etc. Even the trees and plants give us a message to handle the problems in our life.
The first Monday in the Sawan is of great importance. There are three types of fasts that can be kept on Mondays. These including fasting on Mondays, Solah somvar (fasting on sixteen consecutive mondays) and Pradosh fast. Any one of these fasts should be started from the first Monday of the Sawan month. A huge crowd can be seen on the first Monday of the Sawan month in temples devoted to Lord Shiva. According to beliefs, worshipping Lord Shiva on this day provides a person with wealth.
On this day, the head of the family should take a bath in the morning and should be seated in a clean place. He should be facing the eastern or the northern direction. A wooden platform should be used which should be covered with a white cloth. He should then worship a Shivalinga. ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ should be recited. Milk mixed with water should be poured on the Shivalinga and ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ should be recited 108 times with a Rudraksha mala.
A huge crowd can be seen in all temples during the month of Sawan but Vaidyanath dham has immense importance. A huge crowd can be seen here during the month of Sawan. A fair is also organised which goes on for the whole month. Special arrangements like food, lodging etc. are done by the Government during the Sawan month. A special train is also operational during this period.
Prior to the beginning of the Sawan month, devotees wearing amber coloured clothes make arrangements for bringing Ganga jal in Kanwars. Based on their devotion and determination, these people complete their journey no matter how long it is. People of different ages and castes travel together in groups on this journey. Kanwariyas travel 105 kilometers in Vaidyanath dham. Kanwariyas going to Haridwar are greater in number than any other place. Kanwariyas from Delhi, Punjab and Haryana visit Haridwar during this period.
Resting spots are available at various places for these Kanwariyas. They are taken care of in these places and carry on with their journey after resting. Food and medical arrangements are also made. There are various committees to handle these arrangements. All the national highways connected to Haridwar can be seen full with the Kanwariyas. Chants of ‘Bum-Bum’ can be heard all the way. According to Shiva Purana, pouring water on Shivalinga during the month of Sawan is extremely sacred.