We all know about the Somwar Vrat, and many of us even do the fasting, but not many know about the story behind this Somwar Vrat. So let us see the story behind Monday fasting and the correct way of doing the fast.
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The Somwar Vrat Katha
Once upon a time, there was a wealthy moneylender in a town. He had all the luxuries of life but did not have any boy child. This made him extremely worried and sad throughout. For this purpose, he used to fast and visit a Shiva Temple nearby every Monday.
Impressed by his devotion, Goddess Parvati, one day, requested his husband, Bhagwan Shiva, to fulfill the desires of the moneylender. To this, he replied,” It is the fruits of one’s action that one gets in his life, and he has to suffer whatever is in his fate.” But Goddess Parvati was still willing to reward the moneylender for his supreme devotion.
When Goddess Parvati became adamant, Lord Shiva conceded but on a condition- that the boy’s age would be merely 12 years. The moneylender was listening to the conversation between the two. After listening, he neither became happy nor sad. Instead, he continued to show his devotion to Bhagwan Shiva and continued to visit the temple.
After some time, a baby boy was born in the moneylender’s house. However, when the boy turned 11, his parents sent him to Varanasi to study there. They gave his uncle a huge sum of money and asked to take him to Kashi for studies, and on the way, to perform Yajna and to feed the Brahmins and give them Dakshina.
Both the nephew and uncle did exactly the same. They went to Kashi and performed Yajna on the way. In a city where they stayed for a night, there was a wedding of the daughter of the City’s King. But, the groom-to-be was a blind eye.
The father of the groom-to-be had an evil idea, “What if I replace my son with the 11-year-old boy just during the marriage and take the princess to his city after the ceremony?
He made the 11-year-old boy wear the groom’s clothes. But the moneylender’s son was an innocent boy. He found an opportunity and wrote on the side of the princess’s sardine, “You are getting married to me, but the prince with whom you will be sent is blind by one eye. I am going to study Kashi.”
The bride told this to his father. The king then decided not to go ahead with the marriage.
After reaching Varanasi, the boy and his uncle performed a Yajna. They scheduled another yajna on the 12th Birthday of the boy. During the Yajna, the boy started to feel unwell. So, his uncle advised him to go and take some rest inside the hut.
After some time, the boy died as per the condition stipulated by Lord Shiva. Seeing the dead nephew, his maternal uncle started moaning. Coincidentally, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were going from there at the same time.
Parvati said to God- Swami, I cannot bear the sound of its crying. You must remove the suffering of this person. When Shiva went near the dead child, he said that this was the son of the same moneylender, whom I had stipulated would die at 12 years of age. Now its age is over. But Goddess Parvati said, “O Mahadev, please give more age to this child; otherwise, in its separation, its parents will also die in agony.”
Upon being insisted by Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva gave a boon to the boy that made him alive. After obtaining his education, the nephew and uncle proceeded toward their hometown. Both of them reached the same city where the boy was married. In that city, also he organized a yajna. The boy’s father-in-law recognized him and took him to the palace and took care of him, and sent off his daughter with the boy.
The moneylender and his wife were waiting for their son after being hungry and thirsty. He had vowed that if he got the news of his son’s death, he would also give up his life. But he was very happy to hear the news of his son’s survival.
That very night Lord Shiva came into the merchant’s dream and said, “O Shrestha, I have given your son a long life by being pleased by the observance of your Somwar Vrat and listening to the story about your fast.”
Hence, whoever observes a Somwar Vrat or listens and reads the story, all his sorrows are removed, and all his wishes are fulfilled.
Another story about Somvar Vrat goes as follows:
One day Bhagavan Shiva wanted to live in the city of death, and he took his consort Goddess Parvati with him.
Bhagavan Shiva started living in the city of Amrawati of Vidarbha, which is a sub-province of the current day Maharashtra.
There was a beautiful temple built by the king of that region dedicated to Bhagavan Shiva. He started living in that temple with his wife.
One day Goddess Parvati wanted to play the game of Chaucer, but as the game proceeded, they started talking about who will win the game. Goddess Parvati said that she would win this game.
Just then, a priest entered the temple premises, and the Goddess asked him to tell who would win the game. The priest confidently said that Bhagavan Shiva would win this game, but instead, Parvati won the game.
This made Goddess Parvati angry, and he cursed the priest for lying and said he would suffer from the leprosy disease for the rest of his life as a punishment.
They then left the temple. After many days of this incident, Apsaras came to that temple for worship and found the priest in that condition.
They asked the priest about what happened, and the priest narrated the entire story. Upon hearing the entire story, the Apsaras consoled the priest and suggested that he should do the Somwar Vrat.
They said that one who observes this fasting gets blessings from Bhagavan Shiva and even tells the priest how to perform the fasting.
The priest started fasting as told, and by doing it continuously, he recovered from his illness and started living a normal life again.
Goddess Parvati observed this, and she asked the priest how his illness got cured, and he explained the Somwar Vrat to the Goddess.
Even Goddess Parvati started observing this fast to fulfill her wishes. Her son God Kartikey who was angry with her became obedient to her. But Kartikey couldn’t understand this sudden change in his behavior; one day, he asked his mother about it.
Then Goddess Parvati narrated the story of Somwar Vrat to him, and he, too, decided to do it to fulfill his wishes. One of Kartikey’s friends, a Brahmin, also came to know about the Somwar Vrat and fasting to fulfill his wishes.
And then the Brahmin went abroad to a king’s palace where the ceremony of Swyamvar was taking place. The king said that there was an elephant that had a garland. And around whose ever neck the elephant puts the garland will marry his daughter.
Fortunately, with Bhagavan Shiva’s blessings, the elephant put the garland around the Brahmin’s neck, and he married the princess.
After the marriage, the princess asked the Brahmin, and he told her the entire thing about the Somwar Vrat and how it fulfills all the blessings of the person observing the fast.
Even the princess started fasting, and her wish was also got fulfilled. She gave birth to a beautiful boy. When the boy grew up, he too learned about the Somwar Vrat. He also started worshipping Bhagavan Shiva and doing the fast.
He then gained the entire kingdom of an old King. The new kingdom king went to the temple on Monday to worship Bhagavan Shiva. However, his wife was an atheist (she didn’t believe in god), so she didn’t accompany her husband in the worship.
While the king was leaving the temple after worshipping, a voice came from heaven saying that if he didn’t leave his wife, his life and the entire kingdom would be ruined.
Upon hearing this, the king left his wife and ordered his soldiers to take the queen and leave her on the city’s outskirts. The queen was abandoned with no food, water, or help. She started crying and walked till she reached a nearby city.
An old lady spotted the queen and took her inside the house. She used to make threads and hired the queen to work for her. But the next day, when the queen left the home of that lady to sell the threads, a heavy gust of wind blew away all the threads.
The old lady lost her mind and fired the queen. The queen was once again miserable and homeless. But a person spotted her and allowed her to come in. He was a businessman who used to sell oil. As the queen stepped inside his home, all the oil vessels tumbled on their own, spilling the entire oil. This made the man angry, and he ordered the queen to leave his house.
This incident kept on happening with the queen, and she was told to leave everyone’s house. After this, the queen couldn’t understand what was happening to her. So she wandered and reached a beautiful forest where she spotted a clean pond.
But the water dried up completely when she drank the water from that pond. She thought of resting under the shade of a tree and sitting under it, but the tree shed its entire leaves. This happened with every tree she sat under. Some shepherds watched this, taking the queen with them to a priest.
When the priest asked, she narrated the entire story that had been happening to her for the past few days. After listening to the entire story, the priest said that she had been cursed by Bhagavan Shiva. After listening to this, the queen begged for help, and the priest said she needed to do the Somwar Vrat and gave her the instructions.
The queen started the fasting with pure devotion and worshipped Bhagavan Shiva. After that, she continued fasting every Monday, and after her 16th fasting, the king’s mind changed.
He wanted his queen back and sent soldiers in every direction to get her location. Finally, when she was found, the king came to take the queen to the palace, and the entire city celebrated the queen’s return that day.
The king gave away lots of gifts to the poor and kept doing the Somwar Vrat for his life as he was a great devotee of Bhagavan Shiva. Finally, after worshipping Bhagavan Shiva and gaining every precious thing, he went to Shivdham during the last stage of his life.
In this way, whoever observes the 16 Monday fasting or the Somwar Vrat gets supreme happiness and attains moksha (salvation).
Somwar Vrat Vidhi
Let us see the way to perform fasting.
- With devotion, fast on 16 Mondays and get up around 3 am-4 am
- Clean your entire house and then take a bath
- Sprinkle Gangajal in every corner of your house
- Then in a pure and clean place, install the image or statue of Bhagavan Shiva
- Then take wheat flour, jaggery, ghee, belpatra, flowers, akshat, sandalwood, and pair of Janeu and make three sections of it.
- After making three parts offer one part to Bhagavan Shiva, and the rest two parts will be used as Prasad.
- On the Seventeenth Monday, make baati of wheat flour filled with bread. Then, make Churan by mixing ghee and jaggery and distributing it as Prasad.
- If you have a temple near you, offer Jalabhiskek or milk to the Shivlinga.
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