The first day of the week, Monday or Somvar, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Shiva is the absolute reality. He is known by many others names, including Rudra, Shambhu, Kapali and Maheshvara. Monday is the day when Shiva is worshipped, along with goddess Parvati. A fast is often observed by the devotees of Lord Shiva for the fulfillment of wishes. Shiva is reputed to be the god who is easily pleased and is said to fulfill the wishes of his devotees, when prayed to with deep devotion and a pure intention.
Story of Somvar Fast
The Somvar fast has its roots in Indian folklore. There are different myths about the originals of this fast and they vary from one region to another. The most frequently cited myth is given below: A poor Brahmin devotee of Lord Shiva would dedicate each Monday to fasting. Shiva was soon pleased with the worship and devotion of his devotee and granted the Brahmin immense wealth. A second myth involves a game of dice that was played between Shiva and his consort, goddess Parvati. This game of dice makes Monday a significant day for Shiva.
Monday Fast or Upvaas
The Monday fast or ‘Somvar Vrat’ is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Monday fast is kept for various purposes including fulfillment of wishes, marriage, domestic happiness, relief from diseases and improvement in health. On this day, devotees observe a fast beginning at dawn and eat only one meal can be either afternoon or evening time but without salt. The one meal that you take should also be without Onion, Garlic and only Vegetarian. Strict devotees can choose to fast by having nothing but water throughout the day and a meal in the evening only. Those who are unable to keep a strict fast due to health problems may have fruits and milk during the day.
Fast should start on Shukla Paksha first Monday and the devote should do at least Somvar vart of minimum “16 Somvar Vrat”. Sharavan month is a very good period for doing the fast. The method to do the fast is simple and should be done early morning. Mix water / Jal and unboiled milk with Bel Patta and some white flowers and make offering to the Shivling along with 5 seasonal fruits. Do not forget to put Jal on Nandi along with Shivling. You attire should be simple white clothes and recite the mantra given below 108 times. Apply White Chandan on the forehead and you may donate rice, curd, ghee to the Bhahmin or to a needy person if you desire.
ॐ श्राम श्रीम श्रौम सह चंद्राए नमः
Om Shraam Shreem Shraum Sah Chandraaye Namaha
Somvar Vrat for the Purpose of Marriage
Shiva is the god to pray to when looking for the perfect life partner and the Monday fast is recommended and popular with singles looking for the ideal spouse and a good marriage. Shiva is known to respond quickly when prayed to with sincere devotion. Married women, too, fast on Mondays, for the welfare and well-being of their husbands.
Along with the above you should also put Sindoor on Maa Gauri along with Red flowers and tie a mauli around Shivling and Gauri together seven times.
Somvar Fast for the Good Health
In case of health issues then the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra Jaap at least 2 Mala should be done.
If not possible to do the Mantra then at least listen to it with full devotion and try to recite the mantra as much as possible.
Mahamrityunjaya Mantra – महामृत्युंजय मंत्र
Om Tryambakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pushti vardhanam
Urva rukamiva Bandhanan
Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat
ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम् ।
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान् म्रुत्योर्मुक्षिय मामृतात् ।
Lord Shiva mantras
Vedic mantras have positive and valuable vibrations. Chanting above mantras with complete faith and devotion are known to bring amazing results. Ideally, a mantra is to be chanted at least 108 times a day, as this is said to maximize benefits.
Mantras are said to bring the benefits that are associated to the vibration of each mantra. Mantras can be repeated in the mind of the devotee without actually uttering the mantras or can be also chanted aloud. The mool mantra of Lord Shiva is a five-syllable mantra. The mantra is: “OM Namah Shivaya “which means “I bow to Shiva.”