Sixteen Mondays – So, we are already in the middle of the Shravan month according to the Hindu calendar of the year. It is the month of rain and the almighty Shiva.
According to Hindu culture and tradition, if someone fasts consecutively sixteen Mondays, beginning from the first Monday of the Shravan month, then they will bask in the bountiful blessings of the Lord Vishwanath. All the theosophists and bhakts throngs the temples to perform the rituals of Shiva puja along withavishek of the Shivling during this period. This fourth month of Hindu calendar is considered to be a pious month, which washes away pride, anger, gluttony and expectations.
Being a Hindu I feel, it frees you from the chakra of life and takes you ahead in the path of moksha.
There is always a story behind all the fasts and rituals we perform, similarly the consecutive sixteen Mondays also have a story behind. Ages ago Shiv & Parvati decided to come down to earth and stay in a beautiful temple at Amravati, made by the king. During their stay, one day they decided to play the dice game. While the game was proceeding, the priest of the temple came. Parvati urged him to foretell the winner of the game. In a hurry and without giving any second thought, the priest said that Shiva will win the game. But the result was opposite, despite winning the game Parvati was angry with the Brahmin, as he lied. The Lord could not pacify the anger of the goddess, and she cursed the priest. She cursed him to be a leper.
Owing to the curse, life of the Brahmin became miserable. With each passing day his suffering increased. During that period, apsaras from heaven came down to that temple at Amravati to worship Shiva. They met the Brahmin in the temple and pitied him for his suffering. On asking the reason, he narrated the whole story to them. After listening his ordeal, they suggested him to keep fast for sixteen consecutive Mondays and worship Lord Vishwanath whole heartedly. This would help him to get rid of the curse.
After fasting for sixteen consecutive Mondays, he got rid of the curse and healed miraculously. There was not a single scar on his body, he regained his healthy self. After few days, when Lord Shiva and Parvati visited the same temple again and was surprised to see the priest in sound health, without any scar. This made Parvati happy and on asking about the miracle, the priest narrated the incident of the apsaras visiting the temple and the ritual they suggested him, for wish fulfilment. She was so impressed that, she also decided to keep the fast of sixteen Mondays. On the seventeenth, her son Karthik, who was displeased with her returned back to her.
There are series of small stories recorded in the Hindu scriptures, which glorifies the magic of Shiva worship. Some childless parents had child after performing this fast and with Shiva’s blessings some gained back their life.
It all depends on you, how you take the stories. For some they are mere myths, some makes fun, some worships blindly and some forcefully. But the truth is that, every story has a lesson to deliver. What I can conclude from this myth of sixteen Mondays is that, suffering is part of mundane, but if you are determined to remain in the right path ignoring all hurdles then you would be blessed with satisfaction. Now close your eyes, fold your hand and chant “Om namahShivay” thrice. If not miracle but some peace will surely prevail.