Yogini Ekadashi: 8th July The month of July 2010 starts with Yogini Ekadasi on 8th July, a Thursday. This Ekadasi occurs during the waning phase of the moon in the Hindu month of Ashadha (June – July). Its importance was explained to Yudhisthira by Lord Krishna. (Hema observed Yogini Ekadasi and got back his form of a yaksha which led to his being reunited with his wife.)Fasting on this day helps in overcoming the remorse of sins we have committed and leads us to moksha or salvation.
Lord Shiva's Pradosha Fast: 9th July This is followed by Lord Shiva's Pradosha fast on 9th July,a Friday. Pradosha occurs twice in a month on the 13th day. There are two Pradoshas – one during the Shukla Paksha or waxing phase of the moon and the other during the Krishna Paksha or waning phase of the moon. Fasting on this day grants us success, peace and fulfillment of our desires. It is believed that darshan of any form of Shiva during this period dispels ignorance.
Amavasya: 11th July Then we have Amasvasya on 11th July, a Sunday. Amavasya is the Indian name for a New moon.There is a natural surge of energies in the body on these specific days. Consequently Amavasya or new moon and purnima or full moon days hold a special significance for spiritual seekers. Any sadhana or religious observances performed during this time has a greater impact on the system.
Lord Krishna's Monthly Kirtan: 11th July We have the monthly kirtan of Lord Krishna begun by revered Manohar Baba at Malviyaji's residence on 11th July. In the Shrimad Bhagwat (11/14/24)Lord Krishna says, “Vaag Gadgada...Punaati” which means,” Those who take my name purify not only themselves but the whole world!" Lord Krishna tells Arjuna, “Geetava tu mam...ch Arjun” or “Oh Arjuna! Those who dance on taking my name, in fact, do really exchange me for good!”
Devshayani Ekadasi: 22nd July Then there is the famous Devshayani Ekadasi on 22nd July, a Thursday, one of the most important Ekadasis during the calendar year. As per the Puranas, God is said to take rest in Kshir Saagar on this day and steps out only after four months.(Dev Prabodhini Ekadasi will come about four months later on 17th November, a Wednesday,the 11th day of the first bright half of the Kartik eighth month of the Hindu lunar calendar.)Sanyasis call this period the chaturmaas and stay put at one place for these four months. It is believed that Hindu gods and goddesses are at rest.
Lord Shiva's Pradosha Fast: 23rd July Followed by Lord Shiva's Pradosh fast on 23rd July, a Friday, which ends in the pradosha or twilight period.
Gurupurnima: 25th July Then there is Gurupurnima on 25th July, a Sunday. The highest form of Guru is Lord Shiva Himself (Adi Dakshinamurthy), the ultimate knowledge, and a Guru is the manifestation of that knowledge.It is such an important annual festival that most Indians visit the ashrams of their respective gurus or spiritual leaders in Rishikesh, Haridwar, Mathura and Vrindavan.The famed puja or worship of Shirdi's Sai Baba also falls on this day.
Kanwarias in the month of Shravan. Soon after many devotees of Lord Shiva shall carry kanwarias to Haridwar/ Gopeshwar in the sacred Lord Shiva's month of shravan (name of the fifth month of the Hindu lunar calendar). A kanwar is a decorative bamboo pole carried on the shoulder with covered pots of water balanced at both ends.
Lord Shiva's devotees are known as kanwarias in the local dialect because they carry these earthen pots. Dressed in saffron coloured garments these pilgrims carry water collected from the Ganges in Haridwar and Gangotri from where the river originates in Uttarancahl and return to their home towns. Here they consecrate the lingams or phallic symbols of Lord Shiva as a mark of thanksgiving to him.
The first Monday of Shravan: 26th July, is dear to all the gods, especially Shiva, and every Monday of the month, devotees throng to Shiva temples throughout India to worship the sacred Shivalingam. The media will witness the great influx of devotees on second Monday (2nd August), third Monday (9th August), fourth Monday (16th August) and the last one on 23rd August, which is on Rakhi.
Saint Ushaji or Bobo's birthday: 30th JulyNext comes the most auspicious appearance day of Boboji or Saint Ushaji of hariharji.blogspot.com fame on 30th July.Let us bow to Ushaji whose ishtdev or favoured deities are Lord Radha-Krishna but Lord Shiva is the guru. Hence it seems but natural that she was born in shrawan, the month of Shiva.
- Keep a fast on every Monday from 26th July till Rakhi which is on 24th August.
- Daily offer water, milk and belpatras on Shivlingams, idols of Lord Ganesha and Ma Parvati at home or any temple.
- Also chant daily at least three beads of Om Namah Shivah and seven on Monday which is traditionally regarded as Shivji's day. In fact Shivji (incarnating as Hanumanji in Shri Ra) is paramguru of all Vaishnavas (Rameshwaram, Gopeshwar)NRIs may chant Shri Shiv Stuti daily which is available on internet as well.
- Do visit the sites of Shivji like Rishikesh and the 12 jyotirlingams during this month.
- In shrawan Braj,Vrindavan (Mathura) also has a special practice of swings being put up.The jhoolas of Lord Bihariji and Radha-Krishna are very famed. Shri Krishna Kripakataksha Stotram 8th Verse.