Fasting, or observing vrat, is a common technique followed by the Hindu followers for worshipping Lord. There are a number of Gods believed to have special powers for fulfilling special desires of the devotees. Hence, devotees take up fasting in order to get their wishes fulfilled along with seeking the blessings of their Lord. One such significant vrat, or fast, practiced by Hindus is the 16 Somvar (Monday) Vrat, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This fast is usually observed by girls and women on the prospects of getting a good husband, just like Lord Shiva and being blessed with a happy married life. The Solah Somvar Vrat is observed for 16 consecutive Mondays. Check out the following lines to know about the story of Solah Somvar Vrat and the rules for observing it.
Story Of Solah Somvar Vrat
The legend goes like Lord Shiva and Parvati visited the city of Amravati and stopped by a beautiful Shiva temple. Incidentally, Lord Shiva was in a playful mood. Hence finding this, Parvati thought of playing a dice game and the game started. Meanwhile, the temple priest appeared and on asking who would win the game, the priest abruptly answered Lord Shiva would win it. However, Parvati won the game and got annoyed as the Brahman had lied. Parvati cursed him to be a leper. Eventually, the Brahman became a leper and started leading a miserable life. Some time later, few fairies descended on earth and visited the priest on seeing his pitiful fate. The Brahman narrated the entire story to them.
One of the fairies asked the Brahman to observe fasts on sixteen consecutive Mondays without a break and on the seventeenth Monday, prepare Prasad, or holy food, from flour, ghee and gur, and distribute it amongst the family members. As explained, the priest observed the fasts and to his surprise, he was back to his normal health again. After sometime, Lord Shiva and Parvati visited the same temple and were amazed to see a healthy priest. On enquiring, the priest recited the whole story. Excited, Parvati too thought of observing the fast and in due course, got reunited with his beloved son, Kartikeya. Similarly, other such incidents began to happen after observing fasts on 16 consecutive Mondays.
The Solah Somvar Vrat can begin in any month on the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon). However, devotees prefer fasting in Sharvan or Kartik month. Most devotees even opt for the Chaturmas period for observing this Solah Somvar Vrat. Though the fast begins at sunrise and ends at sunset, some followers prefer observing a 24-hour fast while only consuming water or tender khopra, or coconut. You can also have nuts, milk and fruits during the fasting day. On completing 16 weeks, special pujas, or prayers, are held in the honor of Lord Shiva.