Solah Somvar Vrat Procedure, Rules, Katha (Vidhi) and Rituals: Fasting, or observing Vrat, is a common practice followed by Indians in a quest of making their deity happy, so that they can get their wishes accomplished. As per mythology every single Indian deity has immense power to fulfill their devotees’ desires. Devotees often perform various yagya, vrat, hawan to attain their desired from the almighty. One such vrat is ‘solah somvar’ ( 16 Monday) vrat, which is observed for various reasons, but especially to find a good husband. Thus, Solah somvar vrat is particularly observed by single women. Many young girls also observe this fast.
During this fast sixteen consecutive Mondays are devoted to Lord Shiva. However, married women and males also observe this fast, but for different reasons. Married women observe it for long married life, and men for happy and peaceful life. Solah somvar vrat can be started in any month during the Shukla Paksh phase (bright lunar fortnight). Some devotees even opt for the Chaturmas period for observing this solah somvar vrat. The fast begins at sunrise and ends at sunset. Generally partaking of one-time meal is allowed, but some like to observe fast for complete 24 hours. You can have nuts, milk and fruits during the fasting day, still some believe to observe the fast empty stomach. Read later part of this article for more details. Let’s begin with narrating the historical significance of this vrat first. Following is a Katha, which solidifies the belief of devotees, also the reason behind to observe this fast:
Devotee is expected to wake up early in the morning, and take bath. After that, devotee should go to Shiva temple. If you are unable to go temple then you can perform puja at home too. On all Mondays,detailed puja is performed with 16 offerings to Lord Shiva. Recital of Katha is also a part of puja. During the fast devotees are allowed to eat fruit, milk, thick sweet roti (naivedyam, prepared of jaggery), but, consumption of salt is strictly prohibited. Naivedyam is a Shiv prasad which is equally divided into three parts, before offering it to god. From three parts, one part is offered to the god, one part is distributed among friends and relatives and the third part is eaten by the devotee. You can eat a complete meal after breaking your fast in the evening. On the 17th Monday, the devotee offers a mahapuja to Shiva at a Shiva temple. You can also contact the local priest for more specific details pertaining to this fast.
This fast is done to please Lord Shiva, the god who can easily be pleased. It is said one who observes this fast gets his/her wish fulfilled in no time. Once you start the fast, then it is essential to complete 16 Mondays, otherwise you may be deprived of receiving shiv shakti blessings to boost your luck.
As the legend says, once Lord Shiva and Parvati were on their way to city Amaravati. Suddenly, they saw a beautiful Shiva temple. So they stopped and decided to pay a visit inside the temple. Incidentally, that day Lord Shiva was in a joyous mood. Observing the situation, Parvati initiated to play a dice game with him. During the game, the temple priest appeared, when Parvati ji asked him to predict the winner of the game, the priest abruptly answered Lord Shiva would win it. Finally, Parvati won the game and got annoyed as the Brahman had lied to her about the outcome of game. Parvati cursed him to be a leper. Hence, the Brahman got cursed and started leading a miserable life. Some time later, few fairies descended on earth and visited the priest. They asked him about his miserable state The Brahman narrated the entire story to them.
One of the fairies suggested the Brahman to observe fasts on sixteen consecutive Mondays without a break to get rid of the curse, and on the seventeenth Monday, she told to prepare victuals (prasad), using flour, ghee and jaggery (gur), and distribute it among the family members. As explained, the priest observed the fasts and to his surprise, he restored his normal state soon. After few days, Lord Shiva and Parvati visited the same temple again. They were amazed to see a healthy priest. When Parvati enquired about priest’s good state, the priest recited the whole story to her. Amazed, Parvati too thought of observing the fast and in due course, got reunited with her beloved son, Kartikeya. Similarly, other such incidents began to happen after observing fasts on 16 consecutive Mondays. Even today, it is believed, the woman who is facing tough time in finding life partner should observe this fast to get married early.