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Thread: fasting for shiva 16 straight mondays

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    fasting for shiva 16 straight mondays

    Hello,

    Has anyone on this forum tried fasting on mondays for 16 consecutive weeks? If so, has it worked for you? Did your wish come true?

    It is said that your desires become fulfilled and you can also obtain a good spouse by fasting for 16 straight mondays.

    Can anyone share their experiences of whether fasting for lord shiva worked for you?

    Thank you

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    Re: fasting for shiva 16 straight mondays

    Quote Originally Posted by hs089 View Post
    Hello,

    Has anyone on this forum tried fasting on mondays for 16 consecutive weeks? If so, has it worked for you? Did your wish come true?

    It is said that your desires become fulfilled and you can also obtain a good spouse by fasting for 16 straight mondays.

    Can anyone share their experiences of whether fasting for lord shiva worked for you?

    Thank you
    Namaste hs089 ji,

    Hello and welcome to HDF. I hope that once you get a little more comfortable and familiar here you might introduce yourself in the Introductions section?

    There are several forms of Somvar Vrat, which is the fast you ask about. I have been taught the 16 straight Mondays is specifically for obtaining an ideal spouse, but maybe it's also done for other boons by some. I practice Somvar Vrat every Monday with no time limit. I practice a strict fast, and unless a family function falls on a Monday, I only break my fast after evening worship, with Prasad. If there is a family function that day I will eat lightly, after sunset and time aside for mental worship (assuming I can't worship at a Temple). I usually spend the day listening to Stotras and Bhajans, whether at home or at work. But Somvar Vrat need not be so strict, or it can be more strict.

    Does it fulfill wishes? I think so. I cannot recall ever asking the Lord for anything directly, I didn't start the Vrat because I wanted something. However, I'm sure He knows when I am a little worried or wanting for something, and there may have been a few times I did ask for something but can't recall just now. Regardless, my general experience has been that I have greater peace and happiness, this life has become more prosperous and fulfilling in all ways, and the things I feel I need or which my family/friends need seem to come to us much easier, and sometimes seemingly from nowhere. When accident events happen, they are not so bad for us.

    But, this may not all be from the Somvar vrat, some is likely from simple devotion and a continuous effort to surrender and trust. Life in general is better for all of this, Somvar Vrat and other such fasts and practices I observe included.

    I know of a couple at the Temple I go to who practiced Somvar Vrat for their son, and he did get a lovely bride and everyone seems very happy. The Lord is said to be easily pleased. But I think it's more that when you open yourself, your heart, honestly and completely, He responds to that. It's a form of surrender. And fasts are a great tool for opening up the mind and heart.

    If you wish to practice it, and practice it without doing harm to your health and wellbeing, then whatever the reason follow that urge. It's always rewarding.

    ~Pranam
    ~~~~~
    What has Learning profited a man, if it has not led him to worship the good feet of Him who is pure knowledge itself?
    They alone dispel the mind's distress, who take refuge at the feet of the incomparable one.
    ~~Tirukural 2, 7

    Anbe Sivamayam, Satyame Parasivam

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    Re: fasting for shiva 16 straight mondays

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    Has anyone on this forum tried fasting on mondays for 16 consecutive weeks? If so, has it worked for you? Did your wish come true?
    It is said that your desires become fulfilled and you can also obtain a good spouse by fasting for 16 straight mondays. Can anyone share their experiences of whether
    fasting for lord shiva worked for you?
    I have a different view on the matter… let me share it with you if I may.

    It is said that success, happiness, bliss (sukṛta¹) is born of sattva (sāttvkaṁ). It is by this infusion of sattva¹ , being, wholeness, purity,
    that one unfolds their essence (sāraḥ). The implications are substantial . It is not by acting good or 'doing' that one unfolds, but by infusing the highest good
    in one's self that unfoldment occurs to one's delight.

    And within bhāgavad gītā (chapter 2, 47th śloka) kṛṣṇa-ji informs us of the following:
    karmaṇi evādhikāras te
    mā phalesu kadācana |
    mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr
    mā te saṅgo'stv akarmaṇi ||

    This says, you certainly (eva) have ādhikāra (claim , right , privilege, control) of your (te or ti) karmaṇi¹ (of your actions) , but never or not (mā) of its fruits (phalesu) .

    This means you as being a human get to choose your actions, but you do not get to choose how they will turn out i.e. the results or conclusions. But you do get
    to initiate the action of your choice.

    So what am I suggesting from the knowledge offered above ? Offerings to the Supreme is beyond a transaction. 'If I do this, then you give will give me that'... this is the love of a shop-keeper. I am happy when customers are buying and when they are not I am unhappy; I only yearn for more customers to come though the door because it benefits me; if it does something for the customer ,fine, but I wish to profit.
    Hence one's success or failure is within one's own level of being. And what is that 'complexion' of that person's actions?

    do as you see fit...


    iti śivaṁ

    words

    • sukṛta - meritorious act , virtue , moral merit ; well-conducted , virtuous , fortunate ; another name for prajā-pati
    • sattva - Being, true essence , the existence of the Supreme ; In the sāṃkhya view of reality it is the the highest of the three guṇas
    • karmaṇi - connected with or being in the action
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: fasting for shiva 16 straight mondays

    Namaste,

    Welcome to the forum.

    It is raining and I need an umbrella. So, I hand out a few dollars to a vendor and he hands me the umbrella.
    I am hungry and need food. So, I fork up few rupees and the vendor gives me a plate of food.
    I am thirsty and I need water. So, I take out some change from my pocket, put it in a vending machine and push the button for the desired drink to satiate myself.

    Is that the type of relationship we should develop with the supreme - I will fast and you give me a nice bride/groom?
    Any and all pujas/chanting/fasting and other observances are for the pleasure of the supreme being. It creates an atmosphere, a mind set for positive things to happen per our karma. But God definitely does not sit there and dish out a nice spouse to everyone who fasts for 16 Mondays in a row. God is a Brahmin and not a vaisya to barter fasts for a bride . As has been said before, Monday fasts could be a lifelong routine meant to gain happiness of the heart and peacefulness of the soul. Everything else follows the intangibles.

    To recap, go ahead and do your Monday fasting for as long as you can/want. The devotion will change your mindset and attract the right person(s) towards you. That may result in finding a good spouse.

    Pranam.

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    Re: fasting for shiva 16 straight mondays

    Namaste Yajvan ji,

    Your advice to the OP to do as he seems fit is sound indeed... Nevertheless I'm inclined to exclaim that acting like a 'shop-keeper' and expecting something in return for one's bhakti and doing something in anticipation of a result is also a form of bhakti... perhaps it is a rudimentary form of bhakti, in its evolving state.

    In my personal opinion, bhakti can be loosely termed as 'faith'. Knowing all that he is, admiring him/her for it, and cherishing the love is hard-core bhakti. Sure this form of bhakti does not need any external ritual at all, except those performed for the sake of giving oneself satisfaction of having appreciated the divine. Nonetheless, there exist numerous people, for whom such an admiration, while being caught-up in the cycle of 'sukh' and 'dukh', brings about a certain anticipation, rather a feeling of wanting to be 'rescued' from misfortunes and thus they start doing pujas and rituals expecting something in return. The admiration for the divine is not lacking in them any bit... rather they just feel once they experience the divine 'miracle' (if you may), then that would inspire them towards more hard-core bhakti.

    I know this is not the topic of the OP, but I'm inclined to write this, so that we all rather encourage this form of bhakti in any aspirant first, as it will supposedly gradually lead the aspirant to more fulfulling form of bhakti. Even in some kathas (such as the ones that come with Satyanarayana Puja), people take to 'kaamyaartha' ('for a result') bhakti, and it is said that over due-course (of perhaps a lifetime), their bhakti turns to gratitude for all that they were rewarded with, which turns towards a wholesome appreciation alone for the divine... therefore I feel that there is no error in this 'bhaava', namely, the shop-keeper form of bhakti.

    To the OP: Sorry I have not performed the shodasa somavara puja to Lord Shiva. But for the sake of contributing something along the line in this thread, I am reminded of the auspicious pradosha puja for Lord Shiva. Perhaps doing abhishekam to Lord Shiva on pradosham will bring all auspicious results!

    I hope I added something to the conversation without sidetracking it. If not, I apologize for it.
    Last edited by Viraja; 15 October 2015 at 04:58 PM.
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: fasting for shiva 16 straight mondays

    Vannakkam: One of the purposes of penance is to 'get'. Suppose, for example, that a particular relationship in your life has gone sour somehow. It's in the spiritual realm or sort of, a family member, a temple devotee, or whomever. It's bothering you, not to mention how you think it's bothering the other person. So as a prayer of sublimation, you do a penance to God, asking Him to help smooth this situation. During this time you really concentrate on the matter, programming your own mind to be in alignment of seeking a solution. Then, a few days later, or couple of months later you have a flash of intuition or an event that shows you how you were approaching the whole matter in a less than diplomatic way. The intuitive faculty, along with the subconscious is working well. You change the approach. Then, as a 'thank you' fully understanding how God helped in this way, you repeat the penance.

    Yes it works. But only if it's beneficial to you in some spiritual way, not in some materialistic selfish way.

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: fasting for shiva 16 straight mondays

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    What point could I possibly be offering in post 3 above? Let me offer this for one’s kind consideration.

    What in the world can one offer the Supreme, meheśvara, the He does not own already ? He is any and everything:
    meheśvara sākṣātsarvaṁ jagattvameveti¹ |
    thus (iti) tvam ( you) meheśvara (or the Supreme) are clearly (sākṣāt) the whole, complete (sarvaṁ) heaven and the world (jagat)

    And meheśvara is also no-things too. What is the jest of that? No-thing suggests even the idea or desire or thoughts you are yet to have.
    They are no-things, that have not come to manifest as yet. And He is that no-thing too even before you can think of it or desire it.

    So what of this giving to Him? What can you give that is not His already? It is like me coming in your house opening your cupboards, taking out food
    and giving that food to you and saying ‘here, I have this for you please accept my offering to you’.

    So, this is the pickle… it means we really need to understand the real meaning, the real offering behind pūja-s, homam-s and yajña-s.
    It suggests what then is our understanding regarding the relationship between the person and the Supreme. Who is giving what to whom ?

    This is how one may grow; where there is an ~apparent~ conflict in understanding of what one seems to know vs. what is heard or offered,
    spurs the person to look beyond the obvious, beyond the easy to fetch and get.

    For some to understand and grow they may take the route of śravaṇa +manana+nidihhyāsna some like to call śreyas¹ ;
    others, well not so much, and subscribe to preyas¹.

    iti śivaṁ


    • from the śivavalistotra 11.2
    • both śreyas & preyas are reviewed in the kaṭha upaniṣad, chapter 2
    • śreyas - conducive to one’s welfare, conducive, auspicious
    • śravaṇa+manana+nidihhyāsna = acquiring knowledge by hearing + pondering and considering the knowledge + meditation
    • preyas – more agreeable i.e. easier ; what is present here and now, suggesting little effort.

    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: fasting for shiva 16 straight mondays

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post


    So what of this giving to Him? What can you give that is not His already? It is like me coming in your house opening your cupboards, taking out food
    and giving that food to you and saying ‘here, I have this for you please accept my offering to you’.
    Namaste Yajvan ji,

    Thanks for your perspective. But in my opinion, the aspirant is not giving/offering the lord something that belongs already to the Lord -- he is indeed offering 'his own' hard work, conviction, discipline and sacrifices (as in fasting) solely on the basis of his faith in the Lord. This brings him one step closer to the god (that is, benefits his athma) and this ritual which thus brings an aspirant closer to god is worthy of merit/rewarding by the Lord. Whatever form of ritualistic worship it may be, it involves self-discipline on the aspirant which he imposes on oneself on the basis of faith. Thus it cleanses him, purifies him and brings him closer to god.

    Sorry for discussing a story from the Vaishnava sect - Ashada Shuddha Ekadasi is very auspicious to Lord Sri Panduranga in Pandaripur. I read in the book, "Bhakta Vijayam" that one particular devotee worshipped the Lord without skipping any ekadashi for 25 full years -- that he did 'paada-yaatra' (walking penance) from his own town to Pandaripur on this auspicious day, offered Tulsi mala and then worshiped athithis until he became an old man. It is said, on his 25th trip, the Lord gave him darshan in his own shrine in Pandaripur and hugged the devotee dearly and shed tears of joy and declared "he owes a lot to the devotee for his devotion and faith in him". Stories like this abound in that book. Why should the Lord get pleased with his devotee if the devotee has nothing whatsoever to offer to the Lord?
    Last edited by Viraja; 16 October 2015 at 01:52 PM.
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: fasting for shiva 16 straight mondays

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté



    Viraja wrote,

    Thanks for your perspective. But in my opinion, the aspirant is not giving/offering the lord something that belongs already to the Lord -- he is indeed offering 'his own' hard work,
    Thank you for the note. I see what you offer - it resides within duality. I am fine with this POV yet it is not the final say one comes to on this matter
    (yet you are welcomed to your view).

    Where then can we look for insight & support on this matter ? If we turn to the uttra ( highest point) of vaiṣṇava wisdom, we would look to the guidance found in the bhāgavad gītā.
    no doubt.
    Kṛṣṇa-jī informs us ( chapters 2 & 3) :

    • in every case actions are performed by the 3 guna-s of prakṛti (nature). He whose mind is deluded by the sense of 'I' and 'mine' holds 'I am the doer'. (3.27)
    • be without the 3 guna-s (2.48)

    So, how then can we say ‘he is indeed offering 'his own' hard work” ; ‘His own hard work’ is done by the 3 guna-s. See the point?

    If one thinks they are the doer of actions, then kṛṣṇa-jī says they are confused/deluded. So one must ask how then do I act? What is the way to have skill in actions ?
    i.e. how is this accomplished ? Kṛṣṇa-jī informs us:

    yogasthaḥ kuru karmānī- established (or steadfast) in yoga ( union) perform actions (karma) (2.48)

    This is why the bhāgavad gītā is considered the cream of the veda-s. This wisdom is quite profound.
    When this occurs , this union, one has gained skill in action¹. The 3 guna-s still act yet we are out-side ( not co-mingled with them) of this –
    we’re no longer deluded who is doing what. One acts successfully , within the laws of nature (dharma), that each action will be uplifting, life-supporting...

    Since we are within the śaivism folder, I would offer just one word to this whole matter:

    liṅgāṅgasāmarasya = liṅga+aṅga+sāma+rasya¹ - you and your essence aligned to śiva




    think and do as you see fit.


    iti śivaṁ

    words


    • skill in action - the beauty is this. The actions are non-binding. Why so? With union to the Self or svātmārāma -

    taking pleasure in or contented with one's Self , one is outside the binding influence of action. Good or bad has no basis.
    One aligns to the infinite. This is quite practical and is the wisdom of all the veda-s in one drop of teaching (śāsana) from kṛṣṇa-jī.
    This is why the bhāgavad gītā is considered the cream of the veda-s.

    • liṅga+aṅga+sāma+rasya - you and your essence aligned to śiva
      • sāma + rasya sameness + essence
      • aṅga = limb
      • liṅgā mark ( code here for śiva)


    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: fasting for shiva 16 straight mondays

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté



    So what kind of mischief have I caused within this string? If one wishes to do tapas then one should pursue it. Tapas = tapa or ‘heating up’; It is the notion of purity ;
    the notion of mala’s ( blemishes) being ‘consumed by heat’ – tapa. This is leading a disciplined life – unusual in the West as one does things only in the pursuit of gaining more things.

    So, what is my point ? I look to the wisdom of ādi śaṅkara-ji and his offer found in the vivekacūḍāmaṇi, 11th śloka:
    actions help purify the mind ( citti śuddhi), not to perceive Reality (vastu¹); Reality is attained through vicāreṇa i.e. consideration , reflection , examination , investigation.
    It is never (attained) in the slightest by a hundred-million (koṭibhiḥ) actions.

    That is, actions are used to purify/clean the cognitive apparatus (mind, perception). They are used to expand comprehension. To chart the course appropriately.
    Said another way, actions are used to clean the lens of the telescope ( or microscope) to see clearly. What is being seen has always been there.
    It ( in this case Reality or Being) does not depend on the telescope's lens for its existence; it has always been there to be seen.
    (This is known by the uttama adhikārī¹)

    Another view
    If one wishes to run here and there and collect things, who I am I to say do not do this ? Yet I look to the words of upaladeva in his śivastotrāvalī¹ 11.2,
    he says to śiva, You are meheśvara… why should I ask you for any-thing ? This whole universe is one with You ( sākṣāt sarvam jagattvameveti);
    why should I ask for any-thing , give me every-thing !

    See the point? Meheśvara is so grand, infinite, magnanimous, auspicious, why do I ask Him or bother Him for a blade of grass ?
    It would be like a Prince going to his King and asking may I have a crumb of bread ?

    So, here is the insight utpaladeva is saying. I need no additional things; I needn’t a laundry list of objects, services, people, places to go,
    degrees, information lists, things to accomplish and store – this is the mind of the paśujana¹ ( worldly); I do not need more of this savikalpa
    (possessing variety or differentiated) awareness; ‘Give me everything ’ means let me be flooded in You , in your universal Being, my alignment with you.
    Why is this every-thing? Because the Supreme contains all things ( known, unknown, manifest or unmanifest).


    iti śivaṁ

    words

    • vastu - any really existing or abiding substance; essence; advitīya-vastu - the one real substance or essence which has no second.
    • uttama adhikārī - see this HDF post http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/sho...02&postcount=9
    • śivastotrāvalī - devotional hymns in praise of śiva
    • the paśujana = the paśu+ jana . the paśu = domesticated animal + jana = living entity, person = worldly person
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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