By Srikanta Mohanty: Come the holy month of ‘Shravana’, devotees carrying holy water to pour over ‘Shivalinga’ in umpteen temples are familiar sights at every place in Odisha. Over the years, this act has increasing significance during the auspicious time of the month. Bol bum devotees attired in Safforn T-shirts and shorts, familiar everywhere as ‘Kawariyas’, walk miles barefooted to bring pure water from the ponds and pour over the images of their favorite lord ‘Shiva’ in the famous temples all over the state. The sight of such devotees walking on barefoot evokes reverence from the common people as the latter makes every arrangement for the convenience of ‘kawariyas’.
Let’s know about the five reasons for which this craze has assumed gigantic proportions;
Shravana-the holiest among months– Being the fifth month of Hindu calendar, this month is the holiest as it has the maximum religious occasions and festivals during the time. As legend has it that churning of the oceans (Samudra Manthan) took place during this month by Gods and demons to discover nectar, lord Shiva played the divine role of drinking the poison that first oozed out of the oceans. Thus, the first significance of pouring holy water by the bol bum devotees is to contain the evil and bring peace to the world.
Third Eye of Shiva– As the faith prevails; Lord Shiva has the third eye that could see the unforeseen (adrista). As the ruling deity over death and destruction, He could see and do away with all the calamities going to befall on the mankind. Pouring of holy water only brings His grace over the devotees.
His matted hair– The scriptures state that the holy River Ganga stays in the ‘jatta’ or matted hair of the lord. As water gets poured over the head of lord, it removes the three imperfections of human nature, such as anger, envy, and hatred and bestows them with bliss and material prosperity.
Water and its significance– Water is the very form of life that bestows with fertility. Pouring water on ‘Shivalinga’ according to strict norms of religiosity appeases the lord and gets prosperity for the devotees and mankind as well.
The importance of Shravana ‘Monday’– The four ‘Mondays’ falling in every ‘Shravana’ month are very important. There goes the abiding faith in the devotees that pouring water with the recitation of ‘mantra’ or ‘spell’ is 108 times more effective than the rituals done at other times of different months of a year.