Maha Pradosham

Introduction to Pradosham

On the 13th day of each fortnight, Pradosham is observed twice a month. It is an auspicious three-hour period that occurs one and a half hours before and after sunset. As a result, there are two Pradoshams observed in a month—one during the Moon’s waxing phase and one during its waning phase. The worship of Lord Shiva and Nandi (the bull), his vehicle, is held on this day, which is regarded as extremely fortunate.

In order to find relief from the asuras, also known as Danavas and Daityas, the devas, or celestial deities, made their way to Shiva during the most favorable times of pradosha. They were aided by Nandi, Shiva’s adored bull, as they ran around Kailasha, where Shiva had previously resided on Thrayodashi evening. Because Shiva assisted them in eliminating the asuras, the custom of worshipping Shiva on Thrayodashi alongside Nandi developed and is still practiced in Shiva temples.

Significance of Pradosham

Pra means remover in Sanskrit, and Dosham means unfavorable events or karma. Pradosham is the day on which Lord Shiva will extinguish all of your karma and sins and carry out your wishes, as the name suggests. The mind settles down as the sun sets, making it the ideal time to meditate deeply on the Supreme Lord Shiva.

The time between 4.30 PM – 6.00 PM is seen as Pradosham. During this time period, daily Pradoshams of a lower energy level occur. After a New Moon and a Full Moon, middle energy level Pradoshams occur twice a month on the 13th lunar phase. Pradosham experiences a higher energy level when one of the 13th lunar phases falls on a Saturday.

Mythology behind Pradosham

As indicated by legend, the Devas (heavenly creatures) and the Asuras (evil presences) stirred the enormous expanse of milk for Amirtham (nectar) involving Mount Meru as the stick and Vasuki snake as the rope. The divine snake suffered severe abrasions when it was violently moved in opposite directions. She then released the “Halahala” venom into the nectar. Lord Shiva requested assistance from the Devas, who were afraid to approach it.

In response to their prayers, Shiva, the ultimate universe protector, drank the poison to save them. His consort, Goddess Parvati, held Lord Shiva’s throat to prevent the venom from reaching his stomach out of fear that it might kill him. His throat became blue from the venom, earning him the moniker “Neelakanta.”

Devas realized their error and begged Lord Shiva for forgiveness on a Trayodashi (13th Moon phase). The Supreme Lord danced with joy in between the bull’s horns because he was overjoyed by this. It is believed that he did this dance during the Pradosham timing, and he continues to do it on a daily basis. As a result, all of the Shiva temples in South India offer Pradosham to Nandi.

Rituals of Pradosham Vrat (Fasting)

Since Pradosham is the best time to worship Lord Shiva, keeping a fast gives the day more divinity. Fasting on Pradosham not only purifies the body’s system, but it can also help get rid of sins, karma, and negative energies and open the door to liberation.

Because Monday is Lord Shiva’s auspicious day and Saturday is controlled by Saturn, the bookkeeper of karma, pradosham on these days is regarded as more sacred. Lord Shiva uses Saturday to loosen karmic ties for his devotees. Somavara or Soma Pradosham is the name given to the Pradosham that falls on a Monday, and Sani Pradosham is the name given to the Pradosham that falls on a Saturday.

This day of Vrat (fasting) will grant you victory, peace, and the fulfillment of your wishes. Some people observe a 24-hour fast, while others fast from sunrise to sunset, breaking their fast in the evening after Shiva Pooja. On a Pradosham, it is highly meritorious to visit Shiva temples and perform Abishekam, or hydration pooja, for Lord Shiva. The devotee benefits significantly from each item used in the Abishekam.

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