Pradosh Vrat is also known as Pradosham and marks as a major sacred observation by the followers of Sanatana Dharm. The Pradosh fasting and rituals are observed on the 13th day of a lunar fortnight which is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Pradosh Vrat Katha
The Puranas have mentioned this very interesting Katha of Pradosh Vrat which is associated with the Samandar or Samudra Manthan advised by Lord Vishnu. The very famous Amrit – which had the capacity to make anybody live forever was extracted from the sea by churning it. The Devtas and Asuras were involved in the churning which produced the Amrit along with a very powerful poison that had the capacity to destroy the entire universe.
This poison had to be destroyed but nobody got a solution for the same. In the end Lord Shiva came to rescue and he drank the poison Halahala. This made him shout with pain in his throat. To cool down the effect of the poison, Goddess Parvati placed her hands on the throat of Lord Shiva and released him from the suffering. The Devas and Asuras thanked Lord Shiva on the thirteenth day. Pleased with the devotion, Lord Shiva is believed to have danced between the horns of Nandi – the bull. The time when Shiva was extremely happy was the Pradosham period or the twilight time.
Why To Observe Pradosh Vrat?
It is believed that Lord Shiva is extremely happy during this period and blesses all his devotees and fulfills their wishes during the Pradosh period on Trayodashi day. Shiva devotees perform Pradosh for attaining moksha and fulfilling their dreams.
When To Observe Pradosh Vrat?
Pradosh Vrat worship is done in the evening on the Trayodashi tithi of both lunar fortnights – Shukla and Krisha Paksha. These are the 13th tithi or the lunar days from the new moon or full moon; Amavasya and Purnima.
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Types of Pradosh Vrat
- Nitya Pradosh – This vrat is observed every evening between the period of sunset, till all the stars are visible in the sky.
- Paksha Pradosh – This vrat is observed on every fourth day after Amavasya.
- Maasa Pradosh – This vrat is observed twice a month.Sandhya Krishna Paksha Trayodashi (13th Lunar day after Full Moon) every month.
- Maha Pradosh – Sandhya time of Krishna Paksha Trayodashi which falls on a Saturday.
- Pralaya Pradosh – The time when the entire universe gets annihilated of merged with Lord Shiva. It is observed on every 13th Lunar day after full and new Moon, by the wife and husband jointly with the hope of being free from, miseries or for gaining material prosperity.
Pradosh Vrat that falls on a Monday, is called Som Pradosh or Pradosham. The one that falls on a Tuesday is called Bhauma Pradosh/ Pradosham and when it falls on a Saturday, it is called Shani Pradosham.
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How To Observe Pradosh Vrat (Puja Vidhi)
The Skanda Purana has mentioned the appropriate way to observe Pradosh Vrat. There are two ways you can observe this auspicious vrat
- Observe a 24-hour fast which includes not sleeping during the night.
- Another method is fasting from sunrise till sunset and after Shiva puja, in the evening the fast is broken.
Follow these procedures step by step
- An hour before sunset during the evening is to be dedicated to Lord Shiva by chanting Mantras and prayers.
- The shivling is bathed with water and Bilva leaves are offered.
- Goddess Parvati, Ganesha, Kartik, and Nandi also need to be worshiped.
- A Kalasha filled with water is established with a coconut and mango leaf and is worshiped as Lord Shiva. The Kalasha filled with water is covered with darbha grass and a lotus is drawn on the pot.
- After this the water used in the puja ceremony is given as ‘Prasad’ along with sacred ash. The ash is applied on the forehead.
- Lighting a lamp is a must during prayers as it is believed to purify the surroundings.
- Chanting the mantra AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA (Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra) for 108 times during this period is said to bring in a lot of auspiciousness and benefits.
- To conclude with the ceremonies, a piece of cloth, a portrait for Lord Shiva and some other gifts are offered to a Brahmin.
Pradosh Vrat is a very auspicious muhurat and it would be great for you and your life if you follow it with all your devotion and dedication.