Pradosham or Pradosh Vrat is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. This festival falls twice on trayodashi tithi or the thirteenth day of the lunar or Hindu calendar. It is observed on Amavasya in Krishna Paksha and Poornima in Shukla Paksha.
Pradosh stands for the twilight or the fall of the early lunar time (evening light basically). Hence, the vrat is observed commonly by the twilight or sandhyakaal.
This celebration as said earlier is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. However, people worship the Natraj avatar of Lord Shiva in some parts of India.
As per Skanda Purana, Pradosham is observed in two ways-
The first method includes a strict day-long fast that goes for 24 hours. During the night, people stay awake.
The second method includes a fasting from sunrise till sunset. At evening, people worship Lord Shiva and break their fast.
How to do Pradosh Vrat?
Pradosh vrat vidhi if performed ritualistically is said to garner a lot of benefits and please Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati. The twilight period before sunrise and sunset is said to be auspicious for puja.
To perform Pradosham vrat vidhi, take a bath first. Conduct the preliminary pooja of Shiv family. After that ritual, now perform Lord Shiva pooja and evoke his energy in a sacred Kalash. Make sure to place the Kalash or the pot on darbha grass by drawing lotus on it. Also, fill it with water before starting the ritual.
In some parts of India, people also worship the Shivling. During this puja, they bath the shivling with milk, ghee or curd. Then they offer bilva leaves which are considered highly auspicious during Pradosham vrat.
Once you are done with the rituals, listen to pradosh vrat katha. You can also read various other stories from Shiv Puran. Chant Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra for 108 times. After that devotees partake the water from Kalash and apply the ash tilak on their forehand. They also visit Lord Shiva temples
It is said that people should light diyas to reap more benefits from pradosh vrat.
Legend of Pradosh Vrat
According to a famous legend, it is said that Halahal (the lethal poison) came out of the ocean during Samundra Manthan. The venom (Halahal) had the ability to destroy the universe. Seeing this, all the Devas and Asuras approached Lord Shiva and pleaded Him to save the universe.
Lord Shiva consumed the Halahal on the twelfth moon day. When Goddess Parvati knew about this, she pressed his neck to stop the surging of the poison into Lord Shiva’s body. This turned the colour of his neck into blue. That is why people call Lord Shiva, Neelkanth.
After that manthan, Asuras and Devas had the pot of Amrit (elixir of life). Having the pot of elixir coming out of the ocean made them so happy that they forgot to extend their gratitude to Lord shiva. But on the day of Trayodashi or thirteenth day, when they realized their mistake, they all pleaded Him again.
Lord Shiva forgave their mistakes and hence, they started celebrating. That time of forgiveness is known as Pradosham. It is said that whoever observes a fast and pray Lord Shiva during this time is said to gain his blessings and attain salvation.
According to another legend, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati on the day of Trayodashi tithi are said to be in a favourable mood. Devotees who pray the couple on the same day during dusk is said to have their blessings. They also fulfill the wishes of devotees who observe a fast with full devotion.
So, perform Pradosh vrat in 2017 and seek special blessings of Lord Shiva.
Days on which Pradosham is observed
The significance of Pradosham vrat varies according to the day it falls. This vrat usually falls on below given days.
Monday- Som Pradosham Vrat
When Pradosham falls on Monday, then it is called Som Pradosham. Those who observe Somvar vrat are said to cultivate positive thinking. They also get the dive blessings of Lord Shiva, who fulfills their wishes.
Devotees also read and listen to Somvar vrat katha on this day.
Tuesday- Bhanu Pradosham
When this vrat falls on Tuesday then it is called Bhanu Pradosh. Devotees are said to get rid of their health problems. It also brings prosperity.
Wednesday- Saumya Vaara Pradosham
Pradosham vrat on Wednesday is said to fulfill the wishes of the devotees while blessing them with knowledge and wisdom.
Thursday- Guruvar Pradosh Vrat
Despite Brihaspati vrat, people also observe pradosham fast on Thursday. As it falls on guruvar, hence, it is called guruvar pradosh that evokes blessings from ancestors or pitru.
Friday- Bhrigu Vaara Pradosham Fast
Friday Pradosh Vrat brings contentment in devotees and eliminates negativities from their lives. It also blesses them with success in life.
Saturday- Shani Pradosham
Pradosham that falls on Saturday is of great importance. Those observing this fast gain prosperity and success.
Sunday- Bhaanu Vaara Pradosham
Those observing pradosh vrat on Sunday attain long life. It also brings peace and prosperity in their life.
List of Pradosh Vrat in 2018