What is Pradosham?
Pradosham is an auspicious 3 hour period, 1.5 hours before and after the sunset and is celebrated bimonthly on the 13th day of every fortnight. So there are two Pradoshams in a month, one in the waxing phase and the other in the waning phase of the Moon. The day is considered highly auspicious for the worship of Lord Shiva and his vehicle, Nandi (the Bull).
Significance of Pradosham
In Sanskrit, “Pra” means remover and “Dosham” means karma. As the name implies, Pradosham is the day when Lord Shiva dissolves all our karma and sins and fulfill our wishes. When the sun sets in the horizon, our mind calms down and is the ideal time to settle for a deep meditation for the Supreme God Shiva.
The time period between 4.30 PM – 6.00 PM is observed as Pradosham. There are five types of Pradosham namely:
- Nitya Pradosham – occurs every day in the time window 4.30 PM – 6:00 PM (Sandhya) during sunset.
- Paksha Pradosham – occurs on Shukla Paksha Chaturthi (4th lunar day of the waxing Moon) every month during Sandhya time window
- Maasa Pradosham or Monthly Pradosham–occurs during Sandhya timing on Krishna Paksha Trayodashi (13th lunar day of the waning Moon) every month
- Maha Pradosham–observed when the monthly Pradosham falls on a Saturday
- Pralaya Pradosham–is also called ‘The Dooms Day’ when Lord Shiva annihilates the entire universe and performs his divine dance
Mythology behind Pradosham
According to legend, the Devas (Angels) and the Asuras (Demons) churned the cosmic ocean of milk for Amirtham (Nectar) using Mount Meru as the stick and Vasuki snake as the rope. Upon severe movement in opposite directions, the divine snake suffered extreme abrasions. During the churning many things came out of the Milky Ocean which includes Kamadhenu, the wish fulfilling cow, Parijata tree, Goddess Lakshmi, the Moon. Also there were winged white horses, white elephants and the Divine physician Dhanvantri. Vasuki, also spat out “Halahala”, vicious venom which fell in the Nectar. Both the groups were afraid to go near it and cried out for help to Lord Shiva.
Shiva, the ultimate preserver of the universe pleased with their prayers drank the venom to save them. Goddess Parvati, his consort was afraid that it might kill Lord Shiva and held his throat to prevent the venom from going down to his stomach. The venom turned his throat blue and this event bagged him the name “Neelakanta”.
On a Trayodashi (13th Moon day), Devas realized their sin and pleaded Lord Shiva for forgiveness. This delighted him and the Divine Almighty danced with joy in between the horns of Nandi, the Bull. It is believed that he performed this dance during the Pradosham timing and he does it everyday. Hence during Pradosham Nandi is also worshipped in all the Shiva temples of South India.
Shiva's drinking of the poison is a cosmic event that symbolizes the dissolution of karma and negative thoughts within us and the world. During pradosham time it is easier to get connected to Shiva.
Pradosham being the optimal timing for worshipping Lord Shiva, observing a fast adds more divinity to the day. Fasting on Pradosham not only cleanses our body system, but also dissolves negative energies, karma and sins and paves way for liberation.
Pradosham on Mondays and Saturdays are considered more sacred, with Monday being the auspicious day for Lord Shiva and Saturday which is controlled by Saturn, the bookkeeper of Karma is influenced by Lord Shiva to loosen the strings of karmic bonds for his devotees. When Pradosham falls on a Monday, it is called Somavara Pradosham and when it falls on a Saturday, it is called as Shani Pradosham.
Observing Vrat (fasting) on this day blesses one with triumph, peace and fulfillment of wishes. Some people observe a 24 hour fast and others observe fasting from sunrise till sunset, breaking the fast after Shiva Puja in the evening. Visiting Shiva temples and performing abhishekam (hydration ceremony of the statue) for Lord Shiva is highly meritorious on Pradosham. Each item used for the abhishekam has significant effect or benefit for the devotee.
Benefits of Pradosham Vrat
- One is blessed with success, happiness, honor, valor and progeny
- Liberation from karmic effects and sins
- Bestows one with robust health and longevity
- Spiritual knowledge and fulfillment of desires
- Acts as a physical and mental cleansing system
- People who worship Siva during Pradosam time reap the merit of Asvamedha fire-ritual, a ritual conducted by emperor's anouncing their supreme power.
Pradosham dates in 2017
|Date||Day||Pradosham List||Pradosham Pooja time|
|09 January||Monday||Soma Prodosham||17:00 to 19:30|
|24 January||Tuesday||Pradosham||17:17 to 19:47|
|08 February||Wednesday||Pradosham||17:34 to 20:04|
|23 February||Thursday||Pradosham||17:52 to 20:22|
|09 March||Thursday||Pradosham||18:06 to 20:36|
|25 March||Saturday||Sani Pradosham||18:22 to 20:52|
|08 April||Saturday||Sani Pradosham||18:35 to 21:05|
|23 April||Sunday||Pradosham||18:50 to 21:20|
|07 May||Sunday||Pradosham||19:04 to 21:34|
|23 May||Tuesday||Pradosham||19:18 to 21:48|
|06 June||Tuesday||Pradosham||19:28 to 21:58|
|21 June||Wednesday||Pradosham||19:34 to 22:04|
|05 July||Wednesday||Pradosham||19:33 to 22:03|
|20 July||Thursday||Pradosham||19:26 to 21:56|
|04 August||Friday||Pradosham||19:13 to 21:43|
|19 August||Saturday||Sani Pradosham||18:55 to 21:25|
|03 September||Sunday||Pradosham||18:32 to 21:02|
|17 September||Sunday||Pradosham||18:10 to 20:40|
|02 October||Monday||Soma Prodosham||17:46 to 20:16|
|16 October||Monday||Soma Prodosham||17:25 to 19:55|
|01 November||Wednesday||Pradosham||17:04 to 19:34|
|15 November||Wednesday||Pradosham||16:50 to 19:20|
|01 December||Friday||Pradosham||16:43 to 19:13|
|15 December||Friday||Pradosham||16:43 to 19:13|
|30 December||Saturday||Sani Pradosham||16:51 to 19:21|