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Pradosham is an auspicious 3-hour period, 1.5 hours before and after the sunset, and is observed bi-monthly on the 13th day of every fortnight. The day is considered ideal for the worship of Lord Shiva and Nandi (Bull). When a Pradosham falls on a Saturday, it is called as Sani Pradosham. Lord Saturn, the planet of Karma rules Saturday, and worshipping him and offering your prayers to Lord Shiva on a Sani Pradosham is believed to resolve your sins and karmic effects.
According to Hindu mythology, Saturday is the day dedicated to Lord Shani (Planet Saturn). He is often related to karma and troubles based on his position in your birth chart. Everyone fears him for the adverse effects he could bring to our lives. To appease the Lord and avoid such ill effects, people usually keep fasting for Lord Shani on Saturdays. When a Pradosham falls on a Saturday, worshipping both Lord Shiva and Shani on that day adds more divinity.
Sani Pradosham is classified into three, namely, Uthama, Mathima, and Athama.
Maha Sani Pradosham falls in the Month of Kumbha (Maasi in Tamil) during the months of February–March before Maha Shivaratri.
People usually observe strict fasting on the day of Pradosham abstaining self from eating and drinking. The fast is broken during the evening by offering Pooja to Shani (Saturn) and Lord Shiva. The ideal time for performing the Pooja is the Pradosham time window, 1.5 hours before and 1.5 hours after sunset. Under specific circumstances, a partial fast with consumption of milk and fruits can also be observed.
Lord Shiva is the deity of Shani or Saturn. Shiva is the chief of transformation and destruction, while Shani is the Lord of justice. Shani would destroy the fame, credentials of a person obtained through false ways, and restore honesty and faith in a person, which shall transform them into a better person. This transformation is the ultimate way to reach Lord Shiva.
Pradosham Poojas are carried out in all Shiva temples with special Abishekam (hydration Pooja) using a variety of items. Each Abishekam item has its own benefit when bathed and worshipped on Lord Shiva. Usually, the items include milk, honey, ghee, turmeric, sandal, rose water, rice powder and panchamirtham (a mixture of 5 items). Prasad (offering) is distributed to the devotees after the evening Pooja, which is consumed to break the Vrat (fasting).
Observing Vrat (fasting) on Sani Pradosham for Lord Shiva and Shani can bestow you with the following blessings:
The sacred scriptures prescribe fire ceremony, Abishekam (hydration ceremony), Pooja/Archana (Light and Sound ceremony), Yantra and Mantra (special sounds) as the ways to offer your prayer to the divine. Out of these, fire ceremony is the most evolved spiritual technology on earth to connect with the divine beings. Participate in the remedial services to clear your karma and receive the blessings.
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