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Fasting on Pradosham days is known to remove past sins and purify the devotee greatly. According to the scriptures, worshiping Shiva on a Pradosham day will help one attain salvation. The devotees of Lord Shiva observe fast or Upvas on Tritiya of every lunar month. The day is observed until sunset.
What is Pradosham?
The importance of Pradosham is mentioned in the Shiva Mahapuran. Lord Shiva narrated the benefit of observing this vrat to his consort Goddess Sati. He said that Kali Yuga is known as the toughest yuga for mankind out of all the yugas. Therefore, the way to attain Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha during this age is through observing Pradosham.
Sage Vyasa also recognized the importance of observing this vrat and shared it with us. Suta Maharishi was blessed to receive this information from Sage Vyasa, who shared it with the Sanakadi Rishis. These great Rishis then created awareness about Pradosham among human beings so they could observe it and reap its benefits.
Bestowed with special powers, it is believed that Lord Shiva grants all the wishes of his devotees during this holy time.
In some regions, Pradosham is also known as ‘Somavara Vrat’ or ‘Shani Pradosham’.
Significance of Pradosham
The significance of Pradosh varies from region to region. However, among all the Pradosham vrats, the Soma Pradosh and Shani Pradosh are the most significant ones observed by most devotees. The fast is observed from sunrise until sunset and is considered to be highly beneficial.
This Ekadashi, which falls on the 23rd of October in 2019, is known as the "Gajendra Moksha Ekadashi." The day is celebrated to commemorate the liberation of a king-turned-elephant from the clutches of a crocodile.
Those who observe fast and perform pujas on the day will be able to overcome:
The vrat is observed from dawn to dusk. Remember to eat only fruits and vrat foods on this day, and drink plenty of water!
Remember to offer water and bilva leaves to the Shivling, especially during pradoshom.
Remember to light the lamp with cow ghee. Offer Chandan dhoop and pink color flowers, rose flowers, and rose water. Don't forget the fragrance or other!
When you are preparing your food for the day, make sure you prepare white kheer or pal payasam. Make sure to offer this dish and some of the other food items to a married woman after puja.
Types of Pradosham
In honoring Lord Shiva, there is a variety of Pradoshams to choose from. Here are the different types:
Saptharishi or Abhaya Pradosham: The most common type of Pradosham occurs on the thirteenth day (trayodashi) of every waning moon.
Maha Pradosham :
This occurs once a month on the waning moon's fourteenth day (Chaturdashi). It is considered especially important in southern states.
Uthama Maha Pradosham :
This occurs when the fourteenth day (Chaturdashi) falls on a Saturday.
Ekakshara Pradosham: This occurs within two and a half days before or after Maha Pradosham, as it is believed that three letters of the alphabet make up the name of Shiva and his consort, Shakti; Ekakshara means "one letter."
Ardhanari Pradosham :
This occurs during a full moon, although some sources claim it takes place on the thirteenth day (trayodashi) of a full moon. It is dedicated to Ardhanariswara, which depicts Shiva and Shakti as one being in one.
Kanda Pradosham :
This is the most common type of Pradosham. It occurs once a month on the 13th day of each lunar fortnight, called Trayodashi Tithi in Hinduism. The first half of the lunar fortnight is Shukla Paksha, and the second half is Krishna Paksha.
Shadja Prabha Pradosham :
This type of Pradosham happens only once a year, on the day of Shivaratri when there is an eclipse. The eclipse begins at 1:31 AM and ends at 3:00 AM.
Ashtadik Pradosham :
This type of Pradosham occurs when the moonlight illuminates all eight directions during the time of sunset. This happens only once a year, on the day after Diwali, or Deepavali; this particular day is Kartik Pratipada (the first day of the Kartik month).
Navagraha Pradosham :
Navagraha refers to nine planets in Hindu astrology; this type of Pradosham occurs once a year when there is an eclipse on Amavasya Tithi.
There is a beautiful practice from ancient times in the Sanathan Dharma, where one day before the full moon, just before and after the sunset.
Pradosham comes two times every 15 days. Pradosham is the time when one comes back to a spiritual awakening. The 13th day of the moon is very important. It is believed that this is the time that Shiva descends to the earth and into our consciousness. He comes to give humans knowledge and awareness.
At the time of the Samudra Manthan when the milky ocean was churned, the Devas (angels ) on one side and Asuras (on the other) pulled the Vasuki snake wrapped around the Mandara mountain on the back of the Kurma Avataar of Lord Vishnu. They churned the ocean; the Vasuki snake felt the pain and released poison out. It was going to consume everyone. They did not know what to do. They went to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva collected all the poison and drank it. Goddess Parvati said that she resides in the heart of Lord Shiva and if he drinks it It would harm her as well, so he stopped the poison at his neck, making His neck blue. So, he came to be called “Neelakantha.” The Ananda Tandav was performed after this. So it is said to be a happy time. In our minds, there is a constant battle between the inner angels and demons. It is said that the negative karmas that get churned, we can be free from them.
The story represents the element of poison which represents karma. Everyone suffers from karma at varying degrees, no matter who the person is. On this level, this suffering is for each person. Lord Shiva agrees to remove this poison like Karma to save humankind. Karma can be dispelled on the earth plane. In the recollection of this cosmic event, one can dissolve his karmas. The specific time to do this is the 13 days of the waxing and waning of the moon. This is the window time an hour and a half before sunset. This is the time dedicated to removing karma. During this time, Shiva’s energy is available on the earth. To remove sufferings, a ritual is performed. Any negative impressions, any impurities of the mind and the consciousness can be removed.
As per the Shiv Purana, the Pradosh Kal is said to beneficial to attain children, health and wealth. It absolves all sins of the devotees and liberates them of their past actions. All desires are fulfilled by praying at this specific time on this day.
A holy pleasant dance at this time is performed by Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Just by pouring milk on a Shivling and the Nandi bull, visiting a Shiva temple, reading the Shiv Chalisa, chanting the names of Lord Shiva, offering flowers, rice sugar honey, milk, bel leaves pleases the Lord, and sufferings and past karma can be mitigated. The supreme Lord cleanses us internally on this day. This is a powerful ritual to do on the day of Pradosham. Praying to Lord Shiva at the Pradosh Kal brings prosperity and gives happiness. Fasting is also performed on this day. Anyone can practice this. Meditate or just so Japa.
Frequently Asked Questions
One has to observe fast throughout the day, and WORSHIP SHIVA IN THE EVENING; this is most of Vrata; Poojan at temples in Sandhya of Pradosh is mandatory, and then one can have a one-grain meal, choose wheat or rice; or have had simple Satwic with Parantha or Poorer. Once the food is taken in the evening after worshiping Shiva, you can have fruits in the daytime.
No, one can take fruits. It is better to avoid rice and a full meal—no onion and garlic. And needless to say, No meat-eating or alcohol, please. You can drink milk after taking a bath in the morning. After this, take a vow to fast. In the Pradosha period, one could eat fruits after worshiping Lord Shanidev. Eating salt is prohibited in Pradosh Vrat.
If we look at all Ekadashi, Jayanti's, Pradosham, it's almost the entire month for each month. With the number of spices eaten by Hindu families as recipes, detox is needed. Scientifically fasting suffices. Every human being has two things "Jeevan" (life) and "Deham '' (Soul). Death is when the "Jeevam '' leaves "Deham" forcefully and painfully. It is painful because life never wants to leave the Soul. Nobody enjoys death, and nobody will eat the food they like or their luxuries during death. Hence it is optional.
Besides, what fasts you keep is up to you. There is no mandate.
The body has nutritional demand cycles. And like the tide, it has its ebb and flow. The period of ebb in each cycle is where the body does not want the additional work needed for digesting food as it needs all the energy to do maintenance and repair. When the body is burdened every day with a digestive workload, it gets no time for essential repairs, and you can end up with degenerative diseases.