Types of Pradosh
There are five types of Pradosh --
(1) Nitya Pradosh -
The evening time on all days, between just 3 Ghatee (72 minutes) before
sunset and the time when the stars rise or become visible in the sky. This
is Nitya Pradosh and may be observed daily.
(2) Paksh Pradosh -
Sandhyaa (evening) time of Shukla Paksh Chaturthee (4th Lunar day after
New Moon) every month.
(3) Maas Pradosh -
Sandhyaa time on Krishn Paksh Trayodashee (13th Lunar day after Full Moon) every month.
Shani Pradosh or Mahaa Pradosh -
Sandhyaa time of Krishn Paksh Trayodasheei which falls on a Saturday is
called Shani Pradosh. Take bath one hour before, do Poojaa of all the
family of Shiv - Ganesh, Paarvatee, nandee and Kaarttikeya. Then invoke
Shiv by chanting "Om Namah Shivaaya" in a special Kalash (Pitcher),
placed on a square Mandal, drawn a lotus in it, and pread with Darbhaa grass.
After formal worship is completed,
Shiv Raatri story or Shiv Puraan is read. One may recite
Mahaa Mrityunjaya Mantra also 108 times. In the end the sacred Kalash
water is taken, the sacred ash is applied to the forehead. A gift of a
pot, a cloth and an image of god have to be given to a Braahman or in
charity to conclude the worship. Even a single Bilva leaf (leaf taken from
the wood-apple tree) offered to the Lord at this unique auspicious moment
equals a 100ís of Mahaa Poojaa.
(5) Pralaya Pradosh -
The time when the entire universe gets annihilated and is merged with Shiv.
This Pradosh Vrat 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. They should bath early in the
morning, adore Shiv, and fast during the day, and after bath in the
evening, perform Poojaa to Lord Shiv and his consort Paarvatee with the
offerings of flowers and Naivedya. They then take their supper or meal.
This Vrat is brought to a close at the end of a year.
(6) Som Pradosh or Saumya Pradosh -
When Pradosh falls on a Som Vaar (Monday), it is called Som Pradosh.
(7). Bhaum Pradosh -
When a Pradosh falls on a Mangal Vaar (Tuesday), it is called Bhaum Pradosh.
How to Do This Vrat
The Skand Puraan relates how
Shaandilya Muni prescribed this Vrat to a certain Braahman woman.
There are two ways to
do this Vrat.
--Some people observe a 24-hour fasting, which includes not sleeping at night.
--Another method is fasting from sunrise to sunset and after Shiv Poojaa the
fast is broken.
Since Pradosh is a Kaal - period (from 1.30 hours before sunset to 1.00 hour
after sunset) all Poojaa is done during this period only. If there is a temple
of Shiv, one can go there too to perform Poojaa.
--Some devotees do not fast but worship Shiv during the Pradosh period or visit
Take the bath an hour before sunset,
and first perform a preliminary worship of Shiv, together with all the others of
his Divine family, namely,
Shiv, Paarvatee, Ganesh, and Skand - in this order. After the worship of Ganesh,
Shiv is invoked in a special Kalash placed on a square Mandal with a lotus drawn
on the Kalash and
Darbhaa grass spread over
the Mandal. After the formal worship has been completed, a
is read and heard by the devotees. This is followed by the recitation of the Mahaa Mrityunjaya
Mantra 108 times. In the end the sacred Kalash water is partaken of, the sacred ash is applied
to the forehead, and the water which was used to bathe the Lord, is drunk. A gift of a pot, a
cloth and an image of the Lord is given to a Braahman to conclude the worship.
Lighting a single lamp at this time is very meritorious.
time anointing (Abhishek) the Shiv with the following is considered
fruitful. "Oh Rudra, My salutations to your anger and to your arrows.
My salutations to your bow and to your two hands." Rudra is always
known to be easily pleased and through the praise contained in Shree Rudram,
the fierce Rudra is calmed and becomes ready to grant us every conceivable
blessing as requested in the Chamakam hymn. Bilva Patra (leaves) and flowers
are most suitable leaves and flowers
for Shiv Pooja. If situation permits, go to Shiv temple for every Pradosh and live in
His grace blissfully.
to be Taken
Although one should not take salt in this Vrat.
Staunch devotees opt
for water only throughout fasting time and will only eat the Prasaad
offered in the evening. Such devotees only eat cooked food from next day
morning. But as people
know, there is not much hard and fast rules in Hindu Vrat and festivals.
Whatever is available according to time, place and one's physical
condition may be used for worship and Vrat. One should never worry about
all this. It is rather important to lift oneself spiritually by self
A very important point to be
remembered in this connection is that during this auspicious period all the hosts of
celestial beings and gods come down from the Heavens and attend the worship in their subtle
forms. This adds immensely to the sanctity of the worship. This Vrat is highly lauded by
the scriptures and is of very great sanctity and importance to worshippers of Shiv. The
mere sight of the Deity in a temple during this period will destroy all sins and bestow
bountiful blessings and Grace upon the fortunate beholder. Even a single Bel leaf (Bilva Patra)
offered to the Lord at this unique, auspicious moment equals a hundred Mahaa
Poojaa. It is
usual to have special additional lights in the shrine during the Pradosh. To light even a single
wick at this juncture is highly meritorious and productive of untold benefits, spiritual as
well as material. Most fortunate and blessed is the person who performs the Pradosh Vrat, for
upon him Shiv showers his choicest grace and blessings in a very short time. According to
Ved, worship Lord Vishnu in the morning and Lord Shiv in the evening,
especially during Pradosh Kaal is highly beneficial to the Saadhak,
especially when the 12th Tithi (Dwaadashee) in Krishn Paksh or Shukla Paksh
ends before midnight.
[From Shiv Puraan]
gives its importance in the following 8 Shlok - "During the time of
Pradosh, the Lord who holds the trident, makes Goddess Gauree who is the
mother of all the three worlds, sit on a golden seat inlaid with precious
gems and prepares to dance himself, and all the Dev sing his praise at
this time, the goddess of Knowledge plays Veenaa, the hundred faced Indra
plays the flute, the Brahmaa who was born in a lotus flower keeps time,
the Goddess Lakshmee starts to sing, the God Vishnu plays the drum with
ease, and all the Dev stand all round in service, and pray Lord Shiv.
When the time
of Pradosh arrives, Gandharv, Yaksh, birds, snakes, saints, Vidyaadhar,
Dev, the celestial dancers, Bhoot, and all the beings in the three worlds,
come and stand near the Lord Shiv. So at the time of Pradosh, there is
need to worship only Shiv, instead of Vishnu, Brahmaa and others, for the
proper worship of Lord Shiv then, would give the effect of worshipping all
gods. Let us be protected by that dancing Shiv, who uses the various
sounds of the shaking drum, to call all those people drowned in the fearful
life, who indicates protection to them using his right hand held down, who
lifts his left leg capable of killing all sorrows, to those who fall at his
feet, who indicates the path of salvation by his left hand held up, and who
shows that all this is true by carrying fire in the other left hand.
I tell the
truth, I tell what is good for the other world, I tell the views of the
Upanishad, for every insignificant animal that is born, the only
meaningful thing is the service to God. He who does not worship Lord Shiv
during Pradosh, he who does not even bow before him at that time, he who
does not at least listen to the story of Shiv at that time, is a foolish
soul who would be always poor, birth after birth. He who during the time
of Pradosh, worships Lord Shiv, with full concentration using lotus
flowers, would forever along with his children, wife and friends, get all
wealth and all luck in a very large measure."
Behind the Pradosh
Once Devtaa and Asur
were trying to get Amrit
(nectar) from the Khseer Saagar (milk ocean) using the serpent Vaasuki as a
churning rope and Mandaraachal Parvat as a churning rod. Then the terrible
poison Halaahal came up. All got frightened and pleaded to Lord Shiv for
rescue. Being the peak of mercy Lord Shiv drank that poison. After that
they resumed their effort to get Amrit. They got it on Dwaadashee (twelfth
Moon day). Without praying
and thanking the God, by whose grace they got this Amrit, Devtaa started
dancing and celebrating their victory. On Trayodashee (13th Moon
day) they realized that they had sinned of not praying Shiv and pleaded
for his forgiveness. The pleased graceful Shiv forgave them and danced
between the horns of the Nandee (Holy Bull). It was the time Pradosh time.
So whoever prays Shiv during that time, Shiv fulfills their wishes and
give them Mukti.