Pradosha vrata

Pradosha vrata

Pradosha vrata is a vrata (vow) kept in Pradosha days - on the 13th lunar day (Trayodashi) of growing (Shukla Paksha) and waning (Krishna Paksha) moon phase, which are particularly intended for worship of Shiva. More important it's the Pradosha, which falls on Krishna Paksha. It's believed that among all pujas to God Shiva Pradosha Puja is the most propitious one, it releases from sins and grants Moksha.

Types of Pradosha:

  • Bhauma Pradosha Vrata - is a Pradosha Vrata worshipped to Shiva and kept on Tuesday, when the Pradosha Vrata falls on Tuesday.
  • Som Pradosha - when it falls on Monday.
  • Shani Pradosha - when the Pradosha falls on Saturday (Shanivar).

Description of Pradosha:

There are 2 variants of the fast:

  1. to keep the fast 24-hours: rejection of food (bhojana), sleep (nidra), sex (maithuna), reading and studying (adhyayana);
  2. to keep the fast from sunrise till sunset, than to make Abhisheka and Shiva Puja, afterwards the fast is discontinued.

Pradosha is translated also as twilight (before sunrise and after sunset), that's why the worship is performed in this period.

Pradosha lasts for 3 muhurtas from the sunset hour. If Abhisheka or Puja needs more time, it may be started before the Pradosha's beginning, but it should be necessarily completed before the end of 3 muhurtas after sunset.

A bath is taken, prayers are said and offerings to Shiva, Parvati, Ganesha, Kartikeya, Nandi (ox, the charger of Shiva) are done an hour before sunset. Shiva is worshipped in form of kalasha after prelusive prayers. The kalasha is filled with water, covered with garbha and pictured with a lotus. Instead of this, Puja to Shiva Lingam may be performed. In this case water and bilva leaf are offered. Images of Shiva are also used for worship. It's believed that the offerings of bilva leaf are very propitious in this period.

Afterwards it's recommended to listen to pradosha-vrata-kathu or tales from Shiva-puranas and than to repeat maha mrityunjaya mantra 108 times.