Pradosh Vrat is considered an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Vrat falls on the 13th day of every lunar fortnight in the traditional Hindu calendar. Shiva devotees fast from sunrise till sunset and important rituals and pujas are held during the twilight period. There are two Pradosh in a month.
SIGNIFICANCE OF PRADOSH VRAT
Pradosh fast is observed on Trayodashi (13th day) of every Moon month (Chandra Masa). This fast is kept in both Krishna and Shukl Paksha. A person who observes fast on Trayodashi and worships Lord Shiva has the grace of God on him and gets on the path of salvation and becomes free from the cycle from birth and death.
WHY PRADOSH VRAT IS CELEBRATED
The Pradosh Vrat is associated with “Samudramanthan” or Churning of ocean.
According to the Hindu Puranas, on the advice of Lord Vishnu, the gods (Devas) and the demons (Asuras) were stirring the milky ocean (Ksheersagar) to extract Amrita, using Vasuki (the snake king) as a rope. As the churning continued, Vasuki underwent severe scratches and emitted a powerful poison (Kaalkuta / Halahal) which was capable of destroying the entire world. The helpless celestials pleaded Lord Shiva to save them. Shiva, then, swallowed the poison. Goddess Parvati stopped the poison in Shiva’s throat and it is believed that his throat turned to blue. Hence, Lord Shiva came to known as Neelakandan or Neelkanth (the one with a blue throat).
The Gods and the Asuras continued the Samudra-Manthan and finally got the Amrita on the twelfth day of lunar fortnight.
It is said that on Trayodashi (thirteenth moon day), the Gods and Asuras realized that in the wake of finding Amrita, they had not prayed or thanked Lord Shiva, and thus committed a sin. They asked for His forgiveness. Lord Siva forgave them and danced in between the horns of the Nandi (Celestial Bull). This time is called Pradosh. It is said that if anybody prays Lord Shiva during this time, He grants their wishes and gives them “Moksha”.
BENEFITS FROM OBSERVING PRADOSH VRAT
Different benefits are said to be obtained by Pradosh Vrat on different days:-
Monday Trayodashi (Som Pradosh) provides with good health and helps to fulfill wishes.
Tuesday Trayodashi (Bhaum Pradosh) cures diseases.
Wednesday Trayodashi (Budh Pradosh) fulfills worldly wishes.
Thursday Trayodashi (Guru Pradosh) is observed for destruction of enemies.
Saturday Trayodashi (Shani Pradosh) is observed for pleasure and happiness of married life. Even, couples expecting to conceive a child should observe fast on Shani Pradosh.
For the detailed Puja Vidhi, please refer our Puja Vidhi Section
~~Om Namah Shivai~~