Pradosh Vrat is a Hindu festival that is observed on the thirteenth day (Trayodashi Tithi) of both the waxing and waning phases of the moon (Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha) in every lunar month. This festival is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati, who are worshipped for their blessings of eternal bliss, spiritual upliftment and good health.
The word 'Pradosh' means 'the time of dusk' or 'the time of removal of sins'. It is believed that during this time, Lord Shiva performs a cosmic dance called 'Tandava' with his divine consort Goddess Parvati. This dance symbolizes the creation, preservation and destruction of the universe. Devotees who witness this dance or meditate on Lord Shiva during this time are said to attain liberation from their sins and karmas.
The rituals of Pradosh Vrat include fasting from sunrise to sunset, taking a bath in the evening, wearing clean clothes, lighting a lamp or a diya in front of Lord Shiva's idol or picture, offering flowers, fruits, milk, honey and other items to him, chanting his names and mantras, listening to or reading stories related to him and performing charity works. Some devotees also visit temples dedicated to Lord Shiva or perform Rudrabhishekam (a special puja) on this day.
There are different types of Pradosh Vrats depending on the day of the week on which they fall. For example,
- Monday Pradosh Vrat is called Soma Pradosham and it is auspicious for peace and prosperity.
- Tuesday Pradosh Vrat is called Bhauma Pradosham and it is auspicious for courage and victory.
- Wednesday Pradosh Vrat is called Saumya Vaara Pradosham and it is auspicious for wisdom and knowledge.
- Thursday Pradosh Vrat is called Guru Vaara Pradosham and it is auspicious for wealth and success.
- Friday Pradosh Vrat is called Bhrigu Vaara Pradosham and it is auspicious for love and happiness.
- Saturday Pradosh Vrat is called Shani Pradosham and it is auspicious for relief from troubles and diseases.
- Sunday Pradosh Vrat is called Bhanu Vaara Pradosham and it is auspicious for fame and glory.
The most important among these types are Soma Pradosham (Monday) which grants all desires; Bhauma Pradosham (Tuesday) which removes all obstacles; Guru Vaara
Pradosham (Thursday) which bestows grace; Shani
Pradosham (Saturday) which removes all sins; Bhanu Vaara
Pradosham (Sunday) which grants enlightenment
In 2023, there will be 24 occasions of observing Pradosh Vrats. The first one will be on March 4,
Saturday . Devotees are advised to follow all the Covid-19 protocols while celebrating this festival.
Pradosh Vrat is a way of expressing gratitude to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati for their benevolence and protection. It is also a way of purifying one's mind, body and soul by fasting, praying and performing good deeds. By observing this festival with faith and devotion, one can attain peace, harmony and salvation.
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