What is Pradosham
Pradosham is a significant day to worship Lord Siva and his consort Goddess Parvathi. Pradosham literally means the removal of sins. These times are the windows of opportunity to remove karma or karmic energies that limit our potential in this current life. Pradosham, which is the thirteenth phase of the dark or bright moon, is the time designated for Lord Shiva to remove the bad karma of people. It falls on the the 13th day(Trayodasi) of lunar(moon)cycle and hence falls two times in a month, once in the waxing period (New Moon Day- Amavasaya) and once in the waning(full Moon Day- Pournami) period. Sri Kurungaaleeswarar is a temple where Pradosham takes place every evening.
An auspicious day dedicated to Lord Shiva, Pradosham falls on the 13th day (Trayodashi) of the lunar fortnight (Paksha). Pradosham Vratam occurs during the two different phases of the moon (waxing and waning) as per the traditional Hindu lunar calendar.
- A Pradosham falling on a Monday is called Soma Pradosham or Chandra Pradosham
- A Pradosham on Tuesday is known as Bhauma Pradosham
- A Pradosham on Saturday is called Shani Pradosham
Among all the Pradosham vrats, the Soma Pradosham and Shani Pradosham are the most significant one observed by most devotees.
Pradosham literally means the removal of sins. These times are the windows of opportunity to remove karma or karmic energies that limit our potential in this current life. Pradosham, which is the thirteenth phase of the dark or bright moon, is the time designated for Lord Shiva to remove the bad karma of people. There are two Pradosham days in a month. There is only one temple where this daily Pradosham is very effective because of its association with Nandi, the bull of Lord Shiva. Participants of the daily karma removal program will have an archana ceremony done for them on daily basis during the Pradosham time (sunset).
All Pradoshams occur between 1-1/2 hours before and right up until the moment of sunset in the time zone where you are living physically.
A Pradosham period is considered to be very auspicious. The name Pradosh indicates the twilight period, that is, the period just before sunset and immediately after sunset. We can pray to God by performing abhishekam. Milk gives long life. Ghee gives moksha. Sandal gives Lakshmi’s grace and there are lots more. Generally, the twilight period is aound 1.5 hours before sunset i.e from 4.30 P.M to 6.00 P.M. (in India) and from 5.30pm to 7pm (in Malaysia & Singapore). During this period, the devotees are aware that Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati are at their best cheerful mood. Anyone asking for blessings and offerings are highly blessed by the couple during the Pradosham period.
What is Sani Pradosham
Shani Pradosham – When 13th Moon-day falls on Saturday. The planet Saturn is considered an Agent of Karma who delivers many of life’s tougher lessons to help us refine and evolve our souls. Pradosham time are measured by the phases of the Moon.
Shani Pradosham – When 13th Moon-day falls on Saturday is the supreme level for worshipping Lord Shiva. In Hinduism, Saturday is dedicated for Lord Saniswaran, one of the Navagrahas or nine celestial gods. According to Hindu belief, Lord Shiva swallowed the poison on a Saturday and this is called Sani Pradosham. People who is experiencing 7/12 Sani peyarchi period, it is beneficial to observe prayers on Shani Pradosham and offer prayers to Lord Shiva during the day.
During Prodhosham time, abshiegam done with turmeric, kumkum, honey, rice powder and etc is consider to give fruitful benefits.
Lord Shiva has more influence over Saturn (Shani-dev) on this day and can cause Saturn to loosen or release some of the karmic bonds that limit us. It is also thought that the first Pradosham was on a Saturday and observing this time transports us back to time of the Churning of the Milky Ocean.
When a Pradosham falls on a Saturday, it is termed as Shani Pradosham. To overcome the bad influence of Shani, devotees observe a vratham on Shani Pradosham and offering prayers to Lord Shiva during the day.
What is Soma Pradosham
A Pradosham occurring on a Monday is known as Soma Pradosham. Monday, also known as Somwar, is dedicated to Lord Shiva, hence, the name Som Pradosh. Also it is the day ruled by his consort, Mother Parvati who rules over the Moon. The Moon rules emotions and emotions influence thought. Karma is created by thought. Observing a fast on a Monday is associated with offering prayers to the lord asking for a good and loyal spouse. Also the vratham assists in attaining prosperity and a peaceful family life.
A Pradosham falling on a Monday is considered to be very auspicious. The Moon rules your mind and controls your emotions which is why many people are advised to wear the Moonstone to ease their anxiety and worries. Controlling your mind first involves erasing your negative karmas. Karmas are invisible signatures marked in your spiritual books. They represent your actions and deeds, both good and bad.
The ruler of the Moon is Lord Shiva’s wife, Goddess Parvati or Shaktidevi. She is the mother to whom we all pray and a powerful complement to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva wears the crescent moon in his head and controls the waxing and waning of the Moon. Lord Shiva is the master of time in one of his forms, the Kala Bhairava. Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu often prayed to Lord Shiva. In fact, Lord Shiva is so powerful that he once cut off one of the heads of Lord Brahma when he saw that he was getting arrogant about his power. From that day, Lord Brahma has only four heads, instead of five.
Lord Nandi is occupying a very vital place in front of Lord Shiva. Praying to Shiva, Shakti and Nandi on any day is wonderful, but praying to them on Soma Pradosham with sincerity in your heart destroys your negative karma and helps you to control your mind and in turn remove your anxiety.
What to do on Pradosham Day
- Visit temple in the morning after taking bath early in the morning.
- Recite and read Thevaram, Thiruvachagam, Shiva mantras.
- Take pooja dhraviyam for abishekam and pooja, especially arugampul garland (bermuda grass) for
- Nandikeswaran and vilvam garland (bael leaf) for Lord Siva.
- Lighting ghee lamps.
- Distribution of prasadam for devotees.
During Prodhosha time anointing (Abhishekam) the Shiva deity with the following is considered fruitful.
- Milk gives long life
- Ghee gives Moksha state
- Curd gives good children
- Honey gives melodious voice
- Rice powder frees from debts
- Sugar cane juice gives good health
- Panjamrutham gives wealth
- Lemon removes fear of death
- Sugar removes enmity
- Tender coconut gives enjoyment
- Cooked Rice(Annam) gives mejestic life
- Sandal gives Lakshmi’s grace
How to pray on Pradosham Day
- First saluting the Rishabha Devar (Holy Bull or Nandi) go anti-clockwise and salute Chandishwarar (not crossing the Gomukhi).
- Now return in the clockwise manner salute Rishabham and continue clockwise till the Gomukhi (not to cross it again).
- Then return in anti-clockwise direction salute the Rishabham again and proceed towards chandishar.
- From there return back clockwise without worshiping Rishabham and reach the Gomukhi.
- Finally return back anticlockwise from there to salute Rishabham and continue to Chandishwarar and return back to Rishabham and worship the Shiva Lingam (at the altar) by viewing through the space between the two horns of the Holy Bull.
- This is one Pradakshinam. Three such times Pradakshinam to be done.
- If you carefully observe the curve traced by doing the pradakshinam is very similar to the periphery of the crescent. Hence this way of circulating is called Somasutra Pradakshinam.