The term pradosh refers to the evening time around sunset. Typically, the Pradosh time extends from 90 minutes before sunset to 60 minutes after sunset.
Pradosh is a highly special occasion in Shiva temples. Over the recent past, Pradosh Pujas have become highly popular across all Shiva temples. The most important highlights of the Pradosh Puja at temples include Abhishekam to Lord Shiva and Nandi (sacred bull) idols, procession of Lord Shiva mounted on Nandi around the temple premises and the chanting and singing at the temples. Pradosh Vrat Puja Vidhi
Though the devotees can perform special pradosh pujas at their homes, the most important aspect of a Pradosh Puja is visiting the Shiva temple in the locality or any chosen special Shiva temple for the day. The devotees observing Pradosh Vrat must participate in the pujas conducted at the temples and if possible remain vigil throughout the night engaging in the singing and listening of Lord Shiva’s names and glories. Shiva Puja on this day with Bilva leaves is highly beneficial.
Pradosh Vrat Fasting Rules
Though Pradosh comes twice in a month, some devotees observe only the Pradosh falling during the waning phase of the moon. In the stricter kind of fasting, the devotee observes the fast from the morning on Pradosh day and breaks it only on the next morning after cooking the food freshly performing Shiva Puja and offering it to Lord Shiva. In the milder version, the devotees can take milk and fruits for the day and conclude the fasting in the evening of Pradosh day after Shiva worship at the temples.
Pradosh Vrat Story
Long ago, the gods and demons decided to churn the ocean of milk together in pursuit of nectar that shall bless them with immortality. When they were churning the ocean with Mantra hill with snake Vasuki as the rope, the first thing to emerge out was Halahala poison which was so deadly. Just the pungent fumes of the poison itself were unbearable and threatened the whole of creation with the fear of destruction.
Lord Shiva so mercifully arranged to collect every drop of the poison and to save the worlds, drank it himself. Mother Parvati touched the neck of the Lord and the poison stayed there forever resulting in a blue neck (Neelkhand). It was the day of Pradosh when the Lord mercifully saved the worlds from the deadly poison. Therefore Shiva is said to share the benevolent mood on this day which saved the worlds.
Pradosh Vrat Benefits
The benefits of Pradosh fasting is narrated in Shiva Purana. It is said that those who observe pradosh fasting shall be blessed with prosperity, children, peace and happiness in the families. Women who seek to have progeny observe this vrat so fervently and are blessed with children. It is also believed that those observing this vrat diligently will be freed from their sins.