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 Pradosh or Chandra Pradosh, on a Tuesday is known as Bhauma Pradosh, and on a Saturday is called Shani Pradosh. Among all the Pradosham vrats, the Soma Pradosh and Shani Pradosh are the most significant one observed by most devotees. The fast is observed from sunrise until sunset and is considered to be highly beneficial. To know more on the meaning and importance of Pradosham Vratam, continue glancing through the lines herein.
Pradhosha Vrata Significance
According to the Shiva Puranas, observing a fast on Pradosham Vratam is regarded as highly auspicious and beneficial. One would be blessed with wealth, children, happiness and honor. While the fast is undertaken by all Shiva devotees, but all women who have been longing for a son specially observe this. Also, praying to Lord Shiva during the course of the fast is said to liberate the devotee from all his previous and present sins and evil deeds committed. According to one legend, Lord Shiva is believed to have drunk the Halahala poison during Pradosham. This poison was mixed with the Ocean of Milk (Samudra Manthan).
Another myth relates the importance of observing this vrat with the divine couple, Lord Shiva and Parvati. On the Trayodashi day during the evening twilight, the couple is said to be in a propitious and favorable mood. Hence, all prayers and grants demanded by a sincere and loyal devotee are easily fulfilled. Additionally, Bael or Bilva leaves are offered to the Lord during this twilight period as it is regarded to be very fortunate. Hence, all stern Shiva devotees observe both the fasts that occur on two Pradosha days in a month. Such devotees consume only water during their fast and break their fast by eating Prasad after the evening prayers only.
Furthermore, they eat cooked food only from the next morning. Some devotees follow another method for fasting during Pradhosham Vratam. These eat fruits while observing the vrat and resume with eating cooked food on the same day after the evening prayers. Therefore, the strictness followed during the Pradosha fasting totally relies on the devotee. Nonetheless, there are devotees who do not observe a vrat on this day but offer prayers and worship Shiva either at home or in temples.