IMPORTANCE OF PRADOSHAM- DEDICATED TO LORD SHIVA


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Importance of Pradosham – Dedicated to Shiva

Pradhosha Vrata, or Pradhosham, is an important fasting day dedicated to Lord Shiva. Pradosha occurs twice in a month – on the 13th day (Trayodashi) – during the waxing moon fortnight and the other during the waning moon fortnight. The puja and worship is done in the evening. The Pradosha period can be loosely indicated as 1.5 hours before sunset and 1 hour after sunset.

The Shiva Purana states that one undertakes fasting on Pradhosha will be blessed with wealth, children, happiness and honor. The fasting and worship is specially undertaken by women who long to have children. It is said that those praying to Shiva during the auspicious time of Pradhosha will be freed from sins.

There are numerous legends associated with the Pradhosha Vratam. It is believed that Lord Shiva drank the Halahala poison that was churned up from the Ocean of Milk (Samudra Manthan) during Pradosham.

Another myth indicates that Lord Shiva and Parvati, the divine couple, are in a propitious mood during the evening twilight on the Trayodashi day and hence are easily pleased and grants whatever that a sincere devotee asks.

Offering Bael or Bilva leaves during the period to Lord Shiva is considered auspicious.

There are Shiva devotees that observe fast on both Pradosha days in a month. Some only fast during the waning phase of moon.

Staunch devotees opt for water only fasting and will only eat the ‘prasad’ offered in the evening. Such devotees only eat cooked from next day morning.

Another method of fasting is by eating fruits and such devotees eat cooked food on the day after the evening prayers. The strictness of the Pradosha fasting is usually decided by the devotee.

Some devotees do not fast but worship Shiva during the period or visit temples.

Since Monday is dedicated to Shiva, the Pradosha falling on Monday is referred as Soma- Pradosha and is considered highly auspicious. Pradosha falling on Saturday during the waning phase of moon is also auspicious.

How to do or observe Pradosham or Pradosh Vrat dedicated to Shiva?

Pradosh Vrat is observed on the 13th day of a fortnight and there are two Pradosham in a Hindu month. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are worshipped in the evening during twilight on this day. In some regions, the day is dedicated to Nataraja form of Shiva. The fasting on this day is observed for success, peace and fulfillment of desires. It is said that mere darshan of any of the one form of Shiva removes ignorance.

Pradosham is observed when the Trayodashi Tithi is there during the twilight period. This is important.

The importance of Pradosha Vrata and how to observe it is narrated in the Skanda Purana.

There are two methods of fasting on the day. Some people observe a 24-hour fast which includes not sleeping during night. Another method is fasting from sunrise till sunset and after Shiva puja in the evening the fast is broken.

Pradosham is the twilight period just before sunset and after sunset. Pujas and prayers are performed during this period. Many people during this period spend the time in a Shiva temple or listening to the glory of Shiva.
In the evening, an hour before sunset the devotee takes bath and prayers are offered to Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvathi, Ganesha, Kartik and Nandi. After the initial prayers, Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of a Kalasha (sacred pot). The Kalasha filled with water is covered with darbha grass and a lotus is drawn on the pot.

Another form of worship is the puja of Shivling. The shivling is bathed with water and Bilva leaves are offered. Some people use a painting or picture of Shiva for worship. It is said that offering Bilva leaves on Pradosham is highly auspicious.

After this people listen to the Pradosha Vrata Katha or story or read chapters from Shiva Purana. Then the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra is recited 108 times.

After this the water used in the puja ceremony is given as ‘Prasad’ along with sacred ash. The ash is applied on the forehead.

It is said that just lighting a single lamp during Pradosham period is enough to please Lord Shiva and the act is highly rewarding. Majority of Shiva devotees have a darshan of Shiva during Pradosham in a nearby temple.

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GURU , TEACHER, ACHARYA


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Joe: “Now I’ve seen everything!”, and be happy. But a teacher might
say we have not entered the door, yet.

Suresh: Who is teacher? If the whole universe is not your teacher, how
can some human form be teacher? Even if I accept your argument to have
a teacher; how one to recognize an enlightened teacher?

In India there are crores of teachers, each claim to be seen god or
vision of god or enlightened and each has tail of gurus inherited. You
should go and see in Kasi or even in Thiruvannamalai.

There are very famous gurus like Jaggi Vasudev or Sri.Ravi shanker
etc., you can read their books, but to meet them personally is not
easy and it could be even expensive. I have visited Jaggi Vasudev
established temple and ashram (Isha Foundation). He claims that those
who do not have any idea of meditation can also feel meditation experience
while sitting in front of the Shiva linga which he established. Since
I went with children, I could not sit there for a while, just taken a
round of shivalinga and came out. But I was attracted by it.

Now when you have no access to guru, only books can be of any help.
That too well known gurus like Ramana Maharishi. Reading a book is
different, but reading a book of guru is different. When you put all
your attention to read and understand a guru book, that itself take
you to meditative mood. Those words carry the guru’s power. A guru is
not dead at any time. In truth there has been only one guru, who only
manifest in different human form at different places and at different
time.

You guys are opportunistic and hence you had gurus and live in
isolated areas and drown in meditation. But you all are not world. The
reality world is in cities, in towns, in villages, those mass where
they will get gurus and isolated places? So a book helps those mass,
or a temple or that kind of place helps those people to feel certain
amount meditation or divinity.

Our divinity or meditation should be such that it should not get
disturbed or diluted even while living in crowd. You should radiate
peace/mediation around you wherever you go just like a flower. A
flower gives irrespective of where it is kept. It can be kept on
Buddha or any god idol or it can be on any ladies head or it can be in
the hands of man as bouquet or it is in the road side stall but it
continues to give its fragrance. That should be our mediation power;
you radiate it wherever you are.

After reading a book if anyone claims to be enlightened it can be true
or it can be false. If it is false it will be immediately known to
all, the god will remove his false mask through environment. (One will
be tested), if you are really enlightened, that too will come out in
the open, god will reveal himself through enlightened soul.

If one can see a guru in human form, then book is also a form, guru
can come to you like book also. Reading again and again will be like
guru is teaching day by day. Any false interpretation of yours will be
cleared and truth will reveal by reading the book again and
again. Once you tasted the guru’s book, reading again and again is a
voluntary process. Guru will pull you towards him.

It is far better to read enlightened guru books then getting caught by
a false guru and go astray.

Best wishes

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