IMPORTANCE OF PRADOSHAM- DEDICATED TO LORD SHIVA


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.

 

Interesting facts on Indian Mythology


INTERESTING INFORMATION ON THE CHARACTERS IN HINDU MYTHOLOGIES
Mandavi and Shrutkirti, the wives of Bharata and Shatrughana
respectively where the daughters of Kushadbhoja,the brother of King
Janaka.
Demons Madhu & Kaitabha who were killed by Lord Vishnu at the
creation of the world were born as Atikaya & Trishara, as sons of
Ravana & Dhanyamalini.
Jambavantha,who is believed to live from Sat Yug to Dwapara Yug is
considered as the King of bears & the 1st son of Brahma before humans
were created.
Jambavati, one of the chief wives of Krishna was daughter of
Jambavantha, with whom lord Krishna had duel for the gem
Syamantaka known as Kohinoor.
King of Nagas- “Shesha” the incarnation of supreme God Sankarshan
is said to hold all planets on his hoods & constantly sing the glories of
Vishnu.
Hanumana was son of Kesari, s/o Brihaspati & Anjana a celestial
apsara born on earth as female Vanara due to curse.
Hanumana had a duel with his own son Makardhwaj while he reached
ether to rescue Rama & Lakshmana who had been kidnapped by
Ravana’s associates.
Goddess Saraswati is shown holding Book, Rosary, Pot of scared water
& Vina depicting knowledge, spirituality, purification & Art
respectively.
Manthara, cursed Indera, the king of gods that he would not be
worshipped, as he prompted her to instigate kaikeyi for the exile of
Rama.
Pavak, Pavamana & Shuchi, the three sons of Swaha, the daughter of
Daksha who was married to Agni consume all the oblations offered to
fire of Yagna.
Atri proclaimed the theory of 3 strands that represent creation-
Brahma-“A”, sustenance-Vishnu-“U” & destruction-Shiva-“M” ie
“AUM” of the sacred thread Janeu.
Durga-beyond reach, Bhadrakali- power of time,Lalita-playful, Chandiviolent,
Annapurna- food giver, Amba- the mother & Bhairavi-fearful
are forms of Parvati.
1st form of Maa Durga- “Shailputri” worshipped on the first Navratra
mounts on the bull holding a lance in the right hand & a lotus in the left
hand.
Brahmacharini the 2nd form of Maa Durga-known as Aparna holds a
rosary & Kamandalu in her right & left hand & blesses unending
benefits of restraint.
“Chandraghanta” third facet of Durga has 10 hands, 3 eyes & bell
typed half moon on her forehead is worshipped for peace, tranquility &
prosperity.
Krishnamanda/Adi- Swarup/Astbhuja created universe with her smile,
Destroys diseases, sorrows & depression, blesses age, health &
reputation.
Lord Kartikeya-Skanda who was commander in chief in the war against
the demons was son of Skanda Mata. She is worshipped on 5th day of
Navaratri.
6th form of Maa Durga- Katyayni-has 3 eyes & 8 hands, was born to
Rishi Katyayan who practiced penance with a desire to get Paramba as
his daughter.
Black like night, having unlocked hair, wearing necklaces, shining like
lightening, riding on dead body-KALRATRI is the 7th facet of Maa-
Durga.
Fair as conch, moon & Kunda flower, having her body washed by Lord
Shiva with Ganga’s water, 8 year old- is Maha Gauri- the 8th facet of
Maa Durga.
Siddhi’s such Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamaya,
Isitwa & Vasitwa are blessed by the 9th facet of Maa Durga Siddhidatri.
Anirudda, grand-son of Krishana married Usha, daughter of Banasura
a thousand-armed asura the son of Bali.
Lord Rama was thirteen, when he married Sita who was six years old
By all means marry. If you get a good wìfe, you will be happy. If you get
a bad one, you will become a philosopher. SOCRATES
AGASTYA-Sage who drank the ocean.BHAIRATH-Sage who brought
Ganga from heaven.BHARADWAJ-father of teacher Drona.
Naraka in Hinduism is compared to Abrahmic concept of Hell, is ruled
by the Death God,such as the Hebrew bible’s Nergal,the Hindu Yama or
the christian Satan.
One of Sapatrishis, Maharishi Vishwamittera composed GYATRI –
MANTRAMahabhata
is also known as Ithas, Jay & 5th Veda
Pleased with hospitality, Rishi Durvash gave boon to Kunti to have sons
through gods .
Janmejaya , the last king of Pandu’s dynasty was the son of Prikshit,
grandson of Abhimanyu and great grandson of Arjuna.
Some of many incarnations of Maa Durga are- Kali, Bhagvati, Bhavani,
Ambika, Lalita, Gauri, Kandalini, Java and Rajeshwari.
Indian deities are shown with many hands holding some object which
symbolize various qualities.
Balrama the elder brother of Lord Krishana was son of Rohani &
Vasudava
Divine draftsman, Vishvakarama constructed Heaven, Sone Ki
Lanka,Dwarka & Hastinapur in Satya -yug, Tareta, Dwaper & Kaliyug

)

Architect Vishwakarm was also designer of flying chariots, divine
weapons & creator of missiles & Vajra the weapon of Indera.
Apart from Manu- Smriti there are Yagnavlka, Narada, Parashara &
Devala Smrities too.
In Satyug Lord Vishnu had incarnations as Matasya-FISH, Kachap-
TORTOISE, Vahra-BOAR, Narsingh-Half man- Half lion & Vaman-
Dwarf.
King Sibi was put to test by god Indra and god Agni in disguise of hawk
and dove.
Jyotirlings of Shiva with their respective states – Kedarnath-
Uttaranchal, Baijnath- Bihar, Vishwanatha- Uttar Pradesh and
Nageshwar- Gujarat.
The vehicles of MAA LAKSHMI-the goddess of wealth, KARTIKE-the
god of war and KAMDEV- the god of love are owl, peacock and parrot
respectively.
” Shiva ” is a symbol of kindness, friendlyness, graciousness or
auspiciousness.
Vishnu had 5th Vamana Avatar as son of Aditi, one of 13th wife of
Kashyapa, the son of Marichi Maanas-putera of Brahma.
The name of the family priest of Pandavas and Kauravas was
Kripacharya.
Any thing that you do not find in Mahabharta can not be found in any
book of the world.
A Mahayug is a sum total of Sat yug, Treta yug, Dwapar yug and Kal
yug and the lifespan of a Mahayug is 43, 20,000, multiple of 9.
The operator of the universe Lord Vishnu had nine Incarnations so for.
The life span of Satyug is 17,28,000 years, of Treta Yug is12,96,000
years,of Dwapar yug is of 9,96,000 years and that of Kalyug is 4,32,000
years. The life span of every yug is a multiple of 9.
The prime system of worship in Kali-yug is “Sat sang”, in Dwapar it
was “Pooja/ Archana”, in Tretha it was “Yagya” and in Satyug the
prime system of worship was “Tapasya”.
Lord Vishnu had his seventh incarnation as Maryadha Parshotam
Rama in Treta- Yug and had his eighth incarnation as Karm yogi
Krishna in Dwapar-Yug.
“Kyadu” was the mother of “Prahlad Bhagat”, the wife of
“Hiranyakashyapu” wrongly known as “Hiranyakashyap” who was
actually his elder brother. “Holika” was the sister of Hiranyakashyapu
who tried to set Prahlad on fire but was burnt herself.
“Kumbh Mela” festival takes place after twelve years at the following
four locations in India:-. Prayag, at the confluence of three rivers
Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati,
Haridwar, on the bank of river Ganga, Ujjain,on the bank of Ksipra
river and Nasik, on the bank of Godavari river.
The short tempered Rishi Durvasa was the son of Rishi Atri and
Ansuiya and is known as one of the incarnations of Lord Shiva.
“Raj Gopalacharya” was the first who translated Ramayana in
English.
Shubh ( luck ) & Labh ( profit ) are known as the two sons of Lord
Ganesha, the God of fortune.
Ridhi (grandeur) and Siddhi (accomplishment) are known as the two
wives of Lord Ganesha.
Among 18 Purans , Shrimad Bhagwat Puran is considered as the
supreme.
Only one temple in Pushkar in Rajasthan is attributed to Brahma.
Sri Lanka was constructed by Vishwakarma on the instance of Lord
Shiva for his consort Parvati.
“Trishul – Pani” was the first incarnation of Lord Shiva.
Kaydu, the wife of Hiranyakeshapu and Suniti, the wife of Uttanpad
were the mothers of Prahlad and Dhruv respectively.
King Janaka & his minister Sumanta were married on same day, Hour
& place
Devahuti, Prasuti and Akuti were the grand daughters of Lord
Brahma.
Bhagirath who brought river Ganga to earth was the son of Dileep &
grandson of Anshuman.
Barbreek, the son of Ghatotkach and the grandson of Bheema offered
his head as “Gurudakshana” to Lord Krishna and now is worshipped
as “Khatushyam”.
Disrespecting the elders “Dushasana”, the brother of “Duryodhana”
shot the first arrow in the battle of Mahabharata
None of the elderly persons of Mahabharata ever wished Duryodhana
“Vijay Bhava”- (May you win).
Saraswati, the consort of Brahma is known as Goddess of Education &
Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu is known as Goddess of Wealth
According to Indian mythology Ahalaya, Droupadi, Tara, Kunti &
Mandhodri though married yet are considered damsel.
According to Indian mythology Ashavathama, Kripacharya, Ved Vyas,
Hanumana, Raja Balli, Vibhishana & Pershurama are considered
immortal.
Born at Phillour in Punjab, Shivanand composed Aarti”OM JAi
JAGDISH.” in 1870 .
Arjuna the prominent character of Mahabharata is also known as
Savyasachin – “one who can perform every task with either of his
hands”.
Dharmkashatra, Sathyam- Shivam & Sunderam temples of worship
established by Sathya Sai Baba are at Mumbai, Hyderabad & Chennai
respectively.
Out of 51 Shakti-Peeth, “places of worship of Goddess Shakti” the most
important Shakti Peeth known as the Kamakshi temple is in the state of
Assam.
Siddhi and Buddhi the wives of Ganesha were daughters of Vish- varna
and grand daughters of Kashyap.
Four temples of Lord Shiva in the state of Maharashtra are known as
Grishneshwar, Bhimashankar, Mahakaleshwar & Tryambakashwar.
Sathya-Sai-Baba claimed himself to be the re-incarnation of Shirdi -Sai-
Baba on May 23, 1940
Ikshvaku dynasty was started by Vivasvan, the grandson of Marichi,
one of the Manas putr of Brahma and ended by Lov and Kush, the sons
of Rama.
Out of 108 names of Lord Shiva, Hara-sin remover, Omkara-creator of
Om and Umapati- consort of Uma are the only names that start with H,
O and U.
Nine words- of GAYATRl-MANTRA stand for humility, austerity,
orderliness, co-operation, wisdom, integrity, responsibility & courage.
One of the importance of No 108 is that diameter of the sun is 108 times
the diameter of the earth.
The MALA has 108 beads & in Sikh tradition has a MALA OF 108
Knots tied in a string of wool, there are 108 forms of dance.
Due to severe penance Bhagat Dhruv was blessed to rule for a period of
36000 yrs approx and was also granted an eternal place in heaven as
pole star.
The river Saraswati was brought to earth by Rishi Keshava in the same
way as Bhagiratha brought Ganga to the earth.
Lord Krishna mastered 64 subjects in 64 days with the blessings of his
teacher Rishi Garg.
Black beauty, Draupadi is the only example of a woman having 5
brothers as her husbands.
Devhuti, the wife of Rishi Kardam was daughter of Swayambhav Manu
& Shatrupa who are known as the progenitors of human race.
Uttanpada the father of Dhruv (the pole star) was the son of
Swayambhav Manu & Shatrupa
The Bhagwad Gita consisting of 18 chapters is divided into three
segments Vishad Yog,Karam Yog and Bhakti Yog consisting of 6
chapters each.
Neglecting Bheeshma and Yudhishtra,due to the absence of steadiness
in their actions & thinking,Krishna chose Arjuna to deliver the
discourse of Gita.
Lord Vishnu had 4 incarnations in Sat Yug , 3 in Treta Yug , 1 in
Dwapar Yug , 1 in Kal Yug and 1 is yet awaited.
Names of Sapatrishi of present MANVANTRA are Atri, Vashishtha,
Gautama, Jamadagni Kashyapa, Vishvamitra & Bharadvaja.
Having been insulted by the sons of King Sagar, Rishi Kapil, the son of
Rishi Kardam reduced them into ashes.
According to Hindu religion “Shikha ” tuft of hair is known as flag of
Kala, Anusuya, Gati, Kriya, Khyati, Arundhati & Shanti were married
to Rishi Marichi, Atri, Pulaha, Kratu, Bhrigu, Vashishtha & Atharva
respectively.
The vehicles of Lord Shiva family were “Nandi”-the ox, “Singh”-the
lion, “Moosak”-the rat and “Mor”-the peacock.
“Geeta”, the essence of Indian mythology is composed in 700 verses, out
of which Lord Krishna recited only 577 verses.
The cremation of “Daanvir Karna”, an important character of
Mahabharata was performed on the hand of Lord Krishna.
Ansuiya the wife of Rishi Attari is known as symbol of fidelity.
Shukaracharya is known as the Guru of Asurs “Demons” and Brishpati
is known as the Guru of Surs “Devas”.
“Savitri” was the pious Hindu woman who managed to get her husband
back to life after he died.
Celestial musicians who are half bird and half human are known as
“Kinnaris”.
Upanishads/ Vedanta’s are 108 in no; only 12 are the most important,
are the last part of Vedas & are in the form of dialogue between Guru &
disciples.
The preceptor of devas, Brihaspati identified as Jupiter one of the
planets (Navgrah) was the son of Angirasa and Surupa.
Lord Shiva’s body consists of five faces- Sadyojata, Vamadeva, Aghora,
Tatpurusa and Isana which are known as Pancabrehmans.
According to Indian Mythology the vehicles of Kubera, Indera and
Yum-Raj are Pushpak- Viman, Aravat (the elephant) and Buffalo
respectively.
Goddess Sheetala , God Varun and Shani had donkey, seven swans and
crow as their respective vehicles.
The seven sacred rivers of India are Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari,
Saraswati, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri.
Kardam Rishi & Devhuti were the parents of 9 daughters- Kala,
Ansuya, Gati,Kriya, Khyati, Arundhati, Shanti, Havirbhu & Shraddha
& 1 son- Rishi Kapil.
Lord Shiva has six, eight and twelve arms while in boon giving form,
destructive form and benign form respectively.
Siddhidhatri, Kalaratri, Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Katyayani,
Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandmata and Mahagauri are known as
the Nava Durgas.
Dattatreya was the confluence of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara.
Goddess Meenakshi, the sister of Lord Vishnu and the consort of Lord
Shiva had three breast before her marriage.
Lord Vishnu had incarnations as Preshni-Garav, Upinder & Krishna
born to the same parents with different names Pershin/Sulpa,
Aditi/Kashap & Devki/Vasudev.
In Sanskrit “Ga” stands for Knowledge, “Na” for Transcendence &
“Ish” for lordship. It means Ganesha stands for lord that transcendence
the knowledge.
The troops of Lord Shiva were known as “Gana”. Lord Shiva
appointed Ganesha as commander of His troops, thus he is known as
Ganapati.
Son of Surya -Sanjana & husband of Shamale, Yum-raj is also known
as Mrtyu, Kala, Antaka, Vaivasvata, Sarva-panchera & Dharam-raj.
The first Shloka “Verse” spoken by Lord Krishna in The Bhagwad Gita
is number 11 of Parva “Chapter” 2 .
Ashta Lakshmi comprises of Adi Lakshmi, Dhanya Lakshmi, Dhairya
Lakshmi, Gaja Lakshmi, Santana Lakshmi, Vidya Lakshmi, Vijaya
Lakshmi & Dhana Lakshmi.
“Rahu-Ketu” the uninvited are the head and body of the same being
while Rahu represent short lived fortune, Ketu denotes the feeling of
emptyness.
Among the Panch Parameshwaras Lord Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesha,
Surya and Maa Durga, lord Shiva is known as Maha Deva.
Bhagavad Gita is like a lighthouse of eternal wisdom that inspires any
man or woman to supreme accomplishment & enlightenment.
Ishvara/ Supreme controller, Jiva/ soul, Prakriti/Matter, Dharma/duty
& Kala/time are philosophical subject matters explained in the
Bhagavat-Gita.
Amravati is the capital of Swarga ruled by Indera the king of gods &
Alakaapuri is the capital of Kubera, the God of Wealth.
Lord Rama was born on 10th January, 5114 BC. HE was exiled for 14
years on his 25th birth day. He killed Bali on 7th Oct. 5077 BC.
Out of 700 verses of Gita , 577, 79.5 , 42.5 and 1 have been recited by
Lord Krishna , Arjuna , Sanjay and Dharitrashtra respectively.
Ganesha the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati is the only son of
God and Goddess who too is worshipped.
The robes of saffron color worn by the Indian sages are a symbol of
renunciation of all worldly pleasures & the flag of Sanatan Dharma too
represents this.

Moderator: Many thanks to bandhu Aditham  for collection and presentation of wonderful information.

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