Pradosham

Pradosham
Pradosham Lord Shiva

Pradosham occurs on the meeting of the Dwadashi end and Trayodashi beginning. Time of Pradosham is approximately for three hours beginning from one & half hours before Sunset to one & half hours after Sunset. Pradosham means “removal of sins and their effects”. The ensuing Pradosham is on Friday, 13th May 2022. The exact timing of Pradosham has to be ascertained from the respective regional calendars.

Pradosham -The associated story

As per the legend, Devas and Asuras churned the cosmic ocean to extract amrut (nectar). The first to emerge was the poisonous halahala.

To alleviate the sufferings of Devas, Bhagwan Shiva himself had consumed the poison.

Pradosham
Pradosham Lord Shiva after consuming poison

However, His consort Goddess Parvathi Devi ensured that the poison did not go beyond His throat. Due to Her efforts, the poison stayed in his throat and turned His neck blue hued. Hence Bhagwan Shiva is also called as Sri Neela Kanta.

After sometime, Devas realized the enormity of the situation. They felt guilty for making Bhagwan Shiva to consume poison. To seek forgiveness from Bhagwan Shiva they went to Sri Kailash.

Pradosham – how it emerged

Bhagwan Shiva was very gallant. He was happy to see the Devas. As they surrendered for mercy, He pardoned them.

He also expressed His happiness by performing a cosmic dance in between the horns of Sri Nandikeswara, His Vaahan (carrier).

Pradosham
Lord Shiva Cosmic Dance (depiction)

It is believed that this event happened at the time when Dwadashi and Trayodashi met. Hence Pradosham is being observed on this day.

How is it observed

Apart from the main Shiva Deity, Sri Nandi is also worshipped with abhishekam and archana.

Sri Nandikeshwar
Depiction of Sri Nandikeshwar, Nandhyal, Andhra Pradesh

Procession of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi sitting on Nandi is taken inside all Shiva temples.

Pradosham
Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi on Sri Nandikeswara

Sri Rudram and other Bhagwan Shiva prayers are chanted in the procession. The Shiv Stotras in the vernacular languages are also recited. Temple musical instruments are played.

Shani Pradosham

If the Pradosham falls on a Saturday, it is termed as Shani Pradosham.

The legend pertaining to Shani Pradosham is connected with Sri Maha Kaleshwar Temple in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. The other name for Ujjain is said to be Avantika.

Shiv-Bhakt Chandrasen

As per the legend, Chandrasen was the King of Ujjain and he was an ardent Shiv-Bhakt. He was bestowed with a rathna which was a celestial gem having miracle powers.

Plot against Chandrasen

The neighborhood Kingdoms were ruled by Ripudaman and Singhaditya. They heard about the miracle gem and wanted to somehow usurp it from Chandrasen. They sought the help of the demon named Dushan. Dushan had a blessing from Sri Bramha that he (Dushan) can be invisible and still be active.

This group of two Kings and the demon had decided to attack Ujjain. King Chandrasen was not aware of all the plotting and he was blissfully praying to Lord Shiva all the time.

Farmer boy Shrikar

When King Chandrasen was chanting Shiv Naam in his palace at Ujjain, a farmer boy called Shrikar was walking on the palace grounds. He heard the chants.  But the guards at the palace had expelled him.

So Shrikar came to Kshipra river. He also came to know that the enemies had invaded the Kingdom. He had also learnt that they are targeting all Shiv-Bhakts and torturing them.

Kshipra river
Kshipra river near Ujjain

Prayers of Vridhi

He was distressed to hear this and shared the news with a priest named Vridhi. Vridhi was in turn agitated and was anguished at the plight of Shiv-Bakhts. He, along with his sons and others, were devoutly praying to Lord Shiva to save them.

Lord Shiva saves His Bhakts

The day of invasion was a Pradosham day on a Saturday. On hearing the pleas of His ardent devotees, Bhagwan Shiva destroyed the enemies and protected His devotes. It is believed that He appeared in the form of light.

Sri Maha Kaleshwar Temple

Shrikar, Vridhi and other devotees requested Bhagwan Shiva to stay in Ujjain as Sri Maha Kaleshwar. Bhagwan Shiva had consented to this.

Pradosham - maha kaleshwar
Sri Maha Kaleshwar Mandir, Ujjain

It is believed that worshipping Sri Maha Kaleshwar during Shani Pradosham day shall remove fears and deceases.

Pradosham Benefits

It is believed that worshipping Bhagwan Shiva on Pradosham day shall dissolve all ill effects of karma. The wishes shall be fulfilled.

The Pradosham time is ideal to remove negative thoughts from the mind and do meditation calmly.

Observing fasting on Pradosham is said to bring in peace of mind, happiness and wealth. Also believed to remove karmic sins. It cleanses the mind and the body.

It is believed that worshipping Sri Maha Kaleshwar during Shani Pradosham day shall remove fears and deceases.

Shiv Slokams

There are abundant number of Stotrams / Slokas in praise of and in prayer to Bhagwan Shiva. A few of them are listed below:

-Sri Rudram
Sri Shiva Panchakshara Stotram
Sri Lingashtakam
Sri Shiva Ashtakam
Sri Bilva Stotram
-Sri Chandra Sekhara Ashtakam
Sri Marga Bandhu Stotram
Sri Dakshina Murthy Stotram
Sri Viswanatha Ashtakam
Sri Parvathi Vallabha Ashtakam
Jwara Hara Stotram
Sri Vaidyanatha Ashtakam
-Sri Dwadasha Jyotirlinga Stotram
Sri Panchakshari Shiva Stotram
Sri Ardha Nareeshwara Stotram
Sri Shiva Sthuthi
-Sri Nataraja Stotram
-Sri Shiva maanasa puja
-Sri Shiva Panchakshara Nakshatramala Stotram
-Sri Parameswara Matrukaa Vanamaala Stotram
Sri Shiv Tandav Stotram
Sri Shiva Namavalya Ashtakam
Sri Shiva Mahima Stotram
-Sri Shiva Aparadha Kshamapana Stotram
Sri Rudrashtakam
Sri Chidambareshvara Stotram
Sri Nirvana Shatakam
Sri Shiv Chalisa
Sri Shiv Arati

Apart from the above samples, there are innumerable literature on Bhagwan Shiva in all the Indian languages.

In this site, the following Shiv Temples are described.

Gnayiru Temple, Chennai
Chengannur Mahadeva Temple, Chengannur, Kerala
Lakha Mandal Shiv Mandir, Uttranchal
Sri Mahakal Mandir, Ujjain
Marundeeswarar Temple, Chennai
Nava Nandi Temple, Nandhyal
Padaleeswarar Temple, Cuddalore
Jambukeshwar Temple, Thiruvanaikkaval
Thyagaraja Swamy Temple, Thiruvottriyur
Neelkanth Mahadev Mandir, Rishikesh

Om Namasshivaya Namaha!!!

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