|| Bhanu Vaara Pradosha ||

Pradosham is a bimonthly occasion on the thirteenth day of every fortnight in Hindu calendar. It is closely connected with the worship of Hindu god Shiva. The auspicious 3 hour period, 1.5 hours before and after the sunset is one of the optimum time for worship of Lord Shiva. All 13th Moon phase days are called Pradoshams and are opportunities to dissolve negative karma. Saturn Pradosham (Sani Pradosham) is yet another opportunity to break free from the gravitational pull of “The Inevitable” or the Laws of Karma. With your spiritual practices at this point of time, you break free from an average, mediocre mindset, your karma. You gain better ideas, better thoughts, and the most importantly, a stronger mindset to pull through.

Pradosham is a technique to cleanse oneself of sins. Pooja is a sacred practice performed to establish a connection to the cosmic energies or a specific archetype.

Pradosham mantras that are effective on this day include “THIRU NEELA KANTAM” (a karma-busting mantra) and “OM NAMASIVAYA” (invokes infinite compassion).

Location based Pradosham Days

It is important to understand that fasting day for Pradosham might differ for two cities even if those cities are within same Indian state. Fasting for Pradosham depends on sunset time and it is observed when Trayodashi Tithi prevails after sunset. Hence Pradosham fasting might be observed on Dwadashi Tithi i.e. one day before Trayodashi Tithi. As Sunset time is different for all cities, it is important to refer Hindu calendar like this website which lists location based Pradosham days. As generating location based dates are time consuming most sources ignore this fact and publish single list for all cities.

Let us know what exactly “Pradosha” means

Pradosha represent day names in the Hindu calendar.

Pradosha is the son of Kalpa and Dosha.
He had two brothers namely Nishita and Vyustha.
Vyustha, Pradosha and Nishita mean beginning, middle and end of night.
The days from new moon day to full moon day is called “Sukla Paksha”
The days from every full moon day to new moon day is called “Krishna paksha”.

During every month and during every paksha, the point of time when triyodashi (13th day of the fortnight) meets the end of dwadasi (12th day of fortnight) is called Pradosha. During pradosha, Nandi (the sacred bull of Shiva) in all the Shiva temples in India is worshipped. The festival idol of Shiva with Parvathi in a seated pose on Nandi is taken as a procession in the temple complex.

Types of Pradosh Vrat
Basically, Pradosh Vrat has its own benefits according to the days on which it occurs. These Pradoshams as per the days are known as follows:

Som Pradosh : When the Pradosh Vrat falls on a Monday, it is known as Som Pradosh. If the Pradosh Vrat falls on a Monday, all the desires of the Lord Shiva’s devotees are fulfilled and he/she becomes a positive thinker.

Bhaum Pradosh : When the Pradosh Vrat falls on Tuesday, it is known as Bhaum Pradosh. The benefit of Bhaum Pradosh Vrat is that it gives relief from health problems and enhances the physical health. It also brings prosperity.

Saumya Vaara Pradosha : When the Pradosh Vrat falls on a Wednesday, it is known as Saumya Vaara Pradosha . This day of Pradosh Vrat benefits a person with education, knowledge, fulfillment of wishes and progeny.

Guruvaara Pradosha : When the Pradosh Vrat falls on a Thursday, it is known as Guru Vaara Pradosha. On this day, the divine blessings are received from the ancestors or Pitru. All the dangers which are existing gets eliminated by observing this fast on this day.

Bhrigu Vaara Pradosha : When the Pradosh Vrat falls on a Friday, it is known as Bhrigu Vaara Pradosha. This Pradosh Vrat benefits in removing all the negativity and resulting in success and happiness.

Shani Pradosh : When the Pradosh Vrat falls on a Saturday, it is known as Shani Pradosh. The benefit of Shani Pradosh Vrat is it brings promotion,and the lost wealth is received if the Shani Pradosh Vrat is observed.

Bhaanu Vaara Pradosha : When the Pradosh Vrat falls on a Sunday, it is known as Bhaanu Vaara Pradosha. If Pradosh Vrat falls on this day and observed by the devotees, it results in attaining peace and longevity.

These are the different types of Pradoshams as per the days. They are either observed in the Krishna Paksha or in the Shukla Paksha as per the Hindu calendar.

There are five types of Pradosh

1. NITYA Pradosh- The evening time on all days, between just 3 ghatis (72 minutes) before sunset and the time when the stars rise or become visible in the sky.

2. Paksha Pradosh- Sandhya (evening) time of Shukla Paksha Chaturthi (4th Lunar day after New Moon) every month.

3. Maasa Pradosh- Sandhya Krishna Paksha Trayodashi (13th Lunar day after Full Moon) every month.

4. Maha Pradosh- Sandhya time of Krishna Paksha Trayodashi which falls on a Saturday.

5. Pralaya Pradosh- The time when the entire universe gets annihilated of merged with Lord Shiva. Pradosh Vrat is observed on every 13th Lunar day after full and new Moon, by the wife and husband jointly with the hope of being free from, miseries or for gaining material prosperity.

PradoshVrats can occur 24 or 25 times in a year.

During Prodhosha time anointing (Abhishekam) the Shiva deity with the following is considered fruitful.

Milk gives long life

Ghee gives Moksha state

Curd gives good children

Honey gives melodious voice

Rice powder frees from debts

Sugar cane juice gives good health

Panjamrutham gives wealth

Lemon removes fear of death

Sugar removes enmity

Tender coconut gives enjoyment

Cooked Rice(Annam) gives mejestic life

Sandal gives Lakshmi’s grace

Anoint the Lord Shiva with Love, He would give Himself !!

How does Debt (Runa) Happen?

“Runa” in Sanskrit means “debt.” “Vimochana” means “to free from.” Vedic wisdom emphasizes that we are born on this planet to reap the fruits of our actions. Hence, Earth is referred to as Karma Bhoomi, or the planet of action. The nature of our actions decides if they will yield good or bad results.

It is not practically possible to do actions that will give only good results to everyone, but we can deliberately avoid harmful activities, reduce selfish activities, and increase selfless activities.

Scriptures mention that the benchmark of any activity is not to do anything that you will not want others to do to you. This self-analysis during any action will prevent selfish and harmful activities, thus reducing our individual karma baggage.

What are the various debts of life?

We are all indebted to our parents, society, environment, etc. Whatever has been taken should be given back. This is the law of the universe. Following are the debts that we incur by being born on Earth and that need repayment.

1. DEVA RUNA – DEBTS DUE TO GOD OR INANIMATE NATURE

We are made of the gross as well as subtle elements. Our body is the result of the accumulation of food from the earth, the heat and light from the sun, the air, and the water, all taken from the nature.

How to repay Deva Runa?

Preserving nature; increasing awareness and encouraging more and more people to conserve nature.

Plant trees.

Minimize or avoid activities leading to any type of pollution.

Conserve, water, electricity, paper, etc.

2. BHUTA RUNA – DEBTS DUE TO OTHER LIVING THINGS

Apart from the primary objective of providing food, we use plants and plant products for extensive commercial purposes to the level of their extinction. The same is the case with animals, where we even remove them from their natural habitat for our enjoyment and commercial interests.

How to repay Bhuta Runa?

Do not indulge in any activity that will inflict pain and suffering to animals.

Treat them kindly and with gratitude.

3. PITRU RUNA – DEBTS DUE TO PARENTS AND ANCESTORS

We are nothing but a physical extension of our parents. We owe our physical traits to them and to our ancestors. Our skills and talents are also attributes from them that have been transmitted through genes. Just as the animals, we human beings require care and nurturing up to an age where we can be independent to take care of ourselves.

How to repay Pitru Runa?

Do not hurt the feelings of your parents.

Utilize every opportunity to help or take care of old people and children.

Be gentle and polite to them.

Donate your time, effort, or money in whatever possible way to old-age homes, orphanages, etc.

Above all, perform the ancestral rites without fail.

4. MANUSHYA RUNA – DEBTS DUE TO OTHER HUMANS IN SOCIETY

People from various occupations and services help us in our daily lives, be it farmers, masons, weavers, carpenters, mechanics, or police. Our family members and friends give us psychological support when needed. Though some services are returned by money, the care and concern of the service providers cannot be underestimated or written off.

How to repay Manushya Runa?

Treat them with due respect.

Donate towards relief work and social causes.

Donate your time, money, and effort towards the development of the underprivileged.

5. RISHI RUNA – DEBTS DUE TO TEACHERS, PRECEPTORS, AND GURUS

We are what we are because of our cultural and scientific heritage: that we have learned from our spiritual masters and academic teachers. Creators of every medium of transmission of knowledge and refined culture are gurus in their own ways, for instance, authors of good books or creators of good videos and movies. Humanity is indebted to them for life.

How to repay Rishi Runa?

Educate yourself well, not only academically, but also culturally.

Teach others.

Donate to schools and educational activities.

Learn, propagate, or patronize any form of good art.

Paying back by means of the above listed activities brings down your debt balance. It is absolutely okay to overpay, because it gets credited into your satkarma (good action) account and also pays rich dividends not only for you, but for generations to come. Remember: What we sow, so we reap, many times over.

Fast and its Ritual

People observe the fast in two different ways.

Devotees who want to keep the fast for 24 hours do not sleep at night and keep on worshiping Shiva.

Fast can be observed from morning till evening.

Devotees get up early in the morning and take a bath before sunrise.

Devotees can offer their devotion to a Shivling while visiting a temple.

Devotees read Shiva Purana and chant ‘Om Namah Shivaya” mantra throughout the day.

Nandi, the mount of Shiva, is also prayed to.

Devotees then recite Mrityunjaya Mantra 108 times. It is known as the great death conquering mantra.

Om TryambakamYajamaheSugandhimPust-Vardhanam

Urvarukam-ivaBandhananMrtyormuksiyaMamrtat

Legend

Pradosh Vrat is a fast observed in the name of Lord Shiva or Neelkanth. Neelkanth is the name given to Lord Shiva post the event of Samudra Manthan (ocean of milk). He saved the universe by holding the lethal venom in his throat, which turned his neck blue.

It was during the time of Samudra Manthan (ocean of milk) when everything submerged under water. Vasuki (the King of Nagas) who served as a churning rope and mount Mandarachala acted as the churning rod. Many things came out of the ocean, among which, Halahal (the lethal poison) was one. This venom could have resulted in the end of the universe. Hence, all the Devas and Ausras who were trying to churn the ocean pleaded Lord Shiva to save the universe. Halahal, before causing any harm, was consumed by Lord Shiva on the twelfth Moon day. On knowing about the poison, Goddess Parvati stopped it from entering Lord Shiva’s body by pressing his neck, which turned the color of the neck to blue. Since then, Lord Shiva is known as Neelkanth.

Post that event, Devas and Asuras got the Amrit along with new life to the universe. They all in the happiness and festivity forgot to thank Lord Shiva. But on the thirteenth day (Trayodashi), they realized their mistake and asked for mercy. Lord Shiva forgave them and celebrations continued. It is believed that that time was Pradosham. Since then, that time is known as Pradosham. Hence, whoever prays to Shiva in this time, Lord Shiva fulfills his/her wishes and one attains salvation.

Another myth associated to Pradosham Vrat is that of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is believed that on the day of Trayodashi (the thirteenth day), during the time of dusk, the couple is in a very happy and favorable mood. Hence, if you offer your prayers with full devotion and sincerity, all your wishes come true.

|| Om Namah Shivaya ||

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