The path to liberation through Pradosham
Pradosham is very significant with regard to Lord Shiva. Listed below are twenty kinds of Pradoshams and how each is defined. The different Pradoshams are each important for worship in a unique manner.
1. Daily Pradosham
Every day dusk falls between 4.30 and 6.30 pm. This is a good period to visit and have a darshan of the image of Lord Shiva. Those who do this unfailingly every day for five years are bound to find liberation, according to the scriptures.
2. Fortnightly Pradosham
This falls on the 13th day after new moon day, in the waxing period called shukla paksham. Worshipping the Pakshilingam on this day is highly recommended, especially in the Kapali Temple in Mylapore, where Parvati Devi worshipped Shiva in the form of a peacock.
3. Monthly Pradosham
Every 13th day of the waning phase of the moon is called the monthly Pradosham when Baanalingam is worshipped at dusk.
4. Star Pradosham
On the 13th day of the waxing and waning moon, worshipping the deity ruling over the star that falls on that day is beneficial.
5. Poorna Pradosham
When the 13th day occurs without any part of the 14th day of the moon’s phase mingling with it (the moon’s phase does not follow the 24 hour pattern and many a times, a part of 14th day of the moon starts before the day ends) it is doubly beneficial to worship the Swayambhu Lingam.
6. Divine Pradosham
If the 12th and 13th days occur together, or if the 13th and 14th days occur together, it is called the Divine Pradosham. Abhishekam and worship of Maragada Lingam is beneficial.
7. Pradosham of Lamps
If lamps are donated on Pradosham day and if Shiva temples are decorated with lamps, one will be blessed with a house.
8. Saptharishi or Abhaya Pradosham
The V-shaped constellation is called Saptharishi Mandalam. This can be seen clearly during the Tamil months of Aippasi (mid Oct-mid Nov), Karthigai, Margazhi, Thai, Maasi and Panguni (mid Mar-mid Apr). If one performs Pradosha pooja diligently and looks at the constellation on this day, then all their desires will be fulfilled.
9. Maha Pradosham
Shiva consumed poison on the 13th day in the moon’s phase in the month of Karthigai, on a Saturday. So whenever the two occur together, it is called Maha Pradosham, and worshipping the Swayambhu as Yama did, is of great benefit. Temples such as Dandeeswara Temple in Velachery, Chennai; Thiruppannyeeli in Mannachchanallur near Trichy; Srivanchiyam Temple on the way from Kudavasal to Nannilam; and the Thirukkodi Kaval Temple on the way from Kumbakonam to Kathiraamangalam, deserve special mention. The Pradosham which occurs before Shivarathri in the month of Masi is also called Maha Pradosham.
10. Uthama Maha Pradosham
If Pradosham falls on a Saturday – the day Shiva consumed poison – in the months of Chithirai, Vaigasi, Aippasi or Karthigai, in the waxing period, then it is called Uthama Maha Pradosham. It is considered a highly auspicious day.
11. Ekakshara Pradosham
If Maha Pradosham occurs only once in a year, then that is called Ekakshara Pradosham. Visit a Shiva temple that day and chant the Pranava mantra, ‘Om’, as many times as possible.
One can also reap benefits by worshipping Ganesha and donating food to the poor.
12. Ardhanari Pradosham
If Maha Pradosham occurs twice in a year, then it is called Ardhanari Pradosham. If one visits a Shiva temple that day, then any marriage that has been stopped will be concluded successfully. Separated couples will reunite.
13. Thirikarana Pradosham
If Maha Pradosham occurs thrice in a year, it is called Thirikarana Pradosham. Whoever observes this diligently will be blessed with the eight types of wealth. After performing the rites for Pradosham, worshipping Ashtalakshmi is also beneficial.
14. Brahma Pradosham
In a year, if there are four Maha Pradoshams, then it is called Brahma Pradosham. Brahma worshipped Shiva in Tiruvannamalai when Saturday fell on the 13 day of the moon’s phase four times that year, and was liberated. If we also practice this, then we too can be free of the sins of our past lives and benefit.
15. Akshara Pradosham
When Pradosham occurs five times in a year, it is called Akshara Pradosham. The sages of the Taruka forest opposed Shiva because of their egos. Shiva appeared in His naked form and taught them a lesson. Realising their mistake, the sages observed this Pradosham to attain salvation.
16. Kanda Pradosham
When Saturday, 13th day and Krithika star fall on the same day, it is considered as Kanda Pradosham. Lord Muruga observed this Pradosham before soorasamharam. Those who observe this correctly will be blessed by Muruga.
17. Shadja Prabha Pradosham
If seven Pradoshams occur in a year, it is called Shadja Prabha Pradosham. Kamsa imprisoned Devaki and Vasudeva and killed seven of their children. Because they religiously observed the seven Pradoshams that occurred that year, they were blessed with Krishna as their child. If we observe this correctly, then we can overcome our past karma and attain salvation faster.
18. Ashtadik Pradosham
In one year, if eight Maha Pradoshams occur and one observes them properly, then the guardians of the eight directions will bless one with prosperity, name and fame.
19. Navagraha Pradosham
In one year, if there are nine Maha Pradoshams, it is called Navagraha Pradosham. This is very rare. If one observes this, then along with Shiva’s blessings, one will be blessed by the Navagrahas as well.
20. Thutha Pradosham
Rarer than the rarest is when ten Maha Pradoshams occur in one year. By observing them religiously, even the blind can get sight, the lame can walk and lepers will be healed. Eye-related diseases will be cured.
Om Namassivaya Sivaya Nama Om