The literal meaning of the word 'pradosh' is - dusk. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Pradosh Vrat is a day of fasting that falls on the 13th day of each lunar fortnight. The belief is that whosoever worships Lord Shiva at the time of dusk on this day, is sure to be blessed with success, wealth and a good life partner.
In the month of May, it is falling on the 13th.
As the name itself signifies, the puja for this day is performed in the evening. The devotee has to observe a fast all day and in the evening, he has to take a bath, wear white clothes, and then offer the puja to the Deity. Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, Ganesha, Skanda and Nandi are worshiped. Then, an all-night vigil is also kept in many places, singing songs and prayers to the deity. The deity is offered 'belpatra, gangajal, akshat, dhoop and deep'.
Pradosh Vrat Katha
Once there was an old Brahmin lady. She was religious but very poor. She had a son as well. Once she found a boy crying at the bank of a river. She took the boy, fed him for some days and then visited a temple, where she met Rishi Shandilya. Rishi Shandilya was a famous sage of that time. When she asked him about the boy, he told her that he is the prince of Vidarbha and that he has lost his father, who was the king, in a battle.
Feeling sad for him the lady decided to adopt the prince. The sage then advised her to worship Lord Shiva, on the day of Pradosh Vrat. He also told her to ask her sons to do the same. The lady agreed and decided to observe fasting. She requested him to tell them the vidhi and story of the Pradsoh Vrat. Maharishi had told the story and the vidhi. From then on, they started keeping fasts and worshiping Lord Shiva.
One day, both the boys went to a forest. After going deep enough, they heard voices of ladies singing nearby. Shuchivrat soon realized and said: "these are the Gandharva Kumaris singing, we must not go, they are mere distractions." So the younger boy decided to leave.
Dharmagupta could not agree with him, so he decided to meet the girls. As he reached there, he saw the leader named Anshumati. Anshumati was the daughter of the Gandharva King. Anshumati and Dharmagupta fell in love with each other. When the second time they met, Gandharva king knew that this man is the prince of Vidarbha. Hence, he then got his daughter married to Dharmagupta.
Their marriage brought prosperity and good times not only to the prince Dharmagupta, but also to his brother and mother. Not only this, he acquired his father's lost kingdom also by defeating the then ruler.
Now, since the old Brahmin lady and her sons got back the good old days, they knew that it is all because of the worship of Lord Shiva that they have been blessed with all of this. Hence, he ordered that the whole kingdom must from then on observe the Pradosh Vrat and worship Lord Shiva.
The Benefits Earned By The Devotee
Pradosh Vrat has been mentioned in the Skanda Puran. Pradsoh Vrat is significant with respect to the day that it falls on. Like if it falls on a Sunday, it brings good health to the devotee. The one that falls on a Monday will get all your wishes fulfilled, a Tuesday fast makes one free from diseases.
Similarly Pradosh Vrat observed on a Wednesday brings fulfillment of wishes. If kept on a Thursday, the enemies will be defeated, and if kept on a Friday, you'll be ensured of good luck. And the one that falls on a Saturday will get the devotee blessed with a son.
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