What is Pradosha Vrata? And its benefits?

15 December 2017
Pradosha Vrata is the time - one of the aspects, followings, devotion (dedication) of the Hindu religion. Pradosha is also called Pradosham (especially in south India). Pradosha means that it is a bi-monthly time for any individual or devotee-followers-believers of Hindu Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati to remember, and the appropriate moment to worship them. The date and time is set-determined per the Hindu calendar based on the Tithi (13th Tithi, or 13th day of the lunar calendar, also called Trayodasha). It is performed in the evening twilight of this day (called Sandhya Kala in Sanskrit ancient texts). Vrata (of Pradosha Vrata) in common language and usage means fasting, cleansing, pilgrimage, devotion. Again, Pradosha Vrata falls twice a month. It is predominantly followed and worshiped in south India.

The significance of Lord Shiva is - the enemy of the evil, its destroyer, creator of all life and everything (living and non living); while Mother Goddess Parvati signifies love, devotion and fertility (child birth). For example, Goddess Lakshmi signifies wealth and professional prosperity, and Goddess Sarawasti – knowledge, power and education. Goddess Parvati is the wife of Lord Shiva. She is also famed as the mother of famous Lord Ganesha and Kartikeya. 

Why worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati? In simple words, and in modern day linkage/context - it is like asking God for favorability in wealth procurement, income stability, secured life, good health-wealth-children and so forth. It signifies removal of sins and liberation from it, asking of mercy, to attain salvation etc.

How to perform Pradosha Vrata for a common person in modern busy day life? Just go to any Shiva temple and light a ‘Jyot’ during Pradosha Kaal (twilight-evening time). One can keep a fast (Vrata) on this day, that falls twice a month. Typically in a Vrata (fast) there should not be intake of salt through the day. There are special Vrata food items available on the market and that can be prepared at home – often basic and tasty! But one can drink as much water, water melon etc; can have fruits, tea, plain fruit juice (without sugar-masala). One meal in the day can be consumed (but pure vegetarian and without salt). Items like milk, yogurt-curd, sugar, honey, should be donated-given to Lord Shiva, like in a temple. If one doesn’t have access to a Shiva temple in his/her vicinity-area, then it can be done in small quantity at home or workplace like a Puja holy spot with a Shiva idol in it.

Please note that it has been proven scientifically, through studies and medically that periodical-intermittent fasting is actually good for health, especially in cleansing of the body-system. Some of the benefits are like slight weight loss (burns fat), control over blood pressure, cholesterol reduction etc. However, consultation is important especially if there are particular physical ailment-problems, liver or kidney etc issues. Many celebrities, sports personnel etc have resorted to fasting. Such as, Beyonce, Hugh Jackson, Ms. Liv Taylor, Mr. Ben Affleck etc. Prime Minister Mr. Modi is also said to have fasted for 9 days in dedication to the Hindu Goddess Durga, even during his US visit with the then US President Mr. Obama. It is said that Mr. Modi has been doing the fasting practice for the past 35+ years. There is a fasting festival in India during the Navratri festivities. Many Dieticians and Doctors recommend fasting.

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