Significance of Pradosha

Pradosham falls once in every 15 days and considered most auspicious by Shaivites, almost 2 days before either Amavasya (black moonday) or Pournima (full moon day). 

Pradhosham is observed in reverence to Lord Shiva. Pradhosa time occurs on trayodasi ( thirteenth moon day) between 4:30 pm and 6:00 pm. It occurs on 13th day from full moon day and new moon day. Praying to Lord Shiva during Pradhosha time relieves us from sin and leads us to moksha.

Lord Shiva drinking poison

According to purana while Devas and Asuras(Demons) were churning for amudha from Kseerabti milk ocean employing the serpent Vasuki and the hill Mandhara, initially poison came up. So there was complete pandemonium. Lord Siva then swallowed the poison and came to be called Nilakandan(Blue coloured throat). A stunned Parvathi quickly stopped the poison at the throat. Siva then became drowsy and selected a place called Surutapalli, near Chennai, Tamilnadu where he is seen sleeping on the lap of Parvathi.
  

Pallikondeeswarar at Surutapalli, Chennai

On Dhwadhasi day i.e., twelfth moon day, amurtham came and Devas and Asuras started celebrating their victory without thinking and thanking Lord Shiva who saved them from the ill effect of deadly poison.
 
Next day, i.e. on the thirteenth moon day Narada, passed on the message and down came the Devas, Brahma, Vishnu and the Saptarishis, to have darshan. They were promptly stopped by Nandi who asked them all to come after some time, as Shiva was resting. They realized their mistake of not praying and thanking Lord Shiva and prayed to Lord Shiva seeking his grace. All of them waited. Siva, when he woke up, was filled with extreme happiness and danced between the horns of Holy Bull, Nandhi("Ananda Thandavam"). This day, when the Devas, Brahma, Vishnu, Narada and Saptarishis had Siva darshan was a Krishnapaksha Trayodasi (Stiravaram, Saturday). This is the Mahapradosham day. Pradhosham, generally, is a significant occasion observed with great piety at all Siva temples. 
It is generally believed that performing abhisekam during the Pradhosha time to Lord Shiva or to his incarnation as Lingam with Milk gives long life; Ghee gives Moksha state; Curd bestows us with good children; Honey graces with melodious voice; Rice powder relieves us from debts; Sugar cane juice graces us with good health; Panjamrutham gives wealth; Lemon removes fear of death; Sugar removes enimity; Tender coconut gives enjoyment; Annam gives majestic life; Sandal gives Lakshmi's grace.

During the pradhosham time Somasootra Pradakshinam is the recommended way of circumambulating the God. In many of the temples this is followed always. A point to note here is that the gomukhi is never crossed. gomukhi is the place where the water after anointing (abhiSheka theertham) would be flowing northwards out. By doing this way of Pradakshinam one does not step over this holy water.
 
How to observe Pradosha Pooja?

On the day of Pradosham, fasting to be performed right from the morning and the first food should be the Prasad after the Pooja is over.

Everyday between 5.30 to 6.00 pm in the evening is called Dina Pradosham. Every thirteenth day of a Paksha (15-day cycle, making it two Pakshas every month - Krishna Paksha and Shukla Paksha) is called Maha Pradosham. The time between 5.30 to 6.30 pm in the evening is called Pradosham (Dina Pradosham). During the Pradosha period, it is significant to worship Lord Shiva, as He performs the Holy Dance in Kailashparvatam., all Devtas assemble there to watch this holy event, offer their Prayers to HIM. Thinking and meditating during Pradosha Kalam is considered most sacred by Hindus and helps derive benefits of having worshipped all Devatas at one go.

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