PRADOSHA is a twilight period around sunset. Some say it is from
4:30 pm to 6 pm, some say it is a period of 2 hours and 24 minutes
after sunset and some say it is 3 hour period including 1 hour
before and 2 hours after sunset, especially on 13th day (actually the
tithi called Trayodashi) of Shukla and Krishna pakshas.
Shukla paksha means the white or bright and pertains to the first
15 days of month during which the moon goes on increasing in size
till the full moon day.
Krishna paksha means second half of the month associated with
decreasing size of the moon till it becomes a no moon day or
moonless nigh called Amavasya.
The PRADOSHA associated with Trayodashi and Saturday is called
SHANI (Saturn) PRADOSHA and that associated with Monday is
called SOMA (Moon) PRADOSHA. It is aptly said that Shiva (the
cosmic consciusness) performs the TANDAVA nruttya (the cosmic
dance); during the period of PRADOSHA.
The mythological story of churning of the nectar ambrosia points
towards the accentuated process of ascent of consciousness from
the eternal churning of the ocean of mortal life!!
The story of war of the devas (divine i.e. innate or global aspects
(manifested from Shiva; who represent the conquerors of shadripus
viz. kama, krodh, lobha, mada, moha, matsar), named Skanda (son
of Parvati), Sravana (son of Goddess of forest)), Kartika (son of
Krittika), Kumara(son of Ganga), Mahasena (son of Agni) and Guha
(son of Shiva); (Kartika also called Subramanian, Murugan) and
their victory over danavas (devils mentioned above i.e. in essence
superficial and petty aspects named Taraka, Surapaada and Simha-
The story of Dharmagupta and Shuchivrata from the names
themselves; clearly appears to be the victory of the virtues over the
devilish vices through the PRADOSHA pooja as advised by Shandilya
Muni, probably a thorough scholar of holistic physiology.
The story of protecting Markendeya; the son of Shiva; the cosmic
consciousness Himself; is associated with Mruttyunjaya Mantra (“
Om; Trayambakam yajaamahe; sughandhim pushti vardhanam;
urva-rukmiva bhandanat; mrutyor muksheeya maa-mrutat”-- I
worship Trayambakam who encompasses, A+U +M representing
three levels consciousness; Vaishvanara, Tejasa, Prajna, physical
existences; "bhooh" "Bhuvah" and "svah"; and knowledge viz.
Rigveda, Yajurveda and Saamaveda and emanates pleasant
fragrance and blossoms us in every way!) that confers freedom from
subjectivity and pettiness and from body consciusness and
VRATAS are certain specific and disciplined modifications in
behavior and diet conducive to composure and blossoming of one’s
The astrophysical and astrophysiological aspects may be studied by
the experts in the fields. I am sure many interesting and mysterious
facts about the beneficial aspects of PRADOSHA period through
electromagnetic and and/or gravitational influences on individual
health and consciusness would be unraveled!
Hence there is a precept to perform the pooja of that cosmic
consciusness viz. SHIVA in the form of the LINGA which is actually
the symbol of the creativity of universe and help us connect with
cosmic consciusness i.e. Shiva.
The worship of Shiva; (along with Parvati, Ganesh and Nandi (also
called Nandikeshwar) who are His prakruti) and recitation of
Mruttyunjaya or Mahamruttyunjaya Mantra is actually a pooja of
the cosmic PURUSHA; of Whom; we are “extensions”.
Bharatha Natyam dancers bow down before Shiva, the cosmic
orchestrator, who performs the TANDAVA nruttya (the cosmic
dance); during the period of PRADOSHA.
The moon particularly is believed to have a direct influence on the
mind. Lord Shiva (cosmic consciusness in every individual) is said to
be happiest (i.e. easy for access from superficiality and pettiness) at
Ancient Rishis probably experienced this, which was described as,
“PRADOSHA time being the most helpful and efficacious time for
propitiating the deity and during this auspicious period all the hosts
of celestial beings and celestial gods come down from the heavens
and attend the worship in their subtle forms!” The celestial beings
and celestial gods are most probably the counterparts of human
consciousness in the cosmic consciousness or vice versa.
PRADOSHA is probably the best time to connect with these “celestial
beings and gods”!
PRADOSHA VRATA elucidates holistic comprehension, insights,
wisdom and the genius of application of; connecting with
physiological counterparts in the universe and deriving vitality from
these deities and deriving the ambrosia from the cosmic
consciousness and blossoming together!