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Friday, February 22, 2013

Sani Pradosham, Feb 23, 2013


Dear Members:

The highly propitious Sani Pradosham falls on Feb 23, 2013 this year.

Pradosham - as you might all be aware is an auspicious vrattam for pleasing Lord Shiva. This day is the mark of our Lord's Grace to all living beings; He willingly lapped up the "Alahaala poison" emitted by the Giant Snake Vasuki during the process of churning of Milk Ocean by the Demons and Devas to save everyone from the malefic effects of that highly potent poison. Goddess Parvati, with great presence of mind, applied pressure on His neck, and the poison got stuck up on His Neck - giving His Neck the Blue Hue and thus He is Hailed by the name "Neelakanta." That Blue Neck is the testimony of the fact that the Lord willingly took up the ordeal of tasting Poison so that Nectar could be enjoyed by other Celestials. Lord Shiva swooned (to comply with the laws of nature - though He is above all that!) and rested on the lap of Goddess Parvati. He regained consciousness on the twilight of TrayOdashi thithi and broke into a Divine Cosmic Dance of sheer ecstasy (as the dangerous Haalahaala poison had turned into Amruta due to the touch of Goddess), and this is observed as Pradosha Vrat twice a fortnight.

As the original event happened on a Saturday, Pradosha falling on Saturdays is considered specially auspicious.

Lord Shiva is easily pleased by devotion, and any austerity performed during this day in His Honour is sure to make us dear to Him, and to help us balance our karmic balance-sheets with more positive karmic balance!

There are two ways of observing this Pradosham fast:

1) You can fast from sunrise till sunset. Break the fast after sunset and after completion of PradOsha Pooja to Lord Shiva, Goddess Shakti, Lord Ganesha, Lord Skanda, and importantly - Lord Nandi - the Divine Bull. Those who observe this fast should take a bath about 1-1/2 hours before sunset, and offer shiva pooja from about 1 hour before sunset till sunset, and break the fast at sunset. It is auspicious to have a darshan of Lord Shiva through the Horns of the Divine Bull on Pradosha days. Recite only Shiva mantra in Nandi's ears (many people recite their woes and prayer requests to Nandi; shastras indicate reciting shiva mantra in Nandi's ears is the right practice; you can then pray for other requests standing at a respectable distance from the Nandi and not straight into His ears - that are so Holy and which deserve the respect of being adorned by Shiva mantras and not to be sullied by our mundane requests that are endless and many times - undeserved! I have noted with pain that even some semi-informed astrologers in Television programs are encouraging people to do the wrong thing of voicing requests in the ears of Holy Nandikeshwara during pradosham misguiding the masses into a wrong practice; I hope readers of my blog will not insult the Shiva Bhakta Supreme - Nandikeshwara by disturbing His Ever-Absorved Shiva Conscious with mundane requests. Praying to Lord Shiva and respecting Nandikeshwara as ordained in shastras/ Agamas will AUTOMATICALLY take care of our karmas and then with the use of our own will-power we can handle our issues as true Shiva Bhaktas will! ).

2) The second method is to continue the austerities even after sunset; you may break the fast - but maintain an all-night vigil reciting Shiva mantras till next day's sunrise.

You may adopt any of the above two methods of Pradosha vrat.

Those who cannot fast may simply abstain from ritually impure foods (onions, garlics, meat products, eggs, etc.) and visit Shiva shrines nearby and take part in the Pradosha festivities.

Even if you can't fast completely or abstain from onion/ garlic (please avoid meat products and eggs at all costs if you observe pradosham vrat), or can't skip food, you may at least do simple Shiva meditation as much as feasible on Pradosham periods.

During Pradosha period all the Divine Energies (devas, yakshas, gandharvas, and all the demi-gods apart from Shri Vishnu and Shri Brahma - the other moorthis of the Divine Trinity) assemble in Lord Shiva's presence. So, offering Shiva Pooja on Pradosha day is akin to Honouring all Divine Forces. It is the practical experience of millions of people that pradosha vrat is a vrat par excellence in granting all boons - because Lord Shiva and His Divine Energies are said to be in the most blissful Form during this period.


We intend to visit the Holy Parvata Malai - hailed as Southern Kailaasa and offer special pooja in this connection for the welfare of all in general and some of our Paaraayanam group members who are regular part-sponsors in the fortnightly Pradosham abhishekams every month, in particular.

May our members also be blessed with His Grace by observing this Holiest of Fasts/ Austerities.




Om Namah shivaya.

Om Neelakantaaya sambhavE

Hara Hara Mahaa DEvaa.

Blessed be.
Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.





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