Today, February 8, 2017, is Pradosham. It is the divine time auspicious for praying to Lord Shiva and seek His benedictions for the fulfillment of our wishes and prosperity in life.
Pradosham occurs in Thrayodashi thithi in both Shukla paksha and Krishna paksha and thus occurs twice in a month. In all Shiva temples, special abhishekams and poojas are conducted during 4.30 to 6 pm for Lord Shiva on this day. Those who pray to Shiva during this time get relieved of their human bondage and attain mukthi.
There is a mythological reference to Pradosha Pooja. While trying to get amrutham from the ocean of milk using the serpent Vasuki and Manthar hill, the Devas came upon Halahala poison which was eaten by Lord Shiva in order to rescue them. As per the order of Shiva, the Devas continued their attempts to get amrutham and got it on Dwadashi (12 TH Moon day). They forgot to thank the Lord as they were overwhelmed with happiness. Next day on Thrayodashi, on the 13 th Moon day, they realized their fault and pleaded with Lord Shiva to forgive them. The graceful Lord forgave them and danced in between the horns of Nandi (the divine bull), being pleased with their prayers. This time is called Pradosham.
Pradosham is an auspicious period as all the hosts of celestial beings and gods come down from the heavens and attend the worship in their subtle forms. Lord Shiva is known to be in the most ecstatic of moods. Let us pray to Lord Shiva with this prayer from Lingashtakam and visit temples where poojas and homams for Lord Shiva are conducted.
brahmamurāri surārcita liṅgaṃ
nirmalabhāsita śobhita liṅgam
janmaja duḥkha vināśaka liṅgaṃ
tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam ||