Pradosh Vrat: Katha, Dates, Puja Vidhi and Mantras

Pradosh Vrat is a Hindu fast that is observed on the Trayodashi tithi (13th day) of each lunar fortnight, which occurs twice a month, once during the waxing moon period (Shukla Paksha) and once during the waning moon (Krishna Paksha).

The word “Pradosh” refers to the period of twilight just after sunset and is considered to be an auspicious time to worship Lord Shiva, one of the most revered deities in Hindu dharma.

Lord Shiva

Both Sukhla Trayodashi and Krishna Trayodashi (bimonthly occasion) are observed with great devotion by many Hindus, especially those who follow the Shaivite sect of Sanatan Dharma. The fast is believed to have numerous spiritual and physical benefits and is considered to be a way to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva and attain spiritual growth.

Pradosh Vrat for Lord Shiva

According to Skanda Purana, the devas (gods) and asuras (demons) once decided to churn the ocean to obtain the nectar of immortality, which they believed was hidden in its depths.

They approached Lord Vishnu for help, who advised them to use Mount Mandara as the churning rod and Vasuki, the king of serpents, as the rope. The Devas and Asuras agreed to work together to achieve their common goal.

As they began to churn the ocean, the first thing to emerge was a deadly poison, which threatened to destroy the entire universe. Lord Shiva, the lord of destruction, came forward and drank the poison to save the universe from destruction.

This event is known as the “Samudra Manthan,” and Lord Shiva is believed to have consumed the poison during the Pradosh period, making Pradosh Vrat a significant day for worshiping Lord Shiva and seeking his blessings.

Shiva – Nandi (The Bull)
Lord Shiva and Nandi

In another story, All devas (Hindu gods) decided to appeal to Lord Shiva to defeat powerful demons. They marched to Mount Kailash, where they were received by sacred bull, Nandi. Nandi on behalf of Devas, requested Lord Shiva to defeat all demons, to which Lord Shiva agreed. The timing Shiv agreed was Trayodashi, thus beginning the trend of having a Pradosha Vrat by worshipping Lord Shiva and Nandi.

Pradosh Vrat Stories (Vrat Katha)

#1. The Helpless Prince

In ancient India, there lived a Brahmin priest who was very poor and struggled to make ends meet for himself, his wife, and their son. Unfortunately, one day, the priest passed away, leaving his wife and son helpless and with no means of sustenance. The widow was forced to beg for food to feed her child and herself.

One day, while returning home after collecting alms, the woman saw a handsome man who was wounded and lying on the side of the road. Being kind-hearted, she took him to her humble abode and nursed his wounds.

She offered him whatever little food she had to eat, and he gratefully accepted. The prince was named Dharmagupta, and he started living with the woman and her son in their small house.

While living there, Dharmagupta observed the widow performing the Pradosh Vrat. He inquired about the significance of the vrata and learned about its importance. From that day onwards, he also started performing the Pradosh Vrat with devotion.

Dharmagupta was, in reality, the prince of Vidarbha who had lost his kingdom due to an enemy’s attack. His father had been imprisoned, and he had barely managed to escape. He was wandering aimlessly when the kind-hearted widow took him in.

After a few days, thanks to the widow’s care, Dharmagupta recovered and regained his strength. One day, while wandering in a jungle, he met a beautiful Gandharva princess named Anshumati, who fell in love with him. She informed her parents, and Lord Shiva appeared in their dream and instructed them to marry Anshumati to Dharmagupta.

As per Lord Shiva’s instruction, Anshumati and Dharmagupta got married. With the help of the Gandharva army, Dharmagupta defeated his enemies and rescued his father from prison. He then took the poor woman who had helped him to the palace and offered her a comfortable life. He also made her son the prime minister of his kingdom.

Therefore, it is believed that performing the Pradosh Vrat brings the grace of Lord Shiva and can change one’s fate. Dharmagupta’s life turned around for the better after he began performing the Pradosha Vrata, and everyone should strive to do the same.

#2. Vritrasura

Vritasura and Lord Indra in the battle

During a battle, the gods found themselves incapable of vanquishing Asura Vritrasura. As a result, they approached their guru, Brihaspati, for guidance.

Brihaspati informed them that Vritrasura was a king named Chitraratha in his previous life. Once, he was flying over Mount Kailash in his airplane when he saw Goddess Parvati sitting on Lord Shiva’s lap. He scornfully laughed and mocked them, which enraged Parvati. She cursed him to be reborn as a demon, which led to his birth as Vritrasura.

Brihaspati suggested Lord Indra perform the Guru Pradosh Vrat if he desired to defeat Vritrasura. Following this advice, Indra observed the Guru Pradosha Vrata and emerged triumphant over Vritrasura.

#3. Chandra Deva was saved by Lord Shiva

Once, the Moon God (also known as Soma or Chandra dev) married 27 daughters of Daksha Prajapati, but he had a special love for Rohini and neglected his other wives. As a result, his other wives complained to Daksha about this.

Daksha advised Chandra to treat all his wives equally, but he did not pay heed to his advice. Enraged, Daksha cursed him with a wasting disease, which began to affect Chandra’s body instantly. However, this was catastrophic for the world, and the gods sought Lord Brahma’s help to find a solution.

Lord Brahma advised Chandra to worship Lord Shiva in the form of a lingam, and Chandra did penance for six months. Lord Shiva appeared before him in the form of a Jyotirlinga and blessed Chandra, thereby reducing his curse (Chandra’s curse was not lifted completely as he had committed a significant sin previously).

Lord Shiva told Chandra that he would decline day by day in one fortnight and increase steadily in another to increase the glory of the region and the moon. Lord Shiva also stayed there in the form of Someshwara.

Chandra received Lord Shiva’s blessing on the day of Trayodashi during Pradosha Kaal, which is now considered the best time to worship Lord Shiva.

Significance of Pradosh Vrat

Every Pradosh Vrat has its own significant benefits and remember you will not get full benefits if you don’t worship Shiva 45 minutes before sunset and 45 minutes after sunset.

Pradosh VratDay to ObserveSignificanceSpecial Puja
Som Pradosham VratMondayBrings positivity, optimism, and happiness in lifeMental peaceShiv Puja and Chandra Deva (moon)
Mangal Pradosham VratTuesdayRelieves from sicknessesBrings prosperityExpands vision for better livingFulfilment of desiresShiva Puja and Mangal Puja
Saumya Pradosham VratWednesdayBrings wisdom and knowledgePacifies planet Mercury for better problem-solving abilitiesShiv Puja and Budha Puja
Guru Pradosham VratThursdayEnds problems and obstaclesInvokes blessings of ancestorsGrowth in AcademicsShiv Puja and Guru (Brihaspati) Puja
Shukra Pradosham VratFridayEliminates negativitiesBrings contentment and successBalance in lifeShiva Puja and Shukra Puja
Shani Pradosham VratSaturdayPromotes spiritual growthRewards for past KarmaShows the way to regain health, wealth, and respectBlissful married lifeShiv Puja and Shani dev Puja
Ravi Pradosham VratSundayBlessing for a long lifeBrings peace and outbound growthShiva Puja and Shani-Surya Puja

Pradosha Vratham: Puja Bidhi

Shiv Puja
Shiva Puja
  • On the day of Pradosh, wake up during the Brahma Muhurta and take a bath and other purification rituals.
  • Then take a handful of rice in your hand and declare your vow by saying “Ahamadya Mahadevasya Kripapraptyai Som Pradosh Vratam Karishye”.
  • Next, go to a nearby Shiva temple in the morning and perform the puja of Shiva Linga with offerings like bel leaves, akshat, diya, incense, gangajal, water, flowers, sweets, etc.
  • After the puja, observe a fast for the entire day and perform acts of charity.
  • On Pradosh Tithi, keep chanting “Om Namah Shivay” in your mind and also recite the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra using a Rudraksha mala.
  • On Trayodashi Pradosh, three hours before sunset time during the Pradosh Kaal, perform the Shiv Puja.
  • Perform the Abhishek of Shiva Linga with Panchamrit and offer all the items of puja.
  • Recite the Shiva Chalisa and chant the Shiva Mantras after the puja.
  • Finally, you can break your fast by consuming food and water after taking a bath before sunset.

Pradosh Vrata 2023: dates and puja time

The following table provides dates, days, Pradosh Vrta types, and the most auspicious period of Puja for Pradosh Vrta Tithi 2023. Remember after sunset when Trayodashi Tithi and Pradosh Kaal overlap (twilight period), it is the best time period to perform Shiva Puja.

Dates on 2023Pradosh TypePradosh Time (Pradosh Kaal)
January 4, 2023, WednesdayBudh Pradosh Vrat (also known as Saumyavara Pradosh)Tithi Begins – 10:01 PM, Jan 3
Tithi Ends – 12:00 AM, Jan 05
January 19, 2023, ThursdayGuru Pradosh Vrat (also known as Guruvara Pradosh)Tithi Begins – 01:18 PM, Jan 19
Tithi Ends – 09:59 AM, Jan 20
February 2, 2023, ThursdayGuru Pradosh VratTithi Begins – 04:26 PM, Feb 02
Tithi Ends – 06:57 PM, Feb 03
February 18, 2023, SaturdayShani Pradosh VratTithi Begins – 11:36 PM, Feb 17
Tithi Ends – 08:02 PM, Feb 18
March 4, 2023, SaturdayShani Pradosh VratTithi Begins – 11:43 AM, Mar 04
Tithi Ends – 02:07 PM, Mar 05
March 19, 2023, SundayRavi Pradosh Vrat (also known as Bhanu Pradosh)Tithi Begins – 08:09 AM, Mar 19
Tithi Ends – 04:55 AM, Mar 20
April 3, 2023, MondaySoma Pradosh VratTithi Begins – 06:24 AM, Apr 03
Tithi Ends – 08:05 AM, Apr 04
April 17, 2023, MondaySoma Pradosh VratTithi Begins – 03:46 PM, Apr 17
Tithi Ends – 01:27 PM, Apr 18
May 3, 2023, WednesdayBudh Pradosh VratTithi Begins – 11:17 PM, May 02
Tithi Ends – 11:49 PM, May 03
May 17, 2023, WednesdayBudh Pradosh VratTithi Begins – 11:36 PM, May 16
Tithi Ends – 10:28 PM, May 17
June 1, 2023, ThursdayGuru Pradosh VratTithi Begins – 01:39 PM, Jun 01
Tithi Ends – 12:48 PM, Jun 02
June 15, 2023, ThursdayGuru Pradosh VratTithi Begins -08:32 AM, Jun 15
Tithi Ends – 08:39 AM, Jun 16
July 1, 2023, SaturdayShani Pradosh VratTithi Begins – 01:16 AM, Jul 01
Tithi Ends – 11:07 PM, Jul 01
July 14, 2023, FridayShukra Pradosh VratTithi Begins – 07:17 PM, Jul 14
Tithi Ends – 08:32 PM, Jul 15
July 30, 2023, SundayRavi Pradosh VratTithi Begins – 10:34 AM, Jul 30
Tithi Ends – 07:26 AM, Jul 31
August 13, 2023, SundayRavi Pradosh VratTithi Begins – 08:19 AM, Aug 13
Tithi Ends – 10:25 AM, Aug 14
August 28, 2023, MondaySoma Pradosh VratTithi Begins – 06:22 PM, Aug 28
Tithi Ends – 02:47 PM, Aug 29
September 12, 2023, TuesdayBhauma Pradosh VratTithi Begins – 11:52 PM, Sep 11
Tithi Ends – 02:21 AM, Sep 13
September 27, 2023, WednesdayBudh Pradosh VratTithi Begins – 01:45 AM, Sep 27
Tithi Ends – 10:18 PM, Sep 27
October 11, 2023, WednesdayBudh Pradosh VratTithi Begins – 05:37 PM, Oct 11
Tithi Ends – 07:53 PM, Oct 12
October 26, 2023, ThursdayGuru Pradosh VratTithi Begins – 09:44 AM, Oct 26
Tithi Ends – 06:56 AM, Oct 27
November 10, 2023, FridayShukra Pradosh Vrat (also known as Bhrigu Vaara Pradosh Vrat)Tithi Begins – 12:35 PM, Nov 10
Tithi Ends – 01:57 PM, Nov 11
November 24, 2023, FridayShukra Pradosh VratTithi Begins – 07:06 PM, Nov 24
Tithi Ends – 05:22 PM, Nov 25
December 10, 2023, SundayRavi Pradosh VratTithi Begins – 07:13 AM, Dec 10
Tithi Ends – 07:10 AM, Dec 11
December 24, 2023, SundayRavi Pradosh VratTithi Begins – 06:24 AM, Dec 24
Tithi Ends – 05:54 AM, Dec 25

Pradosh Vrata mantras (Shiva Mantras)

Om Namah Shivaya
Shiva Mantra

Any Shiv mantras ‘Namo Shivaya’ or ‘Shivaya Namah’ would do wonders in Shiv Pradosh Vrta. Here are some mantras you can chant any day for eternal blessings from Lord Shiva. Jay Shiva Shambho!

1. Panchakshari Shiva Mantra

ॐ नमः शिवाय – Om Namah Shivaya

Meaning – I bow to Shiva

The literal meaning of Om Namah Shivaya is “I bow to Shiva”. Shiva here is the supreme reality, or in other words, the inner Self. Thus, while you are chanting this mantra, you are calling for the inner self. Shiva Panchakshari mantra is mostly for those seeking protection and safety. It boosts inner potential and strength and also fills life with positive energy. It is for everyone and there is no restriction on this mantra. You can repeat it any way you want to.

2. Mahamrityunjaya mantra

ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम् |
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान् मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात् ॥

Om Try- Ambakam Yajaamahe Sugandhim Pusstti-Vardhanam | Urvaarukam-Iva Bandhanaan Mrtyor-Mukssiiya Maa-[A]mrtaat ||

Meaning – Om, We Worship the Three-Eyed One, Who is Fragrant, Increasing the Nourishment. From these many Bondages similar to Cucumbers (tied to their Creepers), May I be Liberated from Death (Attachment to Perishable Things) So that I am not separated from the perception of Immortality (Immortal Essence pervading everywhere).

Mahamrityunjaya mantra is said to be the most powerful Shiva mantra. Unlike chanting Om Namah Shivaya, where you can chant any time or any way you want, this mantra has some restrictions. As such, you need to be aware of when and how to chant it.

Chanting Mahamrityunjay mantra 108 times adds courage and other significant benefits to your life. The Sanskrit word “Mahamrityunjaya” means “victory over the dead”. So, if you want to overcome your fear of death and other kinds of material suffering and ultimately gain spiritual upliftment, then this mantra is for you.

3. Rudra Mantra

ॐ नमो भगवते रूद्राय ।

Om Namo Bhagwate Rudraay

This Rudra mantra is the shortcut to please Lord Shiva. It is used to get the blessing from the Lord Rudra. Chanting this Rudra mantra is used to get your wishes fulfilled by the Lord himself.

4. Shiva Gayatri Mantra

ॐ तत्पुरुषाय विद्महे महादेवाय धीमहि तन्नो रुद्रः प्रचोदयात ।

Om Tatpurushaay Vidmahe Mahadevaay Deemahi Tanno Rudrah Prachodayat

Meaning – Om, Let me meditate on the great Purusha, Oh, greatest God, give me higher intellect, and let God Rudra illuminate my mind.

Everyone knows that Gayatri Mantra is one of the most powerful Hindu mantras, and so is the Shiva Gayatri Mantra. If you want peace of mind and if you want to please Shiva, you can chant the mantra.