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तिथिर्विष्णुस्तथा वारो नक्षत्रं विष्णुरेव च।
योगश्च करणं चैव सर्वं विष्णु मयं जगत्॥


Monday, March 3, 2008

When to observe Pradosh vrata?

Panchangam Source: http://www.mypanchang.com/

Pradosha vrata is usaully a fast observed when trayodashi tithi (both shukla and krishna trayodashi) is visible after sunset. This is related to fast not based on doing abhishekam when abhishekam is done in the evening in temples or at home. Temples do abhishekam in evening on pradosha day and common misconception is tithi needs to be visible when abhishekam is done. Well, the reality is it's connected to when to observe fast not when to do abhishekam. Remember after sunset bhojana (eating food), nindra (sleeping), maithuna (having sex), adhyayana (study) is prohibited during pradosha.

Abhishekam and Pradosha:

Pradosha vrat says to perform shivapuja in the afternoon. Now most temples perform shivapuja, and abhishekam on the day of pradosha in the evening. Pradosha day is decided for fasting. Now sunsets in india around 6:00 PM. This is average sunset. Now if you live outside India for example Australia or North America, Sun will rise at 4:00 AM and sun will set at 8:30 PM - 9:00 PM in summer. Most temples will do abhishekam during 7:00 PM. Now at that time trayodashi may not be prevailing. But we don't have sunset either. Actual time for pradosha as per Nirnaysindhu, and Dharmasindhu for the nakta vrata is 3 muhurtha after sunset. We don't have a sunset at 7:00 PM in summer. Hence, Actual pradosham puja can start 48 minutes (one muhurtha) before sunset, but depending on the puja it can start earlier. At that time visibility of trayodashi is not important. What is important is trayodashi must prevail after sunset for 3 muhurtha == 3 * 48 minutes. The detailed calculation is outlined below. This is no different than doing sankshatha chaturdashi abhishekam in the evening when actual chaturthi will appear doing moonrise time and during abhishekam time tritiya is visible.

Pradosha dates appear in panchanga is for fasting not when to do abhishekam. Usually abhishekam can be done 48 minutes before sunset till 144 minutes after sunset.

Just we want to do abhishekam when trayodashi prevails during 6 PM to 7 PM and even sunset has not occured we can't change pradosha date for fasting. (Applicable to countries in northen and southern latitudes where sunrise and sunset do not occur around average 6:00 PM ).

Original Sanskrit Verses from dharmasindhu:

Pradosha is basicaly 6 ghatikas after sunset (According to dharmsindhu). Trayodashi tithi should be prevailing during that time. That is from sunset to sunset+144 minutes ( where each ghatika is 24 minutes, 24 * 6 = 144 minutes). Take the one which prevails during the pradosha kala as explained above, in case if it prevails on both days or not than please use following rules to judge when to observe pradosha vrata (FAST) and do abhishekam:
  • If it prevails on both days, take the one where it prevails more.
  • If it prevails on both days in equal amount then take the second one.
  • If it doesn't prevail on both days but not during pradosha kala on previous or second day then take the one which prevails during the sunrise.
Panchanga give end time of the tithi. So check when dwadashi ends, right after that trayodashi starts till where it says Trayodashi and it's end time. For example:
March 4
Krishna Paksha
T:Dvadashi 15:27:26
N:U.shada 06:49:04
Y:Parigha 29:00:16+
K:Taitila 15:27:26
K:Garaja 27:19:30+
SN: Kumbha
MN: Makara
V: 10:54- 12:32
AK: 20:40- 22:18
March 5
Krishna Paksha
T:Trayodashi 15:01:06
N:Shravana 07:14:40
Y:Shiva 27:11:22+
K:Vanija 15:01:06
K:Vishti 26:32:41+
SN: Kumbha
MN: Kumbha 19:13
V: 11:13- 12:48
AK: 20:43- 22:18

(Panchang data source: www.mypanchang.com)
Here on March 4th Dwadashi completes at "T:Dvadashi 15:27:26" (Look above in March 4th section). Right after that Trayodashi starts which is visible (prevailing) during the sunset of 4th and 144 minutes after sunset. Which is not the case on 5th. Where it prevails only till 15:01:06 PM (Look above in March 5th section) after that chaturdashi starts. Which means Trayodashi tithi prevails during sunrise of March 5th but not during the pradosha kala of March 5th. Hence pradosha kala is on March 4th.
Hope this helps.
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Heramb Hatkhambkar said...

Very Nice I am very mush satisfied wit this

mahendarv said...

The information is very usefull clearing doubts. However, it is not clear whether it is Krishna triyodashi or shukla triodashi.
Please specify.

Pandit Mahesh Shastri said...

Pradosha occurs on both sukla and krishna trayodashi.

Rama Godugula/Gindam musings said...

We are told to fast till the Abhishekam and then eat. But now according to this post, we should not eat after puja which means we can eat only the next day.

Can we fast on Ekadashi and Pradosha? Many times dwadashi and Pradosha come on the same day.

Does it mean in temple, the pandit doesn't eat anything for this long and do the routine duty?

Please clarify.

Pandit Mahesh Shastri said...

Pradosham is usually done by smartas. Ekadashi vrat is done by sri vaishnava. But the ekadasi vrata is more common. I am not sure if priests do all vratas in temple. Actually for women, pregnant, disables, and old age people are not required to do any vrata. Vrata fast means not even fruits but we eat fruits also, we are drinking milk also. IF you read dharmasindhu it says water enough to wet your mouth and not that often. Vrata -- fasts are done for self control, health, and many other benefits. I'll write another post for vratas and fast.

Dakshata said...

Can we eat fruits or drink milk during the day? I find it difficult to follow a nirjali nirankar fast as I work standard times and travel to and fro to work. Also I live in London where sunset is not always at the same time and I do not have belpatra usually. Any suggestions?

Dakshata said...

Can we eat fruits or drink milk during the day? I find it difficult to follow a nirjali nirankar fast as I work standard times and travel to and fro to work. Also I live in London where sunset is not always at the same time and I do not have belpatra usually. Any suggestions?

Pandit Mahesh Shastri said...


You can abstain from eating grains but you may drink water, eat fruit, milk etc...

knara2 said...


I am great follower of your website, calendar and panchang. I need your advise - recently one of my friends gave me a Narmadha linga. What are the procedure of keeping it in our house considering the limiations we have have here in USA?

Thanks and looking for your advise


knara2 said...

Dear Panditji

I am a follower of your website for calendar and panchang. I need your advise - Recently one of my friends gave me a Narmadha lingam (Baana lingam?) that he received from omkareswar on the banks of Narmadha...by a very elderly person after bathing in the holy river Narmadha. Now I need your advise on the right procedures for keeping it in our house considering the limitations we have in USA.

Thanks and looking forward to your advise

Bloomington, IL, USA

Unknown said...

Awesome explanation.....thank u shastriji

Unknown said...

Can a woman do Pradosh vrat ?

Pandit Mahesh Shastri said...

Sure, anyone can do pradosh vrat. Remember the soul doessn't have a gender. All this vrats help you to know 'who am i' -- that is your soul. The soul is shiva. hence whenever we do puja we always say 'atmani devata sthapayet'. Which means I'm invoking my soul into this image or pratima or moorti, and then worship.

Unknown said...

Namaste pandit ji... As i am doing job, i am not able to do puja in the evening den at what time i can do the pradosh puja.

Unknown said...

Pandit Mahesh shashtri ji,guru ji if we want to keep chaturdashi fast then what are the terms & conditions as per panchanga, second if we want to keep both pradosh & chaturthi fast then how can we because on chaturdashi parayana should be done of pradosh vrat.

Unknown said...

Pandti ji kya pradosh vrat me shenanamka le skte hai jb pregancy ho

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