When does pradosha happen? What is its significance?
The period between sunset and nightfall is called Pradosha in traditional literature and designated as a good time to perform religious and spiritual activities. At this time, it is said, that having completed their complete their taanDava nRutya (Cosmic dance) Rudra devaru (Lord Shiva) and Parvati devi visit Earth to inspect who is doing what. Devotees engaged in pious acts like meditation, chanting of mantras, singing of devotional songs etc quickly earn the grace of Rudra devaru and Parvati whereas those not doing so and indulging in activities like eating, unnecessary talking etc invite the demon Kali and his wife alakshmi into their house.

Maasa Shivaraatri:
The duration after the pradosha period on a chaturdashi (the fourteenth day in the lunar calendar) has special significance and is called maasa Shivaratri. This has been identified as a very propitious time to acquire Rudra devaru’s grace through special worship.

Maadhvas and Rudra devaru
There is a very popular misconception that Maadhvas do not worship Rudra devaru (Shiva). This is totally wrong and is easily refuted by looking at the great amount of devotional literature created by maadhva ascetics, haridaasas and scholars idolizing Rudra devaru. He is accorded a very high place in the hierarchy of gods and worshipped as manobhimani (the patron deity who controls our mind and thinking). His grace is needed if we are to acquire right knowledge and proceed in the right path. He also blesses us with vairaagya (detachment) and keeps us away from the enticements of the material world. He is revered as a very great Vaishnava and the beloved pupil of Lord Vayu. His wife Parvati is revered as vaagdevate (the patron deity for speech). However, Maadhvas do not exceed the limit in this worship and treat Rudra devaru as paramaatma or parabrahma (the exalted Supreme Being), since this goes against the hierarchy enshrined in our holy scriptures. Another distinguishing feature is that their worship is directed towards Lord Sankarshana (or Lord Narasimha) enshrined within bhArati-ramaNa mukhyaprAna who is within Rudra devaru.

Mahaa Shivaraatri:
The skaanda puraaNa says “maaghasya tvasitE vidyatE yaa chaturdashi tadraatri shivaraatri syaat sarvapaapapraNaashini” (the night of maagha Krishna Chaturdashi i.e, fourteenth day in the dark half of the lunar month of Maagha is Maha Shivaraatri, the destroyer of all sins). Skaanda puraaNa also describes the rituals to be followed in worshipping Rudra devaru that day. It says that performing worship during pradosha of this day to Lord Sankarshana enshrined within Rudra devaru is very beneficial and can destroy all sins. People are advised to chant pious stotras like the Vishnusahasranaama.

–Raghunandana sharma

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  1. k. satyanaarayana rao

    I am very happyreading the content of the blog. I am a madhwa with very little knowledge and the blog gives me happiness though certain points are beyond my comprehensionand though certain practices i am unable to do.

  2. K Narayana Murthy

    I am really lucky to have come across such a wonderful blog. Thank you for creating such a wonderful blog regarding The God of Gods, Sri Maha Vishnu.
    However, here in this article, I notice that you have mentioned that chaturdashi is the fourteenth day. Enlighten me, is chaturdashi is the fourth (4th) day or the fourteenth (14th) day.

  3. Ajay Desai

    Lord ruradeva (Shiva) was born from Lord Brahma, then in the hierarchy why is placed below vayu. I am a Madhwa Brahmin, but this question comes in my repeatedly. I don’t have any answer to this question?? please guide me. My advaita brahmin argue with me on this point.

  4. Why shiva is placed below vayi deva in the hierarchy. We are always taught in school that the gods come after the trimurtii in the hierarchy.

  5. sumanth

    I’m a smartha but I completely believe in madhva tradition because I know that’s the ultimate truth!thank you for such a wonderful blog:-)

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