Kanchi Mahaperiyava has this to say about the importance of Pradosha pooja. The Pradosha period starts with the setting of the sun in the evening. This is an excellent time to pray to Lord Parameswaran. This is the time the world is gearing up for the night. This is the right time to divert your mind to seek the grace of Lord Shiva. This is the beginning of Sandhya kaal. As everything is contained by Lord Shiva, this is an auspicious period.
Creation in the morning and destruction during the period of pradosham is the norm. This is the reason the night time is considered a time of the pralaya. Birds return to their nests. Cows return home after grazing. Children return home after spending their time playing. This is the time to focus on Lord and maintain one’s sidda-shuddhi. Keep your brain free from all the clutter and chatter. With the dance of Lord Nataraja, the cosmic energy is contained and everyone is now paying rapt attention to this dance. Even the ghostly elements are lured by this cosmic dance and they do not bother any one.
If you look at a magician, you will notice that he does not close one’s eyes. But you are hypnotized and you become spell bound. Your mind and eyes come under his control and he does what he wants to. Always pray to Lord Sri Hari in the mornings and to Lord Shiva in the evenings. Chanting Lord Nataraja’s name during Pradosha period is highly beneficial.
Temples were built to pray to Lord Shiva in this manner. Most devotees did not have the wherewithal in their homes to do shiva-pooja. Therefore shiva temples were built in India. During Pradosha, the prayers and requests made to Lord Shiva always get fulfilled. Your mental dustbin is cleared and you are free of irrational thoughts, feelings and emotions. Your soul is completely immersed in the Lord.
The Importance of Nandi
Nandi’s role in kailasam is very significant. The devas and saints and rishis have to seek permission of Nandi to meet Lord Shiva. Whenever we visit a shiva temple, we need to bow to Nandi first. For his role as a gatekeeper, Nandikeswarar is also revered with abhishekams and aradaanais during Pradosha pooja.
The fame of Nandikeswara has spread far and wide. The redoubtable Nandi is known for his dharma and calm demeanor. He represents – sivaya namaha. He has the fortune of playing the role of Lord Shiva’s vehicle. Ayan, Hari, Indran, Devas, Rishis – all of them have immense respect for Nandikeswarar. He is offered vilva leaves, arugampul and rice mixed with jiggery. Lamps are lit in front of Nandikeswarar.
When Lord Shiva and his consort Uma-Parvathi are swinging on a swing, it is said that Nandikeswarar’s breath maintains the flow and movement of the swing. The power of siva-sakthi is immense as it has the capacity to contain everything in itself. Therefore, Nandikeswarar has special significance in Pradosha pooja.