Swearing-in on Pradosh, Shivratri to be first day in office
While the informal official explanations which have been ferreted out is that it would provide ample opportunity to get a large number of invitees over for the swearing in ceremony including heads of foreign states and newly elected chief ministers, the astrological sanctity of the date has also not been lost on keen observers. According to ‘Bharatiya Panchang’ (the Indian calendar – Vikrami Samvat), 26 May 2014 happens to be day of Som Pradosh.
Pradosh in fact means the dusk. It is practiced to propitiate Lord Shiva, in order to obtain his blessings for fulfillment of one’s cherished desired and spiritual salvation. Those who practice it with unflinching faith and devotion are bound to possess wealth, health, happiness, say the scriptures.
Pradosh is observed on the 13th day of each 15 day-lunar cycle – Paksha, thus two of this auspicious day fall in each month. 26 May 2014 is the 13th day of Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) of the month of Jayaishtha of the year 2071 of Vikram Samvat. Since it’s falling on a Monday, its Som Pradosh, considered most auspicious as blessed by Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati.
Those who follow Pradosh, keep a daylong Vrat (fast), have a bath in the evening and worship Shiva and Parvati. The most auspicious hour of the day is considered to be the evening and no wonder that Narendra Modi has chosen 6 pm for his swearing in the forecourts of Rashtrapati Bhawan. It’s not known whether the prime minister-designate would keep a daylong fast on the day.
During the current year, there are four scheduled Som Pradosh days, of which two fall in May – 12 and 26. Incidentally on 12 May the last phase of polling of the nine-phase general election was held and on this day Varanasi also voted giving Narendra Modi a resounding victory of over 3.70 lakh over his nearest rival Arvind Kejriwal.
Varanasi is said to be city of Lord Vishwanath (Shiva in his avatar as protector of the world) and Modi went back to Varanasi to thank Shiva for his unprecedented victory. The day, according to scriptures, is most auspicious as it would be followed by the Masik Shiv Ratri (the day of coming together of Shiva and Parvati) and that would be the new prime minister’s first day in the office.