Pashupatvrat - Did all deities perform it? If I want to perform it how to perform it? Any Pros and Cons? Any procedure? Thank you in advance for legit scripture-based answer.
From the second link:
Sanatkumara Muni described the details of Pashupaata Vrata to Maharshi Shailadi and Nandi Deva explained it briefly; Brahma and Vishnu accomplished the Vrata foremost and was followed by Indra and Devas and subsequently by Danava-Daitya-Siddha and others. This Vrata was stated to have absorbed the essence of the six Vedangas for the worship of Dwadasha Lingaas as visualised for each month of the year viz. during Chaitra Month as made of Gold, Vaisakha of Vajra or Diamond, Jyeshtha of Marakata mani, Ashadha month made of Mukta / Pearl, Shravana made of Nila Mani, Bhadrapada made of Padmaraga; Ashviyuja made of Gomedha, Kartika made of Pravala, Margashira made of Vidurya, Pushya made of Pushyaraaga, Maagha the Lingas to be made of Suryakanta mani, and Phalguna the Shiva Linga to be made of Sphatika. In all the months, the puja must be performed by lotus either in the actual form preferably or by way of gold or silver or copper or any other forms. Puja by Bilva Patra (Shri Patra) again in actual form or of replikas would be a ‘must’. Devi Lakshmi is stated to reside in bel patras, while Neel Kamal is the resident of Ambika, Shanmukha stays in Utpala Pushpa and Maha Deva is fond of Padma. Dhupa or smoke made of ‘Guggula’ and Deepa are integral parts of the Puja as they are the demolishers of all kinds of sins. Chandana is again an essential component of the worship as it is a healer of Sarva Rogaas or diseases. The Pushpas for use in the Puja should also include Sweta Aaka Pushpa represented by Brahma, Kinnera Pushpa is a promoter of Medha or mental brilliance, Karaveera pushpa which Ganaadhyksha is fond of, Narayana resides in Vaka Pushpa and Devi Ganga is the adoration of Sarva Sugandhi Pushpaas. As for Naivedya, ‘Shuddhhaanna’ would satisfy Maha Deva; in fact, ‘Anna Daana’ is one significant charity to the needy that Shiva is always desirous of on any day, especially on Puranamasi. Those who are observing the Pashu paasha vimochana Vrata must follow the features of Satya (Truthfulness), Ahimsa (NonViolence), Shoucha (Cleanliness), Daya (Mercy), Shanti (Peacefulness), Santosha (Happiness / Contentment), and Daana (Charity). At the end of each year (since the duration of the Vrata is of twelve years plus), there must be a Godaana and Vrishabha Daana to Veda Pandita Brahmanas. The observance of this Vrata would indeed bestow Devatwa, Ganaadhya-kshata, and Shivatwa in stages. In the process, Vidyarthis would secure Vidya, Kamaarthis of fulfillment and Yashobhilashis of fame and immense renown.
The second highlighted portion mention some of the benefits of performing the Vrata .I have not found any dis-advantages (or cons as said by you).And,the first highlighted portion apparently implies that all Deities did perform the Vrata.
From the first link:
In the wake of Tripuraasura Samhaara, Brahma exhorted Devas to emphasize the Mahima of Shiva Puja as the Asuras who were in the past were invincible as they were totally engaged in the Puja but eventually neglected it due to Maya and got degenerated gradually. He said that all the Beings in Srishti like Deva-Danava- Daitya-Rakshasa-Yaksha- Gandharva-Kinnara-Vidyaadhara-Piscacha-Siddhaas- Yogis and Maanavas should perform worship to Maha Deva with purity of body, mind and heart to reap multiple fruits from fulfilment in life to Shivaloka prapti. As all the Beings in Creation are called ‘Pashus’ or of animal instinct, Maha Deva is acclaimed as Pashupati and hence all Buddhimaans should discard the ‘Pashutwa’and practise Pashupata Yoga or Pashupata Vrata: after securing ‘Baahyaantara Shuchi’, the Bhakta / Worshipper should perform Pranayama along with the recitals of Omkara; cease the deeds of physical limbs, control the activities of Karmendriyas, gain gradual ‘nyasa’or coordination of Jnaanendriyas, keep that state of body and mind for longer durations as signified by the word of ‘Dharana’, realise the action-reaction syndrome of ‘Tatwaas’ and seek the goal of Moksha; in this manner Pashupata yoga is accomplished; Brahma stated that by so performing the Shiva Linga Puja, Agni Havans which convert desires into Ashes, and aligning the Self with the Supreme, he conquered the ‘Saamsaarika Duhkhaas’ and enjoy the Powers of Control and Fulfillment in the Three Lokaas. Those who regularly follow the ‘Linga Puja’on these lines are stated to have secured Paashupata Yoga as indeed they are blessed. The duration of Pashupati Vrata is stated to span twelve years, twelve months and twelve days when a person observing it would achieve ‘Pashu Bandha Vimochana’ or relief from Pashutwa or of animal intinct and attain Devatwa or of the features of Devas.
The above portion states why it is necessary to do the Vrata and briefly describe the process too.
The next passage describes how the various Deities performed their respective Vratas.Different beings used Lingas made of different objects in their Vratas:
As instructed by Brahma, Vishwakarma, the Builder of Devas materialised Naana Vidha Shiva Lingas : Vishnu worshipped a Linga made of Indra nila; Indra worshipped a Padmaraaga- maya Linga; Vishrawa Putra worshipped a Golden Linga; Vishwa Devataas did puja to a Silver Linga; Ashtaavasusprayed to a Kantikamaya Ling; Vaya Deva to a brass Linga; Ahvini Kumaraas prayed to a Parthiva (Earthen) Linga; Varuna Deva worshipped a Sphatika Linga; Dwaadasha Adityaas prayed to a copper Linga; Soma a Mouktika (Pearl) Linga; Ananta and other Nagaas worshipped a Prabalamaya or harsh wind Linga; Daityas made puja to an Iron Linga; Guhyakaas made puja to a Trilohika Linga; Chamunda prayed to a Baalumaya/ perfume Linga; Nirruti Deva worshipped a wooden Linga; Yama Deva used a Marakata (Emerald) Linga for his puja to Shiva; Ekaadasa Rudras prayed to Bhasma Linga; Devi Lakshmi worshipped a Bilwa Linga while Kartikeya implored a Gomaya Linga; Munis are in the habit of Kushaagra Lingas; the Chatur Vedas performed pujas to Dadhimaya (Curd made) Linga and Piscachaas are used to pray to Seesa (Lead made) Linga. In this way Shiva Lingas made of various materials are utilised by species of all in Creation.
So, it indeed appears that all the Deities performed the Vrata.
Further important informations which are relevant to this Vrata(quoted from the first link) are as given below:
Depending on the availability of Dravya (money), it is said that there were six varieties of Shiva Lingas in vogue in the past and these had forty four categories viz. Shailaja Lingas of four types, Ratnaja of seven kinds, Dhatuja Lingas were of eight variations, Daaruja Lingas of sixteen types; the seventh kind was of Mritthikamaya (Earthen) of two classification; and the eighth variety is of seven categories of Kshanika (temporary) nature. Among all these Ratnamaya Lingas are Lakshmiprada; Shailaja Lingas bestow Sarvasiddhis; Dhatuja Lingas are stated to provide Dhana; Daaruja Lingas yield Bhoga or material happiness and Mritthika Linga provide Sarva Siddhis. Among the above types, it is stated that Shailaja Lingaas are the best while Dhatuja Lingas are of medium kind; the recommendation however was that the Lingaas made of Shailaja, Ratnamaya, Dhatumaya, Mrunmaya and Kshanika Lingas are in the vogue normally. All the most significant Devotees like Brahma, Indra, Agni, Yama, Kubera, Varuna, Siddha, Vidyaadhara, Naaga, Yakshas normally invoke Mahadeva to attain Bhu-Bhuva-Swah-Jana-Tapa and Satya Lokas. But those who seek ‘Paramaartha’or Moksha among the Siddhas and Yogis believe that Shiva was of Pranava Swarupa, some other imagine Him as Vignaana Swarupa, others ponder him as Shabdaadi Vishaya Tatwa Gyana Rupa and so on. However, another way of perceiving Shiva is that his Mastaka is of Swarga, his navel as Akaasha, Surya Chandra and Agnis as his Trinetras, Samudra as his Vastra, Pataala as his feet, Devataas as his hands, Nakshatras as his Bhushanaas, Linga as Purusha, Prakriti as his Devi, Vayu as his breathing, and Smriti-Shrutis are his thorough-fare and speed.
One can also study this page. for learning the process of performing the Vrata.
The vrata should be commenced on shukla chaturdashI of the desired month. The most desirable day would be a chaturdashI that falls on an ArdrA yukta somavAsara. One should perform bhUta shuddhi and contemplate on the laya of the elements in their reverse order of evolution. One should perform sankalpa for the vrata and establish agni according to svashAkhA. One should fast, adorn himself with white clothing, upavIta etc.
upoShitaH shuchiH snAtaH shuklAmbaradharaH svayam | shuklayaj~nopavItashcha shuklamAlyAnulepanaH ||
He should then perform homa (samidAjyacharUniti dravyatrayam) with the virajA mantras:
prANApAnavyAnodAnasamAnA me shuddhyantAm jyotiraham virajA vipApmA bhUyAsaM svAhA || etc.
....One can use shaiva mantra, gAyatrI or shuddha praNava (yathAdhikAra) to wear the bhasma. According to sampradAya, sapraNava panchAkShara mantra, prAsAda dvitaya, laghu pAshupata and mahApAshupata are the mantras used to wear bhasma on the twelve body parts. One should then recite the mUla mantra (or gAyatrI) followed by shiva sahasranAma (padma purANa gives a version (vedasArAkhya) and it seems logical to assume that the instruction here refers to reciting that particular version). This is the bhasma snAna prescribed for a dvija and is capable of destroying all sins.
agnivIryaM yato bhasma vIryavAn bhasmasaMyutaH | bhasmasnAnarato vipro bhasmashAyI jitendriyaH | sarvapApavinirmuktaH shivasAyujyamApnuyAt ||
rudrAkSha dhAraNa, shivalingArchana etc. are other aspects of this vrata. However, pAshupata dIkSha, which is described variously, should be taken from a competent guru before undertaking the sacred vow.
aShTAdashabhujaM dhyAyenmahApAshupateshvaram ||
Read the bold portion above.You should not do the Vrata on your own unless guided/instructed by your Guru.