The Hindu religion comprises of many festivals, rituals, customs and traditions. Every festival and specific days that we observe as per the Hindu calendar holds a specific importance and significance. The Devshayani Ekadashi is very auspicious day and is referred with many names like Ashadi Ekadashi, Maha Ekadashi, Padma Ekadashi, Hari Sayana Ekadasi, Devpodhi Ekadashi, and Toli Ekadashi. The literal meaning of the word Ekadashi is the eleventh day. According to the Hindu calendar, two Ekadashis take place during the typical lunar month. One Ekadashi falls during the waxing phase of the moon during the Shuklapaksha and other falls on the waning phase of the moon during the Krishna Paksha. This year the Devshayani Ekadashi may fall on the Friday, 12 July, 2019.
Importance of Devshayani Ekadashi:
The Significance of all the Ekadashis is that they are celebrated in reverence of and to worship the divine Lord Vishnu. This day embarks the period when Lord Vishnu goes in the Ksheer Sagar for a long undisturbed sleep. Hence, this day is considered very auspicious to propitiate and appease Lord Vishnu and Goddess Mahalakshmi. The nidra (sleep) of Lord Vishnu is known as the yoga nidra which continues for a period of four months and is called as the ‘Chaturmas.’ The word Chaturmas is a sanskrit word, Chatur means four and ‘mas’ means month. The Lord wakes up from slumber at the end of the four months on the Prabodhini Ekadashi or Dev Uthani Ekadashi which falls in the Karthika, the month from October to November.
Ekadashi is popularly known as Ashadi Ekadashi in Maharashtra, a state in India. Pandharpur a town located on the banks of river Chandrabhaga in the district of Solapur, Maharashtra is well known for the annual holy yatra/ pilgrimage known as the Pandharpur Yatra which comes to an end on the auspicious day of the Devshayani Ekadashi. Large number of people, devotees and pilgrims observe Ekadashi Vrat (fasting). Every Ekadashi holds a unique significance and importance. The Devshayani Ekadashi falls during the waxing phase or the Shukla paksha in the month of June-July known as Ashada. Hence it is also called as Ashadi Ekadashi.
The ritual of How to observe the fast on Devshayani Ekadashi:
- The Devshayani Ekadashi this year falls on the July 12, which is a Friday.
- You can start fasting on the July 12 at 01:02 AM and continue it till the next day which is the July 13 till 6:30 AM and 08:44 AM
- Visit Lord Vishnu temple and with a pure heart offer prayers. You can also worship Lord Vishnu’s idol installed in the puja altar of your house.
- In order to worship Lord Vishnu chant the mantra ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya’ 108 times.
- After you are done chanting the mantra offer flowers and chant Vishnu Sahasranamam (Thousands name of Lord Vishnu).
Benefits of worshiping Lord Vishnu and observing Devshayani Ekadashi Fast:
- Offers emotional stability.
- Purifies the mind and body
- Strengthens will power
- Attracts riches and abundance
- Fulfils material desires
- Offers peace and harmony
Legend of Devshayani Ekadashi:
There was a once a happy kingdom which was ruled by King Mandata. All the subjects of the kingdom lived a peaceful, prosperous and happy life. King Mandata was a God-fearing, spiritual and unbiased king. During his rule, the entire kingdom was jovial and contented until one day, when a severe famine and draught struck the kingdom. A lot of people lost their lives, families were destroyed due to hunger and diseases. Looking at the plight and the destruction this famine had done, King Madata set on a voyage in order to seek a solution and remedy.
As the king had set on a long journey to find remedies to put an end to the destruction lot of time passed. One day on the way King Mandata met Sage Angira. The King narrated the entire misery to Sage Angira. After listening to the Kings plight, Sage Angira told him about the powerful Devshayani Ekadashi Vrat. He insisted the King to observe the Devshayani Ekadashi Vrat and also kept the fast along with him. The King returned to the empire and commanded all his subjects to gather at one place. The King then educated the crowd about the powers and benefits of observing the Devshayani Ekadashi Vrat and told the subjects of the kingdom to observe the fast. All the people observed a strict fast and performed a puja as instructed on the Devshayani Ekadashi. Observing this vrat resulted in putting an end to the famine and the kingdom was blessed with prosperity and riches. Once again the whole kingdom was happy, contended and prosperous. Thus, it is said that observing a fast on the Devshayani Ekadashi appeases Lord Vishnu and Maa Lakshmi and They bless the worshipper with riches, material bliss and abundance.