हिन्दी

Devshayani Ekadashi

Date :  |  Author : Astrologer Pt Umesh Chandra Pant

About Devshayani Ekadashi

This is the festival of the rest of Lord Vishnu. It is celebrated all over India with great pomp and shows. Since the festival is celebrated in a tribute to restiveness of lord Vishnu, it, therefore, is called Devshayani Ekadashi. Ekadashi vrat is supreme of all vrats. Lord Vishnu is the chief deity of this festival. The reason behind this festival being known as Ekadashi Harishayani is due to the resting state (sleeping) of lord in Ekadashi. This date marks state of sleep of Shri Hari. It concludes on Hari Prabodhini Ekadashi. Celebration of this tithi begins on every year’s Shukla paksha of Ashadha month. Many important stories and beliefs are associated with this vrat, which render influences of certain kinds to the religious world of human as whole. This vrat, on one hand, influences earnest devotees, on the other hand, it fructifies changes in common lives and conducts. As long as lord Vishnu maintains his resting state, many sages and saints follow the ritual of fasts and other rules regarding this. They get absorbed into the devotion of lord Vishnu. One day before Dashami marks preparation of numerous methods for the festival. Many religious works with Shayanotsava are put to rest, whereas, many important vrats and rules take place. Chaturmas also starts during this day. This year, celebration of the same takes place on Ekadashi or July 01, 2020.

How Devshayani Ekadashi Is important?

This one holds special importance among other vrats/fasts that we celebrate. There are many vrat festivals which take place in seasonal cycles, however, Spring retains a supreme spot among them, due to its ingenuity and aroma. Similarly, our religious books cast importance to Ekadashi as very special among other pilgrims and charity works, we do. Just as spring eliminates many demerits, Ekadashi vrat rids of many evils, if one does this with great devotion by following vrat and puja. The life of the devotee is blessed with peace and prosperity. Salvation of dead forefathers is achieved with this vrat. People (male or female) who eat food during Ekadashi earn the curse called MahaPatak, akin to killing of mother, brother, father, etc. Ekadashi vrat falls into the category of composure and regularity; therefore, curse like these falls on those who don’t observe vrat. Effects of Ekadashi vrat include salvation to heaven, longevity and eternal prosperity. Puranas like Vishnu Purana, Skanda and Varaha Purana describe about it in great length, saying how Ekadashi vrat must be performed. In other words, Devshayani Ekadashi vrat holds a prime spot among other vrats and pious acts prevalent in our culture due to having their relative effects and divine strength.

Auspicious Works Forbidden During Devshayani Ekadashi

Activities usually forbidden during restive time of Shri Hari are – construction of new home, entry into it, entry of newly wedded woman, marriage, making of a bedroom or a bed, also any big yagna dedicated to lord Vishnu. Similarly, other auspicious works, such as Mundan, piercing, ensconcing of deity image or wearing Juneau, attending samskara, receiving alms etc. are not allowed during Shri Harishayani Ekadashi. These activities should be resumed once lord Vishnu breaks off his prolonged napping. The reason is rainy season causes a lot of negatively-charged effects on the sleeping posture of lord Vishnu, causing possibility of bodily sufferings. To evade such unpleasant effects, performing vrat and self-denial are vital conducts to exercise. Sages and housewives observe such kind of conducts by following all rules associated with it. Till Harishayani Ekadashi, lord Vishnu sleeps on a serpentine bed in Kshirsagar (ocean of milk). Auspicious works are not allowed during this time. However, remember that vrats related to other deities and their respective incarnations continue being in practice, and their respective celebrations are observed unbated. This is mandated in religious books. Its importance becomes manifold. Following these rituals is very important. It is considered the giver of auspicious results.

Methods of Vrat & Puja During Devshayani Ekadashi

One day before Devshayani Ekadashi vrat, or Dashami day, devotees are advised to follow celibacy and asceticism. Stuffs like garlic, onion, peas, lentils, rice, honey etc. should be avoided. Wake up early hour of dawn (Brahmn muhurta), finish your daily routine like attending washroom etc. pray to lord Ganesha, Mata Gauri, take Sankalp by invoking lord Vishnu – “O Lord! I, with all devotions and faith, am going to carry thy vrat. Bless me the might to continue vrat religiously. Bless me to stay out of fallacy and other evil activities and continue to make progress and ensure wellbeing of my family, society and country. Bless me to earn your forever devotion.” Take Sankalp like that. Either worship the lord religiously on your own or invite a Brahman priest to have the puja performed at your home. Bathe the idol of the lord with scented water, milk, ghee, turmeric, honey etc. (Panchamrit Snan). Adorn the lord with a variety of fineries like gems and pearls. Wear him garland and offer a variety of foods. Maintain religious conducts staunchly. Pray to lord like this – “O the omniscient lord! Accept my offering to you. Absolve me of my sins.” Thus, choose a place you set up a temple or any difficulty you want to put in rest; beautiful cradle or cot or imagine an eternal bed, cover it with white bedsheet. Add to it a beautiful, soft pillow. Sleep the lord while chanting Vaidik mantras. Keep reciting the names of lord with devotion. Next day, after conducting your daily routine, conclude the vrat by eating some foods. The ritual is called opening the vrat.

Articles Worth Denying During Devshayani Ekadashi

To keep the spirit of devotion during Shri Harishayani Ekadashi till the time lord Vishnu awakes from his sleep, meaning total of four months in continuance, and considering the devotion of loyal devotees, things to be avoided are – jaggery, oil, flowers, honey, leafy vegetables in Savan, curd in Bhadrapada, milk in Ashwini month, pulse in Kartika. Don’t use cot to self-sleep. Place, instead, plank on the earth that is safe from everything. That’s the suitable place to sleep. Continue to stay in control and follow the rituals of this festival for four months in devotion to lord Vishnu. Many ailments and diseases end on their own because of this. Blessings of lord Vishnu come to your life. Also, you get sound health.

Ancient Tales Regarding Devshayani Ekadashi

Some of the beliefs surrounding Harishayani Ekadashi are practicing self-control, sleeping on floor, be content, avoid jaggery and oil, pray to lord etc. Beliefs in practice during Harishayani festival forbid activities like marriage, upanayana etc. There are many stories about this Ekadashi in purana. One of them is associated with king Bali, which is as follows – When lord Vishnu appeared in front of king Bali as dwarf Brahmin avatar, and asked for three steps of land, to which king Bali, out of sheer arrogance, granted him three steps of land of his choice. However, when lord Vishnu took the entire earth in one step, heaven with another step, and the moment he was about to take third step, the arrogance of king Bali destroyed then and there. Out of embarrassment, he hung his head down in shame. He fell himself on the feet of lord Vishnu. The lord asked him for any boon, to which lord Vishnu has to keep a guard on King Bali for four months. Another legend from Brahmavaivarta Purana refers to deity Yog-nindra, who pleased lord Vishnu out of hard meditations. When she was asked for a boon, she asked for the lord to stay in her eyes for four months. Since then lord Vishnu has to attend four months of sleeping. Another tale refers to King Mandhata, whose subjects fell victim of starvation/famish, to which the king asked a solution to the saint, Angira. The saint advised him to follow Ekadashi vrat, its rules and other avoidable things associated with it. The king obeyed and consequently, his kingdom had heavy rainfall which eliminated the famish, and the subjects drown in prosperity.

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