SIGNIFICANCE OF EKADASHI DAY FASTING TO PURIFY BODY, MIND, AND SOUL
Ekadashi occurs on the eleventh day of the lunar cycle (both full and new moon) It happens twice in a month according to Hindu Calendar – the waxing phase or Shukla Paksha and fading moon called Krishna Paksha. There are 24 Ekadashis in a Calendar year and there are two more Ekdashis that take place in a lunar leap year. Ekdashi Day is considered as the most spiritual event when strict fasting is observed from early morning to the next day morning.
Ekadashi is one of the prominent occasions which if observed with detachment and as per prescribed rituals helps in cleansing our sins as well as the sins of our nears and dears. Ekadashi Moksha (Moksha means liberation) is a most special and most auspicious occasion. On this day Lord Krishna (Vishu’s Incarnation – Avtara) delivered His Bhagwad Gita recital to Dhanushdhari Arjuna when both the armies of Pandvas and Kauravas were facing each others in Kurukeshtra battle field. Every specific activities performed on this day has its own significance and benefits accrued to us provided the fasting is observed strictly in accordance with scriptural norms.
ORIGIN OF EKADASHI
In Satya Yuga, Lord Vishnu had a long-drawn-out battle with demon named Mura. Due to the protracted battle, Lond Vishnu got tired as a result of which He tired and went to sleep. Mura was waiting for this occasion. He pounced on Lord Vishnu for killing Him. Then a damsel appeared from the body of Lord Vishnu who fought a pitched battle with Mura and killed him. She was actually Mahashakti who appeared on 11th day of fading moon thus Lord Vishnu named ned Ekadashi. He also bestowed her the boon that whosoever fasts on this day would be free off the sins and also will have moksha finally.
SIGNIFICANCE OF EKADASHI DAY FAST
The religious rituals, given in the sacred Pranas / Vedic scriptures, and also referred to as Hari’s Day. their strict observance thereof helps the devotees in many ways than body, one.
- Observance of fast cleanses our body, mind and soul.
- It helps alleviating us in spiritual ladder.
- Its strict observance can help us attain Moksha or Liberation from pangs of birth and deaths.
- It can transform our Kukarma (Bad Karma) into good Karmas thus paving the way for an aspirant to attain the traits of detachment, the mention of which has been amply made in Bhagwad Gita. Action performed without consideration the fruits or results of that action could help us attain Liberation.
- Anybody observing the Ekadashi with all the focus at his/her command could remove that person’s sufferings.
- As this day is termed as the Lord Hari’s day, its observance could alleviate the sufferings of an individual.
- While the body and mind is cleansed, it is possible to ward off from the three sins: lust, greed and anger.
- Fasting on this auspicious day is bereft of any external pressures. This day passes both in peace and harmony including inculcation of good habits.
- As the people who fast keep away from solid grain foods and take light diet consisting of milk products, dry fruits and fruits, we feel light and our digestive system too works wonders as it provides due rest to our system thus keeps our health in fine fettle. Healthy eating even for a day fortnightly can repair our system.
- As we are aware, the gravitational pull of the moon influences the oceans in the form of high and low tide hence Intake of less food item and more of liquid Ekadashi Day helps in influencing us biologically too. It has been practically observed by the proponents who fast sincerely – the diseases like blood pressure, insomnia, depression, gastric problems etc could be cured with fasting. Observance of such fasts have obviously helped me in maintaining good health after even 66+ years of age.
- While we fast on this day, we also meditate thus not only helping us spiritually but also enhancing the chances of connectivity with God.
- It has also been felt that the benefits of Ekadashi fasting and all the purity and sincerity observed on this day to the individual concerned but also to his/her family members.
- Ekadashi fasting helps in self awareness simply because of individual observance of fast strictly in accordance with scriptures since self realization results from self-disciplinary efforts.
- Self awareness resulting from strict observing converts conviction into practical experience.
- We learn how to control our unethical desires and lead a life full of compassion.
- Canvas of our spirituality enhances with the observance of Ekadashi Fast.
EKADASHI RITUALS OBSERVED
Ekadashi has its special mention in Pranas Scriptures. Ekadashi Moksha with after having kept Ekadashi Lord Vishnu fast which most falls twice in a month, for the last so many years, i chose to observe the fast and on 5th may 2017 (Nirjala Ekadashi – meaning remaining even without water). Preparation for this Moksha and spiritual rituals started on one day before i.e. Dasami day.
HAVAN PERFORMED ON EKADASHI DAY
This time on 5th June 2017, the most auspicious time for Havan Vidhi was necessarily to be performed between 6:00 AM to 11:00 AM in which proper Havan, Sheja Dhan (Cot, beddings, golden ring and ear-rings, , Gau Dhan (Donation of cow), etc were performed with utmost devotion in the midst of which chanting of pious Mantras, calling upon well-known deities like Lord Ganesha, Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma, Lord Mahesh, Sun (Surya) God, Moon (Chandra) God besides Navagrahas (nine planets which affect our life cycle). Seven of these deities are named after the planets in the solar system and are given the names of the seven days of the week of Hindu Calendar. The other two are Rahu and Ketu who are demons who got their prominence through trickstery. All these Nine Planets affect our life and provide protective shield when we call upon them ritualistically and systematically. Or, these planets could prove inauspicious as per our Karmic deeds or misdeeds.
In Ekadashi, a devotee does not take food. Takes fruits and milk that too in a limited quantity. Food habits differ from one area to another. I and my wife endeavoured to keep purity in thoughts and deeds. The purpose is to keep purity in thoughts, body and soul. The next day on 6th June 2017, there was a Preeti Bhoj or Lungar or community feast which was the culmination of Ekadashi Fast.
OBSERVANCE OF SCRIPTURAL INSTRUCTIONS
The preparation for the Ekadashi began on Dasami day – a day before Ekadashi. In order to observe Ekadashi in accordance with the scriptural articulation, we got up early in the morning, after proper daily routines and bath etc. In order to perform all the rituals as prescribed in the scriptures, we collected all the necessary materials (Havan Samagris) while sacred fire was ignited in the Havan Kund followed by chanting of appropriate Mantra Jap (recitation) different for different deities including family deities (Kul Devata – in our case Buaji, Kalivir, Maldevi Ji along with Nag Devta). All the Mantra recitations was performed by Pandit with as given by the Panditj named RAJAT KHAJURIA, who performed the all the rituals in connection with Ekadashi Moksh with professional finesse and ritualistic satisfying. After completion of Havan Vidi, Arati, calling upon Lord Vishuji with a entreaties to rid us off sins and save us from coming troubles, whosoever worships the Lord gets his/her reward and there is all pervading joy and will also be bestowed with wealth and well-being for that person… etc.
Om jaya Jagadīśha hare
Swami Jai Jagdish hare
Bhakta janoṅ ke saṅkat
Dās janoṅ ke saṅkat
Kṣaṇa meṅ dūr kare
Om jai Jagadīśh hare
Jo dhyāve phal pāve
Dukh binase mana kā
Swāmī dukh binase man kā
Sukha samptī ghara āve
Sukha sampatī ghara āve
Kaṣṭa miṭe tana kā
Om jaya Jagadīśa hare……………….
Singing the Arati collectively alleviate the troubles of the devotees and uplifts those participating in Arati spiritually.
On the Ekadashi day, total fasting is done from morning to morning of next day. Praying to Vishnu is the order of the day. Some people avoid sleep during Ekadashi night and they hear religious discourses and perform ‘Arati.’ But many people today will not be able to stay awake the entire night due to work pressure etc.
The next day on Dwadasi – that is the day after Ekadeshi – the same routine done on Dasami is followed. Overeating should be avoided on Dwadasi day. Puranas state that one should not take pride in observing Ekadashi or performing the rituals as enshrined in the scriptures.
It is good to go on fast once in a while as it recuperates the body. Ekadashi observance cleans our body and the digestive organs get much-needed rest.
IMPORTANCE OF LORD VISHNU
Ekadashi fast is associated with Lord Vishnu represents one of the Prime Gods responsible for preservation whatever has been created by Brahma and subsequently destroyed by Lord Shiva. These are also termed as trinity or Trimurtis. Besides their consorts i.e. Lordess Saraswati (Lordess of knowledge), Lordess Lakshmi (Worshipped as Lordess of Wealth and Wellbeing) and Parvati (Worshipped as Mother Divine). The Trinity or Trimurti along with their consorts are created by supreme ishwara.
Further, Lord Vishnu incarnated Hmself in 24 avtars (incarnations) with all the 16 supernatural powers. Amongst these Avtars these are the prominent ones: Rama Avtar, Krishna Avtar, Purush Avatar, Varaha Avatar, Narada Avtar, Nara Narayana Avatara, Kspila Avatara, Dattatraya Avatar, Yagya Avatar, Rishabh Avatar, Prithu, Matsya Avatar, Kachchap Avatar, Dhanvantari Avatar, Mohiavatar, Narsimha Avatar, Vamana Avatar, ) Parshuram Avatar, Vasaya Avtar, Balram Avatar, Budha Avatar Besides Kali Avatar Which Will Happen In Kali Yuga.