New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday extended greetings on the occasion of Ashadhi Ekadashi and sought the blessings of Bhagwan Vitthal to bless and protect people and the spirit of happiness in society.
Taking to Twitter, PM Modi wrote, “Greetings on the sacred occasion of Ashadhi Ekadashi. May the blessings of Bhagwan Vitthal remain upon us and further the spirit of happiness in our society. Sharing a snippet from an earlier #MannKiBaat in which we talked about the Warkari tradition and the divinity of Pandharpur.”
The occasion of Ashadhi Ekadashi, also known as Shayani Ekadashi, is dedicated to the worship of Lord Vishnu across many states in the country. Devotees also observe fast to attain prosperity and attain moksha later in life.
On this day images of Vishnu and Lakshmi are worshipped, the night is spent singing prayers, and devotees fast and take vows on this day, to be observed during the entire chaturmas, the holy four-month period of rainy season. These may include, giving up a food item or fasting on every Ekadashi day.
On the auspicious occasion of Ashadhi Ekadashi, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, along with his family, offered prayers at the Shri Vitthal – Rukmini Temple in Pandharpur on Sunday.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde also offered prayers and performed Maha Aarti along with his wife, Lata Shinde at the Pandharpur Vitthal Rukmini temple marking the occasion on Sunday. The occasion of Ashadhi Ekadashi is dedicated to the worship of Lord Vishnu across many states in the country. Some also observe fast to attain prosperity and attain moksha later in life.
Significance of Ashadhi Ekadashi
According to Puranas, Vishnu falls asleep in Ksheersagar-cosmic ocean of milk – on Shesha nāga, the cosmic serpent. Thus the day is also called Dev-Shayani Ekadashi (lit.”god-sleeping eleventh”) or Hari-shayani Ekadashi (lit. “Vishnu-sleeping eleventh”) or Shayana Ekadashi. Vishnu finally awakens from his slumber four months later on Prabodhini Ekadashi – eleventh day of bright fortnight in the Hindu month Kartik (October–November). This period is known as Chaturmas (lit. “four months”) and coincides with the rainy season. Shayani Ekadashi is the beginning of Chaturmas. Devotees start observing the Chaturmas vrata (vow) to please Vishnu on this day.
A fast is observed on Shayani Ekadashi. The fast demands abstinence from all grains, beans, and cereals, as well as certain vegetables including onions and certain spices.
In Bhavishyottara Purana, Krishna narrates significance of Shayani Ekadashi to Yudhishthira, as the creator-god Brahma narrated the significance to his son Narada once. The story of King Mandata is narrated in this context. The pious king’s country had faced drought for three years, but the king was unable to find a solution to please the rain gods. Eventually, sage Angiras advised the king to observe the vrata (vow) of Dev-shayani ekadashi. On doing so by the grace of Vishnu, there was rain in the kingdom.
(With inputs from ANI and Wikipedia)