Date: 07th November, 2015
Rama Ekadashi falls in the Hindu month of Kartik and an imperative day to exonerate all the sins committed. Devoted to Lord Vishnu, the pious day is regarded as one of the most important fasts kept by Hindu devotees. The Word Ekadashi means eleven and in every Hindu month Ekadashi takes place twice in a month. The first Ekadashi occurs during the waning phase of the moon and another one during the waxing phase of the moon. It is believed that people who keep fast on this day gets respite from all the evils and sins committed by them.Rama Ekadashi Legend
The story of Rama Ekadashi rotates around Princess Chandrabhaga and her prince Shobhana. King Muchukunda was a very benevolent person and a great follower of Lord Vishnu. The daughter of King Muchukunda tied knot with Prince Shobhana. On Ekadashi Prince Shobhana was very feeble and unable to kept this fast. Shobhana’s father in law was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu so he strictly said his Prince Shobhana to keep the fast of Rama Ekadashi. He observed the fast, but due to the sternness, he broke the fast. Due to his chaste devotion, King Muchukunda enthroned him the King of Devapura, which was realm of divine beings. The city of Devapura was settled at the top of the mountain Mandara. This kingdom was not permanent as Prince Shobhana kept fast only once.
Prince Shobhana wanted to make his kingdom permanent so he told to Muchukunda to send his wife as she had been keeping the fast of Rama Ekadashi since her childhood. Princess Chandrabhaga went there and performed a puja. After this, the couple was reunited and their kingdom became a permanent one due to the blessings of Lord Vishnu.Significance of Rama Ekadashi Fast
Mentioned in various Hindu scriptures, Rama Ekadashi is also known as ‘Hari Din’ and ‘Harivasara’. The importance of Ekadashi has been stated in Skanda Purana and Padma Purana. All the Vishnu devotees keep this fast and stay away from consuming cereals, beans, spices, and certain vegetables. Devotees who intend to keep this fast wake up early in the morning and take a ritual bath. They clean their homes and perform Puja. On Rama Ekadashi, they only take one meal and abstain from consuming salt. The entire day is spent in the adoration of Lord Vishnu through prayers, pujas and chant holy mantras. Some dedicated worshippers also keep awake whole night, they sing holy hymns and perform aartis to seek the blessings of the God.
The day after Ekadashi is known as ‘Dwadashi Day’. People lit lamps on this day and offer food to deprived ones to seek the blessings of the God. The fast is broken with prepared on Dasami day. In addition to this, food consumed on this day must be prepared at home and shared amid the family members.