INDIRA EKADASHI SIGNIFICANCE | ABOUT INDIRA EKADASHI | STORY OF INDIRA EKADASHI
The Ekadashi which falls on the 11th. day of the Krishna Paksha(waning Moon phase) in the Hindu month of Ashwin, which is September- October. Indira Ekadashi is also called 'Ekadashi Shradh' as it falls in the Pitru Paksha and is an important Ekadashi, which gives the opportunity to devotees to observe Indira Ekadashi Vrat/fast and relieve transcended souls of ancestors from sins, so that they can move ahead to the spiritual realm.
INDIRA EKADASHI Date & Time(Muhurat) 2023 Indira Ekadashi on Tuesday, October 10, 2023 Ekadashi Tithi Starts - 12:36 on Oct 09, 2023 Ekadashi Tithi Ends - 15:08 on Oct 10, 2023 Prana Time - On 11th Oct, 06:31 to 08:53, 2023
On Parana Day Dwadashi End Moment - 17:37
The fast must be broken after sunrise the next day of Ekadashi. It is to be noted that one should break the fast (Parana) within Dwadashi Tithi. Dwadashi ends at 01:17 AM on 23rd September. Another important consideration is that one must not break the fast during Hari Vasara which is the fourth duration of Dwadashi. The best time to break the fast is pratah kala (morning).
Indira Ekadashi Vrat (Fast) Significance
Observing Ekadashi Vrat(fast) is a significant religious practice followed by Hindus since ancient times for the merits it brings. The Indira Ekadashi Vrat is an important Vrat to observe as it liberates the souls of ancestors from being stuck in lower realms or Yamaloka, helps to remove their sins and is believed to helps them to ascend to the Heavenly realm. As Indira Ekadashi falls during the Pitru Paksha, observing this Vrat brings blessings of ancestors, which is very important for a happy and successful life for the lineage. The devotee observing the Indira Ekadashi Vrath is delivered from hi/her sins. A devotee who follows all the Vrat Vidhi(rules) perfectly while observing the fast is said to gain the fruits of taking bath in the holy rivers like Ganges and other holy rivers and performing the Ashwamedha Yanjna. The Indira Ekadashi Vrat is one of the best ways to garner the blessings of Lord Vishnu or Padmanabha.
The presiding Deity of Indira Ekadashi is Lord Padmanabha, who is a form of Lord Vishnu. The Padmanabha for of Lord Vishnu depicts Him lying on the Anant Saiyya, with the Padma or Lotus arising from His Nabhi(navel), and Lord Brahma sits on the Lotus. Lord Vishnu is the protector and preserver of the Universe. Indira Ekadashi Vrat is observed to please Lord Padmanabha (Vishnu) as Ekadashi is a favourite of the Lord.
What to do on Indira Ekadashi
Indira Ekadashi, September 10, 2023
On the morning of Ekadashi, take a bath early in the morning. The devotee should intend on keeping the fast with sincerity.
Worship Lord Padmanabha/Vishnu with dedication. Offer Bog, flowers, etc. to Him at home. Worship the Shaligram Shila, if you have one at home.
Light a Ghee Lamp in honour of Lord Vishnu.
On Indira Ekadashi, remain is a spiritual mode. Chant Mantras and praises of Lord Vishnu, sing Bhajans, through the day. Visit Lord Vishnu/Krishna Mandir on Ekadashi on this day, spend some time there chanting and praying.
Invite Brahmanas and feed them to a satisfying meal and offer them Dakshina and other charity. Donating to the needy is considered virtuous on Ekadashi.
Stay awake through the night of Ekadashi, in full consciousness. Play Music for Lord Vishnu/Shridhar, through the night if possible. If the devotee falls asleep on Ekadashi night then the Vrat is considered incomplete.
Indira Ekadashi Vrat Katha(Traditional Story of the Fast)
The legend of Indira Ekadashi Vrat or Vrat Katha is about the powerful King Indrasena of Mahishmatipura. King Indrasena was a devotee of Lord Vishnu and an efficient ruler, who took good care of His subjects. Once the great wise devotee of Lord Vishnu, Narad Muni, visited King Indrasena to deliver a message to the King from his father. After the King paid his respect to Narad Muni, washed His feet, offered food to Him etc., the King asked Narad Muni if there was any special reason for the great Sage to visit him in person from Brahmaloka.
Narad Muni told King Indrasena that He had visited the Yamaloka where He happened to meet the King's father, who was in a state of suffering in Hell, as a punishment for a sin he had committed, as he had prematurely broken one Ekadashi fast. Narad Muni also tells the King that his father has sent a message to him, to observe the Indira Ekadashi Vrat sincerely and offer enough donations which will help his soul to ascend to Heaven. King Indrasena's father had also cautioned his son to be very aware and never commit a sin like the one he had. Narad Muni informed the King that He had come to deliver the message from his father and tells him to help his father ascend to the spiritual realm.
King Indrasena then respectfully asked Narad Muni to guide him on how to observe the Indira Ekadashi fast, the Vrat Vidhi etc. After telling the King about Indira Ekadashi Vrat and Puja Vidhi, Narad Muni went back to Brahmaloka.
King Indrasena followed the rules perfectly and observed the Indira Ekadashi Vrat. The Indira Ekadashi Vrat Katha narrates that when King Indrasena broke his fast along with his family, relatives and subjects, flowers were showered from the Heaven. King Indrasena got a vision of his father elevating to Lord Shri Vishnu's abode, Vaikuntha.
Indira Ekadashi Vrat Vidhi (Fasting Procedure)
The fasting procedure for Indira Ekadashi was described by Narad Muni in the Brahmavaivarta Purana. The rituals of Indira Ekadashi starts a day prior to Ekadashi, which is Dashami, by performing Shradh ritual for the Pitru or ancestors. The devotee should have only one meal on Dashami.
Indira Ekadashi Vrat starts on the morning of Ekadashi and the Sankalp(intension) of observing the Vrat(fast) should be taken after having bath early in the morning. The devotee should specify whether he/she is keeping partial or complete Vrat/fast.
Invoke and worship Lord Padmanabha/Vishnu.
The best fasting is dry fasting, Nirjala Vrat, which means, fasting without drinking water and food. One can observe partial fast by drinking water and abstaining from food. However, devotees should be aware of what their body and health and fast accordingly. Fruit and Milk diet is also a common way to observe fast on this day.
Beans and grains are prohibited to eat on Ekadashi for devotees who are fasting by eating one meal on Ekadashi. Non vegetarian food, onion, garlic is strictly not allowed on Ekadashi and Dwadashi.
Sleeping during the day or night during Ekadashi Vrat is prohibited. The devotee should chant/ sing praises of Lord Vishnu/Krishna, read the Bhagawat Geeta and other holy books through the day and night.
Reading the Indira Ekadashi Vrat Katha or hearing it is a must on this pious day.
Indulging in gossiping, talking/thinking ill of others or self, does not give the desired outcome of the Ekadashi Vrat.
Abstinence from alcohol, drugs, tobacco, other addictions, sex on Ekadashi and Dwadashi has to be observed.
Maintain calmness, avoid anger/aggression for the best outcome of observing the Indira Vrat.
Distribute the Prasad to family members and as many people as possible on Dwadashi.
Devotees who observe fast should not eat food in other people's house on the day after Ekadashi.
The next morning, on Dwadashi, give charity to Brahmanas respectfully ask them for forgiveness for any offence. Donating to the needy is also advised which garners Lord Vishnu's blessings.
For people who observe indira Vrat, when breaking the fast, one should say the prayer - "O Pundarikaksha, O lotus-eyed Lord, now I will eat. Please shelter me".
After the prayer the devotee should offer flowers and water at the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu and request the Lord to eat by chanting the mantra of eight-syllable, thrice: Om Namoh Narayanaya. To garner the full merits of the fast, the devotee should have water which has been offered to the Lord.
On Dwadashi only one meal should be eaten and Honey and Urad-dal(black lentil) is not to be consumed.
For devotees observing fast, if due to some unavoidable reason they are not able to break the fast on Dwadashi during Prana time, then drinking water to signify breaking of fast is advised. Later food can be eaten as per convenience.
Indira Ekadashi Puja Vidhi(Pooja Procedure)
The Indira Ekadashi falls during the time of Pitru Paksha and is specially meant for liberating ancestors of sins, which helps them to elevate to spiritual realm from lower realms.
The Indira Ekadashi Puja Vidhi starts from Dashami. After taking bath in the morning, worship Lord Padmanabha/Vishnu with sincerity. The devotee should take bath once more in the afternoon and perform the Shradh rituals for the ancestors, which includes Pind daan.
On Dashami, the devotee should have only one meal. As per the rules the devotee should sleep on the floor that night.
Early in the morning on Indira Ekadashi the devotee should ideally take a bath before sunrise and take Sankalp of observing the Vrat. Pray to Lord Vishnu to bless and help in successfully completing the day long fast.
Worship Lord Padmanabha, the presiding deity of Indira Ekadashi by lighting Ghee lamp, offering a Tulsi branch, fresh flowers.
The Shaligram Shila should be worshipped by Conducting Abhishek with Tulsi, Water and Panchamrit (mix of fresh Cow's milk, honey, Curd, Ghee, Sugar).
On this day Goddess Laxmi(consort of Lord Vishnu) and Tulsi is worshipped too.
Offer food/Bhog to Lord Vishnu/Padmanabha in your Puja Alter.
Chant Lord Vishnu Mantras, sing His praise and perform Aarti.
Invite Brahmanas for a sumptuous meal in afternoon. Feed Cows with some of the food too.
Stay in a spiritual mode. Reciting the Vishnu Sahasranama is considered meritorious on this day. Sleeping during day is prohibited.
In the evening perform Aarti, preferably with family members.
Stay awake at night and chant Mantras and sing devotional songs or play music for Lord Padmanabha.
On Dwadashi, in the morning worship Lord Padmanabha, offer Bhog, Tulsi leaves, flowers.
The devotee can break the fast along with family and friends.
Bow down and thank Lord Padmanabha/Vishnu.
Indira Ekadashi Puja Benefits
Puja of Lord Padmanabha(Vishnu) on Indira Ekadashi blesses the devotee and family with good health, prosperity, wealth, righteous living, spiritual progress, happy family, contentment, worldly comforts, joy, protection and abundance. Lord Padmanabha relieves ancestors of their sins and blesses the souls to rise to the spiritual realm or get Moksha. The devotee overcomes miseries, debts and strife and leads a happy life.
Observing Indira Ekadashi Vrat pleases Lord Padmanabha(Vishnu), who is the presiding Deity of Indira Ekadashi.
Indira Vrat when observed meticulously helps to dissolve the sins of ancestors, who are suffering in lower realms and helps the souls to ascend to Heavenly realm. The ancestors shower blessings on their lineage, the devotee who observes the Vrat.
Observing Ekadashi Vrat relieves devotees of sins and paves the path to Moksha.
It offers an opportunity for the devotee to focus only in Lord Padmanabha, chant and sing His praises which helps to garner the blessings of the Lord and adds to the fruits earned by the devotee in his/her spiritual journey.
Observing fast on Ekadashi detoxifies the body and rejuvenates it, brining a new surge of positive energy.
Indira Vrat helps to fulfill desires of the devotee.
Indira Ekadashi Puja & Vrat (Fasting) Mantras
On Indira Ekadashi Lord Vishnu/Krishna Mantras are popularly chanted.
Mantras:- Om Namo Narayanaya Om Namah Bhagavate Vasudevaya Hare Krisha, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.
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