RAMA EKADASHI SIGNIFICANCE | ABOUT RAMA EKADASHI | STORY OF RAMA EKADASHI
Rama Ekadashi falls on the 11th day of Krishna Paksha, the dark phase of Moon, in the month of Kartik, as per Hindu Calendar, which is October-November by Gregorian Calendar. This Ekadashi is very important as it comes approximately 4 days before the festival of Diwali. Rama Ekadashi is also known as Kartik Krishna Ekadashi. Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth and good fortune, consort of Lord Vishnu is also known as Rama, and this Ekadashi is named after the Divine Goddess. On Rama Ekadashi, along with Lord Vishnu, Goddess Laxmi is also worshipped. Observing the Rama Ekadashi Vrat is highly beneficial both materially and spiritually for the devotees.
Rama Ekadashi Date & Time(Muhurat) 2023 Rama Ekadashi on Thursday, November 9, 2023 Ekadashi Tithi Starts - 08:23 on Nov 08, 2023 Ekadashi Tithi Ends - 10:41 on Nov 09, 2023 Prana Time - On 10th Nov, 06:43 to 08:59
On Parana Day Dwadashi End Moment - 12:35
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. 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).
Rama Ekadashi Vrat (Fast) Significance
Out of the 24 Ekadashis in a year, Rama Ekadashi or Kartik Krishna Ekadashi is an important Ekadashi and fasting on Rama Ekadashi is highly meritorious. It is equivalent to the fruits earned by performing hundred Rajasuya Yajna and one thousand Ashwamedh Yanjas, which are considered powerful Yajnas. Rama Ekadashi Vrat pleases Lord Vishnu/Damodara/Krishna. Rama Ekadashi is also significant for worshipping Goddess Laxmi as this Ekadashi comes just before Diwali and is considered one of the best days to worship Goddess Laxmi for Her abundant blessings. As per the ancient texts, observing the Rama Ekadashi Vrat brings prosperity, wealth, good fortune, happy family life, absolves sins of present and past lives of the devotee and helps to get a place at the Lotus feet of Lord Vishnu, in His abode at Vaikuntha. The austerities followed on this day are richly rewarded by Divine.
Lord Vishnu has thousand names, among which Damodara is one of the names, which refers to Lord Krishna, the 8th Avatar of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu/Krishna in the Damodara form is the presiding Deity of Rama Ekadashi. The name Damodara is a compound of two Sanskrit word, the term Dam means cord/rope and udara means belly. Infant Lord Krishna was often tied by His mother, Yashoda, with a rope to a pillar at home to restrain Him as little Shri Krishna was sweetly naughty. So, Damodara is Lord Krishna, who is Lord Vishnu.
What to do on Rama Ekadashi
Rama Ekadashi, Thursday, November 9, 2023
The auspicious day of Rama Ekadashi should be spent in a spiritual mode. After having a bath early in the morning, the devotee should intend and take Sankalpa of observing the Rama Ekadashi Vrat/fast. Worship Lord Damodara/Vishnu by lighting a Ghee Diya(lamp) in the Puja Alter/room, offering fresh flowers, Tulsi dal, sweets and Bhog. Devotees perform Abhishek of Shaligram Shila, if they have one at home on this day. Visit temples of Lord Vishnu or Krishna. Goddess Laxmi and Tulsiji is also worshipped on Ekadashi. The day should be spent in a spiritual mode, chanting Lord Vishnu Mantras, singing praises, reading holy books like the Bhagawat Geeta etc., and reading or hearing the Rama Ekadashi Vrat Katha, which is a part of the Vrat Vidhi. The devotee should not sleep during the day and stay awake in full consciousness at night, immersed in Lord Damodara's service. Charity and donations done on Ekadashi bring benevolent outcome.
Rama Ekadashi Vrat Katha(Traditional Story of the Fast)
Once there was a King named Muchukunda, who was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu and used to strictly observe fast on every Ekadashi. King Muchkunda was a kind King and he had set the rule for all his subjects to observe the Ekadashi Vrat. He had a beautiful daughter named Chandrabhaga, who like her father was devotee of Lord Vishnu. King Muchukunda gave his daughter Chandrabhaga's hand in marriage to Prince Shobana, the son of King Chandrasena. However, Shobana was physically weak and could not bear hunger. When Shobana visited his father-in-law's kingdom after marriage, it was just before Rama Ekadhashi. Knowing that her husband was of a weak constitution and will not be able to fast for the whole day and night, Chandrabhaga gave him the option to go to another city for Rama Ekadashi day and come back later, or observe the Rama Ekadashi Vrat. She explained to Shobana that her father would not exempt him from fasting as even the Elephants and Horses were not allowed to eat on Ekadashi. Chandrabhaga asked her husband to make a choice.
Shobana chose to observe the Rama Ekadashi Vrat rather than leave his wife and go to another kingdom, saying he is willing to go along with his fate. As the Rama Ekadashi day progressed it became more and more difficult for Shobana to tolerate his hunger but Chandrabhaga was helpless. By midnight Shobana succumbed to death as his weak body could not tolerate the austerity.
After his death, Prince Shobana was given a kingdom on Mandarachala Mountain because he had expired while observing the Rama Ekadashi Vrat and had accumulated the merits of the Vrat. His Palace was like that of a Demi Gods or Devas, extremely beautiful, encrusted with precious gems and grand. He was entertained by the Gandarvas and Apsaras, while he sat on his throne.
A Brahmin from King Muchukunda's kingdom during a spiritual journey, chanced upon Shobana, sitting in his grand Palace. King Shobana received the Brahmin with respect and extended his hospitality. Later, King Shobana enquired about the well being of his wife, King Muchukunda and the kingdom. The Brahmin told him that everyone was well and hearty and then expressed his desire to know how Shobana became the ruler of such a huge and beautiful kingdom. King Shobana explained to the good Brahmin that the kingdom was given to him for the merits he had earned by observing the Rama Ekadashi. He further went on to say that his kingdom was temporary and would vanish as he had not observed the Rama Ekadashi Vrat willingly, and was forced to, due to the rules of his father-in-law for Ekadashi Vrat. He requested the Brahmin to convey the message to his wife, and ask her what can be done to make his kingdom permanent.
On returning back to King Muchukunda's kingdom, the Brahmin met Chandrabhaga and narrated the story of her husband King Shobana and the request for help from him. Chandrabhaga immediately told the Brahmin to take her to her deceased husband and reunite them. She said that she has been observing every Ekadashi Vrat sincerely from childhood, and she has accumulated merits which she was willing to give to her husband so that his kingdom becomes permanent and does not vanish.
The pious Brahmin along with Chandrabhaga set out on the journey. They stopped at the base of Mount Mandaracala, to meet Vamadeva, a great Rishi, who chanted Vedic Mantras and sprinkled the holy water on Chandrabhaga. This made the body of Chandrabhaga transcendental and she could easily and happily reach her husband's Palace. King Shobana was extremely happy to see her and so was she to see and reunite with him. As intended, Chandrabhaga transferred all the fruits and merits she has earned by observing Ekadashi Vrat to him, which made his Palace and kingdom permanent and it thrived till the end of time. King Shobana and Chandrabhaga liked a peaceful, happy life.
Rama Ekadashi Vrat Vidhi (Fasting Procedure)
The Vrat Vidhi of Rama Ekadashi should be followed perfectly for successful completion of the Vrat. Keeping a complete fast, Nirjala Vrat, without drinking water or food is the best form of fasting on Rama Ekadashi. Popularly devotees keep partial fast by drinking water but abstaining from eating anything till the next day morning. However, devotees should be aware of what their body and health and fast accordingly.
Rama 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, preferably before sunrise.
Invoke and worship Lord Damodara/Vishnu and perform Abhishek of Shri Shaligram Shila, if the sacred stone is there at home.
Reading or hearing the Rama Ekadashi Vrat Katha is a must.
Beans and grains are not to be consumed 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. One should be consciously awake and in service of Divine Lord Damodara(Vishnu). The devotee should chant/ sing praises of Lord Vishnu/Krishna, recite the Vishnu Sahasranama, read the Bhagawat Geeta and other holy books through the day and night. Singing Bhaja/Kirtan on this day pleases Lord Damodara.
Gossiping, talking ill of others does not give the desired outcome of the Ekadashi Vrat. Be positive in thoughts and words.
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 Rama Ekadashi 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 the Vrat, when breaking the fast, 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 drink the 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.
Rama Ekadashi Puja Vidhi(Pooja Procedure)
Rama Ekadashi comes just before Diwali and it is said that Rama Ekadashi is the most propitious day to worship Goddess Laxmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu and Goddess of wealth, prosperity, good fortune and abundance, along with Lord Damodara/Vishnu. From this day onwards the worship of Goddess Laxmi starts and continues through the days Diwali festival. Goddess Laxmi is also called Rama, from which this Ekadashi gets its name.
On Rama Ekadashi after taking a bath early in the morning and wearing fresh clothes, take Sankalp of Vrat/fast to put forward your intention to Lord Vishnu and request His blessings for successful completion of the Vrat.
Light a Ghee Lamp in your Puja Mandir/Alter.
A separate Chawki can also be set up for the Rama Ekadashi Puja, with Lord Krishna/Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi idols or images. Offering of Yellow clothes for Lord Krishna/Damodara and Pink clothes for Goddess Laxmi, can be done.
Perform Abhishek of Lord Damodara/Krishna /Vishnu with Gangajal(holy water of Ganges river) and Tulsi leaves. Devotees who have the sacred Shaligram Shila at home will perform Abhishek of Shaligram. Tulsi leaves are very important for worshipping Lord Vishnu as they are His favourite. Apply Chandan Tilak on LordKrishna/Vishnu.
Offer fresh flowers, incense and offer Bhog. On Rama Ekadashi additional offering of White Butter, Sugar Candy(Misri) pleases Lord Krishna as these are His favourite.
Perform Aarti of Lord Damodara.
Chant Lord Vishnu Mantras. Reciting the Vishnu Sahasranama on Ekadashi is meritorious.
On this day Tulsijee is worshipped too.
Keep chanting and singing praises of the Lord and Maa Laxmi on Rama Ekadashi for best outcome.
In the evening pray and perform Aarti of the Divine deities. Distribute the Prasad among family and friends.
On Dwadashi ritualistically worship Lord Krishna/Damodara and Goddess Laxmi. Give charity to Brahmins and offer food and break your fast with gratitude to Deivine.
Rama Ekadashi Puja Benefits
Puja of Lord Damodara/Krishna(Vishnu) and Goddess Laxmi on Rama Ekadashi blesses the devotee and family with good health, prosperity, wealth, good fortune, righteous living, spiritual progress, happy family, loving relationship between married couples, contentment, worldly comforts, joy, all round protection and abundance. It alleviates miseries, debts and strife and brings benevolent grace of Shri Krishna(Vishnu) and Goddess Laxmi.
Observing Rama Vrat pleases Lord Damodara/Krishna(Vishnu), who is the presiding Deity of Rama Ekadashi. It also brings the blessings of Goddess Laxmi.
Rama Vrat when observed with sincerity and devotion dissolves sins of the devotee.
The Rama Ekadashi Vrat offers an opportunity for the devotee to focus only on Lord Damodara , 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 Rama Vrat helps to remove Pitru Dosha. The ancestors of the devotee bless him/her and they progress to a higher realm.
Observing Rama Vrat and other Ekadashi Vrat ensures Moksha and a place at the Lotus feet of Lord Vishnu.
Rama Vrat helps to fulfill material and spiritual desires of the devotee.
Rama Ekadashi Puja & Vrat (Fasting) Mantras
On Rama Ekadashi Lord Vishnu/Krishna Mantras are chanted.
Mantras:- Om Namo Narayanaya Om Namah Bhagavate Vasudevaya Hare Krisha, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.
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