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» Informational Articles » Festivals » Sat-Tila Ekadasi

Meaning of Ekadashi

The Hindus observe Ekadashis fasts on the 11th day of every lunar cycle. Therefore in a month, there are two Ekadashis, as per the Hindu Lunar calendar, one on the 11th day of Krishna Paksha or the dark fortnight and the other on the 11th day of Shukla Paksha or the bright fortnight. On Ekadashi, the Moon looks three fourth (3/4th) in the sky and in the Krishna Paksha Ekadashi the Moon appears three fourth (3/4th) dark. There are 24 Ekadashis in a year, except for Leap year when there are 26 Ekadashis.

Ekadashis are considered holy and Lord Vishnu is worshipped on this day. The fast observed by devotees brings a meritorious outcome by the grace of the Divine Lord. Scientifically too, observing fast on these days results in detoxification of the body, which rejuvenates the energy levels. Dry fast or fasting without drinking water is considered the best form of fasting on the Ekadashis.

About - Sat-Tila Ekadasi or Magh-Krishna Ekadasi

The next Ekadasi after the Putradaa Ekadasi is the Sat-Tila Ekadasi(also written as Sattila or Shattila) or Magh-Krishna Ekadasi is on the 11th. day of the waning Moon or Krishna Paksha in the Hindu month of Magh (January- February).

The term ‘shat’ means ‘six’ and ‘til’ means Sesame seeds. On Sat-Tila Ekadasi, Til or Sesame seeds are used in six different ways as part of the rituals.

ekadashi-vrat-katha

Sat-tila Ekadashi 2021 Dates, Tithi

Sat-tila Ekadashi 2021 is on 8th February, Monday.
On 9th Feb, Parana Time - 07:17 AM to 11:18 AM
On Parana Day Dwadashi End Moment -
Ekadashi Tithi Begins - 08:56 AM on Feb 07, 2021
Ekadashi Tithi Ends - 07:17 AM on Feb 08, 2021

Those who observe the fast must break it 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).

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Significance of Sat-tila Ekadashi

Sat-tila Ekadasi fast (Vrat) is an integral part as is in other Ekadasis. Lord Vishnu/Lord Krishna is worshipped on Sat-tila Ekadasi.

This Sat-tila Ekadasi fast and rituals if done with complete faith and good intention blesses the devotee with good health, wealth and prosperity and the devotee is never faced with lack of food or money. Charity of money, clothes, food or other such things in Ekadasi is important. The Sat-tila Ekadasi fast is said to have a unique significance that if performed with pure intentions, its merit of wealth and prosperity flows to the next lives/rebirths of the person. The devotee becomes free from poverty spiritually, mentally, physically, socially, intellectually. It brings an end to all bad luck.

On Sat-tila Ekadasi, 'Til' or Sesame seeds, are used for spiritual purification in six different ways (1) bathing with Til water (2) applying a paste of Til/Sesame seeds on the body (3) drinking water with Sesame seeds in it (4) eating Sesame seeds. (5) offer Sesame seeds in fire sacrifice (6) donate Til seeds to people.

  • Removes all the misgivings, misdeeds and sins.
  • Gives clarity of thoughts and nullifies all the guilt feelings.
  • Increases spiritual, emotional and intellectual strengths.

Sat-tila Ekadashi Special Products

Story Behind Sat-tila Ekadashi

The Sat-tila Ekadasi story was told to Narad Muni by Lord Krishna.

Once there was a lady who used to lead an austere life, worship Lord Vishnu/ Lord Sri Krishna with complete devotion, observed all-important fasts and rituals without any intention of gain. Physically she had become weak because of keeping rigorous fasts. Also, the lady was a philanthropist and used to give charity to young girls and Brahmins and was open to giving away her house. However, she never gave food in charity or alms to the poor or Brahmins. Lord Vishnu noticed this and thought the lady qualified to enter His abode by her devotion and all that she did, the Lord wanted to test her.

Lord Vishnu/Sri Krishna in the form of a beggar came to the lady to beg for food but the lady behaved in an irritated manner and threw a lump of mud into the begging bowl of the Lord. As the Lord was given mud by the lady He moulded the mud into a house for her. However, because she was for years doing worship of the Lord, fasts etc., the lady could enter the Lord's abode in her mortal body itself. She went to meet Lord Vishnu and angrily charged Him why he had meted out such an unfair behaviour to her and given a mud house to her which did not have any food nor wealth. She was advised by the Lord to go back to her house and wait inside, some demi-Gods will come to visit her house but warned her not to open the door till they told her about the benefits of fasting on Sattila Ekadasi.

Sure enough, the lady had visitors, but she did not open the door and asked them about the Sattila Ekadasi benefits. However, no one answered. Later another visitor came at the door, she repeated what she had done previously and this time she was given a proper explanation. The lady observed the Sattila Ekadasi fast and was replenished with food, grains, wealth and the spiritual wealth equivalent to diamonds and gold.

Lord Krishna ended the narration by telling Narad Muni that the devotee observing the fast should observe it in complete devotion and not to garner wealth and other material things which the Sattila Ekadasi fast brings.

Rituals of Sattila Ekadasi

For the Sattila Ekadasi, there are some special rituals to perform other than the normal Ekadasi rituals. On Sattila Ekadasi, after taking bath in the morning and praying to Lord Vishu with a single-minded focus:

(1) one should collect fresh cow-dung which has not fallen on the ground
(2) mix the cow-dung with sesame seeds(til) and cotton and make 108 balls out of it, at the time of Purva-ashadha Nakshatra
(3) An 'aarti' of Lord Vishnu should be performed with offerings of Sandalwood paste, camphor, incense, Ghee Diya (lamp) and excellent food preparations
(4) Perform a fire sacrifice or 'Homa'. The cow-dung mixture balls prepared before should be offered to the fire of Homa along with chanting of the Purusa sukta/Vishnu Sahasranama or other chanting of Sri Hari.
(5) An offering of coconut, guava and pumpkin to Lord Vishnu is a part of the. Betel nut is a substitute in case of unavailability of these.
(6) Prayer to be said while making the offering - Lord Sri Janardana, the benefactor of all living beings, in this way; Oh Lord Sri Krishna, You are the most merciful Lord and the giver of liberation to all fallen souls. Oh Lord, we have fallen into the ocean of material existence. Please be kind to us. Oh lotus-eyed divinity, please accept our most humble, affectionate and respectful obeisances. Oh, protector of the entire world, we offer You our humble respects again and again. Oh, Supreme Spirit, Oh Supreme One, Oh source of all our forefathers, may You and Your eternal consort, Srimati Laxmi-Devi, please accept these humble offerings.
(7) Invite a Brahmana and give gifts of clothes, a pot of water, an umbrella, shoes and a pot full of sesame seeds or Til. Giving both black and white Til will yield extra benefits for the devotee.Specification of Til (sesame seeds) - Black Sesame seeds are to be used for worship or home and white/brown for eating.

Along with the rituals of Sattila Ekadasi, the basic Ekadasi needs to be followed

1) One day before Sattila Ekadashi, which is the 10th day of the Krishna Paksha, the person should clean his/her teeth thoroughly in the afternoon and have supper at Sunset hour.
2) On the morning of Sattila Ekadashi, the person should intend on keeping the fast meticulously. The person should have a bath in a river (which is said to be most purifying) or a lake and in both not being available, bathe with pond water.
3) Worship Lord Govinda with complete dedication and Offer an excellent 'Bhog' (food to Divine) along with flowers and other things of the offering.
4) Light a lamp at home in honour of the Lord
5) Chant or sing praises of Lord Vishnu throughout the day and remain in a most blissful state during the fast.
6) Stay awake through the night in full consciousness. If possible play musical instruments throughout the night to please the Lord.
7) The next morning the person should give charity to Brahmanas and respectfully ask them for forgiveness for any offence.
8) For people who keep a complete fast till the next day, one should say the prayer - "O Pundarikaksha, O lotus-eyed Lord, now I will eat. Please shelter me".
9) 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. To garner the full merits of the fast, the devotee should have water which has been offered to the Lord.

The day of Ekadashi till the next morning the devotee should involve in taking baths, singing and chanting praises of the Lord and worship Him with complete devotion, involve in activities of devotion and doing charity.

Fasting Rules

As per specifications in the ancient texts, to get the benefits of the fasting on Ekadashi the person should adhere to the rules strictly.

  • The devotee observing fast should have a bath on the morning of Utpanna Ekadashi.
  • Beans and grains are prohibited to eat on Ekadashi.
  • The killing of any animal is prohibited on this day for the devotee.
  • Sleeping during the day is not allowed on Ekadashi and the next day that is on Dwadashi.
  • The devotee keeping fast should not meet or interact with any cheats, frauds or people involved in any nefarious activity. The scriptures even say that if by chance the devotee comes into proximity of such a person then one should purify by standing under the sun and looking directly at it.
  • Abstinence from sex on Ekadashi and Dwadashi.
  • On Dwadashi (the day after Ekadashi), devotees are not to eat in another person's house, have only one meal, Honey and Urad-dal (black lentil) is not to be consumed, eating on Bell Metal plate or cutlery, and should not massage oil on the body.
  • As per the ancient text, if the devotee has to speak to a person from the lower cast, then he/she will have to purify himself by eating Tulsi leaves or an Amalaki fruit.
  • If due to any reason the devotee is not able to break the fast on the next day, then he/she should have water to signify the completion of the fast and later have food when convenient.
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