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» Informational Articles » Festivals » Yogini Ekadashi

Meaning of Ekadashi

The Ekadashi is considered a holy day when Lord Hari or Vishnu is worshipped and devotees observe a day and night long fast to please the Lord. The term 'Ekadashi' means the eleventh day of the two Lunar cycles of the Hindu Calendar. This means Ekadashi is on the eleventh day of the waxing Moon phase, known as Shukla Paksha and on the waning Moon phase, called Krishna Paksha, respectively. So, the Ekadashi fast or Vrat is observed twice every month and both the Ekadashis, whether in Shukla Paksha or Krishna Paksha have the same power.

Each Ekadashi Vrat has a story or Vrat Katha associated with it, which confirm the benefits of observing the Ekadashi Vrat/fast. Observing dray fast is considered the best type of fast for the day, however, keeping awake in awareness through the night, singing the praise of Sri Hari is what completes the fast. If you sleep even for a moment at night then the Ekadashi Vrat stands incomplete. It is believed that observing fast on Ekadashis helps attain Moksha, besides the other benevolent gifts of Supreme Lord Vishnu.

About Yogini Ekadashi

After the Nirjala Ekadashi is Yogini Ekadasi which is in the waning Moon phase or Krishna Paksha of the Hindu month of Ashadha, i.e. the month of June –July as per the Gregorian calendar. Yogini Ekadashi is also known as Ashadha-Krishna Ekadashi.

ekadashi-vrat-katha Yogini Ekadashi 2021: Dates, Tithi

Yogini Ekadashi 2021 is on July 5, Monday.
Ekadashi Tithi Begins - 04:25 PM on Jul 04, 2021
Ekadashi Tithi Ends - 07:00 PM on Jul 05, 2021
On 6th Jul, Parana Time - 05:55 AM to 09:07 AM

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. Dwadashi ends at 9:32 PM on 6th July. 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 pratahkala (morning).
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Importance or Significance of Yogini Ekadashi

Yogini Ekadashi is an auspicious day and observing fast on this day by following all the rules of Ekadashi carefully can wipe away all the sins of the individual and attain salvation. Yogini Ekadashi importance also comes through in the belief that observing Yogini Ekadashi can heal physical ailments and bestow good health to the devotee.

The ancient Hindu texts have Lord Sri Krishna (an avatar of Lord Vishnu) specifying the importance of Ekadashi fast/vrat, where the Lord has said it is greater than all sacrifices or charity to the needy or the sacrifice of Horses (Ashvamedha) or even seeing Lord Vishnu Himself. It is said that one who observes fast on this day, adhering to the rules, will be liberated and get a place in Lord Vishnu's abode.

In the Yogini Ekadashi katha Lord Sri Krishna mentions that observing Yogini Ekadashi brings back the devotees to the spiritual path from getting drowned in the materialistic ocean of the world giving Yogini Ekadashi meaning a special touch.

Benefits of Yogini Ekadashi Vrat Katha

● For health, wealth and success
● For fulfilment of wishes
● For spiritual growth
● For the blessing of Lord Vishnu

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Yogini Ekadashi Vrat Katha or Yogini Ekadashi Story

The Yogini Ekadashi ki Katha/vrat Katha is from the Brahma-Vaivarta Purana.King Yudhisthira humbly requests Lord Krishna to tell Him about the Ekadashi which follows the Nirjala Ekadashi. The Lord narrates the Yogini Ekadashi story:

Kubera, who is believed to be the treasurer of the DemiGods (Devas) and who is the King of Alakapuri, was a great devotee of Lord Shiva and used to worship the Lord daily by offerings of flowers and many other items of worship. Kubera had specially appointed a gardener by the name of Hemamali, whose job was to go to the Lake Manasarovar and bring back flowers for his master, Kubera for the worship of Lord Shiva.

Hemamali's wife, Swarupavati, was young and beautiful and Hemamali used to feel an intense physical attraction to her always. Once after collecting flowers from Lake Mansarovar, he went straight to his wife and got engaged in physical intimacy. At the time of worshipping Lord Shiva, Kubera found no flowers and He asked one of His messengers to find out about the whereabouts of Hemamali. Later, on coming to know about Hemamali's engagement Kubera got very angry and called for His gardener to present himself immediately in His palace.

A scared Hemamali arrived in front of his master, knowing that he had failed to perform his duty. Kubera in His anger cursed Hemamali to start immediately suffering from white Leprosy and expelled him from Alkapuri to fall to a lower planet. The curse manifested with Hemamali being inflicted with the miserable disease of white Leprosy and the gardener of Kubera found himself in a jungle. He wandered around aimlessly suffering terribly in all seasons. But since Hemamali used to worship Lord Shiva, his faith kept him steady in mind.

Once while Hemamali was wandering around in the Himalayan mountain range, he came upon the great Sage, Markandeya Rishi. It was a fortunate day for Hemamali because the kind Markandeya Rishi, after hearing the reason for his disease, advised Hemamali to observe the Yogini Ekadashi fast and told him about the merits and vrat vidhi. An overwhelmed Hemamali offered his gratitude and on the day of Yogini Ekadashi, he kept the fast strictly as per the instructions given by Rishi Markandeya. This gave miraculous results as the curse of Kubera was removed and Hemamali was healed of the white Leprosy and got back his healthful original body. He spent the rest of his life happily with his wife in the realm which he belonged to.

At the end of the Yogini Ekadashi ki Katha, Lord Sri Krishna tells King Yudhisthira that observing strict fasting on Yogini Ekadashi is equivalent to the merits earned in feeding eighty-eight thousand Brahmins.

Rituals: What to do on Yogini Ekadashi or Yogini Ekadashi Vrat Vidhi

The rituals of Yogini Ekadashi are specified in the ancient Hindu texts and is said to have been specified by Lord Sri Krishna while answering Yudhishthira's(eldest of Pandava brothers from Mahabharata) query. The Yogini Ekadashi Vrat Vidhi are:

1) One day before Yogini 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 Yogini 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) While bathing the person should smear mud on his/her body with chanting a prayer to Mother Earth.
The prayer - O Asvakrante! O Rathakrante! O Vishnukrante! O Vasundhare! O Mrttike! (O Mother Earth! please remove all my sins accumulated from past lives so that I may enter the abode of the Lord Vishnu the Supreme Lord)
4) Worship Lord Govinda with complete dedication and Offer an excellent 'Bhog' (food to Divine) along with flowers, Sandalwood paste, Tulsi leaves, dhoop and other things of the offering.
5) Light a Ghee lamp at home in honour of the Lord.
6) Chant or sing praises of Lord Vishnu throughout the day and remain in a most blissful state during the fast.
7) Stay awake through the night in full consciousness. If possible play musical instrument throughout the night to please the Lord.
8) The next morning the person should give charity to Brahmanas and respectfully ask them for forgiveness for any offence.
9) 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".
10) 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.
11) Fire sacrifices can be performed if the devotee chooses to do so

The day of Ekadashi till the next morning the devotee should involve in taking baths, singing and chanting praises of the Lord Vishnu and worship Him with complete devotion, involve in activities of devotion and doing charity. A devotee can also visit a temple to offer prayers.

Mantra for Ekadashi:

"Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya"
Meaning: I offer my obeisance to or bow down to Lord Vasudeva or Lord Krishna.

Fasting Rules of Yogini Ekadashi:

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 Yogini 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 Dvadashi.
  • 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, gambling 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 is prohibited 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 caste, 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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