Saphala Ekadashi – Worshipping for Success
Saphala Ekadashi is a Hindu festival dedicated to Vishnu. The name Saphala Ekadashi consists of two Sanskrit words “Saphala” and “Ekadashi”. “Saphala” means “success” and “Ekadashi” means “eleventh lunar day”. Hence, the festival of Saphala Ekadashi is believed to bring about success in the life of devotees and is celebrated on the eleventh day of the waning moon phase during December to January. The festival holds great significance among the followers of VishnuVishnu
Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,.. and is celebrated with great zeal and passion all over the world.
Once upon a time there was a prince named Lumbaka who belonged to the kingdom of Champavati. He used to spend his wealth lavishly on wasteful things. With time he became quite wicked and anti religious. He even reached a point when he started questioning the authority of god Vishnu. Upon this, his father, the king, expelled him from his kingdom. Lumbaka then went to a forest and started living there under a banyan tree. His wicked actions did not stop even there as he used to kill innocent animals for his food. This went on for a while until one day when suddenly he fell very sick. He lost all his strength and was not able to move properly. His body had become so weak that he was not even able to pluck fruits from the trees around him, let alone hunting an animal. He then sat under the tree without eating anything for the whole day and was not even able to sleep the whole night. Next morning, all of a sudden he felt great and his health restored. A divine stallion then approached Lumbaka and a heavenly voice said to Lumbaka that he had unintentionally observed the fast of Saphala Ekadashi and by the blessings of Vishnu he is now healthy. The voice told him to go to the kingdom again and that Lumbaka’s father would now accept him. Lumbaka had realized his mistake and the true power and authority of the deity. He followed the instruction of his lord and went to the kingdom on the stallion. His father saw a great change in Lumbaka and made him the new king of Champavati. Since then Lumbaka started observing fast on Saphala Ekadashi every year and the festival became very prominent.
On the day of Saphala Ekadashi, the devotees are supposed to wake up early in the morning, take bath, wear neat and clean clothes and take a vow to observe fast for the whole day. The devotees are supposed to break their fast during the time dedicated for the ritual. One of the most important rituals of the festival is offering of fruits by the devotees to their deity. The fruits usually consist of pomegranate, guava, coconut, betel nut, mango and other kinds of nuts. Moreover, the devotees are supposed to offer incenses, flowers, and lamps lighted up with ghee to the deity. Those who cannot observe fast for the whole day may eat some fruits, nuts and have milk. But a few food items like grains, especially rice, cereals, non-vegetarian food etc. are prohibited from consumption on this day. The most ardent worshippers of Vishnu meditate and chant mantras of the deity whole day and stay awake the whole night. Benign acts like donation of food and money to the poor are considered to please the deity.
Beliefs and Significance
Saphala Ekadashi is celebrated to seek the blessings of Vishnu and achieve happiness, prosperity, well-being, honor, respect, protection and joy in life. According to many religious texts and scriptures, it is believed that celebrating Saphala Ekadashi with full sincerity and devotion reaps the devotees the benefits equal to performing a hundred RajasuyaYajnas and one thousand Ashvamedha Yajnas. They are the sacred rituals to invoke deities using fire. The purpose of performing such rituals are to gain boons, including wealth, health and power. The ritual is performed by priests or learned Brahmins It is believed to provide inner peace and even moksha to the most fervent devotees of Vishnu. The festival of Saphala Ekadashi symbolizes the humility, simplicity, faith and devotion one must possess in life to achieve the ultimate success.