Vaikuntha Ekadashi – Opening the Gate of Heaven
Vaikuntha Ekadashi is one of the most important Hindu festivals and is dedicated to Vishnu. The name Vaikuntha Ekadashi is a combination of two words “Vaikuntha” and “Ekadashi”. “Vaikuntha” in Sanskrit translates to “heaven” and “Ekadashi” in Sanskrit means “eleventh lunar day”. Vaikuntha Ekadashi occurs in the Dhanur month according to the Hindu calendar, which according to the Gregorian calendar is from December to January.
One of the most famous legends related to Vaikuntha Ekadashi is associated with the slaying of a demon called Muran. Legends state that all the gods, demigods and human beings were in terror because of Muran. He spread chaos and havoc all around the world, and people were in constant fear of him. When everyone approached ShivaShiva
Shiva is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindu Trinity that ... for help, he told them to visit VishnuVishnu
Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,.. for their solution. As soon as everyone narrated the incidents to Vishnu, a fierce battle ensued between Vishnu and Muran. However, after fighting the demon for a long time, Vishnu realized that a new weapon would be required to kill Muran. He then decided to take rest and meditate to create the required weapon and went to a cave named after goddess Himavati in Bhadrikashrama. While Vishnu was sleeping, Muran came to the cave and tried to kill him. At the same time, a fierce female power came out of Vishnu and burnt down the demon into ashes with her glance. Vishnu then woke up and realized how the goddess saved him. He then named the Goddess Ekadashi She was a beautiful goddess who saved the life of Vishnu from a demon named Muran. The demon had taken control of heaven by defeating the Gods in a battle. The Gods finally approached Vishnu. He and Muran fought various battles. Once the demon tried to kill Vishnu in his sleep but Goddess Ekdashi saved him. Since then she has been his favorite who has been blessed with all the charms and qualities. She also asked for three boons from Vishnu and he accepted them happily.
and told her to ask for a boon. The goddess said that anyone who would observe fast on Ekadashi with pure heart and devotion will be freed from all the sins and would attain heaven. Hence, the festival and worshipping of Vaikuntha Ekadashi came to be known.
Rituals and Significance
The devotees and worshippers are supposed to take only lunch the previous day of Vaikuntha Ekadashi. On the day of Vaikuntha Ekadashi, the devotees are required to wake up early in the morning and take a vow to observe the fast for the whole day. They are supposed to break their fast the next day during the Parana Time. Those who cannot observe fast for the whole day can have some fruits, milk and nuts. However, consumption of rice is strictly prohibited on the third day. People also visit temples of Vishnu in their vicinity. It is believed that Vaikuntha Dwar, i.e. “The Gate of Heaven” is opened for those who observe fast for the whole day with pure devotion and sincerity. As the legends state, people who perform the rituals of Vaikuntha Ekadashi are also freed from all of their sins. Vaikuntha Ekadashi symbolizes the liberation and realization of the self, and the attainment of salvation.