91-92 1053 1053 contact@givegita.com

No products in the cart.


Ekadashi, its appearance and its Importance

Events that led to the appearance of Ekadashi: (Story behind Ekadashi Fast)

In the 14 th chapter of the Padma Purana Jaimini Rsi asks Vyasadev about the importance and significance of Ekadashi. Vyasadev enlightens his disciple by narrating the following. Vyasadev tells Jaimini Rsi how at the time of creation sin personified (Papa purusha) was created to punish the sinful humans and inflict extreme misery on them. To control Papa purusha, Yamaraja and the different hellish planetary systems were also created. Sinful humans are sent to the hellish planets to suffer. The Lord and Srimati Radha Rani happened to hear the heart-rendering cries of the souls suffering in these planets, the Lord to alleviate the suffering of those in the hellish planets, visited Patal Lok (hellish planets). There He was told about the cause of the crying, yelling, and shrieking, the merciful Lord took the form of Ekadashi (read below to know how). He then declared whoever keeps this fast will be elevated to Vaikuntha as all their sins will be forgiven. Hearing about the advent of Ekadashi and its potency, Papa purusha feared for his life and approached the Supreme Lord, fell at His feet and said “O! Lord I am your creation and I have no place to reside. Ekadashi is the cause of my woes. By keeping Ekadashi fast, souls are being liberated. I tried to reside in different places but to no avail so powerful is she. No pious activity, vow or fast can bind me as can Ekadashi”. The Lord relented and said “you can reside in grains on Ekadashi. You need not fear there will be many who would like to rebel against My orders and will consume grains on this day. I am Ekadashi, and my orders will be carried out, so you need not worry”. According to the instructions of Lord Vishnu, every kind of sinful activity that can be found in the material world takes its residence in grains and food made of grains; therefore, one must abstain from grains, especially on Ekadashi.

The advent of Ekadashi:

The demon Mura was a source of terror to the demigods, who were vanquished from their heavenly abode and were dwelling on the earth. To lighten their plight, they approached Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu immediately approached Mura, and a fierce fight ensued. The other demons who were present with Mura were defeated. But the fight between the Lord and Mura continued for 1000 celestial years. Lord Vishnu to give His devotee the honor of killing Mura retired into a cave in the Himalayas to rest. Mura seeing the Lord sleeping wanted to attack the Lord. As he picked up his weapon to kill the Lord, a young girl appeared from within the Lord and cut off his head with a roar. The Lord woke up and saw the girl and the dead Mura and asked who she was and how was Mura killed. The girl said she was Maha Shakti the internal potency of the Lord, born of Eleven (Ekadashi) Indriyas (senses) of Lord Vishnu. She proclaimed that she was His eternal servitor and that she had beheaded Mura. The Lord was pleased and asked her to ask for any boon. The boons she asked for were

  1. That she always be the chosen and loved one of the Lord.
  2. That she be the topmost of all the tithi’s.
  3. That she be capable of destroying all sins and grant people a happier life.

Since Ekadashi appeared from Lord Vishnu, she is non-different from Him and like Lord Vishnu, she is the benefactor of the three planetary systems.

Ekadashi Upvasa:

Of the many ways to progress on the path of Shri Krishna bhakti is by observing fasts or known in the Sanskrit language as “Upvasa” on specific days. Before we dwell on these fasts, we should know the meaning of the word ‘Upvasa’.

The true essence of fasting or “Upvasa” is not just limited to just abstaining from food or remaining hungry for a specific duration. The true meaning of fasting lies in the word “Upvasa” itself. “Upa” which means close to and “vas” means to stay. Thus “Upvasa” means to stay close to the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. There are other many Upvasa mentioned in the Vedic scriptures. Many brahmins recommend fasting etc. on the day corresponding to a particular demigod to seek their favor, for deriving some temporary benefit. They give a little happiness in the beginning but suffering in the end. So one should not fast on any other days except the days dedicated to Lord Sri Krishna because the fasts dedicated to Lord Sri Krishna give one eternal benefits.

Vedas inform us that there are specific days in a year dedicated to the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. These days are known as “Hari Vasar”. “Hari” is one of the names of Supreme Lord Sri Krishna, “Vasar” is the Sanskrit word for ‘day’; therefore, Hari Vasar means, “day of Lord Sri Hari”. This day should b