Indira Ekadashi - Significance And Rituals
Indira Ekadashi is one of the most significant and religious Hindu festivals which is meant for worshipping Lord Vishnu. As per the Hindu calendar, the festival is observed on the eleventh day (Ekadashi) in the Bhadrapada or Ashwin month during Krishna Paksha. According to the Gregorian calendar, it is celebrated either in the month of September or October.
If the Ekadashi appears in the Pitru Paksha then it is also known as Ekadashi Shradh because of the fact that the fortnight is dedicated to worship and offer prayers to the ancestors. The primary aim behind observing an Indira Ekadashi fast and worshipping Lord Vishnu is to seek forgiveness of all the past sins. This festival also holds immense significance as it helps in offering salvation to the deceased ancestors.
Read More:-Hindu calendar
Rituals of Indira Ekadashi
On the eve of Indira Ekadashi, the devotees usually observe an Indira Ekadashi Vrat. The fast is observed for a time duration of 24 hours which starts from Sunrise of Ekadashi to the Dwadashi tithi.
- In the milder form of the fast, the devotees consume one meal but it should be before sunrise. The devotees conclude the fast after giving food to the Brahmins and offering prayers to Lord Vishnu.
- Another form of fast allows the observers to consume dairy products and fruits.
- On the eve of Indira Ekadashi, the observers are also required to recite Mantras and sing bhajans in order to please Lord Vishnu.
- Reading of ‘Vishnu Sahasranama’ is considered as highly auspicious on this day
Significance of Indira Ekadashi
The festival of Indira Ekadashi holds immense significance as the devotees who observe an Indira Ekadashi fast are bestowed with prosperity, good fortune relief from their past sins as well. Devotees perform the Indira Ekadashi fast to offer peace to the ancestors. As per the Hindu Mythology, this fast holds similar importance as Ashwamedha Yajna.
As per the legends, there was a noble, kind-hearted and powerful King named Indrasena. He used to take enough care of his people. Thus, he gained much recognition as an honest king and a keen devotee of Lord Vishnu. Once, Narad Muni visited the Kingdom of Indrasen and informed him about the pity situation of his father after his death.
Narad Muni told Indrasena that his father resides in the Kingdom of Yamaraj where he is suffering because of his past sins. Narad Muni passed a message of his father that Indrasen must observe an Indira Ekadashi fast as well as perform donations to Brahmins in order to free his father from all his past sins and help him attain salvation.
Narad Muni helped the King in explaining the rituals of the fast and how to observe it. King Indrasen observed the Indira Ekadashi fast as explained by Narad Muni and concluded it on the very next day. At that moment, the King saw that his father is rising towards the Lord Vishnu’s abode and flowers are falling on him. Not only the father of the King attained salvation but also King Indrasena got several merits of observing Indira Ekadashi fast as he continued his ruling period without any kind of obstacles. Since that time period, individuals and devotees observe an Indira Ekadashi fast with much joy, devotion, and enthusiasm.