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Ekadasi: Why Ekadashi is celebrated in Hinduism? – by Dr Bharti Raizada

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Hindu Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi, Wikimedia
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May 22, 2017: 

Ekadash means 11. Ekadasi is 11th tithi in a lunar month, and there is one Ekadasi in the shukla paksh and one in the krishn paksh. Prayers are offered to Bhagwan Vishnu.

Vrat starts before the sunset on the previous day and ends after sunrise the next day. The 2017 dates are January 8 and 23; February 6 and 22; March 8 and 23; April 6 and 22; May 6, 21 and 22; June 4 and 20; July 4 and 19; August 3 and 17; September 1, 15 and 16; October 1, 15, 30 and 31; November 13 and 29; and December 13, 28 and 29. Some of these are consecutive days.

Samarth with family observes vrat on first day and  sanyasis and widows do vrat on the second day. There are different types of Ekadasi vrats- Nirjala, Ksheerbhoji, phalahari and Naktbhoji.

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Sabudana, singhada, shakarkandi, potatoes and groundnut can be consumed in naktbhoji vrat. Only  fruits are consumed in Phalahari Ekadasi vrat and milk products in Ksheerbhoji Ekadasi vrat.  Food items containing beans and grains are avoided.

Ekadasi Devi was born from Bhagwan Vishnu himself and she killed asur Mura by Humkar Shabd.

Ekadasi Arti

ॐ जय एकादशी, जय एकादशी, जय एकादशी माता।विष्णु पूजा व्रत को धारण कर, शक्ति मुक्ति पाता॥
ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
तेरे नाम गिनाऊं देवी, भक्ति प्रदान करनी।गण गौरव की देनी माता, शास्त्रों में वरनी॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
मार्गशीर्ष के कृष्णपक्ष की उत्पन्ना, विश्वतारनी जन्मी।शुक्ल पक्ष में हुई मोक्षदा, मुक्तिदाता बन आई॥
ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
पौष के कृष्णपक्ष की, सफला नामक है।शुक्लपक्ष में होय पुत्रदा, आनन्द अधिक रहै॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
नाम षटतिला माघ मास में, कृष्णपक्ष आवै।शुक्लपक्ष में जया, कहावै, विजय सदा पावै॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
विजया फागुन कृष्णपक्ष में शुक्ला आमलकी।पापमोचनी कृष्ण पक्ष में, चैत्र महाबलि की॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
चैत्र शुक्ल में नाम कामदा, धन देने वाली।नाम बरुथिनी कृष्णपक्ष में, वैसाख माह वाली॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
शुक्ल पक्ष में होय मोहिनी अपरा ज्येष्ठ कृष्णपक्षी।नाम निर्जला सब सुख करनी, शुक्लपक्ष रखी॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
योगिनी नाम आषाढ में जानों, कृष्णपक्ष करनी।देवशयनी नाम कहायो, शुक्लपक्ष धरनी॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
अजा भाद्रपद कृष्णपक्ष की, परिवर्तिनी शुक्ला।इन्द्रा आश्चिन कृष्णपक्ष में, व्रत से भवसागर निकला॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
पापांकुशा है शुक्ल पक्ष में, आप हरनहारी।रमा मास कार्तिक में आवै, सुखदायक भारी॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
देवोत्थानी शुक्लपक्ष की, दुखनाशक मैया।पावन मास में करूं विनती पार करो नैया॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
परमा कृष्णपक्ष में होती, जन मंगल करनी।शुक्ल मास में होय पद्मिनी दुख दारिद्र हरनी॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
जो कोई आरती एकादशी की, भक्ति सहित गावै।जन गुरदिता स्वर्ग का वासा, निश्चय वह पावै॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥

Following is a list of the lunar month, presiding deity for Ekadasi, name of the shukl paksh Ekadasi and name of the krishn paksh Ekadasi. I am writing presiding deity name, however, there is only one supreme power.

Month, Presiding deity, Shukl paksh Ekadasi, Krishn paksh Ekadasi

1.Chaitra, Vishnu, Kamada, Paapmochini

  1. Vaishakh, Madhusudna, Mohini, Varuthini
  2. Jyestha, Trivikarma, Nirjala, Apara
  3. Asaadh, Vaman, Devshayani or Hari shayani or Padma or Ashadi, Yogini
  4. Sharavan, Sridhar, Sharavana Putrada or Pavitropana or Pavitra, Kamika
  5. Bhadrapad, Hrishikesha,  Parsava or Parivartini, Anand or Aja
  6. Ashwin, Padmanabha, Paashunkusha or Papankusha, Indira
  7. Kartik, Damodar, Prabodhini or Hari Priya or Dev Uthani or Devutthana, Rama
  8. Marghshirsha, Kesava, Mokshada or Vaikuntha , Utpanna( Utpanna is Utpatti or birth of Ekadasi Devi)
  9. Paush, Narayan, Paush Putrada, Saphala or Shattila
  10. Magh, Madhav, Bhaimi or Jaya, Shat tila
  11. Phalgun, Govinda, Amalaki, Vijaya

Adhik month which comes after every 3 years, Purshottam, Padmini Vishuddha, Parama or Kamla.

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Shankaracharya: A remarkable genius that Hinduism produced (Book Review)

The irony is that most leading scientists, particularly outside India but also within, have little knowledge of the structure of Shankara's philosophy and the transparent interface it has with scientific discoveries today.

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He was greatly influenced by three basic texts of Hindu philosophy: Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita
He was greatly influenced by three basic texts of Hindu philosophy: Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita.

Title: Adi Shankaracharya: Hinduism’s Greatest Thinker; Author: Pavan K. Varma; Publisher: Tranquebar Press; Pages: 364; Price: Rs 699

This must be one of the greatest tributes ever paid to Shankaracharya, the quintessential “paramarthachintakh”, who wished to search for the ultimate truths behind the mysteries of the universe. His genius lay in building a complete and original philosophical edifice upon the foundational wisdom of the Upanishads.

A gifted writer, Pavan Varma, diplomat-turned-politician and author of several books including one on Lord Krishna, takes us through Shankara’s short but eventful span of life during which, from having been born in what is present-day Kerala, he made unparalleled contributions to Hindu religion that encompassed the entire country. Hinduism has not seen a thinker of his calibre and one with such indefatigable energy, before or since.

Shankara’s real contribution was to cull out a rigorous system of philosophy that was based on the essential thrust of Upanishadic thought but without being constrained by its unstructured presentation and contradictory meanderings.

He was greatly influenced by three basic texts of Hindu philosophy: Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita. He wrote extensive and definitive commentaries on each of them. Of course, the importance he gave to the Mother Goddess, in the form of Shakti or Devi, can be traced to his own attachment to his mother whom he left when he set off, at a young age, in search of a guru and higher learning.

The irony is that most leading scientists, particularly outside India but also within, have little knowledge of the structure of Shankara's philosophy and the transparent interface it has with scientific discoveries today.
Shankara wrote hymns in praise of many deities but his personal preference was the worship of the Mother Goddess.

Against all odds, Shankara created institutions for the preservation and propagation of Vedantic philosophy. He established “mathas” with the specific aim of creating institutions that would develop and project the Advaita doctrine. He spoke against both caste discriminations and social inequality, at a time when large sections of conservative Hindu opinion thought otherwise.

Shankara was both the absolutist Vedantin, uncompromising in his belief in the non-dual Brahman, and a great synthesiser, willing to assimilate within his theoretical canvas several key elements of other schools of philosophy. He revived and restored Hinduism both as a philosophy and a religion that appealed to its followers.

Also Read: Hinduism: The Nine Basic Beliefs that you need to know

Varma rightly says that it must have required great courage of conviction as well as deep spiritual and philosophical insight for Shankaracharya to build on the insights of the Upanishads a structure of thought, over a millennium ago, that saw the universe and our own lives within it with a clairvoyance that is being so amazingly endorsed by science today. The irony is that most leading scientists, particularly outside India but also within, have little knowledge of the structure of Shankara’s philosophy and the transparent interface it has with scientific discoveries today.

Shankara wrote hymns in praise of many deities but his personal preference was the worship of the Mother Goddess. The added value of the book is that it has, in English, a great deal of Shankara’s writings. Unfortunately, most Hindus today are often largely uninformed about the remarkable philosophical foundations of their religion. They are, the author points out, deliberately choosing the shell for the great treasure that lies within. This is indeed a rich book. (IANS)