Ekadashi fasting is an important ritual for all Vaishnavites, and the Vaishnava Mokshada Ekadashi is principally important. It is observed on the ‘Shukla Paksha Ekadashi’ (11th day of the waxing phase of moon) during the ‘Keshava’ month of the Vaishnava calendar. This date corresponds to the months of ‘Margashirsha’ in the Lunar calendar and between November to December in the Gregorian calendar. The Vaishnava Mokshada Ekadashi is a considered to be more auspicious and special of all ekadashis. It was on this day that Lord Krishna recited the holy ‘Bhagavad Gita’ to Arjun during the great war of Kurukshetra, which is now known as ‘Jyotisha Tirtha’. Owing to this fact, Vaishnava Mokshada Ekadashi is also celebrated as ‘Gita Jayanti’ in different parts of the country. It is also referred as ‘Baikuntha Ekadashi’ in the Indian state of Orissa.
There is no Vaishnava Mokshada Ekadashi in 2019
Rituals during Vaishnava Mokshada Ekadashi:
- On Vaishnava Mokshada Ekadashi, the devotees get up early and observe a fasting for the whole day. A complete fast or partial fasting by eating fruits and dairy products is done, depending on one’s capability. The fast starts from the dawn of ekadashi and continues until the sunrise of the following day, that is, ‘dwadashi’. Even for those not observing a vrat, eating rice, pulses, beans, garlic, onion and non-vegetarian food is strictly prohibited on Vaishnava Mokshada Ekadashi. Performing jagaran during the night increases the virtues of the Mokshada Ekadashi vrat.
- Hare Krishna followers dedicate this day worshipping Sri Hari Vishnu with complete devotion. The idol of the lord is worshipped with incense sticks, ‘Naivedya’, flowers and dhoop. On the day of Vaishnava Mokshada Ekadashi, in temples of Lord Vishnu all across the country, a door like structure is made to signify the entrance to ‘Vaikunth’. It is a good omen to pass through this gate.
- On Vaishnava Mokshada Ekadashi, people also worship ‘Shrimad Bhagavad Gita’. It is auspicious to do ‘Gita Path’ on this day and later perform an ‘aarti’. A person, who offerss the revered ‘Bhagavad Gita’ to other deserving person on Mokshada Ekadashi, receives profuse blessings of Lord Krishna. Besides, one must also recite Vedic mantras and read ‘Vishnu Sahasranaam’ on this day to be bestowed with the divine blessings of Lord Vishnu.
Significance of Vaishnava Mokshada Ekadashi:
The Vaishnava Mokshada Ekadashi is also referred as ‘Vaikuntha Ekadashi’ and according to the ‘Vaishnavism’ culture it is believed that on this day the door to Lord Vishnu’s heavenly abode, the ‘Vaikuntha Dwaram’ is opened for all. The untold glories of this sacred ekadashi are mentioned in the ‘Vishnu Purana’ and ‘Brahmanda Purana’. Lord Krishna himself described the significance of fasting on this auspicious day to King Yudhisthira. Observing the Vaishnava Mokshada Ekadashi vrat is equivalent to keeping the fast for the remaining 23 ekadashi observances of the Hindu year. The Vaishnava Mokshada Ekadashi is known for giving spiritual, physical and astronomical advantages. By keeping a fast on this day, all the sin is removed and the person reaches to ‘Vaikunth’ after death. Not only this, by observing the Vaishnava Mokshada Ekadashi vrat, even the deceased forefathers of the observer are granted heaven.