The Vaishnava Rama Ekadashi falls during the ‘Krishna Paksha Ekadashi’ (11th day in the dark fortnight of moon) during the ‘Damodara’ month in the Vaishnava calendar. In the Hindu lunar this date falls in the auspicious ‘Kartik’ month and in Gregorian calendar, between the months of ‘October to November’. The Vaishnava Rama Ekadashi is believed to be one of the most auspicious ekadashi vrats that frees an individual from the sins committed during their past and present lives.
The Vaishnava Rama Ekadashi vrat is observed with great dedication and fervour in different parts of the country. It falls four days before ‘Diwali’, the grand Hindu festival of lights. Rama Ekadashi is also called as ‘Rambha Ekadashi’ or even ‘Kartik Krishna Ekadashi’. In the Hindu mythology, ‘Rama’ is another name for Goddess Lakshmi and hence on this day along with worshipping Lord Vishnu, devotees also offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi. It is believed that by worshipping the lord and following the puja rituals the person is bestowed with all the worldly pleasures and ultimately seeks ‘moksha’ or salvation.
There is no Vaishnava Rama Ekadashi in 2019
Rituals during Vaishnava Rama Ekadashi:
- On the day of Vaishnava Rama Ekadashi, a strict fast is observed by the Vaishnavism followers. The preparations begin a day in advance, ‘dashami’ (10th day). On the day of ekadashi, the observer of this vrat gets up early and takes a holy bath after finishing the morning rituals. Later preparations for worshipping Lord Vishnu are made. They offer flowers, fruits, dhoop and a sacred ‘bhoj’ to Lord Vishnu to invoke His divine blessings. Devotees also pray to Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, to be bestowed with infinite treasures.
- On Vaishnava Rama Ekadashi devotees recite Vedic mantras and sing bhajans in praise of Lord Vishnu. Reading ‘Vishnu Sahasranaam’ and ‘Bhagavad Gita’ is considered very propitious on this day. The observer of the Rama Ekadashi vrat must keep vigil all night. The fast is broken on the following day ‘dwadashi’ after offering food to the Brahmins.
- The fast of Vaishnava Rama Ekadashi continues from sunrise of ekadashi to the dawn of ‘dwadashi’. No food must be eaten during this time and if the vrat is accidentally broken, it should be continued until the following day. Those who observe complete fast on Rama Ekadashi, break the vrat by taking ‘Charnamrita’ (water obtained after bathing Sri Krishna’s feet). Partial ekadashi vrat can be broken by eating fruits, nuts or vegetables.
Significance of Vaishnava Rama Ekadashi:
The untold glories of the Vaishnava Rama Ekadashi finds mention in the ‘Brahma Vaivarta Purana’ as a conversation between Lord Krishna and Dharamraja Yudhisthira. A person who reads or narrates the virtue of this fast is granted the supreme abode of Sri Hari Vishnu. By sacredly observing the Vaishnava Rama Ekadashi vrat all the sins are pardoned, even those as severe as killing of a Brahmin. According to the Hindu legends it is considered that keeping this ekadashi vrat gives the same merits as performing 1000 Ashvamedha Yagyas or 100 Rajasuya Yagyas. One who worships Lord Vishnu with devotion and love will never face any obstacles in the journey of his/her life.