Vaishnava Shat Tila is a unique fasting ritual observed during the ‘Krishna Paksha Ekadashi’ (11th day of the dark fortnight of moon) during the ‘Maadhava’ month of the Vaishnava calendar. For Samarth’s this vrat falls during the ekadashi of the ‘Maagh Shukla Purnima’ while in the Gregorian calendar the date falls between January to February. The name of this ekadashi is derived from ‘Til’ or sesame seeds and is considered very auspicious on this day. On this chosen day, it is believed that by donating Til helps in redeeming committed sins. Besides by offering sesame seeds mixed with water, one can grant peace to the dead ancestors. Some of the popular names for Vaishnava Shat Tila Ekadashi are ‘Stilla Ekadashi’, ‘Tilda Ekadashi’ or ‘Sattila Ekadashi’. This ekadashi observance is dedicated to Sri Krishna and Vaishnavism followers observe this ekadashi with immense devotion and gaiety.
There is no Vaishnava Shat Tila Ekadashi in 2019
Rituals during Vaishnava Shat Tila Ekadashi:
- On the Vaishnava Shat Tila Ekadashi, there is great significance of sesame seeds. Til is used in six different forms on the day that includes taking bath in water mixed with Til, rubbing sesame seeds paste on the body, eating sesame seeds, offering Til in a yagya or hawan, donating sesame seeds and even accepting charitable gifts of Til.
- Devotees get up before at the ‘Bramh Muhurt’ on the day of ekadashi and offer prayers to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. On Vaishnava Shat Tila Ekadashi it is imperative to control the senses and keep away from sinful activities. Devotees must dedicate themselves to the lord by means of meditation.
- Fasting on Vaishnava Shat Tila Ekadashi is also very virtuous. The fasting is observed right from the time of getting up till the sunrise of the following day ‘dwadashi’. While observing the vrat is any mistake is done, one must ask forgiveness from Sri Krishna. Just like any other ekadashi, eating grains and rice is strictly not allowed on Vaishnava Shat Tila Ekadashi.
- Charity is another significant ritual of the day. it is considered very auspicious to donate sesame seeds or ‘Til’ to Brahmins along with clothes, food, umbrella and a pitcher filled with water. Both black or white Til can be donated. It is believed that the number of sesame seeds donated is equal to the number of year the person will stay in heaven.
Significance of Vaishnava Shat Tila Ekadashi:
The countless glories of Vaishnava Shat Tila Ekadashi are mentioned in the ‘Bhavishya Uttara Purana’ in the form of discussion between Pulastya Muni and Sage Dalbhya. As per the Hindu legends, the observer of this vrat gains freedom from his/her sins and goes straight to ‘Vaikunth’, the heavenly abode of Lord Vishnu, after death. One who observes Vaishnava Shat Tila Ekadashi devotedly each year will successfully accomplish all his/her desires and also attain spiritual enlightenment. This ekadashi also helps a person to control one’s senses and also get rid of anger, negative thoughts, ego and any sinful acts.