The Vaishnava Vaikuntha Ekadashi is celebrated on the ‘Shukla Paksha Ekadashi’ (11th day of the waxing phase of moon) during the month of ‘Keshava’ in the Vaishnava calendar. This ekadashi is known to be one of the supreme ekadashis and is also popular as ‘Mokshada Ekadashi’ or ‘Mukkoti Ekadashi’, one that bestows liberation. In the Hindu calendar, Vaikuntha Ekadashi is observed in the ‘Margashirsha’ month that corresponds to the months of November to December in the English calendar. In the Vaishnavism culture it is believed that on this day, the gate to Lord Vishnu’s abode, ‘Vaikuntha Dwaram’ opens up. Anyone keeping a fast on this day can gain entry to the Lord’s Inner Sanctum.
The Vaishnava Vaikuntha Ekadashi is observed with great pomp and show by Hare Krishna followers in all parts of the country. On this auspicious day special pujas, yagnas and religious discourses are held in Lord Vishnu temples all across India. Special structures are constructed to represent the ‘Vaikuntha Dwaram’ and the devotees are required to gain entry into the temple by passing through these gates. The celebrations of Vaishnava Vaikuntha Ekadashi are particularly renowned in the temples of ‘Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple’, the ‘Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple’ at Tirupati, the ‘Mahalakshmi Temple’ in Gubbi and the ‘Rajagopalaswamy Temple’ at Mannargudi. Thousands of devotees from different corners of the country participate in the rituals held in these temples.
There is no Vaishnava Vaikuntha Ekadashi in 2019
Rituals during Vaishnava Vaikuntha Ekadashi:
- Fasting on Vaishnava Vaikuntha Ekadashi is highly beneficial. Devotees keep a strict fast on this day to please Lord Krishna, who is an avatar of Sri Hari Vishnu. The fasting rituals begins from ‘dashami’ (10th day) and one must take only a single meal before sunset. On the day of ekadashi, the observer of this vrat refrains from eating or even drinking a sip of water. They engage themselves in meditations and prayers offered to Sri Vishnu. Keeping a vigil on this night bestows liberation from the continuous cycle of birth and death. The fast in broken on ‘dwadashi’ (12th day) after offering prayers to the lord.
- On Vaishnava Vaikuntha Ekadashi, even for those not observing a fast, there are specific foods including spices and vegetables that are restricted for eating on this day. some of them includes rice, cereals, grains, all kinds of beans, leafy vegetables, honey, asafoetida, fenugreek and sesame seeds to name a few.
- Just like all other ekadashi, the main deity of this day is Lord Vishnu, the preserver of Universe. Vaishnavism followers worship their lord with complete devotion and dedication on Vaishnava Vaikuntha Ekadashi. They recite Vedic mantras and sing bhajans in glories of Lord Vishnu.
Significance of Vaishnava Vaikuntha Ekadashi:
The glories of Vaishnava Vaikuntha Ekadashi are written in ‘Padma Purana’. According to the Hindu legends, this day celebrates the victory of Lord Vishnu over the demon ‘Muran’ and the birth of Goddess Ekadashi. Anyone who observes the Vaishnava Vaikuntha Ekadashi will be freed from the sins of past and present life and even attains salvation. This ekadashi is considered to be the most auspicious and important ekadashi for both Hindus and Vaishnavas.