Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi- Devshayani Ekadashi to be celebrated on July 12. Image Source: prokerala.com

JULY 8 : Devshayani Ekadashi, also known as Shayani Ekadashi, will be celebrated on July 12, 2019. On this Ekadashi of Ashadha month, Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi are worshipped. It is believed that by keeping vrat rituals and timings on this auspicious day, one can attain salvation.

This day is called Shayani Ekadashi because on this day Lord Vishnu went to sleep on Shesha Naag (king of serpents) in the Ksheersagar (the ocean of milk). The day Lord Vishnu woke up after four months is called Prabodhini Ekadashi, which falls on Karthika month. This Ekadashi marks the beginning of the Chaturmas period, the four months of the rainy season. However, since the lord sleeps for four months, no auspicious activities are done during this period.

According to Vaman Purana, Bali, the king of asuras, had taken over the authority of the three worlds. A concerned Indra God sought help from Lord Vishnu, who went to Bali disguised as a Brahmin. After tricking him, he freed the three worlds from his authority. However, Vishnu, who was happy with Bali's services, offered him a wish. As desired by him, Vishnu went to live with Bali in 'patal'. Goddess Lakshmi then disguised herself as an ordinary woman and went to Bali and made him her brother by tying a rakhi. As a gift, she asked Bali to release Lord Vishnu. So, this has been the Shayani Ekadashi katha.

Shayani Ekadashi is more popular in Maharashtra, where it is called Ashadi Ekadashi. Devotees start the day by taking a holy dip in the river. They install the idol of Lord Vishnu and decorate it with flowers, mango leaves, and yellow clothes. Special sweets are made and offered to Lord Vishnu. The devotees also observe strict fasting on this day.

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