Devshayani Ekadashi is one of the auspicious ritual dedicated to worship Lord Vishnu. The eleventh day of the lunar calendar which falls during the Shukla Paksha of the Ashada month is called Devshayani Ekadashi. This holy day comes just after the world-famous Jagannath Rathyatra and falls in June or July, as per the English calendar. According to legends from sacred scriptures, soon after the Devshayani Ekadashi, Lord Vishnu goes into a deep sleep (Yoga Nidra) for four months and wakes up only on Prabodhini Ekadashi. This four month’s sacred period is known as ‘Chaturmas’, during which no auspicious rituals or events such as weddings, thread ceremony, sanskars are scheduled.
Devotees living in different parts of India celebrate this auspicious ritual with different names, such as Devshayani Ekadashi, Ashada Ekadashi, Hari Sayan Ekadashi, Maha Ekadashi, Shayana Ekadashi, Tholi Ekadashi, Pedda Ekadashi, Harivasara Ekadashi, and Padma Ekadashi. They observe fast from sunrise to sunset to please Lord Vishnu and to receive His divine blessings.
Procedure for Devshayani Ekadashi –
On this holy day, devotees wake up before the sunrise and take a holy bath. After offering water to the Sun God and Tulsi plant, they worship the images/idols of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi while observing fast. During the fast, the observers abstain from all grains, beans, cereals, oil, and certain vegetables. Most of the devotees visit the temple of Lord Vishnu. They sing mantras and prayers in front of the deity. One can have a one-time meal in the afternoon if he/she is unable to observe a complete fast. Feeding to a poor person and donating to a Brahmin is believed to be auspicious on this day.
Mantras to chant on this day –
- Om Namo Bhagavate Vaasudevaaya.
One can chant this mantra 108 times for peace of mind.
- Vishnu Sahasranama
As per sacred texts, chanting of this manta destroys all accumulated sins and opens up the door for Vishnu Lok.
Benefits and Significance-
- Observing fast on this day enables you to please Lord Vishnu and receive his divine blessings. Like other Ekadashi’s this auspicious day also helps to control the fluctuating mind and drives the mind from worldly desires to a satisfactory life.
- It fulfills all your wishes with His divine blessings and provides energy to face every challenge of day to day life.
- Apart from cleansing the body, the Vrat also strengthens the mind to clear all negative and evil thoughts.
According to mythology, this story begins with a discussion between Lord Krishna (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and King Yudhishthira in Dwapara Yuga). There was a noble king named Mandata (an ancestor of Lord Rama) in Ayodhya who ruled a highly pious and prosperous kingdom. He was immensely truthful and benevolent and engaged with yagnas, rituals, donations, and other auspicious deeds. However, his kingdom was highly affected due to a lack of rains for over three years. As per the guidelines of his ministers and priests, he observed several vrats, pujas, homes, without getting a fruitful result. Finally, he left his kingdom and set out on a journey to the forest to take advice and blessings from a sage to solve the problem of his country. After the rigorous journey, at last, he met the divine Sage Angira who guided him to observe the Devshayani Ekadashi falling during the Shukla Paksha of the Ashada month. King Mandata returned to his kingdom and observed the vrat along with family members, as per the guidelines of Sage Angira. As expected, his kingdom received a heavy downpour and his kingdom was regained its lost glory and merit.
Devshayani Ekadashi is an auspicious day for Hindus living all over the world. On this day devotees worship the Supreme Lord Vishnu with a complete 24 hours fast or a partial fast. They chant hymns, prayers, mantras, and Vishnu Sahasranama with a pure heart to please the Lord and to receive His graceful blessing. According to Puranas and sacred spiritual books, observing fast on this day helps a devotee to purify his mind and to live a blissful life.