Friday, 24 May, 2024

Religious significance of Ekadashi


By Aashish Mishra
Kathmandu, Nov. 27: Many Hindus across the country observed Haribodhani Ekadashi and Tulsi (basil plant) wedding on Thursday.
According to astrologer Bheem Joshi, Haribodhani Ekadashi is the day Lord Bishnu wakes up from his four-month-long slumber to preside over the religious rites across the universe. Harishayani Ekadashi, ‘Hari’ being a name for Bishnu and ‘Shayan’ meaning sleeping, is the day Bishnu goes to sleep and Haribodhani Ekadashi is the day he wakes up.
Haribodhani Ekadashi is one of 24 Ekadashis that are celebrated round the Nepali year. “There are two Ekadashis in a month so there are 24 Ekadashis in 12 months,” Joshi said, adding, “Each Ekadashi has its own significance and fasting on these days is believed to yield different benefits.”
Fasting on Baruthini and Mohini Ekadashi, which fall in the month of Baisakh, is believed to absolve a person of his or her sins and make their conjugal life happy and prosperous. Similarly, fasting on Apara and Nirjala Ekadashi in Jestha will give a person immense happiness and fulfil all their wishes, Joshi informed. Ashad has Yogini and Harishayani Ekadashi and observing them will make one’s family life peaceful.
Shrawan has Kamika and Putrada Ekadashi. People believe that celebrating Kamika Ekadashi will help them attain salvation and prevent rebirth as lesser beings (Kuyoni). Likewise, people celebrate Putrada Ekadashi for the success and happiness of their children.
Joshi explained that Bhadra’s Ekadashis are called Aja and Pariwartini. Individuals who fast on Aja Ekadashi do so to resolve any crisis that may have befallen their wards and those who fast on Pariwartini Ekadashi seek to get rid of their sorrows.
Indira and Papankusha Ekadashi fall in Ashwin. As Joshi described, one fasts on Indira Ekadashi for the betterment of one’s ancestors and on Papankusha to cleanse the blemish of any intentional and unintentional lapses. In Kartik, there are Rama Ekadashi, believed to give joy and comfort, and Haribodhani Ekadashi. In Mangsir, there are Utpatika and Mokshada Ekadashi and observing them is believed to be equal to conducting thousands of Bajpeya and Ashwamedh Yagyas. Poush has Safala and Putrada Ekadashi which give success and children respectively.
Sattila Ekadashi falls in Magh. “Fasting on this day helps overcome misfortunes,” Joshi said. Along with Sattila, Jaya Ekadashi also falls in Magh. “This Ekadashi removes sins,” Joshi added.
Falgun also has two Ekadashis - Bijaya and Amalaki. Bijaya helps defeat enemies and Amalaki helps cure diseases.
Lastly, the Ekadashis of Chaitra are Kamada and Paapmochani.
Fasting on Kamada Ekadashi is believed to ward off demons and fasting on Paapmochani is considered to help alleviate or mitigate the sin accumulated from wrongful deeds, Joshi said.
“However, every three years, an additional month Adhik Maas gets added to the calendar. This month also has two Ekadashis and hence, the year gets 26 Ekadashis,” Joshi detailed.