Courtesy: hindu-blog.com

Ekadashi is mentioned in a number of Puranas. It is associated with Lord Vishnu and ‘Haribhakti Vilas’ talks in detail about its importance. Today, in Hindu religion Ekadasi has come to mean a day to fast. It falls on the 11th day of every lunar fortnight and thus there are two Ekadashi in a month. It is also known as ‘Harivasara’ and ‘Hari din.’ Several Puranas including Padma Purana and Skanda Purana detail about the significance of Ekadeshi.

How to fast on Ekadashi?

How to observe ‘Ekadashi’ is clearly mentioned in ‘Harivasara.’ In modern day, many people will find it difficult to observe it in its entire strictness. But there are a large number of people who observe it. And there are numerous observations on what food one can have? There are also regional variations to the way in which the Ekadasi is observed.

The preparation starts on Dasami day – a day before Ekadashi. The person observing Ekadashi should wake up early in the morning on Dasami day and should take bath and perform other daily routines. The person should mentally prepare for the Ekadashi. He/She should only have one meal on the Dasami day and should avoid salt. Alcohol, non-vegetarian food and sex should be avoided. Some Puranas say ‘dal’ and ‘honey’ should be avoided on Dasami day.

The next day, that is the Ekadashi day, is meant for total fasting. Praying to Vishnu is the order of the day. Some people avoid sleep during Ekadashi night and they hear religious discourses and perform ‘Arati.’ But many people today will not be able to stay awake the entire night due to work pressure etc.

The next day on Dwadasi – that is the day after Ekadeshi – the same routine done on Dasami is followed. Overeating should be avoided on Dwadasi day. Puranas state that one should not take pride in observing Ekadashi. The food on Dwadasi should be cooked in one’s house.

It is good to go on fast once in a while as it recuperates the body. Ekadashi observance cleans our body and the digestive organs get much needed rest.

Those people suffering from ailments and on medications should take the advice of a doctor before fasting. Never torture your body in the name of religion. There is nothing wrong in having fruits or milk. And you can bring a certain amount of flexibility in the way it is observed.

Story 1:

The epic puranas state that Lord Vishnu is the creator of both good and bad. For bad he has created “Papapurusha” with all kinds of evils embedded in him and when at the wish of LORD VISHNU papapurusha set in moving all over the universe and he was not allowed anywhere to take shelter. Having got tired, he had approached Lord Vishnu and pleaded that despite he being created by none other than the LORD VISHNU, why is he (papapurusha) being denied of acceptance in the Universe. At this the all compassionate Lord Vishnu has assured him a solution whereby on EKAADASHI (lunar day, coming twice in every lunar month), papapurusha could enter into any grains and pulses and rest for that day and keep moving on other days. Ekaadashi is the most dear day for the Lord Vishnu. Hence in order to avoid getting evils entering into our system, we humans should avoid eating any grain or pulse related foods and keep chanting devotional discourse of the Lord Vishnu which will make the Human free of evils entering him and he will reach the ultimate abode of LORD VISHNU.

Story 2:

Ekadashi is the control of the 11 Senses,
Five karma-indriyas (‘Conative senses’. The senses through which one can perform actions.)
1. Speech (voice) 2. Handling (hands) 3. Walking (feet) 4. Excretion (anus) 5. Procreation (genitals)
Five gnyan-indriya (‘Cognitive sense’, through which one can ‘know’)
1. Hearing (ears) 2. Touch (skin) 3. Sight (eyes) 4. Taste (tongue) 5. Smell (nose)
Eleventh is Mind & is the real ekadashi.

“The significance of the observance of the Ekadashi Vrata is like this. In ancient times, Lord Narayan was resting, by drawing inward his ten Indriyas and the mind. Mur Danav – a demon, and the son of Nadi Jangh, came there and challenged the Lord to enter into a Duel with him. In the meantime, a young damsel appeared there, evolved out of the Ekadash Indriyas of the Lord. Seeing the charms of the damsel, the demon Mur Danav was drawn to her and proposed to her. With a prompt gesture, the damsel said, `I have taken a vow that whosoever shall defeat me in straight fight shall marry me.’ The demon – Mur Danav, therefore, accepted the challenge and entered into a duel with her. The damsel killed the demon with a dagger. Lord Narayan, pleased at the destruction of the demon by the damsel, told her to ask a boon. The damsel then said, ‘Since I am evolved out of your Ekadash Indriyas, my name is Edadashi. I am wedded to Tapa. I therefore desire that people should observe the Ekadashi Vrata and should restrain their Edadash Indriyas from indulging in their respective sense objects.’ Hearing the words of the damsel, Lord Narayan granted her the boon. This is the story of Ekadashi Vrata narrated in the Purana.

The Dharmshastras also specified that on the Ekadashi Day one should not allow carnal desires, anger, covetousness and other baser instincts to generate within, and should physically also avoid enjoyment of the Panchvishayas. On the Ekadashi day, one should observe a fast and avoid taking food. Also the Ekadash Indriyas should be restained from stratching to their respective sense objects. As the Pranas are sustained by food, the cognitive organs such as eyes, ears, touch, taste and smell have their food in their respective sense objects. The control over Ekadash Indriyas by checking their rampancy is the correct method accroding to Shastras for observing the Ekadashi Vrata. One who remains cautious and rejects the calls of the Ekadash Indriyas, invites the grace of God. But mere avoidance of the food on that day should not be termed as a fast, or the observance of Ekadashi Vrata. The released souls of Shwet–dweep are known as Niranna, as thus do not allow their Ekadash Indriyas to indulge in their respective sense objects. We should also cultivate such desire to remain without such food that nourishes the Ekadash Indriyas, and should have courage to attain that state of a Niranna Mukta.

Courtesy: Vijaya karnataka

ಒಂದು ಮಾಸದಲ್ಲಿ (ತಿಂಗಳಲ್ಲಿ) ಎರಡು ಏಕಾದಶಿ ಬರುತ್ತದೆ. ಒಂದು ಶುಕ್ಲ ಪಕ್ಷದಲ್ಲಿ ಮತ್ತೊಂದು ಕೃಷ್ಣಪಕ್ಷದಲ್ಲಿ. ಏಕಾದಶಿ ಎಂದರೆ ಹನ್ನೊಂದು ಎಂದು. ಈ ಹನ್ನೊಂದು ಯಾವುದು ಎಂದರೆ 5 ಕರ್ಮೇಂದ್ರಿಯ, 5 ಜ್ಞಾನೇಂದ್ರಿಯ ಮತ್ತು ಮನಸು. ಧರ್ಮ, ಕರ್ಮ, ಜ್ಞಾನ ಸಾಧನ ಕರಣಗಳಿಂದ ಭಗವತ್ ಚಿಂತನೆಗೆ ತೊಡಗಿಸುವ ಕ್ರಿಯೆ ಏಕಾದಶಿ. ಈ ಏಕಾದಶಿಗೆ ಸಾಕ್ಷಾತ್ ಶ್ರೀ ವಿಷ್ಣುವೇ ಅಭಿಮಾನಿ ದೇವರು. ಶ್ರೀ ವಿಷ್ಣು ಎಂಬ ಪದಕ್ಕೆ ಎಲ್ಲವನ್ನೂ ವ್ಯಾಪಿಸಿಕೊಂಡಿರುವನು ಮತ್ತು ಎಲ್ಲದರಲ್ಲೂ ಅಂತರ್ಗತನಾಗಿರುವನು ಎಂದು ವಿಶೇಷ ಅರ್ಥವಿದೆ. ಶ್ರೀ ವಿಷ್ಣುವಿಗೆ ಅನ್ವಯವಾಗುವ ಜನಪ್ರಿಯವಾಗಿ ಮತ್ತೊಂದು ಹೆಸರು ನಾರಾಯಣ. ನಾ-ಎಂದರೆ ಕಾರಣ ರೂಪ ಜಲದ ಮೇಲೆ ನಿವಾಸವನ್ನು ಕಲ್ಪಿಸಿಕೊಂಡಿರುವನು . ರಾ- ಎಂದರೆ ಎಲ್ಲ ಮಾನವ ಜೀವಿಗಳೂ ನೆಲೆಗೊಳ್ಳುವ ಸ್ಥಾನ. ಯ-ಎಂದರೆ ಎಲ್ಲರ ಹೃದಯದಲ್ಲಿ ವಾಸಿಸುವವನು. ಣ-ಎಂದರೆ ಮಾನವ ಕೋಟಿಯ ಅಂತಿಮ ಗಮ್ಯಸ್ಥಾನ.

ಈ ನಾರಾಯಣ ಜಪ ಏಕಾದಶಿ ದಿನ ನಿರಂತರವಾಗಿ ಜಪಿಸಿದರೆ ಅಂತ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ವೈಕುಂಠ ಸೇರಬಹುದು ಎಂದು ವಿಷ್ಣು ಪುರಾಣದಲ್ಲಿದೆ. ವಿಷ್ಣುವಿಗೆ 4 ಕೈಗಳು ಇವೆ. ಶಂಖ, ಚಕ್ರ, ಗದೆ ಮತ್ತು ಪದ್ಮ ಇದೆ. ಶಂಖವು ಪಂಚಭೂತಗಳನ್ನು ಸೂಚಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಚಕ್ರವು ಸಮಸ್ತ ಚಿತ್ತಗಳನ್ನು ಗದೆಯು ಸಮಸ್ತ ಬುದ್ಧಿಗಳ ದ್ಯೋತಕ ಮತ್ತು ಪದ್ಮವು ಸೃಷ್ಟಿಸಲ್ಪಡುವ ಪ್ರಪಂಚದ ಸಂಕೇತ. ಈ ವಿಷ್ಣುವು ಸ್ಥಿತಿಕಾರನು ಆಗಿರುವನು. ಧರ್ಮವು ಇಳಿಮುಖವಾಗಿ ಅಧರ್ಮವು ತಾಂಡವವಾಡುತ್ತಿರುವಾಗ ಧರ್ಮವನ್ನು ಉದ್ಧರಿಸಲು ವಿಷ್ಣುವು ದೇಹದಾರಿಯಾಗಿ ಅವತರಿಸುತ್ತಾನೆ. ಈತನದು ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಗಿ 10 ಅವತಾರಗಳಿವೆ. ಮತ್ಸ್ಯ, ಕೂರ್ಮ, ವರಾಹಾ, ನರಸಿಂಹ, ವಾಮನ, ಪರಶುರಾಮ, ಶ್ರೀರಾಮ, ಚೌತಾವತಾರ, ಶ್ರೀಕೃಷ್ಣ ಮತ್ತು ಕಲ್ಕಿ.

ಉಪ ಎಂದರೆ ಹತ್ತಿರ. ವಾಸ ಎಂದರೆ ಇರುವುದು ಎಂದು. ಪಂಚೇಂದ್ರಿಯಗಳನ್ನು ಹತೋಟಿಯಲ್ಲಿಟ್ಟುಕೊಂಡು ಕೆಟ್ಟ ಯೋಚನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಮಾಡದೆ ಭಗವಂತನ ಸಮೀಪ ಇರುವುದು. ಆ ಸಮಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಧ್ಯಾನ, ಭಜನೆ, ವಿಷ್ಣು ಸಹಸ್ರನಾಮ ಪಠಣ ಮಾಡಬೇಕು. ಉಪವಾಸ ಮಾಡುವುದರಿಂದ ಶಾಂತಿ, ತಾಳ್ಮೆ ಸಿಗುವುದು. ರಕ್ತದೊತ್ತಡ, ರಕ್ತಹೀನತೆ ಇನ್ನೂ ಅನೇಕ ರೋಗ ರುಜಿನ ಇದ್ದರೆ ಗುಣವಾಗುವುದು.

ಯಾರ ಜಾತಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಬುಧಗ್ರಹವು ನೀಚ ಸ್ಥಾನದಲ್ಲಿದ್ದರೆ, ಪಾಪ ಗ್ರಹಗಳ ಜತೆಯಲ್ಲಿದ್ದರೆ ಪಾಪಗ್ರಹಗಳ ದೃಷ್ಟಿಗೆ ಒಳಗಾಗಿದ್ದರೆ ಅಂಥವರು ಏಕಾದಶಿ ದಿನ ವಿಷ್ಣು ಸಹಸ್ರನಾಮವನ್ನು ಪಠಿಸಿದರೆ ಬುಧಗ್ರಹದಿಂದ ಆಗುವ ದುಷ್ಪರಿಣಾಮ ಕಡಿಮೆ ಆಗುವುದು. ಹೊಟ್ಟೆಗೆ ಸಂಬಂಧ ಪಟ್ಟ ತೊಂದರೆ ಇರುವರು, ದೇಹದ ತೂಕ ಹೆಚ್ಚಿಗೆ ಇರುವವರು, ಮನಸ್ಸಿಗೆ ನೆಮ್ಮದಿ ಇಲ್ಲದವರು ಏಕಾದಶಿ ಉಪವಾಸ ಮಾಡಿದರೆ ಉತ್ತಮವಾದ ಆರೋಗ್ಯ ಪಡೆಯಬಹುದು ಹಾಗೂ ಏಕಾದಶಿ ದಿನ ಮೌನ ಆಚರಿಸಿದರೆ ಇನ್ನೂ ಉತ್ತಮ ಫಲ ಸಿಗುವುದು. ಏಕಾದಶಿ ವ್ರತವನ್ನು ವಸಿಷ್ಠರು, ದೇವಾನು ದೇವತೆಗಳು, ಋಷಿಮುನಿಗಳು, ಆಚಾರ್ಯತ್ರಯರು ಹಾಗೂ ದಾಸ ಶ್ರೇಷ್ಠರು ಶ್ರದ್ಧಾ ಭಕ್ತಿಯಿಂದ ಆಚರಿಸಿ ಮೋಕ್ಷವನ್ನು ಪಡೆದಿರುವರು.

ಏಕಾದಶಿಯ ಮಹಾತ್ಮೆ
ಏಕಾದಶಿ ಎನ್ನುವ ದೇವಿಯು ವಿಷ್ಣುವಿನಿಂದ ಉದ್ಭವಳಾಗಿ ‘ಮುರ’ ಎನ್ನುವ ರಾಕ್ಷಸನನ್ನು ಸಂಹರಿಸಲು ಶ್ರೀವಿಷ್ಣುವಿಗೆ ಸಹಾಯ ಮಾಡುತ್ತಾಳೆ. ಇದರಿಂದ ಸಂಪ್ರೀತನಾದ ವಿಷ್ಣುವು ಏನಾದರು ವರ ಕೇಳು ಎಂದಾಗ ಏಕಾದಶಿ ದಿನ ಯಾರು ನಿನ್ನನ್ನು (ಉಪವಾಸದಲ್ಲಿದ್ದು) ನಿಯಮ ಬದ್ಧವಾಗಿ ಪೂಜಿಸುತ್ತಾರೋ ಅವರು ಪಾಪ ಪರಿಹರಿಸಿ ಮೋಕ್ಷವನ್ನು ಕರುಣಿಸು ಎಂದು ಏಕಾದಶಿ ದೇವಿಯು ವರವನ್ನು ಕೇಳುತ್ತಾಳೆ. ವಿಷ್ಣುವು ಅದರಂತೆ ಆಗಲಿ ಎಂದು ವರವನ್ನು ನೀಡುತ್ತಾನೆ.


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