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Ekadashi, a day dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is observed twice a month in the Hindu calendar. It is believed that observing a fast on Ekadashi can bring about spiritual purification and help in seeking blessings from the divine. The significance of Ekadashi lies in abstaining from grains and lentils, performing prayers, meditation, and engaging in charitable activities.

In September 2023, there are two Ekadashi dates that devotees can observe with reverence and devotion. Let’s delve into the details of these auspicious days and understand their significance:

Parsva Ekadashi: 9th September 2023

Parsva Ekadashi, also known as Parivartini Ekadashi, marks the beginning of the Chaturmas period. It is believed that on this day, Lord Vishnu transitions from his yoga nidra (divine slumber) and turns to the other side. Devotees observe fasting and offer prayers to seek the divine blessings of Lord Vishnu.

Rituals to observe on Parsva Ekadashi:
– Wake up early in the morning and take a bath.
– Perform puja to Lord Vishnu with incense, lamps, and flowers.
– Recite Vishnu Sahasranama and other Vishnu mantras.
– Avoid consuming grains and lentils during the fast.

Indira Ekadashi: 23rd September 2023

Indira Ekadashi falls in the waxing phase of the moon in the month of Ashwin. It is believed that observing a fast on this day can absolve one from their sins and grant them prosperity and happiness. Devotees worship Lord Vishnu with utmost devotion and seek his blessings for a fulfilling life.

Rituals to observe on Indira Ekadashi:
– Bathe early in the morning and wear clean clothes.
– Offer prayers to Lord Vishnu with flowers and fruits.
– Chant Vishnu mantras throughout the day.
– Engage in charity by feeding the underprivileged.

Significance of Observing Ekadashi:

Observing Ekadashi is considered highly auspicious in Hinduism for various reasons:
Spiritual purification: Fasting on Ekadashi is believed to cleanse the mind, body, and soul of impurities.
Seeking blessings: Devotees fast and pray on Ekadashi to seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu for a prosperous life.
Discipline: Observing a fast on Ekadashi instills a sense of discipline and self-control among individuals.
Charity: Many devotees engage in charitable activities on Ekadashi to help the needy and less fortunate.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) about Ekadashi:

  1. Can pregnant women observe Ekadashi fasts?
  2. Pregnant women are exempt from fasting on Ekadashi. They can instead opt for a fruit diet and offer prayers to Lord Vishnu.

  3. What can one eat during Ekadashi fasting?

  4. Fruits, nuts, milk products, and specific grains like Singhara (water chestnut) flour are usually consumed during Ekadashi fasting.

  5. Is it necessary to stay awake all night on Ekadashi?

  6. While staying awake all night (Ekadashi jagran) is considered meritorious, it is not mandatory for all devotees.

  7. Can Ekadashi fasting be broken with regular food?

  8. It is customary to break the Ekadashi fast with specific foods like sabudana khichdi or fruits to maintain the sanctity of the fast.

  9. What if one unintentionally breaks the Ekadashi fast?

  10. If the fast is broken unintentionally, the devotee can continue the fast till the next day or compensate by fasting on a future Ekadashi.

Ekadashi holds a special place in the hearts of millions of devotees who observe it with utmost faith and devotion. It is not just a day of fasting but an opportunity to connect with the divine and seek spiritual upliftment. May the blessings of Lord Vishnu shower upon all those who observe Ekadashi with sincerity and devotion.

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