Ekadashi, or the 11th day in the dark fortnight of a month, is always considered to be holy to the people of the Hindu Community. The 11th day of the Krishna Paksha in the month of Pausha is celebrated as the Saphala Ekadashi, according to the Hindu calendar.
Ekadashi is a day that is considered holy by the Hindus who worship Lord Maha Vishnu. According to the Gregorian calendar, Saphala Ekadashi falls on the 13th of December 2017. This year, the Saphala Ekadashi marks the occasion of being the last Ekadashi of the year 2017.
The muhurt of the Saphala Ekadashi Vrat is as follows:
Parana Time on the 14th: 13:28 to 15:45
End time of Hari Vasara on the Parana Day: 09:51
Ekadashi Tithi Begins at 2:08 on 13th Dec, 2017
Ekadashi Tithi Ends at 3:25 on 14th Dec, 2017
Ekadashi in itself is considered holy. Fasting and performing poojas on any of the Ekadashi days is considered to be of great merit. It is believed that anyone who fasts and worships Lord Maha Vishnu on the Ekadashi day will be blessed with Moksha and he will be relieved of all his sins.
There are certain things that you may have to keep in mind to perform the Saphala Ekadashi Vrat and pooja successfully. Read on to learn the way to perform the Vrat and pooja for Saphala Ekadashi. We shall also discuss about the significance of Saphala Ekadashi and the benefits of observing it.
The Significance Of Observing Saphala Ekadashi
Saphala Ekadashi removes and destroys all the sins accumulated through a man's lifetime. The Saphala Ekadashi day and its significance find mention in the Brahmanda Purana. The mention appears as a conversation between Yudhishtara and Dharmaraja (Yama Dev).
The word 'Saphala' means success and true to its name, the Saphala Ekadashi bestows success on its observers.
It is believed that the Saphala Ekadashi vrat and pooja when performed correctly, can help transform any bad luck into auspicious fortune. Vrat and pooja on the day of Saphala Ekadashi helps attain inner peace and satisfaction.
It is also believed that observing the Saphala Ekadashi, the devotee can turn all of his bad luck into good fortune. All the dreams and desires of the devotee are fulfilled on correctly observing the Sphala Ekadashi with full faith and sincerity.
The Benefits Of Observing Saphala Ekadashi Vrat
The scriptures say that not even a 1000 Ashvamedha yagnyas or Rajasuya yagas can even match the glory of observing the Saphala Ekadashi day.
It is said that even a dip in the holy river Ganges (Ganga) is not as meritorious as observing the Saphala Ekadashi Vrat.
One reaps more benefits from performing a thousand years of austerities and hard tapas.
One of the most holy things to do in Hinduism is to take a bath in the Kurukshetra Teertha Sthan at the time of the solar eclipse or 'sooryagrahan'. Observing the Saphala Ekadashi Vrat is considered much holier than it.
Performing the Saphala Ekadashi Vrat helps in removing the sins gathered by many generations. It makes the heart of the observer pure and dear to Lord Maha Vishnu. If done correctly and with full devotion, it gives the devotees the ultimate escape from the cycle of birth and death.
The Procedure (Vidhi) Of Performing The Saphala Ekadashi Vrat
As mentioned earlier, the Saphala Ekadashi Vrat is dedicated to Lord Maha Vishnu. The proceedings of the Vrat start from the day of Dashami.
The general rules of observing any fast should be followed on the Dashami day. The rules are not to consume non-veg food and to stick to sattvik food. The devotee should wake up early and clean himself and the place of his dwelling.
In addition, the devotee must not have food with salt added to it. Vessels made up of copper are not to be used during the duration of the Saphala Ekadashi Vrat. On the night of Dashami, one should consume only one light meal.
The next day, on the Ekadashi day, the devotee must rise early in the morning and must go through his daily ablutions. After taking a bath, he must make a mental commitment (Sankalpa) to perform the Saphala Ekadashi Vrat.
He must then go to the area of worship. The devotee must now worship Lord Maha Vishnu. Offer the lord light of the lamp, incense, flowers, fruits and any kind of dishes prepared for the Bhog. Offer the lord some Panchamrit.
The devotee must take care not to sleep during the day time of the Ekadashi day. In the night, the devotee must meditate on the name of Lord Maha Vishnu and stay awake all night (Jagaran).
On the Dwadashi day, the devotee should cleanse himself. Then, the devotee should donate food, grains and wealth to poor Brahmans as dakshina.
The Saphala Ekadashi Vrat Katha
Once upon a time, there lived a king named Mahishman. He had many sons, the eldest was called Lumpaka. Lumpaka was evil and very arrogant.
He would practice bad habits and trouble the people. He would spend his father's money to support his bad and evil ways. When the king came to know about this, he was very angry and upset. He banished Lumpaka from his kingdom.
Lumpaka knew only bad deeds and without his father's support, he had lost his means to live. To support himself, he decided to rob people and commit theft in his father's kingdom. He started living in a forest nearby and never spared anyone who passed through it.
He lived under a holy banyan tree which also had an idol of Lord Maha Vishnu underneath it. Lumbaka never showed it any devotion. He ate meat and lived following his bad ways.
Lumpaka fell ill one day. This day was incidentally a couple of days before the Saphala Ekadashi. As he was ill, he could not go out looking for food. He spent the two days in fasting. It was on the day of the Saphala Ekadashi that his eyes fell on Lord Maha Vishnu's idol.
He prayed for the first time with full faith and sincerity to help him. He spent the day in worship, sleeplessly. He even fasted, even though it was unintentional.
Even if his deeds were unintentional, Lord Maha Vishnu became pleased with him and blessed him. The Lord asked him to return to his kingdom and live virtuously. When he went back to the kingdom, his father welcomed him with open arms.
When the king became old, he crowned Lumbaka the king and went to the forest to spend the rest of his days. Lumpaka became a kind and just ruler. He ruled his subjects well and lived happily for the rest of his long life.
Mantra To Chant On Saphala Ekadashi
Uthishta, Uthishta, Govinda Uthishta Garudadhwaja
Do abhisheka to Lord Maha Vishnu using a Dakshinavarti conch. Yellow flowers and sweets can be offered to the Lord. Offer water to the holy banyan tree and perform three circumambulations of it. After the sun goes down, offer water to the Tulsi plant. Light a lamp filled with oil before the Tulsi plant.