Mohini Ekadashi is the day when Lord Vishnu had taken the form of Mohini, his only female avatar. It is observed every year on the eleventh day during Shukla Paksh in the month of Vaishakh. This year, the day will be celebrated on the 26th of April, according to the Gregorian Calender.
There is a provision to observe fasts on this day. Keeping a day-long fast brings fortune and prosperity in the devotee's life. The day will be even more auspicious this yeark, as it falls on a Thursday, which is already dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Mohini Ekadashi fast begins with a day before, that is on the tenth day known as Dashmi. The devotee must abstain from eating anything right after the setting of the Sun, on Dashmi Tithi. He should set his bedding on the floor itself and sleep on the floor. Next, he must wake up early and take a bath during the Brahma Muhurat. The Brahma Muhurat is the time before the sunrise. Generally, the timings are from 4:00 AM to 6:00 AM. Then, the performing of the puja must be done.
The devotee must not eat anything for the whole day, and should break the fast with milk after the sunrise, the next day. There is a strict prohibition from eating grains, especially rice, on the day of Ekadashi. This rule has to be maintained by those as well who are not observing the fast.
Though nothing has to be eaten the whole day and the fast is to be broken the next morning, some people may also keep the fast by eating fruits once during the day.
An all night vigil has to be maintained by the devotees. It is even better if the whole family can do so. Our prayers reach the deity faster this way.
It is believed that no Ekadashi vrat is completed without having made some donations. Therefore, one must donate things of use among the poor and the needy as per one's ability.
After having cleaned the house and having taken bath early during the Brahma Muhurat, the devotee has to establish the idol of Lord Vishnu. Purify the idol as well as the puja place, by sprinkling some drops of Gangajal. Then, offer the items kept in the puja tray. Lord Vishnu is worshiped with flowers, sesame seeds, sandalwood paste, dhoop, deep, akshat, naivedya, panchamrit, coconut and sweets. Tulsi(basil) is very dear to Lord Vishnu. So do not forget to offer Tulsi too.
For those whose marriage is getting delayed, they must worship the deity with yellow-coloured flowers and must themselves also wear yellow-coloured clothes. Vishnu Sahasranaam, Vishnu Bhajans can be recited, concluding with the Aarti. This is followed by distributing the prasad among the devotees.
Lord Vishnu is the establisher of prosperity and wellness. By observing this fast, he will grant all the wishes of his devotees.
Benefits Of Observing This Fast
The benefits accrued to the devotee by observing this fast were narrated to Lord Ram by Guru Vasishta. Also, Lord Krishna had told about the benefits to Yudhishtir, the eldest among the Pandavas. The benefits are also mentioned in the Surya Purana.
By observing this fast, a person gets Punya more than that earned by conducting pilgrimages and performing holy yagnas. He becomes free from the cycle of birth and death and achieves salvation.
Katha Behind Mohini Ekadashi
Mohini Ekadashi is the day when Lord Vishnu took his first female form, incarnated as Mohini. During the Samudra Manthan, a fight between the Gods and the Demons took place as to who should drink the Amrit, which could make them immortal.
The best option was that the Gods should drink it and the demons must not be let to do so. It was feared that if the demons drank it, they might become all powerful and attempt to destroy the world with their atrocities. This brought the Gods in a problem.
After having pondered over the issue, they knew that Lord Vishnu was the only one who could help them. They therefore asked him to use his power. Lord Vishnu, is one of the most clever Gods. He knew that it is not physical power that will work, but their weakness that must be caught hold of.
Lord Vishnu then took the form of 'Apsara Mohini'. The literal meaning of the word Mohini is - the one who attracts. This divine appearance of Mohini attracted the demons and took all the attention of the demons, such that the demons did not even realize when she made the Gods drink the divine Amrit, whereas gave plain water to the demons.
That is how the Gods became immortal and the demons lost.
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