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Ekadashi is one of the most significant days in the Hindu calendar as per astrology. Since Lord Vishnu is one of the most popular deities, he as well as all other of his forms are worshipped on this day. It is said that this day is significant for performing puja, making donations, as well as taking holy bath. All those things which are dear to Lord Vishnu can be undertaken on this day.
Along with this, there are some rituals which should never be done on this day. Such as, one should not eat rice, cut hair or cut nails on this day. Some people also believe that ladies should also not wash their hair on this day. Putrada Ekadashi is one of these Ekadashis.
Putrada Ekadashi 2019
Putrada Ekadashi 2019 will be observed on 17 January. Though all the Ekadashis are significant, the one known as Putrada Ekadashi is believed to bless the devotees with the birth of a boychild. Once Yudhishthir asked Lord Krishna about the importance of Putrada Ekadashi. Lord Krishna narrated to him the importance, benefits as well as the story of this Ekadashi. He said, ''It is Putrada Ekadashi. No other Ekadashi is equivalent to Putrada Ekadashi in terms of virtue and benefits. The story of this Ekadashi is thus.''
Suketu, The King Of Bhadravati
Once there lived a king named Suketu who ruled the kingdom of Bhadravati, with his wife, Shaivya. Though they possessed all the comforts and luxuries of life, not having a child was still a big disappointment for them. They often worried over the matter and would remain tense.
They would worry as to who would perform the ritual of monthly offerings to ancestors after the king and the queen. The king also worried about who should he hand over the kingdom to.
People used to say that the one who has seen his son has lived a truly prosperous life. The one who has met his son gets all forms of virtues in and after life. They believed that life was worthless for the one who does not have a son. All this bothered the king day and night.
The King Reached A Forest
In despair, the king once decided to kill himself. However, realizing that it was a sin, he dropped the idea. While pondering about these thoughts, he wandered into a forest. Mesmerized by the beauty and the peace there, the king went on wandering. He loved the occasional chirping of the birds amidst the tranquility of the place. After a while, the king felt thirsty and started looking for a river. At some distance he found a river, but as he moved towards it, he heard the footsteps of some men approaching. He looked back and found that they were some sages who seemed to be going towards an ashrama (cottage for saints). As the king saw them, he could sense his intuitions which said that the sages had some divine association.
The King Meets A Group Of Sages
The king wasted no moment and went down on his knees as a symbol of respect. Pleased to see a king paying respect to them, the sages were pleased. They asked the purpose of the king coming to the forest all alone. The king explained the reason of his despair and burst into tears. One of the sages pitied him and told that he was pleased with the king and would fulfil his wish. To this the king said that the only thing he wanted to know was who the sages were and why they had come to the forest. From them he came to know that they were Vishvadevas, a category of sages who had come to take bath in the river on Putrada Ekadashi. They further said that observing a fast on Putrada Ekadashi could bless a devotee with a child.
The King Was Blessed With A Boy
The king, having known this, decided to observe the fast. He thanked the sages, took leave from them and reached the palace soon. He and his wife both observed the fast and offered prayers to Lord Vishnu. The same year, the couple was blessed with a baby boy. Thus, Putrada Ekadashi fulfilled their desire. In fact, just listening or narrating the story brings the blessings of Lord Vishnu.