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Ekadashi refers to the eleventh day of the fortnight. Since there are two fortnights in a month, there are two Ekadashis as well. These add up to make twenty four Ekadashis in a year. Sometimes there is an extra month in a year as per the Hindu Panchang (calendar). This extra month is known as Adhik Maas or Mal Maas. All the pujas, fasts and festivals observed in this month are believed to be more auspicious.
Adhika Maas, which falls before the Shravana Maas, was observed this year also. The Shravana this year has thirty days, unlike the normal Shravana months that last for twenty eight or twenty nine days. Thirty days in Shravana makes it a rare occurrence and thus more auspicious also, say the astrologers. This year Shravana Shukla Ekadashi will be observed on August 22, 2018.
Why Should You Observe Shravana Shukla Ekadashi?
The Ekadashi of Shravana is even more auspicious. The Ekadashi falling in Shravana is called Shravani Ekadashi. All the Ekadashis are observed for different reasons and are believed to give different benefits to the one who observes it. Every Ekadashi is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
To be blessed with a baby boy:
It is said that Lord Vishnu blesses the observers of Shravana Shukla Ekadashi with a boy child. That is why it is also called Putrada Ekadashi. Therefore observing this fast becomes very important for the married couples. Not just this, the fast can be observed for a good career, health and good life of the children as well.
For good health of the kids:
If your kids are facing problems related to health, then worshipping Lord Vishnu on this day is fruitful. If the baby stays ill most of the times since birth, they should observe the fast and offer food to eleven poor girls. As per the capacity you should give them presents like clothes. Old clothes should not be given to them. Besides these, offer about a fistful of akshat (unbroken grains of rice) on Shiva linga, to get his blessings.
For frequent miscarriages:
Sometimes the baby dies soon after the birth, or a miscarriage occurs. Observing this Ekadashi fast proves to be a remedy for these as well. They should worship a Peepal tree, in the evening. Milk with sugar added in it should be offered to the roots of the Peepal tree, using a silver vessel. Tie a moli (red sacred thread) seven times around the Peepal tree and pray for the good health of the child.
For good career prospects of the children:
For a good career of your child, you must not forget to worship the Shiva family as well. In the temple of Lord Shiva, offer sweets made with dry fruits. Donate ghee in Lord Vishnu' temple.
How To Observe Ekadashi Fast?
Devotees should offer prayers to Lord Vishnu and should not eat anything for the whole day. Perform the parana (breaking the fast) on Dwadashi tithi. After offering prayers to the deity on Dwadashi, they should offer food as well as other items as per the capacity of the person. Ekadashi fast is also be observed by avoiding both food as well as water.
What To Do On Ekadashi?
Taking bath in a holy river is believed to bring prosperity in life besides getting salvation. Offering food to a cow also brings good luck. Observing a whole night vigil and singing hymns and devotional songs also please Lord Vishnu. Making donations on this day is also considered beneficial for the devotees.
What Not To Do On Ekadashi?
Whether one observes the fast or not, one should abstain from eating rice. Women should not wash their hair. Refrain from cutting nails on this day.