Vaikuntha Ekadashi Date 2024, Time and Significance
Vaikuntha Ekadashi, also known as the Eleventh day of Vaikuntha, holds immense significance in the Hindu tradition. This occasion is celebrated by devout Vaishnavas as a unique ekadashi. Interestingly, it coincides with either Mokshada Ekadashi or Putrada Ekadashi. The observance of Vaikuntha Ekadashi takes place on the 11th lunar day during the waxing lunar fortnight of the solar month of Dhanu. It is worth noting that this auspicious day falls between the dates of 16 December and 13 January according to the Gregorian calendar.
Vaikuntha Ekadasi 2024 Date in India: 7th January, Sunday
Vaikuntha Ekadasi 2024 Overview
|Festival Name||Vaikuntha Ekadashi|
|Significance||Vishnu’s victory over Murasura, Opening of the gates of Vaikuntha|
|Celebrations||Temple celebration, rituals|
|Date||dhanu masa, shukla paksha, ekadashi tithi|
Vaikuntha Ekadasi 2024 India Calendar
Celebrate Vaikuntha Ekadasi 2024 with this special India Calendar; featuring a unique design for each month and special cultural highlights.
Legend of Vaikuntha Ekadasi
The tale of Vaikuntha Ekadashi traces back to a captivating legend found within the pages of the Padma Purana. In this enchanting narrative, we encounter Murāsura, an asura whose very existence instilled fear in the devas due to a powerful boon bestowed upon him by Brahma. Desperate for aid, the devas turned to Vishnu, who valiantly engaged in a battle against this formidable asura. Alas, their efforts proved futile, as they were unable to vanquish Murasura. Determined to protect and restore harmony, Vishnu sought refuge in the depths of Simhavati, a mystical cave nestled near Badarikashrama. However, his respite was short-lived, for Murasura relentlessly pursued him. In this dire situation, Vishnu summoned Yogamaya, a goddess birthed from his divine energy, who swiftly defeated the asura. Filled with gratitude, Vishnu bestowed upon the goddess the epithet “Ekadashi” and proclaimed her ability to absolve the sins of all humankind. Thus, the inaugural Ekadashi was born, a Dhanurmasa Shukla Paksha Ekadashi.
In a subsequent tale, we encounter Ambarisha, a devout Vaishnava king hailing from Ayodhya. Unwavering in his commitment to fasting during this auspicious occasion, Ambarisha found himself in a predicament after three days of abstaining from food. The sage Durvasa appeared at the city gates, and although the king welcomed him with utmost respect, Durvasa requested time to engage in his ritualistic ablutions before partaking in the meal. As minutes stretched into hours, Ambarisha faced a difficult decision. Breaking his fast before Durvasa returned would be deemed disrespectful, yet if he did not consume any sustenance before the day concluded, his fasting would be in vain.
In a moment of deliberation, Ambarisha opted to consume a mere sip of water, symbolizing the conclusion of his fast while hoping to avoid offense. However, upon Durvasa’s belated return, the sage was consumed by fury. He plucked a clump of hair from his head and launched it towards the king. To Ambarisha’s fortune, Vishnu’s Sudarshana Chakra intervened, obliterating the clump and pursuing Durvasa. Fleeing in desperation, Durvasa sought solace and protection from Brahma and Shiva, only to be denied refuge by both deities. Ultimately, Durvasa beseeched Vishnu himself for salvation, who revealed that his devotees held the key to his redemption. Consequently, Durvasa humbly sought forgiveness from Ambarisha and was granted salvation.
Another captivating legend tells of Vishnu’s magnanimous act of opening the gates to Vaikuntha, his divine abode, for two defiant asuras. These asuras implored Vishnu for a boon, decreeing that anyone who listens to their tale and witnesses Vishnu emerging from the illustrious Vaikuntha Dvaram would attain the sublime realm of Vaikuntha. As a testament to this tale, temples across India commemorate this day by constructing door-like structures, allowing devotees to pass through and partake in the spiritual journey towards Vaikuntha.
Significance of Vaikuntha Ekadasi
Vaishnavism: On this sacred day, known as ‘Mokshada Ekadashi’, the devout followers of Vishnu, the Vaishnavas, believe that the gateway to Vaikuntha, the divine abode of Vishnu, opens wide. To commemorate this auspicious occasion, various rituals and ceremonies are meticulously organized at Vishnu temples worldwide. These include special prayers from sacred texts like the Vedas, Naalayira Divya Prabandham, and Sri Vaikuntha Gadhyam. The Vaikuntha Dvara Puja, Prakarothsvam (Sri Veli), Oonjal Seva (swing pooja), Oonjal Prabhandham, yagnas, discourses, and speeches are all carried out with utmost devotion.
Vaikuntha signifies the realm where Vishnu, the preserver deity in Hindu mythology, dwells. For Vaishnavas, Vishnupada, or the Ultimate Feet of Vishnu, holds immense significance as it is believed to be the abode of both Vishnu and his devotees in a state of pure goodness and purity.
During Dhanurmasam (Margali) vratam and its associated puja in Vishnu temples, Vaikuntha Ekadashi occupies a prominent place. Many Vaishnavas observe fasting for the entire month of Dhanurmasam, practicing temperance and adhering to food restrictions in accordance with Sri Vaishnava traditions.
According to the Vishnu Purana, observing a fast on Vaikuntha Ekadashi is equivalent to keeping a fast on all the other 23 ekadashis throughout the Hindu calendar year. However, in Vaishnava tradition, fasting is obligatory on every ekadashi during both Shukla paksha (bright fortnight) and Krishna paksha (dark fortnight). Fasting on Ekadashi is considered holier than any other religious observance. On this sacred day, the 11th day of the fortnight, complete fasting is to be observed, while the meal on the following day, Dvadashi (the 12th day), is designed to be nourishing, wholesome, and fulfilling.
Fasting: Vaikuntha Ekadashi fasting holds great significance for its followers, as they dedicate an entire day to fasting and remaining attentive. Devotees offer special prayers to Vishnu, while also engaging in the practice of Japa (repeating Vishnu’s name) and Dhyana (deep meditation). The day before the observance, known as ‘Dashami’, those partaking in the Vaikuntha Ekadashi fast are advised to consume only lunch. On Ekadashi itself, the following day, they must observe a complete fast and devote their time to prayers and meditation focused on Vishnu. It is strictly forbidden for them to consume rice during this time. Throughout the night, individuals stay awake and maintain vigil, eventually visiting the temple of Vishnu, typically during the early hours of the morning. On the other hand, followers of the Shaiva sect mark this day as Trikoti Ekadashi, a religious observance in which they believe all deities in the Hindu pantheon pay homage to Shiva.
Celebrations of Vaikuntha Ekadashi
Across all Venkateswara temples, the festivities for this event extend far and wide. Amongst these temples, the one in Srirangam holds special significance during this festival due to its renowned Svarga Vasal opening. Following closely is the temple in Tirupati, nestled in the Tirumala hills, which is revered as the sacred dwelling place of Venkateswara.
Celebrations of Tirupati: In the Telugu-speaking regions, the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple boasts a remarkable tradition in honor of Mukkoti Ekadasi. This unique celebration is accompanied by the presence of a special entrance known as Vaikunta Dvaram, which encircles the sacred sanctum sanctorum. On the auspicious day of Vaikunta Ekadasi, this gateway is exclusively opened, granting access to those who seek the blessings of Vaikunta. It is believed that individuals who pass through this divine Vaikunta Dvaram on this particular day will attain Vaikunta itself. As a result, the temple experiences an overwhelming influx of devoted pilgrims and esteemed dignitaries, all flocking to partake in the grandeur of Vaikunta Ekadashi.
Celebrations of Srirangam: The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple reverberates with the vibrant and enchanting celebrations of Srirangam Vaikuntha Ekadashi, a grand festival that spans an impressive duration of 20 days. This jubilant occasion can be divided into two distinct parts: pagal pathu, which comprises the first 10 days, and Ira pathu, which encompasses the subsequent 10 days. Throughout this entire period, Lord Vishnu, embodied as the revered mulavar Ranganatha, bestows his divine blessings upon devoted worshippers while adorned in his resplendent Muthangi attire, adorned with a mesmerizing array of pearls.
As the anticipation builds towards the momentous climax, on the auspicious day preceding Vaikuntha Ekadashi, an extraordinary event takes place. The magnificent utsavar idol, known as Namperumal, assumes the form of Mohini and graciously grants his blessings to the faithful devotees. This unique occurrence sets the stage for the main highlight of Vaikuntha Ekadashi.
At the crack of dawn on this hallowed day, Namperumal emerges in his full glory, bedecked in a dazzling armor adorned with precious diamonds and gemstones. With great reverence, he is carried from the sanctum sanctorum to the thousand-pillared hall via the illustrious Paramapada Vasal, the renowned northern gateway to Vaikuntha. This gateway, which remains sealed for most of the year, opens exclusively on the sacred occasion of Vaikuntha Ekadashi. Legend has it that those fortunate souls who pass through this gateway shall attain Vaikuntha, the celestial abode of Lord Vishnu. This celestial portal is also known as the Svarga Vasal, owing to its promise of transcendent bliss and eternal salvation.
Thus, as devotees immerse themselves in this awe-inspiring celebration, they revel in the divine benedictions bestowed upon them by Lord Vishnu himself. The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple stands as a testament to the profound faith and devotion that permeates the hearts of its worshippers, encapsulating the timeless allure of Vaikuntha Ekadashi.
Happy Vaikuntha Ekadasi 2024 Wishes
- On this auspicious occasion of Vaikuntha Ekadashi may Lord Vishnu shower you with his choicest blessings and all your dreams come true.
- Sending heartfelt greetings to you and your loved ones on the pious occasion of Vaikuntha Ekadashi.
- Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya- Wishing you and your family all the happiness and good health on the auspicious day of Mokshada Ekadashi.
- Let us celebrate the glory of Lord Vishnu and his triumph over evil every time he took an avatar to save humanity. Happy Mokshada Ekadashi.
- This Vaikuntha Ekadashi, may you be blessed with Lord Vishnu’s choicest blessings. A very blissful Ekadashi to you and your loved ones.
- Let us all leave our ego behind and bow before the compassionate Lord Vishnu. May we get rid of all our sins and may we emerge as better human beings – a very happy and blissful Vaikuntha Ekadashi to you and your loved ones.
What is special about Vaikunta Ekadasi?
The goddess Ekadashi is said to have the power to cleanse people of their sins, and those who observe a fast and worship her on this occasion will attain Vaikuntha.
Is Vaikuntha Ekadashi a good day?
Vaikunta Ekadasi is an important Hindu festival where it is believed that those who die on this day are liberated from the cycle of birth and death and reach Vaikunta. It is also associated with the Bhagavad Gita Upadesh of Lord Krishna to Arjuna during the Kurukshetra War.
What is the benefit of taking Ekadashi?
Utapanna Ekadashi is a religious day where people believe that fasting can bring them comfort and the protection of Lord Vishnu after death. Those who are physically able and determined should observe a strict fast, only drinking water throughout the day.
Why is Vishnu Worshipped on Ekadashi?
According to Skanda Purana, there is a tradition of worshiping Lord Vamana in the month of Ashadha, as the deity of this month is Lord Vamana. This includes special worship and fasting on Ekadashi and Dwadashi dates of Ashadh month.