Devshayani Ekadasi July 11, 2011, Monday
Ashadhi Ekadasi, or Ashada Devasayani Ekadashi, is observed during the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) in Ashada Month (June – July). In 2011, the date of Ashadhi Ekadasi is July 11. Pandarpur Yatra culminates on Ashadi Ekadasi and is of great importance in Maharashtra. The day is of a great significance at the Lord Vithal Temple in Pandarpur.
The Palaki of Tukaram Maharaj from Dehu, Palki of Sant Jnaneshwar from Alandi and numerous other Palaki (Palanquin) carrying the silver Padukas of various saints arrives at Lord Vithal Temple in Pandarpur on Ashadi Ekadasi after a 21-day journey. Lord Vithal is an incarnation of Lord Krishna and is a popular deity in Marathi culture.
The day is also of great importance in several other places. Thousands of devotees also take a holy dip in Godavari River on the day and pay obeisance to Lord Rama at Kala Ram temple. This Ekadasi is popularly known as Devshayani Ekadasi.
Devasayani Ekadasi, also known as Sayana Ekadashi, occurs during the shukla paksha (waxing phase of moon) of Ashada month (June – July). In 2011, the date of Devasayani Ekadasi is July 11. Devashayani Ekadasi is also known as Hari Sayan Ekadasi as it is believed that Lord Vishnu goes to sleep after this Ekadasi as it is the night of devas with the beginning of Dakshinayana. Ekadasi Fasting is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and falls on the 11th day of a lunar fortnight in traditional Hindu Calendar.
Devasayani Ekadashi is popularly known as Ashadi Ekadasi in Maharashtra and it marks the end of the Pandarpur Yatra. The Chaturmas (four Hindu holy months) and the Chaturmasa Vrata also begins in some regions on Sayana Ekadasi.
Thousands of devotees also take a holy dip in Godavari River on the day and pay obeisance to Lord Rama at Kala Ram temple.
The importance of Sayana Ekadasi was explained to Sage Narada by Lord Brahma. Lord Krishna narrated about the greatness of it to Yudhisthira, the eldest of the Pandavas. The glory of Devasayani is mentioned in the Bhavisyottara Purana.
It is believed that those who observe this Ekadashi is blessed with peace and happiness. Even hearing about it is considered highly auspicious. Interestingly, Devasayani Ekadashi is observed as a mark of pure devotion and there is not desire or fulfillment of material gains.
Those who fast on the day do not eat rice or food prepared using rice. All the normal rituals associated with Ekadasi fasting is followed. Devout devotees of Vishnu start the preparation of Chaturmas Vrata from this day.