The Ekadashi of Shukla Paksha, Kartik Masa is known as Devthan Ekadashi or Dev Uthani Ekadashi. At some places it is also called Prabodhini Ekadashi. There is a popular belief about Devthan Ekadashi. Utthana Ekadasi, or Prabodhini Ekadashi, is observed during the waxing phase of moon in the month of Kartik (Oct – Nov). The importance of Utthana Ekadashi or Dev Prabodhini Ekadasi is narrated to Sage Narada by Lord Brahma and the divine conversation is found in the Skanda Purana.Utthana Ekadasi is an important Vrat dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
According to the Padma Purana, Lord Vishnu battled the Mura demon for a long time. The Lord took rest during the battle, and Mura, thinking that this was his chance to vanquish the Lord, attacked Him. From the Lord’s transcendental form emerged a goddess, resplendent, with eight arms brandishing various weapons. She battled and killed Mura. The Lord awoke from His nidra, and asked the goddess who she was. She said that her name was Ekadasi. She desired the benediction that those who would fast on the occasion of her appearance would be free from sinful reactions, and would attain devotion to Lord Vishnu. The Lord granted her desire, and to this day, 24 ekadasis are celebrated throughout the year.
Lord Vishnu concluded his rest of four months on the Ekadasi of Bhadrapada. Auspicious works of marriages etc. are conducted after this day. In the year 2012, this Ekadasi will be on 24th November.
Lord Krishna says that if a person fasts on Ekadashi, “I will burn up all his sins. Indeed this day is the most meritorious day for destroying all kinds of sins.” In the three worlds, there is no kind of fasting, which is even comparable to the Ekadashi fast. Even if one performs this fast without a proper attitude, he achieves the Lords Supreme Abode. Anyone who fasts on Ekadashi, with full devotion, the merit one receives cannot be compared to anything else in the three worlds.
The famous Tulsi Vivah festival is performed on the next day of Utthana Ekadashi. As per the Legend – on this holy day, Lord Vishnu awakes from the Yoganidra. So, Uttana Ekaadasi also marks the conclusion of Chaturmas ‘Vrat’. Tulsi Damodar Vivah is also performed on this Ekadashi.The Chatur Mas period also ends with this Ekadashi. The famous Kartik Month Pandarpur Yatra also concludes on the day. All the normal rules associated with Ekadasi fasting are observed on the day.
On Utthana Ekadashi day, devotees also observe Bhishma Panchaka Vrata which is also known as Bhishma Panchakam.In some sects, Tulsi Damodar Vivah is also performed on this Ekadashi.On this day, Pandharpur kartik Palki Yatra takes place. Vishnu Sahasranama parayana and Kartika Purana parayana are the other main rituals during Utthana Ekadasi. Devotees break their Ekadasi Upavas on the next day which is known as Ksheerabdi Dwadashi.
Fasting on Ekadashi and chanting Vishnu prayers like Om Namo Narayana, Vishnu Sahasranamam and Venkateswara Suprabhatam is considered to be very fruitful for the devotees.
Prabodhini Ekadashi Fast Method
Person observing this fast should not eat meat, onion, Masoor dal etc. on Dashmi (a day before Ekadashi). He should follow Brahmacharya on the night of dashmi. The person should wake up early on Ekadasi morning, during the brahma-muhurta hour (an hour and a half before sunrise until fifty minutes before sunrise). Datun, made of twigs should not be used in the morning. Leaves of lemon, mango or berries can be chewed and throat can be cleaned using finger. Plucking of leaves from a tree is also considered inauspicious. For chewing, leaves which are already broken must be used. Then, the person should take bath and go to the temple. Geeta Path should be read or heard. The resolution is taken, of observing fast with full devotion and faith, in front of Lord. On the day of fast, the mantra should be chanted. After reciting the solemn prayer with full devotion, one should fast whole heartedly. The devotee should remain awake full night by singing religious songs glorifying the Lord, dancing, playing delightful music and reciting the bhajans of Lord Krishna.Shri Krishna is worshipped with camphor, fruits, and aromatic flowers, especially the yellow agro flower, And also with many kinds of fruits.
Lord Keshava should be offered Tulsi,kadamba ,bakula, ashoka, and patali flowers which keeps away the misery and distress. Offering of kannera flowers to Lord Jagannatha brings as much mercy upon the devotee as that earned by worshipping Lord Krishna for four yugas.During this month everyone should regularly offer a ghee lamp to Lord Vishnu or Tulasidevi in a temple.
On this day a person should not use broom, as small organisms are killed by it. Also, one should not cut hairs or say any lie. He should speak less. Sweet, mango, grapes, banana and almonds are used as offerings, on this day. On the day of Dvadashi (a day after Ekadashi), Brahmans are gifted sweets and donations. Vaikuntha Ekadasi At times Ekadashi fasting is suggested on two consecutive days. It is advised that Smartha with family should observe fasting on first day only. The alternate Ekadashi fasting, which is the second one, is suggested for Sanyasis, widows and for those who want Moksha. When alternate Ekadashi fasting is suggested for Smartha it coincides with Vaishnava Ekadashi fasting day.
Ekadashi fasting on both days is suggested for staunch devotees who seek for love and affection of Lord Vishnu. Majority of the people take one meal mostly in the evening and visit the temples and other shrines dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Ekadasi fast will be complete after offering the Brahmin a gold or copper pot filled with ghee and ghee wicks, along with eight water pots containing some gold and covered by cloths. One who cannot afford these gifts should at least offer gratifying words to the Brahmins.
After completing all the rituals, the devotee should eat his meal. On this Ekadasi, Chaturmasya ends, so whatever one gave up during Chaturmasya should now be donated to Brahmins.
…Prabodhini Ekadashi Fast Importance
Ekadasi is not only special as it is the day the ekadasi fast came into existence, but it is also the day when the doors to Vaikunta are believed to open. Those who fast on this day, and visit a temple a Vishnu are assured a place in Vaikunta, free from future rebirths. This Ekadasi is celebrated most notably in Sri Rangam. Lord Ranganatha is processed in a palanquin in the early hours of the morning, through the Vaikunta dwara
The fruit of observing this Ekadashi is equal to the result of thousand Ashvamedha Yagya. Sins of past seven births are removed on observing this fast. It is said, the thing which is difficult to be obtained, can be achieved easily by observing this fast.
A person who systematically observe the fast of Prabodhini Ekadasi, get the auspicious fruits of this Vrat. A person should perform Jagran, in the night of Ekadashi. This way, his next ten generations receive Vishnu Lok after death. Also, his ancestors suffering problems in hell reach to the heaven, through this fast. By fasting for a particular planet on a specific day you are removing the negative effects of that planet but when Ekadashi come and you have grains then the obstacles comes back since by eating grains on Ekadashi you are creating obstacles on your path and life. But by observing the Ekadashi fast you are removing all obstacles in your life.
The benefits of performing Jagran in the night of this Ekadashi are equal to the fruits of visiting all pilgrims, or donating cow, gold, land etc. By observing this fast, a person becomes rich, a great devotee, successful etc. He becomes very dear to Lord Vishnu, by keeping this fast. Please note that this auspicious day is not only for Hindus to observe. This fast can be observed by anyone. There’s no catch here. One who is truly universal does not discriminate; rather he/she respects and embraces all cultures.