Ashadhi Ekadashi

Ashadi Ekadashi, Special Yatra by Anarghyaa.com

Ashadhi Ekadashi is the eleventh lunar day (Ekadashi) of the bright fortnight (Shukla paksha) of the Hindu month of Ashadha (June - July). Thus it is known as Ashadhi Ekadashi or Ashadhi. This year Ashadhi Ekadashi is on 12th July 2019

Ashadhi Ekadashi is also known as Devshayani Ekadashi or Hari Shayani Ekadashi or Padma Ekadashi. It is one of the most important religious festivals that is celebrated in Maharashtra. This ceremony is generally held at Pandharpur where a huge number of devotees gather to celebrate the festival. It is a religious procession festival which is held every year during the Aashaadh Shukla paksha. Generally Ekadashi is considered to be coming on each month of the year but the eleventh day of Ashadh is said to be the great Ekadashi which is also called by the name Shayani Ekadashi. 

This day, a huge yatra or religious procession of pilgrims known as Pandharpur Ashadi Ekadasi Waari Yatra culminates at Pandharpur, in Solapur district in south Maharashtra, situated on the banks of the Chandrabhaga River. Pandharpur is main center of worship of the deity Vitthal, a local form of Vishnu. Lakhs of pilgrims come to Pandharpur on this day from different parts of Maharashtra. Some of them carry Palkhis (palanquins) with the images of the saints of Maharashtra. Dnyaneshwar's image is carried from Alandi,Namdev's image from Narsi Namdev, Tukaram's from Dehu, Eknath's from Paithan, Nivruttinath's from Trimbakeshwar, Muktabai's from Muktainagar, Sopan's from Sasvad and Saint Gajanan Maharaj from Shegaon. These pilgrims are referred to as Warkaris. They sing Abhangas (chanting hymns) of Saint Tukaram and Saint Dnyaneshwar, dedicated to Vitthal.

During this day the devotees keep fast the whole day and they go walking in huge processions to Pandharpur.  This procession starts in Allandi and ends on Guru Poornima at Pandharpur. This day is considered very pious and people join the yatra not only from Maharashtra but also from other cities as well. Men are dressed in ethnic wears like dhoti and kurta and sing devotional songs during this long journey. It is simply spectacular to see this tradition of Maharashtra which is very colourful and energetic.

Significance

In the scripture Bhavishyottara Purana, god Krishna narrates significance of Shayani Ekadashi to Yudhishthira, as the creator-god Brahma narrated the significance to his son Narada. The story of king Mandata is narrated in this context. The pious king's country had faced drought for three years, but the king was unable to find a solution to please the rain gods. Finally, sage Angiras advised the king to observe the vrata (vow) of Dev-shayani ekadashi. On doing so by the grace of Vishnu, there was rain in the kingdom.

As per the legends on this day of Great Ekadashi, Lord Vishnu fell asleep and  again woke up after four months on the day of Prabodhini Ekadashi which falls during the Kartik month. This time of the month is known as the Chaturmas which coincides with our rainy season. 

Ashadhi Ekadashi Special @ Anarghyaa.com:

Participate in Special Vishnu Sahasranama Parayana performed by Anarghyaa.com on Apara Ekadashi