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Indira Ekadashi

Indira Ekadashi Celebration
The festival of Indira Ekadashi is celebrated on the eleventh day of the dark fortnight in the Hindu month Ashwina, which corresponds to the Georgian month of September or October. The festival is celebrated with great zeal and devotion in the northern and western regions of India. It is common for people to observe a complete fast on this day.

In 2014, Indira Ekadashi will be observed on 19th September.

The Legend of Indira Ekadashi
It is said that once there was a very powerful, popular and honest king by the name of Indrasena, who was dedicated devotee of Lord Vishnu. Once Lord Narada paid a visit to King Indrasena and told him about his recent trip to the abode of Yama, the god of death. Narada further told Indrasena that the king’s father was still living in the house of Lord Yama, as he had not attained Moksha.

On learning about this, Indrasena became restless and seeing this Lord Narda informed him that the king’s father had asked Indrasena to observe the fast of Indira Ekadashi. According to Narda, the king’s father had told the sage that by observing this fast, Indrasena would be able to free his father from all his earthly sins and ensure him a place near the feet of Lord Vishnu.

Hearing this, Indrasena at once agreed to observe the fast of Indira Ekadashi and help his father in getting freedom from the house of Lord Yama. With the guidance of Lord Narda, Indrasena observed the fast with great devotion and helped his father in attaining moksha.

The Rituals Associated With Indira Ekadashi
It is believed that observing the fast of Indira Ekadashi, helps not only the observers to get rid of the repercussions of their own sins and evil deeds, but also proves beneficial to their forefathers in a similar manner. However, people observing this fast need to follow some rituals in order to attain the complete benefits of the festival.

On the day before the Ekadashi, special prayers and shradas are performed in the memory of forefathers and dead relatives. A single meal is consumed on the day while on the day of Ekadashi a complete fast is observed. The long fast is to be broken next day by having meals with all family members.

It is believed that observing this fast provides the benefits equivalent to performing the Ashwamedha yagya, which is why the day holds much significance in the Hindu community.

 

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