Like any other Ekadashi, the Saphala Ekadashi is celebrated on the eleventh day in the month of January. This year the festival was celebrated on 8th of January. The relevance of the Saphala Ekadashi was explained by Lord Krishna to Yudhishthir, as mentioned in the Brahmanda Purana. It is widely believed by devotees that fasting on this days helps them to cleanse their sins and it is also said that these fasts help in achieving fame in the earthly realm. The Ekadashi is an extremely auspicious day and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
According to the legend, Lumbaka, one of the four sons of a renowned king always questioned the authority of Lord Vishnu and for doing so, he was exiled. But this did not deter Lumbaka to question the authority of Lord Vishnu. He plundered the wealth of poor people and built a home under a banyan tree where he started killing animals and ate raw meat. Coincidentally he once fell ill on the day of the Saphala Ekadashi and due to his ill health he decided to fast not knowing that he had undertaken the Saphala Ekadashi fast. The next morning he miraculously felt better and realised that it was due to the fast he had kept and in turn received the blessings of Lord Vishnu. On realizing his mistake he returned to his father’s kingdom where he spent the rest of his life.
Along with Lord Narayan who is an avatar of Lord Vishnu, is also worshipped on this day. The person observing the fast should wake up early to bathe. After this, Aarti is offered to Gods. This day is also celebrated as people organise Jagrans and Kirtans as they are believed to be extremely auspicious when held on this day. As the name suggests, the person keeping this fast is blessed with success in all they do. It is also believed that the fast kept on this day is equivalent to the result achieved by meditating for a 1000 years. Sins of many generations are also said to be washed away as the fast not only cleanses the body but also the soul. The fast is also believed to offer salvation to those who observe it with complete faith and devotion.
The person observing the fast should not sleep during the day but should either meditate or offer prayers to the Lord. In the evening performing a Jagran is said to help one to redeem of sins. The next day, alms are given to the poor and the Brahmins and by eating their first morsel they can break the fast.
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