Monday, 4 July 2011

Viakunta

It is also said that on this day the ksheerasagara manthana (churning of the ocean) took place and the nectar of immortality (amritha) was distributed to the gods.

Some schools of thought believe that Sri Krishna gave the Gitopadesam to Arjuna on the day of Vaikunta Ekadasi.

For the Vaishnavas, it is a very holy day and should be ideally spent in fasting, prayer and meditation. Vaishnava beliefs stems from the following:

It is the belief that one year in Bhu Lok corresponds to one day in Deva Lok. The year in Bhu Lok is divided in two parts, Uttarayana, the period from Tai Masam to Adi masam, and the balance year is classified as Dakshinayanam. For the Deva Lok, Uttarayanam corresponds to the DAY and Dakshinayanam to the NIGHT. Margazi masam, which is at the last month of Dakshinayanam corresponds to the pre-dawn, i.e., the USHAS KALAM of Deva Lok, In this Ushas Kalam, the time corresponding to the 11th day of the Lunar Month in the month of Margazi, i.e.Ekadasi, in Bhu Lok is considered the most auspicious.

In his wisdom, LORD VISHNU appears before the people of Bhu Lok daily, i.e., daily for the Deva Lok, at this time, i.e., USHAS KALAM at a time corresponding to Margazi Shukla Paksha Ekadasi. The day is therefore referred to as VAIKUNTA EKADASI by Sri Vaishnavites.

Like all Ekadasi days, devotees fast on this day . Rice is avoided during ekadashi days as it is believed that the demon Mura finds a dwelling in the rice eaten on Ekadasi day.

The Padma Purana says: In the three worlds, there is no kind of fasting which is even comparable to the Ekadasi fast. Even if one performs this fast without a proper attitude, he achieves the Supreme Abode. If one fasts on Ekadasi day, with full devotion, what happens to him by the mercy of the Supreme Lord, I cannot say (the merit he achieves cannot be described).

Fasting is prescribed on all Ekadashis, that is, the 11th day of the lunar fortnight, twice a month. In this Kali Yuga, even if just one 'Ekadashi' is observed with dispassion, faith and devotion, and if the mind is wholly fixed on Hari, one is freed from the rounds of birth and death. No rice should be taken on Ekadashi days and this is very important. It is said that the sweat that fell down from the head of Brahma assumed the form of a demon and he asked the Lord to provide him an abode to dwell. Brahma said to the demon to go and dwell in the rice particles eaten by men on Ekadashi day and become worms in their stomach. For this reason rice is prohibited on Ekadashi. It is believed that if one observes the Ekadashi fast regularly, Lord Hari is propitiated. All sins are destroyed and the mind is purified. Orthodox people in South India observe complete fasting and vigil even on ordinary Ekadashi days.

For the devotees of Lord Vishnu, every Ekadashi is a very sacred day.The demon Muran represents the tamasic and rajasic qualities in us. The import of the ekadasi vrata is that one can conquer rajasic and tamasic tendencies in us through fasting. This helps us reach our ultimate destination, Vaikuntha, which is the place or stage of no 'kuntitha' or dullness, stupidity and misery

It is widely believed that the gates to the heaven open - the Gate of Vaikuntha - on the Vaikunta Ekadasi day. It is one of the most auspicious days in Lord Vishnu Temples in South India.

The ‘Vaikunta Dwaram’ or ‘the gate to the heaven’ is opened on this day. This is the passage encircling the innermost sanctum of the Lord. Scores of devotees queue up to pass through the Gate of


According to legend, the gods and demons churned the divine ocean for Amrita on the day of Vaikunta Ekadasi, following which Shiva consumed the poison that resulted. Hence Shaivaites consider this Ekadasi as the Nanjunda Ekadasi. It is believed that whoever dies on this day goes directly to heaven without passing through the cycle of reincarnation.

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