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Vaikunta Ekadashi

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Vaikunta Ekadashi s is the Ekadashi that occurs in the Hindu calendar month of Marghazhi or Margashira or Margashirsha (corresponding to late December - January in English calendar). Vaishnavism (Worship of Lord Vishnu) culture believes that ‘Vaikunta Dwaram’ or ‘the gate to Lord's Inner Sanctum’ is opened on this day. The Margashirsha shukla paksha ekadashi in lunar calendar is known as a 'Mokshada Ekadashi'. People also know that as a vaikunta ekadashi. However vaikunta ekadashi in Sri Rangam Temple (Tamil Nadu) is in the solar margashira month (Margazhi). It falls on 7th jan,2009.

Special prayers, yagnas, discourses and speeches are arranged at Vishnu temples across the world on this auspicious day.

Legend

According to Vishnu Purana, fasting on Vaikunta Ekadashi is equivalent to fasting on the remaining 23 Ekadashis of the (Hindu) year.[1]. However according to Vaishnava tradition fasting is mandatory on all Ekadashi of both Sukla paksha and Krishna paksha. Fasting on Ekadashi is considered holier than any other religious observation.

Lord opened the gate of Vaikuntam (his abode) for two demons in spite of they being against the Lord. They also asked for the boon that who ever listens to their story and see the image of Lord coming out of the door (called Dwar) called Vaikunth Dwar they reach Vaikunth as well! Temples all over the India makes a door kind of structure on this day for devotees to pass through that.

According to Padma Purana, the female energy of Lord Vishnu slayed demon Muran and protects `Devas'. Impressed by the act, Lord Vishnu names her as `Ekadashi' and gives her the boon that those who worship `Ekadashi' on the day of her victory over Muran would reach `Vaikunth' (His abode).[2]

In Mahabarata, Bhagavad Gita - the conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna at the beginning of Kurukshetra War is said to have occurred on this day.

In Srirangam

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam Vaikunta Ekadashi celebrations in Srirangam—foremost of Vaishanvite Shrines, lasts 21 days and is divided into two parts of pagal pathu (morning part) and Ira pathu (night part). Lord Vishnu as Lord Ranganatha is adorned is an armor of diamonds (rathnaangi) and is brought to the Thousand-Pillared Hall from the sanctum sanctorum through the northern gate known as Paramapada Vasal, the gate to the heaven. This gate is opened once in a year, only on the Vaikuntha Ekadashi day.

In Tirumala

Tirumala Venkateswara Temple also has a similar concept. Thirumala has a special entrance called Vaikunta Dwaram that encircles the sanctum sanctorum. The dwaram (passage) is opened only on Vaikunta Ekadashi and it is believed that any person who passes through this `Vaikunta Dwaram' on this particular day attains salvation.[3] The temple witnesses heavy inflow of pilgrims and dignitaries for Vaikunta Ekadashi.

References

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