It is known as Shayani Ekadashi (the sleeping eleventh), Maha Ekadashi (the great eleventh), Prathama Ekadashi (the first eleventh), Devpodhi Ekadashi, Hari Shayani Ekadashi, and Devshayani Ekadashi. Also, people in Andhra Pradesh call the festival by the name of Toli Ekadashi in Telugu.
Significantly, it is called Ashadhi Ekadashi as it falls in the Ashadh month of Hindu Calendar. Ashadhi Ekadashi is the eleventh lunar day of the Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) of Hindu month Ashadh. According to the Gregorian calendar, it falls every year in the month of June or July. It takes place right after the grand chariot festival Jagannath Rath Yatra. The festival has many other names in numerous Indian languages.
In Indian mythology, the among the 24 Ekadashi of the entire year, Ashadhi Ekadashi has a major significance. On this day, devotees observe a strict fast and spend the entire night singing devotional songs and worship Lord Vishnu.
Let’s learn more about the significance and history of this Vrat.
In the sacred Hindu texts, Lord Krishna narrates the significance of Ashadhi Ekadashi to Yudhishthira. The festival of Shayani Ekadashi or Ashadhi Ekadashi commemorates creator-god Vishnu. Shayani Ekadashi means Deity’s Sleep. On this day, Lord Vishnu goes for sleep and wakes up after four months. In addition, during this period Lord Vishnu sleeps on Sheshnaga and he moves to Ksheer Sagar (ocean of milk).
Ashadhi Ekadashi illuminates blessings of all the Hindu Gods. Whosoever observes fast on the occasion with immense devotion is blessed with grace. In addition, it is said in the Hindu Vedas that Sanayasis and widows who desire Moksha, must observe the Ekadashi Fast.
There are many tales behind the celebration of Ashadhi Ekadashi.
According to Hindu Mythology, in ancient times a great war between Demons and Deities takes place. Prior to the war, Mrudumanya, son of the demon Kumbha attains boon of immortality after his tough penance for Lord Shiva. It results in Lord Brahma not being able to defeat him in the battle. Thus, he hides in Trikut mountain’s cave under an Amla Tree along with Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. In the absence of food, all three of them observe fast on the prosperous day of Ashadhi Ekadashi. Further, they take a bath in the rain that generates energy which slaughters demon Mrudumanya. As the Lord Vishu, Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma come out they withness their energy in the form of Goddess Ekadashi.
Another Mythological tale mentions, King Mandata faces drought in his kingdom during his rule. In the sunny, heating month of Ashadh, people become restless. After all the efforts, King Mandata could not find a way to please the rain God, Indra Deva. However, in the form of a solution sage Angira advise him to observe fast on Ashadhi or Shayani Ekadashi. As a result, King observes a strict fast to please God. Finally, impressed by his devotion, rain occurs in the kingdom and offers bliss to people.
Considerably, this occasion holds a special place for the Vaishnavs who believe in Lord Vishnu. Also, they eagerly wait for this festival every year. On this holy day, devotees observe fast to worship the supreme deity Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. In order to offer devotion and please God follow asceticism of all kinds of grain, wheat, and spices.
Here are the core rituals of Ashadhi Ekadashi that person must know-
Sweets– Sabudana Kheer and Shrikhand.
Drink– Chhach, Panchamrit, and Mithi Dahi.
Snack– Potato chips and moong dal samosa.
Meal– Sabudana Khichadi, Sabudana Pakodi, and Kuttu Atta Pakodi.
According to the Hindu Calendar, Ashadhi or Shayani Ekadashi 2020 falls on Wednesday, 1 July.
Time of Ekadashi Parana– 05:27 AM to 08:14 AM on July 2nd, 2020.
Dates of Ashadhi Ekadashi Next Four Years-