Ekadashi 2021: Ekadashi is the eleventh day (tithi) of the lunisolar calendar as per the Hindu belief. Each month has two phases – Krishna paksh and Shukla paksh. The Shukla paksh is the phase of the brightening moon and the Krishna paksh is the phase of the fading moon.
Significance of Ekadashi
Celebrated in India and Nepal, Ekadashi is believed to be a sacred tithi. As per the Hindu belief, it is a day to cleanse the body and rejuvenate the soul. Many people observe partial or complete fast. People consume only fruit, vegetables, and milk products. This fast starts from sunrise on Ekadashi to sunrise on the following day. Rice is not eaten on Ekadashi.
Read Here: Ekadashi Vrat Katha (Fasting Rituals)
There are 2 Ekadashi in each month. So, in all, there are 24 Ekadashis each calendar year. Each Ekadashi has its own significance and is believed to have particular benefits that can be attained by the performance of specific activities. Every 2-3 years, there is ‘adhikmaas’ (extra month), during which there are 2 more Ekadashis.
While all Ekadashi are important, there are some Ekadashis that have greater significance and are celebrated as a festival.
Major Ekadashi dates in 2021
June 21 – Nirjala Ekadadhi
July 5 – Yogini Ekadashi
July 20 – Devshayani Ekadashi
August 4 – Kamika Ekadashi
August 18 – Shravana Putrada Ekadashi
September 3 – Aja Ekadashi
September 17 – Parsva Ekadashi
October 2 – Indira Ekadashi
October 16 – Papankusha Ekadashi
November 1 – Rama Ekadashi
November 14 – Devutthana Ekadashi
November 30 – Utpanna Ekadashi
December 14 – Mokshada Ekadashi
December 30 – Saphala Ekadashi
Significance of Each Ekadashi in October, November, and December
1. October 2, 2021 – Indira Ekadashi
Celebrated on the eleventh day of the Krishna paksh of the month of Ashvin, Indira Ekadashi is celebrated by Hindus in order to give salvation (Moksha) to their dead ancestors from the vicious cycle of birth, death and rebirth, Hindus observe Indira Ekadashi.
The period of this month is also called ‘Pitru Paksha’. This is why Indira Ekadashi is also known as Ekadashi Shraadh. As per the belief, Shraadh and Tarpan are performed to please the departed souls and pray for them. Satvik food is prepared and offered to Brahmins. 4 portions of food are taken out and offered to poor men, cow, dog, and a crow.
The Hindu people believe that, in case, they have caused any agony or hurt their ancestors when they were alive, performing shraadh and offering their favorite dishes will please them and they will get their blessings.
They also seek forgiveness for the mistakes or sins committed by them. There is a belief that at the time of Indira Ekadashi, the dead people visit earth from Pitru Lok and will listen to them that is why people believe this is the time they can ask for forgiveness.
2. October 16, 2021 – Pasankusha Ekadashi
Pasankusha Ekadashi is celebrated on the eleventh day of the Shukla paksh of the month of Ashvin. This Ekadashi is performed with the purpose to worship Lord Padmanabha, who is considered to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
The Hindu devotees celebrate this day with great enthusiasm and zeal to dedicate their time and life to Lord Padmanabha as they believe that by convincing Lord Padmanabha, they could enjoy all the luxuries and best moments of their life by the blessings of the Lord. Devotees fast for a particular time on this day with the motive that Lord Padmanabha will bestow them and their family with good health and wealth.
There is an importance of this day as those Hindu followers that do not perform fast on this auspicious day will never be liberated from sins and the negative powers, as well as evil actions, will chase them throughout their life to bring disturbances and spoil their livings.
The practice of fasting is not very easy as those believers who perform fast ensure that they will never speak lie or commit any sinful act. Simultaneously, they will not sleep throughout the day or night till the fast ends and during this time, they must dedicate themselves to reciting Vedic mantra and bhajans to impress Lord and fulfil their desires.
3. November 1, 2021 – Rama Ekadashi
Rama Ekadashi is celebrated on the eleventh day of the Krishna paksh of the month of Kartik. On his day, Hindus worship Lord Vishnu and take a holy bath in any water body and observe fast. A day before Ekadashi, on the dashmi, Hindus believe that they will be freed from all kinds of sin committed in their lifetime. Devotees observe Rama Ekadashi to attain salvation and reach the topmost abode of Lord Hari Vishnu.
Hindus have a faith that by worshipping Lord Vishnu with devotion on the auspicious day of Rama Ekadashi they will attain immense success in their life and will be able to avoid all hurdles in their life. According to Hindu rituals, the observation of Rama Ekadashi is worth more than performing thousands of Ashvamedha Yagna and many Rajasuya Yagna.
4. November 14, 2021 – Prabodhini Ekadashi
Commonly known as Dev Uthani Ekadashi, Prabodhini Ekadashi is celebrated on the eleventh day of the Shukla paksh in the month of Kartik. This Ekadashi falls about 11 days after Diwali and is believed to be the most important of all Ekadashi.
As per the Hindu legends, during the four months of ‘Chaturmaas’ that includes Shraavan, Bhadrapada, Ashwin, and Kartik, Lord Vishnu remains in the state of sleep known as Yogic deep sleep. This Chaturmaas starts on the Devshayani Ekadashi, which falls on the Shukla Ekadashi of Shraavan month and ends on the Prabodhini Ekadashi.
As per the belief, Lord Vishnu wakes up on this day; hence it is also called ‘Dev Uthani Ekadashi’, which means the awakening of God. Devotees believe that this period is ideal to initiate any good event such as marriages, housewarming or tonsuring. People believe that they will be blessed by God during this period so they consider this time as the most favourable time for all their new activities.
It is a belief that fasting on this day helps them get cleared from the burden of sins that they have committed in their entire life and secured the place of Vaikunth which is also known as the heavenly residence of Lord Vishnu when they die and freed themselves from earth to heaven.
Hindu believers have faith that Lord Krishna that is the ninth incarnation of Lord Vishnu got married to Goddess Vrinda (the holy plant of Tulsi) so the period of Dev-utthani Ekadashi is considered as the beginning of marriage season. The Ekadashi is celebrated by performing the marriage ritual of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Tulsi. This ritual is called ‘Tulsi-Vivaah’.
November 30, 2021 – Utpanna Ekadashi
Utpanna Ekadashi is celebrated on the eleventh day of the Krishna paksh of the month of Marghshish. This day celebrates the birth of Goddess Ekadashi, who was formed from the energy of Lord Vishnu to destroy the evil and demon power known as Marasura, who had attacked Lord Vishnu when he was in the position of sleep. With the origin of Goddess Ekadashi only, the practice of Ekadashi fasting began in the Hindu rituals. The occasion of Ekadashi came soon after the day when Lord Vishnu arises from his long-awaited four-month state of Yogic sleep.
The devotees of Lord Vishnu who plans for an annual Ekadashi Vrat start from this day with a strong belief that they will get blessed not only by Lord Vishnu but also seek blessings of Lord Shiva as well as Lord Brahma. Hindus believe that by keeping fast and getting the blessings of Lords, they will be freed from the sins and attain the life that they desire. Their dreams will come true without any hurdle and they will be able to attain the heavenly abode after death.
December 14, 2021 – Mokshada Ekadashi
Also known as Vaikunth Ekadashi, this Ekadashi is celebrated on the eleventh day of the Shukla paksh of the month of Marghshish. On this day, Hindus worship Lord Krishna who is an avatar of Lord Vishnu. People observe a fast for 24 hours. It is believed that people who keep fast on the day of Mokshada Ekadashi are blessed by Lord Vishnu and attain liberation after death and get a place in heaven. Their sins will be wiped off that they have committed and they will be freed from the burden of false practices that they have pursued.
According to Vishnu Purana, it is said that keeping fast on the day of Mokshada Ekadashi is equal to fasting in the remaining 23 Ekadashi in a Hindu year. During the time of fasting, people cannot eat rice or related items because the demon Muran use to dwell in it and symbolically, eating rice makes a person feel heavy so it could not perform prayer. It is been believed that the day of Mokshada Ekadashi is so pious that observing ritual on this day even without understanding the meaning of it could lead a person to heaven after death.
December 30, 2021 – Saphala Ekadashi
This Ekadashi is celebrated on the eleventh day of the Krishna paksh of the month of Paush. Hindus believe that people who fast on this day with a pure mind and soul get success in their life in each and every positive aspect. The Lord Vishnu followers celebrate this day with an intention to clear out all their past sins and make their present as well as future life happy and healthy.
The terminology of Saphala Ekadashi states success that makes Hindu devotees believe that they will attain success and overcome every hurdle or failure that have stopped them from moving ahead or making their life depressing. Hindu people often perform charity and offer food, clothes or even money to the needy and poor people according to their capacity to get their blessings and cherish their life as much as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. 1: When is Ekadashi celebrated?
Ans: Ekadashi is celebrated on the el`venth day of each lunar phase.
Q. 2: How many Ekadashi are there in a year?
Ans: Each Hindu month has 2 Ekadashi, so there are 24 Ekadashi in a year. Every 2-3 years, there is ‘adhikmaas’ (extra month), during which there are 2 more Ekadashis.
Q. 3: Which is the most important Ekadashi?
Ans: The most important Ekadashi is the Prabodhini Ekadashi, which is celebrated on the Shukla Ekadashi in the month of Kartik.
Q. 4: When is Tulsi Vivaah performed?
Ans: Tulsi Vivaah is performed on Prabodhini Ekadashi.
Q.5: Why is the rice not eaten on Ekadashi?
Ans: According to a popular legend, once a drop of sweat fell down from Lord Brahma’s head and took shape of a demon, called Muran. When Muran asked the Lord to give a place to reside, Brahma asked him to dwell in rice eaten by men on Ekadashi and get converted into worms in their stomach. This is why; rice is not eaten on Ekadashi.