Varuthini Ekadashi occurs in the Chaitra month as per Amanta and in the Vaisakha month as per Purnimanta Calendars. This Vrat is observed in prayer to Sri Maha Vishnu.
Varuthini Ekadashi is the eleventh day from the full moon day (Krishna Paksha Ekadashi). In the year 2021, it occurs on Friday, 7th May 2021. The exact duration of the Ekadashi Tithi has to be ascertained from the respective regional calendars.
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Varuthini Ekadashi – Legend
The legend pertaining to this Ekadashi Vrat is said to be narrated by Sri Krishna to Yudhishtra, the eldest of the Pandava Kings.
The place at the banks of river Narmada was ruled by King Mandhatha. He was a good King and an ardent devotee of Sri Maha Vishnu.
King Mandhatha once went to the forest for doing penance on Sri Maha Vishnu. At that time, a bear attacked him and was chewing his leg. The bear also dragged him to the deep forest.
He was not petrified. He sincerely prayed to Sri Vishnu to protect him.
Sri Maha Vishnu was pleased with the sincere prayers of Mandhatha. He immediately used His Sudarshan chakra and killed the bear.
The king profusely thanked Sri Vishnu. However, he had had a doubt. He wished to know why he was attacked by the bear in the first place.
Sri Vishnu replied, “You were attacked by the bear due to your karmas in the previous birth. Go to Mathura. Worship the Varaha Avathar idol kept there. Observe the Ekadashi Vrat. It will alleviate the sins of your earlier birth. You will also gain back the portion of your leg which was chewed by the bear.”
King Mandhatha went to Mathura and observed the Vrat as directed by Sri Vishnu.
As per another belief, Lord Shiva is said to have observed Varuthini Ekadashi Vrat to get rid of His Brahma Hathya Dosha. He had the Dosha as He had plucked the fifth head of Lord Brahma.
Varuthini Ekadashi – rituals
The general rituals followed for Ekadashi Vrats is given below:
-The exact time of dawn of Ekadashi tithi is ascertained either from family elders / astrologers. It is mentioned in the Holy Almanac (Panchang) as well. Even daily Calendars provide the information.
-The idol or picture of Sri Vishnu is decorated with flowers. Incense sticks are burned. Diyas are lit. Pujas are done with tulsi leaves. Slokas or stotras of Sri Maha Vishnu including Sri Vishnu Sahasra Nama are recited with devotion. Srimad Bhagavad Gitaa is also recited.
-At the end of the puja, aarti is done. Prasad is distributed to the family members.
-Devotees of Lord Maha Vishnu observe strict fasting from the dawn of Ekadashi.
-They do not sleep on the night of Ekadashi. At this time, tales of Sri Maha Vishnu are recited by the elders. Others listen to the stories.
-Various bhajans and kirtans are held.
-The fast shall continue till the sunrise of the next day, i.e., Dwadashi.
-Those devotees who cannot do fasting due to medical or other reasons can take sattvic food. Mostly prasadams and fruits are partaken.
-Making daan / donation to the needy on Ekadashi day is believed to please Sri Maha Vishnu.
-On Dwadashi day, unless it happens to be another Vrat day, a nutritious meal is partaken to balance the internal physical effects of fasting on the previous day.
Specially for Varuthini Ekadashi, the following are followed:
-Giving daan of sesame seeds is considered auspicious.
-Some people specially worship Sri Vamana Avathar of Sri Maha Vishnu on this day.
Varuthini Ekadashi – other names
-Vaishak Krishna Ekadashi
Varuthini Ekadashi – possible benefits
-Protection from the dangers
-Auspicious benefits (punyam) equivalent to giving hundred kanyas (maidens) as daan.
-Auspicious benefits (punyam) equivalent to doing penance for 1000 years.
Importance should be given to the sincere prayers to Sri Maha Vishnu.
The synopsis of Kamada Ekadashi is given in the previous article. The rest of the Ekadashi Vrats shall be dealt with in the subsequent articles of the series.