This year, July 15 marks the celebration of Ashadhi Ekadashi, a religious festival that holds a lot of importance for devotees of Vishnu. Mostly celebrated in Maharashtra in the village of Pandharpur, pilgrims flock here to pay a visit to the Vitthal Temple. The journey to the temple begins much in advance as people travel in groups from different regions with the aim of reaching Pandharpur on Ashadhi Ekadashi. Also Read - New Single-Day Spike Record Every Day: 9,304 New Cases in Last 24 Hours | 10 Developments
Once here, they join the religious procession that takes place in the village to the temple. After observing a fast and paying their respects at the Vitthal temple, they have a feast in the evening where traditional dishes are prepared. But did you know why this festival is celebrated and the importance of Ashadhi Ekadashi? Also Read - World Environment Day 2020: From Planting Trees to Controlling Industrial Waste, 5 Things One Should Continue Doing Post Lockdown Period
The eleventh day (ekadashi) of every month is of great importance but the eleventh day in the month of Ashad holds even more importance. As per the Hindu calendar, Ashad falls in June or July every year and on its eleventh day Ashadhi Ekadashi is celebrated. The reason this day is so important is because on this day, Vishnu fell asleep only to wake up four months later in the month of Kartik on Prabodhini Ekadashi. The period between the two ekadashis is called Chaturmas and it falls during the rainy season. Also Read - Batsmen at Advantage if Nothing Allowed to Shine The Ball: India Batting Coach Vikram Rathour
The ritual began after King Mandata’s kingdom suffered a famine and his people blamed him for his past sins for the mishap. The king left for a long journey to figure out what his mistake was and met a sage on his way. The sage advised him to look for a solution instead of dwelling on the problem. He also advised him to observe fasts and pray to Vishnu. The king and his family religiously followed this and soon, there was rains in the kingdom that wiped off any trace of famine. Since then, people began observing Ashadhi Ekadashi.
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