Ashadhi Ekadashi History & Celebration:
Ashadhi Ekadashi is one of the most famous and well-known religious procession festival of Maharashtra. The biggest occasional event is celebrated during the month of June-July every year. And thus as per the Hindu calendar, it observed in the Hindu month of Aashaadh Shukla Paksha. The eleventh day of Aashadh is considered as the great Ekadashi or also termed as Mahaekadashi or Shayani Ekadashi.
The festive of Ashadhi Ekadashi is commemorated as the day of fast when people go walking in huge procession to visit Pandharpur with chanting the hymns or the Abhangas of Saint Tukaram and Saint Dnyaneshwar in order to see their deity Vitthal. This Pandharpur yatra begins in Aalandi and ends on the day of Guru Poornima at Pandharpur. It is the day when pilgrims of all ages, young and old walk for kilometers to dance and sing in groups praising the Lord. The pilgrims are also called as warkaries who carry images of legendary saints of Maharashtra in palkhis.
Here is our article we have shared the detailed information about the history and celebration of Ashadhi Ekadashi, so let’s have look at the below-provided section.
Ashadhi Ekadashi History:
Pandharpur Yatra is strongly believed to be done for more than 700 years. According to the History of Ashaddhi Ekadashi, it’s said that on this religious day God Vishnu goes off to sleep on Shesha Naga for a good duration of 4 months which is known as Chaturmas. Fasting observed on the first day of the starting of this month. After the four months, Lord wakes up from his slumber called ‘Prabhodini Ekadashi’.As per the religious belief, there was the king named Mandata who ruled a highly prosperous & rich kingdom. The people of his kingdom were happy with his ruling. However, there once a time when the entire kingdom fell under the famine & drought with a shortage of rains for 3 years. And thus people suffered from starvation and eventually ended up for blaming their king for his past sins. The King set out on a long journey to discover his solution, as he met many people but none of them could offer any solution.
It was the time when, King Mandata met Sage Angira who told him that instead of looking for the reason behind this suffering, look for proper solutions that can bring rains to his kingdom. He also asked the king to worship Vishnu on the divine of Devshayani Ekadashi and meanwhile observed fast with following every ritual.
Then, with a little bit of relief, he returned to his kingdom and did everything as suggested by sage along with his whole family. In no time, the results of his Vrat of Devshayani Ekadashi could be witnessed by the people of his empire. And since then the kingdom too received its lost glory back with rains washing away all the trace of people’s suffering.
And that’s why in today’s time’s people still observe fasts on the day of Ashadhi Ekadashi believing that they will be blessed with peace, happiness, and prosperity by Vishnu. The actual story of this fast is said to be narrated to Narad Muni by Brahma Dev.
Ashadhi Ekadashi Celebration:
As the name suggests, Ashadhi is Ekadashi that falls during the waxing period of the moon during the month of Ashadh. So, in this year, the festival of Ashadhi Ekadashi is celebrated on Tuesday, 4th of July, 2017. The day also marks the beginning of Chaturmas, when people observe fasts. Ashadhi Ekadashi Celebration is one of the most significant religious commemoration in the state of Maharashtra. It is celebrated primarily in the state especially among the members of the warkari community.
The spiritual procession start much in advance when devotees of God Vitthal reach Padharpur to grab the blessings of Lord on the day of Ashadhi Ekadashi and to take part in the grand celebration. Every year, these devotees gather in a huge number called “Dindis” and trek to Pandharpur from several towns and cities across the length and breadth of Maharashtra. They observe fast on the holy day of Ashadhi Ekadashi and having a feast in the evening.
Apart from warkaries, followers of Lord Vitthal, on the day of Ashadhi Ekadashi take an early morning bath, offer prayers and performs puja. Post this, observe an entire day fast or vrat and the next morning the fast is broken after praying to Vishnu.
According to the belief of ancient scriptures, it is said that devotee who observed fast on this pious day is freed from all kind of sinful acts and also devoted in the service of the divine.