Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mukkoti Ekadashi ~ Vaikunta Ekadashi

Mukkoti Ekadashi, also known as Vaikunta Ekadasi, is observed on Dhanurmasa Ekadashi or the 11th day of Dhanurmasam. Mukkoti Ekadashi 2010 date is December 17. This festival is celebrated with lot of fervor at Vishnu temples in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. In 2010, this famous Ekadashi vratam falls on Margashira masa Shukla Paksha Ekadashi as per Telugu and Kannada calendars.

Vaikunta Ekadasi festival is more elaborately celebrated by Vaishnavites. It is more prominent for Tamil and Telugu speaking people. Fasting, keep vigil at night and passing through the Vaikunta Dwaram are the important auspicious activities on the day.

The main event on Mukkoti Ekadasi is the Vaikutha Dwara Darshanam – the ‘Vaikunta Dwaram’ or ‘the gate to the heaven’ is opened on this day in Lord Vishnu Temples in South India. This is the passage encircling the innermost sanctum of the Lord Vishnu Temple. Thousands of devotees queue up to pass through the Gate of Vaikunta on this day.

‘Vaikunta Dwara Darshanam, visiting the Lord through Vaikunta Dwaram (Entrance to Heaven), is the main highlight during Mukkoti Ekadasi day in Vishnu temples. Vaikunta Dwaram is opened on only Vaikunta Ekadashi day which lies at North side to the temple. Devotees observe upavasam (fasting) throughout the day and break their fast on Mukkoti Dwadashi day, the day after Mukkoti Ekadashi.Vishnu devotees also fast on the day and keep vigil all night. They avoid all sort of food made of rice.

Significance of Vaikunta Ekadashi:

The significance of Vaikunta Ekadasi can be traced back to the Padma Purana. The Purana indicates that Lord Vishnu took the form of ‘Ekadasi’ – female energy – to kill demon Muran. This happened during the month of Margazhi. Impressed by ‘Ekadasi,’ Lord Vishnu told her that whoever worships him on this day will reach ‘Vaikunta’ (heaven).

Like all Ekadasi days, devotees fast on this day and observe vigil the whole night. Some people indulge in meditation, Japa and singing of Hari Kirtan. Rice is avoided during ekadashi days as it is believed that the demon Mura finds a dwelling in the rice eaten on Ekadasi day.

It is widely believed that the gates to the heaven open - the Gate of Vaikuntha - on the Vaikunta Ekadasi day. It is one of the most auspicious days in Lord Vishnu Temples in South India.

How to observe Vaikunta Ekadasi?-Vaikunda Ekadashi Fasting

How to observe Vaikunta Ekadasi?

Vaikunta Ekadashi falls on the eleventh day in Margazhi Shukla Paksha in Tamil Calendar and in Telugu Calendar the same period is Pushya Shukla Paksha.

Things needed for Puja and Prayer

  • A picture or photo or idol of Lord Vishnu
  • Fruits
  • Tulsi leaves
  • Betel leaves (optional)
  • Betel nuts (optional)
  • Yellow bananas
  • Unbroken coconut (optional)

  • Wake up early in the morning. Take bath and offer prayers.
  • You can perform a simple puja to Lord Vishnu at home by offering fruits and Tulsi leaves.
  • You can just light the lamp and prayer or meditate for few minutes – or the normal ritual you do daily. Only difference is that today it is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
  • If there is a Vishnu temple nearby visit the temple and witness morning pujas and rituals.
  • Complete fast or upavasam on the day is the main observance.

Fasting for 24 hours. It is believed that a partial or total abstinence from food on Ekadasi is rewarded with bliss.

If you have any health problem or are taking medicines, please consult your doctor before deciding on fasting. You can also opt for a partial fast by avoiding food made of rice.

Do not eat food made from rice on Ekadashi.

Evening Prayers

  • Take a bath in the evening.
  • Repeat the morning puja to Vishnu.
  • Visit Vishnu temple and witness the evening puja and rituals.
Prayers for Vaikunta Ekadasi

  • Vishnu Ashotharam (Listen)
  • Vishnu Sahasranamam  ( Read in English )
  • Or Simple Chanting of – Om Namo Narayana
  • Vishnu Shatanama Stotram (Listen)
No Sleep

Staunch devotees who observe Vaikunta Ekadasi fasting do not sleep on the day. They spend the whole night at Vishnu temples or by singing prayers or listening stories dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

Next Day Morning

The fast is broken on the next day (Dwadashi) after taking bath. Offer prayers to Lord Vishnu by lighting a lamp and then you can break the fast.

Ekadasi Food - What can be eaten on Ekadashi?

Ekadasi, or Ekadashi, is an important Upvaas (fast) dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Millions of Hindu devotees observe Ekadasi, which is considered highly auspicious by Lord Vishnu devotees. The traditional approach is to abstain from food completely on the day. But nowadays a complete fast is not possible for many people. Such people consume certain food items on the Ekadasi day and observe only a partial fast.

It is believed that demon Mura found a dwelling place in the rice and Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Ekadasi to annihilate Mura. Therefore devotees who fast on the Ekadashi day avoid food made from grains.

Many devotees due to several reasons – like health and job commitments – observe partial fast on the day. Such people avoid non-vegetarian and food items made from beans, pulses and grains, especially rice. The most preferred Ekadasi fasting food in western parts of India is Sabudana Khichadi with potatoes and ground nut - but no onion and garlic.

The food that can be consumed on the Ekadasi day includes fresh and dried fruits, milk products, vegetables and nuts.

As the list of Ekadasi food expands there will be new issues cropping up like – Are you sure this can be consumed on Ekadasi?

So the golden rule is avoid pulses and grains on Ekadasi.
Drink lots of water and eat fresh and dried fruits.

In Hinduism, Upvaas is meant to bring a person close to Brahman. So forget about the rules and regulations and what you are going to gain from the Ekadashi fast. Spend the day in purifying the mind and body.

Mukkoti Ekadashi Celebrations:

All the people and the devotees rush to the temples on this day & every  part & corner of the temples are seen by decorating with colorful crafts ,Garlands , Rangolis etc.Really the eyes make a Feast .Not only at the Temples,every Hindu houses are seen with Clean & Colorful. Every temple street will be seen with a full rush of the devotees and the Chantings of the Lord are heard through Mike facility.

 Mukkoti Ekadasi festival holds the grand celebrations in Tirumala Tirupati Sri Venkateshwara Temple & devotees observe Mukkoti Pradakshinam, Bhadrachalam Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple, Simhachalam Sri Lakshmi Narasimha swamy Temple, Srikurmam Maha Vishnu Temple, Srikakulam Andhra Maha Vishnu temple, Mangalagiri Sri Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy, Ranganatha Swamy Temple near Nellore and Yadagirigutta Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple.Apart from these temples, all the temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu and his incarnations celebrate Vaikunta Ekadasi.

Mukkoti Ekadashi is also observed as Vaikunta Ekadasi. In Kerala, this Ekadasi is celebrated as Swarga Vathil Ekadashi at Trivandrum Padmanabha Swamy Temple. In North India, it is known as Putrada Ekadashi.
                   May Lord Vishnu bless you all & Happy Mukkoti Ekadashi !!!Note:

All the above source & Image is adapted from Hindupad & Devotional,Various Internet Resources.I thank these web resources for Sharing.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Divya.Valuable information on Vaikunta Ekadasi.


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