Sayana Ekadasi or Devashayana Ekadashi or Padma Ekadasi or Vishnu Sayani Ekadashi is one of the most significant ekadashi upvaas. Shayana Ekadashi falls during the Shukla Paksha in the Ashada Month.
Shayana Ekadasi is also referred as Maha Ekadashi in ‘Vajrotsava Chandrika’ and ‘Harivasara Ekadashi‘ in some other scriptures.This Ekadashi is also observed as Bhooripaksha Ekadasi.
Padma Ekadasi or Vishnu Sayani Ekadashi:
After the day of Sayana Ekadasi vrata, Lord Vishnu goes to Yoganidra (meditation). Hence, all Gods worship him on the night of Dasami. So Sayana Ekadasi is also called as Vishnu Sayani Ekadasi or Padma Ekadashi. Lord Vishnu sleeps on Aadiseshu (divine serpent) as it also referred as Sesha Shayana Ekadashi. It is also popular as Ashadi Ekadasi. Sayana Ekadasi is also celebrated as Tholi Ekadashi or Toli Ekadashi in Andhra Pradesh. Tholi Ekadashi means the first Ekadashi in Telugu. Sayani Ekadasi is also called as Prathama Ekadashi or Pratham Ekadasi.
Significance and greatness of DevaShayana Ekadasi Vrata:
The importance and greatness of Devasayani Ekadasi is explained in Bhavishya-uttara Purana. When Yudhistira asked about the Shayana Ekadasi fasting and observance, Lord Sri Krishna explained the glory of Shayana Ekadashi vrata which was told earlier by Lord Brahma to Sage Narada. The most auspicious Chaturmasa Vrata starts on this Ekadasi day. In Maharashtra, Ashadi Ekadashi is also observed as closing ceremony day of Pandharpur Yatra.
Legend or Story of Deva Shayana Ekadashi:
Mandhata was the King of Surya Vamsha. He was very honest and always spoke truth and performed many good deeds. But in his kingdom once occurred a severe drought. There was the great lack of food to feed people and animals. Many people were died. Mandhata observed many vratas, homas, pujas and yagnas to get rid of this drought but all his attempts were went on vain.
Sage Angira suggested him to observe Ekadasi fasting on Ashada Shukla Ekadashi, which is also called as Padma Ekadasi, Devasayani Ekadasi. As told by Angira rushi, King Mandhata observed the Devasayani Ekadasi fasting, worshipped Lord Vishnu and freed his people from drought.
The Festival Tholi Ekadashi 2011 is on July 11 i.e; Monday.