Ashadi Ekadashi; Its Significance & Celebrations

Ashadi Ekadashi is a significant Hindu festival celebrated every year on the eleventh day of the waxing phase (Shukla Paksha) of the Hindu month of Ashadha. It usually falls in the month of July or August in the Gregorian calendar. This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion in Maharashtra, Karnataka, and some parts of Gujarat.

The word 'Ekadashi' is derived from the Sanskrit language, which means 'eleven'. It is believed that Lord Vishnu goes into a deep slumber or 'Yoga Nidra' on this day, and wakes up after four months on the day of Prabodhini Ekadashi, which falls in the month of Kartik. Hence, Ashadi Ekadashi is also known as 'Devashayani Ekadashi' or 'Hari Shayani Ekadashi', which means the day on which Lord Vishnu goes to sleep.

Significance of Ashadi Ekadashi:

Ashadi Ekadashi holds great significance in Hindu mythology. It is believed that by observing a fast and performing puja on this day, one can seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu and be free from all sins and negative energy. It is also believed that by observing this fast, one can attain Moksha or liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

In Maharashtra, Ashadi Ekadashi marks the beginning of the 'Wari Yatra', a pilgrimage to the holy town of Pandharpur. The Wari Yatra is a tradition that has been followed for over 700 years, and thousands of devotees undertake this journey every year to seek the blessings of Lord Vithoba, a form of Lord Vishnu. The journey on foot starts from various towns and villages, and the devotees walk for several days to reach Pandharpur, where they offer prayers and seek blessings.


On the day of Ashadi Ekadashi, devotees wake up early in the morning and take a bath before performing puja to Lord Vishnu. They observe a fast, abstain from food and water, and spend the day in prayer and meditation. The fast is broken the next day after performing puja in the morning. Devotees also visit temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu and offer prayers.

In Maharashtra, the day is celebrated with great fervor and devotion. Processions are taken out with devotees carrying the 'Palkhis' (palanquins) of Lord Vithoba and his consort Rukmini. The streets are filled with the sounds of bhajans and kirtans, and devotees offer food and water to the pilgrims on their way to Pandharpur. The Warkaris (devotees of Lord Vithoba) wear traditional attire and carry a flag with the image of Lord Vithoba.

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