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In Hindu mythology it is said Ekadashi is said to be most auspicious day among the fifteen days of of krishna paksha or shukla paksha and it is very good to perform any fasting or any ritual or pooja on this day.

  • What is the importance of Ekadashi(eleventh day) among the fifteen days of krishna paksha or shukla paksha?
  • Why is it so important day as compared to other days?
  • What is the reason and story behind this?
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In the Brahma-vaivarta Purana it is said that one who observes fasting on Ekadasi day is freed from all kinds of reactions to sinful activities and advances in pious life.

Origin of Ekadasi

In the fourteenth chapter of Padma Purana, in the section named Kriya-sagara-sara, Srila Vyasadeva explains the origin of Ekadasi to Sage Jaimini as follows:

At the beginning of the material creation, the Supreme Lord, for the purpose of punishing the sinful human beings, created a personality whose form was the embodiment of sin (Papapurusha). The different limbs of this personality were constructed of the various sinful activities. In order to control Papapurusha, the personality known as Yamaraja came into existence along with the different hellish planetary systems. Those living entities that are very sinful are sent after death to Yamaraja, who will in turn, according to their sins, send them to a hellish region to suffer.

The living entities, according to their karmic activities thus began to enjoy or suffer. Seeing so many souls suffer in hellish condition, the compassionate Lord began to feel sorry for them. In order to help them He manifested from His own form the deity of the lunar day Ekadasi. Thus, Ekadasi is the personification of the vow to fast on the eleventh day of the lunar month. Therefore Ekadasi is the selfsame form of the Supreme Lord Vishnu. Sri Ekadasi is the utmost pious activity and is situated at the head among all vows.

Afterwards the different sinful living entities began to follow the vow of Ekadasi and were then elevated quickly to the abode of Vaikuntha. Following the ascension of Sri Ekadasi, Papapurusha (sin personified) gradually saw that his own existence was being threatened. He approached Lord Vishnu praying that, ‘O Lord, I am your created progeny, and it is through me that you wanted distress given to the living entities who are very sinful. But now, by the influence of Sri Ekadasi, I have become all but destroyed. You please save me from the fear of Ekadasi. No type of pious activity can bind me. But Ekadasi only, being Your own manifested form, can impede me. I cannot find a place where I can be free from fear of Sri Ekadasi. Oh my Master! I am a product of Your creation, so therefore very mercifully direct me to a place where I can reside fearlessly.’

After this, Lord Vishnu, observing the condition of the Papapurusha began to speak thus: ‘Oh Papapurusha! Rise up! Don’t lament any longer. Just listen, and I’ll tell you where you can stay on the auspicious lunar day of Ekadasi. On the day of Ekadasi, which is the benefactor of the three worlds, you can take shelter of foodstuff in the form of grains. There is no reason to worry about this any more, because My form as Sri Ekadasi Devi will no longer impede you.’ After giving direction to the Papapurusha, the Supreme Lord Vishnu disappeared and the Papapurusha returned to the performance of his own activities. According to the instructions of Lord Vishnu, every kind of sinful activity that can be found in the material world takes its residence in this place of foodstuff (grains). Therefore those persons who are serious about the ultimate benefit for the soul will never eat grains on the Ekadasi day.

This is the story behind ekadashi vrat puja.

As we all know its importance is fasting on ekadashi may free you from sins. Different Ekadashi has different story behind it. Common is some sage suggests some x person to fast on x ekadashi to free from x sin.

Web Reference

1 Origin of Ekadashi

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It is blind belief that Ekadasi is meant for fasting. Actually Ekadasi observance is an astrological phenomenon.It is important because we maintain certain relation with the solar system. In cycle of 48 days, three specific days, body does not demand food( 3 ekadashi occur in period of 48 days). So overloading the body results in health problems(due to indigestion).Also our body is made up of 80% of water effect of the moon is also evident on us ,which we don't realize.Hence the ancient chose this day mainly due health reasons.The following link can explain better

http://www.salagram.net/ekadasi-science-behind.html

Regarding the origin of Ekadasi,Parth Tivedi has explained in detail.

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Here is an excerpt from a Q&A with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

Gurudev, it is said that meeting the Guru on Full Moon Day is very good.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes. Do you know the Moon affects the ocean? On Full Moon Day the waves are higher. The Moon affects water – this we all know. Our body is made up of water. Nearly 60% of our body is made up of water, and it has saline content, like the ocean. So your body is a miniature capsule of sea water. So the Moon has an influence on the body and anything that influences the body influences the mind as well.

That is why people who go crazy are called lunatics. The word itself says lunatics.

And that is why our ancestors have said to fast on Ekadashi (eleventh lunar day of the Hindu calendar). Why have they said this is because when the stomach is kept empty the toxins in the body get cleared. Fasting has a purifying effect on the body and it cleanses all the undigested food, toxins, etc.

So if you fast three days before Full Moon then on Full Moon day you will not have any illnesses – this is the belief.

It is not necessary that you must fast on every Ekadashi but it is good if you fast for at least two to three days in a year.

http://www.artofliving.org/very-strange-are-ways-karma

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