The sacred day of Yogini Ekadashi, falling on the 11th lunar day during the waning phase of the Moon in the month of Ashada, holds profound significance in Hindu tradition. In 2023, Yogini Ekadashi blesses us with its presence on the 13th/14th of June (For local timings, download the Cosmic Insights app). This auspicious occasion provides an opportunity for devotees to strengthen Mars (Mangal) and experience blessings of good health and vitality. Let’s delve deeper into the significance, mythological story, and rituals associated with Yogini Ekadashi.
The Story of Yogini Ekadashi:
The legend of Yogini Ekadashi centers around a devoted king and his gardener. The king, an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, had a gardener entrusted with the task of gathering flowers from the Mansarovar lake for the royal offerings. One fateful day, the gardener, engrossed in his personal affairs, forgot to return to the king after collecting the flowers. Enraged, the king cursed the gardener, condemning him to suffer from illness and separation from his beloved wife. Plagued by these misfortunes, the gardener sought solace and redemption from Rishi Markandeya, who, upon witnessing the gardener’s sincerity, revealed the divine secret of the Yogini Ekadashi fast. This fast promised to heal his ailment and reunite him with his wife, ultimately lifting the curse.
Significance of Yogini Ekadashi:
Yogini Ekadashi provides a special opportunity for devotees to seek the blessings of good health and vitality. This Ekadashi falls during a phase when Mars is debilitated in the sign of Cancer. Observing this fast helps to strengthen Mars, the ruling planet of Ekadashi tithi, and harmonize its energy within us. By observing the Yogini Ekadashi fast, devotees can invoke divine energies and experience the rejuvenating power of this sacred day.
Rituals to Observe on Yogini Ekadashi:
- Chanting: Begin the day with the chanting of “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya” at least 108 times or more. This powerful mantra helps connect with the divine energy of Lord Vishnu and invoke his blessings.
- Reciting Vishnu Sahasranama: Engage in reciting or listening to the Vishnu Sahasranama, a sacred hymn comprising a thousand names of Lord Vishnu. This recitation bestows divine grace and blessings.
- Acts of Charity: In the spirit of giving, donate essential items or offer food to the less fortunate. Generosity during Yogini Ekadashi carries immense blessings and helps create positive karma.
- Ekadashi Fasting: Observe a strict fast on this day, refraining from consuming grains, beans, and vegetables. Fasting purifies the body and mind, fostering spiritual growth and well-being.
- Offerings to Lord Vishnu: Prepare and offer delicious sweets and payasam (a sweet rice pudding) to Lord Vishnu. This act of devotion symbolizes gratitude and seeks blessings for abundance and fulfillment.
- Charity for the Needy: Extend support to those in need by contributing to charitable causes. This selfless act reflects the compassion and kindness that Yogini Ekadashi promotes.