Mohini Ekadashi is an important ritual in the Hindu astrological calendar and is said to be a ritual,the observance of which washes away all the sins of the devotees.
It is a ritual which had been performed by the great Lord Rama too after he was separated from his wife Sita. This ritual is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and occurs during the waxing phase of the moon or the shukla paksha in the month of Vaisakha according to traditional Hindu calendar; or in the month of April May according to the Gregorian calendar.
This ritual according to some regional calendar falls in different other months, for example – Chithirai month according to the Tamilian calendar, Edava month according to the Malayalam calendar and in Jyeshto mash according to the Bengali calendar. The day for this Ekadashi fasting in 2019 is on the May 15th.
Legend behind Mohini Ekadashi
The legend behind Mohini Ekadashi is recounted by Lord Krishna to Yudhisthira. This was performed by Lord Rama upon his separation from Sita, as advised by the great sage Vashishtha. Lord Rama observed this Vrat to mitigate all his sins and distress upon being separated from his wife. The legend is originally recounted by Vashishtha to Lord Rama.
Long ago, a beautiful city called Bhadravati, which was situated beside the river Saraswati, was ruled by a king called Dyutimana. Also in the town there resided a rich and pious Vishnu disciple called Dhanapala. He was always eager for all charitable causes, apart from building schools, wide roads, hospitals etc , he also made arrangements for distribution of food and water to the needy, set up beautiful gardens and shady trees for the pedestrians. This pious man had 5 sons namely, Saman, Dyutimnan, Medhavi, Sukriti and Dhristabuddhi. The youngest was the most sinful and crooked amongst all his children. He was always involved in evil activities, gambling and other shameful deeds. In fact such was his evil ways, that he soon became a disgrace to his family and finally had to be disowned and thrown out of the house by his father.
Even after being thrown out of the house Dhristabuddhi continued with his wayward ways and when in need of money, sold off his personal belongings and ornaments. When those also got depleted, he started getting involved in robberies and killing animals to satiate his hunger. He was sent out of the kingdom and asked never to return. Dhristabuddhi then in the month of Vaisakha, wandering in the forest came across the ashrama or monastery of the great sage Kaundinya. The sage had then just returned from taking a bath in the Ganges. Some droplets of water fell on Dhristabuddhi, immediately relieving him off all his sins. Dhristabuddhi folded his hands and requested the sage to guide him so that he can get redemption from all his erstwhile sins. sage Kaundinya then advised him to follow the Mohini Ekadashi vrat. Dhristabuddhi observed the ritual with deep devotion and soon got rid of all his sins. He then assumed a divine body, by attaining Moksha or salvation and went to Heaven to Lord Vishnu along with Garuda.
Mohini Ekadashi Vrat
Maintaining a fast on Mohini Ekadashi is more beneficial than having a ritual bath or sacrifices done. It is also believed that those who read and those who listen to this vrat katha achieves the good merit of donating a thousand cows for charitable purpose.
The devotee on this day wakes early in the morning and has a bath with Til and kush. A strict fast is to be maintained, and those who can’t are allowed to have fruits. Consuming any kinds of grain is strictly prohibited. A beautiful mandap for Lord Vishnu is prepared and idol of Vishnu is kept. Devotees worship Lord Vishnu with colorful flowers, sandalwood, and dhoop dip, that is incense and lamp. tulsi leaves are specially given to Lord Vishnu.
Significance of Mohini Ekadashi
- Observing a strict fast on this day, helps to destroy all sins
- Brings prosperity to the devotees
- Ailments are cured
- Lord Vishnu blesses his devotees