I n “Souramana” during the auspicious month of Dhanurmasa (Margasira Poushya), out of 24 Ekadasi Tidhis in a year Suklapaksha Ekadasi is termed as “Vaikuntha Ekadasi”. It is also called as “Mukkoti Ekadasi”. Though Dhanurmasa occurs in Souramana the “Vaikuntha Ekadasi” is an adaptation of Chandramana calendar. It is believed that “Lord Vishnu” has two eyes right eye being Sun and Moon that of left one. The vision is “Unique and only one” though emaniting from the both eyes. Thus the light is manifestation of eternal self is truly reflected in this festival
The hand that protects from all fears
It is stated that on this auspicious day, the Lord of creation “Brahma” approached “Lord Vishnu” and obtained his world to protect all “Devas” from the “Demon Ravana”. It is also believed that the Asuras 'Madhu' and 'Kaitabha', when slain by Lord Vishnu, resumed their Godly forms and requested Hari that all those people who performed pooja on this day in all sincerity and had entry through Vaikunta Dwara (Gate way) should get a divine place in Vaikuntha and Lord has readily agreed to this proposal and has given his assent by saying “Thadhasthu”. Since all the devotees who performed pooja on this auspicious day will achieve Moksha (Eternal Bliss), this day is also called “Mokshothasava Day”. Since all thirty three crore Gods are relived of their miseries on this day it is further called “Mukkoti Ekadasi”.
It is even named as Vaikuntha Ekadasi as the devotees have glimpse (darshan) of Lord in Vaikuntha the abode of Lord Vishnu, if they perform pooja to Lord Vishnu with true dedication and in all devotion. The Sukla Ekadasi in the month of Pousha (Pushya) is called as Putradiaekadasi (meant for sons).
The Eleventh day Kala (Glow) eminating from Sun on Sukla Ekadasi moves towards Moon. Similarly the eleventh day of Moon moves towards Surya mandala on Bahula Ekadasi. This travel of Moon and Sun has lead to the name of Ekadasi. People observe fast on this auspicious Ekadasi Day as per scriptures which say that … Ekadasya Upavasena Kadachidati Krameth.
On this day the devotees have to keep themselves away from all luxuries and sins; and concentrate on religious pure deeds. They have to observe Sama (controlling all 11 Indriyas 5 Gnana – 5 Karma and last but not the least mind). Upavasa means nearness to God. This Upavasa Deeksha starts in the night of Dasami and ends in the morning hours of 3rd day of Dwadasi. Of course children below the age of 8 and elders above the age of 80 are exempted from this arduous ritual as stated in Katyayana Smrithi.
The Prominence of Ekadasi
The maid born from the body of Vishnu while he was in Yoganidra (the yogic slumber) has killed the demon “Mura”. Highly pleased with this act, Lord Vishnu has offered a boon to the maid that all those who worship him on this day, will be relieved of worldy matters and attain salvation and the girl is named as 'Ekadasi'. Since Ekadasi has emanated from Vishnu she is treated as incarnation of Vishnu. It is further believed that King “Sukethu” has been blessed with son after performed this Ekadasi Vratham.
It is also stated that Goddess Mahalakshmi has manifested herself from the ocean of milk on Dwadasi Day after its wild churning by Sura and Asuras (Deva Danava) and blessed all the devotees. The devotee Kuchela, and King Rukmangada had their desires fully achieved, after worshipping Vishnu.
On the 12th day i.e. on Dwadasi day Sudarshan Chakra is duly given holy bath in Pushkarini amidst chanting of religious hymns in Tirumala. It is believed that the holy water in Swami Pushkarini becomes a concluence of all 3.5 crores sacred rivers in micro formate. People who take holy bath in Swami Pushkarini will attain salvation with no rebirth.Way to Vaikuntam Entrance in Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple at Tirumala - A view
The term “Vaikuntha” the abode of Lord Vishnu is derived as “He” is believed to have been born to a lady named “Vaikuntha” in Chakshusa Manvantara. Hence Lord Maha Vishnu called “Vaikuntha”, who is the Lord of all creation, and controller of all creatures and their mis deeds. The place Vaikuntha is referred as a place of Eternal Bliss and those who achieved this place with steadfast devotion on this auspicious day have no rebirth. As stated earlier all 11 indriyas (senses) if surrended before Lord will attain Vaikuntha. If through Upavasa the Jeeva (soul) will transform into eternal self (Paramathma) and will achieve all purification. On 12th day Dwadasi the devotee ends his fasting and have Lord's prasadam after a (sacred bath) Chakrasnana in Swami Pushkarini at Tirumala on this pious day.
Ekadasi in Tirumala Temple :
In Tirumala temple, Ekadasi is performed in all religious fervour. The Bangaru Vakili (Golden threshold) of Lord will be closed to public from the night of previous day Dasami after performing Ekantha Seva, till Ekantha Seva on Dwadasi night. Only the other route called 'Mukkoti Pradakshana Marg' will be kept open from Suprabhatam in wee hours on Ekadasi day to Ekantaseva on the night of Dwadasi day. This route is also called 'Vaikunta Dwara or Vaikunta Pradakshina Dwara'. The devotees who went round this illuminated way on this Ekadasi Day will experience a sublime divine feel
On this Ekadasi day Lord Malayappa Swami with His Consorts will go round the temple in Mada streets in all splendor and pomp on a Golden Chariot and holy hymns are recited from 4th chapter of Divya Prabhanda “Tiruvaimoli” written by Nammalwar
Since many devotees go through the “Vaikuntha Dwara” (door) to have Darshan of Lord it is called Vaikuntha Dwarastha Bhagavadalokana Mahotsavam. With the concluding holy bath on 12th day in Pushkarini after the holy rituals of Sri Chakrasnana, the devotees will beget the entire blessings of Lord Vishnu and attain salvation (Moksha) with no rebirth.
Vaikuntha Ekadasi date