Prabodhini Ekadashi

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Prabodhini Ekadashi
Vishnu and Lakshmi on Shesha Naga, ca 1870.jpg
Vishnu sleeps on the Shesha Shaiya - bed of Shesha
Also called Devutthi ekadashi, Deothan, Kartik Shukla ekadashi
Observed by Hindus, especially Vaishnavas
Type Hindu
Significance end of the chaturmas
Observances Prayers and religious rituals, including puja to Vishnu
Date Decided by the lunar calendar
2013 date 13 November
2014 date 3 November
Frequency annual
Related to Shayani Ekadashi

Prabodhini Ekadashi (Sanskrit: प्रबोधिनी एकादशी) also known as Devotthan Ekadashi, is the 11th lunar day (ekadashi) in the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) of the Hindu month of Kartik. It marks the end of the four-month period of Chaturmas, when god Vishnu is believed to sleep. It is believed that Vishnu sleeps on Shayani Ekadashi and wakes on Prabodhini Ekadashi, thus giving this day the name "Prabodhini Ekadashi" ("awakening eleventh"), Vishnu-prabodhini ("awakening of Vishnu") and Dev-Prabodhini Ekadashi, Deothan, Dev uthav ekadashi or Dev Oothi ekadashi ("god's awakening"). The end of Chaturmas, when marriages are prohibited, signifies the beginning of the Hindu wedding season. It is also known as Kartiki Ekadashi, Kartik Shukla ekadashi and Kartiki. [1]Prabodhini Ekadashi is followed by Kartik Poornima, which day is celebrated as Dev Diwali or Diwali of Gods.

Rituals[edit]

A fast is observed on Prabodhini Ekadashi and the ritual marriage of the Tulsi plant is performed with god Vishnu, who is regarded as the husband of Tulsi.[2] This ritual marriage is known as Tulsi Vivah and may be conducted on the next day of Prabodhini Ekadashi instead of Prabodhini Ekadashi itself.

Pandharpur

In Maharashtra, Prabodhini Ekadashi is linked with the god Vithoba - a form of Vishnu. Varkari pilgrims throng the Pandharpur temple of Vithoba on this day. The celebrations in Pandharpur continue for five days, till the full moon day (Kartik Poornima).[3] On Prabodhini Ekadashi, the chief minister or a minister of Maharashtra state performs ritual components of worship on behalf of the Government of Maharashtra. This form of worship is known as sarkari-mahapuja.[4]

Mt. Girnar

In Gujarat, more 800,000 pilgrims perform the 32-km Lili Parikrama ,circumambulation of Mt. Girnar, over a two-day period. This performed as a gesture of thanksgiving to the gods, who are believed to have assembled on the mountain.[5]

Pushkar
Puskar Mela, 2006

In Pushkar, Rajasthan, the Pushkar Fair or Pushkar mela commences on this day and continues till the full moon day (Kartik Poornima). This fair is held in the honour of god Brahma, whose temple stands at Pushkar. A ritual bath during the five days of the fairin the Pushkar lake is considered to lead one to salvation. Sadhus gather here and stay from ekadashi to full moon day in caves. About 200,000 people and 25,000 camels assemble in Pushkar for the fair. Pushkar fair is Asia's largest camel fair.[6][7][8][9][10]

Sugarcane harvest

Prabodhini Ekadashi also marks the beginning of sugarcane harvest. The farmer performs a puja in the field and ceremoniously cuts some sugarcane, laying some at the boundary of the field and distributing five canes to a Brahmin (priest), blacksmith, carpenter, washer-man and water-carrier and taking five canes at home. At home, figures of Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi are drawn on a wooden-board with cowdung and butter. The sugarcane are tied together at the top and placed round the board. Some cotton, betel-nut, lentils and sweets are offered along with a yagna (fire sacrifice). A song urging the god to wake is sung. The canes are then broken and hung off the roof till Holi, when they are burnt.[11]

Swaminarayan sect

Prabodhini Ekadashi is considered as an important Ekadashi in the Swaminarayan sect. The day commemorates the diksha, or religious initiation, of Swaminarayan by his guru Ramanand Swami on October 28, 1800.[12] The day also commemorates the passing of authority by Ramanand Swami to Swaminarayan on November 16, 1801.[12] Swaminarayan followers observe a waterless fast and offer an offering of fresh vegetables to the deities.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kutch in festival and custom By K. S. Dilipsin p.90. The name "Deva-Diwali" is also applied to Kartik Poornima that occurs 4 days later
  2. ^ Fasts and festivals of India By Manish Verma p.58
  3. ^ Mokashi, Digambar Balkrishna; Engblom, Philip C. (1987). Palkhi: a pilgrimage to Pandharpur - translated from the Marathi book Pālakhī. Albany: State University of New York Press. pp. 34–50 and 263–278. ISBN 0-88706-461-2. 
  4. ^ Pathak, Dr. Arunchandra S. (2006). "Pandharpur". The Gazetteers Dept, Government of Maharashtra (first published: 1977). Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  5. ^ India Guide Gujarat By Anjali Desai p.74
  6. ^ Fairs and Festivals of India By S.P. Sharma, Seema Gupta p 133-34
  7. ^ Nag Hill at Pushkar brims with sadhus, 27 October 2009, Times of India
  8. ^ Land and people of Indian states and union territories: in 36 volumes, Volume 1 By S. C. Bhatt, Gopal K. Bhargava p.347
  9. ^ Viewfinder: 100 Top Locations for Great Travel Photography By Keith Wilson p.18-9
  10. ^ Frommer's India By Pippa de Bruyn, Keith Bain, Niloufer Venkatraman, Shonar Joshi p. 440
  11. ^ Festivals In Indian Society (2 Vols. Set) By Usha Sharma p.190
  12. ^ a b Kim, Hanna (2001). Being Swaminarayan: The Ontology and Significance of Belief in the Construction of a Gujarati Diaspora. Ann Arbor, MI: Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company. p. 288. 
  13. ^ Williams, Raymond (2001). Introduction to Swaminarayan Hinduism. Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press. p. 143. ISBN 0 521 65279 0.