Vishnu sleeps on the Shesha Shaiya - bed of Shesha
|Also called||Devutthi ekadashi, Deothan, Kartik Shukla ekadashi|
|Observed by||Hindus, especially Vaishnavas|
|Significance||end of the chaturmas|
|Observances||Prayers and religious rituals, including puja to Vishnu|
|Date||Decided by the lunar calendar|
|Related to||Shayani Ekadashi|
Prabodhini Ekadashi 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. Prabodhini Ekadashi is followed by Kartik Poornima, which day is celebrated as Dev Diwali or Diwali of gods.
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. This ritual marriage is known as Tulsi Vivah and may be conducted on the next day of Prabodhini Ekadashi instead of Prabodhini Ekadashi itself.
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). 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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 prabhatiya, or song urging the god to wake, is sung. The canes are then broken and hung off the roof till Holi, when they are burnt.
- 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. The day also commemorates the passing of authority by Ramanand Swami to Swaminarayan on November 16, 1801. Swaminarayan followers observe a waterless fast and offer an offering of fresh vegetables to the deities.
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