Ekadashi fast is mainly dedicated to Lord Vishnu. In a year there come 24 Ekadashi, which falls twice in a month; first one on 11th day of Shukla Paksh (bright lunar fortnight) and second one on 11th day of Krishna Paksh (dark lunar fortnight). Lord Vishnu’s devotees keep fast on the day of Ekadashi, to get his blessings.
Yogini Ekadashi is considered very significant according to the Hindu beliefs as by observing fast on this day, one can abstain from any kind of sickness and be blessed with good health and prosperity. Yogini Ekadashi is also called ‘Hari Vasara’ or the day of Lord Vishnu. Yogini Ekadashi is also known as Ashadhi Ekadashi.
When is it observed?
Yogini Ekadashi falls on the 11th day of Ashadh month during Krishna Paksha, the dark lunar fortnight, according to Hindu lunar calendar. This auspicious day observes on Thursday, 30th June 2016.
The legend was being narrated by Lord Krishna himself to Yudhishthira according to the Brahma-Vaivarta Purana.
The legend has it that once there lived a royal gardener named Hemamali, who was a ‘Yaksha’ and had a beautiful wife named Swarupvati. He used to work for King Kubera, King of Alakpuri. The king was a true devotee of Lord Shiva. It was Hemamali’s job to collect flowers from the holy Mansarovar Lake and get it for the King so that he can worship Shiva. One day Hemamali forgot to fulfil his duty as he got busy with his wife. When the king got to know this he got furious and cursed Hemamali of suffering from leprosy and separation from his wife. He was thrown out of the kingdom. Thus Hemamali suffered from the terrible disease and separated from his wife and wandered out for many days.
When he met Sage Markandeya (Markandeya Maharshi), he suggested him to observe Yogini Ekadashi fast. Hemamali observed the fast on Ashadhi Krishna Ekadashi and got rid of the leprosy and became a beautiful Yaksha. He lived his rest of life happily with his wife. Since then, this day is considered auspicious as it relieves one of his sins and diseases.
Yogini Ekadashi has a great significance and is observed by many Hindus all over the world. It is believed that observing this fast people get rid from skin diseases, leprosy and other ailments. People believe that observing Yogini Ekadashi fast leads to the boon of salvation after death. Hence, devotees follow ritually Yogini Ekadashi Vrat (fast) to get blessed with good health as well as a prosperous life filled with happiness.
Rituals and Celebrations
Similar to other ‘Ekadashi’, on Yogini Ekadashi too devotees keep fast and read Bhagvad Gita and sing bhajans of Lord Vishnu. Ekadashi fast begins from sunrise and continues until the next day sunrise. Ekadashi
Parana is done after sunrise on next day of Ekadashi fast. It is necessary to do Parana within Dwadashi Tithi unless Dwadashi is over before sunrise. Devotees perform ‘Jagran’ or overnight chanting and reciting hymns of Lord Vishnu. People observing fast on this day have to refrain from consuming rice grains. Many Devotees donate food, clothes and medicines to the needy and poor this day to seek blessings of the lord.