The Ekadashi day is the most purifying of all days and observing fast on this day takes away all the sins. There is an interesting story behind the origin of Ekadashi narrates about the importance of Ekadashi. It is said that eating grains his forbidden on Ekadashi day and observing fast on this day is beneficial to the observer for a number of reasons.
There are 26 Ekadashi days fall in a year plus five days Ramnavmi, Shivratri, Vamana Jayanti, Narsingh Jayanti and Janmashatmi. It is said that observing fast and indulging in religious activities in these days, the person is benefited in number of ways.
There is a story as why grains are not eaten that day because, Paappurusha resides there. Devi Ekadashi is a manifestation of God as she was born of Eleven(ekadash) indriyas of Lord Vishnu and has following boons from lord:
1. That She always be the chosen one and lovable to him.
2. That She be the highest of all the horoscopic dates (Tithi’s); That She be the destroyer of all sins; That She grant the strength to people to live more in their life.
3. That She can grant good health, wealth and any wishes to those who complete a fast and follow the fast of Ekadashi with the three boons.
The Eleventh day of Kartik is the appearance (Utpati) day of Ekadashi.
Origin of Ekadashi
Once in the age of Satyug, the demon named Mur (son of demon Naadijang) won over the Kingdom of Swarag (Dev Loka) from the devtas. He defeated all devas and ruled over them. Devtas, thus troubled by the demon went to Lord Vishnu and asked him to save them from the clutches of Mur. Lord Vishnu then reached the Mur’s capital, candravati and was attacked by other demons. Lord destroyed them immediately. At last, left alone, Mur started fighting with lord.
Mur used his mystic power to render useless whatever weapons the Supreme Lord Vishnu unleashed. Indeed, to the demon the weapons felt just like flowers striking him. When the Lord could not defeat the demon even with various kinds of weapons, he began fighting with his bare hands, which were as strong as iron-studded clubs. The Lord wrestled with Mura for one thousand celestial years and then, apparently fatigued, left for Badarikashram.
There Lord , the greatest of all yogis, the Lord of the universe, entered a very beautiful cave named Himavati to rest. That cave was ninety-six miles in diameter and had only one entrance. very tired, Lord went there to take rest. and soon fell asleep. The demon followed him into that cave and, seeing him asleep, started thinking within his heart, “Today I will kill this slayer of all demons, Hari.”
Just when Mur demon(danav) was about to strike Lord, from the divine senses of God, appeared a beautiful woman with all sorts of divine artilleries in her hands.
Seeing her, Mur Daanav got entangled to her sensational beauty, lost his own senses and asked her to marry him. The woman said, “Oh no! It is not easy to have me in marriage. I have a condition that whoever wins me in a battle will marry me.” Blinded in the beauty of the woman, another battle started between them. Mur Daanav did not realise that one of the two has to die in order for the other to win. Ultimately, Mur Daanav was killed in the war.
Then the Supreme Lord woke up and saw the dead demo before Him,as well as the maiden bowing down to him with joined palms. His
face expressing His astonishment, the Lord of the universe said,”Who has killed this vicious demon? He easily defeated all the demigods, Gandharvas, and even Indra himself, along with Indra’s companions, the Maruts, and he also defeated the Nagas (snakes), the rulers of the lower planets. He even defeated Me, making Me hide in this cave out of fear. Who is it that has so mercifully protected Me after I ran from the battlefield and went to sleep in this cave?
The maiden said, “It is I who have killed this demon after appearing from You transcendental body. Indeed, O Lord Hari, when he saw You sleeping he wanted to kill You. Understanding the intention of this thorn in the side of the three worlds, I killed the evil rascal and this freed all the demigods from fear. I am Your great maha-sakti, Your internal potency, who strikes fear into the hearts of all Your enemies. I have killed this universally terrifying demon to protect the three worlds. Please tell me why You are surprised to see that this demon has been killed, O Lord.
The Supreme Lord said, “O sinless one, I am very satisfied to see that it is you who have killed this king of the demons. In this way you have made the demigods happy, prosperous, and full of bliss. Because you have given pleasure to all the demigods in the three worlds, I am very pleased with you. Ask any boon you may desire, O auspicious one. I will give it to you without a doubt, though it be very rare among the demigods.”
Why not to eat grains on Ekadashi
For the purpose of punishing the evil human beings, Papa Purusha was created. His form was the embodiment of the worst kinds of sin (Papa-purusha). His was a horrible personality embodying all sinful activities and vices was created. He inflicts extreme misery upon sinful persons.
In form of Ekadasi and by the virtue of his boons to her, sinful people find a way of reaching heaven if they followed Ekadasi vrata. Seeing this Papa-Purusha inquired Lord Vishnu that his existence is over as this vrata has the power to deny him. So where does he go. It is through me that you wanted distress given to the living entities who are very sinful. But now, by the influence of Sri Ekadashi, I have become all but destroyed.
Lord Vishnu said – I’ll tell you where you can stay on the lunar day of Ekadasi. On the date of Sri Ekadasi, which is the benefactor of the three planetary systems, you can take shelter of foodstuffs in the form of grains. There is no reason to worry about this any more, because My form as Sri Ekadasi will no longer impede you.’ After giving direction to the Papa-purusha, the Supreme Lord Vishnu disappeared and the Papa-purusha returned to the performance of his own activities. Therefore, those persons who are serious about the ultimate benefit of the soul will never eat grains on Ekadasi. According to the instructions of Lord Vishnu, every kind of sinful activity that can be found in the material world takes its residence in this place of (grains) foodstuff.
Various Ekadashi days
Mokshada Ekadashi – on this all-auspicious day, Lord Shri Krishna spoke the Srimad Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, at the place now known as Jyotisha tirtha. Anyone who gifts a Bhagavad Gita away to a deserving person on this day is bestowed profuse blessings by the Sri Krishna Bhagawan.
Jaya / Bhaimi
Sayana / Padma
Aja / Annada
Parvartini / Parsva
Haribhodini / Utthana
Adik maas – Padmini
Bhishma Ekadashi is one of the most auspicious days and it is celebrated to mark the origin of the most powerful and well known Sri Vishnu Sahasranaama Sthothram. On this day Bhishma Pithamaha who was the oldest, wisest, most powerful, and the most righteous person belonging to the Kuru dynasty (approx. over 5000 years ago) narrated the greatness of Lord Krishna through Sri Vishnu Sahsranaama to Yudhishtira who was the oldest brother of Pandavas.