The Ekadashi date of Ashadh Krishna Paksha is called ‘Yogini Ekadashi’. ‘Yoga’ means to add, combine or to unify. By freeing the human mind and the eleven senses from the six enemies and lusts by devoting oneself to god and in the end free the human mind, to motivate the soul inside the body to attain Moksha i.e. Divinity being the main purpose, this holiest day is called ‘Yogini Ekadashi’.
The adored Lord of Ekadashi Tithi is Srihari Bishnu. Therefore, on this date, while fasting, worshiping, and meditating on the Supreme Lord Bishnu, the Lord of the universe, God abides in the human mind and the mind receives a special kind of spiritual energy. Spiritual energy is obtained only by the grace of God. Special practice is required to obtain God’s grace. A person who practices in this way is healthy, long-lived, has a sharp memory and is quick-witted. The inherent wisdom in oneself can remove all the obstacles in the future time.
Context of Yogini Ekadashi
History-mythology is found, that born on earth as the eighth incarnation of Lord Hari at the end of the Dwapara era, Lord Krishna performed many acts and eradicated sin by preaching to various saints for the benefit of the entire people in the coming Kali Yuga, emphasizing the importance of religion.
Lord Krishna has calmed the curiosity of the innocent and virtuous Dharmaraj Yudhisthir and described the glory of all Ekadashi vows. In this context, describing the glory of Ashadh Krishna Pakchya’s Ekadashi, i.e. Yogini Ekadashi, God has inspired all people, including Dharmaraj Yudhisthir, to fast on a holy day like Ekadashi and take measures to get near God.
Instincts such as lust, anger, greed, drunkenness and envy keep man away from God, so they are considered to be the main enemy of man. As the number of these enemies is 6, the numerical meaning of enemy i.e. Ripu has remained 6 in Sanskrit. Through Ekadashi Brat, through devotion to God, the Ekadash senses can be brought under control by instilling and implementing good tendencies in the mind. In addition to this, the path of religion, meaning, work and salvation can be followed through kindness, compassion, harmony, good deeds, devotion to God, etc.
There are also special rules for Ekadashi fasting. The importance of fasting is especially mentioned in this ekadashi fast. In order to keep the mind focused on devotion to God and to control the senses, one can fast, as much as possible without consuming anything if not possible, one can fast by consuming fruits. Yogini Ekadashi is described by Lord Krishna as a vow to destroy all sins and to attain special enjoyment in this life and salvation in the hereafter. God has also told Dharmaraj Yudhisthir a story, which is as follows:
There was a king of demons named Kuber in the city of Alkapuri in heaven. As he was a great devotee of Lord Shiva, he used to worship Shiva daily. He assigned a gardener named Hem to bring flowers for his daily worship. Hem had a beautiful wife named Vishalakshi. One day, while Hem was bringing flowers to worship from Mansarovar, he remembered his wife on the way and because he was lustful, went home without going to the palace taking the flowers also with him. At home he spent time playing with his wife and losing track of time did not go to the palace.
On the other hand, when flowers did not arrive at the palace for midday worship, the king searched for Hem. He was immediately summoned to the court when other servants of the king, who had known of Hem’s lustful character, told him that he had gone home to have fun with his wife.
The king was furious at Hem’s actions. Seeing Hem trembling with fear in front of him, King Kuber said, ‘You have disrespected the venerable Lord Shiva! I will curse you the sinner, the lowly, the lustful, ‘he said,’ you will now endure the separation of a woman and go to the underworld and become a leper. ‘
Kuber’s curse caused Hem, the gardener, to fall from heaven and immediately fall down to the earth. As soon as he landed, he developed leprosy too. He also got separated from his wife. Then the gardener suffered a lot on the earth. He went to the dense forest and wandered for a long time without food and water. He was exhausted with pain. He could not sleep all night.
Due to the influence of his previous service to Lord Shiva, he still remembers his previous birth. One day, because of the influence of the karma of his previous birth, he wandered around and reached the ashram of the sage Markandeya. At the ashram of sage Markandeya, who looked as old as Brahma, his ashram too looked like the assembly of Brahma. Hem went there and bowed at the feet of the sage.
Seeing Hem’s condition, the sage Markandeya took pity on him and asked, “What sin have you committed that this condition has befallen you?” Hem narrated the whole story to the sage. After hearing all this, the sage said, ‘Of course you have told the truth before me, so I will tell you a method of fasting for your salvation. If you observe the method of Ekadashi called Yogini coming in the month of Ashadh Krishna Pakchya, all your sins will be destroyed.
Upon hearing this, Hem was very happy and bowed to the sage. Muni Markandeya picked him up with affection. Gardener Hem methodically fasted Yogini Ekadashi as instructed by the sage. By the effect of this fast, he regained his former condition and reunited with his wife and lived happily ever after.
In the end, Lord Krishna says, O Rajan Yudhisthir, if on Yogini Ekadashi one fast methodically it is equally fruitful as feeding 88,000 Brahmins. By fasting, all sins are cleansed and heaven is attained in the end. To Read this article in the Nepali Language please click here.