Significance of Vaikunta Ekadasi

Vaikunta Ekadasi is an important festival dedicated to Bhagvan Srihari Vishnu in the Tamil month of Margazhi (December-January). Vaikunda Ekadesi festival is of great significance at the Tirupati Balaji Temple, Srirangam Sri Ranganatha Temple and at the Bhadrachalam Temple. In Kerala, it is known as Swarga Vathil Ekadashi. Next Vaikunta Ekadasi date is January 1, 2015.

The significance of Vaikunta Ekadasi can be traced back to the Padma Purana. The Purana indicates that Bhagvan Vishnu took the form of ‘Ekadasi’ – female energy – to kill demon Muran. This happened during the month of Margazhi. Impressed by ‘Ekadasi,’ Vishnu told her that whoever worships him on this day will reach ‘Vaikunta’ (heaven).

Like all Ekadasi days, devotees fast on this day and observe vigil the whole night. Some people indulge in meditation, Japa and singing of Hari Kirtan. Rice is avoided during ekadashi days as it is believed that the demon Mura finds a dwelling in the rice eaten on Ekadasi day.

It is widely believed that the gates to the heaven open - the Gate of Vaikuntha - on the Vaikunta Ekadasi day. It is one of the most auspicious days in Vishnu Temples in South India.

The ‘Vaikunta Dwaram’ or ‘the gate to the heaven’ is opened on this day. This is the passage encircling the innermost sanctum of the Lord. Scores of devotees queue up to pass through the Gate of Vaikunta in the temples.

Vaikunta Ekadasi occurs in December or early January.

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Significance of Ekadasi