Ekadashi is the eleventh day of a fortnight in a Hindu lunar calendar and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Upvaas or fasting on Ekadasi day is considered highly beneficial and is observed by a large number of Vishnu devotees. There are two Ekadashis in a lunar month. The dates of Ekadashi in February 2009 – February 6 and February 20.
The Ekadasi on February 6, 2009 is known as Jaya Ekadashi. The Smarta sect is observing it on February 5 and the Vaishnava Sect on February 6. This Ekadasi is also known as Bhisma Ekadasi in South India. In Orissa, it is known as Bhoumi Ekadashi.
The Ekadashi on February 20 is known as Vijaya Ekadasi. This Ekadasi is known as Pankoddhar Ekadashi in Orissa.
The preparation for Ekadashi fasting begins on the Dasami day – the day before Ekadasi.
On the Ekadasi day, devotees observe complete fast. The day is meant for hearing religious discourses and performing pujas.
There are also devotees who do not observe total fast. They avoid grains especially rice and consume fruits, nuts and milk.
The fasting comes to an end on the Dwadashi day with the consuming of food cooked in one’s house.
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