Bhishma Ekadashi, or Bheesma Ekadasi, is observed in the Magha Month or Magha Masam (January – February). Bhishma Ekadashi 2016 date in
is February 18. It is observed mainly in India South India, especially in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The popular belief is that the Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram (thousand names dedicated to Lord Vishnu) was revealed to the Pandavas on this day by Bhisma, the great grand father in the Mahabharata. Bhishma was lying in a bed of arrows after the Great War in Mahabharat when he revealed the thousand names of Bhishma.
The Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram was revealed to Pandavas by Bhishma in the presence of Lord Krishna, who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that listening to Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram leads to Moksha.
This particular period (January to February) in a traditional Hindu calendar has numerous auspicious dates dedicated to Bhishma in various regions in
. Some of the important days are Bhishma Ashtami, Bhisma Dwadasi and Bhishma Ekadasi. It is believed that Bhishma chose this period to leave his body and merge with Brahman. India
Some of the dates associated with Bhishma are of conflicting nature. As in a particular region, the Shradh for Bhishma is performed on an earlier date (Bhishma Ashtami) and the Ekadasi in a region happen later etc.
The fasting that is kept on other Ekadasi is followed on this day too. Those observing partial fast avoid rice and grains.
North India, on this particular day Jaya Ekadashi is observed.