In the Hindu month of Ashadha, it marks an important holy event of Yogini Ekadashi. The date is reflected in the Hindu calendar. This corresponds to Gregorian calendar June-July period. In 2018, Yogini Ekadashi falls on the 9th of July, Monday. It is observed in the Krishna Paksha, the descending-waning phase of the moon. Ekadashi meaning the 11th day called Tithi. Yogini Ekadashi is also called Achala Ekadashi.
One of the main objectives of observing the Yogini Ekadashi Vrat is to have a good health. Vrat means fasting. Yogini Ekadashi is also in dedication to Lord Vishnu. Devotees seek Lord Vishnu’s blessings for good health, killing skin disease and other ailments, good wealth, prosperity, peace of mind, washing away sins etc.
There is an ancient story behind the background-foundation of Yogini Ekadashi. Once, a gardener Hem had a beautiful wife called Vishalakshi. The gardener worked for a King named Kuvera. They lived in the mythical city of Alakapuri. The King was a devout and dutiful devotee of Lord Shiva. The gardener used to provide flowers from the famous Lake Mansarovar to the King on a daily duty basis for the King’s prayers and worship of Lord Shiva. Once the gardener who was highly attracted to his beautiful wife stayed back and did not perform his duty. He did not deliver the flowers. The King summoned the gardener to the court and cursed him with the suffering of leprosy and separation from his wife. For several years the gardener wandered in the forests. One day he happened to reach an Ashram of Sage Priest Markandeya. The gardener told him about his story. Sage Markandeya advised him to observe Yogini Ekadashi to relieve himself of leprosy and King Kuvera’s cure. After which the gardener became fine and was back with the wife and lived happily thereafter; therefore the significance in the observance of Yogini Ekadashi.
The Yogini Ekadashi Vrat starts in the evening of the 10th day of Krishna Paksha, for 2018 – the date is the 8th of July, Sunday, i.e., the evening before the date of the Yogini Ekadashi that is the 9th of July, Monday in this year. The fast concludes the day after the Ekadashi, i.e., on the 12th day, i.e., the 10th of July for 2018. The exact date-time in each year can be consulted with an Astrologer or Priest, or a detailed Hindu Panchang lunar calendar. Many devotees wake up early, bathe, and perform prayers. Some make donations at the temple or to the needy, especially sweets-food times etc.
One of the Mantras for Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna is—
Om Namo Bhagavate Vaasudevaaya
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