Friday, November 19, 2010

IMPORTANCE OF VAIKUNTA EKADASI


                      

                                  Ardra is the name of a Nakshatra in Indian astronomy that corresponds to the star Betelgeuse. Arudra nakshatra (Betelgeuse) in Mithuna from 6:40 to 20:00. Ardra means the goddess of fortune. The presiding deity the Rudra, the wielder of the trident. Symbol- a teardrop. The ruling planet is Rahu.
                            When Surya enters Ardra the earth is said to be starting its menstrual course that is Ambobachi. Ardra means wet or surcharged with water, that is fat. From Rudra comes all suffering, persecutions and oppressions, anger, ferocity of countenance or hideousness of noise.
Rudra is another name of Shiva.
                            In knowledge, asceticism, renunciation, as also in enjoyment, he is the supreme consummation of all desires. He is the wielder of the most tremendous powers, what could not be attempted far less achieved by other gods. (During the churning of the ocean of milk, poison was produced--which threatened to engulf the universe. Siva came to the rescue and swallowed the poison, holding it in his throat.)
                               On one side he is the symbol of the most perfect placidity and serenity, on the other hand he is the symbol of all that is terrible. He holds the great serpent on his head and on his forehead crescent Chandra with his sweet-soft light. He is at the same time the most peaceful and also the most terrible. And in all these are to be traced the intrinsic characteristics of Ardra.Those born in the Ardra star are sharp, stable minded, strong, earning by sacrifice, afflicted by sickness, fear and anger. In Tamil and Malayalam Ardra is referred to as Thiruvathirai and Thiruvathira respectively.

      




                      Thiruvathira is a Hindu festival celebrated in the southern Indian state of Kerala on the full moon day of the month of Dhanu (December or January). The festival commemorates the death of Kamadeva, the Hindu god of love. It is believed that on this day, the Goddess Parvathi finally met Lord Siva after her long penance. This festival is also called the festival of women, because women will fast on this day to get good husbands.


Vaikunta Ekadashi s
                           is the Ekadashi that occurs in the Hindu calendar month of Marghazhi or Margashira or Margashirsha (corresponding to late December - January in English calendar). Vaishnavism (Worship of Lord Vishnu) culture believes that ‘Vaikunta Dwaram’ or ‘the gate to Lord's Inner Sanctum’ is opened on this day. The Margashirsha shukla paksha ekadashi in lunar calendar is known as a 'Mokshada Ekadashi'. People also know that as a vaikunta ekadashi. However vaikunta ekadashi in Sri Rangam Temple (Tamil Nadu) is in the solar margashira month (Margazhi). Special prayers, yagnas, discourses and speeches are arranged at Vishnu temples across the world on this auspicious day.
                       
According to Vishnu Purana, fasting on Vaikunta Ekadashi is equivalent to fasting on the remaining 23 Ekadashis of the (Hindu) year. However according to Vaishnava tradition fasting is mandatory on all Ekadashi of both Sukla paksha and Krishna paksha. Fasting on Ekadashi is considered holier than any other religious observation.
                     Lord opened the gate of Vaikuntam (his abode) for two demons in spite of they being against the Lord. They also asked for the boon that who ever listens to their story and see the image of Lord coming out of the door (called Dwar) called Vaikunth Dwar they reach Vaikunth as well! Temples all over the India makes a door kind of structure on this day for devotees to pass through that.
                 According to Padma Purana, the female energy of Lord Vishnu slayed demon Muran and protects `Devas'. Impressed by the act, Lord Vishnu names her as `Ekadashi' and gives her the boon that those who worship `Ekadashi' on the day of her victory over Muran would reach `Vaikunth' (His abode).
In Mahabarata, Bhagavad Gita - the conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna at the beginning of Kurukshetra War is said to have occurred on this day.


In SrirangamSri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam
                                 Vaikunta Ekadashi celebrations in Srirangam—foremost of Vaishanvite Shrines, lasts 21 days and is divided into two parts of pagal pathu (morning part) and Ira pathu (night part). Lord Vishnu as Lord Ranganatha is adorned is an armor of diamonds (rathnaangi) and is brought to the Thousand-Pillared Hall from the sanctum sanctorum through the northern gate known as Paramapada Vasal, the gate to the heaven. This gate is opened once in a year, only on the Vaikuntha Ekadashi day.

In Tirumala

         Tirumala Venkateswara Temple also has a similar concept. Thirumala has a special entrance called Vaikunta Dwaram that encircles the sanctum sanctorum. The dwaram (passage) is opened only on Vaikunta Ekadashi and it is believed that any person who passes through this `Vaikunta Dwaram' on this particular day attains salvation. The temple witnesses heavy inflow of pilgrims and dignitaries for Vaikunta Ekadashi

 

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