About Rama Ekadashi:
Rama Ekadashi falls on the eleventh day of the Krishna Paksha during the month of ‘Kartik.’ Rama Ekadashi is observed four days before the festival of Diwali. It is also referred as ‘Rambha Ekadashi’ or ‘Kartik Krishna Ekadashi.’ It is a popular conviction that devotees can wash away their sins by keeping a sacred fast on this day.
Celebrations and Rituals:
Fasting is an important ritual on Ekadashi. It starts from the tenth day. On this day, devotees refrain from certain foods and consume only ‘saatvik’ meal before sunset. On Ekadashi, they do not eat at all. The end of the fasting ritual is called as ‘Parana’ which occurs on the Twelfth. Consuming rice and grains on any Ekadashi is strictly prohibited. Devotees wake up early and take a holy bath. Lord Vishnu is worshipped with devotion. Fruits, flowers, incense sticks, Tulsi leaves, and dhoop are offered to Lord Vishnu. Devotees prepare a special ‘Bhog’ for their deity. An aarti is performed, and ‘Prasad’ is distributed among the family members. ‘Rama’ is another name for Goddess Lakshmi. Hence, devotees also offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi along with Lord Vishnu to seek the blessings of prosperity, health, and happiness.The observer of the Rama Ekadashi maintains night vigil by singing bhajans- kirtan. Reading ‘Bhagavad Gita’ on this day is believed to be auspicious.
Significance of Rama Ekadashi:
According to the Hindu religious scripture ‘Brahma-Vaivarta Purana,’ it is believed that one who observes the Rama Ekadashi will be freed from all the sins. A person who hears the glories of Rama Ekadashi will attain salvation and reach the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu. The benefits of observing Rama Ekadashi are more than performing 100 Rajasuya Yagya or 1000 Ashvamedha Yagya. By worshipping God Vishnu with devotion, the person will overcome all the obstacles and achieve immense success.