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Vaikuntha Ekadashi falls during Dhanur solar month in Hindu calendar. Dhanur month or Dhanurmasa is known as Margazhi month in Tamil Calendar. Vaikuntha Ekadashi is Shukla Paksha Ekadashi out of two Krishna Paksha and Shukla Paksha Ekadashis in a month. Vaikunta Ekadasi festival is more elaborately celebrated by Vaishnavites. It is more prominent for Tamil and Telugu speaking people.
Significance Of Vaikunta Ekadashi
The significance of Vaikunta Ekadasi is known from Padma Purana. God’s were unable to bear the cruelness of ‘Demon Muran’, all approached Shiva to help in this problem. Lord Shiva directed them to Vishnu. Vishnu realized that a new weapon was needed to slay Muran. In order to take rest and create a new weapon, Vishnu retired to a cave named for the goddess Haimavati in Bhadrikashrama. When Muran tried to slay Vishnu, who was sleeping, the female power that emerged from Vishnu burned Muran to ashes with her glance. Vishnu told her that whoever worships him on this day will reach ‘Vaikunta’ (heaven).
The Margashirsha shukla paksha ekadashi in lunar calendar is known as a ‘Mokshada Ekadashi’. It is believed that Vaikuntha Dwaram or the gate of Lord’s inner sanctum is opened on this day and devotees who observe fast on Vaikuntha Ekadashi attain salvation by going to Heaven.
The most important in temples is they open the Vaikunta Dwaram or Paramapada Vasal door in Vishnu Temples. This door is only opened on the Vaikunta Ekadasi day and devotees are allowed to pass through it.
Vaikuntha Ekadashi is very important day for Tirumala Venkateswara Temple at Tirupati and Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam.
Vaikuntha Ekadashi is known as Swarga Vathil Ekadashi in Malayalam Calendar followed by people of Kerala.
The devotees fast on this day. Some people indulge in meditation, Japa and singing of Hari Kirtan. According to Vaishnava tradition fasting is mandatory on all Ekadashi of both Shukla paksha and Krishna paksha. Fasting on Ekadashi is considered holier than any other religious observation.