Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tholi Ekadashi.

Today is Tholi Ekadashi, a very auspicious day, a day of fasting and offering prayers to Lord Vishnu and his reincarnations - Lord Krishna and Lord Rama.  Tholi Ekadashi is the eleventh day of Shukla Paksham (waxing phase of the moon) of Ashada Masam - the Telugu calendar month called Ashadam. The day is observed with great reverence all over the country by different names: Devashayani Ekadasi, Hari Sayani Ekadasi, Shayana Ekadasi, Maha Ekadashi, Toli Ekadasi and Vishnu Sayani Ekadashi. Lord Vishnu is said to go into Yoganidra (meditation / sleep) after this Ekadahsi, for four months. These four months are night time for all Devathas – Gods. This period of four months is called Chaturmasya and the ardent devotees who observe Chaturmasya vratham are expected to minimize the quantity of sense gratification and spend their time in spiritual lore. Most restrictions in these four months are on intake of food, in Shravana masam (name of month) one should not eat spinach, in Bhadrapada masam one should avoid yogurt, in Ashwija masam it is milk and in Karthika masam it is non-vegetarian and high protein food like pulses.
Tholi Ekadashi is celebrated by all Vaishnavites and at all Vaishnava Temples. The celebrations at Vithoba Temple, Pandharpur, Maharashtra, is very popular and is telecast live.
Devotees fasting on this day are expected to offer prayers for the grace of Lord Vishnu, without asking for or expecting any material gains. After day long fasting, one may have few fruits and milk in the night and normal food the next day that is on Dwadashi day. Observing Tholi Ekadashi is said to help us in redemption, forgiveness of our sins.

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