It’s time to battle your ill deeds and fast your way to immense inner purification. Like several other fasts and rituals followed in the light of the Hindu mythology, Yogini Ekadashi is another significant holy day observed each year on which keeping a fast is believed to relieve an individual of all previous materialistic desires, greed and evil thoughts or intentions.
This practice is said to have begun at the mythical city of Alakapuri (also known as Alakpur or Prabha) which was then ruled by a King Kuvera. He was served by a Yaksha named Hemamali. His daily chores included collecting flowers from Mansarovar for the king for the worship of Lord Shiva. However, one day, after collecting the flowers, he went to his wife instead of delivering the flowers to the king. When the king sat for his Lord Shiva’s puja, he found the flowers were missing. He asked the messenger to find out the reason behind it, who later returned with the fact that Hemamali was relishing the worldly joys with his wife. He was instantly summoned to court. He begged for forgiveness but the furious King Kuber cursed Hemamali of being a victim to epilepsy and to be separated from his wife. He was instantly affected by the curse. Years later, on being acquainted with a Sage Markandeya at the forests, Hemamali was advised to observe a complete fast on the following Yogini Ekadashi so as to relieve himself from his mistakes in the past, a blessing awarded by Lord Vishnu, and ever since this worked for him and he returned to the becoming of a Yaksha.
Yogini Ekadashi is observed as a fast to help devotees untangle from the complicated knots of sins and evil created by them. The merits of this fast experienced by individuals is said to be equivalent to feeding a massive 88,000 Brahmin priests. Those who fast also use a mud paste and bathe early at sunrise. Believers worship the idol of Lord Vishnu all through the night. The fast may be suggested to some such as widows or those who wish to attain salvation for the following day too. On the next day termed as the “dwadashi”, the fast must be opened (known as the “parana”) after a fourth of the day has passed, well before the hours of noon. The significance of King Kuvera and the fasts observed at Yogini Ekadashi have known to be adopted by Jainism and Buddhism as well. Several devotees sacrifice their appetites to pay for their mistakes.
This Yogini Ekadashi we wish you a smooth and fruitful fast and the blessing to have all your sins washed off, moving your way further on the path of moksha.