Celebrating prabodhini ekadasi or dev utthani ekadasi tomorrow

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Lord Vishnu is said to awaken from his four-month slumber on Prabodhini Ekadasi (this year being celebrated on 8 November)

After sleeping (in nidra) for the four-month Chaturmas period, Lord Vishnu is said to awaken on probodhini (awakening) ekadasi, also known as the devutthani (Lord’s awakening) ekadasi. This is an auspicious day, not only because the Lord is awakening from his slumber but also taking charge of his duties of running the cosmos. This falls on the eleventh day in the shukla paksha of the Kartik maas. This is also the commencement of a period of all kinds of auspicious prayer offerings and undertakings.

This ending of the Chaturmas period is also celebrated has a greater significance as this ekadasi coincides with Lord Vishnu marrying Vrinda (or Tulsi) Devi, which is popularly celebrated as Tulsi Vivaah (this year it is falling on the next day of ekadasi, that is the 9th November). This day is celebrated by performing a ritual marriage between shaligram and a tulsi plant. It is celebrated as a proper wedding ceremony with women dressing up in finery and singing and dancing in the marriage procession.

The ekadasi goes by many other names – like Vishnu-prabodhini (awakening of Vishnu) and dev-prabodhini ekadasi, deothan, dev uthav ekadasi or dev oothi ekadasi (god’s awakening).

In Maharashtra, this ekadasi is linked with Lord Vithoba (a form of Lord Vishnu) and varkari pilgrims celebrate by taking a yatra (procession) to the Vithoba temple in Pandarpur on the day. The famous Pushkar mela in Rajasthan also commences on this ekadasi lasting up to Kartika Poornima or the full moon night.

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