Mokshada Ekadashi is celebrated today - 2nd December 2014, which as per the Hindu calendar is the 11th day of Shukla Paksha (brighter half) of the Margashirsha month. The importance of Mokshada Ekadashi is detailed in the Brahmanda Purana.
Story Behind Mokshada Ekadashi
Legend has it that a King by name Vaikhanasa ruled Champakanagar in a just and fair manner. Most of his subjects belonged to the Vaishnavaite sect and were well versed in all the Vedas. One day the king dreamt that his father was in hell and being subjected to severe punishments. Greatly disturbed by the dream, the king approached learned Brahmins who advised Him to visit Parvat Muni and seek his help. After listening to the woes of the king, Parvat Muni meditated and found out the reason behind the punishments. Parvat Muni then explained to the king that his father had committed several sins and as a result he is being tortured in hell. Parvat Muni further advised the king to strictly observe Mokshada Ekadashi to liberate his father from hell. A relieved king then strictly observed the Mokshada Ekadashi Vrat and liberated his father’s soul that was carried to heaven by Devas.
Significance of Mokshada Ekadashi and Rituals Observed
Devotees observe a complete fast from sunrise to sunset on Mokshada Ekadashi and worship Lord Vishnu by reciting Vishnu Sahasranamam and Mukundashtakam with a belief that they would absolve themselves from all sins and attain moksha after death. Devotees also believe that their forefathers would attain moksha if they observe the Mokshada Ekadashi vrat. Devotees who cannot completely abstain themselves from food on the day consume only vegetarian food, particularly nuts, milk products, vegetables and fruits. Onions, garlic and grains are avoided on this day.
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