Saphala Ekadashi is celebrated today in honor of Lord Vishnu. As per the traditional Hindu calendar, Saphala Ekadashi falls on the 11th day (Ekadashi Tithi) of the dark fortnight (Krishna Paksha) in the Paush month. It is believed that Lord Vishnu showers His blessings on devotees who strictly observe the Saphala Ekadashi Vrat and fulfills all their desires.
Legend behind the Observance of Saphala Ekadashi
It is said that a Prince by name Lumbaka always questioned the supremacy of Lord Vishnu and behaved in a very distasteful and disrespectful manner. Displeased by his behavior, the King duly dispelled him from the kingdom. The punishment failed to have any impact on Lumbaka who took to plundering the poor village folk. He started living under a banyan tree and eat raw meat after killing animals.
One day (which happened to be Saphala Ekadashi day), Lumbaka fell very ill and did not eat any food. Further, he stayed awake the whole night. This way, the exiled prince ignorantly observed the Saphala Ekadashi vrat. Lumbaka felt healthy the very next day and miraculously realized that it was all due to the divine grace of Lord Vishnu. The reformed prince returned to his family and treated his subjects in a just manner.
Devotees observe a complete fast on Saphala Ekadashi day and worship Lord Vishnu by reciting the Sri Vishnu Sahasranama. The fast is broken on the following day. Devotees who cannot completely abstain from food have milk, fruits, nuts, roots and other non-grain foods.
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