Vaikunta Ekadashi or Mukkoti Ekadashi in Telugu falls today, 1ST January 2015. As per the traditional Hindu calendar, Vaikunta Ekadashi falls on the 11th day of Shukla Paksha in the Paush month. Vaikunta Ekadashi is the most important Ekadashi day as it is believed that fasting on this day is equivalent to fasting on the other 23 Ekadashi days in the Hindu calendar year.
Devotees believe the door of Vaikunta or “Vaikuntha Dwaram” is opened on this day and whoever observes a fast on this day will reach Vaikunta, the abode of Lord Vishnu, and will be liberated from the cycle of life and death. Vaikunta Ekadashi is celebrated in a grand manner in all famous Vishnu temples, including Tirupati Balaji Temple, Bhadrachalam Sita Ramachandraswamy Temple and Srirangam Rangaswamy Temple, Tamil Nadu.
Legend behind Vaikunta Ekadashi
Legend has it that a demon named Mur defeated Indra and started ruling Indralok. Lord Indra and other Devas requested Lord Vishnu to help them by defeating the Asura. Lord Vishnu readily agreed and fought a pitched battle with the demon. During the course of the battle, Lord Vishnu realized that He needed a new weapon to slay the demon. So He decided to take rest in a cave and create a brand new weapon. Mur followed Lord Vishnu into the cave and decided to attack Him while He was sleeping. As soon as Mur was about to attack Lord Vishnu, the female energy of the Lord emerged from His body and killed the demon. A pleased Lord Vishnu named the Goddess Ekadashi and proclaimed that whoever observes a fast on that day would reach Vaikunta.
Devotees worship Lord Vishnu and Goddess Ekadashi by chanting Sri Vishnu Sahasranama and fasting for the entire day. People who are unable to observe a complete fast on the day eat non-grain food items such as roots, nuts, milk and fruits.
Order Prasad from the world famous Tirupati Balaji Temple at http://www.onlinetemple.com/products/tirupati-balaji and receive divine blessings on this most auspicious day.