All Hindus who plan to observe the Ekadashi Vrats (fasts), Uttpatti Ekadashi or Utpanna Ekadashi, serves as the apt time to begin off with. This fast is related with washing all the bad deeds committed during the previous and present births, leading to the attainment of Moksha (salvation).
Utpanna Ekadashi Fast
According to a legend there was a demon named Mura. He had defeated Lord Indra and was ruling the whole world. Indra and the other gods went to God Shiva and prayed to him to save them from the demon Mura. Lord Shiva advised them to pray to Lord Vishnu. Lord Indra along with the other Demigods went to Vaikunth ( Lord Vishnu s abode). Lord Indra told Vishnu that Mura had conquered the world and had made all the gods his slaves. Upon hearing the pitiful prayer, Lord Vishnu assured Indra and vowed to kill Mura. Lord Vishnu initiated a fierce battle with Mura but all the different weapons used by Lord Vishnu were ineffective on Mura.Therefore, Lord Vishnu challenged Mura for wrestling and both of them wrestled for one thousand celestial years. He tried very hard to overcome the strength of Mura but was not able to do so. Lord Vishnu fled from the battle field to take some rest and regain some energy.
Lord Vishnu then went to a cave called Himavati and slept there. Mura followed Lord Vishnu and saw him entering the cave. He was about to kill Lord Vishnu when a lady appeared from the body of Lord Vishnu. The divine soul challenged Mura to fight. Mura started to fight with her. The lady fought with great vigor whereas Mura got exhausted. The lady utilized the opportunity and in a split of a second killed the demon. When Lord Vishnu woke up he asked her who she was and who killed Mura. She replied that on seeing the evil intention of Mura to kill Lord Vishnu, she had emerged from his body.
Lord Vishnu was pleased with her so he gave her a boon for killing the demon. The lady asked the Lord that her day of appearance should be most auspicious for his devotees that would help them to reach his abode. Lord Vishnu granted her the boon and named her Ekadasi. Since, it was on this day that this divine soul was born therefore, this Ekadasi is known as Uttpanna Ekadasi or Utpatti Ekadasi.
The Process of Observing the Uttpanna Ekadashi Vrat
- Early in the morning the devotee should make a firm resolution or vow to fast. During the high noon he should purify his body by taking bath.
- One can take milk, milk products, fruits and nuts.
- If possible, one should take only water or milk.
- The most preferred Ekadasi food in western region of India is the Sabudana Khichadi.
- One should observe maun-japa (repeating the name of Lord Vishnu in mind) during the day time.
- One should do more meditation by keeping awake in the night.
- One should refrain from non vegetarian food, garlic onion, salt, rice, pulses, wheat etc.
- Last but not the least , one should observe self-control and purity in his thought process.
To read about this festival in Hindi click here