Ekadashi – Dev Uthani

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History & significance, and the foods used in Puja

It’s the most auspicious day in Hindu culture when people get ready to worship Lord Vishnu and start the preparations for marriage. Popularly known as Dev Uthani Ekadashi, Prabhodini Ekadashi or even Devutthana Ekadashi. Most of the states in the Northern belt of India such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, and Delhi celebrate this day in reverence of Lord Vishnu and make delicious foods.

Celebrated on the eleventh lunar day in Shukla Paksha of Kartik month, which is considered the holiest month in the Hindu calendar. The very word ‘Uthani’ means “to wake up Lord Vishnu” and people even observe fast on this day to appease the lord, which is broken during the Parana i.e., the time which comes after the sunrise the next day. Thus, it is considered the longest fast in the Hindu culture.

As per Vedic scriptures, Dev Uthani Ekadashi marks the end of the Chaturmas period that’s deemed to be unfavourable for auspicious ceremonies such as marriage, housewarming, engagements, head tonsuring etc. Chaturmas is the period when Lord Vishnu goes into deep sleep also known as Yoga Nidra after defeating a demon named Sankhayan who stole the Vedas, and he is woken up by performing certain rituals, which is otherwise called the ‘Awakening of Lord Vishnu’.

It is also the day on which people celebrate Tulsi Vivah, as historians of Hindu traditions & culture believe that Lord Vishnu married Tulsi, a plant that is the embodiment of a woman named Vrinda. Tulsi Vivah is one of the important occasions in Kartik month when the holy Tulsi is married to Amla or the Shaligram, which is considered the form of the Shri Krishna avatar of Lord Vishnu. As per a famous legend, Vrinda immolated herself in her husband’s funeral pyre, but Lord Vishnu ensured that she is incarnated as a Tulsi plant on earth. Tulsi Vivah also signifies the end of the monsoon season and the beginning of the winter season.

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