“Dev Uthani Ekadashi” is a Hindu festival celebrated with reverence to Hindu God Vishnu. The festival is also called “Prabodhini Ekadashi” and “Devutthana Ekadashi”. Prabodhini Ekadashi is mainly celebrated in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Maharashtra and also in some southern states. It also marks the beginning of sugarcane harvest and sugarcanes have a significant place in the performance of rituals.
Dev Uthani/Prabodhini Ekadashi 2019 (Date and Time)
Prabodhini Ekadashi Vrat 2019 will be observed on Friday, 8th November 2019.
The Ekadashi Tithi begins at 09:55 A.M. on 7th November 2019 and ends at 12:24 P.M. on 8th November 2019. The fast should be observed on Friday, November 8th 2019, and the Parana time falls between 06:42 A.M. to 08:51 A.M. on 9th November 2019.
Parana means breaking the fast, and it is made post dawn the next day of Ekadashi fast (Vrat). It is mandatory to end the ekadashi vrat on Dwadashi (the next day or 12th day) and during early morning hours; however, if one is unable to break the fast early morning then s/he must break it post afternoon.
When is Dev Uthani Ekadashi Celebrated
Dev Uthani Ekadashi or Prabodhini Ekadashi is celebrated in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik on the 11th lunar day (ekadashi) in the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha). Shukla Paksha is the first fortnight between New Moon Day and Full Moon Day. Prabodhini Ekadashi is observed four month after Shayani Ekadashi which falls in the Hindu calendar month of Ashadha (June-July).
Why is Dev Uthani Ekadashi Celebrated
Dev Uthani Ekadashi is a ritual to wake up Hindu God Vishnu, who is believed to be sleeping since Shayani Ekadashi, for four months. The name “Dev Uthani Ekadashi” itself indicates the purpose as well as the day for the rituals. “Dev Uthani” means to wake up Dev or God, and Ekadashi means the 11th. Therefore, Dev Uthani Ekadashi denotes the 11th lunar day on which the rituals are performed to wake up Lord Vishnu.
It is also called Prabodhini Ekadashi where Prabodhini in Sanskrit means awakening. Since Lord Vishnu is awakened on the day, hence the name.
Mythology of Dev Uthani/Prabodhini Ekadashi
The legends have it that Lord Vishnu had to spend years without sleeping, as he was too busy with destroying the evil and blessing his devotees. The schedule had an adverse effect on his sleeping habit and resulted in his falling asleep almost suddenly for years.
Vishnu’s irregular sleeping timing disturbed the resting time of Goddess Lakshmi, his consort. She requested Lord Vishnu to regularize his sleeping timing so that she too gets proper resting periods. Subsequently, Vishnu realized the fact that his continuous awakening for years, stresses not only his consort Lakshmi but also other Gods too. Thus, he decided to sleep for four months in a year, regularly.
Therefore, it is believed that Lord Vishnu goes to sleep on Dev Shayani Ekadashi in the month of Ashadha and wakes up on Dev Uthani Ekadashi in the month of Kartik.
Dev Uthani/Prabodhini Ekadashi History
The ritual of Tulsi Vivah is mentioned in the ancient Hindu text – Padma Purana, one of the 18 major Puranas composed sometime between 4th to 15th Century B.C. The exact date of composition of Puranas is not ascertained till date. Hence, nothing could be said when exactly the custom of Prabodhini Ekadashi began; however, it sure is an ancient festival being observed since ages, as the rituals and legends are mentioned in ancient Hindu texts.
Mythology of Tulsi Vivah
Tulsi Vivah is a significant ritual performed on Prabodhini Ekadashi. On the day, a ceremonial marriage of Tulsi plant with Lord Vishnu is performed. There is a mythological legend about the performance of Tulsi Vivah during Prabodhini Ekadashi.
According to the Hindu scriptures, Tulsi plant is an incarnation of a woman named “Vrinda”. She was married to a demon king named “Jalandhar”. As his wife Vrinda was an ardent devotee of Vishnu, he was blessed with immortality.
Jalandhar became so powerful that he went on to conquer the three worlds and even Lord Shiva couldn’t subdue his rage. During a fight between the Gods and demons, Jalandhar disguised himself as Shiva and approached Parvathi in former’s absence. Goddess Parvathi got so enraged upon realizing his intentions that Jalandhar had to flee.
On the behest of Parvathi Lord Vishnu disguised himself as Jalandhar and went to latter’s wife Vrinda. Only after her chastity was destroyed, Vrinda realized that it was Vishnu but not her husband Jalandhar. Cursing Vishnu to meet with the same fate someday, she immolated herself.
Hearing upon his wives death, Jalandhar fumed with rage and a battle ensued with Gods and asuras (demons). Subsequently, Jalandhar was killed by Shiva. As per the curse of Vrinda, Vishnu was separated from his wife Sita in his next incarnation as Rama.
Vishnu blessed Vrinda by marring her in her next life. Vishnu took the form of Shaligram and married Vrinda on Prabodhini Ekadashi. Thus, the ritual of marrying Tulsi plant (incarnation of Vrinda) to Shaligram (incarnation of Vishnu) is performed on Prabodhini Ekadashi.
Rituals Performed On Prabodhini Ekadashi
The festival of Dev Uthani Ekadashi is spiritually followed in various Indian households. Though, it’s not a public holiday, it is reverently observed by the devotees throughout the country. As the festival coincides with sugarcane harvest, and it is common to see farmers selling freshly cut sugarcanes to be used in rituals. The following significant rituals are performed on Prabodhini Ekadashi.
On the auspicious day of Dev Prabodhini Ekadashi, devotees take early morning bath and resolve to perform fast in front of their deity.
2) Collection of veneration articles
Important articles for the performance of rituals on Dev Uthani Ekadashi include – freshly cut sugarcane plant, tulsi plant (Holy Basil), conch shell, bell, Lord Krishna idol (incarnation of Vishnu), Shaligram – a black fossilized stone which is considered a symbol of Lord Vishnu.
3) Plant a Tulsi
Tulsi plant is the most common plant in every Hindu household, throughout India. By any chance if your house doesn’t has one, it is advisable to immediately plant a Tulsi plant in your house, as it brings peace and prosperity apart from other health and spiritual benefits.
3) Tulsi Vivah
Tulsi vivah or Tulsi’s marriage is the most significant ritual performed on Prabodhini Ekadashi. Tulsi plant or Holy Basil plant is a common plant found in every Hindu household. The plant is considered auspicious and harbinger of peace and prosperity. Tulsi is also believed to be the wife of Lord Vishnu.
On the auspicious day of Prabodhini Ekadashi a ceremonial marriage of Tulsi with Vishnu is performed by reciting katha. Time during which Tulsi Vivah is performed is determined astronomically by astrologers and religious ascetics. The sugarcanes are joined together by a clean cloth or thread to form a mandap (a temporary shed) for performing the wedding rituals.
4) Bel Patra (Indian Quince or Stony Apple leaf)
Offering Bel Patra to God Vishnu during the rituals is considered especially auspicious and is believed to bring salvation on the performer. Offering flowers of Agastya to Lord Vishnu also holds much significance during the occasion.
5) Breaking the fast
The fast is broken at a time determined by the astrologers on the next day of Ekadashi i.e. on Dwadashi. Usually, the best time to break the fast is early morning or else in the evening. Breaking the fast in afternoon should be avoided.
Significance of Dev Uthani/Prabodhini Ekadashi
The festival of Dev Uthani Ekadashi is very significant for Hindu custom and beliefs. Brahma, the creator of the universe has considered Prabodhini Ekadashi as more auspicious than holy river Ganges and all other sacred pilgrimages. It is believed that a ritualistic observance of Prabodhini Ekadashi blesses the devotee equivalent to performing a hundred Rajsuya Yagnas.
A complete fast during the Dev Uthani Ekadashi is believed to clear away sins of at least past seven lives. Performing small rituals leads to larger fruits of prosperity, peace, love, contentment etc. By just resolving to observe the fast, devotees ensure their and their successors’ passage to heaven.
Prabodhini Ekadashi also marks the beginning of marriage season. The four months period from Shayani Ekadashi to Prabodhini Ekadashi is considered inauspicious for marriages or other sacred functions and people wait till Prabodhini Ekadashi to begin the ceremonies.