Indira Ekadashi occurs in the month of Ashwina according to the traditional North Indian calendar during the Krishna Paksha (waning phase of the moon). The corresponding month in the Gregorian calendar is either September or October. In North and Western parts of India, Indira Ekadashi falls during the Pitru Paksh period. Hence, it is also refereed to as Ekadashi Shradh. Thus, one can find devotees performing Shraddh rites the dead ancestors on this day. Beliefs state that the observance of this Ekadashi eradicates the sins and evil acts committed by a person and his forefathers. Continue browsing to know the story behind the fasting on Indira Ekadashi. Also learn the procedure for observing this vrat.
How To Observe Indira Ekadashi Vrat
Legends revolve around a popular king named Indrasena, ruler of Mahishmatipura, who was a loyal devotee of Lord Vishnu. Powerful, honest and caring, the king was extremely wealthy with gold, sons and grandsons. One fine day, Sage Narada visited the king and narrated his story about his visit to the heavenly abode of Lord Yama Raj, the Hindu God of death. At Yamaloka, Narada found the king's father was deprived of Moksha and was living at Yamraj's home.
In order to attain Moksha, the king's father had asked Narada to pass on the word to his son for observing Indira Ekadashi. By doing so, he will be relieved from Yama's house and will successfully attain Moksha, thereby landing at the feet of Lord Vishnu. King Indrasena readily agreed to observe the vrat. He even asked Narada to assist him in correctly observing the vrat. Consequently, the father of the king got Moksha and reached Lord Vishnu's abode.
On the day before Indira Ekadashi, special prayers and rituals are undertaken in the memory of deceased forefathers and relatives. Devotees observing this vrat consume only a single meal on the previous day while, on Indira Ekadashi, they abstain from eating anything, thereby observing a complete fast. Some people even perform rites for the dead in the afternoon of this Ekadashi. The vrat is broken only on the next day by eating food along with family members. The devotees are blessed with the results of Ashwamedha Yaga (Horse Sacrifice). This marks the significance of this vrat on other Ekadashi vrats observed.