Yogini Ekadashi falls in the month of Ashadha during the waning phase of the moon (Krishna Paksha) as per the North Indian Hindu calendar. This usually occurs in the month of June or July according to the Gregorian calendar. As per Hindu beliefs, Yogini Ekadashi is regarded as the most significant Ekadashi fast in order to get rid of various ailments and diseases. The Hindus believe that by observing this vrat, they would be blessed with good health and well being. Also, observance of this vrat is known to redeem a person from sins and ill deeds and assist in attaining salvation. Know more about Yogini Ekadashi and the story behind its observance. Also find out how to observe this significant fast.
How To Observe Yogini Ekadashi Vrat
Legends narrate the story of a gardener named Hema Mali, a Yaksha and his extremely beautiful wife, Swarupavati. Hema Mali worked under Kuvera, King of Alakapuri, who was a pious devotee of Lord Shiva. Hema Mali's job was to collect flowers from Manasarovar Lake and provide them to the king for the daily Shiva puja. Nonetheless, he was highly attracted towards his wife and hence, one day, he stayed back with wife neglecting his duties. Thus, he could not deliver flowers for the puja to the king. The king sent one of his messengers to find out the reason for Hema Mali's absence and negligence. The messenger found that Hema Mali was spending time with his wife instead of fulfilling his duty of collecting flowers.
He returned back and informed the king that the reason for his carelessness is his gorgeous wife. Hema Mali was summoned to the court. Though he begged for forgiveness, the king cursed him with suffering from white leprosy and be separated from his wife. He was thrown out of the palace and Hem Mali immediately got afflicted with white leprosy. He wandered through the forests for years and finally reached the ashram of Sage Markandeya. The whole tale was retold to the sage. The sage asked Hema Mali to observe Yogini Ekadashi vrat in order to get liberated from the dangerous infection and relieved from the curse.
As directed, Hema Mali observed the fast and returned back to his divine form as a Yaksha. Therefore, he was able to reunite with his wife and live the rest of his life happily. All devotees observing this fast are freed from their sins and are provided with great liberation. The rituals and customs for following Yogini Ekadashi are same as that of other Ekadashi fasts. The fast begins from sunrise and lasts until the next day's sunrise. People observing a partial fast on this day resist from consuming food made from rice or grains. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, devotees are advised to chant and recite Vishnu Stotras during the day of the fast.