Toli Ekadasi (తొలి ఏకాదశి) Festivals of India

Toli Ekadasi (తొలి ఏకాదశి)-Festivals of India
Toli Ekadasi (తొలి ఏకాదశి)is considered as the first festival of Andhra Pradesh(Telugu people).Ekadasi is also known as Deva Sahayani Ekadasi or Hari Sayani Ekadasi and the Chatur Mas Vrat (Four Holy Months in Hinduism) begins from the day.The night time of Devas begins on this day and is believed that Lord Vihnu goes to sleep from the day.


Toli Eakadashi July 15 2016.

Tholi Ekadashi is the eleventh day of Shukla Paksham (waxing phase of the moon) of Ashada Masam - the Telugu calendar month called Ashadam. The day is observed with great reverence all over the country by different names: Devashayani Ekadasi, Hari Sayani Ekadasi, Shayana Ekadasi, Maha Ekadashi, Toli Ekadasi and Vishnu Sayani Ekadashi. Lord Vishnu is said to go into Yoganidra (meditation / sleep) after this Ekadahsi, for four months. These four months are night time for all Devathas – Gods. This period of four months is called Chaturmasya and the ardent devotees who observe Chaturmasya vratham are expected to minimize the quantity of sense gratification and spend their time in spiritual lore. Most restrictions in these four months are on intake of food, in Shravana masam (name of month) one should not eat spinach, in Bhadrapada masam one should avoid yogurt, in Ashwija masam it is milk and in Karthika masam it is non-vegetarian and high protein food like pulses.

Toli Ekadasi is regarded as a very sacred day to Farmers.This festivals replicates Eruvaka festival that is celebrated by farmers.Farmers sow seeds after the first rain on the day of Toli Ekadasi.This festival is marked with pooja of all agricultural implements.As this is a sacred festival for farmers,people who want to get into farming are imposed on this day.

The farmers fast on this sacred day to pay their homage and break the fast at the dawn commensing with a pooja and eat fruits after the fast.It is believed that by praying on Toli Ekadasi will help a person from redumption if sins.

Shri Vishnu Sahasra nama stothram calls HIM Ekasmai Namaha meaning salutations to the ONE. So in the very name of Ekadhasi Shri Hari is present and so it is a very auspicious day. Since Shri Hari is the presiding deity for Ekaadashi, it is also called 'Haridina' meaning a day to be dedicated entirely for worshipping Him, meditating upon Him, listening to His glory and studying the scriptures. Sri Purandara Dasaru says vrathagalellavu hardina vrathadahinde. This is a unique concept of the followers of Dvaita philosophy.

Observance of Ekadashi by fasting & meditating on the Divinity with implicit faith, is an excellent reflection of sathva guna. The Lord mentions in the Gita that none born of prakruthi is free from the influence of three gunas, viz, Sathva, Rajas & Thamas. Of the three gunas, sathva is given the highest place because the jeeva in whom sathva guna dominates moves towards the Nivruthi marga i.e., Jnana-Bhakthi-Vairagya-Moksha. To such souls, God reveals Himself. Ekadashi observance cleanses the mind and amp; paves the way for Jnana. It is an established fact that when one does not take food even though there is a desire for it, there will be increase in self-control & it develops a strong will power. One who controls hunger will be away from sin because hunger is the root cause of many a sins. Srimad Acharya says in krishNAmrutha mahArNava that the fire of merit that accrues from observing an Ekadhasi reduces to ashes the sins of hundreds of births.
Ekadasi puranam pooja vidhanam
Lord krishna in bhagavath geetha says Those who do ekadasi fasting are v.dear and near to him, similarly we all know the story of ambarishi , such is the power of ekadasi.so attempted to detail the procedure and rules to fast, Also from ekadasi purana the katha shravanam for each ekadasi for all of you to benefit. Hope you will enjoy and also get the blessing of sri narayana.Even if not fasting just reading corresponding stories of each ekadasi will give salvation .

Just as both white and Black cow give the same quality of milk, the ekaadasis in both the dark and bright fortnight are equal in their potency to confer merit, and to liberate one from the endless cycles of misery.

SIGNIFICANCE OF FASTING:
The moon is not in its full glory during Ekadashi due to its movement. The food that is, therefore, consumed on these days remain undigested. Moon is the solicitation deity for food. Upavasa does not mean mere fasting, it means sAmepya vesa (dwelling in proximity to the Lord) with archana, japa, katha shravana, nirAhara and jAgarna. So, after setting apart sometime to basic necessities the whole day and amp; night is to be spent in thinking about His glories. Even if Shraadha falls on this day, it is to be performed on the Dwadasi day only.

Varaha purana says the pregnant woman, mothers of young children and amp; those who are very weak can partake fruits like dates, banana, grapes, coconut milk, milk, curds.All sins indulged in by the body and mind are wiped out by Upavasa.
Note:
Ekaadasi fast is exempted for those who are ailing, for the aged persons, and for ladies who are pregnant. This is in agreement with accepted dharma shastraic doctrines. Those who cannot observe a full fast may observe it to the extent possible - like fasting by drinking milk, fruit juices, etc. Even those who are exempted the full fast due to physical conditions must avoid onion, garlic, and other spicy foods that are ritually impure on ekaadasi days. Ekaadasi is the king among the Fasts, and one should be regulated in food habits (even if physical condition does not permit total abstinence from food and water). Please remember this important point and observe the fast in the way that is possible for you according to your circumstances.

Ekadhashi is a fasting day to atone for our sins of indulging in undesirable acts through Dashendriyas. It is a Vaishnava Vratha which is greater than all Yaagas & its power to destroy sins is unmatched if we follow the dos and don'ts of it strictly.
  • Worship, meditate & think about Him. 
  • Keep awake during the night of Ekadhashi. 
  • Make a sankalpa for three day vow. 
  • Break the fast on the Dwadasi day as per rules. 
  • On Ekaadashi, take theertha only once no thulasi to be eaten & have only angaara mark(Black mark) on the forehead. 
  • Tell the greatness of Ekaadashi to others. 
  • Perform Ekaadashi shraadha on Dvadashi day. 
  • If shraadha falls on sadhana dwadaashi day, serve food to the brahmins before Dvadashi passes off. 
  • Even on vridhi, suthaka days, ekadhashi is to be observed. 
  • Even while in their periods, women have to observe Ekadashi. 
  • No food, water or sleep. 
  • No sleep during day time on Dasami, Ekadashi & Dvadashi. 
  • The first part of Dvadashi thithi is called Harivaasara & no food to be taken during that period. 
  • No cooked food to be offered as Naivedya on Ekadashi. 
  • No Ramaa (Lakshmi) naivedhya.
SANKALPA MANTHRAS:
dashamee divase parapte vrathastoham janaardana
thridinam devadevesha nirvigham kuru keshava (Brahmavaivartha puraanam)


Janaardhana! Today being Dasami, I am ready for the three day vow. Oh, Lord! Deva Deva! Keshava! ss that no obstacles come in the way of my vow.
ekaadashyam niraharaha sthithvahani parehyaham
bhookshyaami pundareekaaksha saranam me bhavaachyutha
(Brihannaaradeeya puraanama)


After fasting on Ekadhashi, I will eat on Dwadaashi, Please be my refuge, Oh, Achyutha!
adhyashvasheha niraahaaro bhoothvaaham dwaadashee dine
vidhaasye paaranam dheva preetho bhava ma maanisham (Varaaha puraanam)


I will be on a fast tonight and tomorrow and break the fast on Dwaadashi. Lord! may you be pleased.
 
ajnaana thimiraandhasya vratenaanena keshava
Praseeda sumukho natha jnaanadristi prado bhava
(Brihannaradeeya puraanam)

Oh Lord! Keshava! I am blinded by the darkness of ignorance. By my undertaking this fast on Ekadashi, may it please you to bless me with the light of knowledge.
ekaadasyupavaasena dwaadashee paaranenacha
yadaarijitham mayaa punyam thena preenathu keshavah
(Brahmavaivartha Puraanam)


May Lord Keshava be pleased with the merit that accrued to me by fasting on Ekaadashi & breaking the fast on Dwaadashi.
na kashi na gaya ganga na rewa cha gowthamI
na chapi kauravam kshathram, thulyambhoopa haredrinaath
(Padma puranam)

That sacred rivers like Ganga, Narmada, Godavari etc & holy places like Kashi, Gaya, Kurushetra etc., cannot equal the merit of Ekaadhashi vratha.

bhagavatharodagodi upavasa jagara ondhina madalilla
ragadhi shukamuni peldha harikaThesuyogavembodhilla

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