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    Vaikunta Ekadashi or Mukkoti Ekadashi

    Vaikunta Ekadashi or Mukkoti Ekadashi is most important of the twenty-four Ekadashi observances in South India. Vaikunta Ekadashi observed on Dhanur Masa Shukla Paksha Ekadashi or 11th day of bright fortnight during Dhanur Masam. In 2017 Vaikunta Ekadashi dates are 8 January and 29 December. The day of Vaikunta Ekadashi is an auspicious day for Vishanavism followers as it believed that Vaikunta Dwaram gateway to Lord Vishnu abode, opens up on this day. Vaikunta Ekadashi is great festival celebrate in Lord Vishnu temples, mainly in Tirumula Tirupati Sri Venkateswara Devasthanam, Sri Rangam Ranganatha temple, Bhadrachalam Sri Rama temple and many more Vishnu temples in South India.

    According to Vishnu Purana fasting on Vaikunta Ekadashi is equivalent to fasting on reaming 23 Ekadashis of the year. However according to Vaishnava tradition fasting is mandatory on all Ekadashi of both Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha. On that day night, devotees stay awake and spend time on listing stories and singing bhajans in praise of Lord Vishnu. One should avoid consuming grains, vegetables, beans, cereals and spices on the day.

    Legend says that once Lord Vishnu Lakshmi Narasima homa<"/a"> was fighting with a demon named Mura. As the Lord felt tired, he decided to rest from the long battle. The demon planned to kill the Lord while he was sleeping. Unexpectedly, a young girl manifested from the body of the Lord and killed the demon. The gratified Lord gave her the name Ekadashi, as she emerged on the eleventh day of the declining moon. Ekadashi was granted a boon that if anyone who fasts on Ekadashi will be set free from sinful activities and reach His abode.

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