The auspicious Utpanna Ekaadasi falls on November 28/ November 29, this year.
The fast schedule for different places on the earth:
1) Sarva Ekaadasi for those residing in USA, Canada, Carribean Isles, and South American Countries is to be observed on November 28, 2013.
2)Sarva Ekaadashi for those living in other parts of the world - including India - is to be observed on November 29, 2013.
This Utpanna Ekaadasi is special because this was the day when Ekaadasi Devi - the Patron Deity of this Fast manifested from the Power of Lord Mahaa Vishnu.
Mura - a demon brought all the planes of existence under his control and forced the demi-gods like Indra away from their positions of authority. The devas approached Lord Mahaadeva for a solution to their predicament. Lord Shiva instructed them to claim protection by surrendering to Lord Maha Vishnu. The demi-gods accordingly approached the Holy Abode of Shriman Naaraayana, praised Him with devotional fervour extolling His virtues, His Divine Might, and His Glories, and requested His help in the matter of vanquishing the demon Mura.
Lord Vishnu instructed them to advance to the abode of the demon, and Himself went along with them. The demi-gods scattered away from the battle-field on meeting with relentless aggression from the demon army. The attacking demons met their nemesis in Shriman Naaraayana - who vanquished hosts and hosts of demons with His Divine Weaponry.
At last, the chief of the demons - Mura himself came to meet our Lord in the battle field. The Divine Weapons caused no harm to Mura due to his previous boons. At last, Lord Vishnu decided to engage the demon in arm-to-arm combat; this combat went on for one thousand celestial years! Lord Vishnu decided to retire from the battle and retired to a deep cave. (He feigned tiredness and fear! Though the Bhavishya Uttara Purana uses words such as "I went there (to a cave) out of fear and also to sleep,"we should take it as our Lord's Play only. Lord Maha Vishnu - the Ultimate Supreme Being need not be "afraid" of a demon, nor can he ever feel "tired". This was a Divine Play to vanquish the demon in a special way, and He must have feigned tiredness and fear....only this can be the right interpretation of this episode).
The demon Mura followed Lord Vishnu, and on seeing Him asleep, the demon decided to finish Him off. However, from the body of Our Lord, a young Divine Maiden manifested, and She fought tirelessly with the demon, and ultimately vanquished him, putting an end to the saga of his unrighteous domination over the Universe.
The Divine Maiden pleaded a boon from Lord Vishnu upon His Waking up (His sleep and Waking up again are all Divine Plays! It should not be taken too literally).
The maiden said, "O Lord, if You are pleased with me and wish to give me a boon, then give me the power to deliver that person who fasts of this day from even from the greatest of sins . I wish that half the pious credit obtained by one who fasts will accrue to one who eats only in the evening (abstaining from grains and beans), and that half of this pious credit will be earned by one who eats only at midday. Also, may one who strictly observes a complete fast on my appearance day, with controlled senses, go to the abode of Lord Vishnu for one billion kalpas after he has enjoyed all kinds of pleasures in this world. This is the boon I desire to attain by Your mercy, my Lord, O Lord Janardana, whether a person observes complete fasting, eats only in the evening, or eats only at midday, please grant him a religious attitude, wealth, and at last liberation."
"'The Supreme Lord said, "O most auspicious lady, what you have requested is granted. All My devotees in this world will surely fast on your day, and thus they will become famous throughout the three worlds and finally come and stay with me in My abode. As you, My transcendental potency, have appeared on the eleventh day of the waning moon, let your name be Ekaadasi. If a person fasts on Ekaadasi, I will burn up all his sins and bestow upon him My transcendental abode."
Ekaadasi fast is thus the greatest of all fasts as it was sanctioned by the Supreme Lord Himself. Fasting on ekaadasi properly helps a person to vanquish all the dangerous enemies who can threaten one's prospects (the greatest enemies are a person's own undesirable vaasanaas, and obsessions which are internalized in the person's psyche. That is the actual mystic import of this legend though it might have occured in reality also in a distant kalpa!), and thus bless the person with material prosperity while alive, and Eternal Salvation after this incarnation on earth.
The day when Lord Vishnu's Yogic power manifested outwardly as Ekaadashi is Utpanna Ekaadashi. By tradition, a child who attains 7th year of age in this life is initiated into Ekaadashi fast gradually beginning from this Utpanna Ekaadashi of that year(the first fast of a tender child should not be too intense; the child should be taught the basics of ekaadashi fast like abstaining from certain foods - grains, beans, and outside food; chanting Divine Names of Lord Vishnu; the child should not be made to endure a full fast - rather, the child should be trained to survive on fruits/ juices, milk, etc., or just made to skip meals once. Then gradually, the child can graduate to a full fast if it agrees well with the child). This is an auspicious day to begin ekaadasi fast as a life-time discipline for anyone who has not fasted before, but wishes to do so in the future. [More guidelines about ekaadasi fast can be checked in previous write-ups in this blog].
The glory of a fast on this Holiest of Days need not be elaborated any further. May our members enjoy Divine Bliss by observing this Holy Ekaadasi fast to the extent of their abilities. My best wishes to the Faithful parents who are about to initiate their young children who have attained the eligible age for beginning Ekaadashi fast on this Holy Day. Believe me - initiating a child into Ekaadasi fast is one of the best gifts you can give to your child :)
Astrological and Remedial consultant
Astrological and Remedial consultant