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An auspicious Hindu festival, known as Mohini Ekadashi, is observed on the eleventh (Ekadashi) day of the waxing moon (Shukla Paksha) in the Hindu month of Vaishakh. Mohini Ekadashi falls on May 1st 2023. In various regions of India, this festival is observed with great fervour and excitement. Fasting is observed on this auspicious day, and worship is offered to Lord Vishnu in order to receive his blessings.
Hindu legend states that Lord Vishnu, in his Mohini avatar (incarnation), made an apperance on Mohini Ekadashi. The purpose of his unique avatar was to give the Devas (Gods) and Asuras (Demons) Amrita, the elixir of immortality. On the Kurukshetra battlefield, Arjuna is said to have received the Bhagavad Gita's teaching from Lord Vishnu on this day.
The relationship of Mohini Ekadashi with Lord Vishnu, the defender and preserver of the universe, lends the holiday its significance. To obtain the elixir of immortality (amrit) from the demons, and divite it among the gods, Lord Vishnu, according to Hindu mythology, assumed the guise of Mohini, a stunning enchantress. The day is regarded as favourable for fasting and requesting Lord Vishnu's blessings.
The shubh muhurat (auspicious time) for observing Mohini Ekadashi reprtedly begins on May 1st, 2023, at 12:58 AM and ends on May 2nd, 2023, at 02:39 AM. The fast is observed from the sunrise of Ekadashi till the sunrise of Dwadashi (the 12th day of the Hindu lunar calendar). Before performing puja, devotees rise early, take a bath, and dress in clean clothes. They present Lord Vishnu with flowers, fruits, sweets, and lit diyas (lamps). Throughout the day, devotees chant the Vishnu Sahasranama, a hymn that contains 1000 names of Lord Vishnu. Offering Lord Vishnu Tulsi (holy basil) leaves on Mohini Ekadashi is said to be extremely auspicious, according to believers. Additionally, providing the needy with food, clothing, and other essentials items is also practiced on this day.
On Mohini Ekadashi, devotees who are fasting refrain from eating grains, pulses, onions, garlic, and other non-vegetarian foods. While some followers choose to fast without drinking, others choose to eat fruits, milk, and milk products. On this day, it's also said to bring good karma to provide food, clothing, and other necessities to the less fortunate. In various regions of India, Lord Vishnu's idol is paraded in a large procession along with music, dance, and other celebrations to mark Mohini Ekadashi. Devotees assemble in great numbers to take part in the festivities and ask the Lord for his blessings.
Overall, Mohini Ekadashi is a prominent Hindu festival that honours Lord Vishnu's divine form as Mohini, the enchantress. The day is commemorated by fasting, praying, and seeking the blessing of Lord Vishnu. It is a period for physical and mental purification, as well as, the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment. Devotees believe that by adhering to the Mohini Ekadashi customs and traditions, they will be blessed by Lord Vishnu and be able to live prosperous, peaceful, and happy lives.