Rama Ekadashi, which is observed mostly by devotees of Lord Vishnu, falls four days before Diwali – in the month of Kartik. That is why it is also called Kartik Krishna Ekadashi. For Sadhakas, Ekadashi is very important.
‘Rama’ is another name of Goddess Lakshmi. People believe Ekadashi fasts are very powerful and beneficial and bring about good health, happiness and prosperity. It fortifies one’s determination and spiritual prowess.
Sastras say those who observe this fast should wake up early in the morning, after performing the ablutions, prepare bhog and offer it to the deity. They should subsist on fruits and milk. Avoid taking rice or wheat preparations or spicy foods. After observing the fast the whole day, devotees break it after sunrise on the next day. Breaking the fast is known as parana.
Here is the muhurat, tithi, parana time for Rama Ekadashi Vrat, 2017.
Ekadashi Tithi Begins = 04:33 on October 15, 2017
Ekadashi Tithi Ends = 03:35 on October 16, 2017
Parana Time = 13:09 to 15:26
On Parana Day Hari Vasara End Moment = 09:25
The devotees should break their fast during Hari Vasara. At times Ekadashi fast is done two consecutive days. The alternate Ekadashi fasting is observed by mostly sanyasis, widows and for those who seek moksha.
Devotees who observe Ekadashi keep spend the whole night reading religious scriptures and prayers.
In the Mahabharata, Lord Krishna narrates the efficacy of this to Yudhistira. There was a emperor called Muchukund who was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. In his empire, it was mandated that everyone must fast on Ekadashi day. The emperor’s daughter Chandrabhagha was married to prince Shobana who was very weak physically.
The emperor’s son-in-law was very weak and thought he would not withstand the rigours of the fast. Still he observed the fast with devotion and commitment. As he suspected, he fell ill and died in the next morning. On account of the merit of the Rama Ekadashi vrat he observed, after his death the prince was given a golden city to rule on the hills of Mantrachala. At the same time, his wife Chandrabhaga had accumulated a lot of merits by observing several Ekadashi fasts. He sent word to his earthly wife detailing all that happened to him. Chandrabhaga joined the prince soon. Due to the merits she had earned, both of them retained the fabulous kingdom for a long time and lived happily forever.