TTD Stock – Vaikuntha Ekadashi: Significance, TTD guidelines, festive celebrations, legend, and more
On Friday, with Hindu auspicious day Vaikuntha Ekadashi being celebrated, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams opened the Vaikuntha Dwaram (Door to Vaikuntha) darshan for devotees for ten days, taking all precautions over the new strain of Covid-19 virus, and keeping the social-distancing norms in and around the temple.
The popular belief is that any person who passes through this ‘Vaikuntha Dwaram’ on Vaikuntha Ekadashi attains salavation and usually the temple witnesses lakhs of pilgrims on this day every year. Keeping in view the Covid-19 pandemic, TTD has issued new guidelines to be enforced from Friday, Dec. 25 to Jan. 3, 2021.
Ekadashi Guidelines by TTD
The TTD said 35,000 devotees will be allowed daily, besides 2 lakh tickers of Rs 300 special entry darshan. Those who have booked tickets in advance are allowed during the Vaikuntha Ekadashi period and locals will be given 10,000 offline sarva darshan tokens daily till January 3.
The TTD has appealed visitors from other places not to come in case they don’t have advanced tickets as some pilgrims without tickets or tokens are not allowed, leading to many protests by them in Tirupati.
Ever since the Tirumala temple opened its doors for daily Darshan from June 8, 2020, only 5,000 devotees were allowed daily but now the number has gone up to 35,000. On Ekadasi day today, devotees are being allowed from 7am after darshan for VIPs and trust donors from 4am following weekly Abhishekam. The TTD has informed all the local visitors to bring their Aadhaar cards to get sarva darshan tokens.
Vaikuntha Ekadashi, dedicated to Vishnu, comes in the month of Margashirsha (between December and January). It’s also the first Ekadashi or Dhanurmasa Shukla Paksha Ekadashi.
As per Hindu calendar, there are 24 Ekadashis (means in Sanskrit “the eleventh day”) in the annual Hindu calendar, and amongst these, Vaikunta Ekadashi is the most significant and this year it falls on Dec. 25, 2020, coinciding with Christmas Day.
Ekadashi is an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Vishnu and observed on the eleventh day of every lunar fortnight in Hindu calendar. So, two Ekadashi fasting — Shukla Paksha (bright side) and Krishna Paksha (dark side) – are observed in a month. Devotees abstain from taking any food on Ekadashi and believe that it cleanses sins and helps in attaining Moksha.
Significance of Vaikunta Ekadashi
According to the Vishnu Purana, fasting on Vaikuntha Ekadashi is equivalent to fasting on the remaining 23 Ekadashis. The legend goes that Lord Vishnu opened the gate of Vaikuntham (his abode) for two asuras (demons) who opposed him though. They were given the boon of visiting Vishnu on this day through the Vaikunta Dwaram to reach Vaikuntam or moksha. Usually, temples all over India make a door kind of structure on this day for devotees to walk through.
According to Padma Purana, the female energy of Vishnu slayed the demon Muran and protects the ‘Devas’. Impressed by the act, Vishnu names her as ‘Ekadashi’ and gives her the boon that those who worship ‘Ekadashi’ on the day would reach ‘Vaikuntam’. Eating rice on this day is prohibited as it signifies Muran who dwells in it.