As the year rolls into a close, it is perhaps time to grab some spiritual points and blessings! A visit to a temple of Vishnu today - on Vaikuntha Ekadashi- seems like a good idea.

*Vaikuntham refers to the divine abode of Vishnu and his consort, Lakshmi. It is also known as Paramapadam or parandhama, the ‘supreme state’ or paradise for liberated souls.

*Among the 24 ekadashis (11th lunar day of every fortnight) in a year, the Vaikuntha Ekadashi in the Dhanur masa or month of Margazhi is considered extremely holy.

*On this day, the gates to Vishnu’s spiritual world are believed to be wide open for all those who seek salvation. A special door or the ‘swarga vaashal’ in Vishnu temples, symbolic of this divine passage, is kept open for devotees only on this day every year.

*Vaikuntha Ekadashi is also believed to mark the appearance of amritam or nectar following the cosmic churning of the ocean by the Devas and Asuras.

*Legends in the Padma Purana refer to ‘Ekadashi’ as an angel or Devi who was born from Vishnu’s mind to vanquish the demon Mura.

*Devotees undertake fasting on this day with utmost diligence and engage in worship of Lord Vishnu. The fast is broken the next day by partaking of fruits and milk.

*Festivities abound in several Vaishnavite shrines including Srirangam, Guruvayur and Tirupati. Many musical compositions on Krishna and Vishnu refer to these sthalams as ‘Bhooloka Vaikuntham’.

More details of Krishna worship.

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