Legend Associated with Indira Ekadashi
A powerful King by the name of Indrasena ruled a kingdom. The King was honest and cared for the betterment of his subject therefore his name and fame spread widely throughout the region. One day Narad Muni paid a visit to the palace of King Indrasena. He told the King about his visit to the abode of Lord Yama (the God of Death). Narad Muni told the King about his meeting with Indersana’s late father. The King’s father had not attained Moksha and was living in the house of Lord Yama.
The late King had told Narad Muni to convey to Indrasena that he should observe the Indira Ekadashi fast. This would help the late King to attain Moksha and find place in the feet of Lord Vishnu.
Narad Muni directed King Indrasena to observe the Indira Ekadashi fast so that his late father could attain Moksha and could find a place in Lord Vishnu’s abode. Thereafter, the King observed Indira Ekadashi fast with full devotion and his father could head to his final resting ground.
Rituals Associated with Indira Ekadashi
A day before the Indira Ekadashi, Shradh rituals in honor of dead ancestors and parents need to be performed. Taking food only one time a day is advised on this day. However, the devotees need to observe complete fast on the day of Indira Ekadashi.
Prayers need to continue throughout the day on Indira Ekadashi. Noon hours are especially considered auspicious for praying for the dead ancestors and family members. Night hours need to be spent reciting tales of Lord Vishnu and listening to various events that occurred during life of Lord Vishnu.
The fast kept on the occasion of Indira Ekadashi needs to be broken the next morning and the devotees should take the morning prasad along with members of the family. It is widely believed that if one keeps fast on this day with full religious devotion, the forefathers and dead parents achieve Moksha and spend their after lives comfortably.
Celebrating Indira Ekadashi
Devotees need to have a picture or an idol of Lord Vishnu to initiate Indira Ekadashi celebrations. Freshly plucked tulsi leaves, few bananas and other associated Pooja samagri are then offered to the idol.
Visiting a Vishnu temple if you have one in the vicinity of your home is also considered auspicious on this occasion. You should ensure that your heart and soul are thinking about your ancestors since this offering is for them. Observe the fast or Vrat with utmost religious devotion and all the sins will be forgiven by Lord Vishnu.