Varuthini Ekadashi, also known as Baruthani Ekadashi, is one of the twenty-four Ekadashis in a Hindu calendar year. Hindus consider all Ekadashis (the eleventh lunar phase) as auspicious. Devotees observe these days with special pujas and vrats and worship of Lord Vishnu.

What is Varuthini Ekadashi?

Varuthini or Baruthani Ekadashi is the Ekadashi (11th lunar day) falling on the Krishna Paksha (waning phase) of Vaisakha month in the North Indian Purnimant calendar. In the South Indian Amavasyant calendar, it is the Ekadashi falling on the Krishna Paksha of Chaitra month. For Hindus, it is a holy day dedicated to Lord Vishnu, especially to his fifth avatar of Vamana. Devotees observe this day with vrat, pujas, and donating alms.

The name Varuthini Ekadashi suggests that the devotees observing this day with devotion will be protected from all harm and evil. The term ‘Varuthini’ means armored or protected. It is believed that following the rules of Varuthini Ekadashi would bestow good health, good fortune, prosperity, pleasure, fame, etc. One who worships the lord on this occasion by staying awake at night is supposed to become free from all sins and attain moksha.

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The Ekadashis are more important for Vaishnava sects. In the Vaishnava calendar, Varuthini Ekadashi falls on the Krishna Paksha of Madhusudana month. In the South Indian Amavasyant calendar, it is the 11th day in the dark fortnight of Chaitra month, and in the North Indian Purnimant calendar, it is the 11th day in the dark fortnight of Vaishakha month. The difference between these two lunar calendars is that in the former, every month ends with Amavasya (new moon), and in the latter, every month ends with Purnima (full moon). However, in both calendars, Varuthini Ekadashi falls on the same day, which is in April or May in the Gregorian calendar. The Varuthini Ekadashi 2021 is on 7th May, Friday.

What is the significance of Varuthini Ekadashi?

The significance of Varuthini Ekadashi is narrated by Lord Krishna to Yudhishtira in the Bhavishya Purana. He says that this Ekadashi can turn the unfortunate to fortunate and release a soul from the cycle of birth and death. Observing this Ekadashi has helped the Ikshvaku King Dhundhumara to become free from the curse of Shiva and King Mandata to get enlightened. Also, according to various Hindu legends, observing fast on Varuthini Ekadashi is equivalent to one hundred Kanyadaans or donating gold at Kurukshetra on the day of a solar eclipse. 

Thus, Varuthini Ekadashi is an important observance for Hindus, offering countless benefits. It is believed that one who observes Varuthini Ekadashi vrat will be protected from all the evils and bestowed with blessings from Lord Vamana. Also, it is supposed to bestow cure from illnesses and sufferings, fame, happiness, prosperity, material pleasure etc.

The ultimate power of Varuthini Ekadashi is granting of Moksha, freedom from the cycle of life and death. According to Hindu astrology, one who observes the vrat on this day will be freed from all sins and liberated from the cycle of re-birth.

When is Varuthini Ekadashi 2021?

Varuthini Ekadashi 2021 date and timings are as follows.

Varuthini Ekadashi 2021 Date: May 7th May, Friday

Ekadashi Tithi Begining: 02:10 PM on May 06, 2021

Ekadashi Tithi Ending: 03:32 PM on May 07, 2021

Parana Time: 05:35 AM to 08:16 AM on 8th May 

Parana Day Dwadashi End Moment : 05:20 PM, 8th May

Varuthini Ekadashi Rituals

Certain rules are prescribed for observing Varuthini Ekadashi. One should observe a fast with an all-night vigil, praying and singing hymns. The Varuthini Ekadashi vrat may start on Dashami (10th lunar day), the day before the Ekadashi. On the day of Varuthini Ekadashi, the devotees should wake up early, take a holy bath and worship Lord Vishnu. It is an occasion meant for spiritual attainment, and so, the day should be spent chanting prayers or singing bhajans.

Full fasting without consuming any food or water is recommended for Varuthini Ekadashi vrat. Those who can’t afford this can observe a partial vrat by consuming fruits, nuts and water. The Varuthini Ekadashi vrat must only be broken the next day after offering prayers to Lord Vishnu.

The worship of Lord Vishnu or his avatar Vamana is an important Varuthini Ekadashi ritual. One can do this at home using lamps, incense sticks, Tulsi leaves, flowers, sandal paste etc. If possible, those who observe vrat must visit the temples of Lord Vishnu and stay awake, reciting mantras and reading scriptures. One may choose to read Satyanarayankatha, Vishnu Sahasranama or Bhagavad Gita chapters.

Varuthini Ekadashi Vrat

Devotees observing Varuthini Ekadashi vrat are recommended to fast from sunrise in Ekadashi to sunrise in Dwadashi. Since a complete fast is recommended, one can start fasting from the previous day’s sunset to ensure that no undigested food remains in the stomach. Observing Varuthini Ekadashi vratis not just abstaining food. One should not indulge in gambling, lying, criticizing others, violence, sports, and sexual activity. The devotee on vrat should not succumb to sleep, anger and greed too. Thus, by resisting the feelings and temptations, vrat purifies the mind, body, and soul. Certain activities such as shaving, smearing oil on the body, etc. are also prohibited on Varuthini Ekadashi.

Parana or breaking the fast should be done on the next day (Dwadashi) after the sunrise. It is necessary to do Parana on the next day unless Dwadashi is over before sunrise. Also, one should take care not to do Parana on Hari Vasara period, which is the first quarter of the Dwadashi tithi. Pratahkal is considered as the most auspicious time to break the fast while breaking the fast in Madhyahna is not recommended. So, if one couldn’t do Parana in Pratahkal, then he/she should do it after Madhyahna.

Two types of Ekadashi Vrats are recommended; one for Smarthas, those with family, and the other for Sanyasis and Moksha seekers. While a one-day fast is recommended for Smarthas or normal devotees, alternate fasting or a two-day fast is suggested for Sanyasis and Moksha seekers.

Though full fasting is recommended on Varuthini Ekadashi, those who can’t bear it due to health issues can observe a partial fast by eating once, at midday, or in the evening. In that case, a devotee should avoid non-veg food (meat, fish, egg, etc.), beverages (tea, coffee, cola, and other energy drinks), mushrooms, grains, onion, peas, beans, black gram, spinach, betel nutpaanred lentil, honey, sesame seeds, mustard, asafoetida, cloves, fenugreek, cardamom, nutmeg, fennel, tulsi, tamarind, custard, salt, baking soda, baking powder, etc.

Eating in bell metal utensils and eating from other houses are also prohibited. The devotee can choose to eat the Havishyanna food offered to Yajna on the previous day. It is said that even those who are not observing the vrat should avoid consuming grains, pulses, and non-vegetarian foods on Ekadashi.

Varuthini Ekadashi Fasting Procedure

-A complete fast is recommended. So, a devotee can start fasting from the previous day’s sunset to avoid any undigested food remaining in the stomach.

-On Ekadashi day, the devotee should wake up before sunrise, take a bath and worship Lord Vishnu.

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-Visiting a Vishnu temple, chanting prayers, and reciting Vishnu Sahasranamaor Bhagavad Gita will intensify the spiritual drive.

-Breaking the fast or Parana should be done on the next day (Dwadasi) after taking a bath and worshiping Lord Vishnu. It should be done in the Parana time, which varies with each Dwadasi.

-Parana or breaking the fast shouldn’t be done during Hari Vasaraperiod, the first quarter of Dwadashi. 

-The most auspicious time for Parana is Pratahkal. If the devotee couldn’t do it duringPratahkal, then he/she should do it after Madhyahna.

The legend associated with Varuthini Ekadashi

There is a story associated with Varuthini Ekadashi vrat told by Lord Krishna to Arjun. It’s the story of King Mandhata who ruled the banks of river Narmada. He was a generous and priestly king. Once on an occasion, when the King was meditating in the forest, a bear attacked him. It bit his feet and dragged him. The King, following the sacred rules of TapasyaDharm, didn’t respond and endured that ordeal, praying to Lord Vishnu. Eventually, Lord came to his rescue, but by then, the bear had chewed the King’s leg. The Lord advised the king to get back to Mathura, worship his Varaha Avatar and observe the Varuthini Ekadashi Vrat. The king who followed this advice devotedly became free from his past sins and got his injured leg back to normal.

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