RAMESH SAVAIKAR I NT NETWORK
Kartiki Ekadashi is an important Hindu festival celebrated on the 11th day during Shukla Paksha (full moon) in the month of ‘Kartik’.
On this day, Pandharpur Yatra is celebrated on a large scale in Maharashtra. It also marks the end of the auspicious ‘Chaturmasa’ period – when Lord Vishnu is supposed to sleep.
As per scriptures, Lord Vishnu goes to sleep on Shyanai Ekadashi (Ashadhi Ekadashi) and wakes up on Prabodhini (Kartiki Ekadashi.) The Ekadashi Vrata observed by Vaishynavas is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Taking a religious bath on this day is more beneficial than any other Hindu pilgrimage and the significance of this was narrated by Lord Brahma to the sage Narada. Hindu people observe a fast to wash away their sins to help them attain salvation or moksha.
Over 5 lakhs devotees have reached Pandharpur to seek darshan at Shri Vithal temple. In Goa, the main festival celebration is witnessed by thousands at Vithalapur, Sankhali at Shri Pandurang Devasthan temple, as Vithalpur is known as the ‘Pandharpur of Goa’. This temple dedicated to Lord Vithal, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu dates back to 1942 A.D. It was built by the Ranes who migrated from Udaipur about 600 years ago. The temple is situated on the banks of River Valvanti and was reconstructed in 1942 without altering the sanctorium. Festivals like Ashadhi Ekadashi, Kartiki Ekadashi and the annual six-day Chitrotsav are the main festivities.
On Kartiki Ekadashi, abhisheka (religious bath) on the idol of Shri Vithal-Rakhumai is performed by representatives of the Rane family and later by other devotees. A palanquin procession of Lord Shri Vithal is held a day prior to Ekadashi on Dashmi tithe.
“Devotees in large numbers from across Goa visit Vithalpur-Sankhali, Shri Vithal temple and participate in festival. Vari procession of devotees from Mayem, Bicholim, besides procession of students from Piligao and Bicholim march on foot to Vithalpur Sankhali,” informs Sanskrit scholar and priest Prabhakar Shastri Bakre.
On this day, Hindu families observe fast, perform puja of Lord Vishnu, offer him naivaidya, and fruits, pray and seek blessings. People then prepare for Tulsi Vivaha on the next day, Dwadashi tithe, also known by Goans as ‘Vhadli Diwali’ which also marks the beginning of Hindu weddings.