Dev Uthani Ekadashi also known as ‘Prabodhini Ekadashi’ or ‘Dev Utthana Ekadashi’, is an occasion of huge significance in the Hindu religion devoted in the reverence of Lord Vishnu. It falls on the eleventh lunar day in the bright fortnight or Shukla Paksha of the Kartik month. It is prominently observed in some north Indian states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Dev Uthani Ekadashi marks the beginning of an auspicious phase in which the Hindus hold events like marriage ceremonies.
Why does it mark the beginning of auspicious events?
The term Dev Uthani means “to wake God”. In this case, it refers to Lord Vishnu, who is woken up from a four-month-long sleep by performing rituals. Dev Uthani Ekadashi marks the end of the four months period called Chaturmas during which Lord Vishnu is believed to be asleep.
It is said that a demon named Sankhyayan had stolen the Vedas after which various Gods approached Lord Vishnu to retrieve it. Lord Vishnu assured the Vedas will be returned and fought the demon for days. After defeating him, Lord Vishnu is believed to have gone to sleep called the Yoga Nidra which started on Shayani Ekadashi in the month of Asadha according to the Hindu calendar and continued till four months.
The four months between the Shayani Ekadashi and the Dev Uthani Ekadashi are considered inauspicious for marriages.
Dev Uthani Ekadashi is thus a ritual to wake him up from a long sleep on the eleventh day or Ekadashi. It is believed that on this day Lord Vishnu married Tulsi, a plant which is said to be the incarnation of a woman named 'Vrinda'. Thus, the ritual of marriage known as Tulsi Vivah is performed by the devotees which is said to bring a happy marriage. The time that follows this occasion is considered auspicious for marriages and other important life events.
The fast for Dev Uthani Ekadashi begins a day before the Ekadashi, on Dashami, which continues till Dwadashi after the Parana Muhurat.
This year the Ekadashi starts at 02:42 pm on November 25 and ends at 05:10 pm on November 26.