Yogini Ekadashi falls in the month of Ashadha during the waning phase of the moon. The detail about it is depicted in the Brahma Vivarta Purana.
Celebrated in: Western parts of India will observe it with full spark.
Significance: The benefits of observing it is innumerable but the most important one is freed from all kind of diseases and ailments to whatever hazardous it may be. Health and wealth both will flourish after this. The worries of getting the salvation after death are solved by it. All the misdeeds or sins or wrong doing are forgiven by the God on this day. The follower gets complete liberation. Business and finance related problems are solved on this day.
Pooja material: flowers, incense sticks, paste of mud or Til and lamps.
Pooja Vidhi: The way of conducting it is similar to conducting other Ekadashi. So one need not to bother about any special or important rituals to be followed on this day. It is as simple as any other Ekadashi. The vrat is from the predawn of Ekadashi day till the predawn of the other day. Devotees used to recite the stories or songs related to Lord Vishnu which is the deity lionized on this day. People visit temple if not able to conduct it due to any reason. Complete abstaining of the food material will reap the best results and if partial is observed then there is some discount you will see while getting the fruits. Anything made up of rice, grain, honey, milk and non vegetarian food should be avoided. Donations and charity on this day will provide the tenfold times result than on any other day. The ceremony begins with the early cleansing of the body and starts with the pooja of Lord Vishnu by offering the material like flowers and Tulsi leaves. Visiting the Lord Vishnu temple is the important activity which everyone used to conduct.
Legend: Legends narrate the story of a gardener named Hema Mali, a Yaksha and his extremely beautiful wife, Swarupavati. Hema Mali worked under Kuvera, King of Alakapuri, who was a pious devotee of Lord Shiva. Hema Mali’s job was to collect flowers from Manasarovar Lake and provide them to the king for the daily Shiva puja. Nonetheless, he was highly attracted towards his wife and hence, one day, he stayed back with wife neglecting his duties. Thus, he could not deliver flowers for the puja to the king. The king sent one of his messengers to find out the reason for Hema Mali’s absence and negligence. The messenger found that Hema Mali was spending time with his wife instead of fulfilling his duty of collecting flowers.
He returned back and informed the king that the reason for his carelessness is his gorgeous wife. Hema Mali was summoned to the court. Though he begged for forgiveness, the king cursed him with suffering from white leprosy and be separated from his wife. He was thrown out of the palace and Hem Mali immediately got afflicted with white leprosy. He wandered through the forests for years and finally reached the ashram of Sage Markandeya. The whole tale was retold to the sage. The sage asked Hema Mali to observe Yogini Ekadashi vrat in order to get liberated from the dangerous infection and relieved from the curse.
Do’s and Don’t:
Don’t: Completely abstain anything made up if rice, grains, honey. Do not apply oil instead donate it. If possible then avoid sleeping in the night and dedicate the night in the realm of the deity. Sabutdana khichdi with potatoes and batata without onion and garlic is consumed in western parts.
Do’s: Before conducting pooja you should take bath. If pooja is at morning or afternoon or evening then all the time before it bathing is necessary.
Q: Which section of people can avoid it?
A: Usually it is not considered to be mandatory for all to observe fast on any given day. It comes from the inner zeal and dedication. But ill or working or professional can avoid it. They can get the blessing of the deity by hearing the stories at night and by having the Prasad. But still if someone is adamant to have it then another version of it which is called to be Partial fast can be observed in some food items like fruits and water are allowed. What is more important is the pure feeling rather than the protocols to be followed.