Bhishma on the bed of arrows.
Vrindavan, 2017.10.31 (VT): Today is Devotthan Ekadashi. During the four-month period of Chaturmasya, Bhagwan Vishnu is believed to remain “asleep” in yoga-nidra, and on Devotthan Ekadashi he again awakes. This day – which falls on the Kartik Shukla Ekadashi tithi – is also known as Prabodhini Ekadashi, Utthan Ekadashi, Vishnu-Prabodhini Ekadashi and Dev-Prabodhini Ekadashi.
For those who began their Niyam Seva vrat on ekadashi, Devotthan Ekadashi marks the end of the vrat. (Please note, for those who began Niyam Seva on Purnima, the vrat ends on Purnima). Chaturmasya vrat also ends on this day, and the Bhishma Panchaka vrat begins. Bhishma Panchaka refers to the five days when Bhishma Pitamaha laid on the bed of arrows and praised Lord Dwarkadheesh, before leaving his body by his own will.
During the time when Vishnu sleeps, ie. for the whole Chaturmasya, weddings and other auspicious life ceremonies are traditionally banned. Thus, Devotthan Ekadashi marks the lifting of the “ban” and a surge in the number of marriages in Vrindavan. Hundreds of couples are expected to tie the knot on this day, and the wedding rush will continue for some time, bringing smiles to the faces of businessmen everywhere.
Devotthan Ekadashi pooja at the Radharaman Temple (P.C. Anjana Aggarwal)
The marriage of Tulsi with Shaligram (tulsi-shaligram vivaha) is also performed on Devotthan Ekadashi.
Devotthan Ekadashi also marks the beginning of the sugarcane harvest, thus sugarcane makes a special appearance in the pooja rituals of the day in homes and temples throughout Braj.
At the Shri Radharaman Temple, Shri Radharaman Lal wears a special crown on Devotthan Ekadashi. In the evening, a kunj is created with sugarcane stalks, under which an offering of raw fruits and vegetables is made. Without any bells or gongs, soft prayers are recited to awaken Vishnu. After awakening him, bells and gongs are used during abhishek and the complete worship of shaligram shila is performed.
Thereafter, Shaligram Dev is placed on a small chariot and taken on parade (vijay yatra) around the outer altar. Ghee lamps are then offered to Radharamanji and from this day till the end of winter, He uses a blanket at night.