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Shravan Putrada Ekadashi is celebrated or observed in honor of Lord Vishnu. This festival and Pooja when performed by a married couple unable to conceive is blessed with a child especially a son.
People celebrate Putrada Ekadashi two times a year. The first time in December or January and the second time is celebrated in July or August. The one that falls in December or January is known as the paush Shukla Putrada Ekadashi. While the other is known as Shravan Shukla Putrada Ekadashi. In the year 2021, Shravana Putrada Ekadashi falls on Wednesday, 18 August.
Ekadashi Tithi Begins - 03:20 AM on Aug 18, 2021
Ekadashi Tithi Ends - 01:05 AM on Aug 19, 2021
Usually, fasting is the most important ritual on Shravan putrada Ekadashi. Both the partners who yearn for a male child should fast together. Devotees can also observe partial fasts. No grain or pulses, rice or onion, and any kind of non-vegetarian food should be consumed during the fasting hours.
On Dashami, the vrat begins and one who is observing must only eat satvik bhojan before noon. On the night of Dashami couples should refrain from intercourse.
On this day, Lord Vishnu is worshipped with full devotion and dedication. Panchamrit Abhishek is performed on the idol of Lord Vishnu. Bright flowers, fruits, and all other puja offerings are made to the deity. A vigil is kept all night by the observer of the fast and they sing bhajans and kirtans in praise of Lord Vishnu.
On the Shravan Putrada Ekadashi, the 5-day jhulan festival also starts.
Once there lived the king called Mahijit who was very powerful and wealthy. However, sadly the king did not have any child and no matter what he did, he couldn't get the happiness of being a father. After trying every remedy suggested by sages and Brahmins and not even one working, he finally met a very learned sage known as Lomesh. Lomesh told him that his situation is the result of the sins from his previous life.
Lomesh reminded the king of his misdeed in his past life when he was a merchant and once on his tour, he was very thirsty. To quench his thirst he went to a small pond where a cow and its calf were also drinking water. The merchant chased them away and drank all the water from the pond.
This was the sin that cursed him to be forever childless. This is when the sage asked the king and the queen to observe a fast on the Ekadashi on the eve of Shravana Ekadashi and worship Lord Vishnu to wash away the sin.
They did as they were told and one day soon after their devotion to Lord Vishnu, a brilliant son was born to them.
Putrada derived from the Sanskrit word 'Putra' meaning 'son' and 'ada' meaning 'giving'. Lord Vishnu has been regarded as the one who fulfills all your desires and wishes. Therefore on this day, the couple who praise and offer prayers to Lord Vishnu is blessed with progeny. Devotees observe fast on this day to seek the blessings of a male child.
The significance of this Ekadashi has been questioned in many parts of the world as it is a biased behavior towards the female and therefore, an encouragement to evil practices like female foeticide.