The Ancient History of Mokshada Ekadasi from Brahmanda Purana:Yudhishthira Maharaj said, “O Vishnu, master of all, O delight of the three worlds, O Lord of the entire Universe, O creator of the world, O oldest personality, O best of all beings, I offer my most respectful obeisances unto You.
“O Lord of lords, for the benefit of all living entities, kindly answer some questions that I have. What is the name of the Ekadasi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Margashirsha (November-December) and removes all sins? How does one observe it properly, and which Deity is worshipped on that holiest of days? O my Lord please explain this to me in full.”
Lord Sri Krishna replied, “O dear Yudhishthira, your enquiry is very auspicious in itself and will bring you fame. Just as I previously explained to you about the dearest Utpannaa Maha-Dwadasi – which occurs during the dark part of the month of Margashirsha, which is the day when Ekadasi-devi appeared from My body to kill the demon Mura, and which benefits everything animate and inanimate in the three worlds – so I shall now relate to you regarding this Ekadasi that occurs during the light part of the month of Margashirsha. This Ekadasi is famous as Mokshadaa because it purifies the faithful devotee of all sinful reactions and bestows liberation upon him. The worshippable Deity of this all auspicious day is Lord Damodara. With full attention one should worship Him with incense, a ghee lamp, fragrant flowers, and Tulasi manjaris (buds).
“O best of saintly kings, please listen as I narrate to you the ancient and auspicious history of this wonderful Ekadasi. Simply by hearing this history one can attain the merit earned by performing a horse sacrifice. By the influence of this merit, one’s forefathers, mothers, sons, and other relatives who have gone to hell can turn around and go to the heavenly kingdom. For this reason alone, O king, you should listen with rapt attention to this narration.
“There once was a beautiful city named Champaka-nagar, which was decorated with devoted Vaishnavas. There the best of saintly kings Maharaj Vaikhaanasa, ruled over his subjects as if they were his very own dear sons and daughters. The brahmins in that capital city were all expert in four kinds of Vedik knowledge. The king, while ruling properly, had a dream one night in which his father was seen to be suffering the pangs of hellish torture in one of the hellish planets ruled over by the Yamaraj. The king was overwhelmed with compassion for his father and shed tears. The next morning, Maharaj Vaikhaanasa described what he had seen in his dream to his council of twice born learned brahmins.
” ‘ O brahmanas,’ the king addressed them, ‘in a dream last night I saw my father suffering on a hellish planet. He was crying out in anguish, “O son, please deliver me from this torment of this hellish condition !” Now I have no peace in my mind, and even this beautiful kingdom has become unbearable to me. Not even my horses, elephants, and chariots and my vast wealth in my treasury that formerly brought so much pleasure, gives me no pleasure at all.
” ‘Everything, O best of the brahmins, even my own wife and sons, have become a source of unhappiness since I beheld my father suffering the tortures of that hellish condition so. Where can I go, and what can I do, O brahmins, to alleviate this misery? My body is burning with fear and sorrow ! Please tell me what kind of charity, what mode of fasting, what austerity, or what deep meditation, and in service upon which Deity I may have to perform to deliver my father from that agony and bestow upon liberation upon my forefathers. O best among the brahmins, what is the use of one’s being a powerful son if one’s father must suffer on a hellish planet? Truly, such a son’s life is utterly useless, to him and to his forefathers.
” The twice born brahmins replied, ‘O king, in the mountainous forest not far from here is the ashram where a great saint Parvata Muni resides. Please go to him, for he is tri-kala-jnan (he knows the past, the present, and the future of everything) and can surely help you in your gaining relief from your misery.’
“Upon hearing this advise, the distressed king immediately set out on a journey to the ashram of the famous sage Parvata Muni. The ashram was indeed very big and housed many learned sages expert in chanting the sacred hymns of the four Vedas (Rg, Yajur, Sama, and Arthava). Approaching the holy ashram, the king beheld Parvata Muni seated among the assembly of sages adorned with hundreds of tilaks (from all the authorised sampradayas) like another Brahmaa or Vyaas.
“Maharaj Vaikhaanasa offered his humble obeisances to the muni, bowing his head and then prostrating his entire body before him. After the king had seated himself among the assembly Parvata Muni asked him about the welfare of the seven limbs of his extensive kingdom (his ministers, his treasury, his military forces, his allies, the brahmins, the sacrificial offerings performed, and the needs of his subjects). The muni also asked him if his kingdom was free of troubles and whether everyone was peaceful, happy and satisfied. To these enquiries the king replied, ‘By your mercy O glorious and great sage, all seven limbs of my kingdom are doing very well. Yet there is a problem that has recently arisen, and to solve it I have come to you, O brahmana for your expert help and guidance’.
“Then Parvata Muni, the best of all sages, closed his eyes and meditated on the king’s past, present and future. After a few moments he opened his eyes and said, ‘Your father is suffering the results of committing a great sin, and I have discovered what it is. In his previous life he quarrelled with his wife and forcibly enjoyed her sexually during her menstrual period. She tried to protest and resist his advances and even yelled out, “Someone please save me! Please, O husband, do not interrupt my monthly period in this way!” Still he did not stop or leave her alone. It is on account of this grievous sin that your father now has fallen into such a hellish condition of suffering.’
“King Vaikhaanasa then said, ‘O greatest among sages, by what process of fasting or charity may I liberate my dear father from such a condition? Please tell me how I can relieve and remove the burden of his sinful reactions, which are a great obstacle to his progress toward ultimate release (salvation – liberation – going back home).’
“Parvata Muni replied, ‘During the light fortnight of the month of Margashirsha there occurs an Ekadasi called Mokshadaa. If you observe this sacred Ekadasi strictly, with a full fast, and give directly to your suffering father the merit you will thus attain/obtain, he will be freed from his pain and instantly liberated’.
“Hearing this, Maharaj Vaikhaanasa profusely thanked the great sage and then returned to his palace to perform his vrata (austere rite, austerity). O Yudhishthira, when the light part of the month of Margashirsha at last arrived, Maharaj Vaikhaanasa faithfully waited for the Ekadasi tithi to arrive. He then perfectly and with full faith observed the Ekadasi fast with his wife, children, and other relatives. He dutifully gave the merit from this fast to his father, and as he made the offering, beautiful flower petals showered down from the devas who peered out from behind the clouds in the sky. The king’s father was then praised by the messengers of the demigods (devas) and escorted to the celestial region. As he passed his son, as he traversed the lower to middle to higher planets, the father said to the king, ‘My dear son, all auspiciousness unto you!’
At last he reached the heavenly realm from where he can again with his newly acquired merit perform devotional service to Krishna or Vishnu and in due course return back to home back to Godhead.
“O son of Pandu, who so ever strictly observes the sacred Mokshadaa Ekadasi, following the established rules and regulations, achieves full and perfect liberation after death. There is no better fasting day than this Ekadasi of the light fortnight of the month of Margashirsha, O Yudhishthira, for it is a crystal-clear and sinless day. Whoever faithfully observes this Ekadasi fast, which is like chintaa-mani (a gem that yields all desires), obtains special merit that is very hard to calculate, for this day can elevate one from hellish life to the heavenly planets, and for one who observes Ekadasi for his own spiritual benefit, this elevates one to go back to Godhead, never to return to this material world.”
Thus end the narration of the glories of Margashirsha-shukla Ekadasi or Mokshada Ekadasi, from the Brahmanda Purana.
These stories have been summarised and slightly changed or abbreviated from how they are found in the celebrated book, “Ekadasi: The Day of Lord Hari” 1986. HH Krishna Balaram Swami. Bhaktivedanta Institute Press.
Some also call as Vaikuntha EkAdasii but this is diiferent to the traditionalVaikuntha EkAdasii that is so wonderfully observed in Sri Rangam:Official Sri Rangam Site http://www.srirangam.org/Index1.Html
The most important festival celebrated for full twenty one days during Tamil month Margazhi (December-January), is divided to two ten days as pagal pathu and ra pathu, with all pomp and pageantry.On Vaikunta Ekadesi day, Lord Ranganatha, attired in splendid garment, proceeds in a magnificient procession through Paramapada Vasal, arrives at Thirumamani Mandapam in the Thousand in a pillared hall to the thrill and joy of the devotees gathered in lakhs who have come from all over India and abroad. This occasion is the peak point of all festivals conducted in the Temple, on this day of days; Sri Ranganatha becomes a virtual king and is known as Sri Rangaraja. . . .
Footnote by Dina-Anukampana dasa (Singapore/Malaysia): Some years, like last year (2004), both Vaikuntha Ekadasi and Moksh Ekadasi fell on same day, but definitely not this year.
The apparent reason for the confusion is this – Vaikuntha ekadasi is part of the tradtional celebrations of the Tamil calendar (which is a solar based calendar) devotional month of Margazhi (I’m sure you know this month is to the local Tamils what damodara month is like to us, a time for increased devotion)
The month Marghazhi (December-January) derives its name from the star Mrigasirsha occurring on or immediately after the month’s Pournami (Purnima – full moon). It is also known as Dhanur masa since during this month the sun transits through Dhanur rasi (Sagittarius). Vedas and agamas say mornings in this month are ideal for worship of the Lord. Krishna underlines its special nature by saying in Bhagavad Gita that among months he is Marghazhi, due to it’s Jayanti this month. In temples all over India during this month there is special pre-dawn worship. Since this month is set apart for worship, marriages and other such functions are not performed in Marghazhi. The shaivite composition Thiruvembavai and the vaishnavite Thiruppavai are particularly recited during this month.
Vaikunta Ekadasi ( MOKSHDHAA)
In Kerala, they call it as “Guruvayoor Ekadashi” It is believed that the Gates to heaven open on this day – People fast completely this day – They break their fast the next day morning on the occasion of Mukkoti Dwaadashi.
In Guruvaayur, thousands of devotees go through out the day to have the Darshan of Lord Sri Krishna. The music virtuoso late Chambai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar has constructed a Hall inside the temple wherein, music concerts by various musicians are arranged like Thayagaraja Aradhana celebrations, the whole day, singing in praise of Lord Sri Krishna, in different languages……
One could observe here that all male musicians and male accompanists will sing/ render accompaniment respectively, wearing a Uttareeya (Shalya) / Ponnadai like Chambai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar . The Tiruvananathapuram TV Station normally telecast these programmes live.
Falling in moon’s waxing phase sukla paksha in Marghazhi (December-January), this is an austerity everyone knows about. There are two ekadasis each month, but this one in Marghazhi is considered special. This is what Padma Puranam says about this austerity. In Krita Yuga there was a demon called Muran who harassed both Devas and mortals. Unable to bear his tyranny, the Devas sought refuge in Shiva. He directed them to approach Vishnu. Consoling the Devas, Vishnu went out to battle with Muran. As, during the battle, Vishnu rested awhile in a cave in Badrikashrama, his shakti – female energy – assumed the form of a beautiful damsel, fought Muran, and slayed him. Vishnu, waking up, saw her, named her Ekadasi and issued the boon that people worshipping her would reach Vaikunta. Thus, it is said, was born the first ekadasi. That was a Marghazhi sukla paksha ekadasi. Sages and immortals began observing the ekadasi vrata regularly since then. The demon Muran represents the qualities tamas and rajas. Vishnu represents the life principle. The import of the ekadasi vrata is, therefore, that one can conquer rajas and tamas through fasting and go on to a better life. There are two ekadasis each month, but the year as a whole has one more, making for 25 in all. The Dhanur month sukla paksha ekadasi is Vaikunta Ekadasi. Shaivaites call this Nanjunda Ekadasi. Some believe it was on this day Shiva consumed nanju, the poison that emanated from the churning of the ocean. There is a temple to Shiva as Nanjundeswara in Nanjangud in Karnataka. Now consider all ekadasis occurring in a year. The ekadasi in Marghazhi krishna paksha (waning moon) – in December-January – is Mokshai; the one in sukla paksha (waxing moon) Utpathi. Forefathers of those who observe these vratas attain salvation.
From the same page ( http://www.hindutemple.org/information/vaikunta%20ekadasi.htm ) In Thai (January-February) krishna paksha, the ekadasi is called saphala. Those who observe this vrata, offering fruits to the Almighty, and make deepa dana – gift of lamps – recover lost wealth. The sukla paksha ekadasi is Putrata, which yields progeny. The Masi (February-March) krishna paksha ekadasi is Shadtila. Those who observe this will, even if they have nothing to give as dana, acquire the benefits of dana. The sukla paksha ekadasi is Jaya, which dispels the consequences of brahmahathi. The Panguni (March-April) krishna paksha ekadasi, called Vijaya, enables the observer of the vrata to vanquish foes. The sukla paksha ekadasi is called Amalaka. In Chithirai (April-May), the ekadasi in krishna paksha is Papa Mochani: those observing this and offering worship to the Lord will be cleansed of sins acquired knowingly or otherwise. The ekadasi in sukla paksha is Kamata, which blesses the observers with all they need and sets them on the path of righteousness. In Vaikasi (May-June) krishna paksha, the ekadasi is Varudhini; the sukla paksha ekadasi is Meghini. The Ani (June-July) krishna paksha ekadasi is Apara. The sukla paksha ekadasi is Nirjala: those observing this will reap the benefits of observance of all 25 ekadasis. The Adi (July-August) krishna paksha ekadasi is Yogini: its observance dispels the consequence of actions incurring the wrath of Shiva. The sukla paksha ekadasi is Sayini, whose observance yields immense benefit. From Adi, incidentally, begins the austerity called chatur masyam. Avani (August-September) krishna paksha ekadasi is Kamika. Its observance fulfils wishes. The sukla paksha ekadasi is Putrata, observance of which yields progeny. Purattasi (September-October) krishna paksha ekadasi is Aja, which ended the tribulations of Harishchandra. The sukla paksha ekadasi, called Padmanabha, is observed to invoke rain. Aippasi (October-November) krishna paksha ekadasi is Indira; the sukla paksha ekadasi is Pasankusa. In Karthikai (November-December) krishna paksha, the ekadasi is Rama; in sukla paksha it is Prabodhini. Elders have laid down that Lakshmi will bless those who observe all 25 ekadasi vratas and worship the Lord with tulasi.
The entire month of Mrigasir is considered auspicious and all manner of devotions are done for the Lord at this time. Consequently some call Vaikuntha ekadasi the ekadasi known as Mokshada ekadasi that falls on the shukla paksha of Mrigasira Masa (Keshava mase), while others call the Vaikuntha ekadasi the one that comes before Makara sankranti (Jamuary 15th) which most call Putrada ekadasi that occure in the shukla paksha of Pausha mase (Narayan mase.)
Vaikuntha ekadasi in Sri Rangakshetra:
In Sri Rangam temple on this all auspicious day there is a huge festival. The festival usually goes for 21 days continuously. At that time everyone of the thousands of pilgrims goes through the Vaikuntha Gate.
SamvathsarOthsavam (annula festival) of SrI Vaikunta EkAdasi PuRappAdu at SrIrangam . The Lord emerges out of His aasthAnam and goes thru the special Vaikunta Vaasal (Tavittari Vaasal) followed by the blessed throngs of devotees (Thiruvaranga KoottatthAr) after following some ancient rites relatable to yOga Saasthram.
The Vaikunta EkAdasi Celebrations at SrIrangam
This is a Naataka roopa Uthsavam , where the Lord Himself enacts the very stages of a Mumukshu’s (one who is desirous of gaining Moksham ) travel via archirAdhi mArgam (dEvayAna maargam), the enjoyment of the MaryAdhais by adhivAhikAs on the way, a dip in the virajA river, welcome by the nithya sooris and welcome by divine damsels thereafter with poorNa kumbhams and the climactic entry through the gOpuram of SrI Vaikuntam to reach the inner court, where the Lord welcomes the Muktha Jeevan ;there the liberated jeevan enjoys the supreme bliss of being with the Lord and performing nithya kaimkaryam there for Him and His Devis (vide: Parama Padha sOpAnam of Swamy Desikan).
The Vaibhavam of SrIrangam
SrIrangam is saluted as Thiruvarangam Periya Koil ( the grandest and the holiest temple of SrIrangam ). It is ancient and its illustrious Vaibhavam is indicated by Swamy VedAntha Desikan in his Tamil Prabhandham :
aarAtha aruLamudham pothintha kOil
ambhuyatthPn AyOddhi mannarkkaLittha kOil
thOlAtha taniveeran thozhutha kOil
thuNaiAna VeeDaNaRkku thuNayngkOil
sErAtha patyanellAm sErkkum kOil
sezhumaRayin mudhal yezhutthu sErntha kOil
theerAtha vinai anaitthum theerkkum kOil
Thiruvarangam yenat-thikazhum kOil thAmE
–AdhikAra sangraham: Paasuram 42
(Meaning): The dhivya dEsam of Thriuvarangam is the permanent abode of the KaruNA moorthy, Lord RanganAthan , who is like the insatiable nectar for His dear devotees. This temple (VimAnam and PerumAL ) was given as a present by BrahmA to the Emperors of IashvAku Kulam to which Lord Raamachandra belongs. The Lord of this temple was worshipped by Lord Raamachandran Himself during His Vibhava avathAram at AyOddhi.This Lord resting under PraNavAkAra VimAnam became the protection for VibhIshaNan , who served the Lord during His RaamAvathAram. This Koil has the uniqueness of conferring boons that can not be obtained elsewhere. It is united with the VimAnam shaped in the form of PraNavam. Visit to this koil destroys all of our sins.This Koil therefore stands on top of every dhivya dEsam.
The Moola and Uthsava BhErams at SrIrangam
The Moola BhEram ( Moolavar or the stationary deity) is the Lord who is resting on AdhisEshan . He has the rope marks on His waist arising from the days , when His mother YasOdhA bound Him with KaNNinuNN SiRutthAmpu ( small knotted rope), to punish Him for stealing butter. He got the name of DaamOdhara KrishNan from that day onwards. Thus the Moola BhEram at Srirangam is recognized and saluted as Krishnan.
The Uthsava BhEram (Uthsava Moorthy or processional deity) wears His Paadhukais and goes on SanchAram . He is recognized as Raamachandran. He gurantees all those who seek His protection by granting abhaya pradhAnam (Freedom from fear of any kind):
SakruthEva PrapannAya TavAsmIthi yaachathE
abhayam sarvabhUthEbhya: dhadhAmyEthath vratham Mama
Even for those who surrender only once to Him for protection, He assures them complete freedom from fear of any kind. He says that it is His vow (Vratham) to protect them.
That RangarAjan as Raamachandran enjoys sanchAram on SrI Vaikunta EkAdasi day wearing His Dhivya MaNi PaadhukAs and Special RathnAngi to enter SrI Vaikunta Vaasal. Of this sanchAram adorning His Paadhukais, Swamy Desikan has this to say in SrI RanganAtha PaadhukA Sahasram:
Saradha: Sathamambha ! PaadhukE ! syAm
MaNI MaNDapikAsu Rangabharthu:
ThvadhadhInAni gathAgathAni pasyan
–262 SlOakm of Sri RanganAtha PaadhukA sahasram
(meaning): Oh PaadhukE! During Uthsava Kaalams at SrIrangam, the dEvAthas are invited to enjoy the Lord’s darsanam. They have all arrived now. PerumAL starts His sanchAram to the various gem-studded MaNDapams adorning You. As he travels to these selected locations, the dEvathAs eulogize Him. adiyEn has the desire to enjoy that unique sEvai for a hundred years and stay right here at SrIrangam.
Such is the SrI Vaikunta EkAdasi RathnAngi sEvai at the Thiruvarangam Periya Koil today .
A special Audio Tape for this Occasion
To celebrate the RaamAvathAra Uthsava Moorthy of SrIrangam , adiyEn is releasing a special tape about Saint ThyagarAjA’s Naatai pancha Rathnam: “JagadhAnandha KaarakA “. This Pancha rathnam has 108 NaamAvaLis incorporated in 10 charaNams. Each of the NaamAs are the Naama kusumAnjalis placed at the Lotus feet of the Lord by one of the greatest Raama BhakthAs, the VaalmIki amsar, ThyAga Brahmam of Panchanadha KshEthram (Tiru IyyARu).
This Naattai Pancharathnam is different from the other Pancha Rathnam known as SrIranga Pancharathnam sung by him, when he attended the ChaithrOthsavam at SrIrangam. Latter are the crystallization of the waters of the sweet river of Bhakthi that flowed , when the Saint had the darsana soubhAgyam of Lord RanganAthan during another Uthsavam. The Nattai Pancha Rathnam however is part of AarAdhanam at ThiruvayyARu for Lord Raamachandran adorning the special MaNi ManTapam that he built for the Lord at the poojA gruham of his home.
The Saint chose the majestic Naattai Raagam to perform the Naadha KusumAnjali in the form of AshtOtthara Satha (108) NaamAvaLi. Nattai, GambhIra Naattai, MallAri are the raagams chosen for PuRappAdu of PerumAL during the Uthsavams at our temples. The other 4 of the Pancha Rathnams have different moods and are set in the RaagAs of GouLai, Aarabhi, VarALi and SrI . The present tape deals exclusively with the Naattai pancharathnam and the Naadha naivEdhyam of this great Raama BhakthA.
The Content of the special Audio Tape
The deeper meanings of each of the NaamAs adorning the Naatai Pancharathnam are explained in a mixture of Tamil, Samskritham and Telegu. The main text is in Tamil admixed with Sanskrit (MaNi PravALam). The quotations from PurANams, Veda Manthrams, Upanishads, IthihAsams, Kambha RaamAyanam, SrImath BhAgavatham, SthOthrams like SrI Raghu Veera Gadhyam, Raama KarNamrutham, AzhwAr Paasurams are included to illustrate the Vaibhavam of each of the NaamAs chosen by Saint ThyagarAjA in a mood of Parama Bhakthi. Copious quotations from the other Krithis of the Saint are also included to experience the echos of the NaamAs belonging to Naattai Pancha rathnam.
The Nattai Pancha rathnam is a Thodaya MangaLa Krithi, where the full power of the Rishabha svaram in its sharp (mjaestic) and upward striving form is brought in to play. This pancharathnam is also celebrated for the dignity of its DhAthu and Maathu. It is a brilliant and moving eulogy and at best a heroic praise for a Hero without any match. The SvarAlankArams found in this Naatai Pancharathnam are evidences to the genius of this composer, who had the anugraham of the peripatetic Saint Naaradha, the great bard singing the glories of SrIman NaarAyanan to the accompaniment of his VeeNA.
On this SrI Vaikunta EkAdasi of ChithrabhAnu, adiyEn is fortunate to share with you the news about the special ( Home recorded ) audio Tape along with the recordings on the other Ghaana Raaga Pancharathnams. The second pancharathnam, ” Duduku gala nannE ” is in a mood of Naicchiyam and aathma garhanam (mood of repentence and recount of his shortcoings). The third pancharahtnam (samayAniki) is the dialog with KrishNan (Moola BhEram of SrIrangam) while worshipping Him as Raamachandran (Uthsava BhEram of SrIrangam ) in the ChAyalaka raagam of Aarabhi. The fourth Pancharathnam ( Kana Kana RuchirA) is set in (Jaala) VarALi raagam to celebrate the Roopa Mahimai of SrI Raamabhadran. The fifth Pancharathnam in the auspicious Raagam of SrI (YentharO MahAnubhAvulu) celebrates the darsana mahimai of Parama BhAgavathAs.
AdiyEn has written about them in English in Bhakthi List.These recordings however follow the original Tamil Text of a Book that adiyEn wrote in 1990 with forewords from SangItha KalAnidhis Semmangudi SrInivAsa Iyer and PaalakkAdu K.V.NaarAyana Swamy Iyer .
adiyEn concludes this special SrI Vaikunta EkAdasi essay with three salutations to SrI Ranga Raaman:
NeelabhadrEsa! NikhilEsa ! JagannivAsa! RamaNIya-guNAbhirAma!
SrIdhAma ! Dhaithyakula mardhana! Raamachandra!
Thvath pAdham anisam kalayAmi chitthE !
Dasamukha haradaksham Padma PathrAyAdhAksham
Karadhrutha Sara chApam chAru-mukthA-kalApam
Raghukula NruvarENyam RaamamIdE SaraNyam
–BhOdhEndhrAL’s SrI Raama KarNAmrutham
vadhathu vadathu VaaNi RanganAthEthi Nithyam
Japathu Japathu chittham RangaEsa paadhAravindham
Namathu namathu dEham santhatham RanganAtham
na bhavathu mama pApam janma-janmAntharEshu
SrI BhUlOka Vaikunta ChakravarthinE nama:
Daasan , Oppilaippan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan
The Sri Vaishnava – Bhakti Archives.
Sri Rangam Temple
Vaikuntha ekadasi in Tirumala – Tirupathi:
Vaikunta Ekadasi is considered an extremely auspicious day to visit Tirupati, as it is believed that this is the day when the `Vaikunta Dwaram’- the door to heaven- is open, and any pilgrim who comes to Tirupati on this day will achieve salvation. The Vaikunta Ekadasi changes from year to year, but usually occurs in December to early January.
Vaikuntha ekadasi in Kanchipuram:
The Vaikunta Ekadasi day falls on the Ekadasi Day preceeding full moon in the month of margasira (Dec 15 to Jan 14). On this auspicious day, deities of five ancient temples (located in Kanchipuram) are taken out in procession on Garuda Vahanam (vehicle). This was not performed in the past years in the temple of Sri Deepa Prakasar for want of funds. A trust has been formed for this purpose with a view to create a Corpus Fund so that the interest earned out of it could be used for performing the utsavam. Balance available out of interest income, if any, will be given to temples, Vedic Scholars students who are in need of it.