one of the most auspicious days celebrated by hindus all over india , especially south india , vaikunta ekadasi needs no special mention but devotees need some help to find temples they can visit in a smaller radius away from the hustle and bustle of cities. hence this post.
scientific reason behind fasting on “ekadashi”
fasting on ekadashi is a very old and common tradition which is followed in mostly all hindu families. we all have seen our mother, father, dadima ,dadaji , nani and other elders observing ekadashi fasts, and we usually think they are doing because they are just religious. in fact it is backed up by solid science.
ekadasi is a sanskrit word, which means ‘the eleventh’. it refers to the eleventh day of a fortnight belonging to a lunar month. there are two fortnights in a lunar month—the poornima and amavasya. so, ekadasi occurs twice in a month. the special feature of ekadasi, as most people know it, is a fast, abstinence from diet. according to scientific research, it is known that the air pressure on the earth varies to extreme limits on both the new moon (amavasya) and the full moon (purnima) day. this is because of the orbital path combination of the sun, moon and earth.
this can be observed by the change in the nature of the tidal waves on the new moon and full moon days. the waves are very high and rough, but from the next day onwards, the waves become calm, an indication that the pressure has also receded. now, based on this fact, the significance of ekadasi fasting can be explained in 2 ways:
1)it takes about 3-4 days for the food that we eat today to reach our brain (for the brain to understand the food intake). now, if we eat light/fast on ekadasi days, that intake will reach the brain correspondingly on the new moon/full moon day. on both of these days, the earth pressure is at its maximum, thus leading to imbalance in everything, including ones thought process. so, if the input to the brain is at a minimum, the chances of the brain indulging in any wayward activity due to the high pressure imbalance also becomes minimum. people in asylums behave weirdly during ekadashis due to this same lunar activity.
2) another explanation for ekadasi fasting is that compared to any other day of the moon cycle, atmospheric pressure is lowest on ekadasi days. thus, this is the best time to fast and cleanse the bowel system. if we fast on any other day, the high pressure/strain may damage our system. thus, it is advisable that after fasting on ekadasi, on the immediate next day (dwadasi), we should get up early and eat as soon as possible.
note * – text taken from sites which quoted iskon
nammalwar, one of the great devotees in the sri sampradaya (the disciplic succession descending from lakshmi devi) went back to godhead on this day. to commemorate this event, in all the vishnu temples, the vaikuntha dwara (the gate to vaikuntha) a special entrance in the north side of the temple is opened once in a year on this particular day. it is believed that anyone who enters the vaikuntha dwara on this day is guaranteed to attain the spiritual abode.
i have given 5 sets of temples to see based on proximity. these are in small towns as big cities see huge crowds and waiting lines..
note – all these are divya desams ( 108 sacred temples mentioned by aarwaars )
route 1 – kanchipuram
kanchipuram houses more divya desam temples than any other place in the world.
- pavala vannar temple ( pachai vanna perumal is across the street but not a divya desam )
- nilathingal thundathan sannidhi inside sri ekaambareshwarar temple
- pandava dhootha perumal temple
- aadhi varaha perumal temple inside sri kamakshi amman temple , one can see this from a mirror placed inside the sannidhi and entry normally isnt allowed
- ulagalantha perumal temple ( this houses 4 divya desams in it ) also synonymous with divya desam known as ( divya desam #1 – thiru ooragam )
- jagadeeshwarar perumal inside ulagalantha perumal temple ( divya desam #2 – thiru neeragam)
- karunakara perumal sannidhi inside ulagalantha perumal temple ( divya desam #3 – thiru kaaragam )
- thirukkaarvaanar sannidhi inside ulagalantha perumal temple ( divya desam #4 – thirukkaar vaanam )
- vaikunda perumal temple…(thiruparameshwara vinnagaram)
- deepa prakasar perumal temple, thiruthanka- toopul
- azhagiya singar perumal temple, thiruvelukkai
- yathothakaari / sonna vannam seidha perumal temple, thiruvehkaa
- aadhikesava perumal temple, ashthabujangaram
- varadharaja perumal temple , thirukacchi , vishnu kaanchi
- vijayaraghava perumal, thiruputkuzhi , 14 kms west of kanchipuram on madras – bangalore highway
route 2 – thiru naangoor near seerkaari – all temples are in a village ( has the most temples in a small area , beats kanchipuram by density ) !!
- thiru van purushothamam
- thiru vaikunta vinnagaram
- thiru thevanaar thogai
- chempon sei kovil
- kudamaadu koothar temple – thiru arimeya vinnagaram
- thiruk kavalam paadi
- paarthan palli
- thiru mani maadak kovil
- thiru vellak kulam – annan perumal kovil
- thiruth thetri ambalam
- thiru maani koodam
route 3 – sri vaikuntam vicinity ( nava thiruppathi temples in a relatively small area but not as dense as the above 2 )
- sri vaikuntam
- aarwaar thirunagari
- naththam varagunamangai
- thirup puliyangudi
- then thirupperai
- thiruth tholaivillimangalam aravindhalochanar – rettai thiruppathi
- thiruth tholaivillimangalam devarpiraan – rettai thiruppathi
route 4 : kumbakonam
- sakkara paani temple in town ( not a divya desam )
- saarnga paani
- raamar temple ( not a divya desam )
- aadhanur ( this and the remaining are in kumbakonam – thiruvaiyaaru road )
- pullam poodhangudi
- aaduthurai perumal koil
route 5 : kerala divya desams near thiruvalla ( all in a 20 km radius )