To the devotees of Lord Vishnu, the day Ekadashi (specially Vaikunta Ekadashi) is a very auspicious day. Devotees observe fast on every Ekadashi to get free from their sins and gain moksha. Spiritually, Ekadashi is a symbol of eleven sense organs comprising five sense organs, five moving organs, and one mind.
People observe fast on that day by controlling all the eleven sense organs, taking permitted food with some conditions like avoiding rice, jeera, and onion.
WHY IS THE RICE NOT EATEN ON THE EKADASHI (specially on Vaikunta Ekadashi) ?
Spiritually, A drop of sweat from the head of Lord Brahma fell onto the ground and became a Demon. That demon asked Brahma where to live, then Brahma replied to stay in the grains of rice and enter into the stomach and form a worm to the people who eat rice on the Ekadashi.
It also has a scientific reason that eating food holds on to more water, so eating rice on Ekadashi can cause unsteadiness. Since the moon attracts more water and the rays of the moon have more cosmic energy on that day. It gets worse, like colds, sinusitis, and water retention.
There are 24 Ekadashi in a year, every Ekadashi has its own importance and with some special food items. It takes place on the eleventh day of two lunar cycles of the month, Krishna paksha and Shukla paksha.
The 24 Ekadashi are Putrada Ekadashi, Satilla Ekadashi, Jaya Ekadashi, Vijaya Ekadashi, Amalaki Ekadashi, Papamochani Ekadashi, Kamadha Ekadashi, Varuthini Ekadashi, Gouna mohini Ekadashi, Apara Ekadashi, Nirjala Ekadashi, Yogini Ekadashi, Padma/Devasyani Ekadashi, Kamika Ekadashi, Aja Ekadashi, Parivarthi or Vamana or Parsva Ekadashi, Indira Ekadashi, Padmini Ekadashi, Parama Ekadashi, Papankusha Ekadashi, Rama Ekadashi, Devatuna Ekadashi, Utapanna Ekadashi and Mokshada Ekadashi.
Among all the 24 Ekadashi’s Vaikunta Ekadashi is a very important one, which is equal to all 23 Ekadashi. It is also called Mukkoti Ekadashi and Vishnu Vrat. It is observed in December or January every year. Lord Vishnu opens the door of the holy place on that day. Devotees visit the Lord through the southern entrance.
There was a story behind the word Ekadashi. Once there was a demon named Muran who was creating Plunder on Earth and Heaven. Getting tied to his tyranny, all the Devas went to Lord Vishnu and asked for help to destroy him. Lord Vishnu fought with the demon Muran and realized that there is no weapon to destroy him, so he decided to prepare a Weapon to kill him.
When Lord Vishnu was preparing a weapon, suddenly the evil Muran attacked Vishnu and tried to kill him. But all of a sudden, the female energy came out from Lord Vishnu’s body and killed the evil. It was the 11th day of the night.
Lord Vishnu named that female energy as Ekadashi and gave her the blessing that anyone who observes fasting on Ekadashi will endow with moksha and relive from their sins.