Keeping fast on this Ekadashi is believed to bless a married couple with a son.
The word ‘Putrda’ means ‘giver of sons’ and Ekadashi is the 11th lunar day of a lunar month. There are two Putrda Ekadasi his in a year. One falls in the lunar month of Shravan (during July-August) and the other during the lunar month of Paush (during December-January).
This year the Paush Putrda Ekadashi falls on 11th January 2014. The Paush Putrda Ekadashi is more popular in north India whereas in other states the Shravan Putrda Ekadashi is popular.
Importance of Putrda Ekadashi …
It in fact indicates the importance of being blessed with a son. Hindu culture gives much importance to son as compared to a daughter.
A son is supposed to be a great support of parents in their old age. Also the son carries forward the name of the family. A son is supposed to conduct the last rites of parents and observe Shraddha (rites to please ancestors) after their death.
Married women desiring a son observe fast on this day and worship lord Vishnu. Married couples also worship for well being of their progeny.
The Legendary Story …
As per the treatise ‘Bhavishya Purana’ lord Krishna narrated this story to Yudhishtra, “The king Suketuman who ruled Bhadravati got married to Shibya. Even after many years of their marriage they were not blessed with a son. Not only the king and the queen but also other elders in the family were worried as to who will offer shraddha after their death.
The king was so grieved that he left his kingdom and wandered in deep Himalayan forests. On the 11th day of the month of Pausha the king reached the banks of the holy lake Maansarovar and saw ten holy sages in an ashram there these sages were the ten divine beings called Vishvadevas.
The king revealed his agony to the sages and was advised to observe a fast on that day in order to fulfill his desire.
As the king returned his kingdom he disclosed this to his wife. In due course the couple was blessed with a son who later grew up to become a brave king.
Observing Fast …
Observing a fast for 24 hours is a common practice however one can keep a partial fast or completely abstain from eating anything. If you have some serious health issues then take advice of your doctor.
One should avoid eating rice and other grains. Rice is to be strictly avoided. Instead of rice one can eat dishes prepared with Sabudana. It is recommended that both husband and wife desiring a son should observe fast together on this day. Most devotees observe fast during the day and also do not sleep during the night.
The day is observed with greater enthusiasm by Vaishnavas viz. the followers of lord Vishnu.
Article by:Jyotirvid Pawan Kumar