Know why Khalilagi Yogini Ekadashi is observed and what ritual is held at Srimandir on this day

It is said those who observe Yogini Ekadasi would get results which are equivalent to feeding 88,000 Brahman pandits

Know why Khalilagi Yogini Ekadashi is observed and what ritual is held at Srimandir on this day

Khalilagi Ekadasi or Yogini Ekadashi is observed on the 11th day of the waning phase of moon in the month of June-July (Odia month of Asadha). An interesting story is associated with this Ekadashi.

According to legend, there was a king named Dhanoda Kuber. The king used to be a great devotee of Lord Shiva. He worshipped Shiva and offered flowers to the Lord every day. He used to have a gardener in his palace whose name was Hemamali. Hemamali used to bring flowers for the king so that the latter could offer flowers to Lord Shiva. 

One day, when Hemamali went to pluck flowers for the king from Mansarovar, he found his wife there. The gardener got attracted towards her and remained so busy with her that he forgot to pluck flowers. The king sent his man to look for the gardener. As Hemamali failed to bring flowers for the king, the latter expelled him from service. The king also cursed him that the gardener would get leprosy. 

He wandered in forest for years, in his desperation to get rid of the curse.  He found sage Markandeya in Himalaya and sought his advice. Hemamali explained to Markadeya about the curse following which the sage suggested to Hemamali to hold a brata on Yogini Ekadashi tithi and worship Lord Vishnu as part of measures to get rid of the sins that he had made in the past. Hemamali followed the sage’s words and observed Yogini Ekadashi Vrat with full devotion.  He pleased Lord Vishnu with his devotion following which Lord Vishnu released him from the curse.

It is said those who observe Yogini Ekadasi would get results which are equivalent to feeding 88,000 Brahman pandits. People who would listen to Yogini Ekadashi katha will get rid of every kind of sin he has done.

Khalilagi Ekadashi at Srimandir

Also known as Khalilagi Ekadashi or Anasara Ekadashi, it is observed mainly in Jagannath temples. It comes before Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra.  Sarbhanga neeti ritual which involves use of a large amount of Sandalwood paste is performed on Khalilagi Ekadasi at Jagannath temple. This is also an important ritual of the shrine. Idols of Jagannath, Subhadra and Balabhadra will not be there in Jagannath temple during Khalilagi Ekadashi as they will be recuperating after the Snana Purnima.
The paste of ‘Khali’, prepared by the Suddha Suaras, is applied to the body of the idols on the day of Khalilagi Ekadashi. Besides, the Trinity is offered basil leaves.