Vijaya Ekadashi is a Hindu ritual observed during the waning phase of the moon (Krishna Paksha) in the Phalgun month of the traditional North Indian calendar. This date usually occurs in the month of February or March according to the Gregorian calendar. Vijaya Ekadashi is known as Pankoddhar Ekadasi in Orissa. The major belief behind practicing this ritual is the observance of a vrat by Lord Ram before he headed towards crossing the ocean to reach Lanka and defeating Ravana. This victory is celebrated by the entire Hindu community by observing the same vrat that once Lord Ram had kept. Know more the Vijaya Ekadashi vrat story and also learn how to observe the fast.
How To Observe Vijaya Ekadashi Vrat
Legend has it that Lord Ram, Lakshman and others began searching for a means to cross the ocean and reach Lanka. Nonetheless, it was impossible to cross the ocean as only Hanuman was capable of flying over the ocean. Thus, Lakshman mentioned about a great saint, named Bakadalabhya, who lived nearby and thought of paying him a visit on the pretext that he would be able to provide a solution. Agreed, Lord Ram and others set for the ashram of the Sage. Lord Ram was welcomed instantly and asked the sage about giving a solution to cross the mighty ocean and reach Lanka. Thus, Saint Bakadalabhya asked Ram to observe Vijaya Ekadashi in order to get rid of all the obstacles and be victorious in all their efforts.
As suggested and advised, Lord Ram observed the vrat and hence, found a way to cross the ocean. Henceforth, Ram crossed the ocean along with his army and demolished the evil King Ravana who had kidnapped Sita Devi. Since then, this fast is observed with utmost zeal and enthusiasm. Vijaya Ekadashi vrat is observed just like any other Ekadashi fast. The same rules, rituals and customs are followed. The vrat includes a 24-hour fast refraining from eating foods like rice, grains and honey. Fruits, vegetables, dried fruits, nuts and milk products can be consumed, however. The fast is observed from the night before Ekadashi and is broken on the morning after Ekadashi after offering prayers and lighting a lamp.
Read more at http://festivals.iloveindia.com/rituals/vijaya-ekadashi-vrat.html#Jsig6HqIx0z0177h.99