Celebrated In: India
Ekadashi which comes after Nirjala Ekadashi and before Devshayani Ekadashi is known as Yogini Ekadashi. Yogini Ekadashi falls during Krishna Paksha of Ashadha month according to North Indian calendar and during Krishna Paksha of Jyaishta month according to South Indian calendar. Currently it falls in month of June or July in English calendar.
The rules of Ekadasi fast are being observed from night of Dashmi (a day before Ekadasi). Person should not eat barley, wheat, moong daal and other Tamsic food (unclean food), in the night of Dashmi.
Food should not contain salt. The fast is started from the night of Dashmi and concluded in the morning of Dvadashi (a day after Ekadashi), by making donations etc.
On the day of Ekadasi, person observing the fast should wake up early in the morning and complete his routine work like bathing etc. For bathing, using paste of mud or Til is considered advantageous. For Puja, an urn is placed. Idol of Lord Vishnu is placed on the urn. Lord is worshipped with incense sticks, lamps etc. Jagran should be performed in the night of Vrat.
It is believed that Fasting on Yogini Ekadashi is equivalent of feeding 88 thousands Brahamins.
There ruled a king named Kuber, in the city called Alkapuri. He was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. He used flowers in the Puja. Hema Mali used to bring flowers for the Puja. Hemamali had a beautiful wife named Visalakshi. Once, after bringing flowers from Mansarovar, he did not go for Puja and started spending time with his wife. King Kuber kept waiting for him till noon time.
Then, he ordered his servants, “Go and find Hema Mali. Why haven’t he brought the flowers up till now.” When servants returned back, they said, “Hey king, he is busy rejoicing with his wife.” Hearing this, king called Hema Mali. Now, Hema Mali got scared and trembled before the King.
King said, “By not bringing the flowers on time, you have insulted Lord Shiva. I curse you, that you will suffer the separation of your wife. And, you will have leprosy in the Mrityu Lok (earth).” By the curse, he immediately fell on earth from heaven and became a leper. He got separated from his wife. He suffered many problems in Mirtyu Lok.
By the grace of Lord Shiva, his mind did not forget the works of his last birth and he started moving towards the Himalayas. He met a Rishi on his way. Rishi had great powers. At that moment, the Rishi appeared like an ordinary Brahman. Hemamali reached to him and fell in his feet.
Rishi asked “What wrong did you do, that you have such a condition today.” Hemamali told the whole story to the Rishi. So, the Rishi said “You have spoken truth infront of me. I will help you to get salvation from this state of yours. Observe the fast of Ekadashi of Krishna Paksha, Ashad month, called the Yogini Ekadashi. You will get rid of all your sins.”
Now, Hema Mali became happy and observed the fast of Yogini Ekadasi in a systematic manner. As a result, he got back to his original form and started living happily with his wife.