Among vrathas(holy rituals) , Ekadashi vratha is the most important and is above all the vratas.
“Yella vratha galu ekadashi hinde”. (First comes Ekadashi and all other vratas come second in place.)
It is compulsory to follow ekadashi vratha by all people. Doing Ekadashi itself, is a punya kaarya(pious and reward earning deed) – it burns all our sins like a heap of cotton is burnt by a single spark of fire, but at the same time if it is not performed, it adds up to our paapa(sins).
Ekadashi is the 11 th day in a given month , why? ……
All the days are given names, starting from paadyami to hunimme (full moon day) or amavasya (new moon day). Each day is given in the name of one or the other devathas(deities).
But, for Ekadashi (10+1)11 – abhimani devathe is Sri Hari. The day is called as “Sri Hari dina.”
If we count 24 names of Lord Vishnu, starting from Sri Sankarshanaya namaha, “Sri Haraye Namah” is the 11th. If we start from Sri Keshavaya swaha, then “Sri Padmanabhaya “namaha is the 11th.
Ekadashi’s 11 th indriya is ” Manasu”(soul) . All the sins done by us using all our 11 indriyas ( 5 karmeyndriya , 5 jnaanendriya and our manasu) will be removed completely by performing ekadashi vratha.
Sri Madvacharyaru has explained in detail about ekadashi’s importance and procedure to perform it in Sadachara Smruthi and Sri Krishnamrutha Maharnava.