Vrindavan, 2017.08.03 (VT): Today is Pavitra Ekadshi.
Pavitra Ekadashi is also known as Pavitropan Ekadashi or Shravani Putrada Ekadashi. Some perform a vrat on this day for the attainment of progeny, but in Braj this festival is purely dedicated to Shri Radha and Krishna.
The the next day, on Dwadashi morning, a pavitra (a garland made of thread) is offered to Shri Krishna to ask for his forgiveness for any offences in his worship committed over the past year. Colourful readymade pavitras are available in shops, though some devotees prefer to make pavitras at home.
This festival is especially important in Pushti Marg, because Pavitra Ekadashi is the day when Shrinathji instructed Shri Vallabhacharya to initiate divine souls with the brahma sambandha mantra. It is thus known as the Appearance Day of Pushti Marg.
In Pushti Marg, Shrinathji is adorned with a garland made of 360 threads, representing the 360 days of the Indian lunar calendar, and tied with 24 knots representing the 24 ekadashis. The pavitra is dyed and scented with precious substances like saffron, gorochana and camphor. Readymade pavitras are also offered at some temples and homes.
All over Vrindavan this celebration is an important element of the Hindol Utsav or swing festival, also known as Jhulan Yatra.
Note: An earlier version of this article stated the pavitras are offered on ekadashi itself, but in fact they are offered the next day on dwadashi morning, though this is still part of the Pavitra Ekadashi observance.