Shatila Ekadashi (also known as Tilda Ekadashi) takes place on the eleventh day of Krishnapaksh in the month of Posh. “Til” means sesame seeds (commonly known as “Tal”). “Da” means to donate. Hence on this day, one has to donate seeds and clothes to the Brahmins and the needy.
As written in Bhavisya Puran, a long time ago in the ages of satya yug there lived a Brahmin female. She was pure and very religious spending most of her time in devotion of God. She made donations and contributed huge amounts of clothes, jewellery and various other items to the poor. But she had never donated food and grains at all. Once the Lord took a form of a rishi and came to her house to receive alms. On that occasion the Brahmin female must have been in one of her angry moods and gave a rolled ball of clay in the bowl of the Lord. The Lord accepted it, blessed her and departed back to His divine abode.
As time went by, due to constant devotion to God, she had achieved a blessed gift of high spirituality and could go into deep trance (samadhi) and visit the heavenly abodes at her own will. Once she went into samadhi and entered the heavenly abode of Swarag. She saw a very beautiful fully furnished house already prepared for her. But inside there was not a single food grain. She wondered why this was and approached God for a reason. “O Lord of the universe, I have performed constant devotion, japa, tapa, daana but what could be the reason, for You Almighty, not providing me with food grains?”. The Lord replied, “O devi, you have pleased me with your great devotion but there is a little bit left in your contribution to the society and that is food. You have not endowed any kind of food grains and that is the reason for this. I will help you find an easy solution to come out of this. I am the Almighty and I always help My devotees reach My divine abode. Go back to your house on earth. You will be visited by the many wives of the devtas. When they knock on your door, do not let them in and instead ask them to explain the vratt of Shatila Ekadashi. You can let them in once they have explained the vratt. Perform this vratt on Shatila Ekadashi and your wish will be granted”.
As the month of Posh came by the Brahmin devotee was visited by the wives of the devtas and she followed the instructions given. Upon listening and learning the vratt of this Ekadashi, she received blessings from the devis and on the day of Ekadashi, performed the full vratt and as per the Lord’s wish, was rewarded duly in return.
On this day of Ekadashi, one must donate “Tal” seeds to God and the needy. One should go through the day by observing fast and constant devotion to God. In return, one will achieve good health and everlasting happiness in this life and the next.