Toli Ekadashi is also known as Deva Sayana Ekadasi or Hari Sayana Ekadasi and the Chatur Mas Vrat (four holy months in Hinduism) begins from the day of Toli Ekadasi. The night time of Devaas (Gods and Goddesses) begin on this day and it believed that Lord Vishnu goes to sleep from the day. As per the religious beliefs Toli Ekadasi is celebrated on the name of lord Vishnu who goes on deep sleep on his divine serpent called Aadi Sesha. People will be fasting on whole day of Toli Ekadasi and they will break fasting on next day Dwadashi by eating fruits. Some of the people will also do Nirjal Upavas fasting without taking liquid and water.
The significance of Toli Ekadasi is that this is the time when the sun begins moving to the South Pole, and nature begins to go inward. Toli Ekadasi falls on Ashada Sukla Paksha Ekadasi as per Hindu calendar. In the Western calendar, this occurs in June or July, near the summer solstice. It is popularly believed that by praying and observing Toli Ekadashi will help in a person from redemption of sins.
Immediately after Toli Ekadashi, Lord Vishnu, being a representation of nature, goes into yoganidra (deep meditation). He rests on Adi Seshu (the divine serpent), which represents kundalini energy and transformation. This is a time when the energy is appropriate for going inward, and the kundalini energy can be utilized to transform ourselves.
There is a story about Toli Ekadasi in Bhavishya Purana, that King Mandhata of Surya Dynasty was noble and honest and observed Ekadasi fasting with devotion, particularly ‘Sayana Ekadasi’ fasting. His kingdom had effected severe drought and many of animals were died. To get out this situation, king Mandhata did Sayana Ekadasi fasting on Toli Ekadasi with much devotion and prayed lord Vishnu. After that fasting he get rid of severe drought in his kingdom. 11Hindus regard Toli Ekadashi/Sayana Ekadasi as a scared day especially for the farmers. This festival is something similar to the ‘Eruvaka’ Festival, which is celebrated by the farmers. On this day farmers perform ‘Pooja’ to the agricultural implements and begin to sow seeds after the first rains on Toli Ekadashi day. As it considered sacred new people (workers) join farming on this day.
Ekadashi is a Sanskrit word for number 11. It means the 11th day of each half of the month in the Vedic lunar calendar. So there are two Ekadasi days in each month on the Hindu calendar. One is in the Sukla Paksha of the month. This is known as the bright fortnight. The second is in the Krishna Paksha of the month. This is known as the dark fortnight. Ekadasi is a special day for all spiritual seekers in Hinduism. Devotees observe a fast and spend more time in spiritual practice.
Devsayana Ekadasi is known as Toli Ekadasi in southern part of India and Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped. It is believed that on day of Devsayana Ekadasi, Lord Vishnu goes off to sleep in Ksheer Sagar, on Sesha Naga for a period of four months. These four months are also known as Chaturmas. Chaturmas Vrat is observed at the beginning of this month. Post four months, Lord Vishnu wakes up from his sleep. This day is known as Prabodhini Ekadasi or Deva Uthana Ekadasi and is observed in the Kartika Masa (month) which is in October- November. During these four months no auspicious work is done.