Fasts are an integral part of all faiths, be it Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Jainism, etc. Fasting entails the denial of physical needs to achieve spiritual gains. The scriptures describe fasting as a means to connect with the Creator through a harmonious relationship of body and soul, ensuring the well-being of an individual by nurturing both their physical and spiritual needs. The moral and spiritual act of fasting is aimed to cleanse and purify the body and mind and attain divine blessings. Fasting is a means to accentuate godliness and become closer to God. 

Hindus observe numerous fasts spanning most days of the week, month, and even festivals. These include certain days of the week such as Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, certain days in a month such as Purnima and Ekadashi, festivals such as Navratri, MahaShivratri, Karva Chauth, etc. Of the 24 Ekadashi vrats in a year, Amalaki Ekadashi or Amla Ekadashi fast is considered as one of the most auspicious Ekadashi vrat. It is observed on the 11th day (Ekadashi) of the lunar month of Phalgun during the Shukla Paksha, coinciding in February or March as per the Gregorian calendar.The festival of Amalaki Ekadashi is celebrated between Holi and Maha Shivratri. Amalaki Ekadashi is a festival for the amla tree commonly known as the Indian gooseberry. Devotees worship the amla tree on the eve of Amalaki Ekadashi as it is believed that Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi reside on the gooseberry tree. Trees hold greater significance and are considered auspicious in Hinduism as it is believed that God is omnipresent and resides in everything in the world, be it both living and non-living. Trees are also an integral part of agriculture and thus hold great importance in an agricultural country like India.

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Amalaki Ekadashi 2021 Date and Timings

Amalaki Ekadashi  2021 will be celebrated on Thursday, March 25, 2021.

The important timings on Amalaki Ekadashi

Sunrise on Ekadashi: 6:29 AM on March 25, 2021

Sunset on Ekadashi: 6:35 PM on March 25, 2021

Ekadashi Tithi begins: 10:23 AM on March 24, 2021

Ekadashi Tithi ends 9:47 AM on March 25, 2021

Hari Vasara ends 3:26 PM on March 25, 2021

Parana Time: 6:28 AM – 8:21 AM on March 26, 2021

Dwadashi Ends 8:21 AM on March 26, 2021

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Amalaki Ekadashi Vrat and Puja Vidhi

Devotees wake up early before sunrise on the auspicious day of Amalaki Ekadashi. After having their bath they perform their morning rituals. Devotees worship and offer prayers to Lord Vishnu and the sacred amla tree. A Sankalp (resolution) for fast is then observed by the devotees by taking some sesame seeds and a coin in the palm, to achieve moksha after death. After offering prayers to Lord Vishnu, the Amla tree is worshipped. The worship starts with cleaning the land around the tree and sanctifying it with cow dung. An altar is prepared in the root of the tree where an urn is placed. The devotees invoke gods, pilgrimages, and the ocean into the urn. Devotees offer incense sticks and Pancha Dravya(flowers, rice, roti, sandalwood, and water) into the urn. A Panch Pallava or Kalash is then installed and a lamp is then lit. Sandalwood is then applied to the gorge of the Kalash and decorated. A golden idol of Lord Vishnu is then placed on the Kalash and the idol is then worshipped during the day. This urn and idol are then donated to the Brahmans at the conclusion of the fast.

On the eve of Amalaki Ekadashi vrat, devotees can only consume food made from amla (gooseberry). Devotees can observe strict and partial fast according to their capacity. A partial fast can be observed by consuming milk and/or fruits. The devotees should refrain from consuming rice or grains during this vrat.

Once the puja rituals are completed, devotees then listen to the Amalaki Ekadashi vrat Katha. A Jagran is then observed by staying awake all night on the day of Amalaki Ekadashi and the devotees worship Lord Vishnu by reciting Bhagavata Katha and singing bhajans and kirtans.

On Dwadashi day, devotees offer food, Dakshina as well as the Kalash and idol of Lord Vishnu to the Brahmans. After offering donations to the poor and the needy the devotees then break their fast by consuming food and water after Parana and reciting the Vishnu Sahasranama. 

During Amalaki Ekadashi, devotees in western Rajasthan worship the Khejdi tree due to the absence of amla trees in the region. In other parts of the country, if the amla tree is not available, devotees worship the Tulsi plant instead of the amla tree.

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Amalaki Ekadashi Vrat Katha

Like every other Ekadashi vrat kathas, Amalaki Ekadashi is also observed with an associated vrat katha which goes as follows:

According to the mythological scripture, there once lived a king named Chitrasena who was well known for his valor and kindness. All his subjects lived in prosperity and loved the king to the core. King Chitrasena and all his subjects regularly observed the Ekadashi fast without fail. During a hunting expedition, the king was separated from his soldiers and lost his way. He was captured by a group of tribes. They attacked the king, who collapsed and fell unconscious due to tiredness. The tribe imprisoned him and decided to offer bali (sacrifice) of King Chitrasen’s life.

As the tribes were about to offer the sacrifice of the unconscious king, a divine ray of light appeared from his body and annihilated the evil tribes. When the king regained consciousness, he was astonished to see the dead bodies of the tribal people and wondered who killed them. Just then, a divine voice from heaven told him that he was saved by the grace and blessings of Lord Vishnu as a merit of him observing the Amalaki Ekadashi fast with full devotion.

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From that day onwards, devotees observe the fast for protection from evil, victory and success and absolution from all their past and present sins. 

Significance of Amalaki Ekadashi Vrat

Amalaki Ekadashi is considered as one of the most sacred and auspicious fasts by Hindus and by observing this fast, they are more likely to reach the abode of Lord Vishnu also known as Vaikunta. The Hindu Puranas narrate innumerable stories and folk tales that emphasize the greatness of Amalaki Ekadashi fast. The rituals and significance of observing the Amalaki Ekadashi vrat have been described in the ‘Brahmanda Purana’ and were also narrated by Sage Valmiki. Devotees are absolved of their past and present sins and attain moksha post their death.

Amalaki Ekadashi is observed across the country, especially in the northern region of India where the celebrations are more renowned. The Mewar town of Rajasthan organizes a fair at the Gangu Kund Mahasatiya on Amalaki Ekadashi day. On this day, potters from the Gogunda region arrive at the fair with their earthen vessels. The old vessels used by the villagers for storing water are replaced by the new earthen pots and vessels. In Orissa, Amalaki Ekadashi is observed as Sarbasammat Ekadashi, and elaborate celebrations are conducted at Lord Jagannath and Lord Vishnu temples in Odissa on this day. Some of the regions in India also celebrate this Ekadashi as Papanasini Ekadashi, as people believed that all sins of the individuals are washed away by observing this Ekadashi vrat. The date after Amalaki Ekadashi is known as Govinda Dwadashi and is believed to be highly auspicious and fortunate.

Amalaki Ekadashi is considered more significant as this Ekadashi falls between Maha Shivratri and Holi. Devotees worship amla tree on this day as a symbolic representation of the ostentatious Hinduism ritual. On the occasion of Amalaki Ekadashi, devotees also worship Goddess Lakshmi as she is renowned to be an omnipresent deity. It is also believed that Lord Krishna along with his consort, Goddess Radha also resides near the tree. Devotees worship the amla tree for gaining good health and wealth.

Amalaki Ekadashi festival dates between 2021 & 2025

2021 Thursday, March 25, 2021
2022 Monday, March 14, 2022
2023 Friday, March 3, 2023
2024 Wednesday, March 20, 2024
2025 Monday, March 10, 2025
 

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