Apara Ekadashi – The grantor of unlimited blessings

Lord Vishnu is one of the principal deities in Hinduism and is considered as the creator and omnipresent. The Ekadashi fast which is one of the major fasts in Hinduism is dedicated to worshipping Lord Vishnu is His various forms. Hinduism believes that by observing the Ekadashi fast, one is absolved of all sins and attains the abode of Lord Vishnu. Of the 24 Ekadashi fasts observed, Apara Ekadashi is observed on the 11th (Ekadashi) day of the Krishna Paksha (waning moon) in the month of Jyeshta, which corresponds to May – June in the Gregorian calendar.

Devotees observing the Apara Ekadashi fast are bestowed with limitless blessings and are absolved from their past and present sins. This Ekadashi is also known as the Ajala Ekadashi and endows divine and auspicious results to the devotees who worship Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi on this day. 

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When is Apara Ekadashi 2021

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Apara Ekadashi will be celebrated on Sunday, June 6, 2021.

Sunrise at 5:44 AM on June 6, 2021

Sunset at 7:06 PM on June 6, 2021

Ekadashi Tithi commences at 4:07 AM on June 5, 2021

Ekadashi Tithi concludes at 6:19 AM on June 6, 2021

Hari Vasara End Timing at 12:57 PM on June 6, 2021

Dwadashi concludes at 8:48 AM on June 7, 2021

Parana Timings 5:44 AM – 8:25 AM on June 7, 2021

Apara Ekadashi dates from 2021 to 2025

2021 Sunday, June 6

2022 Thursday, May 26

2023 Monday, May 15

2024 Sunday, June 2

2025 Friday, May 23

Apara Ekadashi Puja Vidhi

As with every other Ekadashi fast, the devotees observing the Apara Ekadashi fast commence their fast from Dashami (10thday). One must perform the rituals with complete devotion and dedication. On Dashami day, the devotees observe a partial fast in preparation for the Ekadashi fast. This is to ensure that the stomach remains empty without any morsel of food while undertaking the Ekadashi fast.

On Ekadashi day, one should wake up before sunrise and after having their bath must prepare and decorate the puja room for the puja rituals. After the idol of Lord Vishnu has been decorated with Tulsi leaves, sandalwood paste, incense sticks, flowers, the devotees take a Sankalp of observing the fast with utmost devotion and pray for the successful completion of the fast and gain blessings from the Lord. Sweets are prepared to be offered to the Lord.

The devotees recite hymns and mantras of Lord Vishnu and also read the Apara Ekadashi Vrat Katha. Aarti is then performed and the sweets are distributed among the devotees. Devotees can observe a complete or partial fast on this day. Those observing a partial fast must abstain from consuming rice, grains, onion, garlic, etc. and are only allowed to consume fruits and milk. Devotees observing a complete fast do not eat or drink anything on Apara Ekadashi. Hence this fast is also called Ajala Ekadashi. The fast commences from the sunrise of Ekadashi and concludes on sunrise on Dwadashi (12th day). 

Devotees observe a Jagran as they stay awake the entire night of Ekadashi and worship Lord Vishnu by reciting hymns and mantras such as Vishnu Chalisa, Vishnu Sahasranama, etc. On Dwadashi day, after having their bath before sunrise, the devotees offer puja and aarti to Lord Vishnu. The fast rituals are concluded by offering donations to the Brahmans, the poor, and the needy and feeding the cows. The devotees break the fast with a glass of water and fruits. 

The Ekadashi fasts must be observed with full devotion and piety to Lord Vishnu. It is important to free the mind from all negative thoughts and one must follow a righteous path and refrain from lies or speaking ill about others. This will ensure that the observed are blessed abundantly and are freed from their sins. 

Apara Ekadashi Vrat Katha

Devotees observing the Apara Ekadashi fast must recite the Apara Ekadashi Vrata Katha to understand the significance and the benefits of observing the fast. Every Ekadashi fast has an interesting and informative story associated with it which enlightens the devotee on the benefits of observing the fast. Similarly, the Apara Ekadashi Vrata Katha as depicted in the Puranas goes as follows:

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Legend has it that there once ruled a compassionate and kind king named Mahidhwaja. His younger brother Vajradhwaj was jealous of his popularity among the subjects. One day the opportunistic Vajradhwaj killed Mahidhwaja and buried his body under a peepal tree. Due to the premature and unnatural death, Mahidhwaja became a phantom and disturbed those who passed the tree.

One day, sage Dhaumya who happened to pass by was harassed by the phantom. The sage through his enlightenment understood the reason why the phantom created a nuisance. He decided to release the phantom from his plight. Dhaumya Rishi himself observed the Apara Ekadashi fast. He gave all the virtue obtained from observing the fast to King Mahidhwaja and thus the king was released from his phantom being. He thanked Dhaumya Rishi for helping him attain moksha and the abode of Lord Vishnu.

The Significance of Apara Ekadashi Fast

The greatness of Apara Ekadashi is depicted in a conversation between Lord Krishna and King Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pandavas. Lord Krishna indicated that a person observing the Apara Ekadashi fast will be renowned for their virtuousness. It is believed that Apara Ekadashi liberates the person suffering from guilt as a result of the sins committed by them. They are exonerated of their sins by observing a strict fast and worshipping Lord Vishnu with utmost devotion on Apara Ekadashi day.

Devotees also worship Goddess Lakshmi on this day which bestows them with immense wealth and prosperity. The Hindu Puranas and scriptures state that by observing this fast, the devotees gain the same benefits of taking a holy bath in the Ganga during the auspicious month of Kartik. The benefits of Apara Ekadashi fast are equivalent to benefits gained from donating 1000 cows and performing sacred yajnas such as the Ashvamedha yajna.

The Brahma Purana states the significance of Apara Ekadashi fast which is observed with great devotion across India. It is known by different names in various parts of India. In the states of Punjab, Haryana, Jammu, and Kashmir, this Ekadashi is celebrated as Bhadrakali Ekadashi where Goddess Bhadrakali is worshipped marking the victory of good over evil. The Apara Ekadashi is referred to as Jalakrida Ekadashi in Orissa and worships Lord Jagannatha on this day. As the word ‘Apar’ implies limitless, the person observing the Apara Ekadashi is bestowed with unlimited prosperity and benefits. 

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