Papankusha Ekadashi – Liberation from Sins

Hindu scriptures such as the Vedas indicate that there are specific days in the Hindu calendar that are dedicated to the worship of Lord Krishna. These days are known as Hari Vasar. When one fasts on this day, they obtain eternal benefits from Lord Krishna. Hence days like Janmashtami, Gaur Purnima, Radha Ashtami, Ekadashi, etc., are known to be Hari Vasar days dedicated for the worship of various forms of Lord Krishna.

A person observing the upavasa on these days receives superior blessings of Lord Krishna and advances their practice of Bhakti yoga. Ekadashi upavasa is the most significant upavasa that helps one to overcome material miseries and engage in the devotional service of Lord Vishnu. The Padma Purana indicates that Lord Shiva himself declared that out of all worships, the reverence of Lord Vishnu is the Supreme.

The worship of devotees of Lord Vishnu is even greater, and Ekadashi is one of the dear most devotees of Lord Vishnu. It is because of the Ekadashi devotees’ compassion and mercy that Lord Krishna becomes accessible to us. Ekadashi upavasa is observed on Ekadashi tithi, which is also known as Hari Vasar – Day of Lord Hari.

According to the Hindu calendar, Papankusha Ekadashi upavasa is observed on Ekadashi tithi of the Shukla paksha during the month of Ashwin, and hence it is also referred to as Ashwina-Shukla Ekadashi and coincides in the months of September-October according to the Gregorian calendar. Papankusha Ekadashi is dedicated to the worship of Lord Vishnu’s incarnation, Lord Padmanabha. On this day, devotees worship Lord Padmanabha with great devotion and dedication. By observing the Papankusha Ekadashi upavasa, the devotee is bestowed with the supreme blessings of Lord Padmanabha and is freed from all their sins and enjoys a happy and luxurious life.

Papankusha Ekadashi in 2021

This year, Papankusha Ekadashi will be observed on October 16 Saturday.

Significant Timings on Papankusha Ekadashi

Sunrise                                       6:28 AMon October 16, 2021

Sunset                                        5:56 PMon October 16, 2021

Ekadashi Tithi Begins            6:02 PMon October 15, 2021

Ekadashi Tithi Ends               5:37 PMon October 16, 2021

Dwadashi Ends                      5:39 PMon October 17, 2021

Hari Vasara Ends                   11:38 PMon October 16, 2021

Parana Time                           6:28 AM on October 17, 2021 to 8:46 AM on October 17

Papankusha Ekadashi VratVidhi

Fasting for Papankusha Ekadashi starts from the day of Dashami. Devotees must wake up early before sunrise and must consume a single satvik meal during the day. This is to avoid the presence of grains in the body on Ekadashi day. One must avoid consuming the seven grains – wheat, rice, barley, urad, moong, gram and lentils on Dashami day as these seven grains are worshipped on the day of Papankusha Ekadashi. On Ekadashi day, they must wake up during the Bhramamuhurtha and, after completing their morning rituals and bath, must prepare the puja altar where a Kalash (urn) is placed on the altar. The devotees invoke the gods, pilgrimages and the ocean into the urn. The offerings of incense sticks and Panchadravya (flowers, rice, soli, sandalwood and water) are made into the urn. An idol of Lord Vishnu or Padmanabha is then placed on the altar and worshipped during the day. The devotees then take a Sankalp of observing silence and complete devotion to Lord Vishnu. This urn and idol are donated to the Brahmans at the conclusion of the fast.

On Papankusha Ekadashi day, devotees must observe a strict fast and must abstain from speaking. This will clear one’s mind of evil thoughts and lies and have control over their emotions. The entire Ekadashi day is spent in complete devotion by reciting the hymns in praise of Lord Vishnu and also chanting the Vishnu Sahasranama and other mantras, as well as reciting or listening to the Papankusha Ekadashi Vrat Katha. A Jagran is then observed where the devotees spend the entire night chanting and reciting Vedic mantras and bhajans praising Lord Vishnu. The fast is concluded on Dwadashi day by having a bath before sunrise. Lord Vishnu is worshipped as per the Archana vidhi. Lord Vishnu in Padmanabha form seated on the Garudis prayed with utmost devotion. Devotees worship by offering betel leaves, flowers and lighting diyas and incense sticks. An aarti is performed at the end of the Pooja. The devotees offer donations to the Brahmans, feed the cows and donate food and money to the poor and the needy. It is believed that those observing the Papankusha Ekadashi fast and offering charity is atoned for their sins and obtains a place in Vaikunta – the abode of Lord Vishnu and saved from hell – the abode of Lord Yamaraja after death.

Papankusha Ekadashi Vrat Katha

In ancient times, on the Vindhya mountains, there resided a cruel, insidious and deceitful bird hunter named Krodhan. He spent all his life in violence, looting, drinking and lies. When Krodhan reached his end, Yamaraja sent his messengers to kill Krodhan. When the messengers informed Krodhan that he would die the next day, Krodhan got scared. To save his life, he sought the help of Maharishi Angira. Listening to Krodhan’s pleas for help, the sage took pity on him and asked him to observe the Papankusha Ekadashi fast, which could free him from his sins. He advised Krodhanon the ways to observe the rituals and fast, which the hunter dutifully followed. As a result of observing the Papankusha Ekadashi fast, Krodhan was atoned for his sins and gained the blessings of Lord Vishnu, thus attaining salvation.

Significance of Papankusha EkadashiVrat

The true essence of upavasa or fasting is not just limited to abstaining from food for a specific time. The profoundness of fasting lies in the word upavasa itself, wherein “upa” means close to and “vasa” means to stay. Thus upavasa meaning is remaining or staying close to the Supreme God, Lord Vishnu. The Vedic scriptures also mention many other upavasa, which corresponds to a particular God seeking their blessing; however, the benefits derived from such upvasa are temporary, giving temporary happiness in the beginning. Hence it is believed that observing the fast dedicated to Lord Krisha provides devotees eternal blessings and benefits.

Papankusha Ekadashi is observed after Indira Ekadashi and is followed by Rama Ekadashi.The significance of observing the Papankusha Ekadashi vrat has been explained by Lord Krishna to King Yudhishthira. Lord Krishna explained that observing the Papankusha Ekadashi and worshipping Lord Vishnu in the form of Padmanabha mounted on Sheshnag destroys the past and present sins of the devotees and saves them from the sufferings of Yamaloka. By observing the fast, devotees attain wealth, prestige, enjoy all the luxuries in the universe and attain salvation at the feet of Lord Vishnu. This Ekadashi provides salvation not just to the observer but also to the ten generations of their maternal and paternal sides of the devotees. Worshipping Lord Vishnu with full devotion and engaging in charity to the Brahmans and needs, and observing silence will help the individuals to earn blessings of a healthy and happy life.

Papankusha Ekadashi festival dates – 2021 to 2025

2021 Saturday, 16th October 2021
2022 Thursday, 6th October 2022
2023 Wednesday, 25th October 2023
2024 Sunday, 13th October 2024
2025 Friday, 3rd October 2025

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