Ekadashi is the Vedic term for the eleventh lunar phase. Followers of Vedic culture consider the day of Ekadashi is an auspicious day.  All the 24 Ekadashis in a year are named and celebrated separately. Every month, there will be two Ekadashis, one in the Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight/waxing phase) and one in the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight/waning phase). Parsva Ekadashi 2021 is the Ekadashi in the Shukla Paksha of the lunar month of Bhadrapada. 

What is Parsva Ekadashi?

Parsva Ekadashi is the Ekadashi Tithi (11th lunar phase) in the Shukla Paksha or bright fortnight of the Bhadrapada month in the traditional Vedic lunar calendar. In the Gregorian calendar, it falls in August or September. Parsva Ekadashi is a holy occasion for followers of Vedic culture. Like every other Ekadashi, this day is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Devotees observe vrat (fasting), pujas, and other auspicious deeds during the occasion.

When is Parsva Ekadashi 2021?

Parsva Ekadashi 2021 is on 17th September, Friday

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Parsva Ekadashi 2021 Important Timings

September 17 Sunrise: 6:17 AM

September 17 Sunset : 6:24 PM

Ekadashi Tithi Beginning: September 16, 9:36 AM

Ekadashi Tithi Ending: September 17, 8:08 AM

Hari Vasara End Moment : September 17, 1:49 PM

Parana Time : September 18, 6:18 AM – 6:54 AM

Dwadashi End Moment: September 18, 6:54 AM

According to Vedic astrology, Parsva Ekadashi is viewed as the time duration during which Lord Vishnu, resting on the Seshnag, shifts his position from the left side to the right side. This is the reason for calling this occasion Parsva Ekadashi or Parivartini Ekadashi (also called Parsva Parivartini Ekadashi). The term ‘Parsva’ means ‘side’ and ‘Parivartini’ means ‘change’.

Parsva Parivartini Ekadashi takes place during Dakshinayana Punyakalam (the southward movement of the Sun). Also, it is considered as the most sacred occasion among the Ekadashis falling on the Chaturmas period (Shukla Paksha Ekadashi in the Asadha month to the Shukla Paksha Ekadashi in the Kartik month). 

Devotees observe Parsva Ekadashi with immense devotion. In some regions, Lord Vamana (an avatar of Lord Vishnu) is worshipped on this day and is called as Vamana Ekadashi. Jayanti Ekadashi and Jaljhilini Ekadashi are some other names by which this occasion is known.

What is the Significance of Parsva Ekadashi?

Parsva Ekadashi has numerous religious and astrological significance. Its importance has been explained in the Brahma Vaivarta Purana in the form of a detailed conversation between Lord Krishna and King Yudhishthira.

Parsva Ekadashi occurs on Dakshinayana Punyakalam, i.e when the Sun rises in the southeast direction. The Karka Sankraman or Karkataka Sankranti (the Sun’s transit to Karka Rasi or Cancer) marks the beginning of Dakshinayana or the 6 months long southward movement of the Sun while rising in the east. This time is considered as nighttime in Deva Loka (the realm of gods). This is also believed to be the night of the deities. 

The Parsva Ekadashi is considered to be highly auspicious due to its occurrence in the Chaturmas period. The Chaturmas period is the duration of four lunar months beginning from Shayani Ekadashi (Shukla Paksha Ekadashi of Asadha month) and ending on Prabodhini Ekadashi (Shukla Paksha Ekadashi of Kartik month). The months of Sravana, Bhadra and Asvina fall in between these two occasions. This period corresponds to the rainy season in India, and, as per belief, the devas are at rest during this time. Parsva Ekadashi which is the Shukla Paksha Ekadashi of Bhadra month is considered to be the most sacred one among the Chaturmas Ekadashis. The virtues attained by observing vrat during this occasion are believed to have high spiritual values.

According to the myths, Lord Vishnu sleeps for the duration of four months, starting from Devshayani or Shayani Ekadashi and ending on Devottan or Prabodhini Ekadashi. Parsva Ekadashi which falls in between this duration is the time when the lord who is on rest changes his position from the left to the right.

Parsva Ekadashi has been observed since ancient times. The various rituals performed on this occasion are supposed to accumulate virtues of high value. The most common ritual observed on this day is the holy Parsva Ekadashi vrat/fast. It is believed that one who observes this vrat will have the divine blessings of Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the universe. This bestows the devotee with happiness, prosperity, and good health. The popular belief is that by observing the Parsva Ekadashi Vrat, the devotee will be granted forgiveness for all his past sins, and he will attain Moksha or liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

What are te Rituals of Parsva Ekadashi?

The Parsva Ekadashi rituals include vrat (fasting), pujas, prayers, and chanting of sacred scriptures. The most important observance among these is the vrat. The Parsva Ekadashi Vrat is observed from the sunrise of Ekadashi to the Dwadashi Tithi. Since a complete fast is recommended, a devotee can start the vrat from the previous day’s (Dashami day’s) sunset to ensure that no undigested food is left in the stomach.

On the day of Ekadashi, the devotees should wake up before sunrise and take a holy bath. After the bath, they should either visit a Vishnu temple or worship the lord with flowers, sandal paste, and incense sticks. Those devotees who are unable to observe a complete fast can keep partial fasting by consuming fruits, nuts, and water. Eating grains, rice, and beans are forbidden on Parsva Ekadashi. Even those who are not observing the fast should refrain from eating and cooking pulses, grains, and non-vegetarian food. The consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and dairy products is permitted.

The worship of Lord Vishnu is an important Ekadashi ritual. If possible, the devotees observing the fast should visit the temples of Lord Vishnu. Chanting divine mantras and reciting the holy scriptures like Bhagavad Gita, Satyanarayankatha, and Vishnu Sahasranama (1000 names of Vishnu) during the fast are considered very auspicious.

Parsva Ekadashi Vrat

According to ancient history, those who observe Parsva Ekadashi Vrat with devotion will have the blessings of Lord Vishnu. They will be blessed with happiness, prosperity, and good health, and will be granted forgiveness for their past sins. Also, it is believed that they will be liberated from the cycle of death and rebirth.

The observance of Parsva Ekadashi Vrat is not just about fasting or abstaining from having food. The observer should stay away from all kinds of negative thoughts and deeds. He should engage in good thoughts and perform activities that take him close to God. This is the reason why reading and assimilating sacred scriptures are recommended to those observing fast.

Parsva Ekadashi 2021 Fasting Procedure

The general procedure for observing Parsva Ekadashi Vrat is as follows.

-The devotee can start observing the fast from the previous day’s (Dashami day’s) sunset to ensure no undigested food in the stomach on the day of Ekadashi.

-The devotee should wake up before sunrise in Ekadashi, take a bath and worship Lord Vishnu.

-If possible, he/she should visit a Lord Vishnu temple.

-He/She should engage in reciting the holy scriptures like Vishnu Sahasranama, Bhagavad Gita, etc. which helps in intensifying the spiritual drive.

-The devotee should bathe on the next day (Dwadashi) morning, worship Lord Vishnu and break the fast during the Parana time.

Parana or breaking the fast should be done after sunrise on the next day (Dwadashi). The devotee must take care to do Parana within Dwadashi Tithi unless it is over before sunrise. The Parana should not be done during Hari Vasara, which is the first quarter of Dwadashi Tithi. One should wait for the Hari Vasara period to get over for breaking the Parsva Ekadashi Vrat.

The most preferred time to break the fast is Pratahkal. One should avoid breaking the fast during Madhyahna. If for some reason, the devotee is not able to break the fast during Pratahkal, then he/she should do it after Madhyahna.

Permitted Foods/Spices: Fruits, vegetables, nuts, milk, coconut, potato, sweet potato, cassava, buckwheat, pepper, ginger, olive, sugar, rock salt, etc.

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Foods/Spices that are forbidden: Non-veg food, beverages (tea, coffee, cola, and other energy drinks), mushrooms, grains, peas, beans, sesame seeds, tulsi, mustard, asafoetida, cloves, fenugreek, cardamom, nutmeg, fennel, onion, tamarind, custard, salt, baking soda, baking powder, etc. 

Ekadashi fasting on two consecutive days is suggested for staunch devotees and the mystics who seek moksha. Generally, the Smartha or those with family are advised to observe vrat on the first day only.

Parsva Ekadashi Legend

The legend associated with Parsva Ekadasi is that of King Mahabali and Lord Vamana. The demon king Mahabali was a mighty ruler who controlled Earth, Heaven, and Netherworld. Though he was an Asura, he was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu and was known for his love and generosity to his people. But, the devas were unhappy about him because he had defeated them, and also for his rising power and popularity. Thus, the devas sought the help of Lord Vishnu to drive out Mahabali.

The Lord disguised Himself as a dwarf Brahmin (Vamana) visited king Mahabali and asked him to grant three steps of land. When the king granted his wish, Vamana grew huge in size and covered heaven and earth with his first two steps, leaving no space for the third step. King Bali who understood Vamana’s true identity bowed his head down for the third step. Then lord Vamana pressed him down to the Patala Loka (netherworld) and gave him salvation.

It is interesting to note that the festival of Onam (national festival of the state of Kerala) also shares this same legend and that it falls around this time of the year too.

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