Aja Ekadashi: Timings, Vrat Katha, Rituals, Significance
Aja Ekadashi is the ekadashi that is observed during the Krishna Paksha (the dark fortnight of moon) in the Hindu month of ‘Bhadrapada’. In the English calendar it corresponds to the months of August-September. This ekadashi is also popularly known by the name of ‘Annada Ekadashi’. Aja Ekadashi is observed in the month of ‘Bhadrapada’ in northern states of India (Purnimanta Calendar), while in other regions of the country, it falls in the Hindu month of ‘Shravana’ (Amanta Calendar). The Aja Ekadashi observance is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, His consort. Hindus believe this vrat to be most beneficial of all. Aja Ekadashi is observed with complete zeal and dedication all across the country.
Ekadashi Tithi Begins:August 29, 1:20 am
Ekadashi Tithi Ends: August 30, 1:38 am
Parana Time: August 30, 7:49 am - 8:42 am
(* The mentioned timings are in IST, for Ujjain. To change the location, click here.)
Aja Ekadashi 2024 is on August 29 Thursday
Tirupati Balaji: Aja Ekadashi
Important Timings On Aja Ekadashi 2024
|Sunrise||August 29, 2024 6:12 AM|
|Sunset||August 29, 2024 6:43 PM|
|Ekadashi Tithi Begins||August 29, 2024 1:20 AM|
|Ekadashi Tithi Ends||August 30, 2024 1:38 AM|
|Hari Vasara End Moment||August 30, 2024 7:49 AM|
|Dwadashi End Moment||August 31, 2024 2:25 AM|
|Parana Time||August 30, 7:49 AM - August 30, 8:42 AM|
|Place : Ujjain [ India ] See More|
Aja Ekadashi Vrat Katha In English
Aja Ekadashi Vrat Katha In Hindi
Yudhishthira spoke, "O Janardana! Now, tell me about the Ekadashi in the dark fortnight of Bhadra. Explain in detail the name and rituals of this Ekadashi."
Lord Krishna replied, "O Rajarshi! The Ekadashi in the dark fortnight of Bhadra is known as Aja Ekadashi. On this day, if a person worships and fasts in devotion to the Lord, all their sins are eradicated. There is no other Ekadashi in the world that equals the significance of this Ekadashi, which bestows assistance in both this world and the hereafter. Now, attentively listen to the greatness of this Ekadashi."
In the ancient times, there was a righteous and honest king named Harishchandra in the lineage of Lord Shri Rama, ruling in the city of Ayodhya. The king was renowned for his unwavering truthfulness and integrity.
Once, the gods, on the request of sage Vishwamitra, devised a plan to test his virtue. King Harishchandra had a dream in which he saw that he had donated his entire kingdom to the sage Vishwamitra. When Vishwamitra arrived at his palace the next morning, he said, "In my dream, You have already given me your kingdom. Why not do it in real?"
King Harishchandra, abiding by his commitment to truthfulness, handed over his entire kingdom to Sage Vishwamitra. To fulfill the Dakshina for the offering, he had to sell himself, his wife, Taramati, and his son, Rohitashva. This was done due to the karmic consequences of his past life's deeds. Harishchandra sold himself to a “Dom”, who was responsible for performing funeral rites in the cremation grounds.
He became a servant of the Dom (Chandaal), even working in the task of assisting in the last rites of people and cremating their bodies. However, even in this dire circumstance, he did not abandon his commitment to truthfulness.
As the years passed in this manner, he began to suffer greatly due to his lowly occupation. He started searching for a way to free himself from this ignoble fate, constantly pondering, "What should I do? How can I attain liberation from this wretched existence?" On a fateful day, sensing the king's profound sorrow and his earnest quest for a solution, Sage Gautama appeared at his doorstep.
King Harishchandra paid his respects to the sage and began to narrate his sorrowful tale. After hearing the woeful story of King Harishchandra, Sage Gautama himself became deeply sorrowful and said, "O King! In the dark fortnight of Bhadrapada month, there is an Ekadashi called Aja Ekadashi. You should observe this Ekadashi with strict fasting and remain awake during the night. By doing so, all your sins will be absolved." Having spoken these words, Sage Gautama walked out of the door and vanished just as mysteriously as he had appeared out of nowhere.
Upon the arrival of the Ekadashi named Aja, King Harishchandra followed the sage's instructions with utmost dedication, observing fasting and remaining awake during the night. The power of this vow absolved all the sins of the king. However, during this time, tragedy struck as a serpent bit his son, Rohit, leading to his demise.
The queen brought her lifeless son to the cremation ground, and there, King Harishchandra, trying hard to contain his sorrow, beseeched her for the cremation fees. But the helpless queen had nothing to offer. She tore a piece of her saree to complete her son's last rites. At that moment, celestial music played in heaven, and a shower of flowers fell. Before them stood Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and other celestial deities. They witnessed the king and the queen's unwavering devotion and selflessness.
In this divine moment, the king saw his departed son brought back to life, and his wife adorned in royal attire and jewellery.
Due to the effects of the vow, the king eventually regained his kingdom. In reality, a sage had orchestrated all these events to test the king, but the power of the Aja Ekadashi vow dissolved all the illusions created by the sage. In the end, King Harishchandra, along with his family, ascended to the heavenly realm.
O King! This was the incredible impact of observing the Aja Ekadashi vow.
Anyone who observes this fast with dedication, along with staying awake at night, has all their sins obliterated, and they ultimately attain heaven. Just by listening to the story of this Ekadashi fast, one can achieve the fruit of performing an Ashwamedha Yajna.
Rituals of Aja Ekadashi:
- On the day of Aja Ekadashi devotees observe a fast in the honour of their deity, Lord Vishnu. The observer of this vrat should also eat ‘satvik’ food even a day before, that is on ‘dashami’ (10th day), in order to free the mind from all negativities.
- The observer of the Aja Ekadashi vrat gets up during sunrise on the day and then takes a bath with mud and sesame seeds. The place for puja must be cleaned. On an auspicious location, rice should be kept, over which the sanctified ‘kalash’ is placed. The mouth of this kalsah is covered with red cloth and an idol of Lord Vishnu is placed atop. The devotees then worship the idol of Lord Vishnu with flowers, fruits and other puja essentials. A ‘ghee’ diya is also lit in front of the lord.
- On observing the Aja Ekadashi fast, the devotees should refrain from eating anything all through the day, even a drop of water is not allowed. Nonetheless in the Hindu scriptures it is mentioned that if the person is unwell and for children, the vrat can be observed after eating fruits. All kinds of grains and rice should be avoided on this holy day. Eating of honey is also not allowed.
- The devotees on this day read sacred books like ‘Vishnu Sahastranam’ and ‘Bhagwad Geeta’. The observer should also keep vigil all night and spend the time worshipping and meditating about the supreme lord. The observer of Aja Ekadashi vrat is required to also follow the principles of ‘Brahmacharya’ to get maximum benefits.
- The fats is broken on the next day, ‘Dwadashi’ (12th day), after offering food to a Brahmin. The food is then eaten as ‘Prasad’ with family members. One must abstain from eating brinjal on ‘dwadashi’.
Significance of Aja Ekadashi:
The significance of Aja Ekadashi has been known since the ancient times. Lord Krishna in the ‘Brahmavaivarta Purana’ stated the importance of this vrat to Yudhisthira, the eldest of Pandavas. This vrat was even performed by Raja Harishchandra, and as an outcome he got back his dead son and lost kingdom. This vrat thus motivates a person to choose a path of salvation and ultimately achieve freedom from the cycle of birth and death. The observer of the Aja Ekadashi vrat must keep control on his/her body, emotions, behaviour and food. The fast will purify the heart and soul.
It is mentioned in the Hindu Puranas and holy scriptures that when a person keeps the Aja Ekadashi vrat with full devotion, all his sins of the present life will be pardoned. His/her life will also be filled with happiness and prosperity, and after death they will be taken to Lord Vishnu’s dham, ‘Vaikunta’. It is also believed that by observing the Aja Ekadashi vrat, the person gets the same benefits as those by performing the ‘Ashwamegh Yagya’.
- 1: What are the benefits and importance of Aja Ekadashi?
- Aja Ekadashi bestows upon its devout observer the complete absolution of all sins, whether they be from the present life or past lives, surpassing the blessings of any other Ekadashi. Furthermore, it is said by Lord Krishna himself, that reciting or listening to the Aja Ekadashi Vrat Katha is as spiritually rewarding as performing the grand Ashwamedh Yagya.
- 2: When is Aja Ekadashi?
- Aja Ekadashi is observed on the Krishna Paksha Ekadashi of the Bhadrapada Month, according to the North Indian or Purnimanta Calendar. This Ekadashi falls in the month of Shravana according to the South Indian or Amanta Calendars like the Gujarati Calendar and Telugu Calendar, and coincides with the Chingam month of Malayalam Calendar and Aavani of Tamil Calendar.
- 3: What is the Parana timing for Aja Ekadashi?
- Parana is the ceremonial process of concluding a religious fast at the designated time, involving specific rituals and consuming specific foods to break the fast appropriately. The Aja Ekadashi Parana for the year 2024 is from August 30, 7:49 am to 8:42 am. (The mentioned timing is in IST, for Ujjain. To change the location, click here.)
Aja Ekadashi festival dates between 2020 & 2030
|2021||Friday, 3rd of September|
|2022||Monday, 22nd of August|
|2023||Sunday, 10th of September|
|2024||Thursday, 29th of August|
|2025||Tuesday, 19th of August|
|2026||Monday, 7th of September|
|2027||Saturday, 28th of August|
|2028||Wednesday, 16th of August|
|2029||Tuesday, 4th of September|
|2030||Saturday, 24th of August|