Parama Ekadashi is observed on the 11th day, that is, ‘ekadashi’ tithi during the Krishna Paksha (the dark fortnight of moon) of the ‘Adhika Masa’ of the Hindu calendar. In the Gregorian calendar, it falls between the months of July-August. In the Hindu calendar, Adhika Masa is one extra lunar month that occurs once in every three years. As in most occurrences this leaped month falls during the month of ‘Ashada’, Parama Ekadashi is also referred as ‘Ashadha Adhika Masa Ekadashi’. This month is considered to be very auspicious and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Parama Ekadashi is therefore also known as ‘Purushottam Kamala Ekadashi’. It is believed that observing this ekadashi brings material progress and washes away all the sins committed during lifetime.
There is no Parama Ekadashi in 2019
Rituals of Parama Ekadashi:
- On the day of Parama Ekadashi, devotees keep a fast all day. They do not eat food at all but some devotees also observe this vrat by eating fruits and dairy products. Like all other ekadashi vrats, fasting on this day also starts from ‘dashami’. The observer of this vrat eats food once that is prepared without using salt. This is done to ensure that no traces of food remain in the stomach on the day of ekadashi. The Parama Ekadashi vrat is put to end on the ‘dwadashi’ tithi after offering food to a Brahmin.
- Ekadashi is dedicated to worshipping Lord Vishnu and hence on this day also the devotees offer prayers to their deity with full devotion. The idol of Lord Vishnu is worshipped with flowers, Tulsi leaves, fruits, dhoop and incense.
- Chanting ‘Vishnu Sahastranaam’ and reading ‘Vishnu Purana’ is considered auspicious on Parama Ekadashi. The observer of the vrat must also read the ‘Parama Ekadashi Vrat Katha’. Devotees also visit the temples of Lord Vishnu and listen to bhakti songs and bhajans all night. Offering donations in the form of foods and clothes to Brahmins is also believed to be highly gratifying on the day of Parama Ekadashi.
Significance of Parama Ekadashi:
Parama Ekadashi is a very auspicious ekadashi observance of the Vaishnavas. It is a strong belief that the observer of this vrat gets freedom from the cycle of rebirth and goes straight to ‘Vaikunth’ after death. Not only this, by the merits of the Parama Ekadashi fast, the deceased ancestors of the person will also attain peace. According to the Hindu legends, this vrat was once performed by Kubera, and He was then appointed as the ‘Lord of Wealth’ by Lord Vishnu. The power of Parama Ekadashi vrat is such that it can eradicate poverty completely from the life of its observer. The significance of Parama Ekadashi can be read in various religious Hindu scriptures. One who observes this vrat religiously will be bestowed with the blessings and love of Lord Vishnu always.