Vaishnava Apara Ekadashi is a religious fasting day for Vaishnavism followers. It falls on the ‘ekadashi’ that is the 11th day, during the Krishna Paksha (the waning phase of moon) in the ‘Jyestha’ month of Hindu calendar. On the other hand in Gregorian calendar it corresponds to the months of May to June. The Vaishnava Apara Ekadashi is considered very auspicious as it has the powers to wash away all the sins committed by a person during his/her lifetime, including the ones from their past life. This ekadashi is observed in the honour of Sri Hari Vishnu and gives unlimited benefits to its observer.
There is no Vaishnava Apara Ekadashi in 2019
Rituals during Vaishnava Apara Ekadashi:
- Fasting is one of the main rituals on Vaishnava Apara Ekadashi. Devotees keep a strict fast by refraining from eating or even drinking a drop of water. Some of the Vaishnavites begin their fasting a day before on ‘dashami’. Only single meal is eaten before noon to ensure no food remains in the stomach on the next day of fasting. The fast of Vaishnava Apara Ekadashi begins from the time the person gets up till the sunrise of ‘dwadashi’ (12th day).
- The puja rituals on the day of Vaishnava Apara Ekadashi begin early therefore the devotees need to get up at sunrise. The prayers are offered with dedication and devotion. The idol of Lord Vishnu is worshipped with Tulsi leaves (broken a day before), colourful flowers, dhoop and incense sticks. An ‘aarti’ is performed later and the ‘prasad’ prepared is distributed among all the devotees.
- Reading religious books like ‘Bhagavad Gita’ and ‘Vishnu Sahastranaam’ is considered very favourable on Vaishnava Apara Ekadashi. In the evening devotees also visit any nearby temples of Lord Vishnu to participate in the special arrangements made for the day.
Significance of Vaishnava Apara Ekadashi:
The Vaishnava Apara Ekadashi is observed by Hare Krishna followers to seek affection and love of Lord Vishnu. Devotees keep a sacred fast on this day to remain happy and prosperous in their life. They also remain protected from any malefic planetary influences and in the end attain salvation from the cycle of re-birth. According to the stories mentioned in the ‘Brahmanda Purana’ the greatness of Vaishnava Apara Ekadashi is even more than performing auspicious yagnas or donating cows to a Brahmin.