Papamochani is an auspicious fasting day for Vaishnavites that falls on the ‘ekadashi’ (11th day) of the Krishna Paksha (the dark fortnight of moon) during the ‘Vishnu’ month of the Vaishnava calendar. This date falls between March to April months of the Gregorian calendar. The Vaishnava Papamochani Ekadashi customs for Hare Krishna followers are same as those observed by Hindu devotees. Lord Vishnu is worshipped on this day with immense devotion and love. The word ‘paap’ means ‘sins’ and the Hindi word ‘mochan’ implies ‘to release’. Hence Vaishnava Papamochani Ekadashi is observed by devotees to get liberated from the ill effects of the sins committed during their present and past lives. This ekadashi is dutifully observed by Vaishnava Sampradaya and is celebrated with great pomp and show in ISKCON temples all across India.
There is no Vaishnava Papamochani Ekadashi in 2019
Rituals on Vaishnava Papamochani Ekadashi:
- Most of the devotees keep a fast on this day. Fasting by Hare Krishna disciples should be done after consulting the Vaishnava calendar. Fasting should be done to control the senses and in remembrance of Lord Krishna.
- The fast begins from the sunrise of the Vaishnava Papamochani Ekadashi and should continue till next day sunrise. Eating during pre-dawn hours is not recommended, especially on a ekadashi. Staunch devotees keep a complete fast on this day and refrain from drinking or eating all day. If the fast is broken by chance, it must be continued for the remaining day and the next day too.
- Eating of grains is strictly prohibited on Vaishnava Papamochani Ekadashi. As per the teachings of the Vedic Literature ‘paap-purusha’ (sins) reside in grains on ekadashi and so it should be avoided in any form. Even prasadam that includes grains cannot be eaten on the day of Vaishnava Papamochani Ekadashi. Besides grains, other food that must be avoided on ekadashi includes all kinds of pulses, beans, salt and certain spices.
- Devotees keeping ‘nirjala’ fast on Vaishnava Papamochani Ekadashi should break their fast by drinking ‘charnamrita’ (water obtained after bathing Lord Krishna’s feet) or milk at the given time in the Vaishnava calendar. It should be noted that this time may vary from one place to another. Partial ekadashi vrat must be broken by eating grains on the ‘dwadashi’ (12th day).
- On Vaishnava Papamochani Ekadashi day, Sri Krishna who is known to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu is worshipped with great zeal and gaiety. Devotees pray to their lord by offering flowers, dhoop and incense sticks. Special puja rituals are organized at Lord Krishna temples all over the world on ekadahsi. Reading ‘Vishnu Sahasranaam’ and chanting Vedic mantras are believed to be very propitious on this day.
Significance of Vaishnava Papamochani Ekadashi:
The Vaishnava Papamochani Ekadashi is one of the sacred ekadashis as it falls between Chaitra Navratri and Holika Dahan. It is the final ekadashi observance of the year and falls just before Yugadi celebrations. The Vaishnava Papamochani Ekadashi fast is undertaken by Sri Krishna devotees to increase spiritual development. They follow the vrat with full austerity to seek divine blessings for a happy and successful life. The greatness of Vaishnava Papamochani Ekadashi can also be read in various Hindu religious scriptures like ‘Bhagavata Purana’.