Vaishnava Parama Ekadashi is a unique fasting day that is observed on the ‘Ekadashi’ (11th day) during the Krishna Paksha (the dark fortnight of moon) in the ‘Adika’ month of the Vaishnava calendar. This ekadashi observance is same in the Vedic (lunar) and Vaishnava calendar. ‘Adika’ month or the leap month is an extra month that comes once in 2-3 years. According to the popular beliefs, by fasting and worshipping Lord Vishnu, on the day of Vaishnava Parama Ekadashi the benefits get multiplied manifold, as compared to other Ekadashi observances. The observer of this vrat is showered with Lord Vishnu’s favours and after enjoying the worldly gains, attains salvation and reaches to His heavenly abode, ‘Vaikunth’.
There is no Vaishnava Parama Ekadashi in 2020
Rituals during Vaishnava Parama Ekadashi:
- Fasting is important on Vaishnava Parama Ekadashi day for Hare Krishna disciples. Some devotees keep a strict fast by not eating anything all through the day. For those unable to keep complete vrat, partial fasting by eating fruits, nuts or dairy products is also allowed. Fasting begins from the sunrise of ‘ekadashi’ to the sunrise of the next day, ‘dwadashi’. For ekadashi fasting, eating during the pre-dawn hours is not advisable.
- The fast of Vaishnava Parama Ekadashi ends on the following day. Nirjala ekadashi vrat should be broken by consuming ‘charnamrit’ only. Partial fasting fast needs to be broken by eating either fruits or nuts. If the ekadashi vrat on this day is fortuitously broken, it should be continued for the rest of day as well as following day.
- On Vaishnava Parama Ekadashi, Vaishnavas pray to Lord Vishnu with full devotion and dedication. The idol of Sri Krishna, an avatar of Sri Hari Vishnu is worshipped with Tulsi leaves, dhoop and fresh flowers. It is believed that on the day of ekadashi, bodily needs should be simplified and it is recommended to sleep less on this day and engage in chanting Vedic mantras, reading religious scriptures and performing devotional services.
- The observer of this ekadashi vrat must read the ‘Mahatyama’ and the Vaishnava Parama Ekadashi vrat katha. Devotees visit temples of Lord Vishnu in the evening and participate in the kirtans and bhajan programs held there. Donating food and clothes to Brahmins is also an auspicious act that should be performed on Vaishnava Parama Ekadashi.
Significance of Vaishnava Parama Ekadashi:
While all ekadashis are considered important for Hindus, the Vaishnava Parama Ekadashi is especially significant for Vaishnavas, who are ardent Lord Vishnu followers. The observer of this vrat is forgiven for the sins that he/she committed in the current and previous births and also gets freedom from the continuous cycle of re-birth. Furthermore, the merit of this ekadashi also offers peace to the dead ancestors. The power of Vaishnava Parama Ekadashi is such owing to the fact that it comes once every 32 months only. As per the teachings of the Hindu religion, by observing the Vaishnava Parama Ekadashi, the person will never have to face poverty during their lifetime. On this day buying gold is also considered to be auspicious.