Apara Ekadashi is a fasting day for Hindus that is observed on the ‘ekadashi’ (11th day) of the Krishna Paksha (the dark fortnight of moon) in the Hindu month of ‘Jyeshtha’. It corresponds to the months of May-June in the Gregorian calendar. It is believed that by observing Apara Ekadashi vrat all the sins of the person will be washed away. This ekadashi is also popular by the name of ‘Achla Ekadashi’ and gives divine and auspicious results. Like all ekadashis, the Apara Ekadashi is also dedicated to worshipping Lord Vishnu.
The word ‘apar’ in Hindi implies ‘limitless’, as by observing this vrat the person is believed to get unlimited wealth, this ekadashi is called as ‘Apara Ekadashi’. Another meaning of this ekadashi is that it gives unlimited benefits to its observer. The significance of Apara Ekadashi is stated in the ‘Brahma Purana’. Apara Ekadashi is observed with full commitment all across the country. It is known by the different names in varied regions of India. In the state of Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir and Haryana, Apara Ekadashi is celebrated as ‘Bhadrakali Ekadashi’ and worshipping Goddess Bhadra Kali is considered propitious on this day. In Orissa it is referred as ‘Jalakrida Ekadashi’ and is celebrated in honour of Lord Jagannath.
Rituals of Apara Ekadashi:
The observer of Apara Ekadashi needs to take special care of the puja. All the rituals must be performed with complete devotion and dedication. The observer of this vrat should get up before sunrise and take bath. The devotees then offer Tulsi leaves, flowers, dhoop and lamp to Lord Vishnu. Sweets are prepared for this occasion and offered to the lord. The devotees also recite the Apara Ekadashi vrat katha or story. ‘Aarti’ is then performed and the ‘Prasad’ is distributed among other devotees. The devotees also visit temples of Lord Vishnu, in the evening.
The fast of this ekadashi begins on the ‘dashami’ (10th day). The person eats only one meal on this day so that the stomach remains empty on the day of ekadashi. Some of the devotees keep strict fast and spend the day without eating or drinking anything. Partial vrat can also be kept for those who are unfit to observe strict fast. They can then eat ‘falahar’ all day. The fast starts from sunrise and ends on the sunrise of the ‘dwadashi’ (12th day). On the day of Apara Ekadashi eating of all kinds of grains and rice is prohibited for all. Applying oil on body is also not allowed.
The fast of this ekadashi does not mean only to control the eating but one should also keep the mind free from all negative thoughts. The observer of this vrat should not tell lies or speak badly about others. Their mind should only have thoughts about Lord Vishnu. Reciting ‘Vishnu Sahastranam’ on this day is considered to be auspicious. The observer of the Apara Ekadashi vrat must be engaged in bhajans and kirtans in praise of Lord Vishnu.
Important Timings On Apara Ekadashi
Sunrise 30-May-2019 05:45 AM
Sunset 30-May-2019 19:03 PM
Dwadashi End Moment 31-May-2019 17:16 PM
Ekadashi Tithi Begins 29-May-2019 15:21 PM
Ekadashi Tithi Ends 30-May-2019 16:38 PM
Hari Vasara End Moment 30-May-2019 22:47 PM
Parana Time 05:44 AM - 08:24 AM