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Apara Ekadashi 2018 Vrat, Date, Significance and Celebration

अश्वमेधसहस्रणिराजसूयशतानिच।
एकादशयुपवासस्यकलांनारहंतिशोडशीम्र।।
“Not Even Thousand Ashtamedha Yogas or Hundred Raj Suya Yogas
would match the fast on a Ekadashi Day”

Ekadashi means 11, in Sanskrit and is the name of the 11th day of the month in a Hindu Calendar. In the Hindu Calendar, a month is actually divided into two parts of 15 days and hence, a month has practically 2 ekadashis. Ekadashis are of very high importance in the Hindu culture and one can easily find a festival or the other being observed on this day. Apara Ekadashi is one such day that is observed on the Ekadashi of the second half of the month of Jeshtha.

Ekadashi means 11, in Sanskrit and is the name of the 11th day of the month in a Hindu Calendar. In the Hindu Calendar, a month is actually divided into two parts of 15 days and hence, a month has practically 2 ekadashis. Ekadashis are of very high importance in the Hindu culture and one can easily find a festival or the other being observed on this day. Apara Ekadashi is one such day that is observed on the Ekadashi of the second half of the month of Jeshtha.

Apara Ekadashi Date:

2018: May 11, 2018 (Friday)
2019: May 30, 2018 (Thursday)

Legends of Apara Ekadashi:

There are many tales associates with Achala Ekadashi. Here are a few of them:

  • The Tale of Lord Trivikrama
    Lord Trivikrama: Lord Trivikrama is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu who taught a fitting lesson to King Bali. According to the puranas, it was in Treta Yug that King Bali started acting arrogant after being conferred with the title Chakravarty Samrat. Such was his pride that he made Lord Indra to leave from Heaven after attacking it.
    Indra sought asylum from King Vishnu who took the avatar of Vamana (dwarf) showing that he is Trivikrama, the Lord of Three Worlds. King Bali realized his mistake and obliged to Lord Vishnu. This auspicious day is celebrated as Apara Ekadashi. Owing to its prominence, it is also known as Jyeshtha Krishna Ekadashi, Vaishakh Vadi Ekadashi and Achala Ekadashi.
  • The Story of King Yudhishthir
    Yudhishthir:
    King Yudhishthir, the eldest of Pandavas in Mahabharata, asked about the importance of Apara Ekadashi during one of his resting periods. According to Lord Krishna, the festival is chiefly celebrated in the dominant Hindu communities during which they seek perfect solution so that their past sins could get washed off successfully. This is the exact reason why people in large numbers maintain fast on the auspicious day. Perhaps, it is the Apara Ekadashi festival alone that helps people in realizing more benefits on an overall.

Rituals of Apara Ekadashi:

  • Sri Krishna Puja on Apara Ekadashi: The rituals observed on this day include fasting, pujas and yagya. The rituals of this day are given very high importance and are performed with utmost sincerity. It is said that a person who observes this day honestly gets as blessed as someone who has done innumerable good acts and observed various religious acts. Madhya Pradesh is a state of diversities. Many festivals are celebrated here with grand fervor and Apara Ekadashi is one of them. It is of equal importance to every person in the state despite of their caste and the state they come from.

Apara Ekadashi Fasting Process

पूजा की सामग्री: अगरबत्ती, चावल, चंदन, दीपक, धूप बत्ती, दिए की बत्ती, दूध, हल्दी, कुमकुम, तुलसी पत्ता, श्रीखंड, गंगाजल एवं मौसमी फल।

  • एकादशी के व्रत में व्यक्ति को दशमी के दिन सूर्यास्त के बाद भोजन नहीं करना चाहिए। रात को भगवान का ध्यान करके सोना चाहिए।
  • एकादशी के दिन सुबह उठकर मन से सभी विकारों को निकाल दें और स्नान करके भगवान विष्णु की अगरबत्ती, चावल, चंदन, दीपक, धूप बत्ती, दिए की बत्ती, दूध, हल्दी और कुमकुम से पूजा करें।
  • पूजा में तुलसी पत्ता, श्रीखंड चंदन, गंगाजल एवं मौसमी फलों का प्रसाद अर्पित करें।
  • इसके बाद विष्णुसहस्रनाम का पाठ करें व कथा पढ़ें।

Apara Ekadashi Vrat Katha

एक बार की बात है, महीध्वज नाम का एक राजा हुआ करता था। उसका छोटा भाई वज्रध्वज बड़े भाई से द्वेष रखता था। एक दिन उसने राजा की हत्या कर दी और उसे जंगल में एक पीपल के नीचे गाड़ दिया। अकाल मृत्यु होने की वजह से राजा की आत्मा प्रेत बनकर पीपल पर रहने लगी। रास्ते से गुजरने वाले हर व्यक्ति को राजा की आत्मा बोहोट परेशान थी करती। एक दिन एक ऋषि इस रास्ते से गुज़रे। इन्होंने राजा की प्रेत को देखा और अपने तपोबल से उसके प्रेत बनने का कारण पता लगाया।

पीपल के पेड़ से ऋषि ने राजा की प्रेतात्मा को नीचे आने को कहा। इसके बाद उन्होने आत्मा को परलोक जाने का आदेश दिया। आत्मा को परलोक का सुख प्राप्त हो इसके लिए ऋषि ने अपरा एकादशी का व्रत रखा। राजा व्रत का पुण्य प्राप्त करने के पश्चात स्वर्ग चला गया और प्रेतयोनी से मुक्त हो गया।

ध्यान रखें: व्रत रखने वाले पूरे दिन परनिंदा, झूठ, छल-कपट से बचें। व्रत ना रखने वाले भी एकादशी के दिन चावल का प्रयोग भोजन में ना करें तथा झूठ और परनिंदा से बचें।

Attaining salvation is best possible for all those who believe in Lord Vishnu and offer their selfless prayers to God. Reflecting the name “Apara” term in the festival, it is believed that people who observe fast will be able to realize unlimited benefits in exactly the same way as it is expected. Remaining uneaten as part of the fasting ritual is something that is regarded as the most effective step from your end.

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