Ekadashi of Bhadrapada, Krishna Paksha is called Aja Ekadashi. This time this Ekadashi falls on Thursday, August 29, 2024. Aja Ekadashi fast has great importance in the scriptures. By worshiping Lord Shri Hari as per the rituals on this day, one gets the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi along with Lord Shri Hari Vishnu. By observing a fast on this day and performing the ritual puja, listening or reading the Vrat Katha, Shri Hari liberates one from all troubles and destroys all sins. People observing Aja Ekadashi fast get virtue equal to “Ashwamedha Yagya”.
Aja Ekadashi date and time
Ekadashi date and time
This time this Ekadashi is falling on Thursday, August 29, 2024.
|Date and time
|Thursday, August 29, 2024
|07:49 AM to 08:41 AM
|Ekadashi date starts
|August 29, 2024 at 01:19 am
|Ekadashi date ends
|August 30, 2024 at 01:37 am
Importance of Aja Ekadashi
It is mentioned in the scriptures that fasting on Aja Ekadashi gives virtuous results and by observing this fast properly one attains salvation. With the blessings of Shri Hari, all sins are destroyed and the soul departs to Vaikuntha Dham.
Story of Aja Ekadashi fast
Shri Ram ji’s ancestor and Chakravarti king Harishchandra was famous for his integrity and honesty. To test his integrity and honesty the gods sent sage Vishwavamitra to him. Sage Vishwamitra came to his court and demanded his entire kingdom. King Harishchandra had seen in his dream that he had donated his kingdom to sage Vishwamitra. After observing this, the king followed a strict vow and handed over the entire kingdom to sage Vishwamitra and went to Kashi.
After some time, when he could no longer bear the plight of his child and wife, he decided to sell himself. So that their family can live well. But one has to suffer the consequences of past deeds. When he was sold as a slave, an old man offered to take his wife as a nanny to take care of the children in his house. He also proposed that he would take care of the child as well. Happy that his family would not suffer the same torture as him, he agreed to it.
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By selling himself to the Chandala, he became the slave of the Chandala. He started working as a shroud collector at Chandal’s place, but he never left his truth. After many years passed, he started searching for a way to free himself from this vile deed. He was thinking about attaining salvation when sage Gautama came to him. King Harishchandra told him his sad story of Pranam.
Maharishi Gautam became very sad after hearing the sad story of King Harishchandra and he asked him to keep vigil at night after fasting on Aja Ekadashi. He also told the king that this will destroy all your sins. Maharishi Gautam disappeared after saying this. When Aja Ekadashi arrived, King Harishchandra observed a fast as prescribed by Maharishi and kept vigil at night.
After some time, his son was bitten by a snake while playing, due to which he died. When his wife came to perform the last rites of her son, the king asked her for a shroud to perform the last rites. In lieu of not receiving the shroud, he refused to perform the last rites. The wife tried to convince him in every way but everything was in vain because he was a slave at that time and his job was to carry the shroud and perform the last rites.
After this, King Harishchandra’s wife took out some coins tied to her pallu and requested the Chandala to buy them so that she could take the shroud and perform the last rites of her son. After taking the shroud, as soon as the king proceeded towards the funeral pyre. Then due to the effect of his Aja Ekadashi fast, all the sins of the king were destroyed and drums started playing in heaven and flowers started showering on him. All the gods were standing in front of him with folded hands. After this his son became alive and his wife became complete with royal clothes.
Due to the effect of Aja Ekadashi fast, all the illusion created by the sage ended and at the end Harishchandra along with his family went to heaven. Those people who observe this fast properly and stay awake at night, all their sins are destroyed and ultimately they attain heaven.
Fasting method and worship method of Aja Ekadashi
Starting the fast of Aja Ekadashi from Dashami Tithi itself, the resolution of fasting should be taken on the date of Ekadashi.
- Wake up in the morning at Brahmamuhurta and finish your daily activities.
- After taking bath, wear clean clothes and remember Lord Vishnu.
- Place a post in the east direction and spread a yellow cloth on it and install the photo of Lord Vishnu.
- Install the clay pot.
- Light incense lamps.
- Offer fruits, flowers, betel nuts, coconut, cloves etc. to Shri Hari.
- Chant the mantra Om Achyutay Namah 108 times.
- Remain fasting the whole day.
- In the evening, light a lamp of cow ghee in front of the idol of Lord Vishnu.
- After worshiping, listen to the fast story of Aja Ekadashi.
- After that have fruits.
- Next day morning bid farewell to the Brahmins by feeding them and giving them Dakshina.
- After that eat food.
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Be careful during Aja Ekadashi
- If you are worshiping Aja Ekadashi at home, then do not cook onion, garlic and tamasic food at home.
- Worship both morning and evening after taking bath and wearing clean clothes.
- Maintain an atmosphere of peace at home.
- Before starting the puja, chant the mantras Om Namo Bhagwate Vasudevaya and Om Shree Shreeyai Namah 108 times.
- End your fast with Paran.
Method of passage of Aja Ekadashi
Parana means breaking the fast. Perform Parana only after the end of Dwadashi Tithi. Not performing Parana on Dwadashi is like a crime. Wait for Hari Vasara to end before breaking the fast, Parana should not be performed during Hari Vasara. Avoid breaking the fast during midday. The time to break the fast is in the morning. If due to some reason you are not able to break the fast in the morning, then break the fast after noon.
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