Aja Ekadashi – Date, Rituals & Story

Aja Ekadashi – Date, Rituals & Story

Aja Ekadashi falls on the Ekadashi of Krishna Paksha of Bhadrapada month, according to Hindu Calendar. On this day, there is a great significance of observing a fast on Aja Ekadashi. Besides, devotees also invoke Lord Shrihari and Maa Lakshmi as well. It is believed that by following these rituals, Lord Vishnu may eradicate your life troubles and destroy all sins. Therefore, many devotees pray to  Lord Vishnu by reciting devotional songs and Annada Ekadashi vrat Katha. Devotees who observe the Aja Ekadashi vrat may earn the same benefit as those who perform the Ashwamedha Yagna. Alright, let us throw more light into this topic.

Aja Ekadashi 2021 Date and Time

Aja Ekadashi 2021 will be observed on 3rd September 2021 – Friday

MuhuratsDate / Time
Ekadashi Begins:06:21 AM on 2nd Sep 2021
Ekadashi Ends:07:44 AM on 3rd Sep 2021

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Aja Ekadashi Importance

The Aja Ekadashi fast is regarded to be the most beneficial of all. Whoever observing this fast must exert control over his emotions, physical body, and behaviour. Aja Ekadashi vrat inspires others or non-believers to follow the path of salvation, which may lead you to paradise. These ancient rituals assist you in forming a balanced lifestyle as well. Sages and saints believe that Aja Ekadashi vrat is equivalent to performing Yagna or austerities. By doing so, one can evolve their heart in the purest form. According to the scriptures, fasting on Aja Ekadashi has virtuous effects, and by following this fast, one may have moksha after their death. Worshippers believe that departed souls may reach the heavenly abode by the grace of Lord Vishnu.

Aja Ekadashi Vrat Katha

Harishchandra, the ancestor of Shri Ramji and Chakravarti King, was known for his sincerity and honesty. The gods sent the sage Vishwavamitra to him to test his integrity and honesty.

Sage Vishwavamitra arrived at King Harishchandra’s court and demanded the entire kingdom. In a dream, King Harishchandra saw himself donating his kingdom to the sage Vishwavamitra. Thereafter, the king, in fulfilment of a commitment, handed up the entire realm to the sage Vishwamitra and travelled to Kashi. Soon, he decided to be a slave because he couldn’t bear the plight of his children and wife so that his family could live comfortably. When the King went to be sold as a slave, an old man offered to accept his wife as the King may need someone to look after his family.

Then, the old man informed Harishchandra that he would look after the child as well. The King agreed, and was relieved that his family would not be subjected to the same ordeal. By selling himself to the Chandala, he also became a slave of the Chandala. He began working below Chandala, but he never distracted from his path of righteousness. After several years, he began to find ways to relieve himself from his bad karma and find salvation. At that time, sage Gautam appeared to Harischandra. 

After hearing King Harishchandra’s tragic story, Maharishi Gautam suggested that he should stay awake for the whole night and keep a fast on Aja Ekadashi. This will help him get rid of his bad karmas, informed Maharishi Gautam before he went back to perform meditation.

When Aja Ekadashi arrived, King Harishchandra observed the fast according to Maharishi’s directions. Later on, when King’s son died, he requested her wife to perform funeral rites. He declined to execute the last rites in lieu of not receiving the shroud. The wife attempted everything she could to persuade him, but it was all in vain because as he was a slave, and his duty was to perform the death rituals using a shroud.

Following this, King Harishchandra’s wife grabbed some money tied to the pallu (end corner of saree) and requested Chandala to bring the shroud so that her son could be cremated. As soon as the king took the shroud, and went to light up the fire, all of the king’s sins were destroyed, and flowers began to shower on him. All deities stood before him with their hands clasped, and hence, his son came back to life. From that day, it is learnt that those who observe Aja Ekadashi Vrat can ward off their sins.

Aja Ekadashi Vrat Vidhi

Below are the correct ways to observe Aja Ekadashi Vrat appease the Lord Vishnu and get his blessings. 

  • Wake up early and get ready for Vrat vidhi.
  • After taking a bath, wear tidy clothes, and sit in front of the temple.
  • Now, place an idol of Lord Vishnu on a piece of yellow cloth.
  • Install an earthen pot and then light an incense stick.
  • Offer fruits, flowers, betel nut, coconut, clove, etc.
  • Chant Om Achyutaya Namah mantra 108 times.
  • Begin your fast for a day.
  • Then, in the evening, light a lamp of cow’s ghee in front of the idol.
  • Listen to the Aja Ekadashi Vrat Katha.
  • The next day, perform Parana and give donations to Brahmins.

Things to keep in Mind on Aja Ekadashi

  • On this auspicious occasion, If you are following Aja Ekadashi rituals at home, then avoid the use of onion, garlic and tamasic food at home.
  • Both the times, after taking bath in the morning and evening, worship Lord Vishnu by wearing clean clothes.  
  • Maintain a clean and healthy atmosphere inside your house.
  • Organize Vishnu Puja and chant mantras of ‘Om Namo Bhagwate Vasudevaya and Om Shrim Shriya Namah’
  • Conclude your fast by performing Parana on the next day.

Greetings

We wish you a pleasant time ahead on the occasion of Aja Ekadashi. May you garner the blessings of Lord Vishnu by performing Vishnu Puja.