Apara Ekadasi occurs during the waning phase of moon in the month of Jyeshtha (May – June). The importance of Apara Ekadashi was explained by Lord Krishna to Yudhishtira, the eldest of the Pandavas. Washing away the sins committed is the main benefit from observing Apara Ekadasi. In 2021, the date of Apara Ekadashi is June 6.
Apara Ekadasi Mantra
ॐ नारायाणाय विद्महे वासुदेवाय धीमहि।
तन्नो विष्णुः प्रचोदयात्॥
Om Narayanaya Vidmahe Vasudevaya Dhimahi
Tanno Vishnu Prachodayat
Importance and Benefits of Apara Ekadasi
There is a widespread belief that observing this vrat dedicated to Srihari will help in attaining huge wealth.
Apara means in great quantity or number and therefore all sins are destroyed by observing the fast.
Fasting on this Ekadashi is beneficial to those people who are suffering from remorse or guilt due to sin or sins committed. One can attain moksha by observing a fast on Apara Ekadasi. Krishna also mentions that one who observes this particular Ekadashi will become famous through meritorious deeds.
Those ancestors who are suffering as ghosts, goblins and other nocturnal beings after death will get relief when relatives on earth perform Apara Ekadasi.
It is believed that observing this Ekadasi is equal to taking bath at Prayag (confluence of Ganga, Saraswati and Yamuna), performing vrat at Kashi on Shivratri, performing pinda daan in Gaya, taking bath in Godavari River, having darshan of Badrinath and Kedarnath and taking holy dip at Kurukshetra during Surya Grahan.
About Apa Ekadasi in Hindu Scriptures
Brahma Puran – Observing this Ekadasi helps in washing away even the greatest sin. All the sins of previous birth will be removed by fasting on the day. This Ekadasi is said to be the axe with which one can cut the tree of sin and attain moksha. It is the Kalpa Vriksha for attaining auspiciousness and spiritual merits.
How to observe Apara Ekadasi?
Take only vegetarian food on Dashami, the previous day of Ekadasi. One should make body and mind prepared for the fasting on this day.
On Apara Ekadashi day wake up in the morning and take bath. Vamana Avatar of Vishnu should be worshiped on the day. You should imagine Vamana murti in the mind and do the puja.
Puja should be done with dhoop, deep (lamp) and naivedya (yellow color sweet). Seasonal flowers should be offered. Another important offering on the day is seasonal fruits like mango, watermelon, banana, Peach (aadu), apricot (khubhani) etc.
Donating fruits on the day is meritorious. You can also consume fruits while fasting.
Stay awake at night by chanting the name of the Lord and reading holy books.
You can take bath next day and break the fast when it is dwadasi tithi.
Apara Ekadasi Story
There lived a king named Mahidwaj and he was very popular among his subjects. He followed the duty of a king as mentioned in the Hindu scriptures. The king’s younger brother Vajradwaj was jealous of him.
One day he got an opportunity to kill the king. Vajradwaj killed his elder brother and hid the body under a peepal tree in the forest.
As Mahidwaj had met with an unnatural death, his soul started residing in the peepal tree as a fearsome ghost. The ghost disturbed all those who passed through area or took refuge under the tree.
One day a saint came through the way and saw the ghost. Using his yogic powers, the saint found out about the real identity of the ghost and the reason for it becoming a ghost.
The saint then got the ghost of the king removed from the tree and advised it on how to drop the ghostly form.
To get the king out of the ghost form, the saint performed the Apara Ekadasi fasting.
Upon ending the fast on Dwadasi Tithi, the king gave all the merits he earned through the fasting to the king.
Due to the merits, the king was relieved of the ghostly appearance and he attained moksha.
This Ekadasi is also known as Bhadrakali Ekadasi and a huge fair (Mela) is observed in the famous Bhadrakali Temple in Kapurthala in Punjab.