Apara Ekadashi 2017: Date, Time and Vrat Katha Puja
Apara Ekadashi in 2017 falling on May 22, Monday is a fasting day observed on the eleventh day of the Krishna Paksha (the dark fortnight of moon) in Jyeshtha month (June-July). The Sanskrit word apar means ‘limitless’. It is believed that by observing Apara Ekadashi, one can have all their misgivings washed away by the limitless blessings of the Lord Vishnu. It is an important day especially for the Vaishnavas for it is connected to Lord Vishnu or Krishna. It is one of the most scared times to execute one’s spiritual activities. It is called Hari-Vasara, the Lord’s auspicious day. One this day one must observe fast to purify their mind, body, heart and soul.
Date & Day
May 21, Sunday
May 22, Monday
Parana Time (Breaking your fast)
May 23, Tuesday
Those who observe the fast must break it after sunrise the next day of Ekadashi. It is to be noted that one should break the fast (Parana) within Dwadashi Tithi. Dwadashi ends at 12:03 PM on May 23, Tuesday. Another important consideration is that one must not break the fast during Hari Vasara which is the fourth duration of Dwadashi. The best time to break the fast is pratah kala (morning).
How to Celebrate Apara Ekadashi:
If you have decided to fast on this day, ensure that take special care of the concerned rituals. You should observe the ritual fast with complete devotion and dedication.
- First get up early in the morning before sunrise and take bath. You can cant the following mantra while bathing:
"Ganga Cha Yamuna Chaiva Godavari Saraswati,
Narmada Sindhu Kaveri Jalesmin Sannidhim Kuru"
"In this water, I invoke the presence of divine waters from the rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Saraswati, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri. These rivers are considered as goddesses and I pray to them for considering me for their blessings.
- After bath, it is time for a Vishnu puja. Light up an oil/ghee lamp (Diya).
- Offer Tulsi leaves, flowers, dhoop and lamp to Lord Vishnu. You can read or recite Vishnu Sahasranama (A thousands names of Vishnu). You can find it here.
- It is the best time for Havan, rituals and fasting. At least one of them must be performed to please Lord Vishnu if possible.
- It is the best time to wear Rudraksha beads ruled by Narayana. A Ten Mukhi Rudraksha bead ruled by Lord Krishna and a Nineteen Mulhi Rudraksha bead ruled by Lord Narayana are best to energize your devotional mood.
Ekadashi Vrat Katha Puja:
Vrat Katha Puja is an essential part of this Ekadashi. It is said that on this day if one performs this puja, all their misgivings are washed off. The significance of Apara Ekadashi is beautifully described by Lord Krishna in the Mahabharata. This puja includes Ganpati invocation mantra, Invocation mantras of all major deities, Dhyaan, Katha of Vishnu (the most important part), Aarti, Pushpaanjali and Prasada distribution.
Benefits of Ekadashi Vrat Katha:
- For health, wealth and success
- For fulfillment of wishes
- For spiritual upliftment
- For blessing of Lord Vishnu
Click here to know more about this puja
Apara Ekadashi Described In the Mahabharata: Significance of Apara Ekadashi
There’s a conversation between King Yuddhisthira and Lord Krishna regarding this Ekadashi. The King asks the Lord to know the significance.
Yudhishthira Maharaj said:
"Oh Janardana (Lord Krishna), what is the name of the Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight (Krishna Paksha) of the month of Jyeshtha (May-June)? I wish to hear from You the glories of this sacred day of Hari. Please narrate everything to me"
Lord Krishna said:
“Oh King, your inquiry is wonderful because the answer will benefit the whole human society. This Ekadasi is so sublime and meritorious that even the greatest sins can be erased by its purity. Oh great saintly king, the name of this unlimitedly meritorious Ekadasi is Apara Ekadasi. Whoever fasts on this holy day becomes famous all over the universe. Even such sins such as killing a Brahmin, a cow, or an embryo; blasphemy; or illicit affairs with another man's wife are completely eradicated by observing Apara Ekadasi.
Oh king people who bear false witness are most sinful. A person who falsely or sarcastically glorifies another; one who cheats while weighing something on a scale; one who fails to execute the duties of his varna or Ashrama (an unqualified man's posing as a Brahmin, for example, or a person's reciting the Vedas wrongly); one who invents his own scriptures; one who cheats others; one who is a charlatan astrologer, a cheating accountant, or a false Ayurvedic doctor. All these are surely as bad as persons who bear false witness, and they are all destined for hellish punishments. But simply by observing Apara Ekadasi, all such sinners become completely free of their sinful reactions.
Mantra for Apara Ekadashi:
"Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya"
Meaning: I offer my obeisance to or bow down to Lord Vasudeva or Lord Krishna.