Amalaki Ekadashi - Day of Lord Vishnu -8th March (Wednesday), 2017
Amalaki Ekadashi (also known as Amalaka Ekadashi) is an auspicious day for Hindus and is celebrated on the 11th day (Ekadashi) of the waxing moon in the lunar month of Phalgun (as per Gregorian calendar February – March). It is a festival revering the amalaka or amla tree also known as the Indian gooseberry. It is believed that the Hindu God Vishnu (a major god of Hinduism and Indian mythology), for whom Ekadashis are sacred, resides in this tree. The ritualistic worship of the amla tree on this day is done to receive the blessings of deity. Amalaki Ekadashi falls between Maha Shivaratri and Holi (the festival of colors) and it marks the beginning of the main celebrations of the festival of Holi.
Vishnu is preserver of the universe, the principle that sustains and preserves. It is Vishnu who "sustains the planets in their orbits" and rules the natural progression of the seasons and the ages. Among the forces of nature, it is equilibrium.
Vashistha Muni said in Brahmanda Puran “Listen as I describe the best of all fast days, Amalaki Ekadashi. He who faithfully observes a fast on this Ekadashi obtains enormous wealth, gets free of the effects of all kinds of sins and attains liberation. Fasting on this Ekadashi is more purifying than donating one thousand cows in charity to a pure brahmana”.
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Amalaki Ekadashi Parana
On 20th, Parana Time = 06:51 to 09:12
On Parana Day Dwadashi End Moment = 21:39
Ekadashi Tithi Begins = 00:17 on 8/Mar/2017
Ekadashi Tithi Ends = 22:49 on 8/Mar/2017
(Parana means breaking the fast and it should not be done during Hari Vasara)
Significance of Amalaki Ekadashi
Once in the month of Phalguna (February - March), the holy fast of Amalaki Ekadashi and Dwadashi coincides. Great benefits are bestowed on those who observe a fast on this day. Amalaki is offspring of Lord Brahma, who can destroy all kinds of sinful reactions. Amalaki is actually the form of Brahman and was once worshiped by Lord Ramachandra Himself. Whoever circumambulates her is therefore immediately freed of all his sins.
After taking a ritualistic bath, Amalaki tree is offered a pot filled with water and adorned with garland and aromatic incense is lit. Lord Parashurama is later worshipped with these prayers: 'Oh Lord Parashurama, Oh son of Renuka, Oh all-pleasing one, Oh liberator of the worlds, kindly come beneath this holy Amalaki tree and accept our humble obeisance.'
In case an Amalaki tree is not in the vicinity, a Tulsi plant can also be worshiped. Plant Tulsi seeds and offer lamps to it.
The venerable Vasishtha Muni said, "...anyone who observes this holy Amalaki Ekadashi will undoubtedly attain the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu, so great is the religious merit earned from the observance of this most sacred fast day."
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