Aja Ekadashi Vrat 2019
This ekadashi is also popularly known by the name of ‘Ananda Ekadashi’, it is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, His consort. It is believed this vrat to be most beneficial of all.
Rituals of Aja Ekadashi:
- On the day of Aja Ekadashi devotees observe a fast in the honour of their deity, Lord Vishnu. The observer of this vrat should also eat ‘satvik’ food even a day before, that is on ‘dashami’ (10th day), in order to free the mind from all negativity.
- The observer of the Aja Ekadashi vrat gets up during sunrise on the day and then takes a bath with mud and sesame seeds. The place for puja must be cleaned. On an auspicious location, rice should be kept, over which the sanctified ‘kalash’ is placed. The mouth of this kalsah is covered with red cloth and an idol of Lord Vishnu is placed atop. The devotees then worship the idol of Lord Vishnu with flowers, fruits and other puja essentials. A ‘ghee’ diya is also lit in front of the lord.
- On observing the Aja Ekadashi fast, the devotees should refrain from eating anything all through the day, even a drop of water is not allowed. Nonetheless in the Hindu scriptures it is mentioned that if the person is unwell and for children, the vrat can be observed after eating fruits. All kinds of grains and rice should be avoided on this holy day. Eating of honey is also not allowed.
- The devotees on this day read sacred books like ‘Vishnu Sahastranam’ and ‘Bhagwad Gita’. The observer should also keep vigil all night and spend the time worshipping and meditating about the supreme lord. The observer of Aja Ekadashi vrat is required to also follow the principles of ‘Brahmacharya’ to get maximum benefits.
- The fast is broken on the next day, ‘Dwadashi’ (12th day), after offering food to a Brahmin. The food is then eaten as ‘Prasad’ with family members. One must abstain from eating brinjal on ‘dwadashi’.
Significance of Aja Ekadashi:
The significance of Aja Ekadashi has been known since the ancient times. Lord Shri Krushna in the ‘Brahmavaivarta Purana’ stated the importance of this vrat to Yudhisthira, the eldest of Pandavas. This vrat was even performed by Raja Harishchandra, and as an outcome he got back his dead son and lost kingdom. This vrat thus motivates a person to choose a path of salvation and ultimately achieve freedom from the cycle of birth and death. The observer of the Aja Ekadashi vrat must keep control on his/her body, emotions, behaviour and food. The fast will purify the heart and soul.
It is mentioned in holy scriptures that when a person keeps the Aja Ekadashi vrat with full devotion, all his sins of the present life will be pardoned. His/her life will also be filled with happiness and prosperity, and after death they will be taken to Lord Vishnu’s dham, ‘Vaikunta’. It is also believed that by observing the Aja Ekadashi vrat, the person gets the same benefits as those by performing the ‘Ashwamegh Yagya’.