Glories of Apara Ekadasi - ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry

Glories of Apara Ekadasi

Apara Ekadasi ( Ekadasi)

Date of fasting (Mayapur): 26/05/2022

Breaking fast on 27/05/2022 | 04:50 (sunrise) – 09:19 (1/3 of daylight) LT

‘Oh Bharata, for the benefit of all humanity I have thus described to you the importance of the holy Apara Ekadasi.

Anyone who hears or reads this description is certainly freed from all kinds of sins, oh best of saintly kings, Yudhishthira.’

Hare Krsna.

‘Apara’ translates as a ‘having nothing beyond or after’, so this means that Apara Ekadasi is an incomparable one! Learn interesting facts and a story about it below.

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Sri Yudhishthira Maharaj said, ‘Oh Janardana, what is the name of the Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight (Krsna 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 Sri Krsna 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 as killing a brahmana, a cow, or an embryo; blasphemy; or having sex 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 bears 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.

Warriors who fall from their ksatriya-dharma and flee the battlefield go to a ferocious hell. But, Oh Yudhishthira, even such a fallen ksatriya, if he observes fasting on the Apara Ekadasi, is freed of that great sinful reaction and goes to heaven.

That disciple is the greatest sinner who, after receiving a proper spiritual education from his spiritual master, turns around and blasphemes him. Such a so-called disciple suffers unlimitedly. But even he, rascal though he be, if he simply observes Apara Ekadasi, can attain the spiritual world.

Listen, Oh king, as I describe to you further glories of this amazing Ekadasi.

The merit attained by one who performs all of the following acts of piety is equal to the merit achieved by one who observes Apara Ekadasi:

bathing three times daily in Pushkara-kshetra during Kartika (October-November); bathing at Prayag in the month of Magh (January-February) when the sun is in the zodiac of Capricorn; rendering service to Lord Shiva at Varanasi (Benares) during Shiva-ratri; offering oblations to one’s forefathers at Gaya; bathing in the sacred Gautami River when Jupiter transits Leo (Simha); having darshan of Lord Shiva at Kedarnatha; seeing Lord Badrinath when the Sun transits the sign of Aquarius (Kumbha); and bathing at the time of a solar eclipse at Kurukshetra and giving cows, elephants, and gold there in charity.

All the merit one gets from performing these pious acts is gained by a person who observes the Apara Ekadasi fast.

Also, the merit attained by one who donates a pregnant cow, along with gold and fertile land, is attained by one who fasts on this day.

In other words, Apara Ekadasi is an axe that cuts down the fully matured forest full of trees of sinful deeds, it is a forest fire that burns sins as if they were kindling firewood, it is the sun blazing before one’s dark misdeeds, and it is a lion stalking the meek deer of impiety.

“Once, a King called Mahidwaj who was quite holy and practiced a pious life was killed by his own youngest son, Vahra Dhwaj.

Vajra Dhwaj murdered Mahidwaj and buried him under a peepal tree. Mahidwaj, however, was still unable to accomplish redemption due to his unfortunate and imminent demise, and as a result, he remained like a ghost on that tree, haunting everyone who walked by something like this.

For quite some time, a philosopher was driving down the street and felt the presence of a ghost. Through his supernatural abilities, he was able to learn just about everything there is to understand concerning Mahidwaj and the cause of his illness. He summoned Mahidwaj’s consciousness and proclaimed his way to paradise.

The philosopher followed the Apara Ekadashi Vrat as well as transferred all teachings to Mahidwaj as a way to encourage the soul in attaining rebirth. Mahidwaj’s soul was freed which achieved immortality as a result of the fasting and the grace of the Lord.”:

Therefore, Oh Yudhishthira, whoever truly fears his past and present sins must observe Apara Ekadasi very strictly.

One who does not observe this fast must be born again in the material world, like one bubble among millions in a huge body of water, or like a small ant among all other species.

Therefore one must faithfully observe the sacred Apara Ekadasi and worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Trivikrama.

One who does so is freed of all his sins and promoted to the abode of Lord Vishnu.

Oh Bharata, for the benefit of all humanity I have thus described to you the importance of the holy Apara Ekadasi.

Anyone who hears or reads this description is certainly freed from all kinds of sins, oh best of saintly kings, Yudhishthira.’

 Thus ends the narration of the glories of Jyeshtha-sukla Ekadasi, or Apara Ekadasi,  from the sacred ‘Brahmanda Purana’.

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