Apara Ekadashi falls on eleventh day during the Krishna Paksh in the month of Jyeshtha. Also known as Achala Ekadashi in some places, it is celebrated as Bhadrakali Ekadashi or Bhadrakali Jayanti in some states including Punjab, Haryana and Jammu & Kashmir. In Odisha, this Ekadashi is known as Jalakrida Ekadashi and Lord Jagannath is worshiped. However, Lord Vishnu is worshiped on every Ekadashi. This year, Apara Ekadashi is on Friday, May 11, 2018.
Apara Ekadashi, as the word 'apara' itself signifies, is believed to give limitless wealth.
Timings For Apara Ekadashi
Sunrise: May 11, 5:51 am
Sunset: May 11, 6:55 pm
Ekadashi Tithi begins at 23: 28 pm, on May 10, 2018 and ends at 23:41 pm, on May 11, 2018
The devotees must wake up early during the Brahma Muhurta and clean the house first. The bath too, has to be taken in the Brahma Muhurta only. Brahma Muhurta is the time before complete sunrise. The devotees then should clean the Puja room and the place of worship. Sprinkle some drops of Gangajal, to purify the place and the environment. It is followed by offering the puja items and the prasad to the deity.
Worship Lord Vishnu with basil/tulsi leaves, dhoop, deep and akshat. Use yellow sandalwood and panchamrit too. After this the Vrat Katha and Vishnu Sahastranaam Stotra is narrated. This is followed by the recitation of the Aarti. Later, the prasad is distributed among the devotees. Offering yellow cloth to Lord Vishnu is considered highly auspicious. The devotees can also wear yellow clothes.
The fast begins on Dashmi tithi and ends on the morning of the Dwadashi tithi. The observer of the fast has to eat nothing the whole day. The breaking of the fast, that is the Parana is done the next day after sunrise. Some people also observe the fast by eating fruits once a day. Many avoid drinks too for the whole day. It is believed that no one should eat grains especially rice on the day of Ekadashi. No fast is considered complete without making some donations. Therefore, one must donate items of use among the poor and needy. Doing this on Ekadashi is considered highly beneficial. Devotees keep a whole night vigil and sing songs and prayers. Applying oil on the body is prohibited on an Ekadashi, according to Hindu scriptures.
It is believed in Hinduism that those who observe a fast on this Ekadashi are blessed with health and wealth. It is believed that the Ekadashi fast ensures salvation for a devotee. People also observe this day to wash away all their sins and past mistakes. If a devotee worships Lord Vishnu with utter devotion on this day, God accepts all his prayers and fulfills his wishes soon. Fasting on this day is considered equivalent to performing sacred yagnas and donating cows, in Hinduism. The devotees get the same benefits as they get on taking sacred baths in the holy rivers.
This day is also observed as Bhadrakali Jayanti. Goddess Bhadrakali is one of the ten Mahadevis. It is believed that she had emerged from the ferocious face of Lord Shiva. She is depicted with three eyes, four, twelve or eighteen hands and with flames blowing from her head.
She was born to kill a demon who was granted a boon by Lord Brahma, that he would not be killed by a human form. Therefore this Goddess took the form of Shakti and brought an end to the atrocities that the demon had been causing to all the life forms on the earth.