Aja Ekadashi, also known as Annada Ekadashi is a fast observed on the eleventh day during the dark fortnight in the month of Bhadrapada (August-September), according to the Hindu calendar. On this day people worship VishnuVishnu
Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,.. and his consort LakshmiLakshmi
Lakshmi is a Hindu goddess who is regarded as the ultimate deity of wealth... to get rid of ill effects on their lives and gain apology for all the sins they have committed in the past. People also attain a balanced life as it purifies heart and soul.
Observing the fast is considered more auspicious than visiting various pilgrimages. In long run, this fast is very beneficial in gaining salvation. Devotees feel a strong bond with Vishnu and cherish their closeness with the Lord.
The importance of this fast was told to Yudhisthira by KrishnaKrishna
It is described that there are three aspects of the Supreme that must....
There was a king named Harishchandra who was known for his truthfulness and honesty. Even in the times of difficulty, he never took the support of lies and dishonest ways. Two sages named VashistaVashista
Saptarishis or the Seven Sages were the mind born sons of Brahma... and Vishwamitra were observing the king’s behavior for a very long time. The former was impressed with his rightful acts but the latter was not convinced of his sincerity. Vishwamitra wanted to test the king to prove that like every regular human being, the king will also lie in the times of need.
The king was forced to give up his kingdom and his family. He was left all alone and that too without money and the comforts of his kingdom. He lived a simple life. Though he was upset of losing everything he has ever gained, he still never lied. Years passed by but he led his life with proper code of conduct and upholding truth.
One day, the king met Sage Gautama He was one of the seven great sages who were the mind-born sons of Brahma. He was the discoverer of various mantras. He was married to a mind-daughter of Brahma named Ahalya.and he told him his story and how unhappy he was. Gautama wanted to help the king and thus gave him a piece of advice. He asked him to observe the fast of Aja Ekadashi which will help him regain everything he has lost and will free him of all his previous sins. The king did as he was told and observed the fast with utmost dedication.
Vishwamitra was amazed to see his dedication and thus accepted his own defeat. He returned the kingdom and the family to the king and restored his glory. Such powerful was the fast that the king also got back his dead son who came alive after observing the fast.
King ruled his kingdom for many more years and finally when he died he attained salvation. He went to Vishnu’s abode and was free from all the clutches of life and death.
People get up early in the morning and take bath. They then clean the place of worship and spread some rice. They place an earthen pot on it and cover it with a red cloth. People meditate on the pot and worship it. A small idol of Vishnu is placed on it and people chant various mantras dedicated to him. Songs and hymns are also sung. Devotees visit temples to pay their offerings to Vishnu like flowers, incense sticks and fruits. The above mentioned story is also narrated to the devotees in the temple so as to make them understand the importance of the fast.
Consumption of rice, grains and beans is strictly prohibited. Honey is also to be avoided. Sleep on the floor while fasting and think about only good acts and thoughts. Meditate and do not let evils like jealousy, anger, lust etc., affect you in any manner.