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Apara Ekadashi in 2013, Achala Ekadasi

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

The Apara Ekadashi fast plays a significant role in the life’s of Hindus and has a lot of religious importance too. Those who fast on this day also donate a pregnant cow, along with fertile land and gold, to the needy and poor people. As per the local legends, “In other words, Apara Ekadashi is an axe that cuts down the fully matured forest full of trees of sinful deeds. Therefore, Oh Yudhisthira, whoever truly fears his past and present sins must observe Apara Ekadashi 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.” The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Trivikrama is worshipped by the Hindus on the sacred day of Apara Ekadashi. It is strongly believed that one is promoted to the abode of Lord Vishnu after he or she is freed of all his or her sins. Apara Ekadashi falls on the month of Jyeshtha (May-June), during the dark fortnight (Krishna paksha).

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