Obeying the Apara Ekadashi fast means enhancing the activities related to devotion and its excitement.
- Chanting of holy name
- Association of devotees
- Darshan of Sri Vighra
To completely participate in mentioned activities and the work that takes us away from Krishna, like sleeping more than needed and doing useless talks, we should leave these activities.
By obeying Ekadasi like this, we can be attributable to the grace of Sri Krishna.
In Chaitnya charitamrit, there is a very beautiful incident where Sachi Mata said to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu that “O! My dear son, ask for anything from me!” then Mahaprabhu said, “mother! I want from you is the promise that you will never eat ann on Ekadasi” then Sachi Mata said that “o! Dear son, you told very beautifully, I give this promise from today that I will not eat ann on Ekadasi”, and from that day Sachi Mata started to obey the fast on Ekadasi.
Today we will discuss the Ekadasi, which paksha comes in Krishna Jyeshta month.
Once, Yudhisthir Maharaj went near Sri Krishna and said, “O! Janardan, what is the name of that Ekadasi which comes in KrishnaPaksha of Jyestha month? What are the advantages of obeying the fast of this Ekadasi? Please! Tell me descriptively about this Ekadasi!
Significance of Apara Ekadasi by Lord Krishna
After hearing the questions of Yudhisthir Maharaj, Sri Krishna said, “O! King, whatever you have asked from me, the whole world will be blessed from it. The very auspicious Ekadasi is the one who bestows blessings. I’m telling you about this, attentively listen to it. This Ekadasi is very commendable, and the name of this Ekadasi is Apara Ekadasi. The person who obeys the fast of this Ekadasi becomes popular in the whole universe. Even the most heinous sins are committed, like killing a brahman, killing cows, killing a child in the womb, criticising someone, and having a relationship with someone’s wife. These heinous sins also get finished by the fast of this Ekadasi. King! The person who gives a false testimony is the greatest sinner, and I’m telling you about many more types of sinners.
- If someone falsely glorifies someone or glorifies in a ridiculing way
- If a person is dishonest while weighing on a scale
- If someone doesn’t obey perfectly his Ashram or Varn
- If someone makes his scripture
- If someone cheats on others
- If someone foretells a false future about someone
- If someone voluntary commits mistakes in accounts
- If someone tells a lie in the name of the doctor
These sinner people are equivalent to sinners who present false testimony. The person who strictly and with devotion obeys the fast of this Apara Ekadasi gets all their sins destroyed. If a warrior leaves the battlefield and runs away, he has sinned and becomes Narakgaami. But if he obeys this Ekadasi’s fast, he gets a place in heaven. After taking spiritual knowledge from the spiritual master, if a disciple criticises him, then in the world there is no sinful person equivalent to him but also if this sinful person obeys the fast of Apara Ekadasi, then only by doing this; does he becomes eligible to go in spiritual worlds. I am telling you about the more wonderful glories of this Ekadashi.
Carefully narrate this story. The person who observes Apara Ekadashi does so much virtue. He receives so much benefit that if many virtues are added to this world, then that much virtue cannot be made as much as one person can earn as like to bath three times in Kartik month, to take a bath in Prayagraj in winter, to take a bath at the time of sun eclipse in Kurukshetra and also to donate elephants, cows, gold etc., to have darshan in Kedarnath and Badrinath like pilgrimage sites. If these devotional works are gathered, then more than the result of these devotional works a person gets who observe the fast of Apara Ekadasi; along with this, if a person donates a pregnant cow, gold, silver, etc., or donates any fertile land. All the benefits accrue to the person who observes this Ekadashi fast.
Just as an axe can destroy the entire forest, the entire forest of sins can be destroyed with an axe called Apara Ekadashi. Just as a fire breaks out in the forest, it can destroy the entire forest. Similarly, Apara Ekadashi can destroy the whole forest with such a fire. It is the honour that can destroy the whole forest of sins, just as when the sun rises, all darkness of sins disappears. Similarly, with the rise of this Apara Ekadashi, all darkness of sins disappears like a lion’s roar.
In the same way, all sins run away by observing Apara Ekadashi. Whoever is afraid of the sins of his previous birth and this birth should follow the Ekadashi with strength and devotion, followed by this Ekadashi. The person who does not follow it will be born again in this world, in the same way as many bubbles arise inside a sea. Similarly, he will be born as bubble-like many bubbles in this world, but the person who observes this Ekadashi he will never be born again.
Story of Apara Ekadasi
In ancient times, there was a king named Mahidwaj. He was a virtuous & philanthropic king. However, the younger brother of this king was a very cruel and sinful person. He was so sinful and cruel that his religious brother was jealous and hated him, too; what did he do one day? He killed his brother and buried him under the people tree, now because when he was killed, it became a ghost who used to stay on that tree.
Once upon a time, a rishi daumya was leaving this place, and he felt his phantom, and he was able to see this phantom. He could understand with the power of his devotion that for what reason it has to become a phantom then some sages are devotees, they have self-compassion towards living beings, so what did this daumya rishi follow Apara Ekadashi for that person, daumya rishi gave the credit of observing Ekadashi to this phantom.
For this reason, a Pushpak Vimana came and took that king who was in the yuni of phantom and took him to heaven by sitting on that pushpak vimana and for the welfare of the world I have narrated to you the glory of this Ekadashi. All the sins he has done till today are over, and he becomes a rightful person to come to my abode, so we all should take advantage of this Ekadashi.
So, this Aparo Ekadasi is so glorious. Anyone who observes the fast of this Aparo Ekadasi with devotion, his all heinous sins will be destroyed. As Ekadasi means, “fasting for body and feasting for the soul”. So, on the day of Ekadasi, we should increase the activities which are favourable in devotion as like:
- Association of devotees
- Darshan of Supreme lord
- Chanting of Holy name
- Doing Kirtan
- Reading scriptures
And on the day of Ekadasi, we should decrease and stop the activities which are unfavourable in devotion as like:
- Making useless talks
- Association of material things
- More sleeping
So, on the day of Apara Ekadasi, we should observe fast with devotion to please Krishna.