Parana means breaking the fast. Ekadashi Parana is done after sunrise on next day of Ekadashi fast. It is necessary to do Parana within Dwadashi Tithi unless Dwadashi is over before sunrise. Not doing Parana within Dwadashi is similar to an offence.

Apara Ekadashi is a fasting day for Hindus that is observed on the ‘ekadashi’ (11th day) of the Krishna Paksha (the dark fortnight of moon) in the Hindu month of ‘Jyeshtha’. It corresponds to the months of May-June in the Gregorian calendar. It is believed that by observing Apara Ekadashi vrat all the sins of the person will be washed away. This ekadashi is also popular by the name of ‘Achla Ekadashi’ and gives divine and auspicious results. Like all ekadashis, the Apara Ekadashi is also dedicated to worshipping Lord Vishnu.

The word ‘apar’ in Hindi implies ‘limitless’, as by observing this vrat the person is believed to get unlimited wealth, this ekadashi is called as ‘Apara Ekadashi’. Another meaning of this ekadashi is that it gives unlimited benefits to its observer. The significance of Apara Ekadashi is stated in the ‘Brahma Purana’. Apara Ekadashi is observed with full commitment all across the country. It is known by the different names in varied regions of India. In the state of Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir and Haryana, Apara Ekadashi is celebrated as ‘Bhadrakali Ekadashi’ and worshipping Goddess Bhadra Kali is considered propitious on this day. In Orissa it is referred as ‘Jalakrida Ekadashi’ and is celebrated in honour of Lord Jagannath.

Apara Ekadashi festival dates between 2017 & 2024

2017 Monday, 22nd of May
2018 Friday, 11th of May
2019 Thursday, 30th of May
2020 Monday, 18th of May
2021 Sunday, 6th of June
2022 Thursday, 26th of May
2023 Monday, 15th of May
2024 Sunday, 2nd of June

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Rituals of Apara Ekadashi:
  • The observer of Apara Ekadashi needs to take special care of the puja. All the rituals must be performed with complete devotion and dedication. The observer of this vrat should get up before sunrise and take bath. The devotees then offer Tulsi leaves, flowers, dhoop and lamp to Lord Vishnu. Sweets are prepared for this occasion and offered to the lord. The devotees also recite the Apara Ekadashi vrat katha or story. ‘Aarti’ is then performed and the ‘Prasad’ is distributed among other devotees. The devotees also visit temples of Lord Vishnu, in the evening.
  • The fast of this ekadashi begins on the ‘dashami’ (10th day). The person eats only one meal on this day so that the stomach remains empty on the day of ekadashi. Some of the devotees keep strict fast and spend the day without eating or drinking anything. Partial vrat can also be kept for those who are unfit to observe strict fast. They can then eat ‘falahar’ all day. The fast starts from sunrise and ends on the sunrise of the ‘dwadashi’ (12th day). On the day of Apara Ekadashi eating of all kinds of grains and rice is prohibited for all. Applying oil on body is also not allowed.
  • The fast of this ekadashi does not mean only to control the eating but one should also keep the mind free from all negative thoughts. The observer of this vrat should not tell lies or speak badly about others. Their mind should only have thoughts about Lord Vishnu. Reciting ‘Vishnu Sahastranam’ on this day is considered to be auspicious. The observer of the Apara Ekadashi vrat must be engaged in bhajans and kirtans in praise of Lord Vishnu.
Significance of Apara Ekadashi:
The greatness of Apara Ekadashi was foretold by Lord Krishna himself to King Yudhisitira, the eldest son of King Pandu. Lord Krishna also stated that a person keeping this ekadashi vrat will be very renowned due to their meritious deeds. It is believed that the Apara Ekadashi vrat is highly beneficial for persons who are suffering from guilt of their committed sins. By observing a strict fast and worshipping Lord Vishnu with devotion, all his/her sins will be pardoned. One can even attain moksha by keeping the Apara Ekadashi fast. This ekadashi vrat will make a person prosperous and rich. It is also stated in the Hindu scriptures and puranas that by keeping this sacred fast the person gets the same benefits as taking a bath in the holy Ganges during the auspicious month of ‘Kartik’. The importance is equivalent to donating cows or performing sacred yagyas. The Apara Ekadashi fast is a ray of light that can remove the darkness of one’s sins.

By: +Prof: Koti Madhav Balu Chowdary 

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