🔑 A fast to uplift one from one’s sorrows, and place one on the path to progress and success! 

⚫ ShriHari Mandir (Porbandar) is celebrating Ajā Ekādaśī fast on Friday, 3rd September, 2021.

⚫ This fast is observed on the eleventh day of the second fortnight (Krṣṇa pakṣa) of the month of ‘Śrāvaṇa’ in the Gurjar region, and of the month of ‘Bhādrapada’ in the Northern part of India.

⚫ The unique significance of each Ekādaśī Kathā is explained to Dharmarāja Śrī Yudhiṣṭhira Māharāja by Śrī Krṣṇa, in the ‘Uttara Khaṇḍa’ of the Padma Purāṇa.

⚫ One who observes this Ajā Ekādaśī fast and engages in the ritual worship of Lord Viṣṇu, is rid of all their sins.

⚫ What is the story of Ajā Ekādaśī?

            ✸ In the ancient past, there was a famous King known by the name of ‘Hariścaṃdra’, whose rule was extensively spread over the entire world.

            ✸ King Hariścaṃdra had unwavering conviction in the Truth, such that he had taken a pledge to always speak the truth.

            ✸ One day, as part of receiving the fruit of one of his past actions, the virtuous King Hariścaṃdra had to leave to his Kingdom. Not only that, he also sold his wife and son, and ended up selling himself as well to a ‘Cāndāla’ (referring to a section of society which deals with the disposal of corpses, considered to be impure or unsanitary due to the nature of their work.)

            ✸ The King, although he was righteous, had to serve the Cāndāla. Thus, the Cāndāla accepted King Hariścaṃdra in the form of his servant and entrusted him with the service of working at his crematorium ground.

            ✸ King Hariścaṃdra was given the particular task of collecting tax from every family/family member who came to the crematorium to perform the funeral rites for the body of their fellow deceased one.

            ✸ Despite all that had unfolded, the most-excellent King did not falter from Truth. Therefore, many years passed as he continued to serve the Cāndāla, performing his duties at the crematorium.

            ✸ As the days passed, so was the King drowning more and more into the ocean of remorse. ‘What should I do?’, ‘Where should I go?’, ‘How can I be redeemed?’—were questions that tormented his restless mind, day in and day out. 

            ✸ One day, seeing the anxious King, a Sage—who was none other than Mahārṣi Gautama, himself—approached him. King Hariścaṃdra offered his humble obeisances to this most-excellent Mahārṣi, whose forehead was shining with the splendour of the Self-illuminated Reality. 

            ✸ Standing in front of the Mahārṣi with folded hands, King Hariścaṃdra poured out his ocean of sorrows to the Mahārṣi. 

            ✸ Having heard the King’s full story, Mahārṣi Gautama first praised him, expressing his pride and joy towards the King’s unalloyed loyalty to Truth. 

            ✸ Mahārṣi Gautama then told the King about this Ajā Ekādaśī fast, which is:

            1. Extremely auspicious;
            2. Meritorious;
            3. And sin-destroying 

            ✸ Thus, the Mahārṣi instructed the King to observe this fast, and stay awake during the night, worshipping Lord Viṣṇu. Having said these words, Mahārṣi Gautama fell into a deep contemplation.

            ✸ King Hariścaṃdra decided to observe Ajā Ekādaśī, and was eagerly waiting for the auspicious day to arrive.

            ✸ On the day of Ajā Ekādaśī, King Hariścaṃdra observed the fast with full dedication and stayed awake during the night.

            ✸ After having observed this Ajā Ekādaśī fast, the King was freed from all his sorrows. He was reunited with his wife, and blessed with life for his son. The deities rejoiced from the Heavens by blowing on trumpets and showering flowers from above.  

            ✸ It is due to the dedicated observance of this Ekādaśī fast, that allowed King Hariścaṃdra to attain and enjoy an unobstructed, clear rule over his outspread kingdom. 

            ✸ And at the end, the Truth-sworn King Hariścaṃdra, attained Heaven, alongside his ancestors and relatives.

⚫ Śrī Krṣṇa tells Yudhiṣṭhira Māharāja, ‘Whoever observes this fast, is freed from all their sins, and attains Heaven. To the extent that one who even reads of listens to the significance of this Ekādaśī Kathā, attains the fruit of one who performs an ‘Aśvamedha Yajña’.

🌐 Stay tuned to know more about the respective significance of, rituals involved in, and fruits reaped from, each Ekādaśī Kathā!

🔆 #DidYouKnow—‘Aśvamedha’ consists of two parts in Saṃskṛta;

            1) ’Aśva’ indicates a horse (which is a symbol of the Nation); 

            2) and ’medha’ indicates that which takes us forward. 

            Thus, an ‘Aśvamedha’ Yajña refers to that sacrifice or offering that propels forward, or contributes to the growth of, one’s Nation

To know more about an Aśvamedha Yajña, click here:

🔆 #DidYouKnow—“Self-control is the soul of good conduct. Fasts such as Ekādaśī, etc, are a practice in self-control. Life becomes melodious through self-control, and rhythmic through regular practices (nīyama). Harmony and a divine cosmic dance (Rāsa) manifest. Bliss, nectar, health and strength are its fruits,” tweets @PPBhaishri.

🌙 #FunFact—There are two Ekādaśīs in every month; falling on the eleventh day of every lunar fortnight. The Ekādaśī falling during the waxing phase of the moon (bright lunar fortnight) is known as ’Śukla pakṣa’ Ekādaśī; and the one falling during the waning phase of the moon (dark lunar fortnight) is known as ‘Krṣṇa pakṣa’ Ekādaśī.

#PuraanPrasaad by Rishi Dhavalbhai Joshi


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