Amalaki Ekadashi - Observance and Significance
What is Amalaki Ekadashi?
Amalaki Ekadashi is regarded as one of the most pious and vital Ekadashi among all the 24 Ekadashis that take place in a year. The term Amalaki represents the Indian gooseberry. As per the mythology, it is believed that Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu reside in the tree of gooseberry. Thus, the tree is regarded as highly auspicious. People offer prayers and worship the tree on the eve of Amalaki Ekadashi.
When is Amalaki Ekadashi?
As per the Hindu calendar, Amalaki Ekadashi falls in the month of Phalguna during the Shukla Paksha on the eleventh day. As per the Gregorian calendar, the day falls either in the month of March or February. The festival of Amalaki Ekadashi takes place between Holi and Maha Shivratri.
What Is The Significance Of Amalaki Ekadashi?
- Amalaki Ekadashi is one of the most sacred and auspicious days for fasting. As per the belief, people who fast on the eve of Ekadashi then they are likely to reach to Lord Vishnu’s abode i.e. ‘Vaikunth’.
- The significance of observing a fast on this day is mentioned in the Brahmanda Purana as well as the same was also recited by Saint Valmiki.
- By observing a fast of Amalaki Ekadashi people get rid of their past and present sins and also attain the path of salvation after their death.
- People also worship the Amalaki tree in order to get bestowed with good health and abundance.
What Are The Rituals Of Amalaki Ekadashi?
- On the pious day of Amalaki Ekadashi, devotees wake up early morning and take a bath and then perform the various morning rituals.
- After that, the devotees worship and offer prayers to Lord Vishnu and the sacred tree of Amalaki.
- By taking some sesame seeds and a coin in the palm, a Sankalp is observed by the devotees in order to achieve salvation (moksha) after death.
- After offering prayers to the idol of the deity, devotees worship the tree by offering incense stick, flowers, rice, roli, sandalwood and water to the tree.
- After this, donations are made to the Brahmins comprising food, clothes, money and other essential things.
- On the eve of Amalaki Ekadashi, devotees also observe a fast dedicated to Lord Vishnu. In the fast, they can only consume the food which is made from Amla. In the milder form, a partial fast can also be observed by refraining oneself from consuming food made up of rice or grain.
- The vrat is concluded after listening to the Amalaki Ekadashi Vrat Katha.
- The devotees also perform bhajan and recite various mantras and songs by staying awake all through the night in order to please Lord Vishnu.
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What Is The Amalaki Ekadashi Vrat Katha (story)?
As per the legend, the story of Amalaki Ekadashi Vrat narrates the importance of observing the fast of Amalaki Ekadashi. As the legend has it, there was a king named Chitrasena who was a firm devotee of Lord Vishnu. He used to observe the fast of Amalaki Ekadashi and thus gained the divine blessings of the deity. Once he went for hunting with his soldiers and there he got caught up by the tribal men. They attacked the king and the soldiers and imprisoned him.
As per their ritual, they decided to give bali (sacrifice) of King’s life to please their deity. At that time, the King lost his conscious and fell down. Suddenly a ray of light appeared from his body and killed all the tribal men. When the king attained consciousness, a divine voice told him that he was saved because of the merits and benefits of observing the fast of Amalaki Ekadashi with full devotion.
Also See: What is The Importance of Amla Navami?