Papankusha Ekadashi is one of the most auspicious observances amongst the Hindus, mostly amongst the Vaishnava devotees.
It is observed on the ekadashi of the shukla paksha of the Ashwin month as per traditional Hindu calendar. According to the Gregorian calendar this is observed on the waxing phase of the moon of the month of October.
This is a vrat which is dedicated to Lord Padmanava , who is a an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that the result of observing this vrat is equivalent to the observance and performance of 100 Surya Yajna or 1000 AShwamedha Yajna. In 2019, the Papankusha Ekadashi will be observed on the October 9th, Wednesday.
The story of Papankusha Ekadashi
Long ago there lived a very cruel hunter in the name of Krodhana in the Vindhyachala Mountain area. He was an extremely wicked man, involved and engaged in all sorts of cruel deeds throughout his life. He was so wicked that finally Yamraj, the Lord of Death asked his messengers to fetch him. Krodhana afraid to die and face the Yamraj, sought the great sage Angira’s help. Angira Muni advised Krodhana to observe the Papankusha Ekadashi on the shukla paksha of the Ashwin month and to pray to Lord Padmanava to forgive him for all his sins. Krodhana, thus observed the Papankusha Ekadashi with great devotion and his soul reached heaven upon death and he attained salvation.
Rituals of Papankusha Ekadashi
- The Hindu and Vaishnava devotee keep a strict fasting on this auspicious day, some devotees also observe a maun vrat or silence on this day.
- The devotees wake early, have a ritual cleansing bath and the fasting begins of the dashami. On dashami devotees can have food and satvik ahar only once. The fasting continues till the end of the time of Ekadashi.
- Food consumed in the night of Dashami should not constitute salt at all.
- The devotees should also not consume wheat, moong, gram, rice and masoor, urad dal etc
- The devotees should offer food or dana or charity to a Brahmin before breaking fast.
- The devotee cannot fall asleep at any time during the day or night. Chanting Vishnu Sahasranam is also advised along with other Vishnu mantras.
- On the day of the Papankusha Ekadashi Lord Vishnu is prayed in the form where he is seated on the Garuda. The Lord is worshipped as per the Archana Vidhi.
- Lord Padmanava is worshipped with betel leaves, diyas or lamps, incense and flowers. An aarti is performed after the puja is over.
- Doing charity is greatly encouraged on the auspicious occasion of the Papankusha Ekadashi. It is believed that due to reasons, if a devotee cannot observe a fast charity of food, clothes other things can cause the same effect of fasting. Some devotees organize Brahman Bhoj on this day.
Significance of the Papankusha Ekadashi
The Papankusha Ekadashi holds great significance for the Hindus and more so for the Vaishnavites. It is believed that the fasting pleases Lord Padmanava or Lord Krishna and his consort Smt Radharani. Devotees believe that Radharani will bless all the devotees. The significance and the glorious observance is mentioned in the Brahma Vaivarta Purana and is a conversation between King Yudhisthira and Lord Sri Krishna.
It is believed that people who donate things such as sesame seeds, land, gold, cows, grains, drinking water or an umbrella on this auspicious day will never have to worry about going to Hell.