Among the various Vedic festivals, Ekadashi holds a special place. It falls on the 11th day of both the waxing and waning phases of the moon, occurring twice a month. One of the most significant and spiritually meaningful Ekadashis is Parama Ekadashi, also known as Purushottam Kamala Ekadashi. This sacred day is believed to grant blessings and abundance for both spiritual and material life.
New York, USA
Ekadashi Tithi Begins – 07:36 PM on Aug 10, 2023
Ekadashi Tithi Ends – 09:01 PM on Aug 11, 2023
Ekadashi Tithi Begins – 12:36 AM on Aug 11, 2023
Ekadashi Tithi Ends – 02:01 AM on Aug 12, 2023
Ekadashi Tithi Begins – 05:06 AM on Aug 11, 2023
Ekadashi Tithi Ends – 06:31 AM on Aug 12, 2023
Note – Ekadashi starts when the Ekadashi Tithi prevails at Sunrise.
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The Significance of Parama Ekadashi:
Parama Ekadashi takes place during the Krishna Paksha (waning phase) of the Adhik month in the Hindu lunar calendar. It holds great spiritual importance as it is believed that Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the universe, showers special blessings and forgives the sins of devotees on this day.
Observing a fast on Parama Ekadashi is thought to cleanse one’s sins and lead to liberation from the cycle of birth and death, known as Moksha. It also destroys all sorrows and poverty and bestows financial abundance.
The term “Parama” signifies supreme or highest, indicating the profound nature of this Ekadashi.
Parama Ekadashi Rituals:
- Early Morning Rituals: On the day of Parama Ekadashi, devotees begin their day with an early morning bath, which is considered purifying for both the body and mind. Following the bath, they offer prayers to Lord Vishnu, expressing their devotion and seeking his divine grace.
- Group Chanting: One of the prominent devotional practices on Parama Ekadashi is the collective chanting of Vishnu Sahasranama, the thousand names of Lord Vishnu. This act of chanting invokes blessings, protection, and spiritual upliftment.
- Fasting: The hallmark of Parama Ekadashi is the strict observance of fasting. Devotees abstain from consuming grains, pulses, and cereals throughout the day. Instead, they partake in a sattvic (pure) diet comprising fruits, milk, nuts, and other vegetarian offerings. The fast continues from sunrise on Ekadashi until sunrise on Dwadashi, lasting for 24 hours.
- Offerings to Lord Vishnu: Devotees show their love and devotion to Lord Vishnu by offering Tulsi leaves, flowers, a lit lamp (diya), incense, and sweets. These offerings are symbolic gestures of gratitude and devotion towards the divine.
- Charitable Acts: On Parama Ekadashi, performing acts of charity holds great significance. Devotees are encouraged to donate clothes, food, or other essential items to those in need. This selfless act of giving reflects the spirit of compassion and empathy.
- Reading Vishnu Purana: Reading a few chapters of the Vishnu Purana, an ancient scripture that narrates the glories of Lord Vishnu, is considered auspicious on this day. It deepens one’s understanding of the divine and enhances the spiritual connection with Lord Vishnu.
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Spiritual Essence of Parama Ekadashi:
The fast observed on Parama Ekadashi goes beyond just abstaining from food. It symbolizes self-control, detachment, and surrender to the divine will.
Parama Ekadashi emphasizes seeking forgiveness and reconciliation. It is a time to let go of grudges, negative emotions, and ego-driven conflicts. Devotees reflect on their actions and seek the benevolence of Lord Vishnu to absolve them of any wrongdoing.
Jai Guru Dev!