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Aja Ekadashi comes on the day of Shravana Krishna Paksha means it comes on the 26th day of Shravana Month. Aja Ekadshi comes exactly after Shravan Poornima. In some parts of India it is celebrated In Bhado month. This Ekadashi has the story of King Harishchandra who was famous for his truthfulness. He was the person of SATYA i.e. TRUTH. In his whole life, he had never uttered a single wrong word.
Aja Ekadashi is done for Lord Vishnu. The person who fasts on this day get blessings from both Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. This Ekadashi is also known by the name of Annada Ekadashi.
When Dharmaraja Yudhishthir asks to Lord Krishna about Aja Ekadashi. He explained the story of King Harishchandra. It is said that King Harishchandra was known for his honesty and truthfulness. One day, Gods decided to test King Harishchandra. The King saw in his dream that he has donated his kingdom to Rishi Vishwamitra.
When the next day, King Harishchandra handed over all his kingdom to Vishwamitra, Rishi Vishwamitra also asked King Harishchandra to gave him 500 gold coins as donation. He told Rishi Vishwamitra that he could ask him for more than just 500 gold coins. On this discussion, Rishi Vishwamitra laughed and reminded him that he has already donated his treasury along with his kingdom, so donation once made cannot be donated again.
Then, the King sold his wife and son to obtain gold coins, but it wasn’t enough, so he sold himself as well and donated all gold coins to Vishwamitra. The person to whom he sold himself was the Chandala of a Crematorium. He assigned his task of collecting taxes for cremation to King Harishchandra.
When many years passed in this way, he was feeling very sad at such type of responsibility and karma. He was started looking for ways to get rid of it. He always started worrying about what should I do? How can I get rid of this evil act? Once upon a time, he was in same tension with the same concern. That time Gautam Rishi reached him. Harishchandra bowed him down and started narrating his sad story.
One day, King Harishchandra fasted for Ekadashi. It was midnight and he was guarding the entrance of Crematorium. The night was completely dark when a crying helpless woman carrying dead body of her son, Rohitashva came there. She was King Harishchandra’s wife, Taramati and son Rohitashwa was King Harishchandra’s own son.
Although by following his duty, King Harishchandra demanded tax from his wife Taramati for cremating their son Rohitashwa. As she had not the money to pay tax, she tore down a piece of her saree and gave it to the King Harishchandra. At the same time the God appeared and blessed, “Dear KIng Harishchandra! You have established the best example of following truth and honesty in life. Your commitment is noble and you will always be remembered.” At that time, the King’s son Rohitash came back to life. With God’s permission, Vishwamitra also returned Harishchandra’s kingdom to him.
When many years passed in this way, he felt very sad at this lowly deed and started looking for ways to get rid of it. He always started worrying about what should I do? How can I get rid of this evil act? Once upon a time, he was seated with the same concern that Gautam Rishi reached him. Harishchandra saluted him and started narrating his sad story.
Hearing the sad story of King Harishchandra, Maharishi Gautama was also very sad and he said to the king: Dear King, The name of Ekadashi of Krishna Paksha of Shravan/Bhadon month is Aja. You should fast on that Ekadashi and awaken at night. This will destroy all your sins. Maharishi Gautam became aloof by saying so.
On the day of Ekadashi named Aja, King Harishchandra performed a fast and nightly awakening according to Maharishi's instructions. All the sins of the king were destroyed by the effect of this fast. At that time, the drums began to ring in heaven and flowers started to rain. He found Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh and so many Gods standing in front of him. He saw his deceased son, Rohitashwa alive and his wife, Taramati full of royal clothes i.e. robes and heavy jewellery.
The king regained his kingdom with the effect of fasting. In fact, a sage had done all this to test the king, but with the effect of fasting of Aja Ekadashi, all the illusion created by the sage ended and in the end Harishchandra went to heaven with his family.
The devotee who keeps fasting on Aja Ekadashi, must donate grains to the needy people or Brahmin on Dwadashi. One must perform fasting with devotion. On Ekadashi day, only falahar is done. No grains can be taken. ‘OM NAMO BHAGAWATE VASUDEVAY’ must be chanted. This year Aja Ekadashi is on 15th August, 2020, Saturday i.e. on Indian Independence Day.
HAPPY AJA EKADASHI! HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!
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