The Papamochani Ekadashi falls on the ‘ekadashi’ (11th day) of the Krishna Paksha (the waning phase of moon) in the month of ‘Chaitra’ as per the North Indian calendar. However, in the South Indian calendar, this ekadashi is observed in the Hindu month of ‘Phalgun’. In the English calendar this corresponds to the months of March to April. Papamochani Ekadashi is the last ekadashi observance of the 24 ekadashis in the Hindu calendar. It falls between the celebrations of Holika Dahan and Chaitra Navratri. When Papamochani Ekadashi falls on a Thursday, it holds special significance and is known as ‘Guruvar Ekadashi’.
The word ‘papa’ in Hindu means ‘misdeeds’ or ‘sins’ and ‘mochan’ signifies ‘to release’ and hence this ekadashi gives freedom from all the committed sins. Besides this ekadashi observance also motivates a person to abstain from committing sins. Devotees, therefore, believe it highly auspicious to observe a fast on Papamochani Ekadashi.
Papamochani Ekadashi 2022 is on March 28.
Rituals during Papamochani Ekadashi
- Devotees wake up at sunrise on ekadashi and take a holy bath with Kush and sesame seeds. Most of the Vishnu followers keep a fast on this day to be blessed with their deity’s eternal mercy.
- Fasting on Papamochani Ekadashi is considered to be very auspicious. It is best to observe fast without eating anything or just drinking water. However as this is not possible for everyone, fasting can also be observed by eating non-grain foods, milk, nuts, and fruits. The fast is broken the next day after offering prayers to Lord Vishnu.
- Even for those who are not fasting, eating pulses, rice, and non-vegetarian food is strictly forbidden on Ekadashi. One must read ‘Sri Vishnu Sahasranama’ on Papamochani Ekadashi.
- On this day, Lord Vishnu is worshipped by devotees with full dedication. The devotees offer Tulsi leaves (plucked a day before), flowers, fruits, lamp, and incense sticks to Lord Vishnu. Besides offering mogra or jasmine flowers is also believed to be highly meritorious. If possible, the observer of this vrat must also visit the temples of Lord Vishnu in the evening. Special programs are organized in the temples like reciting important chapters of the sacred Bhagavad Gita.
Significance of Papamochani Ekadashi
The importance of Papamochani Ekadashi is illustrated in the ‘Bhavishyottara Purana’ and ‘Harivasara’. It was first narrated to King Mandhata by Sage Lomasa and then by Lord Krishna to King Yudhisthira, the eldest of Pandavas. It is believed that Papamochani Ekadashi destroys all the sins and also frees the observer from the guilt. By observing this ekadashi with full devotion, the person will never be influenced by demons or ghosts. Observing Papamochani Ekadashi is more meritorious than visiting Hindu pilgrimage places or even donating one thousand cows. The observer of this propitious vrat enjoys all the worldly pleasures and ultimately finds a place in the heavenly kingdom of Lord Vishnu, the ‘Vaikunth’. The main purpose of keeping the Papamochani vrat is to control one’s body demands and spend ample time chanting, listening, and reciting Vedic mantras dedicated to Lord Vishnu.