Papankusha Ekadashi is a Hindu fasting day that falls on the ekadashi tithi (11th day) of the Shukla Paksha (the waxing phase of moon) during the lunar month of Ashwin in the Hindu calendar. For this reason this ekadashi is also referred as Ashwina-Shukla Ekadashi. In the Gregorian calendar, it is observed between the months of September-October.
The Papankusha Ekadashi is dedicated to Lord Padmanabha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. On this day devotees worship Lord Padmanabha with total dedication and zeal. By keeping the Papankusha Ekadashi vrat, the observer will be bestowed with the blessings of Lord Padmanabha and will enjoy all the luxuries of this world.
Papankusha Ekadashi 2020 is on October 27, Tuesday
Papankusha Ekadashi is considered to be one of the significant ekadashis as the person who keeps a fast on this day is bestowed with good health, wealth and all other worldly desires. It is also believed that without observing the Papankusha Ekadashi vrat, an individual can never be liberated from the sins and their evil action keeps chasing them throughout their life. The merits of this revered vrat are equivalent to performing 100 Surya Yagya or 1000 Ashwamedha Yagya.
Rituals during Papankusha Ekadashi
Hindu devotees observe a strict fast or silence vow on the Papankusha day. The observer of this fast must get up early and wear clean clothes after taking a bath. The fasting ritual of Papankusha Ekadashi starts on the 10th day, ‘Dashami’. On this day a single ‘saatvik’ meal is taken before sunset and the fast continues till the end of ekadashi. While observing the vrat, the devotees must not speak lies or conduct any sinful acts or deeds. The Papankusha Ekadashi vrat ends on the ‘dwadashi’ (12th day). The devotees must offer food and some form of donations to a Brahmin before breaking the fast.
The observer of this fast should not sleep at all during the day and night. They spend their time reciting and singing Vedic mantras and bhajans in the praise of Lord Vishnu. Reading ‘Vishnu Sahasranam’ is also considered to be very favourable.
On the day of Papankusha Ekadashi, Lord Vishnu is worshipped as per the ‘Archana Vidhi’. On this day the form of Lord Vishnu seated on ‘Garur’ is prayed with immense devotion. The ‘Padmanabha’ form of Sri Hari is worshipped with flowers, betel leaves, diyas and incense sticks. At the end of puja rituals, an aarti is performed.
Doing charity on the day of Papankusha Ekadashi is also very rewarding. If a person cannot observe a fast, they can donate clothes, foods and other essentials to the Brahmins and achieve the same merits. Some people also organize ‘Brahman Bhoj’ on the day of Papankusha Ekadashi. It is believed that people who offer charity on the day of Papankusha Ekadashi will never reach Hell, the abode of Lord Yamraja, after death.
Significance of Papankusha Ekadashi
The greatness of Papankusha Ekadashi is described in the ‘Brahma Vaivatra Purana’ and is believed to be the most auspicious observance for removal of sins. In the Hindu mythology, Maharaja Yudhisthira requested Sri Krishna to explain the benefits of observing a fast on this sacred day. It has been stated that anyone who devotedly observes the Papankusha Ekadashi vrat and prays to lord Vishnu will gain freedom from his/her sins and attain salvation from this world thereafter. Also when an individual, irrespective of their age, recites the name of Lord Vishnu on the day of Papankusha Ekadashi, they achieve the same virtues as visiting the Hindu pilgrim places and they never have to see Yamraja, who is the Lord of Death.