Papankusha Ekadashi is the eleventh day from the Amavasya day (Shukla Paksha Ekadashi) which occurs on the Shukla Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Ashwin month as per both the Amantha and the Purnimantha Calendars.
In the year 2023, it occurs on Wednesday, 25th October 2023. The exact duration of the Ekadashi Tithi has to be ascertained from the respective regional calendars. This Ekadashi Vrat is observed in prayer to Sri Padmanabha Swamy, an incarnation of Sri Maha Vishnu.
The Vrat is also called as Ashwina-Shukla Ekadashi.
As per the legend, the significance of observing the Vrat was explained by Sri Krishna to Yudhistra, the eldest of Pandava Kings.
Once, there was a hunter named Krodhana living in Vindhya-mountain forests. He was ferocious and cruel. He was unkind to people. He was living a sinful life and never listened to anyone’s advice.
Once he was getting old, he had the fear of punishment after leaving this world. He repented for all the sins he had committed. He ardently wished to alleviate his sins.
When he was wandering in the forests grieving for his misdeeds, he met the Sage Angira. He prostrated before him and asked for salvation for his sins.
The Sage had advised the hunter to observe the Papankusha Ekadashi Vrat. He taught him the rituals also.
Krodhana had observed the Vrat as advised and he was granted salvation by Sri Maha Vishnu.
Papankusha Ekadashi – rituals
The general rituals followed for Ekadashi Vrats are given below:
-The exact time of dawn of Ekadashi tithi is ascertained either from family elders / astrologers. It is mentioned in the Holy Almanac (Panchang) as well. Even daily Calendars provide the information.
-The idol or picture of Sri Vishnu is decorated with flowers. Incense sticks are burned. Diyas are lit with ghee. Pujas are done with tulsi leaves. Slokas or stotras of Sri Maha Vishnu including Sri Vishnu Sahasra Nama are recited with devotion. Srimad Bhagavad Gitaa is also recited.
-Especially for Papankusha Ekadashi, the idol of Sri Vishnu on Garuda Vahan or the idol of Sri Padmanabha Swamy in reclining position are worshipped.
-The Vrat Katha is to be read and recited.
-At the end of the puja, aarti is done. Prasad is distributed to the family members.
-Devotees of Bhagwan Maha Vishnu observe strict fasting from the dawn of Ekadashi.
-They do not sleep on the night of Ekadashi. At this time, tales of Sri Maha Vishnu are recited by the elders. Others listen to the stories.
-Various bhajans and kirtans are held.
-The fast shall continue till the sunrise of the next day, i.e., Dwadashi.
-Those devotees who cannot do fasting due to medical or other reasons can take sattvic food. Mostly prasadams and fruits are partaken.
-Making daan / donation to the needy on Ekadashi day is believed to please Sri Maha Vishnu.
-On Dwadashi day, unless it happens to be another Vrat day, a nutritious meal is partaken to balance the internal physical effects of fasting on the previous day. It is considered pious to forego eating of brinjal on Dwadashi day.
-Enjoyment of luxurious life with health, wealth and fulfillment of the desires.
-Alleviation of all the sins both intentional and unintentional.
Importance should be given to the sincere prayers to Sri Maha Vishnu.
This Vrat is observed on the Shukla Paksha Dwadashi of Ashwin month. It occurs on the day next to Papankusha Ekadashi. It is believed that Sri Varaha Puran mentions about Padmanabha Dwadashi.
For the Year 2023, it occurs on Wednesday, 25th October 2023. The exact duration of the Dwadashi Tithi has to be ascertained from the respective regional calendars.
On Padmanabha Dwadashi day, the devotees observe fasting either partially or fully. Some devotees observe maun vrat (being calm and silent). Special prayers and archanas are done to Sri Vishnu Murthy. The Slokams / Stotrams invoking Bhagwan Sri Vishnu are recited with devotion.
Padmanabha Dwadashi day is considered auspicious for commencing any new venture.
The synopsis of Kamada Ekadashi, Varuthini Ekadashi, Mohini Ekadashi, Apara Ekadashi, Nirjala Ekadashi, Yogini Ekadashi, Devshayani Ekadashi, Kamika Ekadashi, Sravana Putrata Ekadashi, Aja Ekadashi, Parivarthini Ekadashi and Indra Ekadashi are narrated in the previous articles. The rest of the Ekadashi Vrats shall be dealt with in the subsequent articles of the series.