Aja Ekadashi Vrat Katha
अजा एकादशी व्रत कथा
in the month of Bhadrapada (August-Sepyember. It is also known by different
names as 'Bhadrapada
Lord Vishnu is worshipped on this day. Significance and importance of Aja
Ekadasi can be studied from the Brahmavaivarta Purana. It is believed that
whoever observes fast on Aja Ekadashi, gets free from all the sins of past.
Aja Ekadashi Katha:
In ancient times, there was a famous King named Harishchandra who
was the Lord of the whole earth. He was steadfastly devoted to the truth. Once
he was deprived of his kingdom due to the ill-effects of some past deeds. The
King had to sell his wife and son and then even himself. Thus despite being a
virtuous soul, he had to serve a Chandal. He served as a keeper in a cremation
ground, collecting shrouds of the dead. Nevertheless, the excellent King
Harishchandra never deviated from the truth.
The king passed many years in this condition. Then one day he
sadly thought, `What shall I do? Where should I go? How can I be delivered from
this plight?' In this way he drowned in an ocean of anxiety and sorrow.
Upon knowing of the King being greatly distressed, Maharishi
Gautama came to him. The excellent King paid obeisance at the great Brahmin’s
feet. He stood with folded hands before the Sage and narrated his tale of woes
to him. Sage Gautama then said, 'O King! In the dark fortnight of this month of
Bhadrapad comes the supremely auspicious Ekadashi named Aja which bestows great
religious merits. Observe its vrata. Your sins will come to an end. On that day,
observe a fast and stay awake at night.' Gautama also explains the procedure
that, merely by fasting on the Aja Ekadashi and eating the food the next day
within the Dwadashi time would fetch him immense virtue, by means of which he
can overcome all his miseries.
Harischandra, prays to the Sage and pays his respect to him.
Harischandra thanks sage Gautama for all the help and observes the Ekadashi Vrat
on Aja Ekadashi. By virtue of the religious merits thus obtained, the King was
freed from all sorrows. He was reunited with his wife and his dead son was
brought back to life. He also gets back his kingdom.The sky reverberated with
the beating of celestial drums. Flowers were showered from the heavenly abodes.
Those who observe this vrata in the prescribed manner are
delivered from all sins and attain heaven. Simply reading or listening to this
story would give you the virtue that one gets by performing a Ashwamedha Yaga.