The fast observed during the waning phase of the moon (Krishna Paksha) in the month of Bhadrapad or Bhadra is known as Annada Ekadashi. It falls in the month of August or September in the Gregorian calendar. While in North India, it is observed during the Krishna Paksha in Bhadra month, in other Indian regions, it is observed in the month of Shravan. Hindu devotees believe the observance of this vrat eradicates all their sinful and evil activities. Also known as Aja Ekadashi or Ananda Ekadashi, this vrat is dedicated towards Lord Vishnu and his consort Goddess Lakshmi. Read on further to know the story of Annada Ekadashi fasting and the procedure for observing the same.
How To Observe Aja Ekadashi Vrat
The legend behind the observance of Annada Ekadashi can be taken back to the famous king Harischandra. He was known for his truthfulness and honesty. One day, Sage Vashista and Sage Vishwamitra betted on the truthfulness of the king. While sage Vashista was in favor of the king, sage Vishwamitra objected that the king also lies. As a result, king Harischandra had to give up his kingdom and leave for Kashi. Though he became an undertaker in Kashi, he never lied. He always stood by his word and followed a proper code of conduct. One fine day, the king happened to meet the great sage Gautama. The king recounted his entire sad story to the sage.
Thereafter, the sage suggested the king to observe the Annada Ekadashi since it had the power to wash away all the sins. Agreed, the king observed the fast and continued with his firm belief in honesty and truthfulness. Hence, as expected, sage Vishwamitra accepted his defeat and returned the kingdom to the king. Moreover, the king was even able to get back his wife and his dead son became alive. Eventually, the king ruled his kingdom happily for many years and finally, attained Moksha (salvation) and reached the Vaikunta. There are no specific rules for observing the fast on Annada Ekadashi. All general rules for the Ekadashi are followed on this day as well. Rice, grains and beans are avoided.