Amalaki Ekadashi occurs on the 11th day in the Phalgun month of the Hindu lunar calendar during the waxing or bright phase of the moon (Shukla Paksha). Dedicated to Amlaki or Gooseberry Tree, observance of this Ekadashi is believed to bring in great prosperity and benefits. In Orissa, this Ekadashi is known as Sarbasammat Ekadasi and is held in Lord Vishnu and Lord Jagannath temples. Furthermore, if the Ekadashi falls on a Thursday, it is regarded as even more auspicious and is observed with special prayers and rituals. The next day of Amalaki Ekadashi is also considered to be highly fortunate and is known as Govinda Dwadashi. Continue strolling through the lines below to find out about the story of Amalaki Ekadashi vrat and the procedure for observing it.
How To Observe Amalaki Ekadasi Vrat
Legends take back to the period of King Chaitraratha who ruled the kingdom of Vaidisa. A loyal and passionate devotee of Lord Vishnu, the king and the entire kingdom was rich with no worries, thanks to the blessings of the Lord. On the day of Amalaki Ekadashi, the king along with his people visited a Vishnu temple situated on the banks of a river. Offerings were made to Lord Vishnu and Amalaki Tree in the premises of the temple. Offerings were also made to Lord Parashurama. In addition, all the followers stayed awake the entire night. A hungry hunter passing by joined the group singing bhajans as he was highly impressed by the devotion of the followers towards Lord Vishnu. With a fresh feeling, the hunter went back home and had his meals.
The hunter passed away after a few years but was reborn as King Vasurath that resulted from his dedicated observance of Amalaki Ekadashi. Once on his expedition, the king lost his way and was trapped by a group of tribes. The tribal people started torturing him with swords and spears considering him to be their enemy. Surprisingly, none of the weapons touched him and he escaped unhurt. The puzzled tribal people were informed about the king's past from a voice in the sky. Eventually, the king came to know about his past life and since then, started observing the Amalaki Ekadashi vrat. Hence, Amalaki Ekadashi emphasizes on the faith, trust and devotion that can wash away all the sins of a devotee and help him attain salvation.
On this day, special prayers are offered to Amalaki tree and Lord Parashurama. A person practicing the Amalaki Ekadashi fast should cleanse himself with water and offer water to the Amalaki tree. The tree is then worshipped using incense, sandalwood, roli, flowers, etc. Thereafter, the Brahmins are served with meals beneath the Amalaki tree. Most devotees observe a vrat on this day following the rituals demanded on other Ekadashi vrats. Some even keep a vigil in the night. However, some people observe a partial fast, simply abstaining from food made of rice and grains.