Upcoming Ekadashi that falls on May 22, 2017, Monday is known as Apara Ekadashi.
Apara Ekadashi or Achla Ekadashi falls in the Krishna Paksha of the Vaikasi month and is very significant for the religious benefits it offers.
‘Apara’ means limitless in Hindi. Those who observe Apara Ekadasi reap religious merits which are limitless. Apara Ekadasi is also known as ‘Jalakrida Ekadashi’ in Orissa and Lord Jagannath is worshipped there. In Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, it is celebrated as ‘Badrakali Ekadashi’.
A person who observes Apara Ekadashi Vrata enjoys great fame in life.
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A person who observes Apara Ekadashi gets rid of many kinds of sins
Following are the sins that are released on observing Apara Ekadashi
1 .Killing a Brahman or an embryo or a cow
2. Indulging in blasphemy
3. Having illicit behaviour
4. Bearing false witness
5. Sarcastically or falsely glorifying others
6. Cheating while weighing on the scale
7. Failing to carry out the duties of one’s varna
8. Inventing one’s own scriptures
9. Practising as a false Ayurveda doctor or false accountant
10. Cheating others
11. Practising as a false astrologer
12. Warriors failing in their kshatria dharma and fleeing from the battlefield
13. A disciple speaking ill of his guru after getting proper spiritual education from him
Merits achieved by a person observing Apara Ekadashi
A person who observes Apara Ekadashi has the following merits which are equivalent to
1. Bathing thrice in the Pushkara kshetra during the month of Karthigai
2. Offering service to Lord Shiva at Kasi kshetra during Sivaratri
3. Rendering oblations to the ancestors at Gaya
4. Bathing in Prayag in the month of Magh when the Sun is in the Capricorn sign
5. Bathing in the river Gautami when Jupiter transits the sign of Leo
6. Having a darshan of Badrinath when the Sun crosses the sign of Aquarius
7. Taking a darshan of Lord Shiva at Kedarnath
8. Merit gained by donating a pregnant cow along with fertile land and gold
9. Taking bath at Kurukshetra during solar eclipse and donating elephants, cows, and gold over there
This is the account given by Lord Krishna to Yudhistra as found in Brahmanda Purana. Even if a person hears or reads the merits of observing Apara Ekadashi fast, he is relieved of his sins. Those who observe fast gain prosperity, wealth and become sinless in life.