Apara / Jalkrida Ekadashi
Yudhishthira asked: O Janaradan! What is the name of the Ekadashi that falls on the dark half of the month Jyestha? I wish to hear its importance. Please be kind enough to tell me the same.
Lord Sri Krishna said: O king! You have asked an excellent question which is beneficial to the entire universe. O Lord of Kings! The Ekadashi that falls on the dark half of the month Jyestha (Vaishak: in Gujarat and Maharashtra) is known as Apara. It bestows immense punyas and destroys even the greatest sins. Even the killer of a Brahman, killer of his own family members, killer of a foetus, slanderer and one who is involved in adultery, certainly becomes free from such sins by observing this vow of Apara Ekadashi. One who gives false testimony, one who deceives and uses improper measures, a fraudulent astrologer, and a fraudulent physician… All these are supposed to reside in hell. However, they also become free from such sins by observing the vow of Apara Ekadashi. If a Kashatriya abandons his duty of being a Kshatriya and flees away from the battlefield, falls in horrifying hell. A disciple, who after attaining knowledge, slanders his Guru, incurs great sins and goes to infernal hell. However by observing the vow of Apara Ekadashi such a person also attains good fortune.
The punyas gained by one who baths at Prayag in Magh when Sun is situated in Makar (Capricon) rashi, the religious merits attained by observing the vow of Shivaratri in Kashi, the punyas earned by offering pindadan at Gaya to satisfy the ancestors, the merits attained by bathing in the river Godavari when Jupiter is in Simha (leo) rashi, the meritorious fruits obtained by the darshan of Lord Kedar, while on the way to Badrika ashram, and the punyas obtained by performing yagna in Kurukshetra with elephants, horses and gold given as alms, at the time of Solar eclipse, same meritorious fruits are obtained by observing the vow of Apara Ekadashi. By keeping the fast of Apara Ekadashi and worshiping Bhagwan Vaman one becomes free from all sins and is honoured in the adobe of Lord Vishnu. Reading and listening to this story bestows punyas equal to that of donating thousand cows. *