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Aja or Annada Ekadasi Vrat Katha – Story of Aja and Annada Ekadashi

Aja, or Annada Ekadasi, is observed during the waning phase of moon (Krishna Paksha) in the month of Bhadrapad in North India. The corresponding period in other regions is the Krishna Paksha of Shravan month. Aja Ekadasi Vrat Katha was narrated to Yudhishtira by Lord Krishna. The story of Annada Ekadashi is associated with the famous king Harischandra.

King Harischandra was famous for his truthfulness and honesty. Once Sage Vashista praised the truthfulness of Raja Harischandra but Sage Vishwamitra was not ready to accept it and he decides to test King Harischandra. Vishwamitra vows to prove that Harischandra also lies.

As a result of Vishwamitra’s tests, King Harischandra had to give up his kingdom and family and had to take refuge in Kashi. He becomes an undertaker in Kashi. But never lies. He always upheld truthfulness and proper code of conduct.

One day the great sage Guatama met King Harischandra and the king narrated his sad tale to him. Sage Gautama advised King Harischandra to observe Aja Ekadasi which has the power to remove all sins.

The King observed Aja Ekadasi and continued his firm faith in truthfulness.

Soon Sage Vishwamitra accepts his defeat and restores the kingdom, half of his power and all the glory to Harischandra. By the power of observing Aja Ekadasi, the King also got back his wife and his dead son became alive.

King Harischandra ruled the kingdom for several years and finally got Moksha and reached the Vaikunta all with the influence of observing Aja Ekadashi.


  1. I have observed the Ekadasi vrat for many years, as has my family. We love to read about the stories of the various Ekadasis; however, we find it difficult to accurately know the specific names of the Ekadsis that belong to each month and paksha -- as any specific Ekadasi has many names: ex. Aja or Annada. It would not be a major concern except for the fact that, depending on which source one reads, a specific Ekadasi is may be observed on a different month and paksha: ex. Aja Ekadasi can be observed in Shravan or Bhadrapad Krishna. In this example it is a regionally determining factor, but others are not so clear. Do you know of an accurate source I can refer to so I can clarify my concerns?

  2. Dear sir

    Raksha Bandhan Greetings

    The articles are very informative & helpful. Thanks for the yeomen service being rendered by you. Need your guidance in the following issues.

    Iam into sales which involves lot of travelling and energy exhaustion

    1. Can we take fruits while on Ekadasi fasting.
    2. when should we do parana - should it be only through rice
    3. Is jagaran on that day compulsory

    kindly guide me & many


    Srinivas Rao

  3. dear sriniwas rao
    I keep ekadashi fast. I think we can eat fruit, nuts[unsalted], potatoes (unsalted), milk and milk products. Jagaran is not compulsory. But you feel good if you remember all day about fast and try not to tell lies on that day.


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