Amalaki Ekadashi is observed on the eleventh day of Shukla Paksha (the waxing moon phase) in the month of Falgun (February – March). Amalaki Ekadashi is considered very auspicious among the twenty four Ekadashis in a year. The term Amalaki Ekadashi is observed in the name of Amalaki (Indian Gooseberry). This is notably a medicinal plant with the fruits being a rich source of vitamin C and anti-oxidants. On this day, it is a common practice to worship this tree embodying Lord Vishnu and his consort Mahalakshmi. There is a particular procedure prescribed to worship this tree and make the offerings on day of Amalaki Ekadashi.
Once upon a time there was a king named Chitrasena. He was an ardent devotee of Vishnu. Once he had completed the Amalaki Ekadashi vrat and accumulated a lot of merits. When he had gone on hunting, he was attacked by a group of asuras. During that time, a powerful being emanated from King Chitasena’s body and saved the king’s life by conquering the demons. Later, Chitrasena realized that the being was none else than the power he accumulated by observing the Amalaki Ekadashi vrat.
Vrat and puja Procedure
The observers of Amalaki Ekadashi vrat wake up early in the morning and take bath. They do Lord Vishnu Puja at home and visit an Amalaki tree. Goddess Mahalakshmi and Lord Mahavishnu are invoked in the tree. They clean the trunk of the tree, apply and vermilion and sindhoor. Offerings are made and pujas are done to the tree. The devotees observe a day long fast and it concludes during the Parana time on the next day.