Hindu Of Universe

“God’s light is within you, It never leaves you.”

Amalaki Ekadashi

King Mandhata once said to Vasistha Muni, “O great sage, kindly be merciful to me and tell me of a holy fast that will benefit me eternally.”

Vasistha Muni replied, “O king, kindly listen as I describe the best of all fast days, Amalaki Ekadashi.

He who faithfully observes a fast on this Ekadashi obtains enormous wealth, gets free of the effects of all kinds of sins, and attains liberation.

Fasting on this Ekadashi is more purifying than donating one thousand cows in charity to a pure brahmana.

So please hear me attentively as I tell you the story of a hunter who, though daily engaged in killing innocent animals for his living, achieved liberation by observing a fast on Amalaki Ekadashi and following the prescribed rules and regulations of worship.

There was once a kingdom named Vaidisa, where all the brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas, and sudras were equally endowed with Vedic knowledge, great bodily strength, and fine intelligence.

O lion among kings, the whole kingdom was full of Vedic sounds, not a single person was atheistic, and no one sinned.

The ruler of this kingdom was King Pabinduka, a member of the dynasty of Soma, the moon.

He was also known as Citraratha and was very religious and truthful.

It is said that King Citraratha had the strength of ten thousand elephants and that he was very wealthy and knew the six branches of Vedic wisdom perfectly.’

During the reign of Maharaja Citraratha, not a single person in his kingdom attempted to practice another’s dharma (duty), so perfectly engaged in their own dharmas were all the brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas, and sudras.

Neither miser nor pauper was to be seen throughout the land, nor was there ever drought or flood.

Indeed, the kingdom was free of disease, and everyone enjoyed good health.

The people rendered loving devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vishnu, as did the king, who also rendered special service to Lord diva.

Moreover, twice a month everyone fasted on Ekadashi.

In this way, O best of kings, the citizens of Vaidisa lived many long years in great happiness and prosperity.

Giving up all varieties of materialistic religion, they completely dedicated themselves to the loving service of the Supreme Lord, Hari.

Once, in the month of Phalguna, the holy fast of Amalaki Ekadashi arrived, conjoined with Dvadasi.

King Citraratha realized that this particular fast would bestow especially great benefit, and thus he and all the citizens of Vaidisa observed this sacred Ekadashi very strictly, carefully following all the rules and regulations.

After bathing in the river, the king and all his subjects went to the temple of Lord Vishnu, where an Amalaki tree grew.

First the king and his leading sages offered the tree a pot filled with water, as well as a fine canopy, shoes, gold, diamonds, rubies, pearls, sapphires, and aromatic incense.

Then they worshiped Lord Parasurama with these prayers: ‘O Lord Parasurama, O son of Renuka, O all-pleasing one, O liberator of the worlds, kindly come beneath this holy Amalaki tree and accept our humble obeisances.’

Then they prayed to the Amalaki tree: ‘O Amalaki, O offspring of Lord Brahma, you can destroy all kinds of sinful reactions.

Please accept our respectful obeisances and these humble gifts.

O Amalaki, you are actually the form of Brahman, and you were once worshiped by Lord Ramachandra Himself.

Whoever circumambulates you is therefore immediately freed of all his sins.’

After offering these excellent prayers, King Citraratha and his subjects remained awake throughout the night, praying and worshiping according to the regulations governing a sacred Ekadashi fast.

It was during this auspicious time of fasting and prayer that a very irreligious man approached the assembly, a man who maintained himself and his family by killing animals.

Burdened with both fatigue and sin, the hunter saw the king and the citizens of Vaidisa observing Amalaki Ekadashi by performing an all-night vigil, fasting, and worshiping Lord Vishnu in the beautiful forest setting, which was brilliantly illuminated by many lamps.

The hunter hid nearby, wondering what this extraordinary sight before him was. ‘

What is going on here?’ he thought.

What he saw in that lovely forest beneath the holy Amalaki tree was the Deity of Lord Damodara being worshiped upon the asana of a water-pot, and what he heard were devotees singing sacred songs describing Lord Shri Krishna’s transcendental forms and pastimes.

Despite himself, that staunchly irreligious killer of innocent birds and animals spent the entire night in great amazement as he watched the Ekadashi celebration and listened to the glorification of the Lord.

Soon after sunrise, the king and his royal retinue-including the court sages and all the citizens-completed their observance of Ekadashi.

and returned to the city of Vaidisa.

The hunter then returned to his but and happily ate his meal.

In due time the hunter died, but the merit he had gained by fasting on Amalaki Ekadashi.

and hearing the glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as well as by being forced to stay awake all night, made him eligible to be reborn as a great king endowed with many chariots, elephants, horses, and soldiers.

His name was Vasuratha, the son of King Viduratha, and he ruled over the kingdom of Jayanti.

King Vasuratha was strong and fearless, as effulgent as the sun, and as handsome as the moon.

In strength he was like Vishnu, and in forgiveness like the earth itself.

Very charitable and ever truthful, King Vasuratha always rendered loving devotional service to the Supreme Lord, Shri Vishnu.

He therefore became very well versed in Vedic knowledge.

Always active in the affairs of state, he enjoyed taking excellent care of his subjects, as though they were his own children.

He disliked pride in anyone and would smash it when he saw it.

He performed many kinds of sacrifices, and he always made certain that the needy in his kingdom received enough charity.

One day, while hunting in the jungle, King Vasuratha strayed from the footpath and lost his way. Wandering for some time and eventually growing weary, he paused beneath a tree and, using his arms as a pillow, fell asleep.

As he slept, some barbarian tribesmen came upon him and, remembering their longstanding enmity toward the king, began discussing among themselves various ways to kill him. ‘

It is because he killed our fathers, mothers, brother-in-laws, grandsons; nephews, and uncles that we are forced to aimlessly wander like so many madmen.’

So saying, they prepared to kill King Vasuratha with various weapons, including spears, swords, arrows, and mystic ropes.

But none of these deadly weapons could even touch the sleeping king, and soon the uncivilized, dog-eating tribesmen grew frightened.

Their fear sapped their strength, and before long they lost what little intelligence they had and became almost unconscious with bewilderment and weakness.

Suddenly a beautiful woman appeared from the king’s body, startling the aborigines.

Decorated with many ornaments, emitting a wonderful fragrance, wearing an excellent garland around her neck, her eyebrows drawn in a mood of fierce anger, and her fiery red eyes ablaze, she looked like death personified.

With her blazing chakra she quickly killed all the tribal hunters, who had tried to slay the sleeping king.

Just then the king awoke, and seeing all the dead tribesmen lying around him, he was astonished. He wondered, ‘

These are all great enemies of mine!

Who has slain them so violently?

Who is my great benefactor?’

At that very moment he heard a voice from the sky: ‘You ask who helped you.

Well, who is that person who alone can help anyone in distress?

He is none other than Shri Kesava, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He who saves all who take shelter of Him without any selfish motive.’

Upon hearing these words, King Vasuratha became overwhelmed with love for the Personality of Godhead.

He returned to his capital city and ruled there like a second Indra, without any obstacles at all.

Therefore, O King Mandhata,” the venerable Vasistha Muni concluded, “anyone who observes holy Amalaki Ekadashi.

will undoubtedly attain the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu, so great is the religious merit earned from the observance of this most sacred fast day.”

Annada Ekadashi

Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “O Janardana, protector of all living entities, please tell me the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Bhadranada (August-September)

The Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, replied, “O king, hear me attentively.

The name of this sin-removing, sacred Ekadashi is Annada.

Any person who fasts completely on this day and worships Hrsikesa, the master of the senses, becomes free of all reactions to his sins.

Even one who simply hears about this Ekadashi is freed from his past sins.

O king, there is no better day than this in all the earthly and heavenly worlds.

This is true without a doubt.

There once lived a famous king named Harischandra, who was the emperor of the world and a person of great truth and integrity.

His wife’s name was Candramati, and he had a son named Lohitasva.

By the force of destiny, however, Harischandra lost his great kingdom and sold his wife and son.

The pious king himself became a menial servant of a dog-eater, who made him guard a crematorium.

Yet even while doing such menial service, he did not forsake his truthfulness and good character, just as soma-rasa, even when mixed with some other liquid, does not lose its ability to bestow immortality.

The king passed many years in this condition.

Then one day he sadly thought, `

What shall I do?

Where should I go?

How can I be delivered from this plight?’

In this way he drowned in an ocean of anxiety and sorrow.

One day a great sage happened by, and when the king saw him he happily thought, ‘Ah, Lord Brahma has created brahmanas just to help others.’

Harischandra paid his respectful obeisances to the sage, whose name was Gautama Muni.

With joined palms the king stood before Gautama and narrated his pitiful story.

Gautama Muni was astonished to hear the king’s tale of woe.

He thought, `How has this mighty king been reduced to collecting clothes from the dead!’ Gautama became very compassionate toward Harischandra and instructed him on the process of fasting for purification.

Gautama Muni said, ‘O king, during the dark fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada there occurs an especially meritorious Ekadashi named Annada, which removes all sins.

Indeed, this Ekadashi is so auspicious that if you simply fast on that day and perform no other austerity, all your sins will be nullified.

By your good fortune it is coming in just seven days.

So I urge you to fast on this day and remain awake through the night.

If you do so, all the reactions of your past sins will come to an end.

O Harischandra, I have come here because of your past pious deeds.

Now, all good fortune to you in the future!’ So saying, the great sage Gautama immediately disappeared.

King Harischandra followed Gautama’s instructions concerning fasting on the sacred day of Annada Ekadashi.

O Yudhisthira, because the king fasted on that day, the reactions to his sins were completely destroyed at once.

O lion among kings, just see the influence of this Ekadashi fast! It immediately vanquishes whatever miseries one may be suffering as a result of past sinful activities.

Thus all Harischandra’s miseries were relieved.

Just by the power of this wonderful Ekadashi, he was reunited with his wife and son, who had died but were now revived.

In heaven the demigods began beating their celestial kettledrums and showering down flowers upon Harischandra, his queen, and his son.

By the blessings of the Ekadashi fast, he regained his kingdom without difficulty.

Moreover, when King Harischandra left this planet, his relatives and all his subjects went with him to the spiritual world.

O Pandava, whoever fasts on Annada Ekadashi is surely freed from all his sins and ascends to the spiritual world.

And whoever hears and studies the glories of this Ekadashi achieves the merit gained by performing a horse sacrifice.”

Apara Ekadashi

Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “O Janardana, what is the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Jyestha (May-June)?

I wish to hear the glories of this sacred day.

Please narrate every thing to me.”

Lord Shri Krishna said, “O king, your inquiry is wonderful because the answer will benefit the whole human society.

This Ekadashi is so sublime and meritorious that even the greatest sins can be erased by its potency.

O great king, the name of this unlimitedly meritorious Ekadashi is Apara Ekadashi Whoever fasts on this holy day becomes famous all over the universe.

Even such sins as killing a brahmana, a cow, or an embryo; blasphemy; or having sex with another man’s wife are completely eradicated by observing Apara Ekadashi.

O king, people who bear false witness are most sinful.

A person who falsely or sarcastically glorifies another; one who cheats while weighing something on a scale; one who fails to execute the duties of his varna or asrama (an unqualified man’s posing as a brahmana, for example, or a person’s reciting the Vedas wrongly); one who invents his own scriptures; one who cheats other; one who is a charlatan astrologer, a cheating accountant, or a false ayurvedic doctor, all these are surely as bad as a person who bears false witness, and they are all destined for hell.

But simply by observing Apara Ekadashi, all such sinners become completely free of their sinful reactions.

Warriors who fall from their kshatriya-dharma and flee the battlefield go to a ferocious hell.

But, O Yudhisthira, even such a fallen kshatriya, if he observes fasting on Apara Ekadashi is freed of that great sin and goes to heaven.

That disciple is the greatest sinner who, after receiving a proper spiritual education from his spiritual master, turns around and blasphemes him.

Such a so-called disciple suffers unlimitedly. But even he, if he simply observes Apara Ekadashi can attain to the spiritual world. Listen, O king, as I describe to you further glories of this Ekadashi.

The merit attained by one who performs all of the following acts of piety is equal to the merit achieved by one who observes Apara Ekadashi.

bathing three times a day in Puskara-ksetra during Kartika (October/November); bathing at Prayag in the month of Magha (January/February) when the sun is in the Zodiac; rendering service to Lord diva at Varanasi during Shiva-ratri; offering oblations to one’s forefathers at Gaya; bathing in the sacred Gautami River when Jupiter transits Leo; having darshana of Lord diva at Kedaranatha; seeing Lord Badrinatha when the sun transits the sign of Aquarius; and bathing at the time of a solar eclipse at Kuruksetra and giving cows, elephants, and gold there in charity.

All the merit one gets from performing these pious acts is gained by a person who observes the Apara Ekadashi fast.

Also, the merit attained by one who donates a pregnant cow, along with gold and fertile land, is attained by one who fasts on this day.

In other words, Apara Ekadashi. is an axe that cuts down the fully matured tree of sinful deeds, it is a forest fire that burns sins as if they were firewood, it is the sun blazing before one’s dark misdeeds, and it is a lion stalking the meek deer of impiety.

Therefore, O Yudhisthira, whoever truly fears his past and present sins must observe Apara Ekadashi. very strictly.

One who does not observe this fast must be born again in the material world, like one bubble among millions in a huge body of water, or like a small ant among all other species.

Therefore one must faithfully observe the sacred Apara Ekadashi. and worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Trivikrama.

One who does so is freed of all his sins and promoted to the abode of Lord Vishnu.

O Bharata, for the benefit of all humanity I have thus described to you the importance of holy Apara Ekadashi.

Anyone who hears or reads this description is certainly freed from all kinds of sins, O king.

Bhaimi (Jaya) Ekadashi

Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “O Lord of lords, Shri Krishna, all glories unto You! O master of the universe, You alone are the source of the four types of living entities-those born from eggs, those born from perspiration, those born from seeds, and those born from embryos.

You alone are the root cause of all, O Lord, and therefore You are the creator, maintainer, and destroyer.

My Lord, You have so kindly explained to me the auspicious day known as Sat-tila Ekadashi, which occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Magha (January-February).

Now please explain the Ekadashi, that occurs during the light fortnight of this month.

By what name is it known, and what is the process for observing it?

Who is the Deity that is worshiped on this sublime day, which is so very dear to You?”

Lord Shri Krishna replied, “O Yudhisthira, I shall gladly tell you about the Ekadashi, that occurs during the light half of the month of Magha.

This Ekadashi, obliterates all kinds of sinful reactions and demoniac influences affecting the spirit soul.

It is known as Jaya or Bhaimi Ekadashi, and the fortunate soul who observes a fast on this sacred day is relieved of the great burden of ghostly existence.

Thus there is no better Ekadashi, than this, for it truly bestows freedom from birth and death.

It is to be honored very carefully and diligently.

So I ask you to listen to Me very attentively, O Pandava, as I explain a wonderful historical episode regarding this Ekadashi, an episode I have already related in the Padma Purana.

Long, long ago in the heavenly planets, Lord Indra ruled his celestial kingdom very nicely, and all the demigods living there were very happy and content.

In Nandana Forest, which was beautifully graced with parijata flowers, Indra drank ambrosia whenever he liked and enjoyed the service of fifty million celestial maidens, the Apsaras, who danced in ecstasy for his pleasure.

Many singers, led by Puspadanta, sang in voices sweet beyond compare.

Chitrasena, Indra’s chief musician, was there in the company of his wife Malini and his beautiful son Malyavan.

An Apsara named Puspavati became very much attracted to Malyavan; indeed, Cupid’s sharp arrows pierced the core of her heart.

Her beautiful body and complexion, along with the enchanting movements of her eyebrows, captivated Malyavan.

O king, listen as I describe the splendid beauty of Puspavati: She had incomparably graceful arms with which to embrace a man like a fine silken noose; her face resembled the moon; her lotus eyes reached almost to her lovely ears, which were adorned with wonderful earrings; her thin, ornamented neck looked like a conch; her waist was very slender, the size of a fist; her hips were broad, and her thighs like the trunks of banana trees; her naturally beautiful features were complemented by gorgeous ornaments and garments; her breasts were highly raised; and to look upon her feet was to behold newly grown red lotuses.

Seeing Puspavati in all her heavenly beauty, Malyavan was bewitched at once.

They had come with other performers to please Lord Indra by singing and dancing enchantingly, but because they had become so enamored of each other, pierced through the heart by the arrows of Cupid, lust personified, they were utterly unable to sing or dance properly before the lord and master of the heavenly realms.’

Their pronunciation was wrong and their rhythm careless.

Lord Indra understood the source of the errors at once.

Offended at the discord in the musical performance, he became very angry and screamed, ‘You useless fools! You pretend to sing for me while in a stupor of infatuation with each other! You are mocking me! I curse you both to suffer henceforth as pisachas (hobgoblins).

As husband and wife, go to the earthly regions and reap the reactions of your offenses.’

Struck dumb by these harsh words, Malyavan and Puspavati at once became morose and fell from the beautiful Nandana Forest in the kingdom of heaven to a Himalayan peak here on planet earth.

Immeasurably distressed, and their celestial intelligence vastly diminished by the effects of Indra’s fierce curse, they lost their senses of taste and smell, and even their sense of touch.

It was so cold and miserable high on the Himalayan wastes of snow and ice that they could not even enjoy the oblivion of sleep.

Roaming aimlessly hither and thither in those harsh altitudes, Malyavan and Puspavati suffered more and more, from one moment to the next.

Even though they were situated in a cave, because of the snowfall and cold their teeth chattered ceaselessly, and their hair stood on end because of their fright and bewilderment.

In this utterly desperate situation, Malyavan said to Puspavati, ‘What abominable sins did we commit to have to suffer in these pisacha bodies, in this impossible environment? This is absolutely hellish! Though hell is very ferocious, the suffering we are undergoing here is even more abominable.

Therefore it is abundantly clear that one should never commit any sin.’

And so the forlorn lovers trudged onward in the snow and ice.

By their great good fortune, however, it so happened that that very day was Jaya Ekadashi, the Ekadashi of the light fortnight of the month of Magha.

Because in their misery they neglected to drink any water, kill any game, or even eat whatever fruits and leaves were available at that altitude, they unknowingly observed Ekadashi by fasting completely from all food and drink.

Sunk in misery, Malyavan and Puspavati collapsed beneath a pipal tree and did not even try to get up.

The sun had set by this time.

The night was even colder and more miserable than the day.

They shivered in the frigid snowfall as their teeth chattered in unison, and when they became numb, they embraced just to keep warm.

Locked in each other’s arms, they could enjoy neither sleep nor sex.

Thus they suffered through the whole night under the powerful curse of Indra.

Still, O Yudhisthira, by the mercy of the fast they had by chance observed on Jaya Ekadashi, and because they had remained awake all night, they were blessed.

Please hear what happened on the next day.

As Dvadasi dawned, Malyavan and Puspavati had given up their demoniac forms and were once again beautiful heavenly beings wearing lustrous ornaments and exquisite garments.

As they looked at each other in amazement, a celestial airplane (vimana) arrived on the spot.

A chorus of heavenly denizens sang their praises as the couple stepped into the beautiful aircraft and proceeded directly to the heavenly regions, buoyed up by the good wishes of everyone.

Soon Malyavan and Puspavati arrived at Amaravati, Lord Indra’s capital city, and then they immediately went before their lord and offered him their cheerful obeisances.

Lord Indra was astonished to see that they had been restored to their original status and forms so soon after he had cursed them to suffer as demons far, far below his celestial kingdom.

Indra asked them, ‘What extraordinary meritorious deeds have you performed so that you could give up your pisacha bodies so quickly after I had cursed you? Who released you from my irresistible curse?’

Malyavan replied, ‘O lord, it was by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vasudeva, and also by the powerful influence of Jaya Ekadashi, that we were released from our suffering condition as pisachas.

This is the truth, O master: Because we executed devotional service to Lord Vishnu by observing Jaya Ekadashi, the day most dear to Him, we have happily been restored to our former status.’

Indra said, ‘Because you served the Supreme Lord Keshava by observing Ekadashi, you have become worshipable even by me, and I can see that you are now completely purified of sin. Whoever engages in devotional service to Lord Shri Hari or Lord diva becomes praiseworthy and worshipable even by me.

Of this there is no doubt.’ Lord Indra then gave Malyavan and Puspavati free rein to enjoy each other and wander about his heavenly planet.

Therefore, O Yudhisthira, one should strictly observe a fast on the day of Lord Hari, especially on Jaya Ekadashi, which frees one from the sin of killing even a twice-born brahmana.

A great soul who observes this fast with full faith and devotion has in effect given all kinds of charity, performed all kinds of sacrifice, and bathed in all the holy places of pilgrimage.

Fasting on Jaya Ekadashi, qualifies one to reside in Vaikuntha and enjoy unending happiness for billions of yugas-indeed, forever.

O great king, one who even hears or reads these glories of Jaya Ekadashi, achieves the blessed merit attained by performing an Agnistoma sacrifice, during which hymns from the Sama-veda are recited.”

Indira Ekadashi

Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “O Madhusudana, O killer of the Madhu demon, what is the name of the Ekadashi.

that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Asvina (September-October)? Please describe its glories to me.”

The Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, replied, “This holy day is called Indira Ekadashi.

If a person fasts on this day, all his sins are eradicated and his forefathers who have fallen into hell are liberated.

O best of kings, one who simply hears about this Ekadashi.

achieves the great merit earned by performing a horse sacrifice.

In the Satya-yuga there lived a king named Indrasena, who was so powerful that he destroyed all his enemies.

His kingdom was called Mahismati-puri.

The glorious and highly religious King Indrasena took good care of his subjects, and therefore he was rich in gold, grains, sons, and grandsons.

He was greatly devoted to Shri Vishnu as well.

He especially enjoyed chanting My name, calling out ‘Govinda! Govinda!’ In this way King Indrasena systematically dedicated himself to pure spiritual life and spent much time meditating on the Absolute Truth.

One day, as King Indrasena happily and peacefully presided over his assembly, the perfect orator, Narada Muni, was seen descending from the sky.

The king offered Devarsi Narada, the saint among the demigods, great respect by greeting him with joined palms, inviting him into the palace, offering him a comfortable seat, washing his feet, and speaking sweet words of welcome.

Then Narada Muni said to Maharaja Indrasena, ‘O king, are the seven limbs of your kingdom prospering?’ Is your mind absorbed in thinking of how you can properly perform your occupational duty? Are you becoming more and more devoted to the Supreme Lord, Shri Vishnu?’

The king replied, ‘By your kind grace, O greatest of sages, everything is quite well.

Today, just by your presence all the sacrifices in my kingdom are successful! Please show me mercy and explain the reason for your visit here.’

Shri Narada, the sage among the demigods, then said, ‘O lion among kings, listen to my astonishing words.

When I descended from Brahmaloka to Yamaloka, Lord Yamaraja praised me very graciously and offered me an excellent seat.

As I glorified his truthfulness and wonderful service to the Supreme Lord, I noticed your father in Yamaraja’s assembly.

Though he had been very religious, because he broke an Ekadashi fast prematurely, he had to go to Yamaloka.

Your father gave me a message for you.

He said, “In Mahismati lives a king named Indrasena.

Please tell him about my situation here-that because of my past sinful deeds I have somehow been forced to reside in Yamaraja’s kingdom.

Please give him this message from me: ‘O son, kindly observe Indira Ekadashi and give much in charity so I can go upward to heaven.’

Narada continued, ‘Just to deliver this message, O king, have I come to you.

You should help your father by observing the fast of Indira Ekadashi.

By the merit you gain, your father will go to heaven.’

King Indrasena asked, ‘O great Naradaji, please be merciful and tell me specifically how to observe a fast on Indira Ekadashi, and also tell me during what month and on what day it occurs.’

Narada Muni replied, ‘O king, please listen as I describe to you the full process of observing Indira Ekadashi.

This Ekadashi. occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Ashvina.

On Dashami, the day before Ekadashi.

rise early in the morning, bathe, and then do some service for God with full faith.

At noon, bathe again in running water and then offer oblations to your forefathers with faith and devotion.

Be sure not to eat more than once on this day, and at night sleep on the floor.

When you awaken on Ekadashi morning, cleanse your mouth and teeth thoroughly and then with deep devotion for the Lord take this sacred vow: “

Today I shall fast completely and give up all kinds of sense enjoyment.

O lotus-eyed Supreme Personality of Godhead, O infallible one, please give me shelter at Your lotus feet.”

At noon, stand before Shri Salagrama-sila and worship Him faithfully, following all the rules and regulations; then offer oblations to your forefathers.

Next, feed qualified brahmanas and offer them some charity according to your means.

Now take the food you offered to your forefathers, smell it, and then offer it to a cow.

Next, worship Lord Hrsikesha with incense and flowers, and finally, remain awake all night near the Deity of Shri Keshava.

Early in the morning of the next day, Dvadasi, worship Shri Hari with great devotion and invite brahmanas to a sumptuous feast.

Then feed your relatives, and finally take your meal in silence.

O king, if you strictly observe a fast on Indira Ekadashi in this way, with controlled senses, your father will surely be elevated to the abode of Lord Vishnu.’

After saying this, Devarsi Narada immediately disappeared.

King Indrasena followed the great saint’s instructions perfectly, observing the fast in the association of his relatives and servants.

As he broke his fast on Dvadasi, flowers fell from the sky.

The merit Indrasena earned by observing this fast released his father from the kingdom of Yamaraja and caused him to attain a completely spiritual body.

Indeed, Indrasena saw him rising to the abode of Lord Hari on the back of Garuda.

Indrasena himself was able to rule his kingdom without any obstacles, and in time he handed over the kingdom to his son and also went to Vaikuntha.

O Yudhisthira, these are the glories of Indira Ekadashi, which occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Asvina Whoever hears or reads this narration certainly enjoys life in this world, is freed of all his past sins, and at death returns home, back to Godhead, where he lives eternally.”

Kamada Ekadashi

Shri Suta Gosvami said, “O sages, let me offer my humble and respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Lord Hari, Bhagavan Shri Krishna, the son of Devaki and Vasudeva, by whose mercy I can describe the fast day that removes all kinds of sins.

It was to the devoted Yudhisthira that Lord Krishna glorified the twenty-four primary Ekadashis, which destroy sin, and now I shall recount one of those narrations to you.

Great learned sages have selected these twenty-four narrations from the eighteen Puranas, for they are truly sublime.

Yudhisthira Maharaja said, ‘O Lord Krishna, O Vasudeva, please accept my humble obeisances. Please describe to me the Ekadashi that occurs during the light part of the month of Chaitra (March-April).

What is its name, and what are its glories?’

Lord Shri Krishna replied, ‘O Yudhisthira, please listen to Me attentively as I relate the ancient history of this sacred Ekadashi, a history Vasistha Muni once related to King Dilipa, the great-grandfather of Lord Ramacandra.

King Dilipa asked the great sage Vasistha, “O wise brahmana, I wish to hear about the Ekadashi, that comes during the light part of the month of Chaitra.

Please describe it to me.”

Vasistha Muni replied, “O king, your inquiry is glorious.

Gladly shall I tell you what you wish to know.

The Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of Chaitra is named Kamada Ekadashi.

It consumes all sins, as a forest fire consumes a supply of dry firewood.

It is very purifying, and it bestows the highest merit upon one who faithfully observes it.

O king, now hear an ancient history, which is so meritorious that it removes all one’s sins simply by being heard.

Once, long ago, there existed a city-state named Ratnapura, which was decorated with gold and jewels and in which sharp fanged snakes would enjoy intoxication.

King Pundarika was the ruler of this most beautiful kingdom, which numbered many Gandharvas, Kinnaras, and Apsaras among its citizens.

Among the Gandharvas were Lalita and his wife Lalita, who was an especially lovely dancer. These two were intensely attracted to each other, and their home was full of great wealth and fine food.

Lalita loved her husband dearly, and likewise he constantly thought of her within his heart.

Once, at the court of King Pundarika, many Gandharvas were dancing and Lalita was singing alone, without his wife.

He could not help thinking about her as he sang, and because of this distraction he lost track of the song’s meter and melody.

Indeed, Lalita sang the ending of his song improperly, and one of the envious snakes who was in attendance at the king’s court complained to the king that Lalita was absorbed in thinking of his wife instead of his sovereign.

The king became furious upon hearing this, and his eyes turned crimson with rage.

Suddenly he shouted, ‘O foolish knave, because you were lustfully thinking of a woman instead of reverently thinking of your king as you performed your court duties, I curse you to at once become a cannibal!’

O king, Lalita immediately became a fearful cannibal, a great man-eating demon whose appearance terrified everyone.

His arms were eight miles long, his mouth was as big as a huge cave, his eyes were as awesome as the sun and moon, his nostrils resembled enormous pits in the earth, his neck was a veritable mountain, his hips were four miles wide, and his gigantic body stood a full sixty-four miles high.

Thus poor Lalita, the loving Gandharva singer, had to suffer the reaction of his offense against King Pundarika.

Seeing her husband suffering as a horrible cannibal, Lalita became overwhelmed with grief.

She thought, ‘Now that my dear husband is suffering the effects of the king’s curse, what is to be my lot?

What should I do?

Where should I go?’

In this way Lalita grieved day and night.

Instead of enjoying life as a Gandharva’s wife, she had to wander everywhere in the thick jungle with her monstrous husband, who had fallen completely under the spell of the king’s curse and was wholly engaged in terrible sinful activities.

He wandered fitfully across forbidding regions, a once beautiful Gandharva demigod now reduced to the ghastly behavior of a man-eater.

Utterly distraught to see her dear husband suffer so much in his dreadful condition, Lalita began to cry as she followed his mad journeying.

By good fortune, however, Lalita came upon the sage Srngi one day.

He was sitting on the peak of the famous Vindhyachala Hill.

Approaching him, she immediately offered the ascetic her respectful obeisances.

The sage noticed her bowing down before him and said, ‘O most beautiful one, who are you? Whose daughter are you, and why have you come here? Please tell me everything in truth.’

Lalita replied, ‘O great sage, I am the daughter of the great Gandharva Viradhanva, and my name is Lalita.

I roam the forests and plains with my dear husband, whom King Pundarika has cursed to become a man-eating demon.

O brahmana, I am greatly aggrieved to see his ferocious form and terribly sinful activities.

O master, please tell me how I can perform some act of atonement on behalf of my husband.

What pious act can I perform to free him from this demoniac form, O best of brahmanas?’

The sage replied, ‘O heavenly maiden, there is an Ekadashi named Kamada that occurs in the light fortnight of the month of Chaitra.

It is coming up soon. Whoever fasts on this day has all his desires fulfilled.

If you observe this Ekadashi fast according to its rules and regulations and give the merit you thus earn to your husband, he will be freed from the curse at once.’

Lalita was overjoyed to hear these words from the sage.

Lalita faithfully observed the fast of Kamada Ekadashi according to the instructions of the sage Srngi, and on Dvadasi she appeared before him and the Deity of Lord Vasudeva and said, ‘I have faithfully observed the fast of Kamada Ekadashi By the merit earned through my observance of this fast, let my husband be free from the curse that has turned him into a demoniac cannibal.

May the merit I have gained thus free him from misery.’

As soon as Lalita finished speaking, her husband, who stood nearby, was at once freed from the king’s curse.

He immediately regained his original form as the Gandharva Lalita, a handsome heavenly singer adorned with many beautiful ornaments.

Now, with his wife Lalita, he could enjoy even more opulence than before.

All this was accomplished by the power and glory of Kamada Ekadashi.

At last the Gandharva couple boarded a celestial airplane and ascended to heaven.”‘

Lord Shri Krishna continued, ‘O Yudhisthira, best of kings, anyone who hears this wonderful narration should certainly observe holy Kamada Ekadashi to the best of his ability, such great merit does it bestow upon the faithful devotee.

I have therefore described its glories to you for the benefit of all humanity.

There is no better Ekadashi than Kamada Ekadashi.

It can eradicate even the sin of killing a brahmana, and it also nullifies demoniac curses and cleanses the consciousness.

In all the three worlds, among movable and immovable living entities, there is no better day.

Kamika Ekadashi

Maharaja Yudhisthira said, “O Supreme Lord, I have heard from You the glories of fasting on Deva-sayani Ekadashi, which occurs during the light part of the month of Asadha.

Now I would like to hear about the Ekadashi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Sravana (July/August).

O Govinda, please be merciful to me and explain its glories.

O Vasudeva, I offer my humble obeisances unto You.”

The Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, replied, “O king, please listen attentively as I describe the auspicious influence of this holy fast day, which removes all sins.

Narada Muni once asked Lord Brahma about this same topic. ‘

O regent of all,’ said Naradaji, ‘O you who sit upon a lotus throne, please tell me the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Sravana.

Please also tell me which Deity is worshiped on that holy day, the process one must follow to observe it, and the merit it awards.’

Lord Brahma replied, ‘My dear son Narada, for the benefit of all humanity I shall happily tell you everything you wish to know, for just hearing the glories of Kamika Ekadashi bestows merit equal to that obtained by one who performs a horse sacrifice.

Certainly, great merit is attained by one who worships, and who also meditates on the lotus feet of, four-armed Lord Gadadhara, who holds conch shell, disc, club and lotus in His hands and who is also known as Shridhara, Hari, Vishnu, Madhava, and Madhusudana.

And the blessings achieved by a person who worships Lord Vishnu exclusively are far greater than those achieved by one who takes a sacred bath in the Ganges at Kashi (Varanasi), in the forest of Naimisaranya, or at Puskara, where I am worshiped.’

But one who observes Kamika Ekadashi and also worships Lord Shri Krishna achieves greater merit than one who has darshana of Lord Kedaranatha in the Himalayas, or one who bathes at Kuruksetra during a solar eclipse, or one who donates the whole earth in charity, including its forests and oceans, or one who bathes in the Gandaki River or Godavari River on a full moon day that falls on a Monday when Leo and Jupiter are conjoined.

Observing Kamika Ekadashi bestows the same merit as donating a milk-cow and her calf, along with their feed.

On this day, whoever worships Lord Shridhara-deva, Vishnu, is glorified by the demigods, Gandharvas, Pannagas, and Nagas.

Those who are afraid of their past sins and completely immersed in sinful material life should observe this best of Ekadashis according to their ability and thus attain liberation.

This Ekadashi is the purest of all days and the most powerful for removing sins.

O Narada, Lord Shri Hari Himself once said about this Ekadashi, “One who fasts on Kamika Ekadashi attains much more merit than one who studies all the spiritual literatures.”

Anyone who fasts on this particular day and remains awake through the night will never experience the anger of Yamaraja, death personified.

Whoever observes Kamika Ekadashi will not have to suffer future births, and in the past many yogis who fasted on this day went to the spiritual world.

One should therefore follow in their auspicious footsteps and strictly observe a fast on this Ekadashi.

Whoever worships Lord Hari with tulasi leaves is freed from all implication of sin. Indeed, he lives untouched by sin, as the lotus leaf, although in the water, is untouched by it.

Whoever offers Shri Hari but a single leaf from a tulasi tree attains as much merit as one who gives away in charity two hundred grams of gold and eight hundred grams of silver.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is more pleased by one who offers Him a single tulasi leaf than by one who worships Him with pearls, rubies, topaz, diamonds, lapis lazuli, sapphires, gomeda stones, cat’s eye gems, and coral.

One who offers Lord Keshava newly grown manjaris from the sacred tulasi plant gets rid of all the sins he has committed during this or any other lifetime.

Indeed, mere darshana of tulasi on Kamika Ekadashi removes all sins, and merely touching her and praying to her removes all kinds of disease.

One who waters tulasi need never fear the lord of death, Yamaraja.

One who plants or transplants tulasi will eventually reside with Lord Krishna in His own abode.

To Shrimati Tulasidevi, who awards liberation in devotional service, one should therefore daily offer one’s full obeisances.

Even Chitragupta, Yamaraja’s secretary, cannot calculate the merit obtained by one who offers Shrimati Tulasi-devi a perpetually burning ghee lamp.

So dear is this sacred Ekadashi to the Supreme Personality of Godhead that all the forefathers of one who offers a bright ghee lamp to Lord Krishna on this day ascend to the heavenly planets and drink nectar there.

Whoever offers either a ghee- or sesame-oil lamp to Shri Krishna on this day is freed from all his sins and enters the abode of Surya, the sungod, with a body as bright as ten million lamps.

O Yudhisthira,” Lord Shri Krishna concluded, “these were the words Lord Brahma spoke to Narada Muni concerning the incalculable glories of Kamika Ekadashi, which removes all sins.

This sacred day nullifies even the sin of killing a brahmana or of killing an unborn child in the womb, and it promotes one to the spiritual world by making one supremely meritorious Whoever hears these glories of Kamika Ekadashi with faith becomes free of all sins and returns home, back to Vishnu-loka.”

Mohini Ekadashi

Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “O Janardana, what is the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Vaisakha (April-May)? What is the process for observing it properly? Kindly narrate all this to me.”

Lord Shri Krishna replied, “O blessed son of Dharma, what Vasistha Muni once told Lord Ramachandra I shall now describe to you.

Please hear Me attentively.

Lord Ramacandra asked Vasistha Muni, ‘O great sage, I would like to hear about the best of all fasting days-that day which destroys all kinds of sins and sorrows.

I have suffered long enough in separation from My dear Sita, and so I wish to hear from you about how My suffering can be ended.’

The sage Vasistha replied, ‘O Lord Rama, O You whose intelligence is so keen, simply by remembering Your name one can cross the ocean of this material world.

You have questioned me in order to benefit all of humanity and fulfill everyone’s desires.

I shall now describe that day of fasting which purifies the whole world.

O Rama, that day is Vaisakha-sukla Ekadashi, which falls on Dvadasi.

It removes all sins and is famous as Mohini Ekadashi, Truly, O Rama, the merit of this Ekadashi frees the fortunate soul who observes it from the network of illusion.

Therefore, if You want to relieve Your suffering, observe this auspicious Ekadashi perfectly, for it removes all obstacles from one’s path and relieves the greatest miseries.

Kindly listen as I describe its glories, because for one who even just hears about this auspicious Ekadashi, the greatest sins are nullified.

On the banks of the Sarasvati River there was once a beautiful city named Bhadravati, which was ruled by King Dyutiman.

O Rama, that steadfast, truthful, and highly intelligent king was born in the dynasty of the moon. In his kingdom was a merchant named Dhanapala, who possessed a great wealth of food grains and money.

He was also very pious.

Dhanapala arranged for lakes to be dug, sacrificial arenas to be erected, and beautiful gardens to be cultivated for the benefit of all the citizens of Bhadravati.

He was an excellent devotee of Vishnu and had five sons: Sumana, Dyutiman, Medhavi, Sukrti, and Dhrstabuddhi.

Unfortunately, his son Dhrstabuddhi always engaged in greatly sinful activities, such as sleeping with prostitutes and associating with degraded persons.

He enjoyed illicit sex, gambling, and many other varieties of sense gratification.

He disrespected the demigods; brahmanas; forefathers and other elders; and his family’s guests.

The evil hearted Dhrstabuddhi spent his father’s wealth indiscriminately, always feasting on untouchable foods and drinking wine to excess.

One day Dhanapala kicked Dhrstabuddhi out of the house after he saw him walking along the road arm-in-arm with a prostitute.

From then on all Dhrstabuddhi’s relatives were highly critical of him and distanced themselves from him.

After he had sold his ornaments and become destitute, the prostitutes also abandoned him and insulted him because of his poverty.

Dhrstabuddhi was now full of anxiety, and also hungry.

He thought, “What should I do?

Where should I go?

How can I maintain myself?”

He then began to steal.

The king’s constables arrested him, but when they learned that his father was the famous Dhanapala, they released him.

He was caught and released many times.

But at last the ill-mannered Dhrstabuddhi was apprehended, handcuffed, and then beaten.

After whipping him, the king’s marshals warned him, “O evil one! There is no place for you here.”

However, Dhrstabuddhi was freed from his tribulation by his father and immediately thereafter entered the dense forest.

He wandered here and there, hungry and thirsty and suffering greatly.

Eventually he began killing lions, deer, boars, and wolves for food. Always ready in his hand was his bow, always on his shoulder his quiver full of sharp arrows.

He also killed many birds, such as cakoras, peacocks, kankas, doves, and pigeons.

He unhesitatingly slaughtered many species of birds and animals, and thus his sins mounted day by day.

On account of his previous sins, he was now immersed in an ocean of great sin.

Dhrstabuddhi was always miserable and anxious, but one day, during the month of Vaisakha, by the force of some of his past merit he chanced upon the sacred ashrama of Kaundinya Muni.

The great sage had just finished bathing in the Ganges River, and water was dripping from him.

Dhrstabuddhi had the great good fortune to touch some of those drops falling from the sage’s clothes.

Instantly Dhrstabuddhi was freed of ignorance, and his sinful reactions were reduced.

Offering his humble obeisances to Kaundinya Muni, Dhrstabuddhi prayed to him with joined palms: “O great brahmana, please describe some kind of atonement I may perform without too much endeavor.

I have committed so many sins in my life, and these have now made me very poor.”

The great risi replied, “O son, listen with great attention, for by hearing me you will become free of all your remaining sins.

In the light fortnight of this month, Vaisakha, there occurs the sacred Mohini Ekadashi, which has the power to nullify sins as vast and weighty as Mount Sumeru.

If you follow my advice and faithfully observe a fast on this Ekadashi, which is so dear to Lord Hari, you will be freed from all the sinful reactions of many, many births.”

Hearing these words with great joy, Dhrstabuddhi promised to observe a fast on Mohini Ekadashi, according to the sage’s instructions.

O best of kings, O Rama, by fasting completely on Mohini Ekadashi, the once-sinful Dhrstabuddhi, the prodigal son of the merchant Dhanapala, became sinless.

Afterward he achieved a beautiful transcendental form and, free at last of all obstacles, rode upon Garuda, the carrier of Vishnu, to the Lord’s supreme abode.

O Rama, the fast day of Mohini Ekadashi removes the darkest illusory attachments to material existence.

There is thus no better fast day in all the three worlds.”‘

Lord Krishna concluded, “And so, O Yudhisthira, there is no place of pilgrimage, no sacrifice, and no charity that can bestow merit equal to even one sixteenth of the merit a faithful devotee of Mine obtains by observing Mohini Ekadashi, And He who hears and studies the glories of Mohini Ekadashi achieves the merit of giving away one thousand cows in charity.”

Mokshada Ekadashi

 Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “O Vishnu, master of all, O delight of the three worlds, O Lord of the universe, O creator of the world, O oldest personality, O best of all beings, I offer my most respectful obeisances unto You.

“O Lord of lords, for the benefit of all living entities, kindly answer some questions I have.

What is the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Margasirsa and removes all sins? How does one observe it properly, and which Deity is worshiped on that holy day? O Lord, please fully explain this to me.”

Lord Shri Krishna replied, “O Yudhisthira, your inquiry is very auspicious and will bring you fame.

Just as I previously explained to you the dearest Utpanna Maha-dvadasi – w ich occurs during the dark part of the month of Margasirsa, which is the day when Ekadashi-devi appeared from My body to kill the demon Mura, and which benefits everything animate and inanimate in the three worlds-so I shall now explain to you the Ekadashi that occurs during the light part of the month of Margasirsa.

This Ekadashi is famous as Mokshada because it purifies the faithful devotee of all sinful reactions and bestows liberation upon him.

The worshipable Deity of this day is Lord Damodara. With full attention one should worship Him with incense, a ghee lamp, flowers, and tulasi manjaris (buds).

O best of kings, please listen as I narrate to you the old and auspicious history of this Ekadashi Simply by hearing this history one can attain the merit earned by performing a horse sacrifice.

By the influence of this merit, one’s forefathers, mothers, sons, and other relatives who have gone to hell can go to heaven.

For this reason alone, O king, you should listen carefully to this narration.

There was once a beautiful city named Campaka-nagara, which was decorated with devoted Vaishnavas.

There the best of saintly kings, Maharaja Vaikhanasa, ruled his subjects as if they were his own sons and daughters.

The brahmanas in that capital city were all expert in four kinds of Vedic knowledge.

The king, while ruling properly, had a dream one night in which his father was suffering the pangs of torture in a hellish planet.

The king was overwhelmed with compassion and shed tears.

The next morning, Maharaja Vaikhanasa described his dream to his council of twice-born brahmanas.

O brahmanas” the king said, in a dream last night I saw my father suffering on a hellish planet.

He was crying out, “O son, please deliver me from the torment of this hell!” Now I have no peace, and even this beautiful kingdom has become unbearable to me.

Not even my horses, elephants, and chariots give me any joy, and my vast treasury gives me no pleasure at all.

Everything, O best of the brahmanas, even my own wife and sons, has become a source of unhappiness since I beheld my dear father suffering the tortures of hell.

Where can I go, and what can I do, O brahmanas, to alleviate this misery? My body is burning with fear and sorrow! Please tell me what kind of charity, what mode of fasting, what austerity, or what deep meditation I may perform to deliver my father from his agony and bestow liberation upon my forefathers.

O best of brahmanas, what is the use of one’s being a powerful son if one’s father must suffer on a hellish planet? Truly, such a son’s life is utterly useless!’

The twice-born brahmanas replied, O king, in the mountainous forest not far from here is the ashrama where the great saint Parvata Muni resides.

Please go to him, for he knows the past, present, and future of everything and can surely help you in your misery.

Upon hearing this advice, the distressed king immediately set out on a journey to the ashrama of the famous sage Parvata Muni.

The ashrama was very big and housed many learned sages expert in chanting the sacred hymns of the four Vedas.

Approaching the holy ashrama, the king beheld Parvata Muni seated among the sages like another Lord Brahma, the unborn creator.

Maharaja Vaikhanasa offered his humble obeisances to the muni, bowing his head and then prostrating his entire body.

After the king had seated himself, Parvata Muni asked him about the welfare of the seven limbs of his extensive kingdom.

The muni also asked him if his kingdom was free of troubles and whether everyone was peaceful and happy.

To these inquiries the king replied, ‘By your mercy, O glorious sage, all seven limbs of my kingdom are doing very well.

Yet there is a problem that has recently arisen, and to solve it I have come to you, O brahrrtand, for your expert guidance.’

Then Parvata Muni, the best of all sages, closed his eyes and meditated on the king’s past, present, and future.

After a few moments he opened his eyes and said, ‘Your father is suffering the results of committing a great sin, and I have discovered what it is.

In his previous life he quarreled with his wife when he enjoyed her sexually during her menstrual period.

She tried to resist his advances and yelled out, “Someone please save me! Please, O husband, do not interrupt my monthly period!” Still he did not leave her alone.

It is on account of this grievous sin that your father has fallen into such a hellish condition.’

King Vaikhanasa then said, O greatest of sages, by what process of fasting or charity may I liberate my dear father from such a condition? Please tell me how I can remove the burden of his sinful reactions, which are a great obstacle to his progress toward ultimate liberation.’

Parvata Muni replied, ‘During the light fortnight of the month of Margasirsa there occurs an Ekadashi called Mokshada.

If you observe this sacred Ekadashi strictly, with a full fast, and give directly to your suffering father the merit you thus obtain, he will be freed from his pain and instantly liberated.’

Hearing this, Maharaja Vaikhanasa profusely thanked the great sage and then returned to his palace.

O Yudhisthira, when the light part of the month of Margasirsa at last arrived, Maharaja Vaikhanasa faithfully and perfectly observed the Ekadashi fast with his wife, children, and other relatives.

He dutifully gave the merit from this fast to his father, and as he made the offering, beautiful flowers showered down from the sky.

The king’s father was then praised by the messengers of the demigods and escorted to the celestial regions.

As he passed his son, the father said to the king, ‘My dear son, all auspiciousness unto you!’ At last he reached the heavenly realm.

O son of Pandu, whoever strictly observes the sacred Mokshada Ekadashi, following the established rules and regulations, achieves full and perfect liberation after death.

There is no better fasting day than this Ekadashi of the light fortnight of the month of Margasirsa, O Yudhisthira, for it is a crystal-clear and sinless day.

Whoever faithfully observes this Ekadashi fast, which is like chintamini (a gem that yields all desires), obtains special merit that is very hard to calculate, for this day can elevate one to the heavenly planets and beyond-to perfect liberation.”

Nirjala Ekadashi

Once Bhimasena, the younger brother of Maharaja Yudhisthira, asked the great sage Shrila Vyasadeva, the I, grandfather of the Pandavas, if it is possible to return to the spiritual world without having observed all the rules and regulations of the Ekadashi fasts.

Bhimasena said, “O greatly intelligent grandfather, my brother Yudhisthira, my dear mother Kunti, and my beloved wife Draupadi, as well as Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva, fast completely on Ekadashi and strictly follow all the rules and regulations of that sacred day.

Being very religious, they always tell me that I should also fast on that day.

But, O grandfather, I tell them that I cannot live without eating, because hunger is unbearable to me.

I give widely in charity and worship Shri Keshava properly, but I cannot fast on Ekadashi Please tell me how I can obtain the same result without fasting.”

Hearing these words, Shrila Vyasadeva replied, “If you want to go to the heavenly planets and avoid the hellish planets, you should indeed observe a fast on both the light and dark Ekadashis.”

Bhima said, “O greatly intelligent grandfather, please listen to my plea.

O greatest of munis, since I cannot live if I eat only once in a day, how can I possibly live if I fast completely? Within my stomach burns a special fire named vrka, the fire of digestion.’

Only when I eat to my full satisfaction does the fire in my stomach become satisfied.

O great sage, I might possibly be able to fast only once, so I beg you to tell me of an Ekadashi that includes all other Ekadashis.

I shall faithfully observe that fast and hopefully still become eligible for liberation.”

Shrila Vyasadeva replied, “O king, you have heard from me about the various kinds of occupational duties, such as elaborate Vedic ceremonies. In the Kali-yuga, however, no one will be able to observe all these occupational duties properly.

I shall therefore tell you how, at practically no expense, one can endure some small austerity and achieve the greatest benefit and resultant happiness.

The essence of what is written in the Vedic literatures known as the Puranas is that one should not eat on either the dark- or light-fortnight Ekadashis.

One who fasts on Ekadashi is saved from going to the hellish planets.”

Hearing Vyasadeva’s words, Bhimasena, the strongest of all warriors, became frightened and began to shake like a leaf on a banyan tree in a strong wind.

The frightened Bhimasena said, “O grandfather, what should I do? I am completely unable to fast twice a month throughout the year! Please tell me of the one fasting day that will bestow the greatest benefit upon me!”

Vyasadeva replied, “Without drinking even water, you should fast on the Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Jyestha (May-June), when the sun travels in the sign of Gemini and Taurus.

According to learned personalities, on this day one may bathe and perform achamana for purification.

But while performing achamana one may drink only that amount of water equal to a drop of gold, or that amount which a single mustard seed can be immersed in.

Only this amount of water should be placed in the palm, which one should form to resemble a cow’s ear.

If one drinks more water than this, he might as well have drunk wine.

One must certainly not eat anything, for if he does so he breaks his fast.

This rigid fast is in effect from sunrise on Ekadashi to sunrise on Dvadasi.

If a person endeavors to observe this great fast very strictly, he easily achieves the results of observing all twenty-four Ekadashi fasts throughout the entire year.

On Dvadasi, the devotee should bathe early in the morning.

Then, according to the prescribed rules and regulations, and depending on his ability, he should give some gold and water to worthy brahmanas.

Finally, he should cheerfully honor prasadam with a brahmana.

O Bhimasena, one who can fast on this special Ekadashi in this way reaps the benefit of having fasted on every Ekadashi during the year.

There is no doubt of this.

O Bhima, now hear the specific merit one gets by fasting on this Ekadashi.

The Supreme Lord Kesava, who holds a conch, disc, club, and lotus, personally told me, ‘Everyone should take shelter of Me and follow My instructions.’

Then He told me that one who fasts on this Ekadashi.

without drinking water or eating, becomes free of all sinful reactions, and that one who observes the difficult nirjala fast on Jyestha-sukla Ekadashi.

truly reaps the benefit of all other Ekadashi fasts.

O Bhimasena, in the Kali-yuga, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy, when all the principles of the Vedas will have been destroyed or greatly minimized, and when there will be no proper charity or observance of the ancient Vedic principles and ceremonies, how will there be any means of purifying the self? But there is the opportunity to fast on Ekadashi and become free of all one’s past sins.

O son of Vayu, what more can I say to you? You should not eat during the dark and light Ekadashis, and you should even give up drinking water on the particularly auspicious day of Jyestha-sukla Ekadashi.

O Vrkodara, whoever fasts on this Ekadashi receives the merits of bathing in all the places of pilgrimage, giving all kinds of charities, and fasting on all the dark and light Ekadashis, Of this there is no doubt.

O tiger among men, whoever fasts on this Ekadashi. truly becomes a great person and achieves all wealth, grains, strength, and health.

And at the fearful moment of death, the terrible Yamadutas, whose complexions are yellow and black and who brandish huge clubs and twirl mystic pass ropes in the air, will refuse to approach him.

Rather, such a faithful soul will at once be taken to the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu by the Vishnudutas, whose transcendentally beautiful forms are clothed in gorgeous yellowish garments and who each hold a disk, club, conch, and lotus in their four hands.

It is to gain all these benefits that one should certainly fast on this very important Ekadashi, even from water.”

When the other Pandavas heard about the benefits to be gained by following Jyestha-shukla Ekadashi.

They resolved to observe it exactly as Shrila Vyasadeva had explained it to their brother, Bhimasena.

All the Pandavas observed it by refraining from eating or drinking anything, and thus this day is known as Pandava nirjala Dvadagi.

Shrila Vyasadeva continued, “O Bhima, therefore you should observe this important fast to remove all your past sinful reactions.

You should pray to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Shri Krishna, in this way: ‘O Lord of all the demigods, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, today I shall observe Ekadashi without taking any water. O unlimited Ananta, I shall break fast on the next day, Dvadasi.’

Thereafter, to remove all his sins, the devotee should honor this Ekadashi fast with full faith in the Lord and with full control of his senses.

Whether his sins are equal in volume to Mount Sumeru or to Mandarachala Hill, if he or she observes this Ekadashi, the sins all become nullified and are burned to ashes. Such is the great power of this Ekadashi.

O best of human beings, although a person should also give water and cows in charity during this Ekadashi if for some reason or other he cannot, then he should give a qualified brahmana some cloth or a pot filled with water.

Indeed, the merit achieved by giving water alone equals that gained by giving gold ten million times a day.

O Bhima, Lord Shri Krishna has said that whoever observes this Ekadashi should take a holy bath, give charity to a worthy person, chant the Lord’s holy names on a japa-mala, and perform some kind of recommended sacrifice, for by doing these things on this day one receives imperishable benefits.

There is no need to perform any other kind of religious duty.

Observance of this Ekadashi fast alone promotes one to the supreme abode of Shri Vishnu.

O best of the Kurus, if one donates gold, cloth, or anything else on this day, the merit one obtains is imperishable.

Remember, whoever eats any grains on Ekadashi becomes contaminated by sin and verily eats only sin.

In effect, he has already become a dog-eater, and after death he suffers a hellish existence.

But he who observes this sacred Jyestha-sukla Ekadashi and gives something in charity certainly achieves liberation from the cycle of repeated birth and death and attains to the supreme abode.

Observing this Ekadashi, which is merged with Dvadasi, frees one from the horrible sin of killing a brahmana, drinking liquor and wine, becoming envious of one’s spiritual master and ignoring his instructions, and continually telling lies.

Furthermore, O best of beings, any man or woman who observes this fast properly and worships the Supreme Lord Jalasayi (He who sleeps on the water), and who on the next day satisfies a qualified brahmana with nice sweets and a donation of cows and money-such a person certainly pleases the Supreme Lord Vasudeva, so much so that one hundred previous generations in his family undoubtedly go to the Supreme Lord’s abode, even though they might have been very sinful, of bad character, and guilty of suicide.

Indeed, one who observes this Ekadashi rides on a glorious celestial airplane (vimana) to that abode.

One who on this day gives a brahmana a water-pot, an umbrella, or shoes surely goes to heaven.

Indeed, he who simply hears these glories also attains to the transcendental abode of the Supreme Lord, Shri Vishnu.

Whoever performs the shraddha ceremony to the forefathers on the dark-moon day called amavasya, particularly if it occurs at the time of a solar eclipse, undoubtedly achieves great merit.

But this same merit is achieved by him who simply hears this sacred narration-so powerful and so dear to the Lord is this Ekadashi.

One should clean his teeth properly and, without eating or drinking, observe this Ekadashi to please the Supreme Lord, Kesava.

On the day after Ekadashi one should worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His form as Trivikrama by offering Him water, flowers, incense, and a brightly burning lamp.

Then the devotee should pray from the heart: ‘O God of gods, O deliverer of everyone, O Hrsikesa, master of the senses, kindly bestow upon me the gift of liberation, though I can offer you nothing greater than this humble pot filled with water.’

Then the devotee should donate the water-pot to a brahmana.

O Bhimasena, after observing this Ekadashi fast and donating the recommended items according to his ability, the devotee should feed brahmanas and thereafter honor prasadam silently.”

Shrila Vyasadeva concluded, “I strongly urge you to fast on this auspicious, purifying, sin-devouring Dvadasi in just the way I have outlined.

Thus you will be completely freed of all sins and reach the supreme abode.”

Padmini Ekadashi

Suta Gosvami said, “Yudhisthira Maharaja said, ‘O Janardana, what is the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of the extra, leap-year month? How does one observe it properly? Please narrate this to me.’

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Shri Krishna, replied, ‘O Pandava, the meritorious Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of the extra month of leap-year is called Padmini.

It is very auspicious.

The fortunate soul who observes it with great determination and faith will return to My personal abode.

This extra-month Ekadashi is as powerful as I am in nullifying sins.

Even four-headed Lord Brahma cannot glorify it sufficiently.

Long ago Lord Brahma told Narada about this liberating, sin-removing Ekadashi.

Lotus-eyed Lord Krishna became very pleased by the inquiry of Yudhisthira and spoke to him the following pleasing words: ‘O king, please listen carefully as I narrate to you the process of fasting on Padmini Ekadashi.’ which is rarely done even by great sages.

One should begin his fast on Dashami, the day before Ekadashi, by not eating any urad dal, pink dal, chickpeas, spinach, honey, or sea salt, and also by not dining in the homes of others or off bell-metal plates.

These eight things should be avoided.

One should eat only once on Dasami, sleep on the ground, and remain celibate.

On Ekadashi, the devotee should rise early in the morning but should not brush his teeth.

Then he should thoroughly bathe-in a place of pilgrimage, if possible.

While chanting sacred hymns from the Vedas, he should smear his body with cow dung mixed with clay, sesame-seed paste, kusa grass, and the powder of amalaki fruits.

Then the devotee should take another thorough bath, after which he should chant the following prayers:

  • O amalaki fruits, please accept my humble obeisances. You have taken your birth from the saliva of Lord Brahma, and thus by your very presence the entire planet is purified. Kindly cleanse and purify my bodily limbs.
  • O sacred clay, you have been created by Lord Brahma, purified by Kasyapa Muni, and lifted by Lord Krishna in His form as Varaha, the boar incarnation. O clay, please purify my head, eyes, and other limbs. O clay, I offer my obeisances unto you. Kindly purify me so I may worship the Supreme Lord, Hari.
  • O cow-dung, you possess medicinal and antiseptic qualities because you have come directly from the stomach of our universal mother, the cow. You can purify the entire planet earth. Please accept my humble obeisances and purify me.
  • O Supreme Lord Vishnu, O God of gods, O master of the universe, O holder of the conch, disc, club, and lotus, please allow me to bathe in all the holy places of pilgrimage.”

Reciting these excellent prayers, chanting mantras to Lord Varuna, and meditating on all the places of pilgrimage located on the banks of the Ganges, one should bathe in whatever body of water is at hand.

Then, O Yudhisthira, the devotee should rub his body, thus purifying his mouth, hack, chest, arms, and waist as a prelude to worshiping the Supreme Lord, who wears brilliant yellow garments and gives pleasure to all creatures.

By so doing, the devotee will destroy all his sins.

Afterwards, he should chant the sacred Gayatri mantra, offer oblations to his forefathers, and then enter a Vishnu temple to worship Narayana, the husband of Lakshmi-devi.

If possible, the devotee should then fashion murtis of Radha-Krishna or Siva-Parvati out of gold and offer them nice devotional worship.

He should fill a copper or clay pot with pure water mixed with scents, and then he should cover the pot with a cloth lid and a gold or silver lid, in this way preparing an asana upon which the Radha-Krishna or Shiva Parvati murtis may sit for worship.

According to his capacity, the devotee should then worship these murtis with fragrant incense, a bright ghee lamp, and sandalwood paste, along with camphor, musk, kunkuma, and other scents, as well as selected aromatic flowers like white lotuses and other seasonal blooms, and also very nicely prepared foods.

On this special Ekadashi the devotee should dance and sing ecstatically before the Deity.

He should avoid prajalpa at all costs and should not talk to or touch low-born persons or a woman in her menstrual period.

On this day he should be especially careful to speak the truth and should not criticize anyone before the Deity of Lord Vishnu, the brahmanas, or the spiritual master.

Rather, with other devotees he should listen to Vaishnavas read the glories of Lord Vishnu from the Puranas.

One should not drink or even touch water to his lips on this Ekadashi, and one who is unable to perform this austerity should drink only water or milk.

Otherwise, the fast is considered broken. One should remain awake that night, singing and playing musical instruments for the transcendental pleasure of the Supreme Person.

During the first quarter of the Ekadashi night the devotee should offer some coconut meat to his worshipable murti, during the second part he should offer bel fruit, during the third part an orange, and as the night draws to a close some betel nut.

Remaining awake during the first part of Ekadashi night bestows on the devotee the same merit as that gained by performing the Agnistoma-yajna.

Staying awake during the second part of the night bestows the same merit as that gained by performing a Vajapeya-yajna.

Staying awake during the third part gives one the same merit as that attained by performing an Asvamedha-yajna.

And one who remains awake throughout the night receives all of the above-mentioned merit, as well as the grand merit of having performed a Rajasuya-yajna.

Thus there is no better fasting day in the year than Padmini Ekadashi.

Nothing can compare to it as a giver of merit, whether it be a fire sacrifice, knowledge, education, or austerity. Indeed, whoever observes this sacred Ekadashi fast receives all the merit attained by bathing in all the places of pilgrimage in the world.

After remaining awake throughout the night, the devotee should bathe at sunrise and then worship Me nicely.

He should then feed a qualified brahmana and respectfully give him the murti of Lord Kesava and the pot filled with pure scented water.

This gift will guarantee the devotee success in this life and liberation in the hereafter.

“‘O sinless Yudhisthira, as you have requested, I have described the rules and regulations, as well as the benefits, regarding the Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of the extra, leap-year month.

Fasting on this Padmini day bestows merit equal to that gained by fasting on all other Ekadashis.

The Ekadashi that occurs during the dark part of the extra month, which is known as Parama Ekadashi, is as powerful at removing sin as this one, Padmini.

Now please listen carefully as I narrate to you a fascinating account connected with this sacred day.

Pulastya Muni once recited this history to Naradaji.

Pulastya Muni once had occasion to rescue Ravana from the prison of Kartaviryarjuna, and upon hearing of this event, Narada Muni asked his friend, “O greatest of sages, since Ravana defeated all the demigods, including Lord Indra, how could Kartaviryarjuna defeat Ravana, who was so skilled in battle?”

Pulastya Muni replied, “O great Narada, during the Treta-yuga, Kartavirya (Kartaviryarjuna’s father) took birth in the Haihaya dynasty.

His capital city was Mahismati, and he had one thousand queens, whom he loved very dearly.

None of them, however, was able to give him the son he wanted so badly.

He performed sacrifices and worshiped the demigods and forefathers, but due to the curse of some sages he was unable to beget a son-and without a son, a king cannot enjoy his kingdom, just as a hungry man can never really enjoy his senses.

King Kartavirya carefully considered his plight and then decided to perform severe austerities to achieve his goal.

Thus he donned a loincloth made of bark, grew matted locks, and turned over the reins of his kingdom to his ministers.

One of his queens, Padmini-who was born in the Iksvaku dynasty, who was the best of all women, and who was the daughter of King Hariscandra saw the king leaving.

She felt that, since she was a chaste wife, her duty was to follow in the footsteps of her beloved husband.

Removing all the regal ornaments from her beautiful body and donning but one piece of cloth, she thus followed her husband into the forest.

At last Kartavirya reached the summit of Mount Gandha madam, where he performed severe austerities and penance for ten thousand years, meditating and praying to Lord Gadadhara, who wields a club.

But still he did not get a son. Seeing her dear husband waste away to mere skin and bone, Padmini thought of a solution to the problem.

She went to the chaste Anasjjyjj.

With great reverence, Padmini said, ‘O great lady, my dear husband, Kartavirya, has been performing austerities for the last ten thousand years, but Lord Kesava, who alone can remove one’s past sins and present difficulties, has not yet become pleased with him.

O most fortunate one, please tell me a fast day we can observe and thus please the Supreme Lord with our devotion, so much so that He will bless me with a nice son who will later rule the world as emperor.

Upon hearing the words of Padmini, who was very chaste and deeply devoted to her husband, the great Anasuya replied to her in a very cheerful mood: ‘O beautiful, lotus-eyed lady, usually there are twelve months in a year, but after every thirty-two months an extra month is added, and the two Ekadashis that occur during this month are called Padmini Ekadashi and Parama Ekadashi They fall on the Dvadasis of the light and dark part of the month, respectively.

You should fast on these days and remain awake throughout the night.

If you do so, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, will bless you with a son.’ ” ‘ “O Narada, in this way Anasuya, the daughter of the sage Kardama, explained the potency of these special Ekadashis.

Hearing this, Padmini faithfully followed the instructions to fulfill her desire for a son.

Padmini fasted completely, even from water, and remained awake all night, chanting the glories of God and dancing in ecstasy.

Lord Kesava, thus became most pleased with her devotion and appeared before her, riding on the back of the great Garuda.

The Lord said, ‘O beautiful one, you have greatly pleased Me by fasting on the special Ekadashi of the extra month.

Please ask Me for a benediction.’

Hearing these sublime words from the overseer of the entire universe, Padmini offered the Supreme Lord devotional prayers and asked Him for the boon her husband desired. Lord Shri Krishna was moved to reply, ‘O gentle lady, I am very happy with you, for there is no month dearer to Me than this, and the Ekadashis that occur during this month are the most dear to Me of all Ekadashis.

You have followed Anasuya’s instructions perfectly, and therefore I shall do what will please you. You and your husband will have the son you desire.’

The Lord, who removes the distress of the world, then spoke to King Kartavirya: ‘O king, please ask of Me any boon that will fulfill your heart’s desire, for your dear wife has pleased Me greatly.’

The king was very happy to hear this.

Naturally he asked for the son he had desired for so long: ‘O master of the universe, O killer of the Madhu demon, kindly grant me a son who will never be conquered by demigods, human beings, snakes, demons, or hobgoblins, but whom only You can defeat.’

The Supreme Lord immediately replied, ‘So be it!’ and disappeared.

The king became very pleased with his wife and returned to his palace in her company. Padmini soon became pregnant, and the mightyarmed Kartaviryarjuna appeared as her son.

He was the mightiest person in all the three worlds, and thus even tenheaded Ravana could not defeat him in battle.

Except for Lord Narayana, who holds a club, a disc, and other symbols in his hands, no one could overcome him.

By the merit that resulted from his mother’s strict and faithful observance of Padmini Ekadashi, he could defeat even the dreaded Ravana.

This is not at all surprising, O Naradaji, for Kartaviryarjuna was the fulfillment of the benediction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

With these words, Pulastya Muni departed.’

The Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, concluded, ‘O sinless Yudhisthira, as you have inquired from me, I have explained to you the power of this special Ekadashi.

O best of kings, whoever observes this fast will surely attain to My personal abode.

And similarly, if you want all your desires fulfilled, you should do likewise.’

Hearing these words from his beloved Kesava, Dharmaraja (Yudhisthira) became filled with joy, and when the time came he faithfully observed Padmini Ekadashi.”

Suta Gosvami concluded, “O sage Saunaka, I have explained to you all about this meritorious Ekadashi.”

Anyone who devotedly fasts on the Ekadashis that occur during the extra, leap-year months, carefully following all the rules, becomes glorious and happily goes back to Godhead.

And one who merely hears or reads about these Ekadashis will also obtain great merit and ultimately enter the abode of Lord Hari.”

Papamochani Ekadashi

Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “O Supreme Lord, I have heard from You the explanation of Amalaki Ekadashi, which occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Phalguna [February-March], and now I wish to hear about the Ekadashi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Chaitra [March-April].

What is its name, O Lord, and what results can one attain by observing it?”

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Shri Krishna, replied, “O best of kings, for the benefit of everyone I shall gladly describe to you the glories of this Ekadashi which is known as Papamochani.

The history of this Ekadashi was once narrated to the emperor Mandhata by Lomasa Risi.

King Mandhata addressed the risi, ‘O great sage, for the benefit of all people, please tell me the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Chaitra, and please explain the process for observing it.

Also, please describe the benefits one gains by observing this Ekadashi.’

Lomasa Risi replied, ‘The Ekadashi that occurs during the dark part of the month of Caitra is named Papamocani Ekadashi For the faithful devotee it removes the influences of ghosts and demons.

O lion among men, this Ekadashi also awards the eight perfections of life, fulfills all kinds of desires, purifies one’s life of all sinful reactions, and makes a person perfectly virtuous.

Now please listen to a historical account concerning this Ekadashi and Citraratha, the chief of the Gandharvas (heavenly musicians).

During the spring season, in the company of heavenly dancing girls, Citraratha once came upon a beautiful forest bursting forth with a great variety of flowers.

There he and the girls joined other Gandharvas and many Kinnaras, along with Lord Indra himself, the king of heaven, who was enjoying a visit there.

Everyone felt that there was no better garden than this forest.

Many sages were also present, performing their austerities and penance The demigods particularly enjoyed visiting this celestial garden during the months of Caitra and Vaisakha (April-May).

A great sage named Medhavi resided in that forest, and the very attractive dancing girls would always attempt to seduce him.

One famous girl in particular, Manjughosa, contrived many ways to allure the exalted muni, but out of great respect for the sage and fear of his power, which he had attained after years and years of asceticism, she would not come very close to him.

At a spot two miles from the sage, she pitched a tent and began singing very sweetly as she played a tamboura.

Cupid himself became excited when he saw and heard her perform so nicely and smelled the fragrance of her sandal-paste unguent.

He remembered his own unfortunate experience with Lord Shiva and decided to take revenge by seducing Medhavi.’

Using the eyebrows of Manjughosa as a bow, her glances as a bowstring, her eyes as arrows, and her breasts as a target, Cupid approached Medhavi in order to tempt him to break his trance and his vows.

In other words, Cupid engaged Manjughosa as his assistant, and when she looked at that powerful and attractive young sage, she also became agitated by lust.

Seeing that he was highly intelligent and learned, wearing a clean white brahmana’s thread draped across his shoulder, holding a sannyasi’s staff, and sitting handsomely in the asrama of Cyavana Risi Manjughosa came before him.

She began to sing seductively, and the small bells on her belt and around her ankles, together with the bangles on her wrists, produced a delightful musical symphony.

The sage Medhavi was enchanted.

He understood that this beautiful young woman desired union with him, and at that instant Cupid increased his attraction for Mahjughosa by releasing his powerful weapons of taste, touch, sight, smell, and sound.

Slowly Manjughosa approached Medhavi, her bodily movements and sweet glances attracting him.

She gracefully put her tamboura down and embraced the sage with her two arms, just as a creeper winds itself around a strong tree.

Captivated, Medhavi gave up his meditation and decided to sport with her-and instantly his purity of heart and mind abandoned him.

Forgetting even the difference between night and day, he went away with her to sport for a long, long time.

Seeing that the young yoga’s sanctity had become seriously eroded, Manjughosa decided to abandon him and return home. She said, “O great one, please permit me to return home.”

Medhavi replied, “But you have only just arrived, O beautiful one. Please stay with me at least until tomorrow.”

Fearful of the sage’s yogic power, Manjughosa stayed with Medhavi for precisely fifty-seven years, nine months, and three days, but to Medhavi all this time seemed like a moment.

Again she asked him, “Please permit me to leave.”

Medhavi replied, “O dear one, listen to me.

Stay with me for one more night, and then you may leave tomorrow morning.

Just stay with me until after I have performed my morning duties and chanted the sacred Gayatri mantra.

Please wait until then.”

Manjughosa was still fearful of the sage’s great yogic power, but she forced a smile and said, “How long will it take you to finish your morning hymns and rituals? Please be merciful and think of all the time you have already spent with me.”

The sage reflected on the years he had been with Manjughosa and then said with great astonishment, “Why, I have spent more than fifty seven years with you!” His eyes turned red and began to emanate sparks.

He now regarded Manjughosa as death personified and the destroyer of his spiritual life. “You rascal woman! You have turned all the hard-earned results of my austerities to ashes!” Trembling with anger, he cursed Manjughosa “O sinful one, O hard-hearted, degraded one! You know only sin! May all terrible fortune be yours! O rascal woman, I curse you to become an evil hobgoblin pisaca!”

Cursed by the sage Medhavi, the beautiful Manjughosa humbly beseeched him, “O best of the brdhmanas, please be merciful to me and revoke your curse! O great one, it is said that association with pure devotees gives immediate results but their curses take effect only after seven days.

I have been with you for fifty-seven years, O master, so please be kind to me!”

Medhavi Muni replied, “O gentle lady, what can I possibly do? You have destroyed all my austerities.

But even though you have done this sinful deed, I shall tell you a way you can be released from my wrath.

In the dark fortnight of the month of Caitra there is an allauspicious Ekadashi that removes all one’s sins.

Its name is Papamochani, O beautiful one, and whoever fasts on this sacred day becomes completely freed from having to take birth in any kind of devilish form.”

With these words, the sage left at once for his father’s asrama.

Seeing him enter the hermitage, Cyavana Muni said, “O son, by acting unlawfully you have squandered the wealth of your penances and austerities.”

Medhavi replied, “O Father, kindly reveal what atonement I must perform to remove the obnoxious sin I have incurred by privately associating with the dancing girl Manjughosa”

Cyavana Muni answered, “Dear son, you must fast on Papamocani Ekadashi.

which occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Caitra.

It eradicates all sins, no matter how grievous they may be.”

Medhavi followed his father’s advice and fasted on Papamocani Ekadashi.

Thus all his sins were destroyed and he again became filled with excellent merit. Similarly, Manjughosa observed the same fast and became free of the hobgoblin curse. Ascending once again to the heavenly spheres, she too returned to her former position.’

Lomasa Risi continued, ‘Thus, O king, the great benefit of fasting on Papamocani Ekadashi is that whoever does so with faith and devotion will have all his sins completely destroyed.’

Shri Krishna concluded, “O King Yudhisthira, whoever reads or hears about Papamochani Ekadashi.

obtains the very same merit he would get if he donated a thousand cows in charity, and he also nullifies the sinful reactions he may have incurred by killing a brahmana, killing an embryo through abortion, drinking liquor, or having sex with his guru’s wife.

Such is the incalculable benefit of properly observing this holy day of Papamochani Ekadashi, which is so dear to Me and so meritorious.”

Parama Ekadashi

Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “O Supreme Lord, what is the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the extra, leap-year month.

Also, O master of all the universes, what is the process for observing it properly? Kindly narrate all this to me.”

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Shri Krishna, replied, “O Yudhisthira, this meritorious day is called Parama Ekadashi.

It bestows the great benediction of an enjoyable life and ultimate liberation from birth and death.

The process for observing it is similar to that for observing the Ekadashi.

that occurs during the light part of the month of Kartika.

That is to say, on this Ekadashi one should worship Me, the best of all living beings, with full love and devotion.

In this connection I will now tell you a wonderful history, just as I heard it from the great sages in the city of Kampilya.

Once a very pious brahmana named Sumedha resided in Kampilya with his wife, Pavitra, who was extremely chaste and devoted to her husband.

On account of having committed some sin in his previous life, Sumedha was without any money or food grains, and even though he begged many people for food, he could not obtain any substantial amount.

He hardly had adequate food, clothing, or shelter for himself and his beautiful young wife, who was of such excellent character that she continued to serve Sumedha faithfully despite their poverty.

When guests would come to their home, Pavitra would give them her own food, and although she often went hungry, her beautiful, lotus like face never faded.

This fasting made her weak, but her affection for Sumedha remained unbreakable.

Seeing all this, and lamenting his bad luck, Sumedha one day said to Pavitra, ‘My dear wife, O most beautiful one, I beg alms from the rich but receive scarcely a scrap.

What am I to do? What possible relief is there for our plight? Where should I go for relief? O most obedient and loving wife, without enough wealth, household affairs are never successful.’

Therefore please permit me to go abroad and attain some wealth.

If I make such an effort, I shall certainly obtain whatever fortune I am destined to enjoy.

Without making some endeavor a person cannot satisfy his desires or meet his needs.

Thus wise men have said that enthusiastic endeavor is always auspicious.’

Upon hearing her husband speak these words, Pavitra joined her palms and, her eyes brimming with tears, spoke to him with great respect and affection: ‘I think there is no one greater or more learned than you, my dear.

One who, though in misery, is interested in the welfare of others speaks just as you have.

However, the scriptures state that whatever wealth a person attains in this life is due to his having given charity in previous lives, and that if one has not given any charity in previous lives, then even though he may sit atop a mound of gold as big as Mount Sumeru, he will remain poor.

Whatever charity a person gives in the form of education, money, fertile land, and the like is returned to him in a future lifetime.

We gain what we have given. Indeed, whatever the Lord of destiny, the creator, has written as one’s fortune will certainly come to pass.

No one attains any wealth without having given charity in his previous life.

O best of the brahmanas, since we are now poor, in our previous lives neither you nor I must have given any charity to worthy persons.

Therefore, O gracious husband, you should remain here with me.

Without you I cannot live even for a moment.

Bereft of her husband, a woman is not welcomed by her father, mother, brother, father-in-law, or any other family members.

Everyone will say, “You have lost your husband; you are bad luck!” In this way I shall be criticized severely !

Please, therefore, stay here with me and be satisfied with whatever wealth we get.

Whatever is destined, we shall obtain in due course of time and enjoy here in perfect happiness.’

“Hearing these plaintive words from his wife, Sumedha decided to remain in their native village.

One day the great sage Kaundinya arrived at their place, and upon seeing him the brahmana Sumedha and his wife stood up before him and then offered him their respectful obeisances.

With his head bowed, Sumedha welcomed him: ‘We are very fortunate to behold you here today, O wisest of sages.

My life has become successful, and I am much obliged to you.

Sumedha offered Kaundinya Muni a comfortable seat and highly praised his austerities and learning. ‘Just by having your darsana today,’ said Sumedha, ‘I have become very fortunate.’

The poor brahmana couple fed the sage as sumptuously as they could afford to, and afterwards Pavitra asked the mendicant, ‘O most learned one, what process can we follow to be relieved of our poverty?

How can a person who has not given anything in charity in his previous life get a good family, much wealth, and a fine education in this life? My husband wants to leave me here and go abroad to beg alms, but I have earnestly prayed to him to stay here with me.

I humbly told him that if one lacks wealth in the present life, it is because of not having given sufficient charity in previous lifetimes.

And so he has consented to remain here.

It is only due to my great fortune that you have mercifully come here today.

Now we are certain to see the end of our poverty very soon.

O best of the brahmanas, please tell us how we can be free of this perpetual misery brought on by poverty.

O merciful one, kindly describe some means-a place of pilgrimage we may visit, a day of fasting we may observe, or an austerity we may perform by which our ill fortune will end forever.’

Hearing this sincere supplication from that patient lady, the great sage Kaundinya reflected silently for a moment and then said, ‘There is a fast day very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Hari.

Fasting on this day nullifies all kinds of sins and removes all miseries caused by poverty.

This fast day, which occurs during the dark part of the extra, leap-year month, is known as Parama Ekadashi.

It is the topmost day of Lord Vishnu.

This extra-month, dark-fortnight Ekadashi bestows all the necessities of life, such as money and food grains, and at last gives liberation.

When the evening of this day comes, one should begin singing the glories of the Lord and dancing in ecstasy, and one should continue through the entire night.

This holy fast was once observed faithfully by Lord Kuvera.

When Lord Siva saw how strictly he had fasted, Siva became very pleased and made Kuvera the treasurer of heaven.

Also, King Harischandra fasted on this Ekadashi after his dear wife and son had been sold, and the king was able to get them back.

Thereafter he ruled his kingdom with no further impediments.

Therefore, O broad-eyed lady, you also should observe the sacred fast of Parama Ekadashi, following all the appropriate rules and regulations and remaining awake all night.”‘

Lord Krishna continued, “O Yudhisthira, son of Pan u, in this way Kaundinya Muni mercifully and affectionately instructed Pavitra about the Parama Ekadashi fast.

Then he said to Sumedha, ‘On Dvadasi, the day after Ekadashi, you should vow to observe Pancaratrika fasting according to all the rules and regulations.

After taking a bath early in the morning, you and your good wife, along with both your parents and hers, should fast for five days according to your ability.

Then you will all become eligible to return home, to the abode of Lord Vishnu.

A person who simply makes use of only one seat during these five days goes to the heavenly planets.

Whoever feeds qualified brahmanas nicely on these five days has in effect fed all the demigods, all human beings, and even all the demons.

Whoever donates a pot of drinking water to a twice-born brahmana during this five-day fasting period will gain merit equal to that gained by donating the entire planet earth in charity.

Anyone who gives a learned person a pot filled with sesame seeds resides in heaven for as many years as there are seeds in the pot.

One who donates a pot filled with golden ghee will surely go to the abode of the sun-god after fully enjoying the pleasures of this earthly planet.

Whoever remains celibate during these five days will attain celestial happiness and enjoy with the maidens of Indra-loka.

Therefore both of you-Sumedha and Pavitra-should fast during these five days of Pancaratrika in order to be rewarded with ample grains and wealth for the rest of your lives on this planet.

The spiritual world will be your abode thereafter.’

Hearing this sublime advice, the brahmana couple, Sumedha and Pavitra, properly observed Parama Ekadashi and the fast of Pancaratrika, and very soon thereafter they beheld a handsome prince approaching them from the royal palace.

On the orders of Lord Brahma, the prince gave them a beautiful, exquisitely furnished house and invited them to live in it.

Praising their austerity and patience, he also gave them an entire village for their livelihood.

Then he returned to the palace.

Thus Sumedha and his wife enjoyed all kinds of facilities in this world and at last went to the abode of Vishnu.

Anyone who observes a fast on Parama Ekadashi and also the fast of Pancaratrika is freed from all his sins, and after enjoying life here he returns to Vishnu-loka, as did the brahmana Sumedha and his faithful wife, Pavitra.

It is impossible, O Yudhisthira, to calculate the extent of the merit one obtains by fasting on Parama Ekadashi, for such an observance is equal to bathing in places of pilgrimage such as Puskara Lake and the Ganges River, giving cows in charity, and performing all sorts of other religious activities.

One who fasts on this day has also completed the offerings of oblations to his forefathers in Gaya.

He has, in effect, fasted on all other auspicious days.

As in the social order the brahmana is considered the best, as among four-legged creatures the cow is best, and as among demigods Lord Indra is the best, so among all months the extra month of leap-year is the best.

The Pancaratrika fast-the fast of five days in the extra, leap-year month–is said to remove all kinds of abominable sins.

But the Pancaratrika fast, together with the fasts on Parama and Padmini Ekadashi destroys all a person’s sins.

If a person is unable to fast on all these days, he should observe the fasts during the extra month according to his ability.

A person who, having received a human birth, does not take a proper bath during this extra month and then observe these Ekadashis, which are very dear to Lord Hari, commits suicide and suffers in the cycle of 8,4OO,OOO species.

The rare human birth is meant for accumulating merit and at last achieving liberation.

Therefore one should by all means observe fasting on this auspicious Parama Ekadashi

Lord Shri Krishna concluded, “O sinless Yudhisthira, as you have requested, I have described to you the wonderful merit one can attain by fasting on the Ekadashi named Parama, which occurs during the dark part of the extra, leap-year month.

You should observe this fast if at all possible.”

King Yudhisthira did exactly as Lord Krishna had instructed, and so did all his brothers and their wife, Draupadi.

After enjoying pleasures rarely achieved in the material world, they returned home, back to Godhead. Whoever, after taking a proper bath, observes a fast on these two extra-month Ekadashis will go to heaven and finally attain to the abode of Shri Vishnu, and as he travels there he will be praised and prayed to by all the demigods.

Parsva Ekadashi

Parsva Ekadasi occurs in the month of Asvina when the Moon is waxing, and is also known as Vamana Ekadasi.

In the Brahma-vaivarta Purana, Sri Krsna and Maharaja Yudhistira discuss the illimatable glories of this special day.

Maharaja Yudhistira asked Sri Krsna “

What is the name of the Ekadasi that takes place during the waxing moon in the month of Asvina?

How should one make a proper job of observing this Ekadasi vrata and what merit is to be obtained by it?

Please explain to me all these in details.”.

Sri Krsna replied.

“O King, the glories of this day are immeasurably great, it awards liberation and revives one’s desire.

This Ekadasi is also known as Vamana Ekadasi due to the Lords appearance as Vamana deva at this time.

It is also known as Parsva Parivartini Ekadasi (“changing sides”) Ekadasi.”

Maharaja Yudhistira enquired, “O sweet Janardana! In spite of hearing your description I still have some doubts.

O King how do you sleep and how do you change sides?

What procedure can be carried out for fulfilling the Caturmasya Vrata.

What should people do when you are sleeping?

Why did you bind Bali Maharaj in your impenetrable way?

This I am unable to understand? Why is this?

Sri Krsna replied: My dear Yudhistira, there was no reason for the appearance of Vamana deva in particular, nevertheless his appearance was most auspicious what with his being the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Your doubts will be removed in good time when you have finished hearing this description of Ekadasi and your mind is pacified by it’s observance.

“O lion like King! In Treta-yuga there was a great devotee known as Bali Maharaj, he was born in a demoniac family, yet he still became a most sublime devotee.

This is almost unheard of! By his regular worship of me by offering a whole variety of sweet and sincere prayers I became most satisfied.

His benign service unto me was of a most high calibre and I became very pleased simply by hearing his words.

He also worshipped many brahmanas and performed sacrifice.

Soon he became so prominent he defeated Indra and, the King of heaven, and conquered the heavenly planet.

Then Indra approached me and offered beautiful prayers in harmony with the desires of the personality of Godhead.

By their prayer I assumed the form of a dwarf (Vamana) and went to the sacrificial arena of Bali in the garb of a brahmacari.

“Upon asking Bali for three steps of land I grew very ashamed of myself and only when I desired something more than these three steps did I feel at ease.

Vamana deva thus proceeded to take three steps, the first step covered the lower planetary systems and the second extended beyond the limited confines of the material universe.

The third step he happily placed on my head and I grew to be most ecstatic.

Being fully satisfied by the Lords humility he was more than kind enough to do this and I blessed him by living constantly with him.

“On the day of this Ekadasi which occurs during the waxing moon of Asvina.

A beautiful and most acutely aware deity of Vamana deva was installed in the residence of King Bali.

Another form of mine has been established in the bed of Ananta Sesa in the ocean of milk.

The Supreme Lord sleeps for four months beginning from Sayana Ekadasi up to Utthana Ekadasi.

One should offer special worship to the Lord with selfish motivation.

He should properly observe each and every Ekadasi and by observance in this way one obtains the result of performing one thousand horse sacrifices.

Pasankusha Ekadashi

Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “O Madhusudana, what is the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Ashvina (September-October)?

Please be merciful and tell this to me.”

The Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, replied, “O king, please listen as I explain the glories of this Ekadashi – Papankusa Ekadashi-which removes all sins.

On this day one should worship the Deity of Padmanabha, the lotus-naveled Lord, according to the rules and regulations.

By doing so, one achieves whatever heavenly pleasures he wants in this world and at last attains liberation.

Simply by offering one’s humble obeisances unto Lord Vishnu, the rider of Garuda, once can achieve the same merit as is won by performing great penances for a long time with completely controlled senses.

Although a person might have committed unlimited sins, he can still escape hell just by paying his obeisances to Lord Hari, who removes all sins.

The merits gained by going on pilgrimage to tirthas of this earthly planet can also be achieved simply by chanting the holy names of Lord Vishnu.

Whoever chants these sacred names-such as Rama, Vishnu, Janardana, or Krishna-especially on Ekadashi, never sees Yamaraja’s abode.

Nor does one who fasts on Pasankusha Ekadashi, which is so dear to Me, see that abode.

Both the Vaishnava who criticizes Lord Siva and the Shaivite who criticizes Me certainly go to hell.

The merit obtained by performing one thousand horse sacrifices and one hundred Rajasuya sacrifices is not equal to even one sixteenth of the merit a person obtains by fasting on Ekadashi.

There is no higher merit one can achieve than that attained by fasting on Ekadashi.

Indeed, nothing in all the three worlds is as pleasing or as able to purify one of sin as Ekadashi.

the day of the lotus-naveled Lord, Padmanabha.

O king, until a person observes a fast on the day of Lord Padmanabha named Pasankusha Ekadashi, he remains sinful, and the reactions of his past sinful deeds never leave him.

There is no merit in all the three worlds that can match the merit one attains by observing a fast on this Ekadashi.

Whoever observes it faithfully never has to see death personified, Lord Yamaraja.

One who desires liberation, heaven, good health, beautiful women, wealth, and food grains should simply fast on this Ekadashi.

O King, neither the Ganges, Gaya, Kam, nor Puskara, nor even the holy site of Kuruksetra, can grant as much merit as Pasankusha Ekadashi.

O Yudhisthira, protector of the earth, after observing Ekadashi during the daytime, the devotee should remain awake through the night, for by doing so he easily attains to the abode of the Supreme Lord, Shri Vishnu.

Ten generations of ancestors on his mother’s side, ten generations on his father’s side, and ten generations on his wife’s side are all liberated by a single observance of a fast on this Ekadashi.

All these ancestors attain their original, four-armed, transcendental forms.

Wearing yellow garments and beautiful garlands, they ride to the spiritual world on the back of Garuda, the enemy of the snakes.

This is the benediction My devotee earns simply by observing one Pasankusha Ekadashi properly.

O best of kings, whether one is a child, a youth, or an old person, fasting on Pasankusha Ekadashi frees him of sins and makes him immune to suffering a hellish rebirth.

Whoever observes a fast on this Ekadashi becomes free of all his sins and returns to the abode of Lord Hari.

Whoever donates gold, sesame seeds, fertile land, cows, grain, drinking water, an umbrella, or a pair of shoes on this most holy day will never have to visit the abode of Yamaraja, who always punishes sinners.

But if a resident of earth fails to perform spiritual deeds, especially the observance of a fast on holy days such as Ekadashi, his breathing is said to be no better than the puffing-of a blacksmith’s bellows.

O best of kings, especially on Pasankusha Ekadashi, even the poor should first bathe and then give some charity and perform other auspicious activities according to their ability.

“Whoever performs sacrifices or builds public ponds, resting places, gardens, or houses does not suffer the punishments of Yamaraja.

Indeed, one should understand that a person must have performed such pious activities as these in his past life if he is long-lived, wealthy, of high birth, or free from all diseases.

But a person who observes Pasankusha Ekadashi goes to the abode of the Supreme Lord.”

Lord Krishna concluded, “Thus, O saintly Yudhisthira, I have narrated to you the glories of Pasankusha Ekadashi.

Please question me further if you wish to hear more about Ekadashi.”

Pavitra Ekadashi

Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “O Madhusudana, O killer of the Madhu demon, please be merciful to me and describe to me the Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Shravana (July-August).”

The Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, replied, “Yes, O king, I shall happily narrate its glories to you, for just by hearing about this sacred Ekadashi one attains the merit of performing a horse sacrifice.

At the dawn of Dvapara-yuga there lived a king by the name of Mahijita, who ruled the kingdom of Mahismati-puri.

Because he had no son, his entire kingdom seemed utterly cheerless to him.

A married man who has no son gains no happiness in this life or the next.’ For a long time this king tried very hard to obtain an heir, but to no avail.

Seeing his years advancing ever onwards, King Mahijita became increasingly anxious. One day he told an assembly of his advisers: I have committed no sin in this life, and there is no ill-gotten wealth in my treasury.

I have never usurped the offerings to the demigods or brahmanas.

When I waged war and conquered kingdoms, I followed the rules and regulations of the military art, and I have protected my subjects as if they were my own children.

I punished even my own relatives if they broke the law, and if my enemy was gentle and religious I welcomed him.

O twice-born souls, although I am a religious and faithful follower of the Vedic standards, still my home is without a son.

Kindly tell me the reason for this.’

Hearing this, the king’s brahmana advisers discussed the subject among themselves, and with the aim of benefiting the king they visited the various ashramas of the great sages.

At last they came upon a sage who was austere, pure, and self-satisfied, and who was strictly observing a vow of fasting.

His senses were completely under control, he had conquered his anger, and he was expert at performing his occupational duty. Indeed, this great sage was expert in all the conclusions of the Vedas, and he had extended his life span to that of Lord Brahma himself.

His name was Lomasa Risi, and he knew past, present, and future.

After each kalpa passed, one hair would fall out of his body.

All the king’s brahmana advisers very happily approached him one by one to offer their humble respects.

Captivated by this great soul, King Mahijita’s advisers offered obeisances to him and said very respectfully, ‘Only because of our great good fortune, O sage, have we been allowed to see you.’

Lomasa Risi saw them bowing down to him and replied, ‘Kindly let me know why you have come here.

Why are you praising me? I must do all I can to solve your problems, for sages like me have only one interest: to help others.

Do not doubt this.

The king’s representatives said, ‘We have come to you, O exalted sage, to ask for your help in solving a very serious problem.

O sage, you are like Lord Brahma. Indeed, there is no better sage in the entire world.

Our king, Mahijita, is without a son, though he has sustained and protected us as if we were his sons.

Seeing him so unhappy on account of being sonless, we have become very sad, O sage, and therefore we have entered the forest to perform severe austerities.

By our good fortune we happened upon you. Everyone’s desires and activities become successful just by your darshana.

Thus we humbly ask that you tell us how our kind king can obtain a son.’

Hearing their sincere plea, Lomasa Risi absorbed himself in deep meditation for a moment and at once understood the king’s previous life.

Then he said, ‘Your ruler was a merchant in his past life, and feeling his wealth insufficient, he committed sinful deeds.

He traveled to many villages to trade his goods.

Once, at noon on the day after the Ekadashi that comes during the light fortnight of the month of Jyestha, he became thirsty while traveling from place to place.

He came upon a beautiful pond on the outskirts of a village, but just as he was about to drink at the pond a cow arrived there with her new-born calf.

These two creatures were also very thirsty because of the heat, but when the cow and calf started to drink, the merchant rudely shoved them aside and selfishly slaked his own thirst.

This offense against a cow and her calf has resulted in your king’s being without a son now.

But the good deeds he performed in his previous life have given him rulership over an undisturbed kingdom.’

Hearing this, the king’s advisers replied, ‘O renowned rishi, we have heard that the Vedas say one can nullify the effects of one’s past sins by acquiring merit.

Be so kind as to give us some instruction by which our king’s sins can be destroyed; please give him your mercy so that a prince will take birth in his family.’

Lomasa Risi said, ‘There is an Ekadashi called Pavitra, which comes during the light fortnight of the month of Sravana.

On this day all of you, including your king, should fast and stay awake all night, strictly following the rules and regulations.

Then you should give the king whatever merit you gain by this fast.

If you follow these instructions of mine, he will surely be blessed with a fine son.’

All the king’s advisers became very pleased to hear these words from Lomasa Risi, and they all offered him their grateful obeisances.

Then, their eyes bright with happiness, they returned home.

When the month of Shravana arrived, the king’s advisers remembered the advice of Lomasa Risi, and under their direction all the citizens of Mahismati-puri, as well as the king, fasted on Ekadashi And on the next day, Dvadasi, the citizens dutifully offered their accrued merit to him.

By the strength of all this merit, the queen became pregnant and eventually gave birth to a most beautiful son.

O Yudhisthira,” Lord Krishna concluded, “the Ekadashi that comes during the light fortnight of the month of Sravana has thus rightfully become famous as Pavitra (“bestower of a son”).

Whoever desires happiness in this world and the next should certainly fast from all grains and legumes on this holy day.

Indeed, whoever simply hears the glories of Pavitra Ekadashi becomes completely free of all sins, is blessed with a good son, and surely ascends to heaven after death.”

Putrada Ekadashi

Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “O Lord, You have so nicely explained the glories of the auspicious Saphala Ekadashi which occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Pausa (December-January).

Now please be merciful to me and explain the Ekadashi of the light fortnight of this month.

What is its name, and what Deity should be worshiped on that sacred day? O Purusottama, O Hrsikesa, please also tell me how You can be pleased on this day.”

Lord Shri Krishna replied, “O king, for the benefit of all humanity I shall tell you how to observe fasting on Pausa-shukla Ekadashi.

As I previously explained, everyone should observe the rules and regulations of Ekadashi to the best of his ability.

This injunction also applies to the Ekadashi named Putrada, which destroys all sins and elevates one to the spiritual abode.

Shri Narayana, the Supreme Lord and original personality, is the worshipable Deity of this Ekadashi, and for His faithful devotee He happily fulfills all desires and awards full perfection.

Thus among all the animate and inanimate beings in the three worlds, there is no better personality than Lord Narayana.

O king, now I will narrate to you the history of Putrada Ekadashi, which removes all kinds of sins and makes one famous and learned.

There was once a kingdom named Bhadravati, which was ruled by King Suketuman. His queen was the famous Saibya.

Because he had no son, he spent a long time in anxiety, thinking, ‘If I have no son, who will carry on my dynasty?’

In this way the king meditated in a religious attitude for a long time, thinking, ‘Where should I go?

What should I do?

How can I get a son?’

King Suketuman could find no happiness anywhere in his kingdom, even in his own palace, and soon he was spending more and more time inside his wife’s palace, gloomily thinking only of how he could get a son.

Thus both King Suketuman and Queen Saibya were in great distress.

Even when they offered tarpana (oblations of water to their forefathers), their mutual misery made them think that it was as undrinkable as boiling water.

They thought that they would have no descendants to offer tarpana to them when they died.

The king and queen were especially upset to learn that their forefathers were worried that soon there would be no one to offer them tarpana.

After learning of their forefathers’ unhappiness, the king and queen became more and more miserable, and neither ministers, friends, nor even loved ones could cheer them up.

To the king, his elephants and horses and infantry were no solace, and at last he became practically inert and helpless.

The king thought, ‘It is said that without a son, marriage is wasted.

Indeed, for a family man with no son, both his heart and his splendid house remain vacant and miserable.

Bereft of a son, a man cannot liquidate the debt he owes his forefathers, the demigods, and other human beings.

Therefore every married man should endeavor to beget a son; thus he will become famous within this world and at last attain the auspicious celestial realms.

A son is proof of the pious activities a man performed in his past one hundred lifetimes, and such a person achieves a long duration of life in this world, along with good health and great wealth.

Possessing sons and grandsons in this life proves that one has worshiped Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the past.

The great blessings of sons, wealth, and sharp intelligence can be achieved only by worshiping the Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna That is my opinion.’

Thinking thus, the king had no peace.

He remained in anxiety day and night, from morning to evening, and from the time he lay down to sleep at night until the sun rose in the morning, his dreams were equally full of great anxiety.

Suffering such constant anxiety and apprehension, King Suketuman decided to end his misery by committing suicide.

But he realized that suicide throws a person into hellish conditions of rebirth, and so he abandoned that idea.

Seeing that he was gradually destroying himself by his all consuming anxiety over the lack of a son, the king at last mounted his horse and left for the dense forest alone.

No one, not even the priests and brahmanas of the palace, knew where he had gone.

In that forest, which was filled with deer and birds and other animals, King Suketumiin wandered aimlessly, noting all the different kinds of trees and shrubs, such as the fig, bel fruit, date, palm, jackfruit, bakula, saptaparna, tinduka, and tilaka, as well as the sala, talc, tamala, sarala, hingota, arjuna, labhera, baheda, sallaki, karonda, patala, khaira, saka, and palasa trees.

All were beautifully decorated with fruits and flowers.

He saw deer, tigers, wild boar, lions, monkeys, snakes, huge bull elephants in rut, cow elephants with their calves, and four-tusked elephants with their mates close by.

There were cows, jackals, rabbits, leopards, and hippopotamuses.

Beholding all these animals accompanied by their mates and offspring, the king remembered his own menagerie, especially his palace elephants, and became so sad that he absentmindedly wandered into their very midst.

Suddenly the king heard a jackal howl in the distance.

Startled, he began wandering about, looking around in all directions.

Soon it was midday, and the king started to tire.

He was tormented by hunger and thirst.

He thought, ‘What sinful deed could I possibly have done so that I am now forced to suffer like this, with my throat parched and burning?

I have pleased the demigods with numerous fire sacrifices and abundant devotional worship.

I have given many gifts and delicious sweets in charity to all the worthy brahmanas.

And I have taken care of my subjects as though they were my very own children.

Why am I suffering so?

What unknown sins have come to torment me in this dreadful way?’

Absorbed in these thoughts, King Suketuman struggled forward, and eventually, due to his pious credit, he came upon a beautiful pond that resembled the famous Lake Manasarovara.

It was filled with aquatics, including crocodiles and many varieties of fish, and graced with lilies.

Beautiful lotuses had opened to the sun, and swans, cranes, and ducks swam happily in its waters.

Nearby were many attractive ashramas, where there resided many saints and sages who could fulfill the desires of anyone. Indeed, they wished everyone well.

When the king saw all this, his right arm and eye began to quiver, a sign that something auspicious was about to happen.

As the king dismounted his horse and stood before the sages, who sat on the shore of the pond, he saw that they were chanting the holy names of God on japa beads.

The king paid his obeisances and, joining his palms, glorified them.

He was overjoyed to be in their presence.

Observing the respect the king offered them, the sages said, ‘We are very pleased with you, O king.

Kindly tell us why you have come here. What is on your mind? Please tell us what you desire.’

The king replied, ‘O great sages, who are you? What are your names, O auspicious saints? Why have you come to this beautiful place? Please tell me everything.’

The sages replied, ‘O king, we are the Visvedevas; we have come here to this lovely pond to bathe.

The month of Magha will be here in five days, and today is the famous Putrada Ekadashi.

One who desires a son should strictly observe this Ekadashi.’

The king said, ‘I have tried so hard to have a son.

If you great sages are pleased with me, kindly grant me a good son.’

The very meaning of Putrada,’ the sages replied, ‘is “giver of a son.”

So please observe a complete fast on this Ekadashi day.

If you do, then by our blessings-and by the mercy of Lord Keshava-you will surely obtain a son.’

On the advice of the Visvedevas, the king observed the auspicious fast day of Putrada Ekadashi according to all the established rules and regulations, and on Dvadasi, after breaking his fast, he paid his obeisances again and again to them all.

Soon after Suketuman returned to his palace, Queen Saibya became pregnant, and exactly as the Visvedeva sages had predicted, a bright faced, beautiful son was born to them.

In due course he became famous as a heroic prince, and the king gladly pleased his noble son by making him his successor.

The son of Suketuman took care of his subjects very conscientiously, just as if they were his own children.

In conclusion, O Yudhisthira, one who wishes to fulfill his desires should strictly observe Putrada Ekadashi While on this planet, one who strictly observes this Ekadashi will surely obtain a son, and after death he will achieve liberation.

Anyone who even reads or hears the glories of Putrada Ekadashi obtains the merit earned by performing a horse sacrifice.

It is to benefit all humanity that I have explained all this to you.”

Rama Ekadashi

Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “O Janardana, O protector of all beings, what is the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Kartika (October-November)? Please impart this sacred knowledge to me.”

The Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, replied, “O lion among kings, please listen: The Ekadashi that occurs during the dark part of the month of Kartika is called Rama Ekadashi.

It is most auspicious, for it at once eradicates the greatest sins and awards passage to the spiritual abode.

I shall narrate its history and glories to you.

There once lived a famous king named Mucukunda, who was friendly with Lord Indra, the king of heaven, as well as with Yamaraja, Varuna, and Vibhisana, the demon Ravana’s pious brother.

Mucukunda always spoke the truth and constantly rendered devotional service to Me.

Because he ruled according to religious principles, there were no disturbances in his kingdom.

Mucukunda’s daughter was named Candrabhaga, after a sacred river, and the king’ gave her in marriage to Sobhana, the son of Candrasena.

One day, Sobhana visited his father-in-law’s palace on the auspicious Ekadashi day.

This visit made Sobhana’s wife, Candrabhaga, quite anxious, for she knew that her husband was physically very weak and unable to bear the austerity of a day-long fast.

She said to him, ‘My father is very strict about following Ekadashi On Dashami, the day before Ekadashi he strikes a large kettledrum and announces, “Nobody should eat on Ekadashi, the day of Lord Hari!”‘

When Sobhana heard the sound of the kettledrum, he said to his wife, ‘O beautiful one, what am I to do now? Please tell me how I can save my life and obey your father’s strictures at the same time!’

Candrabhaga replied, ‘My dear husband, in my father’s house nobody not even the elephants and horses, what to speak of human beings-eats on Ekadashi.

Indeed, none of the animals are given their ration of grains, leaves, or straw-or even water!-on Ekadashi, the day of Lord Hari.

So how can you escape fasting? My beloved, if you must eat something, then you should leave here at once.

Now, with firm conviction decide what to do.’

Prince Sobhana replied, ‘I have decided to fast on the sacred Ekadashi. day.

Whatever my fate is, it will surely come to pass.’

Deciding thus, Sobhana attempted to fast on that Ekadashi, but he became unbearably disturbed with excessive hunger and thirst.

Eventually the sun set in the west, and the arrival of the auspicious night made all the Vaishnavas very happy.

O Yudhisthira, all the devotees enjoyed worshiping Lord Hari and remaining awake through the night, but to Prince Sobhana that night became absolutely unbearable.

Indeed, when the sun rose on Dvadasi, Sobhana was dead.

King Mucukunda observed his son-in-law’s funeral, ordering a large stack of wood assembled for the fire, but he instructed his daughter Candrabhaga not to join her husband on the funeral pyre.

Thus Candrabhaga, after performing all the purificatory processes honoring her deceased husband, continued to live in her father’s house.”

Lord Krishna continued, “O best of the kings, even though Sobhana died because of observing Rama Ekadashi.

the merit he accrued enabled him, after death, to become the ruler of a kingdom high on the peak of Mandaracala Mountain.

This kingdom was like a city of the demigods: very lustrous, with unlimited jewels set in the walls of its buildings.

The pillars were made of rubies, and gold inlaid with diamonds shone everywhere.

As King Sobhana sat upon a throne beneath a pure white canopy, servants fanned him with yak-tail whisks.

 A stunning crown rested upon his head, beautiful earrings adorned his ears, a necklace graced his throat, and bejeweled armlets and bracelets encircled his arms.

He was served by Gandharvas (heaven’s best singers) and Apsaras (celestial dancers).

Verily, he resembled a second Indra.

One day, a brahmana named Somasarma, who lived in Mucukunda’s kingdom, happened upon Sobhana’s kingdom while traveling to various places of pilgrimage.

The brahmana saw Sobhana in all his resplendent glory and thought he might be the son-in-law of his own king, Mucukunda.

When Sobhana saw the brahmana approaching, he immediately rose from his throne and welcomed him.

After Sobhana had paid his respectful obeisances, he asked the brahmana about his wellbeing and about the health and welfare of his (Sobhana’s) father-in-law, his wife, and all the residents of the city.

Somasarma replied, ‘O king, all the subjects are well in your father-in-law’s kingdom, and Candrabhaga and your other family members are also quite well.

Peace and prosperity reign throughout the land.

But, O king, I am astonished to find you here! Please tell me about yourself.

Nobody has ever seen such a beautiful city as this! Kindly tell me how you obtained it.’

King Sobhana said, ‘Because I observed Ram& Ekadashi, I was given this splendid city to rule.

But for all its grandeur, it is only temporary.

I beg you to do something to correct this deficiency.

You see, this is only an ephemeral city.

How may I make its beauties and glories permanent?

Kindly instruct me.’

The brahmana asked, ‘Why is this kingdom unstable, and how will it become stable? Please fully explain this to me, and I shall try to help you.’

Sobhana answered, ‘Because I fasted on Ekadashi without any faith, this kingdom is impermanent.

Now hear how it can become permanent.

Please return to Candrabhaga, the beautiful daughter of King Mucukunda, and tell her what you have seen and understood about this place and about me.

Surely, if you tell her this, my city will soon become permanent.’

Thus the brahmana returned to his city and related the entire episode to Candrabhaga, who was both surprised and overjoyed to hear this news.

She said, ‘O brahmana, is this a dream you have seen, or is it actually a fact?’

Somasarma replied, ‘O princess, I have indeed seen your late husband face to face in that wonderful kingdom, which resembles one of the demigods’ realms.

But he says that his entire kingdom is unstable and could vanish into thin air at any moment.

Therefore he hopes you can find a way to make it permanent.’

Candrabhaga said, ‘O sage among the brdhmanas, please take me to my husband at once, for I greatly desire to see him again! Surely I shall make his kingdom permanent with the merit I have acquired by fasting on every Ekadashi throughout my life.

Please reunite us once again.

It is said that one who reunites separated people obtains very great merit.’

The brahmana Somasarma then led Candrabhaga to Sobhana’s effulgent kingdom. Before reaching it, however, they stopped at the foot of Mount Mandaracala, at the sacred asrama of Vamadeva.

Upon hearing their story, Vamadeva chanted hymns from the Vedas and sprinkled holy water on Candrabhaga.

By the influence of that great risi’s rites, the merit she had accrued by fasting for so many Ekadashis made her body transcendental.

Ecstatic, her eyes beaming in wonder, Candrabhaga continued her journey.

When Sobhana saw his wife approaching him high on Mandaracala Mountain, he was overwhelmed with joy and called out to her in great happiness.

After she arrived, he seated her on his left, and she said to him, ‘O dearest one, please listen as I tell you something that will benefit you greatly.

Since I was eight years old I have fasted regularly and faithfully on every Ekadashi.

If I transfer to you all the merit I have thus accumulated, your kingdom will surely become permanent, and its prosperity will grow and grow until the coming of the great inundation!”‘

Lord Krishna continued, “O Yudhisthira, in this way Candrabhaga, who was beautifully decorated with the finest ornaments and had an exquisite transcendental body, at last enjoyed peace and happiness with her husband.

By the potency of Rama Ekadashi, Sobhana found his kingdom on the peaks of Mandaracala Hill able to fulfill all his desires and bestow upon him everlasting happiness, like that achieved from the Kama-dhenu cow.

O greatest of kings, I have thus narrated to you the glories of Rama Ekadashi. “

Anyone who observes sacred Ekadashi during both the light and the dark fortnight of each month is undoubtedly freed from the reactions to the sin of killing a brahmanas One should not differentiate between the Ekadashis of the light and the dark part of the month.

As we have seen, both can award pleasure in this world and liberate even the most sinful and fallen souls.

Just as black cows and white cows give milk of equal quality, the Ekadashis of the dark fortnight and the light fortnight award the same high degree of merit and eventually liberate one from the cycle of birth and death.

Anyone who simply hears the glories of this sacred day, Rama Ekadashi, is freed from all kinds of sin and attains the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu.”

Saphala Ekadashi

Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “O Shri Krishna, what is the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Pausa [DecemberJanuary]? How is it observed, and which Deity is to be worshiped on that day? Please narrate this to me fully, O Janardana.”

The Supreme Personality of Godhead replied, “O best of kings, because you desire to hear, I shall fully describe to you the glories of Pausa-krishna Ekadashi. “

I do not become as pleased by sacrifice or charity as I do by My devotees’ observance of a full fast on Ekadashi To the best of one’s ability, therefore, one should fast on Ekadashi the day of Lord Hari.

O Yudhisthira, I urge you to hear with undivided intelligence the glories of Pausa-krishna Ekadashi which falls on Dvadasi.

As I explained previously, one should not differentiate among the many Ekadashis.

O king, to benefit humanity at large I shall now describe to you the process of observing Pausa-krishna Ekadashi.

Pausa-krishna Ekadashi is also known as Saphala Ekadashi.

On this sacred day one should worship Lord Narayana, for He is its ruling Deity.

One should follow the previously described method of fasting.

Just as among snakes Sesa-naga is the best, among birds Garuda is the best, among sacrifices the Asvamedha-yagya is the best, among rivers Mother Ganga is the best, among gods Lord Vishnu is best, and among two-legged beings the brahmanas are the best, so among all fasting days Ekadashi is the best.

O foremost of kings born in the Bharata dynasty, whoever strictly observes Ekadashi becomes very dear to Me and indeed worshipable by Me in every way.

Now listen as I describe the process for observing Saphala Ekadashi.

On Saphala Ekadashi.

My devotee should worship Me by offering Me fresh fruits according to time, place, and circumstance, and by meditating on Me as the all-auspicious Supreme Personality.

He should offer Me jambira fruit, pomegranate, betel, coconut, guava, nuts, cloves, mangoes, and different kinds of aromatic spices.

He should also offer Me incense and bright ghee lamps, for such an offering of lamps on Saphala Ekadashi. is especially glorious.

The devotee should try to stay awake all night.

Now please hear with undivided attention as I tell you how much merit one gets if he fasts and remains awake throughout the entire night.

O best of kings, there is no sacrifice or pilgrimage that yields merit equal to or better than the merit one gains by fasting on Saphala Ekadashi.

Such fasting-particularly if one can remain awake and alert all night long bestows the same merit upon the faithful devotee as the performance of austerity for five thousand years.

O lion among kings, please hear the glorious history of this Ekadashi.

Once there was a city called Campavati, which was ruled by the saintly King Mahismata.

He had four sons, the eldest of whom, Lumpaka, always engaged in very sinful activities-illicit sex with the wives of others, gambling, and continual association with known prostitutes.

His evil deeds gradually reduced the wealth of his father, King Mahismata.

Lumpaka also became very critical of the demigods and brahmanas, and every day he would blaspheme Vaishnavas.

At last King Mahismata, seeing the condition of his son, exiled him to the forest.

Out of fear of the king, even compassionate relatives did not come to Lumpaka’s defense, so angry was the king and so sinful was Lumpaka.

Bewildered in his exile, Lumpaka thought to himself, ‘My father has sent me away, and even my kinsmen do not raise any objection.

What should I do now?’ He schemed sinfully and thought, I shall sneak back to the city under cover of darkness and plunder its wealth.

During the day I shall stay in the forest, and at night I’ll return to city.’ So thinking, Lumpaka entered the dark forest.

He killed many animals by day, and by night he stole valuable items from the city.

The city-dwellers apprehended him several times, but out of fear of the king they left him alone.

They thought that it must have been the sins of his previous births that had made him lose his royal facilities and act so sinfully.

Though a meat-eater, Lumpaka would also eat fruits every day.

He resided under an old banyan tree that happened to be very dear to Lord Vasudeva.

Indeed, many worshiped it as the god of all the trees in the forest.

In due course of time, while Lumpaka was doing so many sinful and condemnable activities, Saphala Ekadashi arrived.

On the eve of Ekadashi, Lumpaka had to pass the entire night without sleep because of the severe cold and his scanty bedclothes.

The cold not only robbed him of all peace but almost killed him.

By the time the sun rose, his teeth were chattering and he was almost comatose, and all during the morning of that day, Ekadashi, he could not awaken from his stupor.

When midday of Saphala Ekadashi, arrived, the sinful Lumpaka finally came to and managed to rise up from his place under the banyan tree.

But with every step he stumbled to the ground.

Like a lame man, he walked slowly and hesitantly, suffering greatly from hunger and thirst in the midst of the jungle.

So weak was Lumpaka that he could not kill a single animal that day.

Instead, he was reduced to collecting whatever fruits had fallen to the ground.

By the time he returned to the banyan tree, the sun had set.

Placing the fruits on the ground next to him, Lumpaka began to cry, ‘Oh, woe is me! What should I do?

Dear father, what is to become of me?

O Shri Hari, please be merciful to me and accept these fruits!’

Again he was forced to lie awake the whole night without sleep, but in the meantime the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Madhusudana, had become pleased with Lumpaka’s offering of the forest fruits, and He accepted them.

Lumpaka had unwittingly observed a full Ekadashi, fast, and by the merit he reaped on that day he regained his kingdom with no further obstacles.

Listen, O Yudhisthira, to what happened to the son of King Mahismata when but a fragment of merit sprouted up within his heart.

As the sun rose beautifully on the day following Ekadashi, a handsome horse approached Lumpaka and stood next to him.

At the same time, a voice suddenly spoke from out of the clear blue sky: ‘This horse is for you, Lumpaka! Mount it and swiftly ride out to greet your family! O son of King Mahismata, by the mercy of Lord Vasudeva and the strength of the merit you acquired by observing Saphala Ekadashi, your kingdom will be returned to you without any further hindrances.

Such is the benefit you have gained by fasting on this auspicious day.

Go now to your father and enjoy your rightful place in the dynasty.’

Upon hearing these celestial words, Lumpaka mounted the horse and rode back to the city of Campavati.

By the merit he had accrued by fasting on Saphala Ekadashi, he had become a handsome prince once more and was able to absorb his mind in the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari. In other words, he had become My pure devotee.

Lumpaka offered his father, King Mahismata, his humble obeisances and once more accepted his princely responsibilities.

Seeing his son decorated with Vaishnava ornaments and tilaka, King Mahismata gave him the kingdom, and Lumpaka ruled unopposed for many, many years.

Whenever Ekadashi came, he worshiped the Supreme Lord with great devotion.

And by the mercy of Shri Krishna he obtained a beautiful wife and a fine son.

In old age Lumpaka handed his kingdom over to his sonjust as his own father, King Mahismata, had handed it over to him-and then went into the forest to serve the Supreme Lord with controlled mind and senses.

Purified of all material desire, he left his body and returned home, back to Godhead, attaining a place near the lotus feet of Lord Shri Krishna.

O Yudhisthira, one who approaches Me as Lumpaka did will become completely free of lamentation and anxiety.

Indeed, anyone who properly observes this glorious Saphala Ekadashi – even if unknowingly, like Lumpaka-will become famous in this world.

He will become perfectly liberated at death and return to Vaikuntha.

Of this there is no doubt. Moreover, one who simply hears the glories of Saphala Ekadashi, obtains the same merit derived by one who performs a Rajasuya-yajna and at the very least he goes to heaven in his next birth.”

Sat-tila Ekadashi

Dalbhya Risi said to Pulastya Muni, “When the spirit soul comes in contact with the material energy, he immediately begins to perform sinful activities, such as stealing, killing, and illicit sex.

He may even perform many other terrible deeds, such as killing a brahmana.

O purest of personalities, please tell me how these unfortunate souls may escape the punishment of being sent to hellish regions of creation.

Kindly inform me how, by giving even a little in charity, one may easily become free of his sins.”

Pulastya Muni replied, “O fortunate one, you have asked me a food and confidential question, which not even Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, or Indra has ever asked.

Please listen very carefully to my answer.

With the arrival of the month of Magha [January-February], one should bathe, carefully control his senses by giving up lust, anger, pride, jealousy, faultfinding, and greed, and meditate on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Shri Krishna.

One should then gather up some cow dung before it touches the ground and, after mixing it with sesame seeds and cotton, form 1O8 balls.

This should be done on the day when the constellation of Purvasadhanaksatra arrives.

Then one should follow the rules and regulations of Ekadashi, which I shall now explain to you.

After bathing, the person who intends to observe Ekadashi should worship the Supreme Lord.

While praying to Lord Krishna by chanting His name, he should promise to observe the Ekadashi fast.

He should remain awake overnight and perform a homes.

Then the devotee should perform arati to the Lord-who holds a conch, disk, club, and so on in His hands-offering Him sandalwood paste, incense, camphor, a bright ghee lamp, and delicious preparations of food.

Next the devotee should offer the 1O8 balls of cow dung, sesame seeds, and cotton into the sacred fire while chanting the holy names of the Supreme Lord, Krishna.

Throughout the whole day and night he should also observe the standard Ekadashi fast, which in this case is a fast from all grains and beans.

On this occasion one should offer the Lord pumpkin, coconut, and guava.

If these items are unavailable, betel nut may be substituted.

The devotee should pray to Lord Janardana, the benefactor of all beings, in this way: O Lord Shri Krishna, You are the most merciful Personality of Godhead and the liberator of all fallen souls.

O Lord, we have fallen into the ocean of material existence.

Please be kind to us.

O lotus-eyed divinity, please accept our most humble and affectionate obeisances.

O protector of the world, we offer You our respects again and again.

O Supreme Spirit, O Supreme One, O source of all our forefathers, may You and Your eternal consort, Shrimati Lakshmi-devi, please accept these humble offerings.’

The devotee should then try to please a qualified brahmana with a warm welcome, a pot full of water, an umbrella, a pair of shoes, and clothes, requesting him at the same time to bestow his blessings, by which one may develop unalloyed love for Krishna.

According to one’s ability, one may also donate a black cow to such a brahmana, particularly to one who is very well versed in all the injunctions of the Vedic scriptures. One should also offer him a pot full of sesame seeds.

O exalted Dalbhya Muni, black sesame seeds are especially suitable for formal worship and fire sacrifices, while white or brown sesame seeds are meant to be eaten by a qualified brahmana.

One who can arrange to give both kinds of sesame seeds on this sacred Sat-tila Ekadashi will be promoted to the heavenly planets for as many thousands of years as the number of seeds that would be produced if the seeds he donated were sown in the ground and grew into mature, seed-bearing plants.

On this Ekadashi a faithful person should bathe in water mixed with sesame seeds, rub sesame seed paste on his body, offer sesame seeds in sacrifice, eat sesame seeds, give sesame seeds away in charity, and accept charitable gifts of sesame seeds.

These are the six [sat] ways in which sesame seeds [tila] are utilized for spiritual purification on this Ekadashi.

Therefore it is called Sat-tila Ekadashi.

The great Devarsi Naradaji once asked the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna, ‘O mighty-armed Lord, O You who are so affectionate to Your loving devotees, please accept my most humble obeisances.

O Yadava, kindly tell me the result one obtains by observing Sat-tila Ekadashi.’

Lord Shri Krishna replied, ‘O best of the twice-born, I shall narrate to you an account of an incident I personally witnessed.

Long ago on earth there lived an old female brahmana who worshiped Me every day with controlled senses.

She very faithfully observed many a fast, especially on special days honoring Me, and served Me with full devotion, devoid of any personal motive.

Her rigorous fasting made her quite weak and thin.

She gave charity to brahmanas and young maidens, and even planned to give away her house in charity.

O best of the brahmanas, although this spiritually-minded woman gave charitable donations to worthy people, the odd feature of her austerity was that she never gave food to brahmanas or demigods.

I began to reflect on this curious omission: “This fine woman has purified herself by fasting on all the auspicious occasions and by offering Me strict devotional worship. Therefore she has certainly become eligible to enter My personal abode, which is unattainable by ordinary persons.”

So I came down to this planet to examine her, disguising Myself as a follower of Lord Siva’s complete with a garland of skulls draped around My neck and a begging pot in My hand.

As I approached her, she said to Me, “O respectable one, tell me truthfully why You have come before me.”

I replied, “O beautiful one, I have come to get some sacred alms from you”-whereupon she angrily threw a dense lump of mud into My begging pot! O Narada, I simply turned around and went back to My personal abode, astonished at this fine brahmani’s peculiar mixture of great magnanimity and stinginess.

At last this austere lady reached the spiritual world in her self-same body, so great were her efforts at fasting and charity.

And because she had indeed offered Me a lump of mud, I transformed that mud into a beautiful home.

However, O Naradaji, this particular house was completely devoid of any edible grains, as well as any furniture or ornamentation, and when she entered it she found only an empty structure.

She therefore approached Me and said with great anger, “I have fasted repeatedly on so many auspicious occasions, making my body weak and thin.

I have worshiped You and prayed to You in so many different ways, for You are truly the master and protector of all the universes.

Yet despite all this there is no food or wealth to be seen in my new home, O Janardana.

Why is this?”

I replied, “Please return to your house.

Sometime later the wives of the demigods will pay you a visit out of curiosity to see the new arrival, but do not open your door until they have described to you the glories and importance of Shattila Ekadashi.”

Hearing this, she returned to her house.

Eventually the demigods’ wives arrived there and in unison said, “O beautiful one, we have come to have your darshana.

O auspicious one, please open your door and let us see you.”

The lady replied, “O most dear ones, if you want me to open this door, you will have to describe to me the merit one obtains by observing the sacred fast of Sat-tila Ekadashi.” But not one of the wives responded.

Later, however, they returned to the house, and one of the wives nicely explained the sublime nature of this sacred Ekadashi.

And when the lady at last opened her door, they saw that she was neither a demigoddess, a Gandharvi, a she-demon, nor even a Naga-patni.

She was simply an ordinary lady.

From then on the lady observed Sat-tila Ekadashi, which awards material enjoyment and liberation at the same time, as it had been described to her.

And she finally received the beautiful furnishings and grains she had expected for her home.

Moreover, her once ordinary material body was transformed into a beautiful spiritual form with a fine complexion.

So, by the mercy and grace of Sat-tila Ekadashi, both the lady and her new home in the spiritual world were at last radiantly splendid and lustrous with gold, silver, jewels, and diamonds.

O Naradaji, a person should not ostentatiously observe Ekadashi, out of greed, with the hope of attaining wealth dishonestly.

Selflessly, he should simply donate sesame seeds, clothes, and food according to his capacity, for by doing so he will achieve good health and exalted spiritual consciousness, birth after birth.

Ultimately, liberation and admittance into the Lord’s supreme abode will be his to enjoy.

That is my opinion, O best of the demigods.’

O Dalbhya Muni,” Pulastya Risi concluded, “one who properly observes the wonderful Sat-tila Ekadashi with great faith becomes free from all kinds of poverty-spiritual, mental, physical, social, and intellectual-as well as all kinds of ill luck and evil omens. Indeed, following this Ekadashi fast by donating, sacrificing, or eating sesame seeds frees one of all past sin, without a doubt.

One need not wonder how this happens.

The rare soul who properly performs these acts of charity in the right devotional mood, following the Vedic injunctions, will become utterly free of all sinful reactions and go back to Godhead, back home to the spiritual world.”

Sayana Ekadashi

Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “O Keshava, what is the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Asadha (June-July)? Who is the worshipable Deity for this auspicious day, and what is the process for observing it?”

Lord Shri Krishna replied, “O caretaker of this earthly planet, I shall gladly tell you a wonderful history that Lord Brahma once narrated to his son Naradaji.

One day Narada asked his father, ‘What is the name of the Ekadashi that comes during the light part of the month of Asadha? Kindly tell me how I should observe this Ekadashi and thus please the Supreme Lord, Vishnu.’

Lord Brahma replied, ‘O great orator, O best of all sages, O purest devotee of Lord Vishnu, your question is excellent.

There is nothing better than Ekadashi, the day of Lord Hari, in this or any other world.

It nullifies even the worst of sins if observed properly.

For this reason I shall tell you about Asddha-sukla Ekadashi.

Fasting on this Ekadashi purifies one of all sins and fulfills all one’s desires.

Therefore, whoever neglects to observe this sacred fast day is a good candidate for entering hell.

Asadha-shukla Ekadashi.

is also famous as Sayana Ekadashi.

Just to please Hrsikesa, the master of the senses, one should fast on this day.

Listen carefully, O Mirada, as I relate to you a wonderful history from the scriptures concerning this Ekadashi.

Just hearing this account destroys all kinds of sins, along with all obstacles on the path to spiritual perfection.

O son, there was once a saintly king in the sun dynasty whose name was Mandhata. Because he always stood up for the truth, he was appointed emperor.

He took care of his subjects as though they were his very own children.

On account of his piety and great religiosity, there was no pestilence, drought, or disease of any kind in his kingdom.

All his subjects were not only free of all kinds of disturbances but also very wealthy.

The king’s own treasury was free of any ill-gotten money, and thus he ruled happily for many years.

Once, however, because of some sin in his kingdom, there was a drought for three years.

The subjects found themselves beset by famine.

The lack of food grains made it impossible for them to perform the Vedic sacrifices, offer oblations to their forefathers and the demigods, engage in ritualistic worship, or even study the Vedic literatures.

Finally, they all came before their beloved king in a great assembly and said, “O king, you always see to our welfare, so we humbly beg your assistance now.

Everyone and everything in this world needs water.

Without water, almost everything is rendered useless or dead.

The Vedas call water nara, and because the Supreme Personality of Godhead sleeps upon water, His name is Narayana.

God makes His own abode on water and takes His rest there.’

In His form as the clouds, the Supreme Lord is present throughout the sky and pours forth rain, from which grow the grains that maintain every living entity.

O king, the severe drought has caused a great lack of valuable grains; thus we are all miserable, and the population is decreasing.

O best ruler on earth, please find some solution to this problem and bring us peace and prosperity once again.”

The king replied, “You speak the truth, for grains are like Brahman, the Absolute Truth, who lives within grains and thereby sustains all beings.

Indeed, it is because of grains that the entire world lives.

Now, why is there a terrible drought in our kingdom?

The holy scriptures discuss this subject very thoroughly.

If a king is irreligious, both he and his subjects suffer.

I have meditated upon the cause of our problem for a long time, but after searching my past and present character I can honestly say that I find no sin.

Still, for the good of all you subjects,

I shall try to remedy the situation.”

Thinking in this way, King Mandhata assembled his army and entourage, paid his obeisances to me, and then entered the forest.

He wandered here and there, seeking great sages in their ashramas and inquiring about how to resolve the crisis in his kingdom.

At last he came upon the asrama of one of my other sons, Angira Muni, whose effulgence lit up all directions.

Seated in his hermitage, Angira looked like a second Brahma.

King Mandhata was very pleased to see that exalted sage, whose senses were completely under control.

The king immediately dismounted his horse and offered his respectful obeisances to the lotus feet of Angira Risi Then the king joined his palms and prayed for his blessings.

That saintly personage reciprocated by blessing the king with sacred mantras; then he asked him about the welfare of the seven limbs of his kingdom.

After telling the sage how the seven limbs of his kingdom were faring, King Mandhata asked about the sage’s own happiness.

Then Angira Risi asked the king why he had undertaken such a difficult journey into the forest, and the king told him of the affliction his kingdom was suffering.

The king said, “O great sage, I am ruling and maintaining my kingdom while following the Vedic injunctions, and thus I do not know the reason for the drought.

To solve this mystery, I have approached you for help.

Please help me relieve the suffering of my subjects.”

Angira Rishi said to the king, “The present age, Satya-yuga, is the best of all ages, for in this age Dharma stands on all four legs.

In this age everyone respects brahmanas as the topmost members of society.

Also, everyone fulfills his occupational duties, and only twice-born brahmanas are allowed to perform Vedic austerities and penance.

Although this is the standard, O lion among kings, there is one sudra who is unlawfully performing the rites of austerity and penance in your kingdom.

This is why there is no rain in your land.

You should therefore punish this laborer with death, for by so doing you will remove the contamination and restore peace to your subjects.”

The king replied, “How can I kill an offenseless performer of austerity?

Please give me some spiritual solution.”

The great sage Angira said, “O king, you should observe a fast on the Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Asadha.

This auspicious day is named Sayana Ekadashi and by its influence plentiful rains will surely return to your kingdom.

This Ekadashi bestows perfection upon its faithful observers, removes all kinds of bad elements, and destroys all obstacles on the path to perfection.

O king, you, your relatives, and your subjects should all observe this sacred Ekadashi fast.

Then everything in your kingdom will undoubtedly return to normal.”

Upon hearing these words, the king offered his obeisances and then returned to his palace.

When Sayana Ekadashi arrived, King Mandhata assembled all the brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras in his kingdom and instructed them to strictly observe this important fast day.

After they had observed it, the rains fell, just as the sage had predicted, and in due course of time there were abundant crops and a rich harvest of grain.

By the mercy of the Supreme Lord Hrsikesa, the master of the senses, all the subjects of King Mandhata became extremely happy and prosperous.

Therefore, O Narada, everyone should observe this Ekadashi fast very strictly, for it bestows all kinds of happiness, as well as ultimate liberation, upon the faithful devotee.’

Lord Shri Krishna concluded, “My dear Yudhisthira, Sayana Ekadashi is so powerful that one who simply reads or hears its glories becomes completely sinless.

O Pandava, one who wishes to please Me should strictly observe this Ekadashi, which is also known as Deva-sayani Ekadashi.

O lion among kings, whoever wants liberation should regularly observe a fast on this Ekadashi, which is also the day when the Caturmasya fast begins.”

Utpanna Ekadashi

Suta Gosvami said, “O learned brahmanas, long ago Lord Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, explained the auspicious glories of Shri Ekadashi and the rules and regulations governing each observance of fasting on that holy day.

O best of the brahmanas, whoever hears about the origins and glories of these sacred fasts on the Ekadashi days goes directly to the abode of Lord Vishnu after enjoying many different kinds of happiness in this material world.

Arjuna, the son of Pritha, asked the Lord, O Janardana, what are the pious benefits of complete fasting, eating only supper, or eating but once at midday on Ekadashi, and what are the regulations for observing the various Ekadashi days? Kindly narrate all this to me.

The Supreme Lord, Krishna, replied, O Arjuna, in the beginning of winter, on the Ekadashi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Margasirsa [November-December], a novice should begin his practice of observing a fast on Ekadashi.

On Dasami, the day before Ekadashi. he should clean his teeth nicely.

Then, during the eighth portion of Dasami, just as the sun is about to set, he should eat supper.

The next morning the devotee should make a vow, according to the rules and regulations, to observe fasting.

At midday he should bathe properly in a river, lake, or small pond.

A bath in a river is most purifying, that taken in a lake is less so, and a bath in a small pond is the least purifying.

If neither a river, lake, nor pond is accessible, he may bathe with well-water.

The devotee should chant this prayer containing the names of Mother Earth: “O Asvakrante! O Rathakrante! O Vishnukrante! O Vasundhare! O Mrttike! O Mother Earth! Kindly remove all the sins I have accumulated throughout my many past lives so that I may enter the sacred abode of the Supreme Lord.”

As the devotee chants, he should smear mud over his body.

During the day of fasting the devotee should not speak to those who are fallen from their religious duties, to dog-eaters, to thieves, or to hypocrites.

He should also avoid speaking with slanderers; with those who abuse the demigods, the Vedic literatures, or brahmanas; or with any other wicked personalities, such as those who have sex with forbidden women, those who are known plunderers, or those who rob temples.

If any such person is spoken to or even seen during Ekadashi, one must purify oneself by looking directly at the sun.

Then the devotee should respectfully worship Lord Govinda with first class food, flowers, and so forth. In his home he should offer the Lord a lamp in pure devotional consciousness.

He should also avoid sleeping during the daytime and should completely abstain from sex.

Fasting from all food and water, he should joyfully sing the Lord’s glories and play musical instruments for His pleasure throughout the night.

After remaining awake all night in pure consciousness, the worshiper should give charity to qualified brahmanas and offer his humble obeisances unto them, begging their forgiveness for his offenses.

Those who are serious about devotional service should consider the Ekadashis that occur during dark fortnights to be as good as those that occur during bright fortnights.

O king, one should never discriminate between these two kinds of Ekadashi.

Please listen as I now describe the results obtained by one who observes Ekadashi.

in this way.

Neither the merit one receives by taking a bath in the sacred place of pilgrimage known as Sankhoddhara where the Lord killed the Sankhasura demon, nor the merit one receives upon seeing Lord Gadadhara directly is equal to one sixteenth of the merit one obtains by fasting on Ekadashi.

It is said that by giving charity on a Monday when the moon is full, one obtains a hundred thousand times the results of ordinary charity.

O winner of wealth, one who gives charity on the day of the sankranti (equinox) attains four hundred thousand times the ordinary result.

Yet simply by fasting on Ekadashi one obtains all these pious results, as well as whatever pious results one gets at Kuruksetra during an eclipse of the sun or moon.

Furthermore, the faithful soul who observes complete fasting on Ekadashi achieves a hundred times more merit than one who performs an Asvamedha-yajna [horse sacrifice].

One who observes just a single Ekadashi fast perfectly earns the same merit as one who feeds a hundred thousand mendicants each day for sixty thousand years.

And a person who properly observes Ekadashi just once earns ten times more merit than a person who gives a thousand cows in charity to a brahmana learned in the Vedas.

A person who feeds just one brahmachari earns ten times more merit than one who feeds ten good brahmanas in his own house.

But a thousand times more merit than is earned by feeding a brahmachari is achieved by donating land to a needy and respectable brahmana, and a thousand times more than that is earned by giving away a virgin girl in marriage to a young, well-educated, responsible man.

Ten times more beneficial than this is educating children properly on the spiritual path, without expecting any reward in return.

Ten times better than this, however, is giving food grains to the hungry. Indeed, giving charity to those in need is the best of all, and there never has been or ever will be a better charity than this.

O son of Kunti, all the forefathers and demigods in heaven become very satisfied when one gives food grains in charity.

But the merit one obtains by observing a complete fast on Ekadashi cannot be measured.

O Arjuna, best of all Kurus, the powerful effect of this merit is inconceivable even to the demigods, and half this merit is attained by one who eats only supper on Ekadashi.

One should therefore observe fasting on Lord Hari’s day either by eating only once at midday, abstaining from grains and beans; by eating only once in the evening, abstaining from grains and beans; or by fasting completely.

The processes of staying in places of pilgrimage, giving charity, and performing fire sacrifices may boast only as long as Ekadashi has not arrived.

Therefore anyone afraid of the miseries of material existence should observe Ekadashi.

On Ekadashi one should not drink water from a conchshell, kill living entities such as fish or pigs, or eat any grains or beans.

Thus I have described to you, O Arjuna, the best of all methods of fasting, as you have inquired from Me.’

Arjuna then asked, O Lord, according to You, a thousand Vedic sacrifices do not equal even one Ekadashi fast.

How can this be?

How has Ekadashi become the most meritorious of all days?

Lord Shri Krishna replied, ‘I will tell you why Ekadashi is the most purifying of all days.

In the Satya-yuga there once lived an amazingly fearsome demon called Mura.

Always very angry, he terrified all the demigods, defeating even Indra, the king of heaven; Vivasvan, the sun-god; the eight Vasus; Lord Brahma; Vayu, the wind-god; and Agni, the fire-god. With his terrible power he brought them all under his control.

Lord Indra then approached Lord Siva and said, “We have all fallen from our planets and are now wandering helplessly on the earth.

O lord, how can we find relief from this affliction?

What will be the fate of us demigods?”

Lord Siva replied, “O best of the demigods, go to that place where Lord Vishnu, the rider of Garuda, resides.

He is Jagannatha, the master of all the universes and their shelter as well.

He is devoted to protecting all souls surrendered to Him.”‘

Lord Krishna continued, ‘O Arjuna, winner of wealth, after Lord Indra heard these words of Lord Siva’s, he proceeded with all the demigods to the place where Lord Jagannatha, the Lord of the universe, the protector of all souls, was resting.

Seeing the Lord sleeping upon the water, the demigods joined their palms and, led by Indra, recited the following prayers:

O Supreme Personality of Godhead, all obeisances to You.

O Lord of lords, O You who are praised by the foremost demigods, O enemy of all demons, O lotus-eyed Lord, O Madhusudana [killer of the Madhu demon], please protect us.

Afraid of the demon Mura, we demigods have come to take shelter of You.

O Jagannatha, You are the doer of everything and the creator of everything.

You are the mother and the father of all universes.

You are the creator, the maintainer, and the destroyer of all.

You are the supreme helper of all the demigods, and You alone can bring peace to them.

You alone are the earth, the sky, and the universal benefactor.

You are Siva, Brahma, and also Vishnu, the maintainer of the three worlds.

You are the gods of the sun, moon, and fire.

You are the clarified butter, the oblation, the sacred fire, the mantras, the rituals, the priests, and the silent chanting of japa.

You are the sacrifice itself, its sponsor, and the enjoyer of its results, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Nothing within these three worlds, whether movable or immovable, can exist independent of You.

O Supreme Lord, Lord of lords, You are the protector of those who take shelter of You.

O supreme mystic, O shelter of the fearful, please rescue and protect us.

We demigods have been defeated by the demons and have thus fallen from the heavenly realm.

Deprived of our positions, O Lord of the universe, we are now wandering about this earthly planet.”‘

Lord Krishna continued, ‘Having heard Indra and the other demigods speak these words, Shri Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, replied, “What demon possesses such great powers of delusion that he has been able to defeat all the demigods?

What is his name, and where does he live?

Where does he get his strength and shelter?

Tell Me everything, O Indra, and do not fear.”

Lord Indra replied, “O Supreme Godhead, O Lord of lords, O You who vanquish the fear in Your pure devotees’ hearts, O You who are so kind to Your faithful servants,

there was once a powerful demon of the Brahman dynasty whose name was Nadijangha.

He was extraordinarily fearsome and wholly dedicated to destroying the demigods, and he begot an infamous son named Mura.

Mura’s great capital city is Candravati. From that base the terribly evil and powerful Mura demon has conquered the whole world and brought all the demigods under his control, driving them out of their heavenly kingdom.

He has assumed the roles of Indra, the king of heaven; Agni, the fire-god; Yama,

the lord of death; Vayu, the wind-god; Isa or Lord Siva Soma, the moon-god; Nairrti, the lord of the directions; and Pasi, or Varuna, the watergod.

He has also begun emanating light in the role of the sun-god and has turned himself into the clouds as well.

It is impossible for the demigods to defeat him.

O Lord Vishnu, please kill this demon and make the demigods victorious.”

Hearing these words from Indra, Lord Janardana became very angry and said, “O powerful demigods, all together you may now advance on Mura’s capital city of Candravati.”

Encouraged thus, the assembled demigods proceeded to Candravati with Lord Hari leading the way.

When Mura saw the demigods, that foremost of demons started roaring very loudly in the company of countless thousands of other demons, who were all holding brilliantly shining weapons.

The mighty-armed demons struck the demigods, who began abandoning the battlefield and fleeing in the ten directions.

Seeing the Supreme Lord Hrsikesa, the master of the senses, present on the battlefield, the furious demons rushed toward Him with various weapons in their hands.

As they charged the Lord, who holds a sword, disk, and club, He immediately pierced all their limbs with His sharp, poisonous arrows.

Thus many hundreds of demons died by the Lord’s hand.

At last the chief demon, Mura, began fighting with the Lord.

Mura used his mystic power to render useless whatever weapons the Supreme Lord Hrsikesa unleashed.

Indeed, to the demon the weapons felt just like flowers striking him.

When the Lord could not defeat the demon even with various kinds of weapons whether those that are thrown or those that are held-He began fighting with His bare hands, which were as strong as iron-studded clubs.

The Lord wrestled with Mura for one thousand celestial years and then, apparently fatigued, left for Badarikasrama.

There Lord Yogesvara, the greatest of all yogis, the Lord of the universe, entered a very beautiful cave named Himavati to rest.

O Dhananjaya winner of wealth, that cave was ninety-six miles in diameter and had only one entrance.

I went there out of fear, and also to sleep There is no doubt about this, O son of Pandu, for the great fight made Me very tired.

The demon followed Me into that cave and, seeing Me asleep, started thinking within his heart, “Today I will kill this slayer of all demons, Hari.”

While the wicked-minded Mura was making plans in this way, from My body there manifested a young girl who had a very bright complexion.

O son of Pandu, Mura saw that she was equipped with various brilliant weapons and was ready to fight.

Challenged by that female to do battle, Mura prepared himself and then fought with her, but he became very astonished when he saw that she fought him without cessation.

The king of the demons then said, “Who has created this angry, fearsome girl who is fighting me so powerfully, just like a thunderbolt falling upon me?”

After saying this, the demon continued to fight with the girl.

Suddenly that effulgent goddess shattered all of Mura’s weapons and in a moment deprived him of his chariot.

He ran toward her to attack her with his bare hands, but when she saw him coming she angrily cut off his head.

Thus the demon at once fell to the ground and went to the abode of Yamaraja.

The rest of the Lord’s enemies, out of fear and helplessness, entered the subterranean Patala region.

Then the Supreme Lord woke up and saw the dead demon before Him, as well as the maiden bowing down to Him with joined palms.

His face expressing His astonishment, the Lord of the universe said,

“Who has killed this vicious demon? He easily defeated all the demigods,

Gandharvas, and even Indra himself, along with Indra’s companions, the Maruts, and he also defeated the Nagas (snakes), the rulers of the lower planets.

He even defeated Me, making Me hide in this cave out of fear.

Who is it that has so mercifully protected Me after I ran from the battlefield and went to sleep in this cave?”

The maiden said, “It is I who have killed this demon after appearing from Your transcendental body.

Indeed, O Lord Hari, when he saw You sleeping he wanted to kill You.

Understanding the intention of this thorn in the side of the three worlds, I killed the evil rascal and thus freed all the demigods from fear.

I am Your great maha-sakti, Your internal potency, who strikes fear into the hearts of all Your enemies.

I have killed this universally terrifying demon to protect the three worlds.

Please tell me why You are surprised to see that this demon has been killed, O Lord.”

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said, “O sinless one, I am very satisfied to see that it is you who have killed this king of the demons.

In this way you have made the demigods happy, prosperous, and full of bliss.

Because you have given pleasure to all the demigods in the three worlds, I am very pleased with you.

Ask any boon you may desire, O auspicious one.

I will give it to you without a doubt, though it be very rare among the demigods.”

The maiden said, “O Lord, if You are pleased with me and wish to give me a boon, then give me the power to deliver from the greatest sins that person who fasts on this day.

I wish that half the pious credit obtained by one who fasts will accrue to one who eats only in the evening [abstaining from grains and beans], and that half of this pious credit will be earned by one who eats only at midday.

Also, may one who strictly observes a complete fast on my appearance day, with controlled senses, go to the abode of Lord Vishnu for one billion kalpas after he has enjoyed all kinds of pleasures in this world.

This is the boon I desire to attain by Your mercy, my Lord.

O Lord Janardana, whether a person observes complete fasting, eats only in the evening, or eats only at midday, please grant him a religious attitude, wealth, and at last liberation.”

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said, “O most auspicious lady, what you have requested is granted.

All My devotees in this world will surely fast on your day, and thus they will become famous throughout the three worlds and finally come and stay with Me in My abode.

Because you, My transcendental potency, have appeared on the eleventh day of the waning moon, let your name be Ekadashi.

If a person fasts on Ekadashi, I will burn up all his sins and bestow upon him My transcendental abode.

These are the days of the waxing and waning moon that are most dear to Me:

Trtiya [the third day],

Astami (the eighth day),

Navami (the ninth day),

Caturdasi (the fourteenth day),

and especially Ekadashi (the eleventh day).

The merit one attains by fasting on Ekadashi is greater than that achieved by observing any other kind of fast or by going to a place of pilgrimage, and even greater than that achieved by giving charity to brahmanas. I tell you most emphatically that this is true.”

Having thus given the maiden His benediction, the Supreme Lord suddenly disappeared.

From that time onward the Ekadashi day became most meritorious and famous all over the universe.

O Arjuna, if a person strictly observes Ekadashi, I kill all his enemies and grant him the highest destination.

Indeed, if a person observes this great Ekadashi fast in any of the prescribed ways,’ I remove all obstacles to his spiritual progress and grant him the perfection of life.

Thus, O son of Pritha, I have described to you the origin of Ekadashi.

This one day removes all sins eternally. Indeed, it is the most meritorious day for destroying all kinds of sins, and it has appeared in order to benefit everyone in the universe by bestowing all varieties of perfection.

One should not discriminate between the Ekadashis of the waxing and waning moons; both must be observed, O Naha, and they should not be differentiated from Maha-dvadasi.

Everyone who fasts on Ekadashi should recognize that there is no difference between these two Ekadashis, for they comprise the same tithi.

Whoever completely fasts on Ekadashi, following the rules and regulations, will achieve the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu, who rides upon Garuda.

They are glorious who devote themselves to Lord Vishnu and spend all their time studying the glories of Ekadashi,

One who vows not to eat anything on Ekadashi, but to eat only on the next day achieves the same merit as one who executes a horse sacrifice.

Of this there is no doubt.

On Dvadasi, the day after Ekadashi, one should pray, “O Pundarikaksa, O lotus-eyed Lord, now I will eat.

Please shelter me.”

After saying this, the wise devotee should offer some flowers and water at the Lord’s lotus feet and invite the Lord to eat by chanting the eight-syllable mantra thrice.’

If the devotee wants to gain the fruit of his fast, he should then drink water taken from the sanctified vessel in which he offered water at the Lord’s lotus feet.

On Dvadasi, one must avoid sleeping during the day, eating in another’s home, eating more than once, having sex, eating honey, eating from a bell-metal plate, eating urad dal, and rubbing oil on one’s body.

The devotee must give up these eight things on Dvadasi.

If he wants to speak to an outcaste on that day, he must purify himself by eating a tulasi leaf or an amalaki fruit.

O best of kings, from noon on Ekadashi, until dawn on Dvadasi, one should engage himself in taking baths, worshiping the Lord, and executing devotional activities, including the giving of charity and the performance of fire sacrifices.

If one finds himself in difficult circumstances and cannot break the Ekadashi fast properly on Dvadasi, one can break it by drinking water, and then one is not at fault if he eats again after that.

A devotee of Lord Vishnu who day and night hears these all-auspicious topics concerning the Lord from the mouth of another devotee will be elevated to the Lord’s planet and reside there for ten million kalpas.

And one who hears even one sentence about the glories of Ekadashi is freed from the reactions to such sins as killing a brahmana.

There is no doubt of this.

For all eternity there will be no better way of worshiping Lord Vishnu than observing a fast on Ekadashi.

Utthana Ekadashi

 It has four names: Haribodhini – Prabodhini – Devotthani – Utthana Ekadasi and it is the second Ekadasi (Kartik Shukla, light fortnight) in the month of Kartik.

Lord Brahma said to Narada Muni, “Dear son, O best of the sages, I shall narrate to you the glories of Haribodhini Ekadasi, which eradicates all kinds of sins and bestows great merit, and ultimately liberation, upon the wise persons who surrender unto the Supreme Lord.

“O best of the brahmanas, the merits acquired by bathing in the Ganges remain significant only as long as Haribodhini Ekadasi does not come.

This Ekadasi, which occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Kartika, is much more purifying than a bath in the ocean, at a place of pilgrimage, or in a lake.

This sacred Ekadasi is more powerful in nullifying sin than one thousand Asvamedha sacrifices and one hundred Rajasuya sacrifices.”

Narada Muni inquired, “O father, please describe the relative merits of fasting completely on Ekadasi, eating supper (without grains or beans), or eating once at midday (without grains or beans).”

Lord Brahma replied, “If a person eats once at midday on Ekadasi, the sins of his previous birth are erased, if he eats supper, the sins acquired during his previous two births are removed, and if he fasts completely, the sins accumulated during his pervious seven births are eradicated. “

O son, whatever is only rarely achieved within the three worlds is obtained by him who strictly observes Haribodhini Ekadasi.

A person whose sins equal Mount Sumeru in volume sees them all reduced to nothing if he simply fasts on Papaharini Ekadasi (another name for Haribodhini Ekadasi).

The sins a person has accumulated over a thousand previous births are burned to ashes if he not only fasts but also remains awake throughout Ekadasi night, just as a mountain of cotton can be burned to ashes if one lights a small fire in it.

O Narada, a person who strictly observes this fast achieves the results I have mentioned.

Even if one does a small amount of pious activity on this day, following the rules and regulations, one will earn merit to Mount Sumeru in volume; however a person who does not follow the rules and regulations given in the Scriptures may perform pious activity equal to Mount Sumeru in volume, but he will not earn even a small amount of merit.

One who does not chant the Gayatri mantra three times a day, who disregards fast days, who does not believe in God, who criticises the Vedic Scriptures, who thinks the Vedas bring only ruination to one who follows their injunctions, who enjoys another’s wife, who is utterly foolish and wicked, who does not appreciate any service that has been rendered to him, or who cheats others – such a sinful person can never perform any religious activity effectively.

Be he a brahmana or a shudra, whoever tries to enjoy another man’s wife, particularly the wife of a twice-born person, is said to be no better than a dog-eater.

“O best of the sages, any brahmana who enjoys sex with a widow or a brahmana lady married to another man brings ruin to himself and his family.

Any brahmana who enjoys illicit sex will have no children in his next life, and any past merit he may have earned is ruined. Indeed, if such a person displays any arrogance toward a twice-born brahmana or a spiritual master, he loses all his spiritual advancement immediately, as well as his wealth and children.

“These three kinds of men ruin their acquired merits: he whose character is immoral, he who has sex with the wife of a dog-eater, and he who appreciates the association of rogues.

Whoever associates with sinful people and visits their homes without a spiritual purpose will go directly to the abode of Lord Yamaraj, the superintendent of death.

And if someone eats in such a home, his acquired merit is destroyed, along with his fame, duration of life, children, and happiness.

“Any sinful rascal who insults a saintly person soon loses his religiosity, economic development, and sense gratification, and he at last burns in the fire of hell.

Anyone who likes to offend saintly persons, or who does not interrupt someone who is insulting saintly persons, is considered no better than an ass.

Such a wicked man sees his dynasty destroyed before his very eyes.

“A person whose character is unclean, who is a rogue or a swindler, or who always finds fault with others does not achieve a higher destination after death, even if he gives charity generously or performs other pious deed.

Therefore one should refrain from performing inauspicious acts and perform only pious ones, by which one will acquire merit and avoid suffering. “

However, the sins of one who, after due consideration, decides to fast of Haribodhini Ekadasi are erased from one hundred previous lives, and whoever fasts and remains awake overnight on this Ekadasi achieves unlimited merit and after death goes to the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu, and then thousand of his ancestors, relatives, and descendants also reach that abode.

Even if one’s forefathers were implicated in many sins and are suffering in hell, they still attain beautifully ornamented spiritual bodies and happily go to Vishnu’s abode.

O Narada, even one who has committed the heinous sin of killing a brahmana is freed of all stains on his character by faster on Haribodhini Ekadasi and remaining awake that night.

The merit that cannot by won by bathing in all the places of pilgrimage, performing a horse sacrifice, or giving cows, gold, or fertile land in charity can easily be achieved by fasting on this holy day and remaining awake throughout the night.

“Anyone who observes Haribodhini Ekadasi is celebrated as highly qualified and makes his dynasty famous.

As Death is certain, so losing one’s wealth is also certain.

Knowing this, O best of sages, one should observe a fast on this day so dear to Hari – Sri Haribodhini Ekadasi.

“All places of pilgrimage in the three worlds at once come to reside in the house of a person who fasts on this Ekadasi.

Therefore, to please the Lord, who holds a disc in His hand, one should give up all engagements, surrender, and observe this Ekadasi fast.

One who fasts on this Haribodhini day is acknowledged as a wise man, a true yogi, an ascetic, and one whose senses are truly under control.

He alone enjoys this world properly, and he will certainly achieve liberation.

This Ekadasi is very dear to Lord Vishnu, and thus it is the very essence of religiosity.

Even one observance of it bestows the topmost reward in all the three worlds.

“O Naradaji, whoever fasts on this Ekadasi will definitely not enter a womb again, and thus faithful devotees of the Supreme Godhead give up all varieties of religion and simply surrender to fasting on this Ekadasi.

For that great soul who honours this Ekadasi by fasting and remaining awake throughout the night, the Supreme Lord, Sri Govinda, personally terminates the sinful reactions that soul has acquired by the actions of his mind, body, and words.

“O son, for anyone who bathes in a place of pilgrimage, gives charity, chants the holy names of the Supreme Lord, undergoes austerities, and performs sacrifices for God on Haribodhini Ekadasi, the merit thus earned all becomes imperishable.

A devotee who worships Lord Madhava on this day with first-class paraphernalia becomes free from the great sins of a hundred lifetimes.

A person who observes this fast and worships Lord Vishnu properly is freed from great danger.

“This Ekadasi fast pleases Lord Janardana so much that He takes the person who observes it back to His abode, and while going there the devotee illuminates then ten universal directions.

Whoever desires beauty and happiness should try to honour Haribodhini Ekadasi, especially if it falls on Dvadasi.

The sins of one’s past hundred births – the sins committed during childhood, youth and old age in al those lifetimes, whether those sins are dry or wet – are nullified by the Supreme Lord Govinda if one fasts on Haribodhini Ekadasi with devotion.

Haribodhini Ekadasi is the best Ekadasi.

Nothing is unobtainable or rare in this world for one who fasts on this day, for it gives food grains, great wealth, and high merit, as well as eradication of all sin, the terrible obstacle to liberation.

Fasting on this Ekadasi is a thousand times better than giving charity on the day of the solar or lunar eclipse.

Again I say to you, O Naradaji, whatever merit is earned by one who bathes in a place of pilgrimage, performs sacrifices, and studies the Vedas is only one then-millionth the merit earned by the person who fasts but one on Haribodhini Ekadasi.

Whatever merit one has acquired in his life by some pious activities becomes completely fruitless if one does not observe the Ekadasi fast and worship Lord Vishnu in the month of Kartika.

Therefore, you should always worship the Supreme Lord, Janardana, and render service to Him.

Thus you will attain the desired goal, the highest perfection.

“On Haribodhini Ekadasi, a devotee of the Lord should not eat in another’s house or eat food cooked by a non devotee.

If he does so, he achieves only the merit of fasting on a full moon day.

Philosophical discussion of Scriptures in the month of Kartika pleases Sri Vishnu more than if one gives elephants and horses in charity or performs a costly sacrifice.

Whoever chants or hears descriptions of Lord Vishnu’s qualities and pastimes, even if but a half or even a fourth of a verse, attains the wonderful merit derived from giving away a hundred cows to a brahmana.

O Narada, during the month of Kartika one should give up all kinds or ordinary duties and devote one’s full time and energy especially while fasting, to discussing the transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Lord.

Such glorification of Sri Hari on the day so dear to the Lord, Ekadasi, liberates a hundred previous generations.

One who spends his time enjoying such discussions, especially in the month of Kartika, achieves the results of performing ten thousand fire sacrifices and burns all his sins to ashes.

“He who hears the wonderful narrations concerning Lord Vishnu, particularly during the month of Kartika, automatically earns the same merit as that bestowed upon someone who donates a hundred cows in charity.

O great sage, a person who chants the glories of Lord Hari on Ekadasi achieves the merit earned by donating seven islands.”

Narada Muni asked his glorious father, “O universal sire, I best of all demigods, please tell me how to observe this most sacred Ekadasi.

What kind of merit does it bestow upon the faithful?”

Lord Brahma replied, “O son, a person who wants to observe this Ekadasi should rise early on Ekadasi morning, during the brahma-muhurta hour (an hour and a half before sunrise until fifty minutes before sunrise).

He should then clean his teeth and bathe in a lake, river, pond, or well, or in his own home, as the situation warrants.

After worshipping Lord Sri Keshava, he should listen carefully to the sacred descriptions of the Lord.

He should pray to the Lord thus: ‘O Lord Keshava, I shall fast on this day, which is so dear to You, and tomorrow I shall honour Your sacred prasadam.

O lotus-eyed Lord, O infallible one, You are my only shelter.

Kindly protect me.’

“Having spoken this solemn prayer before the Lord with great love and devotion, one should fast cheerfully.

O Narada, whoever remains awake all night on this Ekadasi, singing beautiful songs glorifying the Lord, dancing in ecstasy, playing delightful instrumental music for His transcendental pleasure, and reciting the pastimes of Lord Krishna as records in bona-fide Vedic literature – such a person will most assuredly reside far beyond the three worlds, in the eternal, spiritual realm of God.

“On Haribodhini Ekadasi one should worship Sri Krishna with camphor, fruits, and aromatic flowers, especially the yellow agaru flower.

One should not absorb oneself in making money on this important day. In other words, greed should be exchanged for charity.

This is the process for turning loss into unlimited merit.

One should offer many kinds of fruits to the Lord and bathe Him with water from a conchshell.

Each of these devotional practices, when performed on Haribodhini Ekadasi, is ten million times more beneficial than bathing in all the places of pilgrimage and giving all forms of charity.

“Even Lord Indra joins his palm and offers his obeisances to a devotee who worships Lord Janardana with first-class agastya flowers of this day.

The supreme Lord Hari is very pleased when he is decorated with nice agastya flowers.

O Narada, I give liberation to one who devotedly worships Lord Krishna on this Ekadasi in the month of Kartika with leaves of the bel tree.

And for one who worships Lord Janardana with fresh tulasi leaves and fragrant flowers during this month, O son, I personally burn to ashes all the sins he has committed for then thousand births.

“One who merely sees Tulsi Maharani, touches her, mediates on her, narrates her history, offers obeisances to her, prays to her for her grace, plants her, worships her, or waters her lives in the abode of Lord Hari eternally.

O Narada, one who serves Tulsi-devi in these nine ways achieves happiness in the higher world for as many thousands of yugas as there are roots and subroots growing from a mature tulasi plant.

When a full grown tulasi plant produces seeds, many plants grow from those seeds and spread their branches, twigs, and flowers, and these flowers also produce numerous seeds.

For as many thousands of kalpas as there are seeds produced in this way, the forefathers of one who serves tulasi in these nine ways will live in the abode of Lord Hari.

“Those who worship Lord Keshava with kadamba flowers, which are very pleasing to Him, get is mercy and do not see the abode of Yamaraj, death personified.

What is the use of worshipping someone else if all desires can be fulfilled by pleasing Lord Hari? For example, a devotee who offers Him bakula, ashoka, and patali flowers is freed from misery and distress for as long as the sun and moon exist in this universe, and at last he achieves liberation.

O best of the brahmanas, an offering of kannera flowers to Lord Jagannatha brings as much mercy upon the devotee as that earned by worshipping Lord Keshava for four yugas.

One who offers tulasi flowers (manjaris) to Sri Krishna during the month of Kartika receives more merit than can be obtained by donating ten million cows.

Even a devotional offering of newly grown sprouts of grass brings with it a hundred times the benefit obtained by ordinary ritualistic worship of the Supreme Lord.

“One who worships Lord Vishnu with the leaves of the samika tree is freed from the clutches of Yamaraja, the lord of death.

One who worships Vishnu during the rainy season with champaka or jasmine flowers never returns to the planet earth again.

One who worships the Lord with but a single kumbhi flower achieves the boon of donating a pala of gold (two hundred grams).

If a devotee offers a single yellow flower of the ketaki, or wood-apple, tree to Lord Vishnu, who rides on Garuda, he is freed from the sins of ten million births.

Furthermore, one who offers Lord Jagannatha flowers and also a hundred leaves anointed with red and yellow sandalwood paste will certainly come to reside in Svetadvipa, far beyond the coverings of this material creation.

“O greatest of brahmanas, Sri Narada, after thus worshipping Lord Keshava, the bestower of all material and spiritual happiness, on Haribodhini Ekadasi, one should rise early the next day, bathe in a rive, chant japa of Krishna’s holy names, and render loving devotional service to the Lord at home to the nest of one’s ability.

To break the fast, the devotee should first offer some prasadam to brahmanas and only then, with their permission, eat some grains.

Thereafter, to please the Supreme Lord, the devotee should worship his spiritual master, the purest of the Lord’s devotees, and offer him sumptuous food, nice cloth, gold, and cows, according to the devotee’s means.

This will certainly please the Supreme Lord, the holder of the disc.

“Next the devotee should donate a cow to a brahmana, and if the devotee has neglected some rules and regulation of spiritual life, he should confess them before brahmana devotees of the Lord.

Then the devotee should offer them some dakshina (money).

O king, those who have eaten supper on Ekadasi should feed a brahmana the next day.

That is very pleasing to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

“O son, if a man has fasted without asking the permission of his priest, or if a woman has fasted without asking her husband’s permission, he or she should donate a bull to a brahmana.

Honey and yoghurt are also proper gifts for a brahmana.

Someone who has fasted from ghee should donate milk, one who has fasted from grains should donate rice, one who has slept on the floor should donate a bedstead with a quilt, one who has eaten on a leaf plate should donate a pot of ghee, one who as remained silent should donate a bell, and one who has fasted from sesame should give gold in charity and feed a brahmana couple with sumptuous food.

A man who wants to prevent baldness should donate a mirror to a brahmana, one who has second-hand shoes should donate shoes, and one who has fasted from salt should donate some sugar to a brahmana.

During this month everyone should regularly offer a ghee lamp to Lord Vishnu or to Srimati Tulsidevi in a temple.

“An Ekadasi fast is complete when one offers a qualified brahmana a gold or copper pot filled with ghee and ghee wicks, along with eight waterpots containing some gold and covered by cloths.

One who cannot afford these gifts should at least offer a brahmana some sweet words. One who does so will surely attain the full benefit of fasting on Ekadasi.

“After offering his obeisances and begging permission, the devotee should eat his meal. On this Ekadasi, Chaturmasya ends, so whatever one gave up during Chaturmasya should now be donated to brahmanas.

One who follows this process of Chaturmasya receives unlimited merit, O king of kings, and goes to the abode of Lord Vasudeva after death.

O king, anyone who observes the complete Chaturmasya without a break attains eternal happiness and does not receive another birth.

But if someone breaks the fast, he becomes either a blind man or a leper.

“Thus I have narrated to you the complete process for observing Haribodhini Ekadasi. Someone who reads or hears about this achieves the merit earned by donating cows to a qualified brahmana.”

Thus ends the narration of the glories of Karttika-sukla Ekadasi – also known as Haribodhini Ekadasi or Devotthaani Ekadasi – from the Skanda Purana.

From Hari-Bhakti-Vilas:


Oh Narada Muni, one who fasts on Prabodhini (when the Lord gets up) Ekadasi, does not enter again into the womb of another mother.

Therefore, a person should give up all varieties of occupation and fast on this particular Ekadasi day.

One who fasts with one pointed intelligence on the day when the Supreme Lord Sri Hari, Who sleeps on a bed of the enemy of Garuda (snake) goes to take rest in the Milk ocean on the bed of Ananta Sesa and also the day He gets up, gets all of his desires fulfilled.


This Prabodhini Ekadasi is famous for rewarding devotion to Lord Sri Hari.

Oh best of the sages (Narada Muni), the personality of Ekadasi is present on this earthly planet in an unmanifested form of Lord Hari.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami remarks in his Digdarsini-tika that one who exactly observes the Ekadasi fast by observing this, he directly worships Lord Sri Hari.

This is the meaning of this verse. Therefore, Ekadasi is said to be equal to Lord Sri Hari Himself.


A person who observed Caturmasya fast stated in four different ways should end his fast on the Dvadasi day on the light fortnight of the month of Karttika.


One rat (female mouse) had once burnt a ghee lamp which was offered by someone else on Ekadasi day.

By doing so, she achieved a rarely achievable human form and at last attained the topmost destination.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami writes in his Digdarsini-tika, “In this verse it is found that it is possible to attain the results of directly offering a lamp on Ekadasi.

This history of the mouse is very famous in the Padma Purana, Kartika Mahatmya.

(In a temple of Lord Visnu, there was a mouse living who was eating the ghee from the extinguished ghee lamps which had been offered by others to Him.

One day when she felt hungry to eat ghee, she tried to eat the ghee from a lamp which was not yet extinguished.

While eating ghee from the lamp, the cotton wick got stuck in her teeth.

Since the ghee wick had a flame, the mouse started jumping in front of the Lord’s Deity form and thus died due to fire.

But Lord Sri Visnu accepted the jumping of that mouse with a lit ghee wick in her mouth as His aratik.

In the end He gave her liberation, the topmost destination.)

Glories of Remaining Awake on the night of Prabodhini Ekadasi: (Padma Purana, Kartika Mahatmya)

The sins accumulated in thousands of previous births burn like a mass of cotton for someone who remains awake during Prabodhani-ekadasi.

Even if guilty of the most heinous sins, such as killing a brahmana, O sage a person shakes away his sins by remaining awake in Visnu’s honour throughout Prabodhani-ekadasi.

All his mental, vocal, and physical sins will be washed away by Sri Govinda.(388-390)

Results that are difficult to obtain even with great yajnas, such as Asvamedha, effortlessly accrue to those who remain awake during Prabodhani-ekadasi. (391)

The Lord should be taken out on a grand Ratha-yatra festival on this day after awakening Him from His sleep for the four months of Caturmasya i.e from Sayani Ekadasi when the Lord had taken rest on the Milk Ocean.

This festival has been elaborately described in the Padma Purana.

Varuthini Ekadashi

Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “O Vasudeva, I offer my most humble obeisances unto You. Please now describe the Ekadashi of the dark fortnight of the month of Vaisakha (April-May), including its specific merits and influence.”

Lord Shri Krishna replied, “O king, in this world and the next, the most auspicious and magnanimous Ekadashi is Varuthini Ekadashi, which occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Vaisakha.

Whoever observes a complete fast on this sacred day has his sins completely removed, obtains continuous happiness, and achieves all good fortune.

Fasting on Varuthini Ekadashi makes even an unfortunate woman fortunate.

Upon anyone who observes it, this Ekadashi bestows material enjoyment in this life and liberation after death.

It destroys the sins of all and saves people from the miseries of rebirth.

By observing this Ekadashi properly, King Mandhata was liberated.

Many other kings also benefited from observing it-kings such as Maharaja Dhundhumara, in the Iksvaku dynasty, who became free from leprosy resulting from a curse Lord Siva had imposed as a punishment.

Whatever merit one obtains by performing austerities and penances for ten thousand years is achieved by a person who observes Varuthini Ekadashi.

The merit one achieves by donating a great amount of gold during a solar eclipse at Kuruksetra is gained by one who observes this Ekadashi fast.

Indeed, he who observes this one Ekadashi with love and devotion certainly attains his goals in this life and the next.

In short, this Ekadashi is pure and very enlivening and a destroyer of all sins.

Better than giving horses in charity is giving elephants, and better than giving elephants is giving land.

But better than giving land is giving sesame seeds, and better than that is giving gold.

Still better than giving gold is giving food grains, for all the forefathers, demigods, and human beings become satisfied by eating grains.

Thus there is no better charity than this in the past, present, or future.’

Yet learned scholars have declared that giving away a young maiden in marriage to a worthy person is equal to giving food grains.

Moreover, Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, has said that giving cows in charity is equal even to giving food grains.

Still better than all these charities is teaching spiritual knowledge to the ignorant.

Yet all the merits one can attain by performing all these acts of charity are attained by one who fasts on Varuthini Ekadashi.

One who lives off the wealth of his daughters suffers a hellish condition until the inundation of the entire universe, O Bharata.

Therefore one should be especially careful not to use the wealth of his daughter.

O best of kings, any householder who takes his daughter’s wealth out of greed, who tries to sell his daughter, or who takes money from the man to whom he has given his daughter in marriage-such a householder becomes a lowly cat in his next life.

Therefore it is said that whoever, as a sacred act of charity, gives in marriage a maiden decorated with various ornaments, and who also gives a dowry with her, obtains merit that cannot be described even by Chitragupta, the chief secretary of Yamaraja in the heavenly planets.

That very same merit, however, can easily be achieved by one who fasts on Varuthini Ekadashi.

The following things should be given up on Dashami, the day before Ekadashi.

eating on bell-metal plates, eating any kind of urad dal, eating red lentils, eating chick-peas, eating kondo, eating spinach, eating honey, eating in another person’s home, eating more than once, and sex.

On Ekadashi itself one should give up the following: gambling, sports, sleeping during the daytime, betel nut and its leaf, brushing one’s teeth, spreading rumors, faultfinding, talking to the spiritually fallen, anger, and lying.

On Dvadasi, the day after Ekadashi, one should give up the following: eating on bell-metal plates, eating urad dal, red lentils, or honey, lying, strenuous exercise or labor, eating more than once, sex, shaving, smearing oil on one’s body, and eating in another’s home.”

Lord Shri Krishna continued, “Whoever observes Varuthini Ekadashi in this way becomes free from all sinful reactions and returns to the eternal, spiritual abode.

One who worships Lord Janardana on this Ekadashi by staying awake throughout the night also becomes free from all his sins and attains to the spiritual abode.

Therefore, O king, he who is frightened of his sins and their attendant reactions, and thus of death itself, must observe Varuthini Ekadashi by fasting very strictly.

Finally, O noble Yudhisthira, he who hears or reads this glorification of the sacred Varuthini Ekadashi obtains the merit earned by donating one thousand cows in charity, and at last he returns home, to the abode of Lord Vishnu.”

Vijaya Ekadashi

Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “O Lord Shri Krishna, O glorious son of Vasudeva, please be merciful to me and describe the Ekadashi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Phalguna (February-March).”

Lord Shri Krishna replied, “O Yudhisthira, O king of kings, gladly shall I tell you about this great fast, known as Vijaya Ekadashi.

Whoever observes it certainly achieves success both in this life and the next.

All the sins of one who fasts on this Ekadashi and hears its sublime glories are eradicated.

Narada Muni once asked Lord Brahma, who sits on a lotus, about Vijaya Ekadashi.

Narada said, `O best of the demigods, kindly tell me the merit one can achieve by faithfully observing Vijaya Ekadashi.

Narada’s great father replied, `My dear son, this oldest of fasting days is pure, and it nullifies all sins.

I have never revealed this to anyone until today, but you can understand beyond any doubt that this Ekadashi bestows the result indicated by its name (Vijaya means “victory”).

When Lord Rama was exiled to the forest for fourteen years, He, goddess Sita, and His divine brother Lakhsmana stayed at Panchavati as mendicants.

Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, and Rama seemingly became bewildered by distress.

While searching for His beloved consort, the Lord came upon the dying Jatayu and thereafter killed His enemy Kabandha.

The great devotee-vulture Jatayu returned to Vaikuntha after telling Rama how His dear Sita had been abducted by Ravana.

Later, Rama and Sugriva, the king of the monkeys, became friends.’

Together they amassed a grand army of monkeys and bears and sent Hanumanji to Shri Lanka, where he was able to see Janaki, Sitadevi, in an ashoka garden.

He delivered Rama’s message to Her and then returned to Rama with Her message to Him, thus rendering great service to the Supreme Lord.

With the help of Sugriva, Lord Rama proceeded toward Shri Lanka.

Upon arriving at the shore of the ocean with the army of monkeys,

He could understand that the water was uncommonly deep.

Thus He said to Lakshmana, “O son of Sumitra, how can We earn enough merit to be able to cross this vast ocean, the unfathomable abode of Varuna?

I can see no easy way to cross it, teeming as it is with sharks and other ferocious fish.”

Laksmana replied, “O best of all beings, O origin of all gods, O primal personality, the great sage Bakadalbhya lives on an island just four miles from here.

O Raghava, he has seen many Brahmas come and go, so aged and wise is he.

Let us ask him how We can safely reach Our goal.”

So Rama and Lakshmana proceeded to the humble ashrama of the incomparable Bakadalbhya Muni.

Approaching him, the two Lords paid Their respectful obeisances to him as if he were a second Vishnu.

Bakadalbhya could understand, however, that Rama was actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who for His own reasons had appeared on earth as a human being.

O Rama,” said Bakadalbhya, “O best of human beings, why have You come to my lowly abode?”

The Lord replied, “O great, twice-born brahmana, I have come here to the ocean shore with My phalanx of monkeys and bears in order to cross the sea and conquer Lanka and its demon horde.

O greatest of sages, please be merciful to Me and tell Me how I can cross this vast ocean.

That is why I have come to you today.”

The sage said, “O Lord Rama, I shall tell you of the most exalted of all fasts, observing which You will surely conquer Ravana and be eternally glorified.

Kindly listen with full attention.

On the day before Ekadashi, fashion a waterpot of gold or silver, or even of copper. Even clay will do if these metals are unavailable.

Fill the pot with pure water and then decorate it nicely with mango leaves.

Cover it and place it near a holy altar upon a mound of seven grains.

Now take Your morning bath, decorate the waterpot with flower garlands and sandalwood paste, and in the concave lid atop the pot place barley, pomegranate, and coconut.

Now with great love and devotion worship the waterpot-deity and offer Him incense, sandalwood paste, flowers, a ghee lamp, and a plate of sumptuous food.

Remain awake that night beside this sacred pot.

On top of the lid filled with barley, etc., place a golden murti of Lord Narayana.

When Ekadashi dawns, take your morning bath and then decorate the waterpot with fine sandalwood paste and garlands.

Then worship the pot with first-class incense; sandalwood paste, and a ghee lamp, and also devotedly place many kinds of cooked food, pomegranate, and coconut before the waterpot.

Then remain awake over night.

When Dvadasi dawns, take the waterpot to the bank of a holy river, or even to the shore of a small pond.

After worshiping it properly, O King of kings, offer it with all the aforementioned ingredients to a pure brahmana expert in the Vedic science.

If You and Your military commanders observe Vijaya Ekadashi in this way, You will surely be victorious in every way.”

Lord Ramacandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, did just as Bakadalbhya Muni instructed, and thus He conquered all demoniac forces.

Similarly, anyone who observes Vijaya Ekadashi in this way will always be victorious in this mortal world, and after leaving this world he will reside forever in the kingdom of God.

O Narada, my son, from this history you can understand why one should observe this Ekadashi fast properly, strictly following the rules and regulations.

This fast is powerful enough to eradicate all one’s sinful reactions, even the most abominable ones.’

Shri Krishna concluded, “O Yudhisthira, anyone who reads or hears this history will attain the same great merit as that earned by performing a horse sacrifice.”

Yogini Ekadashi

Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “O Supreme Lord, I have E heard the glories of Nirjala Ekadashi, which occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Jyestha.

Now I wish to hear about the Ekadashi that occurs during the dark part of the month of Asadha (June-July).

Kindly describe it to me in detail, O killer of the Madhu demon.”

The Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, replied, “O king, I shall tell you about the best of all fasting days, the Ekadashi that comes during the dark part of the month of Asadha.

 Famous as Yogini Ekadashi it removes all kinds of sinful reactions and awards supreme liberation.

O best of kings, this Ekadashi delivers people who are drowning in the vast ocean of material existence and transports them to the shore of the spiritual world.

In all the three worlds, it is the chief of all sacred fasting days.

I shall reveal this truth to you by narrating a history recounted in the Puranas.

The king of Alakapuri-Kuvera, the treasurer of the demigods-was a steadfast devotee of Lord Siva.

He employed a servant named Hemamali as his personal gardener.

Hemamali, a Yaksa, was very lustfully attracted to his gorgeous wife, Svariipavati, who had large, enchanting eyes.

Hemamali’s daily duty was to visit Manasarovara Lake and bring back flowers for his master, Kuvera, which were then used in the worship of Lord Siva.

One day, after picking the flowers, Hemamali went to his wife instead of returning directly to his master and fulfilling his duty.

Absorbed in loving affairs with his wife, he forgot to return to the abode of Kuvera.

O king, while Hemamali was enjoying with his wife, Kuvera began worshiping Lord Siva in his palace and soon discovered that there were no flowers ready for the midday puja.

 The lack of such an important item angered the great demigod, and he asked a Yaksa messenger, ‘

Why has dirty-hearted Hemamali not come with the daily offering of flowers?

Go find out the exact reason and report back to me in person.’

The Yaksa returned and told Kuvera, ‘O dear lord, Hemamali is freely enjoying sex with his wife.’

Kuvera became extremely angry when he heard this and at once summoned lowly Hemamali before him.

Knowing that he had been remiss and dawdling in his duty, Hemamali approached his master in great fear.

The gardener first paid his obeisances and then stood before his lord, whose eyes had become red with anger and whose lips trembled.

Enraged, Kuvera cried out to Hemamali, ‘O sinful rascal! O destroyer of religious principles! You are an offense to the demigods! I therefore curse you to suffer from white leprosy and to become separated from your beloved wife! Only great suffering is deservedly yours! O lowborn fool, leave this place immediately and betake yourself to the lower planets!’

And so Hemamali fell at once from Alakapuri and became ill with the terrible affliction of white leprosy.

He awoke in a dense and fearful forest, where there was nothing to eat or drink.

Thus he passed his days in misery, unable to sleep at night due to pain.

He suffered in both winter and summer, but because he continued to worship Lord Siva faithfully, his consciousness remained pure and steady.

Although implicated by great sin and its attendant reactions, he remembered his past life because of his piety.

After wandering for some time here and there, over mountains and across plains, Hemamali eventually came upon the vast Himalayan range.

There he had the wonderful good fortune to come upon the great saint Markandeya Risi, the best of ascetics, whose duration of life, it is said, extends to seven days of Brahma.’

Markandeya was seated peacefully at his ashrama, looking as effulgent as a second Brahma.

Hemamali, feeling very sinful, stood at a distance from the magnificent sage and offered his humble obeisances and prayers.

Always interested in the welfare of others, Markandeya saw the leper and called to him, ‘O you, what sort of sinful deeds have you done to earn this dreadful affliction?’

Hearing this, Hemamali replied, ‘Dear sir, I am a Yaksa servant of Lord Kuvera, and my name is Hemamali.

It was my daily service to pick flowers from Manasarovara Lake for my master’s worship of Lord Siva, but one day I was late in returning with the offering because I had become overwhelmed with passion for my beautiful wife.

When my master discovered why I was late, he cursed me in great anger.

Thus I am now bereft of my home, wife, and service.

But fortunately I have come upon you, and now I hope to receive from you an auspicious benediction, for I know that devotees of the Supreme Lord always carry the interest of others uppermost in their hearts.

That is their great nature.

O best of the sages, please help me!

Markendeya Risi replied, ‘Because you have told me the truth, I shall tell you about a fast day that will benefit you greatly.

If you fast on the Ekadashi that comes during the dark fortnight of the month of Asadha, you will surely be freed of this terrible curse.’

Upon hearing these blessed words from the renowned sage, Hemamali fell to the ground in complete gratitude and offered him his humble obeisances.

But Markendeya stood and lifted Hemamali up, filling him with inexpressible happiness.

Thus, as the sage had instructed him, Hemamali dutifully observed the Ekadashi fast, and by its influence he again became a handsome Yaksa.

Then he returned home, where he lived very happily with his wife.”

Lord Krishna concluded, “So you can readily see, O Yudhisthira, that fasting on Yogini Ekadashi is very powerful and auspicious.

Whatever merit one obtains by feeding eighty-eight thousand pious brahmanas is also obtained simply by observing a strict fast on Yogini Ekadashi.

For one who fasts on this sacred Ekadashi, she destroys heaps of past sinful reactions and makes him most pious.

O king, thus I have explained to you the purity of Yogini Ekadashi.

What is Ekadashi? – 24 Different types of Ekadashi

Ekadashi is the 11th and 26th lunar day according to the Vedic or Hindu Calendar. These days are especially favorable for performing austerities and spiritual activities. According to Hindu texts,

Ekadashi is very dear to Lord Vishnu, so it is considered a very auspicious day to fast on Ekadashi.

The root Sanskrit word Eka means One, and Dashi is the feminine form of the word “Dasha,” which means “ten.”

The word “Ekadashi” literally means eleven, or in our case, the eleventh day of the rising and falling moon.

“Of all plants, Tulasi is dearer to me, Kartika is dearer to me than all months, my beloved Dwarka is dearer to all places of pilgrimage, and Ekadashi is dearest to me”

Padma Purana

Ekadashi promotes purification on the physical, mental, and spiritual plane, gaining the grace of God and liberation from the illusion of material existence.

It is said that just a devoted soul who observes complete fasting days on Ekadashi achieves a benefit a hundred times greater than from performing an Ashvamedha-yajna (horse sacrifice).

Types of Ekadashi

Every month contains two Ekadashis each on Krishna paksha (waning moon) and Shukla paksha (waxing moon), so there are 24 Ekadashis in a year which are:

1. Varuthini Ekadashi

Varuthini Ekadashi falls on the 11th tithi of Krishna Paksha in the month of Baishakh (April/May).

Vamana incarnation (avatar) is worshiped on this day.

Varuthini means protection; therefore, observing fast on this day will protect the devotee from any misfortunes, and his life will be accompanied by good luck and prosperity.

2. Mohini Ekadashi

Mohini Ekadashi falls on the 11th tithi of Shukla Paksha of Baishakh month.

Observing fasting on this Ekadashi can wash away all sins of his current and past life. 

Mohini is the female embodiment of Lord Vishnu; it is believed Lord Vishnu took this form on this day.

3. Apara Ekadashi

Apara Ekadashi falls on the 11th tithi of Krishna Paksha of Jestha (May and June).

Also known as Achala Ekadashi, it is believed fasting on this day will free devotees of all accumulated sins.

Complete abstinence from food and worldly form of pleasures on this day would help a person receive unlimited wealth.

4. Nirjala Ekadashi

Nirjala Ekadashi falls on the 11th tithi of Shukla Paksha of the month of Jestha.

The day is commemorated as Pandava Nirjala Ekadashi in honor of the five Pandava brothers. Nirjala Ekadashi Vrata has fasting rules without water, so abstinence from food and water is necessary to complete this fast.

It is regarded as the most rigorous and significant of all Ekadashis.

5. Yogini Ekadashi

Yogini Ekadashi falls on the 11th day of each moon cycle of Krishna paksha of Ashadh (June and July).

Desisting food on this day and worshiping Lord Vishnu with pure heart and dedication will wash away all your sins and allow you to avoid any diseases and other health problems in the future.

6. Padma/Devshayani Ekadashi

Padma, Devpodhi, Devshayani, or Maha Ekadashi is observed on the 11th day of Shukla Paksha of the Ashadh month.

Since Lord Vishnu, after fulfilling his worldly duties, Lord Vishnu began his Sleep on his Shesh Naaga in the milky cosmic ocean for four months.

The day is also referred to as Hari Shayani Ekadashi. He wakes up on the day of Prabodhini Ekadashi.

Thus, the four months are also called Chaturmas.

7. Kamika Ekadashi

Kamika Ekadashi also cited as Krishna Ekadashi, falls on the 11th tithi of Krishna Paksha of Shravan (July and August).

The Krishna incarnation of Lord Vishnu is worshiped on this day to destroy all sins and achieve Moksha (ultimate liberation from the cycle of birth and death).

Fasting on this day frees the devotee from Pitri Dosha (curse of ancestors).

8. Shrawan Putrada Ekadashi

The sacred day falls on the Shukla paksha of Shravan month.

Supposedly, fasting on this day allows spouses to conceive a long-awaited child if there are problems with this.

9. Parivartini, Vamana or Parsva Ekadashi

Also known as Pavitra or Pavitropani Ekadashi, the day falls on the Krishna Paksha of Bhadra month.

It is believed that Lord Vishnu, during his sleep, changed his position from left to right, so the name Parsva Parivartini Ekadashi.

Devotees who fast on this day are endowed with eternal happiness and longevity.

10. Ananda/ Aja Ekadashi

Ananda or Aja Ekadashi falls on the 11th tithi of Shukla Paksha of Bhadra (August and September).

Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi are worshipped on this day to receive blessings.

 Fasting on this day will shower the devotee with unlimited wealth, prosperity, and happiness.

11. Indira Ekadashi

Indira Ekadashi falls on the 11th tithi of Krishna Paksha Ashwin (September and October).

The day also coincides with Pitru Paksha (16 days period dedicated to Shradha: a ceremony to honor deceased ancestors).

Thus, fasting on this day helps your deceased ancestors’ souls to enter the heavenly worlds.

It also helps to wash away your past misdeeds.

12. Papankusha Ekadashi

Papankusha Ekadashi falls on the 11th tithi of Shukla Paksha of Ashwin month.

This day is dedicated to Lord Padmanabha (another form of Lord Vishnu).

Fasting on this day will bless the devotees with excellent health and everything he does not wish for.

13. Rama Ekadashi

Rama Ekadashi falls on the 11th tithi of Krishna Paksha of Kartik (October and November).

The day falls before Dipawali (Greatest Hindu Festival of Lights), and it is believed that followers who observe fast on this holy day will be bestowed with immense wealth, happiness, and sin-free life.

14. Devathuna Ekadashi

Haribodhini Ekadashi or Devauthana Ekadashi falls on the 11th day of Shukla paksha of Kartik month.

The day is observed with the greatest zeal as the day is marked by the sacred wedding ceremony of the sacred plant Tulsi and Lord Shaligram (Form of Lord Vishnu).

It also marks the end of Chaturmas and the awakening of Lord Vishnu after his four-month-long sleep.

15. Utapanna Ekadashi

Utpanna Ekadashi, also known as Uttpatti Ekadashi, falls on the 11th tithi of Krishna Paksha of Mangsir (November and December).

The day symbolizes the victory of Lord Krishna over Murasura and the birth of Ekadashi’s Mother.

Therefore, followers who want to begin their Ekadashi fast should start from this day.

16. Mokshada Ekadashi

Mokshada Ekadashi falls on the 11th day of Shukla Paksha of Mangsir.

It is also celebrated as the birthday of Bhagavad Gita.

As the name implies, observing fast on this day helps the devotee to obtain Moksha and the opportunity to reside permanently on Vaikuntha (Holy abode of Lord Vishnu).

17. Saphala Ekadashi

Saphala Ekadashi falls on the 11th day of Krishna Paksha of Paush (December and January).

This day has a sacred meaning for Hindus: it is believed that those who sincerely fast on this day are freed from sins and create the basis for a happy life.

Saphala means to succeed; thus, observing fast on this day helps you achieve a successful and happy life in all its manifestations.

18. Pausha Putrada Ekadashi

Putrada Ekadashi falls on the 11th day of Shukla paksha of Paush month.

Putrada means giving birth to sons, so those couples intend to give birth to a boy.

Sri Narayan is worshiped on this day with the greatest ardor to receive a son with the qualities of Lord Vishnu.

19. Satilla Ekadashi

Sattila Ekadashi is observed on the 11th day of Krishna Paksha of the Magha month (January and February).

The day is also known as Magha Krishna Ekadashi, or Tilda Ekadashi, among the followers of Lord Vishnu.

Sat means six, and Tila means sesame seeds, so the devotees observing fast on this Ekadashi should offer sesame seeds and water to Lord Vishnu and sesame seeds to their parents and ancestors.

20. Jaya Ekadashi

Jaya Ekadashi is fast observed on the 11th tithi of Shukla Paksha of Magha month. Jaya Ekadashi helps the fasting observers to gain awareness of eternal spiritual bliss.

It helps people realize the temporality of worldly pleasures and seek real happiness by serving all living things (plants, animals, and human beings).

21. Vijaya Ekadashi

Vijaya Ekadashi falls on the 11th tithi of Krishna Paksha of Falgun (February and March). 

Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu, is worshiped on this day. It is said that Lord Rama fasted for the first time on this Ekadashi.

Fasting helps the person to accumulate good deeds and achieve Moksha.

22. Amalaki Ekadashi

Amalaki Ekadashi falls on the 11th tithi of Shukla Paksha of Falgun month, characterized by devotees offering honor to Amala (Indian Gooseberry) which is regarded as the residence of Lord Vishnu.

The sacred day of Amla Ekadashi also marks the beginning of the colorful festival of Holi.

23. Kamada Ekadashi

Kamada Ekadashi is observed on the 11th day of Shukla Paksha of Chaitra month. Kamada means fulfillment of all your desires and dreams.

Thus, the followers of the Hindu religion especially celebrate this day with the greatest austerity and devotion.

24. Papmochani Ekadashi

This sacred day falls on the 11th tithi of Krishna Paksha of Chaitra (March and April).

It is the last day of all 24 Ekadashi and falls between Holi Festival and Chaitra Navami or Rama Navami.

Papa means sins, and Mochani means liberation, so it is the auspicious day to get rid of all your sins and abstain from evil deeds.

Some other famous Ekadashi is:

  • Shukla Ekadashi: If the tenth day of the lunar month is incomplete at 1 hrs and 36 minutes before sunrise.
  • Vaikuntha Ekadashi: Vaikuntha Dwaram opened on this day.
  • Ashadi Ekadashi: Most important Maharashtra’s Ekadashi.

Ekadashi Vrats

Ekadashi Vrats are observed on the eleventh day from either the full moon day (Pournami) or the new moon day (Amavasya).

The Vrats are ascribed to Bhagwan Sri Maha Vishnu.

Ekadashi days are also known as ‘’Hari Vasara” and “Hari dhin”.

The eleventh day from Pournami is called Krishna Paksha Ekadashi. Shukla Paksha Ekadashi is the eleventh day from Amavasya.

In effect, there are 24 Ekadashis in a year. Each of the Ekadashi Vrats has a significant name.

Some of the Ekadashi Vrats are observed with significant Dwadashi Vrats on the next day.

Ekadashi Vrats – Significance

Sri Bramha Puran contains the reference with respect to the importance of the Ekadashi Vrats.

Food wastage

As per the legend, a Sanyasi was living in a humble abode.

He used to get food through bhiksha (alms).

One day, he found mud in the foods.

He was angry. Disgusted, he threw away the food.

For wasting food, he got cursed to be born as Chandala in his next birth.

Next birth

In his next birth, he was born as Chandala in Avanti.

Even though born as Chandala, he was a devout Vishnu-Bhakt.

He was regularly observing Ekadashi Vrats.

During Ekadashi day, he used to observe fasting for the whole day.

At night, he used to visit the Sri Vishnu temple near Kshipra river.

For the whole night he used to sing in praise of Sri Vishnu.

Bramha Rakshas

On one of the Ekadashis, the Chandala was plucking flowers from a tree to take to Vishnu temple.

At that time, a Bramha Rakshas, which was staying in the tree, caught him. It told him, “Hey Chandala, I’m hungry.

I am going to eat you”.

Promise made by Chandala

The Chandala said “Oh Bramha Rakshas, I’m glad to be your food.

But today is Ekadashi.

Please allow me to visit Vishnu temple.

I will come back tomorrow morning.

You can then eat me”.

Bramha Rakshas allowed him.

As promised, the Chandala came back to the Rakshas, the next day morning.

Bramha Rakshas past story

Bramha Rakshas was quite surprised and pleased to see the Chandala back.

It said-

”Hey Chandala.

Originally, I was born a brahmin.

My name was Sharma.

My father is Soma Sharma.

As per the custom, one can participate in Yagna / homa only if one has Yagnopavita (Janeau / Poonal / Danjyam) through proper ceremony.

However, even before having Janeau, I used to participate in Yagnas through mis-representation.

This has landed me in the curse to become a Bramha Rakshas. 

If you can donate a portion of your Ekadashi Vrat Punya (benefits) to me, I will become normal again”.

Chandala’s donation

Chandala immediately donated two hours’ worth of his Ekadashi Vrats to the Bramha Rakshas.

It became normal brahmin again. He thanked the Chandala.

The Chandala then went about Tirtha Yatra.

He also realized about his previous birth as the Sanyasi.

Ekadashi Vrats – Names

The following are the names of the Ekadashi Vrats observed in the year.

They are provided in chronological order as per the Amantha and Purnimantha Calendars.

1.Kamada Ekadashi

It occurs on the Shukla Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Chaitra month as per both the Amantha and Purnimantha Calendars.

The possible benefit of observing this Vrat is the fulfillment of the desires.  

The next day is observed as Vamana Dwadashi.

2.Varuthini Ekadashi

It occurs on the Krishna Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Chaitra month as per Amantha and the Vaisakha month as per Purnimantha Calendars.

It is also called as Vaishnava Varuthini Ekadashi,  Baurthini Ekadashi and Vaishaka Krishna Ekadashi.

The possible benefits of observing this Vrat is the alleviation of sins and bestowing of happiness.

3.Mohini Ekadashi

It occurs on the Shukla Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Vaisakha month as per both the Amantha and Purnimantha Calendars.

It is also called as Gauna Mohini Ekadashi and Vaishnava Mohini Ekadashi.

The possible benefit of observing this Vrat is the relief from all troubles and sufferings. The next day is observed as Parashurama Dwadashi.

4.Apara Ekadashi

It occurs on the Krishna Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Vaisakha month as per Amantha and the Jyeshta month as per Purnimantha Calendars.

In the Northern States of Punjab, Hariyana and Jammu & Kashmir, it is considered auspicious to worship Sri Bhadrakali on this day.

Hence the Vrat is called as Bhadrakali Ekadashi.

In Orissa this Vrat is called as Jalakreeda Ekadashi as reverence to Bhagwan Jagannath.

The Vrat is also called as Achla Ekadashi and Vishaka Vadi Ekadashi.

The possible benefits of observing this Vrat are the alleviation of sins and bestowing of happiness.

5.Nirjala Ekadashi

It occurs on the Shukla Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Jyeshta month as per both the Amantha and Purnimantha Calendars.

It is also called as Pandava Bhima Ekadashi, Pandava Nirjala Ekadashi and Bheema Seni Ekadashi.

The possible benefits of observing this Vrat are the gaining of control over senses and relief from sufferings and worries.

The next day is observed as Rama Lakshmana Dwadashi.

6.Yogini Ekadashi

It occurs on the Krishna Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Jyeshta month as per Amantha and the Ashada month as per Purnimantha Calendars.

It is also called as Khalilgai Ekadashi.

The possible benefits of observing this Vrat are the blessings of goodness and piety.

It equals to the virtuous benefits of offering food to poor brahmins.

7.Devshayani Ekadashi

It occurs on the Shukla Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Ashada month as per both the Amantha and Purnimantha Calendars.

It is also called as Harishayan Ekadashi and Padma Ekadashi.

The possible benefit of observing this Vrat is attainment of moksha.

The next day is observed as Vasudeva Dwadashi.

8.Vaishnava Kamika Ekadashi

It occurs on the Krishna Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Ashada month as per Amantha and the Shravana month as per Purnimantha Calendars.

The possible benefit of observing this Vrat is the alleviation of sins of the previous heinous activities.

Apart from the above, there are two more Ekadashi Vrats which occur on the additional (adhik or Purushotham) month as per Hindu Calendar.

9.Padmini Ekadashi

It occurs on the Shukla Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of Ashada Ashika month.

It is also called as Kamala Ekadashi. 

The possible benefits of observing this Vrat are being blessed with enjoyable life and ultimate liberation.

10.Parama Ekadashi

It occurs on the Krishna Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of Ashada Ashika month.

It is also called as Purushotham Kamala Ekadashi. 

The possible benefit of observing this Vrat is alleviation of sins.

11.Shravana Puthradha Ekadashi

It occurs on the Shukla Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Shravana month as per both the Amantha and Purnimantha Calendars.

The possible benefit of observing this Vrat is getting progeny.  

The next day is observed as Dhamodhara Dwadashi.

12.Aja Ekadashi

It occurs on the Krishna Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Shravana month as per Amantha and the Bhadhrapadha month as per Purnimantha Calendars.

It is also called as Kaliyadalan Ekadashi.

The possible benefits of observing this Vrat are alleviation of all sins and development of the consciousness.

13.Parsva Ekadashi

It occurs on the Shukla Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Bhadhrapadha month as per both the Amantha and Purnimantha Calendars.

It is also called as Parivarthini Ekadashi, Parsva Paribartan Ekadashi and Vamana Ekadashi.

The possible benefit of observing this Vrat is the purification of mind, body and soul. The next day is observed as Kalki Dwadashi.

14.Indira Ekadashi

It occurs on the Krishna Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Bhadhrapadha month as per Amantha and the Ashwin month as per Purnimantha Calendars.

The possible benefit of observing this Vrat is the liberation of the souls of the forefathers.

15.Papankusha Ekadashi

It occurs on the Shukla Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Ashwin month as per both the Amantha and Purnimantha Calendars.

The possible benefit of observing this Vrat is the attainment and fulfillment of the desires. The next day is observed as Padmanabha Dwadashi.

16.Rama Ekadashi

It occurs on the Krishna Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Ashwin month as per Amantha and the Karthika month as per Purnimantha Calendars.

The possible benefit of observing this Vrat is the elevation of mind and soul to the higher level.

The next day is observed as Govathsa Dwadashi.

17.Devuththana Ekadashi

It occurs on the Shukla Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Karthika month as per both the Amantha and Purnimantha Calendars.

It is also called as Deva Uthpanna Ekadashi and Vaishnava Devuththana Ekadashi.

The possible benefit of observing this Vrat is the purification of mind, body and soul. The next day is observed as Yogeshwara Dwadashi.

18.Uthpanna Ekadashi

It occurs on the Krishna Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Karthika month as per Amantha and the Margazira month as per Purnimantha Calendars.

The possible benefit of observing this Vrat is the blessings of virtuous benefits more than ten times of the virtue of donating thousand cows to a brahmin.

19.Mokshadha Ekadashi

It occurs on the Shukla Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Margazira month as per both the Amantha and Purnimantha Calendars.

It is also called as Sri Mukkoti Ekadashi, Sri Vaikunta Ekadashi, Sri Gurvayur Ekadashi and Sri Gomathi Ekadashi.

This day is also the date of origination of Srimad Bhagavad Gita and Sri Vishnu Sahasra Namam.

The possible benefit of observing this Vrat is the attainment of moksha and reaching the abode of Sri Maha Vishnu.

The next day is observed as Sri Mathsya Dwadashi.

20.Saphala Ekadashi

It occurs on the Krishna Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Margazira month as per Amantha and the Paush month as per Purnimantha Calendars.

The possible benefit of observing this Vrat is attainment of success in all the endeavours.

21.Pausha Puthratha Ekadashi

It occurs on the Shukla Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Paush month as per both the Amantha and Purnimantha Calendars.

The possible benefit of observing this Vrat is the blessing of progeny. The next day is observed as Kurma Dwadashi.

22.Shattila Ekadashi

It occurs on the Krishna Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Paush month as per Amantha and the Magha month as per Purnimantha Calendars. 

It is also called as Magh Krishna Ekadashi, Tilda Ekadashi, Vaishnava Shattila Ekadashi and Paapa harini Ekadashi.

The possible benefits of observing this Vrat are alleviation of sins and moksha.

23.Jaya Ekadashi

It occurs on the Shukla Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Magha month as per both the Amantha and Purnimantha Calendars.

It is also called as Bhishma Ekadashi, Bhoumi Ekadashi and Bhouma Ekadashi.

The possible benefit of observing this Vrat is the blessings of virtuous benefits more than ten times of the virtue of donating thousand cows to a brahmin.

The next day is observed as Bhishma Dwadashi.

24.Vijaya Ekadashi

It occurs on the Krishna Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Magha month as per Amantha and the Phalguna month as per Purnimantha Calendars.

It is also called as Pankodhar Ekadashi and Phalguna Krishna Ekadashi.

The possible benefit of observing this Vrat is the attainment of success in all endeavours.

25.Amalaki Ekadashi

It occurs on the Shukla Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Phalguna month as per both the Amantha and Purnimantha Calendars.

It is also called as Amalaka Ekadashi, Papa Nashini Ekadashi and Sarba Sammat Ekadashi.

The possible benefit of observing this Vrat is the blessings of virtuous benefits more than ten times of the virtue of donating thousand cows to a brahmin.

The next day is observed as Narasimha Dwadashi.

26.Papamochani Ekadashi

It occurs on the Krishna Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Phalguna month as per Amantha and the Chaithra month as per Purnimantha Calendars. 

It is also called as Vaishnava Papamochani Ekadashi and Guruvar Ekadashi (if it occurs on Thursday).

The possible benefit of observing this Vrat is the alleviation of sins.

Ekadashi Vrat – Fasting

The devotees of Bhagwan Maha Vishnu observe strict fasting from the dawn of Ekadashi.

There are three types of fasting.

One is Nirjala where not even water is consumed.

The other one is Sajala where water and liquid juices only are consumed.

The last one is Pharalai where milk and fruits only are consumed.

The fast shall continue till the sunrise of the next day, i.e., Dwadashi.

Those devotees who cannot do fasting due to medical or other reasons can take sattvic food.

Mostly prasadams and fruits are partaken.

On Dwadashi day, unless it happens to be another Vrat day, a nutritious meal is partaken to balance the internal physical effects of fasting on the previous day.

Some devotees do not sleep on the night of Ekadashi.

At this time, tales of Sri Maha Vishnu are recited by the elders.

Others listen to the stories.

Even bhajans / keerthanas are conducted.

Ekadashi Vrats – General rituals

The general rituals followed for Ekadashi Vrats are given below:

The exact time of dawn of Ekadashi tithi is ascertained either from family elders / astrologers.

It is mentioned in the Holy Almanac (Panchang) as well. Even daily Calendars provide the information.

-The idol or picture of Sri Vishnu is decorated with flowers.

-Incense sticks are burned.

-Diyas are lit.

-Pujas are done with tulsi leaves.

-Slokas or stotras of Sri Maha Vishnu including Sri Vishnu Sahasra Nama are recited with devotion.

-Srimad Bhagavad Gitaa is also recited.

-The Vrat Katha is to be read and recited.

-At the end of the puja, aarti is done.

Prasad is distributed to the family members.

-Making daan / donation to the needy on Ekadashi day is believed to please Sri Maha Vishnu.

Ekadashi Vrats – Benefits

The observation of Ekadashi Vrats helps in detoxifying the body, mind and soul. It bestows peace of mind both internally and externally.

Vishnu Slokas

There are innumerable Slokas on Bhagwan Vishnu. They are composed on Sri Vishnu and each of His manifestations. Some of them are listed below.

Sri Vishnu Sahasra Namam
Roga Nivarana Stotram
Sri Narayana Stotram
Sri Vishnu Ashtakam
Sri Venkateshvara Panchakam
Sri Murari Pancharathnam
Sri Kurma Stotram
Sri Varaha Sthuthi
Sri Varaha Stotram
Sri Narasimha Ashtakam
Sri Narasimha Pancharathnam
Sri Runa Vimochana Slokam
Sri Narasimha Karavalambam
Sri Narasimha Prapatti
Sri Vamana Stotram
Sri Rama Apadhu Dharaka Stotram
Sri Raghava Ashtakam
Sri Rama Raksha Stotram
Sri Seetha Rama Stotram
Sri Krishna Chalisa
Sri Achytha Ashtakam
Sri Govardhana Ashtakam
Sri Guruvayurappan Pancharathnam
Sri Jagannatha Ashtakam
Sri Jagannatha Panchakam
Sri Madhurashtakam
Sri Pandu Ranga Ashtakam
Sri Ranganatha Ashtakam
Sri Venu Gopala Ashtakam
Sri Krishna Dwdasha Nama Stotram
Sri Nanda Nandana Ashtakam
Sri Gokula Ashtakam
Sri Chathusloki Stotram
Sri Anantha Padmanabha Mangala Stotram
Sri Hari Ashtakam

Apart from the above, there are several hymns and slokams invariably in all the Indian languages.

Ekadashi- A Spiritual Practice Where Importance Is Given To Divinity In The Time Of Materialism

Everyone is always fascinated to know about Ekadashi, its significance, and the history behind it.

Everyone is keen to know about it, which also includes certain facts prevailing.

There is a saying as per Sadhguru which states, every human physiology goes with one cycle called ‘Mandala.’

It comes after every 40-48 days.

So, in these three day, which depend upon person to person with proper spacing wherein your body won’t require food, that is your body doesn’t demand you for food.

So, it’s always suggested to listen to your body at that time.

That’s what Ekadashi Arise is.

What Is Ekadashi?

Ekadashi is an important Hindu festival that is celebrated on the eleventh day of every lunar fortnight.

In Sanskrit, ‘Eka’ means eleven, and ‘Dashi’ means the eleventh day.

It is considered auspicious by many Hindus as it is believed that during this period, the Gods and Goddesses are in a state of bliss.

This implies that this festival can be observed two times in a single calendar month.

Ekadashi holds a special significance, as on this day Hindus observe fasts to please their favourite deities.

Hindu months of Shukla Paksha (bright half) and Krishna Paksha (dark half), so there are two Ekadashi every month, one in each half.

The Krishna Paksha version is known as Jaya Ekadashi and the Shukla Paksha version is known as Vijaya Ekadashi.

Usually, Hindus do not eat grains on Ekadashi but the menu depends from region to region and sect to sect.

Some only drink milk, some include fruits and some even abstain from drinking water.

In Hinduism, fasting on Ekadashi is considered to be of great religious importance.

Fasting on Ekadashi helps in purification.

It also gives a boost to one’s spiritual progress, while helping mankind attain liberation from the cycle of births and deaths.

According to Hindu Scriptures, the eleventh day of any given fortnight is considered auspicious for spiritual devotion.

The eleventh day of the Indian calendar month Kartik is known as Dev Shayana Ekadashi and is especially significant for Vaishnavites who believe that fasting on this day liberates them from the cycle of births and deaths.

History Behind Ekadashi

In the period of Satyug, there was a demon named Murdanav.

He used to scare all the people and even all the devas, and they left their heaven and gave it over to Lord Vishnu.

So, Lord Vishnu came with his vehicle called ‘Garuda.’

He fought for 1000year with all his strength, but later he decided to change his strategy. He went into a huge cave and took a nap. Where the Murdanav came to find Lord Vishnu.

There he found Lord Vishnu and removed his sword to kill him, but as soon as he removed one beautiful lady came out of Vishnu’s body.

Looking at the beautiful lady, Murdanav directly asked her to marry him.

She had one condition with it, she said i’ll marry you if you defeat me in the fight.

Murdanav agreed to it and that’s how the beautiful lady killed him and everyone was free from the demon.

After listening to the noise Lord Vishnu woke up, he saw a lady came within him as the name of Ekadashi.

So, it was the eleventh day.

So the lady told Lord Vishnu that she came from his Ekadash Indriya (the eleventh sense of Lord Vishnu’s body).

So that’s how Ekadashi started prevailing wherein people follow Ekadashi Vrat by fasting.

Importance Of Ekadashi

  • When someone observed their own system, three days every 48 days where you don’t have to eat popped up. This became crucial for the system and that is why people fixed these three days as Ekadashi.
  • In the year there are twelve Ekadashi. Every 48 days there is a third Ekadashi. These 48 days have three phases. These are called “Chatur Trayi ” or four conditions.
  • The first 16-day period after any Ekadashi is called Ashaucha, or impurity. In this period of time the system starts digesting what it has eaten already and clears out its impurities; hence it is called ashaucha.
  • For those who have no awareness or cannot see their inner system the three-day cycle is the process of digestion. The body’s system digests all that it has taken in over the last four days and then releases it. Depending upon what capacity one has of seeing one’s inner system, they will be able to understand their inner process.
  • At the time of Ekadashi, Food such as beans and rice are not eaten, spices can be used while cooking but mustard seeds should be avoided.
  • Foods such as Fruits, Milk, Nuts can be eaten at the time of Fasting.
  • The Fasting of Ekadashi has more positive effects on body and brain which helps to give you effectiveness towards your regular life.
  • Fasting of Ekadashi is considered to be as many as crores of baths done in Ganga, crores of cow donation. These two donations are considered because both give the pleasing sense of God.
  • Ekadashi Fasting is considered as the ‘Maha Vrat.’
  • Fasting also helps in detoxifying our body and improving our body circulation, respiration and digestion.
  • Some of the devotees also opt for the complete strict fasting that is without food and water.
  • The Importance of Ekadashi is linked to bodily functions and improvements in health.
  • It cleanses the blood and improves the functioning of the kidneys and liver.
  • Observing Ekadashi fasting is also very beneficial for people who have a problem with overeating. Since the entire process of fasting helps to cleanse the body and remove all toxins, it is also extremely beneficial for people suffering from various types of skin diseases, liver problems and kidney problems.

Types Of Ekadashi

There are a total 24 types of Ekadashi.

Let’s learn about them one by one.

Putrada Ekadashi – Putrada Ekadashi – For the blessing of a boy

It takes place on the 11th day of January Month.

Here the fasting is done by doing Lord Vishnu Pooja for blessing with the children.

Hinduism places great importance on fasting on Ekadashi.

Paush Putrada Ekadashi falls on Shukla Paksha during Paush month.

Ritually, Lord Vishnu is worshipped on this day.

Lord Vishnu is believed to fulfill all the wishes of those who observe the Putrada Ekadashi fast.

It is considered the best fast for people who wish to have children.

Satilla Ekadashi – For freedom from sins and acquiring heavenly abode.

Satilla Ekadashi is rooted with the word “Til” known as sesame seeds.

It involves receiving and giving sesame seeds.

So, Satilla Ekadashi is all about donation.

Shatila Ekadashi fast is observed to gain blessings from Lord Vishnu, the sustainer of the world.

The mythological scriptures state that Ekadashi of Krishna Paksha of Magha month is known as Shatila or Papaharini, which destroys all sins.

If one gives a daughter, does thousands of years of penance, and gives gold, the more fruit one receives by performing Shatila Ekadashi.

If one observes this fast, he or she receives all the happiness this world has to offer, and finally, he or she gains salvation.

Jaya Ekadashi – For gaining merit of donating ten times more than offering a thousand cows to a Brahman.

Jaya Ekadashi falls on Shukla Paksha of Magha month.

According to Hinduism, Jaya Ekadashi has a special meaning.

Yudhishthira, son of Pandava King Krishna, is believed to have fasted for Jaya Ekadashi after Krishna emphasized its importance to him.

Vijaya Ekadashi – For victory and success in all spheres of life.

There is a full day fast in Vijaya Ekadashi and the devotees worship Lord Vishnu.

Here they cannot eat onion and garlic, which is called Tamasic food.

According to the Hindu calendar, the Ekadashi date of Krishna Paksha of Falgun month is called Vijaya Ekadashi.

This date is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the sustainer of the world.

It is a religious belief that the person observing Vijaya Ekadashi fast must listen to the fast story related to it, only then the person gets its real fruit.

Amalaki Ekadashi – For gaining merit of donating ten times more than offering a thousand cows to a Brahman.

Amalaki means amla which is a combination of Ayurvedic and Hinduism.

As it is said, Amla was very close to Lord Vishnu.

Here you can make, variety of products related to amla.

According to the Hindu calendar, the Ekadashi of Falgun Shukla Paksha is known as Amalaki Ekadashi Rangbhari and Amla Ekadashi.

On this day there is a law to worship Amla along with the worship of Lord Vishnu.

It is a religious belief that a person who observes Amalaki Ekadashi fast according to the law attains salvation.

Papmochani Ekadashi – For the freedom from sins and wrongful acts.

It is celebrated in the month of Chaitra.

This Ekadashi falls after the Krishna Paksha (waning phase) of Chaitra month and before the Shukla Paksha (brightening phase) of Vaishakh.

Papmochani Ekadashi, however, is the most unique.

The fast of Papmochani, which removes all sins, is observed on the Ekadashi of Chaitra Krishna Paksha.

There is a law to worship Lord Vishnu on all Ekadashis.

By his grace, all sins and sorrows are cut away and happiness and prosperity are attained.

Kamada Ekadashi – for the fulfillment of desires.

It occurs at the start of Hindu new year.

The ekadashi helps to protect all the devotees from curses.

Kamada Ekadashi is the first Ekadashi followed by devotees in the Hindu New Year.

On the day of Kamada Ekadashi, Lord Vishnu is worshiped by law.

With the effect of fasting on Kamada Ekadashi, all sins are destroyed and one gets freedom from the Ghost yoni.

Ekadashi of Shukla Paksha of Chaitra month is called Kamada Ekadashi. Kamada Ekadashi is the first Ekadashi of the Hindu New Year.

On the day of Kamada Ekadashi, Lord Vishnu is worshiped.

With the effect of fasting on Kamada Ekadashi, all sins are destroyed and one gets freedom from the ghost yoni.

Varuthni Ekadashi – For overall happiness .

The Varuthini fast is considered as being in penance for 10 years. Varuthini Ekadashi refers to a specific Ekadasi that occurs during the Tamil Month of “Marghazhi” (November – December).

Varuthini Ekadashi is observed on the 11th day of the waning moon period in this month.

Lord Shri Krishna had told Yudhishthira the importance of Varuthini Ekadashi fast, according to him, whoever observes Varuthini Ekadashi fast according to law, all his sins are erased and in the end he attains heaven.

Varuthini Ekadashi is said to be the Ekadashi date falling in Krishna Paksha in Vaishakh month.

This Ekadashi fast is observed to seek the blessings of Lord Vishnua.

Whoever observes Varuthini Ekadashi fast according to law, all his sins are erased and in the end he attains heaven.

Gauna Mohini Ekadashi – For relief from all kinds of sufferings.

Here devotees need to follow a strict fast in order to praise Lord Vishnu.

Fast should only be broken the next morning by fruits or milk.

According to the Hindu calendar, the Ekadashi of Shukla Paksha of Vaishakh month is called Mohini Ekadashi.

According to religious belief, this Mohini Ekadashi is the best fast to remove all kinds of sorrows, remove all sins.

Due to the effect of this fast, humans go to Vishnuloka after getting rid of the entanglement and the evil group.

But on this day some special tasks should not be done even by forgetting.

Apara Ekadashi – For achieving name and fame.

During Apara Ekadashi it is necessary to give bhog and tulsi leave.

Early in the morning after taking a bath, each one should fast for the day.

During Apara Ekadashi not only bhog but also tulsi leave is prohibited.

So everyone must fast on this day and eat only fruit juice or milk.

Apara Ekadashi means immense virtue.

According to Padma Purana, there is a law to worship Lord Vishnu in his Vamana form on this day.

It is believed that by observing the fast of Apara Ekadashi, Lord Shri Hari Vishnu bestows immense virtue by removing all the sorrows and troubles from the life of a human being.

This Ekadashi bestows many virtues and destroys the great evils.

Due to the effect of fasting on Ekadashi, all sins like killing Brahma, ghosts, blaming others, adultery, giving false testimony, telling lies, reading or making false scriptures, becoming a false astrologer and becoming a false doctor etc.

Apara Ekadashi is also termed Jalkrida Ekadashi, Achala Ekadashi and Bhadrakali Ekadashi.

Nirjali Ekadashi – For control over senses and relief from all sufferings.

The Nirjala Ekadashi, also called Nirjalabhakti Dvadashi is observed in the month of Magshir.

In this fast, food can be taken but not water.

This fast is believed to have been started by Sri Krishna when he was in Vrindavana.

Ekadashi fasting is considered paramount.

It is said that a person who observes this fast of Nirjala Ekadashi, leads to salvation.

Some of these Ekadashis have special significance.

This Ekadashi comes every year in the Shukla Paksha of Jyestha month.

The fast of Nirjala Ekadashi is done abstaining from water as well.

From the starting vow of the fast to breaking the fast, not even a drop of water can be consumed on this day.

In the remaining Ekadashis of the year, the fast is not forbidden to drink water, but the fast of Nirjala Ekadashi is done without drinking water.

Nirjala Ekadashi fasting method :

  • Wake up early and take a bath.
  • Meditate and worship.
  • Lord Vishnu.
  • Practice chanting and do Japa.

First offer bhog to the Lord, donate it to Brahmin, and then break the Nirjala fast by consuming water.

It is said that if the fast of Nirjala Ekadashi is done with a sincere heart, then Shri Hari takes away all the troubles of life and life becomes happy.

According to religious belief, it is said that a person who observes this fast with a sincere heart, gets the virtue that is available in all Ekadashi fasts.

He becomes free from all kinds of troubles.

Along with fasting, charity work is also done on this day.

The person who donates receives merit. Donating Kalash is considered very auspicious.

This gives a person a happy life and longevity.

According to the legend,once during the Mahabharata period, Pandu’s son Bhima asked Maharishi Ved Vyas Ji – “Oh most respected monk! All my family members observe Ekadashi fast and ask me to do the fast too.

But I cannot remain hungry, so please tell me how can I get the results of Ekadashi without fasting?

At the request of Bhima, Ved Vyas Ji said – son! You must fast without water on Ekadashi of Jyeshtha Shukla Paksha.

On this day both food and water have to be given up.

A person who stays from sunrise on Ekadashi date to sunrise of Dwadashi without drinking water and observes Nirjala fast with true devotion, he gets the fruits of all Ekadashis that come in a year by observing this one Ekadashi fast.

Then Bhima observed the fast of Nirjala Ekadashi following the orders of Vyas Ji.

Yogini Ekadashi – For performing pious deeds.

Here in yogini ekadashi you need to have food without salt.

They can break their fast after donating food or clothes to Brahman or needy people the next morning.

According to the Hindi calendar, Ekadashi is observed on both sides of Krishna Paksha and Shukla Paksha every month.

In this way, there are two Ekadashi dates in a month and 24 Ekadashi in a year.

In the scriptures, the fast of Ekadashi Tithi is said to be the best among all the fasts.

According to religious belief, a person who observes fast on every Ekadashi with devotion, all the troubles of his life are removed.

The sinful deeds of a person are destroyed and salvation is attained after this world.

The fast of each Ekadashi is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, but each Ekadashi has its significance.

Yogini Ekadashi falls during Krishna Paksha in the month of Ashadha.

This Ekadashi falls between two important Ekadashi fasts, after Nirjala, and before Devshayani Ekadashi.

The greatness of Yogini Ekadashi is considered to be in all three worlds.

By observing this fast, a person gets happiness, prosperity, and good health.

Padma/ Devashyani Ekadashi – For Moksha (Salvation and liberation).

The ekadashi is done at the beginning of Chaturmas which is the 4th month in Hindu Calendar.

This Ekadashi is also called Jayanti Ekadashi.

By performing this yajna, one gets the fruit of Vajapeya Yagya.

There is no better way than this to destroy the sins of sinners.

The person who worships Me (the form of Vamana) on this Ekadashi day, all three worlds are worshiped.

Hearing the words of God, Yudhishthira said that Lord!

I am in doubt that how do you sleep and take your side and how did King Bali tie the Bali and what other pastimes did you do by keeping the form of Vamana?

What is the method of fasting Chaturmas and what is the duty of a human being when you sleep?

Those who worship the Lord Kamalnayan with a lotus, they go near the Lord.

One who fasted and worshiped on Bhadrapada Shukla Ekadashi, worshiped the three worlds including Brahma, Vishnu.

Therefore, one must observe the fast of Harivasar ie Ekadashi.

On this day God takes his turn, hence it is also called Parivartini Ekadashi.

Kamika Ekadashi – For freedom from sins committed.

Here, the ekadashi is done in chaturmas when Lord Vishnu is sleeping.

The name Kamika Ekadashi is because it comes in kam (black) maas.

During this period, the devotee should keep fast and should visit Kshira Sagar Tirtha and take a holy bath there by chanting mantras.

The Ekadashi date of Krishna Paksha of Sawan month is called Kamika Ekadashi.

This date is dedicated to Lord Shri Hari i.e. Vishnu.

On the day of Kamika Ekadashi, Lord Vishnu, who holds a conch shell, a chakra mace, should be worshiped with devotion by the names of Sridhar, Hari, Vishnu, Madhava, and Madhusudan.

Lord Krishna has said that on the day of Kamika Ekadashi, the person who lights a lamp of ghee or sesame oil in front of the Lord, his virtues are not even counted by Chitragupta.

Aja Ekadashi – For gaining spiritual knowledge and higher consciousness.

Here in order to eliminate our sins and ignorance, Aja Ekadashi is celebrated.

Aja means unborn, Ekadashi is the eleventh day (twelfth full moon night) of each month in the traditional Indian calendar.

The Ekadashi date of Bhadrapada Krishna Paksha is called Aja Ekadashi.

A person who *observes Aja Ekadashi fast on this day with true faith and rules gets the same result as Ashvamedha Yagya.

According to religious belief, the Ekadashi date is very dear to Lord Vishnu.

That is why he is worshiped on this day.

Vamana, Parivartini or Parsva Ekadashi – For overall purification of body, mind, and soul.

Here all devotees please Lord Laxmi.

Here, you cannot consume food after sunset on Dashmi.

Today is the Ekadashi of Bhadrapada Shukla Paksha.

In the scriptures, this Ekadashi is known as Padma Ekadashi.

It is believed that Lord Vishnu changes his side on this day while sleeping in Chaturmas, hence this day is also called Varivarti Ekadashi.

The importance of this Ekadashi has been told in the scriptures.

After snatching heaven by the Asuras, the gods worshiped Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi Mata on Padma Ekadashi to regain heaven.

By this Ekadashi, the deity could again gain authority over heaven.

The Vamana avatar of Lord Vishnu is worshiped on the day of Padma Ekadashi.

Lord Shri Krishna has said that a person who worships his Vamana avatar on Padma Ekadashi gets the fruits of worshiping Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva together.

Such a person attains fame and respect in the earth world and after death, attaining a place in heaven, shines like the moon.

On the day of Padma Ekadashi, all the wishes of the devotee who worship Lord Vamana with a lotus are fulfilled.

Regarding Padma Ekadashi, the scriptures say that donating rice, curd, and silver on this day is very fruitful.

Those who are unable to observe Padma Ekadashi due to any reason should recite the story of various incarnations of Lord Vishnu on the day of Padma Ekadashi.

Reciting Vishnu Sahasranama and Ramayana is also very fruitful on this day.

Shravana Putrada / Pavitropana Ekadashi – For being blessed with a child.

There are a total of 24 Ekadashi fasts observed throughout the year.

Shravan brings with it Ekadashi, a festival that has great significance.

This fast is dedicated to Lord Hari Vishnu.

The Ekadashi that falls on the Shukla Paksha of the month of Shravan is called Shravan Putrada Ekadashi.

By observing this fast with a sincere heart, children get happiness, those who have any kind of child-related problem must keep this fast.

There are two Putrada Ekadashi celebrations per year, the second of which falls in Paush month.

Indira Ekadashi – For liberating ancestors from the hell of Yamraj.

Here, Indira Ekadashi gives salutations to forefathers. But you might be thinking which Indira Ekadashi it is as one more similar name- ‘Bhavishyattu’ comes to your mind?

As per the Hindu calendar, the Indira Ekadashi fast occurs on the Krishna Paksha date of Ashwin.

The scriptures indicate that the Ekadashi of Pitru Paksha brings salvation to our ancestors.

It is said that if one observes the fast for his ancestors with true devotion, his ancestors are saved.

This Ekadashi fast must be observed by family members of an ancestor who received Yamraj punishment due to his sinful behavior.

Padmini Ekadashi – For a joyous life and ultimate salvation and liberation.

It helps to purify your soul , mind and body.

It is the 11th day of the Moon Phase.

It is considered holy and auspicious by Hindus.

The Ekadashi that falls once in three years in Purushottam month is called Padmini Ekadashi.

The month of Purushottam is considered to be the month of Lord Vishnu’s worship.

Ekadashi, which occurs once every three years, gains even more significance.

It is believed that the devotees who observe Padmini Ekadashi get the same result as those who observe the Ekadashi fasts throughout the year, as well as attaining Vishnu Lok.

You should take bath in Brahmamuhurta in the morning and offer Arghya to the Sun God.

Put on clean yellow clothes and worship Lord Vishnu.

Take a vow of fast and establish a picture of God in the place of worship.

Incense lamps should be lit and Lord Vishnu should be worshipped.

Rather than sleep at night, chant bhajans.

Break the fast with full rituals on the day of Dwadashi.

Lord Vishnu is fond of Padmini Ekadashi.

Those who observe Padmini Ekadashi fast with a sincere heart reach Vishnu Lok, as the Puranas state.

One receives the same result from observing this fast as they do from doing any penance, sacrifice, or fasting.

Lord Krishna first made Arjuna aware of its greatness by telling him the story of fasting on Purushottami Ekadashi.

Parama Ekadashi – helps wash away all sins and leads to the heavenly abode.

Parama Ekadashi is one of the most holy and beneficial Ekadashis.

The fast of Parama Ekadashi helps a person destroy all the sins and gets into an atmosphere of godly realms.

Lord Vishnu’s blessings are sought by fasting on this day.

As per religious belief, observing the Ekadashi fast brings blessings from Lord Vishnu, and along with it rare achievements.

This is regarded as the most important Ekadashi day in the scriptures.

On the day of Ekadashi, some tasks should not be done even by forgetting.

Doing such things leads to more troubles and difficulties in life.

Papankusha Ekadashi – For fulfillment of desired and Moksha.

Papankusha Ekadashi is observed for the welfare of accomplishing all the dreams.

Here you need to start the fast from the day of Dashmi.

Ashwin Shukla Paksha Ekadashi is known as Papankusha Ekadashi in the Hindu calendar.

This Ekadashi is dedicated to Lord Padmanabha.

According to tradition, fasting on this Ekadashi yields the same results as austerity.

Shri Krishna says that Ekadashi protects against sin, that is, from sinful deeds.

 A person who observes this Ekadashi fast finds meaning and salvation.

This fast has the effect of destroying any sins accumulated by a person.

During this day, worship should be performed with reverence and devotion, and donations and Dakshina should be given to Brahmins.

Fruit is the only food eaten on this day.

As a result, the body and mind are healthy.

 Rama Ekadashi – For elevation to higher consciousness.

Rama Ekadashi is a day when devotees of Lord Vishnu observe fast.

It falls on the 11th day in the bright half (Shukla Paksha) of the Vaishakha month in the Hindu calendar.

Here devotees also pray for health and wealth of the family.

 In Kartik month, Rama Ekadashi fast is observed.

There is a special significance to Rama Ekadashi among the 24 Ekadashis in a year.

 After four months Lord Vishnu wakes up from his Yoga Nidra.

Padma Purana says that fasting on Rama Ekadashi brings the blessings of Vishnu along with Lakshmi.

Every year, this fast is observed on the Ekadashi date of Krishna Paksha in the month of Kartik.

A person’s sins are destroyed when he or she observes this fast.

It is also mentioned in the Padma Purana.

Fasting on Rama Ekadashi is said to lead to salvation.

By observing this fast, along with Lord Vishnu, one also receives the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi, so one does not suffer from poverty or hunger.

 Significance of Rama Ekadashi

Rama Ekadashi is believed to be named after Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu.

Also referred to as Rama.

Those who fast on this holy day are believed to be blessed by Lord Vishnu and to attain all happiness and salvation in the end, being freed from all sins.

Ekadashi fasting instructions

As part of the Ekadashi fast, our sages should remember God and control their five senses, five sense organs, and one mind.

After taking a bath and meditating, the person who observes this fast should especially worship Lord Vishnu, Goddess Lakshmi, and Goddess Tulsi in the morning.

Devathuna Ekadashi – For purification of the body and mind.

It is the last of the four Ekadashis that are followed during the Caturmas.

It is believed that on this day Lord Vishnu wakes up from four months of rest.

From this Ekadashi onwards, devotees are free to carry on with their auspicious activities that are prohibited in this period.

Ashadh Shukla Ekadashi is celebrated as Devuthani Ekadashi (Dev Uthani Ekadashi), according to Hindu theology, Lord Vishnu sleeps for four months to awakens on this day of the year during Kartik Shukla Ekadashi.

Prabodini Ekadashi or Dev Uthani Ekadasi is observed on the eleventh day of the month of Kartik during the Shukla Paksha or waxing phase of the moon.

An Ekadashi is one of 24 in a year according to the Hindu lunar calendar. Malamaas, however, increases this number to 26.

A major Ekadashi is the Dev Uthani Ekadashi every year.

People throng temples and do parikramas chanting and bhajans.

Utapanna Ekadashi – For the merit of offering a thousand cows to a Brahman.

It occurs during the waxing phase of the moon in the Hindu month of Kartik.

The word ‘Utpanna’ is used for getting something or receiving something.

According to religious beliefs, people who fast on Utapanna Ekadashi find all kinds of comforts and receive the shelter of Lord Vishnu after death.

Types of Ekadashi

·         Nirjala Ekadashi

Also known as: Pandava Bhima Ekadashi, Pandava Nirjala Ekadashi, Bhimseni Ekadashi.

Meaning: Nirjala means “without any water”.

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Shukla Paksha of Jyeshtha month.

Special Feature: Devotees do not drink water on this day, making it the most challenging but sacred Ekadashi.

Blessings: Completion of this vrata is believed to bring the favor of Lord Vishnu, along with happiness, prosperity, and forgiveness from sins.

Date & Time: Jun 17, 4:44 am – Jun 18, 6:25 am

·         Papavimochani Ekadashi

Also known as: Papamochini Ekadashi.

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Krishna Paksha in every Chaitra month.

Meaning: Papavimochani means “the one which removes sins”.

Rituals: The Chaturbhuj form of Lord Vishnu is worshipped.

Blessings: Devotees who observe this vrata are freed from their sins and gain salvation.

Date & Time: Apr 04, 4:14 pm – Apr 05, 1:29 pm

·         Mohini Ekadashi

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Shukla Paksha in the Vaisakha month.

Rituals: Lord Vishnu is worshipped in the form of Goddess Mohini.

Blessings: Fasting on this day is believed to cleanse the person of their sins.

Date & Time: May 18, 11:23 am – May 19, 1:50 pm

·         Kamada Ekadashi

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Shukla Paksha in every Chaitra month.

Meaning: Kamada means “the one which fulfills all desires”.

Rituals: Lord Vishnu is worshipped in the form of Lord Krishna.

Blessings: It is believed to fulfill all worldly desires of the person who observes it sincerely.

Date & Time: Apr 18, 5:32 pm – Apr 19, 8:05 pm

·         Varuthini Ekadashi

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Krishna Pakasha in the Vaisakha month.

Meaning: Varuthini means “protected”.

Rituals: Lord Vishnu is worshipped in the form of Vamana Avatar.

Blessings: Devotees who observe this fast receive protection from various troubles and misfortunes.

Date & Time: May 03, 11:24 pm – May 04, 8:39 pm

·         Apara Ekadashi

Also called: Achala Ekadashi.

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Krishna Paksha of the Hindu month Jyeshtha.

Meaning: Apar in Sanskrit means “limitless”.

Blessings: Those who observe this fast are said to be freed from all their sins.

Date & Time: Jun 02, 5:05 am – Jun 03, 2:41 am

·         Devashayani Ekadashi

Meaning: Devashayani means “god resting/sleeping.”

Also known as: Ashadhi Ekadashi in Maharashtra, Padma Ekadashi.

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Shukla Paksha in the month of Ashadha.

Significance: Lord Vishnu rests on Sheshanaga after this Ekadashi, making it the most important one. Thousands of devotees visit Pandharpur on this day for the Darshana of Lord Panduranaga.

Date & Time: Jul 16, 8:34 pm – Jul 17, 9:03 pm

·         Yogini Ekadashi

Meaning: Yogini means “a female Yogi.”

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Krishna Paksha in Ashadha month.

Blessings: Observing this fast is considered as virtuous as feeding 88,000 Brahmins. It is believed to free individuals from the cycle of birth and rebirth.

Date & Time: Jul 01, 10:26 am – Jul 02, 8:42 am

·         Kamika Ekadashi

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Krishna Paksha in the month of Shravana.

Meaning: Kamika means “desired.”

Rituals: Lord Vishnu is worshipped in the form of Lord Krishna.

Blessings: This vrata is believed to help devotees alleviate the Pitra Dosha.

Date & Time: Jul 30, 4:45 pm – Jul 31, 3:56 pm

·         Shravana Putrada Ekadashi

Also called: Pavitra Ekadashi or Pavitropana Ekadashi.

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Shukla Paksha of Shravana month.

Meaning: Putrada means “the giver of a child (son).”

Blessings: Devotees longing for a child benefit by observing this vrata.

Date & Time: Aug 15, 10:27 am – Aug 16, 9:40 am

·         Indira Ekadashi

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Krishna Paksha in Ashvin month.

Significance: This is the only Ekadashi in the Pitra Paksha, providing salvation to the deceased ancestors of those who observe this vrata.

Rituals: Devotees keep a fast and worship Lord Vishnu and donate various things and money on this day.

Date & Time: Sep 27, 1:20 pm – Sep 28, 2:50 pm

·         Annada Ekadashi 

Also known as: Aja Ekadashi.

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Krishna Paksha in Bhadrapada month.

Meaning: Annada means “the giver of food.”

Blessings: Devotees observing this vrata receive ample food, wealth, and prosperity.

Date & Time: Aug 29, 1:20 am – Aug 30, 1:38 am

·         Parsva Ekadashi

Also called: Vamana Ekadashi, Jayanti Ekadashi.

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Shukla Paksha in Bhadrapada month.

Significance: Hindus believe that Lord Vishnu changes his sleeping position from left to right on this day, also known as Parsva Parivartini Ekadashi.

Blessings: Observing Parsva Ekadashi is believed to bring happiness and peace.

Date & Time:Sep 13, 10:30 pm – Sep 14, 8:41 pm

·         Pasankusa Ekadashi

Also called: Papankusa Ekadashi.

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Shukla Paksha in Ashvin month.

Meaning: Pasankusa means “noose and goad.”

Rituals: Lord Vishnu is worshipped in the form of Lord Padmanabha.

Blessings: Devotees believe they attain all worldly pleasures by observing this vrata.

Date & Time: Oct 13, 9:09 am – Oct 14, 6:41 am

·         Ramaa Ekadashi

Occurs: On the 11th day of Krishna Paksha every Kartik month, just before Diwali.

Significance: Observing this vrata is believed to be as auspicious as performing 1000 Ashwamedha yajnas or 100 Rajasuyra yajnas. Devotees are said to attain worldly happiness and salvation after death.

Date & Time:Oct 27, 5:24 am – Oct 28, 7:51 am

·         Saphala Ekadashi

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Krishna Paksha in Pausha month.

Meaning: Saphala means “successful.”

Significance: Observing the vrata of Saphala Ekadashi is believed to bring success in life.

Date & Time:Jan 07, 12:42 am – Jan 08, 12:46 am

·         Pausha Putrada Ekadashi

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Shukla Paksha of Pausha month.

Blessings: Couples, especially those seeking a child, are advised to observe this vrata. It is more popular in North India compared to Shravana Putrada Ekadashi.

Date & Time: Jan 20, 7:27 pm – Jan 21, 7:27 pm

·         Prabodhini Ekadashi

Also called: Devauthani Ekadashi, Kartiki Ekadashi (in Maharashtra).

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Shukla Paksha of Kartik month.

Significance: Lord Vishnu wakes from Yoganidra on this day. The holy festival of Tulsi Vivah is also celebrated. Fasting on this day is believed to remove sins and bring happiness, prosperity, and worldly pleasures. Devotees visit Pandharpur Vitthal Temple in Maharashtra.

Date & Time: Nov 11, 6:47 pm – Nov 12, 4:05 pm

·         Utpanna Ekadashi

Occurs: On the 11th day of Krishna Paksha in Margashirsha month.

Meaning: Utpanna means “birth.”

Significance: Goddess Ekadashi was born on this day and saved Lord Vishnu from a demon. Observing this vrata is said to absolve devotees of their past sins. It is considered a suitable day to start observing Ekadashi vrata.

Date & Time: Nov 26, 1:02 am – Nov 27, 3:48 am

·         Vaikuntha Ekadashi

Also known as: Mukoti Ekadashi, Mukhti Ekadashi, Mokshada Ekadashi, Swargavathil Ekadashi (in Kerala).

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Shukla Paksha of Margashirsha month.

Significance: Vaikuntha, the abode of Lord Vishnu, opens its gates for devotees on this day. It is believed to grant the uninterrupted darshan of Lord Vishnu, and it is associated with names like Mukoti or Mukhti Ekadashi. 

Date & Time: Mar 06, 6:31 am – Mar 07, 4:14 am

·         Jaya Ekadashi

Also called: Bhaimi Ekadashi.

Occurs: On the 11th day of Shukla Paksha of Magha month.

Blessings: Observers of this vrata are said to be rid of ghostly influences in their lives and are believed to be absolved from all kinds of sins.

Date & Time: Feb 19, 8:50 am – Feb 20, 9:56 am

·         Shattila Ekadashi

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Krishna Paksha of Magha month.

Meaning: Shattila means “six sesame seeds.”

Rituals: Sesame seeds are used in six different ways to worship Lord Vishnu on this day. Also known as Tilda Ekadashi.

Blessings: Observers of this vrata are believed to receive prosperity and salvation.

Date & Time: Feb 05, 5:25 pm – Feb 06, 4:07 pm

·         Vijaya Ekadashi

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Krishna Paksha of Phalguna month.

Meaning: Vijaya means “victory.”

Significance: Observing this vrata is believed to bring victory in life.

Date & Time: March 6, 2024

·         Parama Shuddha Ekadashi

Also called: Purushottama Kamala Ekadashi.

Occurs: On the 11th day of Krishna Paksha of Adhik Maas.

Significance: This Ekadashi vrata is believed to bring material progress in life and wash away past sins.

·         Amalaka Ekadashi

Occurs: On the 11th day of the Shukla Paksha of Phalguna month.

Meaning: Amalaka means “amla” or Indian gooseberry.

Rituals: Devotees worship the Amla tree, believed to house Lord Vishnu. Amla is known for strengthening the immune system.

Blessings: Those who observe this Ekadashi vrata are believed to receive good luck, prosperity, and happiness.

Date & Time: Mar 20, 12:22 am – Mar 21, 2:23 am

·         Padmini Vishuddha Ekadashi

Occurs: Once in three years during Adhik Maas (extra month added to the Hindu calendar).

Significance: This Ekadashi falls on the 11th day of Shukla Paksha of Adhik Maas.

Observing the vrata is said to free devotees from past sins.

Which Ekadashi is Most Beneficial?

Nirjala Ekadashi is considered the most challenging yet powerful and beneficial.

On this day, devotees abstain from both food and water, putting their mental and physical strength to the test. 

Ekadashi Vrata

It’s necessary to fast during Ekadashi.

You can eat small amounts of things like fruits.

  • Start and End of Fast: Begin fasting at sunrise and end it after sunset. Some Ekadashi fasts require opening the fast on the following day.
  • Morning Rituals: Wake up early and take a bath.
  • Temple Visit: Visit a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu or his avatars and offer prayers.
  • Worship Lord Vishnu: Offer flowers and other items in worship to Lord Vishnu.
  • Spiritual Reflection: Spend the day contemplating on Lord Vishnu, and try chanting his name.
  • Avoid Certain Foods: Refrain from consuming alcohol and non-vegetarian food.
  • Follow Ethical Practices: Avoid lying, stealing, or causing harm to any living being.

 The celebration of Ekadashi Vrata is of devotion, spirituality, and cultural significance in the Hindu tradition.

 As we traverse the varied types of Ekadashis, each embedded with unique stories and rituals, we discover a rich amalgamation of faith and practice that has withstood the test of time.

Ekadashi, with its diverse manifestations, offers solace, blessings, and a sense of profound connection with the cosmic forces that govern existence.

Why is the rice not eaten on Ekadashi?

  • According to religious beliefs, a drop of sweat fell to the ground from Lord Brahma’s head and turned into a demon. When he asked for a place to live, Brahma told the demon to exist in the grains of rice eaten by people on Ekadashi and turn into worms in their stomach.
  • There is also a scientific reason behind not having rice on Ekadashi: eating food that retains too much water on Ekadashi can cause instability as the moon attracts water and the moon’s rays are said to have more cosmic energy on this day. Since rice grains contain a large amount of water, consuming it can cause the aggravation of certain conditions such as fluid retention, cold, sinusitis, etc.

Here are some tips for observing Ekadashi

  • Plan. Decide what you will eat and drink on Ekadashi, and make sure you have everything you need on hand.
  • Prepare your body. On the day before Ekadashi, eat a light meal in the evening. This will help you to feel more comfortable on the day of the fast.
  • Start the day early. Wake up early on Ekadashi and take some time for spiritual practice, such as meditation, prayer, or reading scriptures.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Even if you are fasting from food, it is important to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, juice, or milk.
  • Be kind to yourself. If you feel weak or tired, don’t push yourself too hard. Take a break or rest.

Here are some specific foods and drinks that you can eat on Ekadashi

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Milk and milk products
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Herbal teas
  • Syrups

Foods and drinks that you should avoid on Ekadashi

  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Salt

Ekadashi is a time to focus on your spiritual practice and to cleanse your body and mind.

By following these tips, you can make the most of this special day.