Sri Yudhishthira Maharaj said, "Oh Janardana, what is the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the dark fortnight (Krishna paksha) of the month of Jyeshtha (May-June) I wish to hear from You the glories of this sacred day of Hari."
Lord Sri Krishna said, "Oh 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 purity.
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.
Oh 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 ashrama (an unqualified man posing as a brahmin, for example, or a person reciting the Vedas wrongly); one who invents his own scriptures; one who cheats others; one who is a charlatan astrologer, a cheating accountant, or a false Ayurvedic doctor – are all destined for hellish punishments. 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, Oh Yudhishthira, even such a fallen Kshatriya, if he observes fasting on Apara Ekadashi, he is freed of that great sinful reaction 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 if he simply observes Apara Ekadashi, he can attain to the spiritual world.
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 daily in Pushkara-kshetra during Kartika (October-November); bathing at Prayag in the month of Magh (January-February) when the sun is in the zodiac of Capricorn; rendering service to Lord Shiva at Varanasi (Benares) during Shiva-ratri; offering oblations to one’s forefathers at Gaya; bathing in the sacred Gautami River when Jupiter transits Leo (Simha); having darshan of Lord Shiva at Kedarnatha; seeing Lord Badrinath when the Sun transits the sign of Aquarius (Kumbha); and bathing at the time of a solar eclipse at Kurukshetra 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 forest full of trees of sinful deeds. Therefore, Oh 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, Sri Trivikrama. One who does so is freed of all his sins and promoted to the abode of Lord Vishnu.
Anyone who hears or reads this description is certainly freed from all kinds of sins, oh best of saintly kings, Yudhishthira."