Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'Ekadasi'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Тип контента


Categories

  • Articles (English)
  • Articles (Russian)

Blogs

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.

Forums

  • Vaishnava Forum (English)
    • Vaishnava Philosophies and Practices
    • Guru in Vaishnava Traditions
    • Lila-katha, Prayers
    • Science: Approaching to Krishna Consciousness
    • Articles
    • Lacto Vegetarianism, Health
  • Vaishnava Forum (Russian)
    • Vaishnava Philosophies and Practices
    • Guru in Vaishnava Traditions
    • Lila-katha, Prayers
    • Science: Approaching to Krishna Consciousness
    • Articles
    • Lacto Vegetarianism, Health
  • Shrila Purushottam Maharaj's Forum : Форум

Categories

  • Lord Shri Jagannath
  • For Kids
    • Cartoons in English
    • Cartoons in Hindi
    • Cartoons in Russian
  • Shripad Aindra das
  • Shrila Bhakti Pramod Puri Goswami
    • Art of Sadhana
    • Biography
    • Vyasa Puja
    • Darshans
  • Shrila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Goswami
    • Darshans
    • Biography
  • Shrila Bhakti Sarvaswa Govinda Goswami
  • Shrila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami
  • Shrila Bhakti Vallabha Tirtha Goswami
    • Moscow, 1999
    • Lectures, Darshans
  • Shrila Bhakti Vedanta Narayana Goswami
    • 1996
    • 1997
    • 1998
    • 1999
    • 2000
    • 2001
    • 2002
    • 2003
    • 2004
    • 2005
    • 2006
    • 2007
    • 2008
    • 2009
    • 2010
    • Undated
  • Shrila Bhakti Vedanta Swami
  • Shrila Bhakti Vedanta Trivikram Goswami
  • Shrila Gour Govinda Goswami
  • Shrila Lokanatha Goswami
  • Shri Shri Radha-Raman Deity
  • Shrila Vinod Bihari das babaji
  • Vedic Knowledge
  • Vraj
  • Shrila Purushottam Maharaj's Video : Видео

Categories

  • Vaishnava Books
    • All Vaishnava Books
    • Vaishnava Books by Authors
    • Favourite Books
  • Vaishnava Video
    • Vaisnava Bhajans
    • Movies
    • Lectures (Hari-katha)
  • Vaishnava Audio
    • Vaisnava Bhajans
    • Audio Books
    • Lectures (Hari-katha)
  • Vaishnava Soft
  • Russification for the Invision Community
  • Shrila Purushottam Maharaj's Download : Скачать

Playlists

  • Shrila Vinod Bihari Das babaji
  • Shrila Lokanatha Goswami
  • Shripad Aindra das
  • Bhudev
  • Jagjit Singh
  • Keshavaji Gaudiya Matha
  • Krishna Das
  • Shrila Krishna Das Babaji
  • Shripad Bhakti Vedanta Muni Swami
  • Sudarshan
  • Vakreshvar
  • Shrila Ananta Das Babaji
  • Shri Bhagavan Veda Vyasa
  • Shrila Vrindavan Das Thakur
  • Shrila Bhakti Vedanta Narayana Swami
  • Shrila Bhakti Vinoda Thakur
  • Shrila Sanatana Goswami
  • Shrila Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakur
  • Shrila Krishna Das Kaviraja Goswami
  • Stories for Children
  • Shrila Bhakti Pragyana Keshava Goswami
  • Shrila Bhakti Promod Puri Goswami
  • Valmiki Muni
  • Shrila Bhakti Rakshak Shridhar Swami
  • Shrila Bhakti Sarvasva Govinda Swami
  • Shrila Bhakti Vallabha Tirtha Swami

Marker Groups

  • Vraja-dhama: Different
  • Vraja-dhama: Varshana
  • Vraja-dhama: Nandgaon
  • Vraja-dhama: Vrindavan
  • Vraja-dhama: Mathura
  • Vraja-dhama: Govardhan
  • Vraja-dhama: Raval
  • Vraja-dhama: Gokul
  • Vraja-dhama: Madhuvana
  • Vraja-dhama: Talavana
  • Vraja-dhama: Kumudavana

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Found 24 results

  1. Site Admin

    Ekadasi recipes

    Gauranga Potatoes Ingredients for 4-6 servings: 8 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced into 0.5 cm (1/4-inch) disks; water; 1 tablespoon (20 ml) olive oil; 3/4 teaspoon (3 ml) yellow asafetida powder [make sure its Ekadasi hing]; 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) ground dried rosemary; 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) freshly ground black pepper; 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) turmeric; 3 cups (750 ml) sour cream; 1 tablespoon (20 ml) melted butter; 2 teaspoon (10 ml) salt; 1/2 cup (125 ml) water; 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sweet paprika; 2 tablespoon (40 ml) chopped fresh parsley. Cooking: Boil the potato slices in lightly salted water in a 4-litre/quart saucepan until they are cooked but firm. Remove and drain. Add the olive oil to a medium saucepan, over moderate heat and when hot, add the asafetida. Saute momentarily; add the rosemary, black pepper, turmeric and stir briefly. Add the sour cream, melted butter, salt and water. Whisk it into a smooth sauce and remove from the heat. Combine the potato slices and sour cream sauce in a mixing bowl. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish, sprinkle with paprika, and place in the top of a preheated (200 C/390 F) oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve hot.
  2. Site Admin

    Pavitropana Ekadasi

    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? 0 Purusottama, 0 Hrsikesa, please also tell me how You can be pleased on this day." Lord Shri Krishna replied, "0 king, for the benefit of all humanity I shall tell you how to observe fasting on Pausa-sukla 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. "0 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 allconsuming 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 brdhmanas. 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 asramas, 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, '0 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 Kesava-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 brightfaced, 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." Thus ends the narration of the glories of Shravana-sukla ekadasi, or Putrada ekadasi, from the Bhavishya Purana.
  3. Site Admin

    Kamika Ekadasi

    Yudhisthira Maharaj said, "Oh Shri Krishna, I would like to hear from You the glories of the Ekadashi that occurs during the dark fortnight (Krishna paksha) of the month of Shravana (July–August). Please be merciful to me and explain its glories." Shri Krishna, replied, "Oh King, please listen attentively as I describe the auspicious influence of this day, which removes all sins. Narada Muni once asked Lord Brahma about this same topic. 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 the 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 the four-armed Lord Gadadhara, who holds a conch shell, disc, club and lotus in His hands and who is also known as Shridhara, Hari, Vishnu, Madhava, and Madhusudana. Observing Kamika Ekadashi bestows the same merit as donating a milch cow and her auspicious calf, along with their feed. On this all auspicious day, whosoever worships Lord Shri Shridhara-deva, Vishnu, is glorified by all the devas, Gandharvas, Pannagas, and Nagas. Those who are afraid of their past sins and completely immersed in sinful materialistic life should at least observe this best of Ekadashis according to their ability and thus attain liberation. Oh 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 throughout the night will never experience the anger of Yamaraja, the king of death personified. Whosoever worships Lord Shri 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. 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, diamonds, etc. One who offers Lord Keshava newly grown manjari buds from the 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 devi need never fear the Lord of death, Yamaraja. One who plants or transplants Tulasi on this day will eventually reside with Lord Shri Krishna in His own abode. To Shrimati Tulasi devi, 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 Shri Krishna on this day ascend to the heavenly planets and drink the celestial nectar there. Whoever offers 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 Sun-god, with a body as bright as ten million lamps. This Ekadashi is so powerful that if one who is unable to fast simply follows the practices as mentioned herein, he / she is elevated to the heavenly planets, along with all their forefathers.' Oh Maharaj Yudhisthira, Lord Shri Krishna concluded, "…these were the words of Prajapati Brahma to his son Narada Muni concerning the incalculable glories of this Kamika Ekadashi, which removes all sins. This sacred day nullifies even the sin of killing a brahmana or the sin of killing an unborn child in the womb, and it promotes one to the spiritual world by making one supremely meritorious." Whosoever hears these glories of the Kamika Ekadashi with faith becomes free of all sins and returns home, back to Godhead. Thus ends the narration of the glories of the Shravana-krshna Ekadasi, or Kamika Ekadasi, from the Brahma-Vaivarta Purana.
  4. Site Admin

    Shayana Ekadasi

    Yudhisthira Maharaj said, "Oh Keshava, what is the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Ashadha (June – July) and what is the process for observing this event?" Lord Sri Krishna replied, "I shall tell you a wonderful historical event that Lord Brahma once narrated to his son Narada Muni. One day Narada Muni asked his father, 'What is the name of the Ekadashi that comes during the light part of the month of Ashadha? Kindly tell me how I should observe this Ekadashi and thus please the Supreme Lord, Sri Vishnu.' Lord Brahma replied, 'Your question is as usual excellent for all mankind. For this reason I shall tell you about this Ashadha-shukla Ekadashi. Fasting on this Ekadashi purifies one of all sins and fulfills all desires. Ashadha-shukla Ekadashi is also known as Padma Ekadashi. Just to please the Supreme Lord Hrishikesha, the master of the senses, one should fast on this day. Listen carefully, Oh Narada, as I relate to you a wonderful historical event that was recorded in the scriptures regarding this Ekadashi. Just hearing this account destroys all kinds of sins. There was once a saintly king in the Surya Vamsha (Sun dynasty) whose name was Mandhata. Because he always stood up for the truth, he was appointed emperor. All his subjects were 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 lack of food grains made it impossible for the people to perform the prescribed Vedic sacrifices, etc. Finally, they all came before their beloved king and said, 'Oh king, we humbly beg your assistance now. Everyone and everything in this world needs water. The Vedas call water Nara, and because the Supreme Personality of Godhead sleeps upon water, His another name is Narayana. In His form as the clouds, the Supreme Lord is present throughout the sky and pours forth rains, from which grow the grains that maintain every living entity. The severe drought has caused a great lack of valuable grains; thus we are all miserable, please find some solutions to this problem.' The king replied, 'Grains are like Brahman, the Absolute Truth, who lives within grains and thereby sustains all beings. If a king (or head of the country) is irreligious, both he and his subjects suffer. After searching my past and present character I can honestly say that I find no sin. Still, I shall try to remedy the situation." 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 Ashrams and inquiring about how to resolve the crisis in his kingdom. At last he came upon the ashram of one of my other sons, Angira Muni, whose effulgence lit up all directions. 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 at the lotus feet of Angira Muni. Then Angira Muni 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, 'Oh great sage, to solve this mystery, I have approached you for help.' 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 (Truthfulness, Austerity, Mercy, and Cleanliness). In this age everyone respects Brahmins as the topmost members of society. Also, everyone fulfills his occupational duties, and only twice-born Brahmins are allowed to perform Vedic austerities and penances. Although this is a standard, there is one shudra (uninitiated, untrained person) who is thus 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 labourer with death, for by so doing you will remove the contamination inflicted by his actions and restore peace to your subjects.' The king then replied, 'How can I kill an offenseless performer of austerity and sacrifice? Please give me some spiritual solution.' Angira Muni then said, 'Oh king, you should observe a fast on the Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Ashadha. This auspicious day is named Padma Ekadashi, and by its influence plentiful rains and thus grains and other foodstuffs 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.' The king offered his obeisances and then returned to his palace. When the Padma Ekadashi arrived, King Mandhata and all his subjects strictly 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 Hrishikesha, the master of the senses, all the subjects of King Mandhata became extremely happy and prosperous. Therefore, Oh 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 Sri Krishna concluded, "My dear Yudhishthira, Padma Ekadashi is so powerful that one who simply reads or hears its glories becomes completely sinless. Oh Pandava, one who wishes to please Me should strictly observe this Ekadashi, which is also known as Deva Shayana Ekadashi."
  5. Site Admin

    Yogini Ekadasi

    Yudhishthira Maharaj said, "Oh Supreme Lord, I have heard the glories of the Nirjala Ekadashi, which occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Jyeshtha (May – June). Now I wish to hear from You about the Shuddha Ekadashi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Ashadha (June – July). Kindly describe to me all about it in detail." Shri Krishna, then replied, "Oh king, I shall indeed tell you about the best of all fasting days, the Ekadashi that comes during the dark part of the month of Ashadha. Famous as Yogini Ekadashi, it removes all kinds of sinful reactions and awards liberation. 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 now 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 Shiva. He had a servant named Hemamali who was his gardener. Hemamali, a Yaksha like Kuvera, was lustfully attracted to his wife, Swarupavati, who had enchanting eyes. Hemamali’s daily duty was to visit Manasarovara lake and bring flowers for his master, Kuvera, which he would use in the puja offerings to Lord Shiva. One day, after picking the flowers, Hemamali went to his wife instead of returning directly to his master. Absorbed in loving affairs with his wife, he forgot to return to the abode of Kuvera. While Hemamali was enjoying with his wife, Kuvera had begun the worship of Lord Shiva and soon discovered that there were no flowers ready to be offered. The lack of such an important item angered Kuvera, and he asked a Yaksha messenger, ‘Why has dirty-hearted Hemamali not come with the daily offering of flowers? Go find out the exact reason.’ The Yaksha returned and told Kuvera, ‘Oh lord, Hemamali has become lost in the company of his wife.’ Kuvera became extremely angry and at once summoned Hemamali before him. Hemamali approached his master in great fear. Enraged, Kuvera cried out to Hemamali, ‘Oh you sinful rascal! I curse you to suffer from leprosy and to become separated from your beloved wife! Leave this place immediately and betake yourself to the lower planets to suffer!’ And so Hemamali fell at once from grace in Alakapuri and became ill with the terrible affliction of 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 continued to worship Lord Shiva with faith, his consciousness remained purely fixed 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 Hemamali eventually came upon the vast expanse of the Himalayan mountain ranges. There he had the good fortune to come in contact with the great saintly soul Markandeya Rishi, whose duration of life it is said, extends to seven of the days of Brahma. Markandeya Rishi was seated peacefully at his ashrama. Hemamali, feeling very sinful, stood at a distance and offered his humble obeisances. Markandeya Rishi saw the leper and called him near, ‘What sort of sinful deeds have you done to earn this dreadful affliction?’ Hearing this, Hemamali painfully replied, ‘I am a Yaksha servant of lord Kuvera, and my name is Hemamali. It was my daily service to pick the flowers from the Manasarovara lake for my master’s worship of lord Shiva, but one day I was negligent and was late in returning with the offering because I had become overwhelmed with passion for my wife. When my master discovered this, he cursed me in great anger to be as I am before you. But fortunately I have come upon you, and now I hope to receive from you an auspicious benediction, for I know that devotees such as you are as merciful as the Supreme Lord. Oh best of sages, please help me!’ Softhearted Markandeya Rishi 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 Ashadha, you will surely be freed of this terrible curse.’ Hemamali fell to the ground in complete gratitude and offered him his humble obeisances. As the sage had instructed him, Hemamali dutifully observed the Ekadashi fast, and by its influence he again became a handsome Yaksha. Then he returned home, where he lived happily with his wife." Lord Shri Krishna concluded, "So, you can readily see, Oh Yudhishthira that fasting on Yogini Ekadashi is very powerful and auspicious. Whatever merit one obtains by feeding eighty-eight thousand brahmanas is also obtained simply by observing a strict fast on Yogini Ekadashi. For one who fasts on this sacred Ekadashi, she (Ekadashi Devi), destroys heaps of past sinful reactions and makes him most pious." Thus ends the narration of the glories of Ashadha-krishna Ekadashi, or Yogini Ekadashi, from the Brahma-vaivarta Purana.
  6. Site Admin

    Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi

    Once Bhimasena asked the great sage Shrila Vyasadeva, the grandfather of the Pandavas, whether it was possible to return to the spiritual world without having observed all the rules and regulations of the Ekadashi fasts. He said that he couldn't live without eating, because hunger was unbearable to him. He asked him for a solution to obtain the same merits without fasting. Vyasadeva replied, "Without drinking even water, you should fast on the Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Jyeshtha (May-June) when the sun travels in the sign of Taurus (Vrishabh) and Gemini (Mithun)." According to learned personalities, on this day one may bathe and perform achamana for pratiprokshana purification. But while performing achamana one may drink only that amount of water equal to a drop of gold, or that amount it takes to immerse a single mustard seed. Only this amount of water should be placed in the right palm for sipping. 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 the Ekadashi day to sunrise on the Dvadashi day. If a person endeavours to observe this great fast very strictly, he easily achieves the result of observing all twenty-four other Ekadashi fasts throughout the entire year. On Dvadashi one should bathe early in the morning. Then, according to the prescribed rules and depending on his ability, he should give some gold and water to worthy brahmanas. Finally, he should cheerfully honour prasadam with a brahmana. Oh Bhimasena, one who can fast on this special Ekadashi in this manner reaps the benefit of having fasted on every Ekadashi during the year. There is no doubt of this. Oh Bhima, now hear the specific merit one gets by fasting on this Ekadashi. The Supreme Lord Keshava, who holds a conch, discus, 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 even drinking water or eating, becomes free of all sinful reactions, and that one who observes the difficult nirjala fast on Jyeshtha-shukla Ekadashi truly reaps the benefit of all other Ekadashi fasts. Oh Bhimasena, in the Kali-yuga, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy, when all the principles of the Vedas will have been destroyed or greatly minimised, 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." When the other Pandavas heard about the benefits to be gained by following Jyeshtha-shukla Ekadashi, they resolved to observe it exactly as their grandfather 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 also known as Pandava Nirjala Dvadashi (technically it is a Maha-Dvadashi). Shrila Vyasadeva continued, "One who on this day gives a brahmana a water pot, an umbrella, or shoes surely goes to the heavenly planets. Indeed, he who simply hears these glories also attains to the transcendental abode of the Supreme Lord, Sri 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. Oh Bhimasena, after this Ekadashi fast and donating the recommended items according to his ability, the devotee should feed brahmanas and thereafter honour prasadam silently." Thus ends the narration of the glories of Jyeshtha-shukla Ekadashi, or Bhimaseni-nirjala Ekadashi, from the Brahma-vaivarta Purana.
  7. Site Admin

    Apara Ekadasi

    Shri 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 Shri 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, Shri 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."
  8. Site Admin

    Mohini Ekadasi

    Yudhishthira Maharaja said, "O Janardana, what is the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Vaishakha (April-May)? What is the process for observing it properly?" Lord Sri Krishna replied, "What Vasishtha Muni once told Lord Ramachandra I shall now describe to you. Lord Ramachandra asked Vasishtha 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.' Sage Vasishtha replied, 'O Lord Rama, You have questioned me in order to benefit all of humanity and fulfill everyone's desires. That day is Vaishakha-sukla Ekadashi, which falls on Dvadashi. It removes all sins and is famous as Mohini Ekadashi. The merit of this Ekadashi frees the fortunate soul from 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. If one 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, Sukruti, and Dhristabuddhi. Unfortunately, his son Dhristabuddhi was always engaged in greatly sinful activities, 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. He spent his father's wealth indiscriminately, always feasting on untouchable foods and drinking wine to excess. One day Dhanapala kicked Dhristabuddhi out of the house after he saw him walking along the road arm-in-arm with a prostitute. From then on all Dhristabuddhi’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 because of his poverty. Dhristabuddhi was now full of anxiety, and also hungry. He thought, "What should I do? How can I maintain myself?" He then began to steal. The king's constables arrested him, and after whipping him, they warned him, "O evil one! There is no place for you here." However, he 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 and thus his sins mounted day by day. On account of his previous sins, he was now immersed in an ocean of great sin. Dhristabuddhi was always miserable and anxious, but one day, during the month of Vaishakha, 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. Dhristabuddhi had the great good fortune to touch some of those drops falling from the sage's clothes. Instantly Dhristabuddhi was freed of ignorance, and his sinful reactions were reduced. Offering his humble obeisances to Kaundinya Muni, Dhristabuddhi 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 rishi 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, Vaishakha, 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." According to the sage's instructions, by fasting completely on Mohini Ekadashi, the once-sinful Dhristabuddhi became sinless. Afterwards 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 illusory attachments to material existence. There is no better fast day in all the three worlds." Lord Krishna concluded, "And so, 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."
  9. Site Admin

    Varuthini Ekadasi

    Shri Yudhishthira Maharaj said, "Oh Vasudeva, please describe to me the Ekadashi of the dark fortnight (Krishna paksha) of the month of Vaishakha (April-May)." Lord Shri Krishna replied, "In this world and the next, the most auspicious and magnanimous Ekadashi is Varuthini Ekadashi. A person who observes a complete fast on this sacred day has his sins completely removed and obtains continuous happiness. Upon anyone who observes it, this Ekadashi bestows material enjoyment in this life and liberation after the death of this present body. It destroys the sins of all and saves people from the miseries of repeated rebirth. Fasting on Varuthini Ekadashi makes even an unfortunate woman fortunate. The merit that one achieves by donating gold during a solar eclipse at Kurukshetra is gained by one who observes this Ekadashi with love and devotion, and certainly attains his goals in this life and the next. Better than giving horses in charity is giving elephants, and better than giving elephants is giving land. But better still is the giving of sesame seeds, and better than that is giving of gold. Still better than giving gold is giving food grains - for all the forefathers, demigods (devas), and human beings become satisfied by eating grains. Thus there is no better gift of charity than this in the past, present and future. Yet learned scholars have declared that giving away a young maiden in marriage to a worthy person is equal to giving away food grains in charity. Moreover, giving cows in charity is equal to giving food grains. Still better than all these charities is teaching spiritual knowledge to the ignorant. The merits one can attain by performing all these acts of charity are attained by one who fasts on the Varuthini Ekadashi. 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 that in his next life. Therefore it is said that whoever, as a sacred act of charity, gives away in marriage a maiden decorated with various ornaments, and who also gives a dowry with her, obtains untold merit. That very same merit, however, can be easily achieved by one who fasts on the Varuthini Ekadashi. The following things should be given up on the Dashami, the day before the Ekadashi: eating on bell-metal plates, eating urad-dal, red-lentils, chick-peas, eating kondo - a grain that resembles poppy seeds, spinach, honey, eating in another person’s house, eating more than once, and participating in sex of any kind. Whoever observes the Varuthini Ekadashi in this way becomes free from all sinful reactions and returns to the eternal, spiritual abode. One who worships Lord Janardana (Krishna) on this Ekadashi by staying awake throughout the entire night, also becomes free from all his previous sins and attains the spiritual abode. Therefore, Oh king, he who is frightened of his accumulated sins and their attendant reactions, and thus of death itself, must observe Varuthini Ekadashi by fasting very strictly. Finally, 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 Supreme abode of Lord Vishnu in the Vaikunthas."
  10. Site Admin

    Kamada Ekadasi

    Shri Suta Goswami said, "Oh 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 Ekadasis, 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. Yudhishthira Maharaja said, 'Oh Lord Krishna, Oh Vasudeva, please accept my humble obeisances. Please describe to me the Ekadasi 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, 'Oh Yudhishthira, please listen to Me attentively as I relate the ancient history of this sacred Ekadasi, a history Vasishtha Muni once related to King Dilipa, the great-grandfather of Lord Ramachandra. King Dilipa asked the great sage Vasishtha, "Oh wise brahmana, I wish to hear about the Ekadasi that comes during the light part of the month of Chaitra. Please describe it to me." Vasishtha Muni replied, "Oh king, your inquiry is glories. Gladly shall I tell you what you wish to know. The Ekadasi that occurs during the light fortnight of Chaitra is named Kamada Ekadasi. 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. Oh 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 Lalit 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 Lalit constantly thought of her within his heart. Once, at the court of King Pundarika, many Gandharvas were dancing and Lalit 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, Lalit 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 Lalit 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, 'Oh 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! Oh king, Lalit 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 Lalit, 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 kings' 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 Gandharvas 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 region, a once-beautiful Gandharva now reduced to the ghastly behaviour 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 Shringi 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, 'Oh most beautiful one, who are you? Whose daughter are you, and why have you come here? Please tell me everything in truth. Lalita replied, 'Oh great age, 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. Oh brahmana, I am greatly aggrieved to see his ferocious form and terribly sinful activities. Oh 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 demonic form, Oh best of brahmanas? 'The sage replied, 'Oh heavenly maiden, there is an Ekadasi 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 Ekadasi 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 Ekadasi according to the instructions of the sage Shringi, and on Dvadasi she appeared before him and the Deity of Lord Vasudeva and said, 'I have faithfully observed the fast of Kamada Ekadasi. 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 Lalit, 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 Ekadasi. At last the Gandharva couple boarded a celestial airplane and ascended to heaven. Lord Shri Krishna continued, 'Oh Yudhishthira, best of kings, anyone who hears this wonderful narration should certainly observe holy Kamada Ekadasi 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 Ekadasi than Kamada Ekadasi. It can eradicate even the sin of killing a brhmana, 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.'
  11. Site Admin

    Papamochani Ekadasi

    Yudhisthira Maharaja said, "O Supreme Lord, I have heard from You the explanation of Amalaki Ekadasi, which occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Phalguna [February-March], and now I wish to hear about the Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Caitra [March- April]. What is its name, O Lord, and what results can one attain by observing it?" The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krsna, replied, "O best of kings, for the benefit of everyone I shall gladly describe to you the glories of this Ekadasi which is known as Papamocani. The history of this Ekadasi 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 Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Caitra, and please explain the process for observing it. Also, please describe the benefits one gains by observing this Ekadasi.' "Lomasa Risi replied, 'The Ekadasi that occurs during the dark part of the month of Caitra is named Papamocani Ekadasi for the faithful devotee it removes the influences of ghosts and demons. O lion among men, this Ekadasi 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 Ekadasi 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 Siva 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 yogi'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 fiftyseven 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 Ekadasi that removes all one's sins. Its name is Papamocani, 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 Ekadasi. 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 Ekadasi. 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 Ekadasi is that whoever does so with faith and devotion will have all his sins completely destroyed.'" Sri Krsna concluded, "O King Yudhisthira, whoever reads or hears about Papamocani ekadasi 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 Papamocani Ekadasi, which is so dear to Me and so meritorious."
  12. Site Admin

    Amalaki Ekadasi

    This Ekadasi is described in the Brahmanda Purana in a conversation between King Mandhata and the great sage Vasistha. The King Mandhata enquired from Vasistha Muni, "O most fortunate sage, please be merciful unto me and kindly describe unto me a vow, by whose observance I may attain all auspiciousness." The famous sage replied, "O King, I will explain to you the glories of and history of Amalaki Ekadasi, by following of which one receives all auspiciousness in their lives. The piety accumulated by observing this great Ekadasi undoubtedly destroys all sinful reactions and easily awards one liberation. It also gives the benefit of offering one thousand cows in charity. "A long time ago, when the world was very ancient there was a magnificent city called Vaidisa. The city was home to many healthy, prosperous brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras. O lion-hearted King, there were no atheists in this city at all and the citizens had not even heard of sin. The air was always filled with the sound of Vedic mantras, chanted by the expert priests, and everyone was very contented by the religious atmosphere. In this fabulous city there lived an honest and pious King named Caitraratha who was born the son of King Pasabinduka, a lordly member of the dynasty of the moon. King Caitraratha had abounding strength, beauty, opulence and wealth; he was well in the scriptures and his citizens loved him. Because of the religious fervour of the people, they would all always follow Ekadasi. Due to such devotional service unto Lord Visnu the people remained happy in their prosperous kingdom, there were no poor or miserly people to be found anywhere! One propitious year Amalaki Ekadasi mixed with Dvadasi during the waxing moon in the month of Phalguna (February/March). Realising this Ekadasi was very powerful the King and his subjects prepared to observe the vow with great and special care. Early in the morning they bathed in the river and went to offer puja at the temple of Lord Visnu who resided on the river bank. Within the temple there was an amalaki and the King offered due respect by placing a pitcher of water, an umbrella, cloth, shoes, and five kinds of precious jewels at the base of the tree. He went on to worship Lord Parasurama with a beautiful canopy, gold, diamonds, rubies, pearls, sapphires and very fragrant incense. The sages prayed thus: "O great Lord Parasurama, son of Renuka, O you who takes shelter of this amalaki tree, O bestower of liberation, We offer our respectful obeisances unto you." They further offered poetic prayers to the amalaki tree. "O Amalaki, sustainer of the universe, O offspring of Lord Brahma, O destroyer of sins, We offer our respectful obeisances unto you." After offering these prayers the King and his subjects proceeded to remain awake throughout the night, they stayed in that Visnu temple and sang songs of glorification to the Supreme Lord and the Amalaki tree. By providences will a hunter arrived on the scene. The hunter made is livelihood by killing animals and had never seen such a sight before. He was bewildered by the company sitting peacefully and chanting to the Lord. He decided to sit down as well and observe the sankirtan of the Lord. By way of great fortune he unknowingly took darshan of Lord Damodar who was seated atop the pitcher of water. He stayed awake all night and despite his hunger he did not eat anything, nor did he kill any animals. In the morning the King and his courtiers returned to their palace and the hunter also returned home. Many years later the hunter left his body, but despite his sinful life he received liberation simply by the grace of Amalaki Ekadasi. In his next life the hunter became a King with many elephants, horses, chariots and a large army. He was known by the name of Vasurath, son of a powerful King called Vidurath who ruled the famous city of Jayanti. King Vasurath ruled over one million villages, was as effulgent as the sun and as powerful as Lord Visnu. He was truthful, tolerant and fixed in his occupational duties. Thus he was a great devotee. "One day Vasurath lost his way while hunting in the forest. He was extremely fatigued and afflicted with hunger. Finding no alternative the King lay down to sleep in the dense forest, with no pillow he slept on the bare earth. While sleeping in the way a band of nomadic mlecchas came across the King and thinking him their enemy proceeded to beat him with their various weapons. Strangely enough none of the weapons caused even a slight disturbance to the saintly King. Bemused by this magic the mlecchas turned to run away, fearful for their lives. At that moment an effulgent goddess appeared before them holding a a disc in her hand. She was adorned with various shining ornaments and fragrant sandalwood paste. Raising her arm she flung the disc at the mlecchas and killed them outright. When the King woke up he was astonished by the gruesome scene and became frightened. Seeing that his fearsome enemies were all dead the King exclaimed: "Who is my protector who has slain these enemies for me? I offer my heartfelt gratitude to such a well wishing benefactor." Just then a voice from sky thundered: "Who else but Lord Kesava is capable of protecting His surrendered souls? He alone is the maintainer of the surrendered devotees and the universe." After hearing this voice in the sky the King's heart melted in devotional ecstasy. Knowing that he had been saved by the Supreme Lord he considered himself very fortunate. With increased faith and determination he returned to his palace and ruled just like Indra, without obstacle or hindrance. The sage Vasistha concluded, "My dear King Mandhata! Anyone who observes this sacred vow of Amalaki Ekadasi undoubtedly achieves liberation and returns the abode of Lord Visnu."
  13. Site Admin

    Vijaya Ekadasi

    The insurmountable glories of this Ekadasi are given in the Skanda Purana. Maharaj Yudhistira once enquired from Sri Krsna, "O my Lord, O Krsna, please show your mercy unto me by describing the Ekadasi that comes in the month of Phalguna. Yudhisthira Maharaj said, "Oh Lord Sri Krishna, O glorious son of Vasudeva, please be merciful to me and describe the Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Phalguna (February-March)" Lord Sri Krishna replied, "Oh Yudhisthira, Oh king of kings, gladly I shall tell you about this great fast, known as Vijaya Ekadasi. Whoever observes it certainly achieves success in this life and the next. All the sins of one who fasts on this Ekadasi and hears its sublime glories are eradicated. "Narada Muni once asked lord Brahma, who sits on a lotus flower about the Vijaya Ekadasi. Sri Narada said, ‘Oh best of all the demigods, kindly tell me the merit one can achieve by faithfully observing Vijaya Ekadasi.’ "Narada’s great father then 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 Ekadasi bestows the result indicated by its name… (Vijaya meaning Victory). "When Lord Rama was exiled to the forest for fourteen years, He, the goddess Sita, and His divine brother Lakshmana stayed at Panchavati as mendicants. Mother Sita was then kidnapped by the demon Ravana, and Lord Rama seemingly became bewildered like an ordinary man 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, Lord Rama and Sugriva, the king of the monkeys, became friends. Together they amassed a grand army of monkeys and bears and sent HanumAnji his minister to Sri LankA, where he was able to see Janaki (Srimati Sita devi) in an Ashoka grove garden. He delivered Lord Rama’s message and showed the ring proving his authenticity for rendering such great service to the Supreme Lord Sri Rama."With the help of Sugriva, Lord Rama proceeded toward Sri Lanka. Upon arriving at the shore of the ocean with the army of monkeys, He could understand that the water was uncommonly deep and hostile. Thus He said to Lakshmana, "Oh son of Sumitra, how can We earn enough merit to be able to cross this vast ocean, the unfathomable abode of Varuna deva? I can see no easy way to cross it, teeming as it is with sharks and other ferocious aquatics." "Lakshmana replied, "Oh best of all beings, Oh origin of all the devas, Oh primal personality, the great sage Bakad Albhya lives on an island just four miles from here. Oh Raghava, he has seen many BrahmAs come and go, so aged and wise is he. Let us go to him, take his darshan (audience) and ask him how We can safely reach Our goal." "So Rama and Lakshmana proceeded to the humble Ashrama of the incomparable Bakad Albhya Muni. Approaching him, the two Lords paid Their respectful obeisances to him as if he were a second Vishnu. Bakad Albhya could immediately understand, however, that Sri Rama was actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who for His own reasons had appeared on the Earth and was enacting just like a human being. "Rama, " said BakadAlbhya, "Oh best of the human beings, why have You come to my lowly abode?" "The Lord replied, "Oh great, twice born brahmin, I have come here to the ocean shore with My phalanx of monkey and bear warriors in order to cross the sea and conquer LankA and its demon horde headed by Ravana. Oh greatest of sages, please be merciful unto Me and please tell Me how I can cross this vast ocean. That is why I have come to your Ashrama today." "The sage said, "Oh Lord Sri Rama, I shall tell you of the most exalted of all fasts, observing which You will surely conquer Ravana and be eternally glorified. Kindly now listen with full attention. "On the day before Ekadasi, fashion a water pot of gold or silver, or even 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 (the seven grains are barley, wheat, rice, corn, chickpeas, kukani, and dahl or peas). Now take Your morning bath, decorate the water pot with flower garlands and sandalwood paste, and inn the concave lid atop the pot place there the barley, pomegranate, and coconut. Now with great love and devotion worship the water pot Deity form and offer Him incense, sandalwood paste, flowers, a ghee lamp, and a plate of sumptuous foods. Remain there awake that night beside this sacred pot. On top of the lid filled with barley, etc., place a golden murthy of Lord Sri Narayana. "When Ekadasi dawns, take Your morning bath and then decorate the water pot with fine sandalwood paste and garlands. Then worship the pot again with first class incense, lamps, sandalwood paste and flowers dipped in sandalwood paste, and then devoutly/devotedly place many kinds of cooked food, pomegranate, and coconut before the water pot. Then remain awake over night. "When the Dwadasi dawns, take the water pot to the bank of a holy river, or even to the shore of a small pond. After worshipping it again properly, Oh King of kings, offer it with all the aforementioned ingredients to a pure hearted brahmin, expert in the Vedic sciences. If You and Your military commanders observe the Vijaya Ekadasi in this way, You will surely be victorious in every way." "Lord Sri Ramachandra Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, did just as Bakad Albhya Muni instructed, and thus He conquered all demoniac forces. Similarly, anyone who observes the Vijaya Ekadasi in this way will always be victorious in this mortal world, and after leaving this world he/she will reside forever in the anxiety free realm of the Kingdom of God known as the Vaikunthas." "Oh Narada, my son, from this history you can understand why one should observe this Ekadasi 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." Lord Sri Krishna concluded, "Oh Yudhisthira, anyone who reads or hears this history will attain the same great merit as that which is earned by performing a horse sacrifice on days of yore." Thus ends the narration of the glories of Phalguna-krsna Ekadasi or Vijaya Ekadasi, from the Skanda Purana.
  14. Site Admin

    Bhaimi Ekadasi

    Yudhisthira Maharaj said, "Oh Shri Krishna, all glories unto You! You have explained to me the auspicious day known as Sat-tila Ekadashi, which occurs during the dark fortnight (Krishna paksha) of the month of Magha (January - February). Now please explain to me the Ekadashi that occurs in the light fortnight (Shukla or Gaura paksha) of this month. Who is the presiding Deity that is to be worshipped and how it is to be observed?” Lord Shri Krishna replied, "Oh Yudhisthira, this Ekadashi obliterates all kinds of sinful reactions and demoniac influences that may be affecting the spirit soul. It is known also as Jaya (Bhaimi) Ekadashi. One who observes a fast on this sacred day is relieved of ghostly existence. I shall explain a wonderful historic episode regarding this Ekadashi, which I have already related in the Padma Purana. Long ago when Lord Indra ruled his celestial kingdom, all the devas living there were happy and content. In the Nandana Forest, Indra drank ambrosia whenever he liked and enjoyed the service of the Apsaras, who danced in ecstasy for his pleasure. Many singers, led by Pushpadanta, sang in sweet voices. Chitrasena, Indra"s chief musician, was there in the company of his wife Malini and his handsome son Malyavan. An Apsara named Pushpavati became very much attracted to Malyavan; indeed Cupid's sharp arrows pierced the core of her heart. Her beautiful body and the enchanting movements of her eyebrows captivated Malyavan. Seeing Pushpavati, Malyavan was bewitched at once. They had come with the other performers to please Lord Indra by singing and dancing, but because they had become so enamored of each other, they were unable to sing or dance properly before Lord Indra. Lord Indra understood the source of the mistakes at once. Offended at the discord in the musical performance, he became very angry and cursed them both to suffer as pisachas (hobgoblins) in the earthly regions. Malyavan and Pushpavati at once fell from the beautiful Nandana Forest in the kingdom of heaven to a Himalayan peak on planet Earth. Very much distressed, and their celestial intelligence vastly diminished by the effects of Lord Indra"s fierce curse, they lost their sense of taste and smell. It was so cold in the Himalayan ice that they could not even sleep. Roaming aimlessly, they suffered more and more, even though they were in a cave, because of the snowfall and cold their teeth chattered and they were frightened. By their great good fortune, it so happened that very day was the all auspicious Jaya Ekadashi, the Ekadashi of the light fortnight of the month of Magha. Due to their misery, they neglected to drink any water, kill any game, or even eat whatever fruits and leaves were available and they unknowingly observed Ekadashi by fasting completely. Very much tired, both Malyavan and Pushpavati collapsed beneath a Pipal tree. The night was even colder and more miserable than the day. They embraced each other just to keep warm. They suffered through the whole night under the powerful curse of Indra. Still, by the mercy of the fast they had unknowingly observed on Jaya Ekadashi, and as they had remained awake all night, they were blessed. As Dvadashi dawned on the next day, Malyavan and Pushpavati had lost their demoniac forms and were once again beautiful heavenly beings wearing exquisite garments. A celestial airplane (vimana) arrived on the spot for them. The couple stepped into the beautiful aircraft and proceeded directly to the heavenly regions. Malyavan and Pushpavati arrived at Amravati, Lord Indra"s capital city, and then they immediately went before Indradev and offered him their obeisances. Lord Indra was astonished to see that they had been transformed to their original forms so soon after he had cursed them. Indradev asked them, "What meritorious deeds have you performed? Who released you from my irresistible curse?" Malyavan replied, "Oh lord, it was by the extreme mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Shri Krishna and also by the powerful influence of the Jaya Ekadashi, that we were released from our suffering condition as pisachas. We executed devotional service to Lord Vishnu unknowingly (ajnata sukruti) by observing the day most dear to Him; we have happily been restored to our former status." Indradev then said, "As you have served the Supreme Lord by observing Ekadashi, you have become worshipable even by me, as you are now completely purified of sin." It is said that if one fasts on this day, then one receives entrance to Vishnu"s abode, even though one has not performed the other vratas of the year.
  15. Site Admin

    Shat-tila Ekadasi

    Here is the katha of Shat-tila Ekadasi (or Magh-krishna Ekadasi) from the Bhavishya-uttara Purana: Shri Dalbhya Rishi said to Palastya 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 brahmin. Oh 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 be easily be released from the reactions of his sins." Pulastya Muni replied, "Oh fortunate one, you have asked me an important question, which not even Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva or Indra has ever asked. Please listen very carefully to my answer. "With the arrival of the month of Magh (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 108 balls. This should be done on the day when the constellation of Purva-ashadha nakshatra arrives. Then one should follow the rules and regulations of Shri Ekadasi, which I shall now explain to you. "After bathing, the person who intends to observe Ekadasi should worship the Supreme Lord. While praying to Lord Shri Krishna by chanting His holy name, he should promise to observe the Ekadasi fast. He should remain awake overnight and perform a homa (fire sacrifice). Then the devotee should perform an Arati ceremony for the pleasure of the Lord – offering Him sandalwood paste to his feet, incense, camphor, a bright ghee lamp, and delicious food preparations. Next the devotee should offer the 108 balls of cow dung, sesame seeds, and cotton wool into the sacred fire whilst chanting such holy names of the Lord as Purusha sukta, and other names. Throughout the whole day and night he should also observe the standard Ekadasi vrata (fast, which in this case is a fast from all kinds of 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 Shri Janardana, the benefactor of all living beings, in this way: ‘Oh Lord Shri Krishna, You are the most merciful Personality of Godhead and the giver of liberation to all fallen souls. Oh Lord, we have fallen into the ocean of material existence. Please be kind to us. Oh lotus-eyed divinity, please accept our most humble, affectionate and respectful obeisances. Oh protector of the entire world, we offer You our humble respects again and again. Oh Supreme Spirit, Oh Supreme One, Oh source of all our forefathers, may You and Your eternal consort, Shrimati Laxmi-devi, please accept these humble offerings.’ "The devotee should then try to please a qualified brahmin with a warm welcome, a pot full of water (purna kumbha), an umbrella, a pair of shoes, and clothes (cloth – dhoti, and anga vastra), requesting him at the same time to bestow his blessings, by which one may develop unalloyed love for Lord Shri Krishna. According to one’s ability, one may also donate a black cow to such a brahmin, 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. "Oh exalted Dalbhya Muni, black sesame seeds are especially suitable for formal worship and fire sacrifices while white or brown ones are meant to be eaten by a qualified brahmin. One who can arrange to give both kinds of sesame seeds (black and white or brown) especially on this Sattila Ekadasi day will be promoted to at least the heavenly planets after leaving this present body, 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 Ekadasi a faithful person should : (1) bathe in the water mixed with sesame seeds, (2) rub sesame seed paste on his body, (3) offer sesame seeds into the fire in sacrifice, (4) eat sesame seeds, (5) give sesame seeds away in charity, (6) accept charitable gifts of sesame seeds. These are the six (sat) ways in which sesame seeds (tila) are utilised for spiritual purification on this Ekadasi. Therefore it is called Sattila Ekadasi. "The great Devarishi Narad Muni once asked the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna, ‘Oh mighty armed Lord, Oh! You who are so affectionate to Your loving devotees, please accept my most humble obeisances. Oh Yadava, kindly tell me the result one obtains by observing Sattila Ekadasi.’ "Lord Shri Krishna replied, ‘Oh best of the twice born brahmins, I shall narrate to you an account of an incident I personally witnessed. Long ago on earth there lived an old female brahmini who worshipped Me every day with controlled senses. She very faithfully observed many a fast, especially on special days honouring Me (My various appearance days Janmasthami, Rama-navami, Vaman Dwadasi, Nrisimha Chaturdasi, Varaha Dwadasi, Gaura Purnima, etc.) 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 to young maidens (kanyas), and even planned to give away her house in charity. Oh 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 the devas (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 certainly has 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 Shiva’s, complete with a garland of skulls draped around My neck and a begging pot (kumandalu) in My hand. "‘As I approached her, she said to Me, "Oh respectful one, tell me truthfully why You have come before me." "‘I replied, "Oh 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! Oh Narada Muni 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, Oh Naradaji, this particular house was just like that mud 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 worshipped 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, Oh Janardana, please tell me. Why is this?" "‘I replied, "Please return to your house. Sometime later the wives of the devas (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 Sattila Ekadasi." "‘Hearing this, she returned to her house. Eventually the devas’ wives arrived there and in unison said, "Oh beautiful one, we have come to have your darshan. Oh auspicious one, please open the door to your house and let us see you. "‘The lady replied, "Oh 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 Sattila Ekadasi." But to this request, not even 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 Ekadasi. 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 human lady. "‘From then on the lady observed Sattila Ekadasi, which awards all material enjoyment and liberation at the same time, as it has 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 made of sac-cid-ananda (eternality, knowledge, and bliss), with a fine complexion. So, by the mercy and grace of Sattila Ekadasi, both the lady and her new home in the spiritual world were at last radiantly splendid and lustrous with gold, silver, jewels, and diamonds. "‘Oh Naradaji, a person should not observe Ekadasi out of greed, with the hope of attaining wealth dishonestly. Selflessly, he should simply donate sesame seed, clothes, and food according to his capacity, for by doing so he will achieve good health and exalted spiritual consciousness, birth after birth. Ultimately, he will be given release from the bonds of this world (liberation) and admittance into the Lord’s supreme abode will be his to enjoy. That is my opinion, Oh best of the demigods deva-rishis).’ "Oh Dalbhya Muni," Pulastya Rishi concluded, "one who properly observes this wonderful Sattila Ekadasi with great faith become free from all kinds of poverty – spiritual, mental, physical, social, and intellectual – as well as all kinds of ill luck and evil omens (sakuna). Indeed, following this Ekadasi 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." Thus ends the narration of the glories of Magh-krishna Ekadasi, or Shat-tila Ekadasi, from the sacred Bhavishya-uttara Purana of Shrila Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa.
  16. Site Admin

    Putrada Ekadasi

    The fantastic glories of Putrada Ekadasi are told in the Bhavisyottara Purana, they cannot be vilified by any means. This Ekadasi occurs in the waxing moon of the month called Magha (December/January). Sri Krsna said to Maharaj Yudhistira: "Oh my dear King, the Putrada Ekadasi is very great; It's power is incalculable. Anyone who practices penance by abstinence of eating on this day, receives immeasurable benediction from the Personality of Godhead. All ones sinful reactions are eradicated and great wealth, fame and sagacity await with folded palms, eager to serve one who observes this Ekadasi. "There was once a great city named Bhadravati, and a revered King named Suketumana ruled that land. His principle queen was Saivya and she was exquisitely beautiful. Despite being surrounded by great material opulence the maharaja was despondent, for they had no son. The King and Queen spent much time performing religious activities, with a hope to one day conceive an heir. "Because they were afflicted with great sorrow and misfortune, their tempers grew hot and their brains boiled with furious agitation for the chance to have a son. As a result their offerings were always hot. Meanwhile the Kings forefathers also worried and aggrieved by the inauspicious atmosphere, thought thus: "If there are no offspring there will be no one to offer oblations to us and deliver us from pitrloka." "King Suketumana could feel the anxiety of his forefathers and grew ever increasingly determined to fulfil his obligation to them and beget a son. He also grew more and more morose, however. He found no pleasure in his sports or recreations; he lost the taste for hunting, found no pleasure in the music of the courtiers, and he even became recluse from his friends and well-wishers. Merged in a fathomless ravine of staggeringly embarrassing hopelessness, the maharati King considered his life useless. "He thought that, without a son there would be no way of alleviating the debts to the demigods, forefathers and future generations. Without being favoured by Sri Visnu one cannot conceive a child, amass wealth or retain knowledge. Upon finding zero solace in his court the King left for the forest riding on a gleaming white horse. "King Suketumana entered the mighty forest that lay on the edge of his kingdom, surrounded by a chorus of many birds. Unbeknown to him, many wild beasts and cats silently watched him enter the eerie place; so quiet and still with moss. As the lonesome King passed deeper and deeper into the wood, he passed many great trees. He saw Pipala and Date, Tamarind and Palm, Shal and Maulsiri, Saptaparna and Sarala, Tilak and Tamala and many others. Entering a clearing he came before a mammothian Banyan tree, with branches springing up here, there and everywhere. Hiding on, among and around the branches he saw many wild animals such as Snakes, Elephant, Deer, Monkeys, Wild Boar, Leopards, Tigers and Lions. "The king became frightened by the racous howls of fearsome jackal packs and the plaintive hoots of nightbound owls. Wandering in this way through the wet wilds, he thought thus: "I have performed so many sacrifices, fed many brahmanas still I am suffering; what sacrifice can there be to free me from my rueful plight." "Suddenly he came across a brilliant lake with many cakora birds, swans and chakravaka sporting upon it's crystalline waters. The vision was easily as lovely as Kusuma Sarovara. On seeing many sages chanting mantras on the banks of this lake, King Suketumana approached them and offered obeisances to each of them in turn. The sages, being pleased with the Kings humility spoke thus: "Oh dear King, we are very satisfied with your stately respects and devotions and are prepared to assist you in your troubles. Please ask a benediction of us!" "The King Said, "Who are you, why have you come to this place? I am a King bereft of a son and therefore my whole kingdom seems void. How can I get a son and thereby mitigate the suffering of my citizens. "The sages replied, "We are Visva devas, we come here regularly to take bath in these sanctified waters. Today is Putrada Ekadasi, anyone who observes this Ekadasi pleases Sri Visnu to great ends and has all his material and spiritual desires fulfilled. If one desires a son, he will assuredly get one by following this Ekadasi vrata. "The king recounted: "I have observed many sacrifices for getting a son, yet none have been sucessful. Please bless me, so that I may be fortunate and receive my hearts desire, a son and heir to the throne. "Simply observe this Ekadasi with great care and attention." Replied the sages "Give up eating on this day, remain awake and chant the glories of Hari, by the mercy of Godhead you will conceive a son. "Thereafter, the King observed Putrada Ekadasi. He broke fast the next day and after offering many respectful obeisances unto the sages, he returned to his Kingdom. I due course of time Queen Saivya became pregnant. By the influence of Putrada Ekadasi and the blessings of the sages, the King begot an intelligent and pious son. Thereafter the King happily ruled his Kingdom and his forefathers became pleased. Lord Krsna continued, "Oh King Yudhistira, anyone who observes Putrada Ekadasi can get a son and attain the heavenly planets. Anyone who simply hears or sings the glories of this Ekadasi certainly achieves the result of performing an Asvamedha sacrifice.
  17. Site Admin

    Saphala Ekadasi

    Yudhisthira Maharaj said, "O my Dear Lord Sri Krishna, what is the name of that Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Pausha (December-January)? How is it observed, and which Deity is to be worshipped on that sacred day? Please narrate these details to me fully, so that I may understand Oh Janardana." The Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna then replied, "O best of kings, because you desire to hear, I shall fully describe to you the glories of the Pausha-krishna Ekadasi. "I do not become as pleased by sacrifice or charity as I do by My devotee's observance of a full fast on Ekadasi. To the best of one's ability, therefore, one should fast on Ekadasi, the day of Lord Hari. "O Yudhisthira, I urge you to hear with undivided intelligence the glories of Pausha-krishna Ekadasi, which falls on a Dwadasi. As I explained previously, one should not differentiate among the many Ekadasis. O king, to benefit humanity at large I shall now describe to you the process of observing Pausha-krishna Ekadasi. "Pausha-krishna Ekadasi is also known as Saphala Ekadasi. On this sacred day one should worship Lord Narayana, for He is its ruling Deity. One should do so by follow the previously described method of fasting. Just as among snakes Shesha-naga is the best, and among birds Garuda is the best, among sacrifices the Ashvamedha-yajna is the best, among rivers Mother Ganges is the best, among gods Lord Vishnu is best, and among two-legged beings the brahmins are the best, so among all fasting days Ekadasi is by far the best. O foremost of kings who took your birth in the Bharata dynasty, whoever strictly observes Ekadasi becomes very dear to Me and indeed worshipable by Me in every way. Now please listen as I describe the process for observing Saphalaa Ekadasi. On Saphalaa Ekadasi 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 of Godhead. He should offer Me jaambira fruit, pomegranate, betal nuts and leaves, coconut, guava, varieties of 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 Saphalaa Ekadasi is especially glorious. The devotee should try to stay awake the Ekadasi 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 singing and chanting the glories of Narayana. O best of kings, there is no sacrifice or pilgrimage that yields merit that is equal to or better than the merit one gains by fasting on this Saphala Ekadasi. Such fasting - particularly if one can remain awake and alert the entire night long - bestows the same merit upon the faithful devotee as the performance of austerity for five thousand earthly years. O lion among kings, please hear from Me the glorious history that made this Divine Ekadasi famous. Once there was a City called Champaavati, which was ruled by the saintly King Mahishmata. He had four sons, the eldest of whom, Lumpaka, always engaged in all manner of very sinful activities - illicit sexual encounters with the wives of others, gambling, and continual association with known prostitutes. His evil deeds gradually reduced the wealth of his father, King Mahishmata. Lumpaka also became very critical of the numerous devas, the empowered universal attendants of the Lord, as well as toward the brahmins, and every day he would go out of his way to blaspheme the Vaishnavas. At last King Maahishmata, seeing the unrepentant brazen fallen condition of his son, exiled him to the forest. Out of fear of the king, even compassionate relatives didn't come to Lumpaka's defense, so angry was the king toward his son, and so sinful was this Lumpaka. "Bewildered in his exile, the fallen and rejected Lumpaka thought to himself, 'My father has sent me away, and even my kinsmen do not raise but a finger in objection. What am I to 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 as night returns, so shall I to the city.' So thinking, the sinful Lumpaka entered the darkness of the forest. He killed many animals by day, and by night he stole all manner of valuable items from the city. The city-dwelling folk apprehended him several times, but out of fear of the king they left him alone. They thought to themselves that it must have been the accumulated sins of Lumpaka's previous births that had forced him to act in such a way that he lost his royal facilities and became to act so sinfully like a common selfish thief. Though a meat-eater, Lumpaka would also eat fruits every day. He resided under an old banyan tree that unknown to him happened to be very dear to Lord Vasudeva. Indeed, many worshipped as the demi-god (representative departmental head) of all the trees in the forest. In due course of time, while Lumpaka was doing so many sinful and condemnable activities, the Saphalaa Ekadasi arrived. On the eve of the Ekadasi (Dasami) Lumpaka had to pass the entire night without sleep because of severe cold that he felt due to his scanty bedclothes (bedding). The cold not only robbed him of all peace but almost of his very life. By the time the sun rose, near dead, his teeth chattering and near comatose. In fact all that Ekadasi morning, he remained in that stupor and could not awaken out of his near comatose condition. "When midday of the Saphalaa Ekadasi arrived, the sinful Lumpaka finally came to and managed to rise up from his place under that banyan tree. But with every step he took, he stumbled and fell 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 couldn't even concentrate to nor muster strength to go and kill even a single animal that whole day. Instead, he was reduced to collecting whatever fruits had fallen to the ground of their own accord. By the time he returned to his banyan tree home, the sun had set. Placing the fruits on the ground next to him (at the base of the sacred banyan tree), Lumpaka began to cry out, 'O, woe is me! What should I do? Dear father, what is to become of me? O Sri Hari, please be merciful to me and accept these fruits as an offering!' Again he was forced to lie awake the whole night without sleep, but in the meantime the all merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Madhusudana, had become pleased with Lumpaka's humble offering of forest fruits, and He accepted them. Lumpaka had unwittingly observed a full Ekadasi 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 Maahishmata when but a fragment of the merit spouted up within his heart. "As the Sun beautifully rose in the sky on the day following Ekadasi, a handsome horse approached Lumpaka as if seeking him out, and stood next to him. At the same time, a voice suddenly boomed out from the clear blue sky saying, 'This horse is for you, Lumpaka! Mount it and ride swiftly out of this forest to greet you family! O son of King Maahishmata, by the mercy of the Supreme lord Vaasudeva and the strength of the merit you acquired by observing Saphalaa Ekadasi, your kingdom will be returned to you without any further hindrances. Such is the benefit you have gained by fasting on this most auspicious of days. Go now, to you father and enjoy your rightful place in the dynasty. Upon hearing these celestial words resounding from above, Lumpaka mounted the horse and rode back to the city of Champavati. By the merit he had accrued by fasting on Saphala Ekadasi, 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 Mahishmata, his humble obeisances and once more accepted his princely responsibilities.Seeing his son so decorated with Vaishnava ornaments and tilak (udhvara pundra) King Mahishmata gave him the kingdom, and Lumpaka ruled unopposed for many, many years. Whenever the Ekadasi came, he worshipped the Supreme Lord Narayana with great devotion.And by the mercy of Sri Krishna he obtained a beautiful wife and a fine son. In old age Lumpaka handed his kingdom over to his son - just as his own father, King Maahishmata, had handed it over to him. Lumpaka then went to the forest to dedicate his concentrate attention to gratefully serve the Supreme Lord with controlled mind and senses. Purified of all material desires, he left his old material body and returned back to home, back to Godhead, attaining a place near the lotus feet of his worshipful Lord, Sri 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 Saphalaa Ekadasi - even unknowingly, like Lumpaka - will become famous in this world. He will become perfectly liberated at death and return to the spiritual abode of Vaikuntha. Of this there is no doubt. Moreover, one who simply hears the glories of Saphala Ekadasi obtains the same merit derived by one who performs a Rajasurya-yajna, and at the very least he goes to heaven in his next birth, so where is the loss?" Thus ends the narration of the glories of Pausha-krishna Ekadasi, or Saphala Ekadasi, from the Bhavishya-uttara Purana.
  18. Site Admin

    Mokshada Ekadasi

    Yudhishthira Maharaj said, "O Krishna, please tell me for the benefit of all living entities, what is the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Margashirsha (November-December) and removes all sins? How does one observe it?" Lord Krishna replied, "Dear Yudhishthira, I shall tell you about this Ekadashi that is famous as Mokshada as it purifies the faithful devotee of all sinful reactions and bestows liberation. The worshipable Deity of this day is Lord Damodara. One should worship Him with incense, a ghee lamp, fragrant flowers, and Tulasi buds. I shall narrate to you the auspicious history of this Ekadashi. Just by hearing it one can attain the merit earned by performing a horse sacrifice. By this merit, one's ancestors who have gone to hell can go to the heavenly kingdom. Once there was a beautiful city called Champakanagar, inhabited by devoted Vaishnavas. Maharaj Vaikhanasa, ruled over his subjects as if they were his own children. The brahmins were all expert in Vedic knowledge. The king had a dream one night in which his father was suffering torture in one of the hellish planets ruled over by Yamaraj. The next morning, Maharaj Vaikhanasa described what he had seen in his dream to his council of ministers. He told them his father was crying out to him to deliver him from that hellish condition. He said that even his own wife and sons, have become a source of unhappiness since he saw his father suffering the tortures. He asked them to tell him what kind of charity, what mode of fasting, what austerity, or what else he may have to perform to deliver his father from that agony. The ministers replied, ‘In the nearby mountainous forest is the ashram of Parvata Muni. He is trikala jnani (he knows the past, the present, and the future of everything) and can help you.' On getting this advice, the suffering king immediately went to the ashram of Parvata Muni. The king saw Parvata Muni seated among the assembly of sages adorned with hundreds of tilaks (from all the authorised sampradayas) like another Brahma or Vyasa. Maharaj Vaikhanasa offered his humble obeisances to the sage. After the king was seated, the sage asked him about the welfare of his kingdom. The king replied, ‘By your mercy O great sage, my kingdom is doing very well. But there is a problem that has arisen, and to solve it I have come to you, for help'. Parvata Muni, then closed his eyes and meditated on the king's past, present and future. After a few moments he said, ‘Your father is suffering the results of committing a great sin. In his previous life he quarreled with his wife and forcibly enjoyed her sexually during her menstrual period. It is on account of this sin that your father is now suffering.' King Vaikhanasa then asked, ‘How may I liberate my father from such a condition?' Parvata Muni replied, ‘During the light fortnight of the month of Margashirsha there occurs an Ekadashi called Mokshada. If you observe it with a full fast, and give directly to your suffering father the merit you will thus obtain, he will be freed of his torment'. After thanking Parvata Muni, Maharaj Vaikhanasa returned to his palace. When the light part of the month of Margashirsha arrived, Maharaj Vaikhanasa waited for the Ekadashi tithi to arrive. With full faith he observed the Ekadashi fast with his wife, children, and other relatives. He gave the merit from this fast to his father. The king's father was then praised by the messengers of the devas and escorted to the celestial region. Finally, the king's father reached the heavenly realm from where he could again with his newly acquired merit perform devotional service to Krishna and in due course return back home, back to Godhead. O Yudhishthira, whosoever strictly observes the sacred Mokshada Ekadashi, achieves full and perfect liberation after death. There is no better fasting day than this Ekadashi of the light fortnight of the month of Margashirsha. Whoever faithfully observes this fast, obtains special merit that can elevate one from hellish life to the heavenly planets, and for one who observes Ekadashi for his own spiritual benefit, this elevates one to go back to Godhead, never to return to this material world." Thus ends the narration of the glories of Margashirsha-shukla Ekadashi or Mokshada Ekadashi, from the Brahmanda Purana.
  19. Site Admin

    Utpanna Ekadasi

    Suta Goswami said, "O learned brahmanas, long ago Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, explained the auspicious glories of Shri Ekadasi and the rules and regulations governing each observance of fasting on that holy day. O best of the brahmins, whosoever hears about the origins and glories of these sacred fasts on the Ekadasi days goes directly to the abode of Lord Vishnu after enjoying many different kinds of happiness in this material world. "Arjuna, the son of Prithaa, asked the Lord, 'O Janardana, what are the pious benefits of complete fasting, eating only supper, or eating but once at midday on Ekadasi, and what are the regulations for observing the various Ekadasi days? Kindly narrate all this to me'. "'The Supreme Lord Krishna replied, 'O Arjuna, in the beginning of winter (northern hemisphere), on the Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Margasirsha (November-December), a novice should begin his practice of observing a fast on Ekadasi. On Dasami, the day before Ekadasi, he should clean his teeth nicely. Then during the eight 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, thsat 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 Ekadasi, 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 worshipper should give charity to qualified brahmanas and offer his humble obeisances unto them, begging their forgiveness for his offences". "'Those who are serious about devotional service should consider the Ekadasis 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 Ekadasi. Please listen as I now describe the results obtained by one who observes Ekadasi 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 Ekadasi. 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 Ekadasi one obtains all these pious results, as well as whatever pious results one gets at Kurukshetra during an eclipse of the sun or moon. Furthermore, the faithful soul who observes complete fasting on Ekadasi achieves a hundred times more merit than one who performs an Asvamedha-yajna (horse sacrifice). One who observes Ekadasi 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 brahmacari 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 brahmacari is achieved by donating land to the needy and respectable brahmana, and a thousand time 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 Ekadasi 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 Ekadasi. "'One should therefore observe fasting on Lord Hari's day either by eating only once at midday, 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 Ekadasi has not arrived. Therefore anyone afraid of the miseries of material existence should observe Ekadasi. On Ekadasi one should not drink water from a conch-shell, 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 Ekadasi fast. How can this be? How has Ekadasi become the most meritorious of all days?' "Lord Sri Krishan replied, 'I will tell you why Ekadasi 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 Shiva 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 Shiva 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 Shiva'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, recite 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 Shiva, 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 moveable 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 Krsna continued, 'Having heard Indra and the other demigods speak these words, Sri 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 Brahma 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 Chandravati. 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; Isha, or Lord Shiva; Soma, the moon-god; Nairrti, the lord of the directions; and Pasi, or Varuna, the water-god. 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 tis 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 Chandravati." Encouraged thus, the assembled demigods proceeded to Chandravati 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 Hrsikesha, 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 hundred 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 Badarikashrama. There Lord Yogeshvara, 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 attacker 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 demo 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 this 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 of 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 by Ekadasi. If a person fasts on Ekadasi, 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: Tritiya (the third day), Ashthami (the eighth day), Navami (the ninth day), Chaturdasi (the fourteenth day), and especially Ekadasi (the eleventh day). "'"The merit one attains by fasting on Ekadasi 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 Ekadasi day became most meritorious and famous all over the universe. O Arjuna, if a person strictly observes Ekadasi, I kill all his enemies and grant him the highest destination. Indeed, if a person observes this great Ekadasi fast in any of the prescribed way, I remove all obstacles to his spiritual progress and grant him the perfection of life. "'Thus, O son of Prtha, I have described to you the origin of Ekadasi. 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 Ekadasis of the waxing and waning moons; both must be observed, O Partha, and they should not be differentiated from Maha-Dvadasi. Everyone who fasts of Ekadasi should recognise that there is no difference between these two Ekadasis, for they comprise the same tithi. "'Whoever completely fasts on Ekadasi, 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 rime studying the glories of Ekadasi. One who vows not to eat anything on Ekadasi 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 Ekadasi, one should pray, "O Pundarikaksha, 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 form 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 Ekadasi until dawn on Dvadasi, one should engage himself in taking baths, worshipping 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 Ekadasi 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 Ekadasi 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 Ekadasi.'" Thus ends the narration of the glories of Margasirsa-krsna Ekadasi, or Utpanna Ekadasi, from the Bhavisya-uttara Purana.
  20. Site Admin

    Utthana Ekadasi

    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. In 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 Ashvamedha 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 Tulasi 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 Tulasi-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 Tulasidevi 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.
  21. Yudhisthira Maharaj said, "O Janardana, O protector of all beings, what is the name of the Ekadasi that comes during the dark fortnight (Krishna paksha) of the month of Kartika (October - November)? Please impart this sacred knowledge to me. The Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna then spoke as follows, "O lion among kings, please listen as I narrate to you. The Ekadasi that occurs during the dark part of the month of Kartika is called Ramaa Ekadasi. It is most auspicious, for it at once eradicates the greatest sins and awards one the passage to the spiritual abode. I shall now narrate to you its history and glories. "There once lived a famous king of the name Muchakunda, who was friendly to Lord Indra, the king of the heavenly planets, as well as with Yamaraj, Varuna, and Vibhishana, the pious brother of the demon Ravana. Muchakunda 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. "Muchakunda's daughter was named Chandrabhaagaa, after a sacred river, and the king gave her in marriage to Shobhana, the son of Chandrasena. One day, Shobhana visited his father-in-law's palace on the auspicious Ekadasi day. This visit made Shobhana's wife Chandrabhaagaa 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 Ekadasi. On Dasami, the day before Ekadasi, he strikes a large kettledrum and announces, "Nobody should eat on Ekadasi, the sacred day of Sri Hari! "When Shobhana 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 strictness and at the same time satisfy our guests! "Chandrabhaagaa then spoke, `My dear husband, in my father's house nobody - not even the elephants or horses, what to speak of consenting human beings - eats on Ekadasi. Indeed, none of the animals are given their ration of grains, leaves, or straw - or even water ! - on Ekadasi, the sacred day of Sri Hari. So how can you escape fasting? My beloved husband, if you must eat something, then you should leave here at once. Now, with firm conviction decide on what you have to do.' "Prince Shobhana then said, `I have decided to fast on the sacred Ekadasi day. Whatever my fate is, it will surely come to pass.' "Deciding thus, Shobhana attempted to fast on this Ekadasi, 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 worshipping Me (Sri Hari) and remaining awake all through night, but Prince Shobhana that night became absolutely unbearable. Indeed, when the Sun rose on the Dwadasi, that Prince Shobhana was dead. "King Muchakunda observed his son-in-law's funeral, ordering a large stack of wood be assembled for the fire, but he instructed his daughter Chandrabhaagaa not to join her husband on the funeral pyre. Thus Chandrabhaagaa, after performing all the purificatory processes and procedures for honouring her deceased husband, continued to live in her father's house. Lord Sri Krishna continued, "O best of the kings, Yudhisthira, even though Shobhana died because of observing Ramaa Ekadasi, the merit that he accrued enabled him, after his death, to become the ruler of a kingdom high on the peak of Mandarachala Mountain. This kingdom was like a city of the demigods; very lustrous, with unlimited jewels set in the walls of its buildings that gave off light. The pillars were made of rubies, and gold inlaid with diamonds shone everywhere. As King Shobhana 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 bejewelled armlets and bracelets encircled his arms. He was served by Gandharvas (the best of heavenly singers) and Apsaras (celestial dancers). Verily, he resembled a second Indra. "One day, a brahmin named Somasharma, who lived in Muchakunda's kingdom, happened upon Shobhana's kingdom while travelling to various places of pilgrimage. The brahmin saw Shobhana in all his resplendent glory and thought he might be the son-in-law of his own king Muchakunda. When Shobhana saw the brahmin approaching, he immediately rose up from his seat and welcomed him. After Shobhana had paid his respectful obeisances he asked the brahmin about his well-being and about the health and welfare of his (Shobhana's) father-in-law, his wife and all the residents of the city. "Somasharma then said, `O king, all the residents and subjects are well in your father-in-law's kingdom, and Chandrabhaagaa and your other family members are also quite well. Peace and prosperity reign throughout the kingdom. But there is one thing, I'm quite 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 Shobhana then began to tell his story, `Because I observed the Ramaa Ekadasi, I was given this splendid city to rule over. But for all of its grandeur, it is only temporary. I beg you to do something to correct this deficiency. You see, this is only an ephemeral city, a place of this material world. How may I make its beauties and glories permanent? Kindly reveal this to me by your instructions. "The brahmin then 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.' "Shobhana then answered, `Because I fasted on the Ramaa Ekadasi without any faith, this kingdom is impermanent. Now hear how it can become permanent. Please return to Chandrabhaagaa, the beautiful daughter of king Muchukunda, and tell her what you have seen and understood about this place and about me. Surely, if you, a pure hearted brahmin, tell her this, my city will soon become permanent. "Thus the brahmin returned to his city and related the entire episode to Chandrabhaagaa, who was both surprised and overjoyed to hear this news of her husband. She said, `O brahmana, is this a dream you have seen, or is it actually a factual thing?' "Somasharma the brahmin replied, `O Princess, I have seen your late husband face to face in that wonderful kingdom, which resembles a realm of the denizens' of heavens playgrounds. But you former husband has asked me to relate to you that he says that his kingdom is unstable and could vanish into thin air at any moment. Therefore he hope you can find a way to make it permanent.' "Chandrabhaagaa then said, `O sage among the brahmins, please take me to that place where my husband resides at once, for I greatly desire to see him again! Surely I shall make his kingdom permanent with the merit that I have acquired by fasting on every Ekadasi throughout my life. Please reunite us at once, again. It is said that one who reunites separated persons also obtains very great merit.' "The humble brahmin Somasharma then led Chandrabhaagaa to Shobhana's effulgent kingdom. Before reaching it, however, they stopped at the foot of Mount Mandaracala, at the sacred ashrama of Vamadeva. Upon hearing their story, Vamadeva chanted hymns from the Vedas and sprinkled holy water from his samanya arghya upon Chandrabhaagaa. By the influence of that great Rishi's rites, the merit she had accrued by fasting for so many Ekadasis made her body transcendental. Ecstatic, her eyes beaming in wonder, Chandrabhaagaa continued on her journey. "When Shobhana saw his wife approaching him high on Mount Mandarachala, he was overwhelmed with joy and called out to her in great happiness and jubilation. After she arrived , he seated her on his left side and she said to him, `O dearest Patiguru, please listen as I tell you something that will benefit you greatly. Since I was eight years old I have fasted regularly and with full faith on every Ekadasi. If I transfer to you all the merit I have accumulated, your kingdom will surely become permanent, and its prosperity will grow and grow until the coming of the great inundation!' Lord Sri Krishna then continued to address Yudhisthira as follows, "O Yudhisthira, in this way Chandrabhaagaa who was beautifully decorated with the finest ornaments and had an exquisitely transcendental body, at last enjoyed peace and happiness with her husband. By the potency of Ramaa Ekadasi, Shobhana found his kingdom on the peaks of Mount Mandarachala able to fulfill all his desires and bestow upon him everlasting happiness, like that achieved from the transcendental Kaama-dhenu milch cow. "O greatest of kings, I have thus narrated to you the glories of Ramaa Ekadasi that falls in the dark fortnight of the month of Kartika. "Anyone who observes sacred Ekadasi during both the light and the dark fortnight of each month is undoubtedly freed from the reactions to the sin of killing a brahmin. One should not differentiate between the Ekadasis of the light and dark parts 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 equally good quality milk. So the Ekadasis of the dark fortnight (Krishna paksha) and the light fortnight (shukla or Gaura paksha) award the same high degree of merit and eventually liberate one from the repeated cycle of birth and death. Anyone who simply hears this narration of the glories of the sacred day of Ramaa Ekadasi, is freed from all kinds of sin and attains the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu. Thus ends the narration for the glories of the sacred Kartika-krishna Ekadasi, or Ramaa Ekadasi, from the Brahma-Vaivarta Purana of Srila Krishna Dwaipayana Veda Vyaasa.
  22. Site Admin

    Pashankusha Ekadasi

    Yudhishthira Maharaj said, Oh Madhusudana, what is the name of the Ekadashi that comes during the light fortnight of the month of Ashvina (September October)? Please be merciful and disclose this truth to me. "The Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna replied, "Oh king, please listen as I explain the glories of this Ekadashi Pasankusa Ekadashi which removes all sins. On this day one should worship the Deity of Padmanabha, the lotus naveled Lord Vishnu, according to the rules of archana viddhi (regulations). By so doing, one achieves whatever heavenly pleasures one may want in this world, and at last attains liberation from this world thereafter. Simply by offering one’s humbly obeisances unto Lord Vishnu, the rider of Garuda, one can achieve the same merit as is gained by performing great penances for a long time restraining and controlling the senses. Although a person might have committed unlimited and abominable sins, he can still escape hellish punishment just by paying his obeisances to Lord Sri Hari, the taker away of all sin." "The merits gained by going on pilgrimage to the Holy Tirthas of this earthly planet can also be achieved simply by chanting the Holy names of Lord Vishnu. Whosoever chants these sacred names such as Rama, Vishnu, Janardana or Krishna especially on Ekadashi, never sees Yamaraj, the king of death’s punishing abode. Nor does such a devotee who fasts on Pasankusa Ekadashi, which is very dear to Me, see that plutonic abode." "Both the Vaishnava who criticises Lord Shiva and the Shaivite (Saivite) who criticises Me certainly go to hell. The merit obtained by performing one hundred horse sacrifices and one hundred Rajasurya sacrifices is not even equal to one sixteenth of the merit a devotee is able to attain 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 accumulated 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 Pasankusa Ekadashi, he remains sinful, and the reactions of his past sinful activities never leave him like a chaste wife. There is no merit in all the three worlds that can match the merit that one gains by observing a fast on this Ekadashi. Whosoever observes it faithfully never has to see death personified, Lord Yamaraj. One who desires liberation, elevation to the heavens, good health, beautiful women, wealth, and food grains should simply fast on this Pasankusa Ekadashi. O king, neither the Ganges, Gaya, Kashi, nor Pushkara, nor even the Holy site of Kurukshetra, can grant as much auspicious merit as this Pasankusa Ekadashi. "O Maharaj Yudhishthira, protector of the earth, after observing ekadasi during the daytime, the devotee should remain awake through the night, absorbed in hearing, chanting and serving the lord for by so doing he easily attains to the Supreme abode of Lord Vishnu. Not only that, but 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 Vaikuntha forms. Wearing yellow garments and beautiful garlands, they ride to the spiritual realm on the back of Garuda, the renown great enemy of the snakes. This is the benediction My devotee earns simply by observing one Pasankusa Ekadashi properly. "O best of kings, whether one is a child, a youth, or in old age, fasting on Pasankusa Ekadashi frees him from all sins and makes him immune to suffering a hellish rebirth. Whosoever observes a fast on the Pasankusa Ekadashi becomes free of all his sins and returns to the spiritual abode of Lord Sri Hari. Whosoever donates gold, sesame seeds, fertile land, cows, grain, drinking water, an umbrella, or a pair of shoes on this most auspicious of Holy days will never have to visit the abode of Yamaraj, who always punishes the sinners. But if a resident of earth fails to perform spiritual deeds, especially the observance of a fast on days such as Ekadashi, his breathing is said to be no better, or of as much use as the breathing/puffing of a blacksmith’s bellows. "O best of the kings, especially on this Pasankusa Ekadashi, even the poor should first bathe and then give some charity according to their means, and perform other auspicious activities in accordance with their ability. "Whosoever performs sacrifices and benefits the people, or builds public ponds, resting places, gardens, or houses does not suffer the punishments of Yamaraj. Indeed, one should understand that a person much have performed such pious activities as these in the past life if he is long lived, wealthy, of high birth, or free from all diseases. But a person who observes Pasankusa Ekadashi goes to the abode of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu.) Lord Sri Krishna then concluded, "Thus, Oh saintly Yudhishthira, I have narrated to you the glories of the auspicious Pasankusa Ekadashi." Thus ends the narration of the glories of the Pasankusa Ekadashi, or Ashwina-shukla Ekadashi, from the Brahma-vaivarta Purana.
  23. Site Admin

    Parsva Ekadasi

    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.
  24. Site Admin

    Aja (Annada) Ekadasi

    Sri Yudhisthira Maharaja said, "Oh Janardana, protector of all living entities, please tell me the name of the Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada (August-September)." The Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, then replied, "Oh King, hear me attentively. The name of this sin-removing, sacred Ekadasi is Aja. Any person who fasts completely on this day and worships Hrishikesha, the master of thesenses, becomes free of all reactions to his sins. Even one who simply hears about this Ekadasi is freed from his past sins. Oh 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 Harishchandra, who was the emperor of the world and a person of great truth and integrity. His wife's name was Chandramati, and he had a son named Lohitashva. By the force of destiny, however, Harishchandra 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 shall 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 brahmins just to help others.' Harishchandra paid his respectful obeisances to the sage, whose name was Gautama Muni. With joined palms the king stood before Gautama Muni 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 Muni became very much compassionate toward Harishchandra and instructed him on the process of fasting for purification. Gautama Muni said, 'Oh king, during the dark fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada there occurs an especially meritorious Ekadasi name daja (Annada), which removes all sins. Indeed, this Ekadasi 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. Oh Harishchandra, I have come here because of your past pious deeds. Now, all good fortune to you in the future!' So saying, the great sage Sri Gautama Muni immediately disappeared for their vision. King Harishchandra followed Gautama Muni's instructions concerning fasting on the sacred day of Aja Ekadasi. Oh Maharaja Yudhisthira, because the king fasted on that day, the reactions to his previous sins were completely destroyed at once. Oh lion among kings, just see the influence of this Ekadasi fast! It immediately vanquishes whatever miseries one maybe suffering as a result of past karmik sinful activities. Thus all Harishchandra's miseries were relieved. Just by the power of this wonderful Ekadasi, he was reunited with his wife and son, who had died but were now revived. In the heavenly regions the devas (demigods) began beating on their celestial kettle drums and showering down flowers upon Harishchandra, his queen and their son. By the blessings of the Ekadasi fast, he regained his kingdom without difficulty. Moreover, when king Harishchandra left the planet, his relatives and all his subjects too went with him to the spiritual world. Oh Pandava, whoever fasts on Aja Ekadasi is surely freed from all his sins and ascends to the spiritual world. And who soever hears and studies the glories of this Ekadasi achieves the merit gained by performing a horse sacrifice.
×