Ekadasi

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  1. anurar20

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    Ekadasi Fasting is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is observed on the 11th day of waning and waxing phase of moon in a traditional Hindu calendar. This is one of the most popular Vrat observed in Hinduism. How to observe Ekadashi was narrated to Arjuna by Lord Krishna and is found in the Bhavisyottara Purana.

    <?xml:namespace prefix = u1 /><u1:p></u1:p>When to start Ekadasi Fasting?
    <u1:p></u1:p>Lord Krishna advices Arjuna to begin the Ekadasi fasting in the autumn season with Utpanna or Uttpatti Ekadasi occurring during the waning phase of the moon in November – December.

    <u1:p></u1:p>Ekadashi Vrat Fasting Method
    <u1:p></u1:p>Ekadasi is the name of the Goddess that arose from Lord Vishnu to defeat Demon Mura. Happy with her divine act, Lord Vishnu blessed her that anyone who observes Ekadasi fast will be freed of their sins and will attain Moksha.

    Some people only take a single meal on the Dasami day, the day before Ekadasi.

    <u1:p></u1:p>Things needed for Ekadasi Puja and Prayer
    <u1:p></u1:p>Ø A picture or photo or idol of Lord Vishnu
    Ø Fruits
    Ø Tulsi leaves (The tulsi leaves should not be picked on the day but on the previous day)
    Ø Yellow bananas
    Ø And other normal puja items

    <u1:p></u1:p>Observance
    <u1:p></u1:p>Ø Wake up early in the morning. Take bath and offer prayers.
    Ø Perform a simple puja to Lord Vishnu at home by lighting a lamp and offering fruits and Tulsi leaves.
    Ø Pray or meditate for few minutes.
    Ø If there is a Vishnu temple nearby visit the temple and witness morning pujas and rituals.
    <u1:p></u1:p>Ø Complete fast or Upavas on the day is the main observance.
    <u1:p></u1:p>
    Ekadasi Fasting
    <u1:p></u1:p>Ø Fasting is for 24 hours. It is believed that a partial or total abstinence from food on Ekadasi is rewarded with bliss.
    Ø If you have any health problem or are taking medicines, please consult your doctor before deciding on fasting. You can also opt for a partial fast by avoiding food made of rice.
    Ø Do not eat food made from rice on Ekadashi.
    <u1:p></u1:p>Ø Strictly avoid eating rice and grains, honey, meat and eating on a bell metal plate. Do not apply oil on the day. (What food can be eaten on Ekadasi for those observing partial fast?)
    Ø Those taking partial fast can consume fruits and milk.
    <u1:p></u1:p>
    Afternoon
    Take bath and offer prayers to Lord Vishnu

    <u1:p></u1:p>Evening Prayers
    Ø Take a bath in the evening.
    Ø Repeat the morning puja to Vishnu
    Ø Visit Vishnu temple and witness the evening puja and rituals.

    <u1:p></u1:p>Prayers for Ekadashi
    <u1:p></u1:p>Ø Vishnu Ashotharam
    Ø Vishnu Sahasranamam
    Ø Simple Chanting of – <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><?xml:namespace prefix = u2 /><u2:pLACE st="on">Om</st1:place></u2:pLACE> Namo Narayana
    Ø Or any prayers dedicated to Lord Vishnu or Sri Krishna
    <u1:p></u1:p>
    No Sleep of Keeping Vigil at Night
    <u1:p></u1:p>Staunch devotees who observe Vaikunta Ekadasi fasting do not sleep on the day. They spend the whole night at Vishnu temples or by singing prayers or listening stories dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
    <u1:p></u1:p>But those devotees who have health problems sleep at night. Those people who work, take rest at night and avoid keeping vigil at night

    <u1:p></u1:p>Next Day Morning
    <u1:p></u1:p>The fast is broken on the next day (Dwadashi) after taking bath. Offer prayers to Lord Vishnu by lighting a lamp and then you can break the fast.
     
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  2. anurar20

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    The table below describes the various Ekadashis and when they fall in the year.

    <TABLE style="WIDTH: 552pt; BORDER-COLLAPSE: collapse" border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=736 x:str><COLGROUP><COL style="WIDTH: 274pt; mso-width-source: userset; mso-width-alt: 13348" width=365><COL style="WIDTH: 123pt; mso-width-source: userset; mso-width-alt: 5997" width=164><COL style="WIDTH: 155pt; mso-width-source: userset; mso-width-alt: 7570" width=207><TR style="HEIGHT: 36pt" height=48><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 274pt; HEIGHT: 36pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl24 height=48 width=365>Vedic (Lunar) and Vaishnava Month<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 123pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl25 width=164>Krishna paksha Ekadashi name<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 155pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl25 width=207>Shukla paksha Ekadashi name<TR style="HEIGHT: 18pt" height=24><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 274pt; HEIGHT: 18pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 height=24 width=365>Chaitra (चैत्र), Vishnu (March - April)<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 123pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=164>Papamochani Ekadashi<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 155pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=207>Kamada Ekadashi<TR style="HEIGHT: 18pt" height=24><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 274pt; HEIGHT: 18pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 height=24 width=365>Vaisakha (वैशाख), Madhusudana (April - May)<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 123pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=164>Varuthini Ekadashi<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 155pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=207>Mohini Ekadashi<TR style="HEIGHT: 18pt" height=24><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 274pt; HEIGHT: 18pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 height=24 width=365>Jyeshta (ज्येष्ठ), Trivikrama (May - June)<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 123pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=164>Apara Ekadashi<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 155pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=207>Pandava Ekadashi<TR style="HEIGHT: 18pt" height=24><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 274pt; HEIGHT: 18pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 height=24 width=365>Ashaad (आषाढ), Vaamana (June - July)<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 123pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=164>Yogini Ekadashi<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 155pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=207>Shayani Ekadashi<TR style="HEIGHT: 18pt" height=24><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 274pt; HEIGHT: 18pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 height=24 width=365>Shraavana (श्रावण), Sridhar (July - August)<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 123pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=164>Kamika Ekadashi<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 155pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=207>Pavitropana Ekadashi<TR style="HEIGHT: 36pt" height=48><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 274pt; HEIGHT: 36pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 height=48 width=365>Bhadrapada (भाद्रपद), Hrisikesha (August - September)<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 123pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=164>Ananda Ekadashi<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 155pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=207>Parsva Ekadashi<TR style="HEIGHT: 36pt" height=48><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 274pt; HEIGHT: 36pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 height=48 width=365>Ashvin (अश्विन्), Padmanabha (September - October)<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 123pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=164>Indira Ekadashi<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 155pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=207>PApankushA Paashunkushaa Ekadashi<TR style="HEIGHT: 18pt" height=24><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 274pt; HEIGHT: 18pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl27 height=24 width=365>Adika month (once in 2–3 years)<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 123pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=164>Parama Ekadashi<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 155pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=207>Padmini Visuddha EkAdasii<TR style="HEIGHT: 18pt" height=24><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 274pt; HEIGHT: 18pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 height=24 width=365>Kartik (कार्तिक), Damodara (October - November)<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 123pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=164>Rama Ekadashi<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 155pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=207>Prabodhini Ekadashi<TR style="HEIGHT: 54pt" height=72><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 274pt; HEIGHT: 54pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 height=72 width=365>Margashirsha (Agrahayana) (मार्गशीर्ष), Keshava (November - December)<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 123pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=164>Utpanna Ekadashi<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 155pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=207>Mokshada Ekadasi (Vaikuntha ekadasi Sri Rangam)<TR style="HEIGHT: 18pt" height=24><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 274pt; HEIGHT: 18pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 height=24 width=365>Pausha (पौष), Naaraayana (December - January)<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 123pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=164>Saphala Ekadashi<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 155pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=207>Putrada Ekadashi<TR style="HEIGHT: 18pt" height=24><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 274pt; HEIGHT: 18pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 height=24 width=365>Maagha (माघ), Maadhava (January - February)<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 123pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=164>Sat TilA Ekadashi<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 155pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl27 width=207>Bhaimi Ekadashi<TR style="HEIGHT: 18pt" height=24><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 274pt; HEIGHT: 18pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 height=24 width=365>Phalguna (फाल्गुन), Govinda (February - March)<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 123pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=164>Vaikunta Ekadasi<TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: windowtext; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 155pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext; BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid" class=xl26 width=207>Amalaki Ekadashi
     
  3. anurar20

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    Safala Ekadasi – The Story of Saphala Ekadashi

    Yudhisthira Maharaja said, "0 Shri <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place>, what is the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Pausa [DecemberJanuary]? How is it observed, and which Deity is to be worshiped on that day? Please narrate this to me fully, 0 Janardana."

    The Supreme Personality of Godhead replied, "0 best of kings, because you desire to hear, I shall fully describe to you the glories of Pausa-krishna Ekadashi

    "I do not become as pleased by sacrifice or charity as I do by My devotees' observance of a full fast on Ekadashi To the best of one's ability, therefore, one should fast on Ekadashi the day of Lord Hari.

    "0 Yudhisthira, I urge you to hear with undivided intelligence the glories of Pausa-krishna Ekadashi which falls on Dvadasi. As I explained previously, one should not differentiate among the many Ekadashis. 0 king, to benefit humanity at large I shall now describe to you the process of observing Pausa-krishna Ekadashi

    "Pausa-krishna Ekadashi is also known as Saphala Ekadashi. On this sacred day one should worship Lord Narayana, for He is its ruling Deity. One should follow the previously described method of fasting. Just as among snakes Sesa-naga is the best, among birds Garuda is the best, among sacrifices the Asvamedha-yajfta is the best, among rivers Mother Ganga is the best, among gods Lord Vishnu is best, and among two-legged beings the brahmanas are the best, so among all fasting days Ekadashi is the best. 0 foremost of kings born in the Bharata dynasty, whoever strictly observes Ekadashi becomes very dear to Me and indeed worshipable by Me in every way. Now listen as I describe the process for observing Saphala Ekadashi.

    "On Saphala Ekadashi. My devotee should worship Me by offering Me fresh fruits according to time, place, and circumstance, and by meditating on Me as the all-auspicious Supreme Personality. He should offer Me jambira fruit, pomegranate, betel, coconut, guava, nuts, cloves, mangoes, and different kinds of aromatic spices. He should also offer Me incense and bright ghee lamps, for such an offering of lamps on Saphala Ekadashi. is especially glorious. The devotee should try to stay awake all night.

    "Now please hear with undivided attention as I tell you how much merit one gets if he fasts and remains awake throughout the entire night. 0 best of kings, there is no sacrifice or pilgrimage that yields merit equal to or better than the merit one gains by fasting on Saphala Ekadashi. Such fasting-particularly if one can remain awake and alert all night longbestows the same merit upon the faithful devotee as the performance of austerity for five thousand years. 0 lion among kings, please hear the glorious history of this Ekadashi.

    "Once there was a city called Campavati, which was ruled by the saintly King Mahismata. He had four sons, the eldest of whom, Lumpaka, always engaged in very sinful activities-illicit sex with the wives of others, gambling, and continual association with known prostitutes. His evil deeds gradually reduced the wealth of his father, King Mahismata. Lumpaka also became very critical of the demigods and brahmanas, and every day he would blaspheme Vaishnavas. At last King Mahismata, seeing the condition of his son, exiled him to the forest. Out of fear of the king, even compassionate relatives did not come to Lumpaka's defense, so angry was the king and so sinful was Lumpaka.

    "Bewildered in his exile, Lumpaka thought to himself, 'My father has sent me away, and even my kinsmen do not raise any objection. What should I do now?' He schemed sinfully and thought, I shall sneak back to the city under cover of darkness and plunder its wealth. During the day I shall stay in the forest, and at night I'll return to city.' So thinking, Lumpaka entered the dark forest. He killed many animals by day, and by night he stole valuable items from the city. The city-dwellers apprehended him several times, but out of fear of the king they left him alone. They thought that it must have been the sins of his previous births that had made him lose his royal facilities and act so sinfully.

    "Though a meat-eater, Lumpaka would also eat fruits every day. He resided under an old banyan tree that happened to be very dear to Lord Vasudeva. Indeed, many worshiped it as the god of all the trees in the forest. In due course of time, while Lumpaka was doing so many sinful and condemnable activities, Saphala Ekadashi arrived. On the eve of Ekadashi, Lumpaka had to pass the entire night without sleep because of the severe cold and his scanty bedclothes. The cold not only robbed him of all peace but almost killed him. By the time the sun rose, his teeth were chattering and he was almost comatose, and all during the morning of that day, Ekadashi, he could not awaken from his stupor.

    "When midday of Saphala Ekadashi, arrived, the sinful Lumpaka finally came to and managed to rise up from his place under the banyan tree. But with every step he stumbled to the ground. Like a lame man, he walked slowly and hesitantly, suffering greatly from hunger and thirst in the midst of the jungle. So weak was Lumpaka that he could not kill a single animal that day. Instead, he was reduced to collecting whatever fruits had fallen to the ground. By the time he returned to the banyan tree, the sun had set.

    "Placing the fruits on the ground next to him, Lumpaka began to cry, 'Oh, woe is me! What should I do? Dear father, what is to become of me? O Shri Hari, please be merciful to me and accept these fruits!' Again he was forced to lie awake the whole night without sleep, but in the meantime the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Madhusudana, had become pleased with Lumpaka's offering of the forest fruits, and He accepted them. Lumpaka had unwittingly observed a full Ekadashi, fast, and by the merit he reaped on that day he regained his kingdom with no further obstacles.

    "Listen, 0 Yudhisthira, to what happened to the son of .King Mahismata when but a fragment of merit sprouted up within his heart.

    "As the sun rose beautifully on the day following Ekadashi, a handsome horse approached Lumpaka and stood next to him. At the same time, a voice suddenly spoke from out of the clear blue sky: 'This horse is for you, Lumpaka! Mount it and swiftly ride out to greet your family! 0 son of King Mahismata, by the mercy of Lord Vasudeva and the strength of the merit you acquired by observing Saphala Ekadashi, your kingdom will be returned to you without any further hindrances. Such is the benefit you have gained by fasting on this auspicious day. Go now to your father and enjoy your rightful place in the dynasty.'

    "Upon hearing these celestial words, Lumpaka mounted the horse and rode back to the city of <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Campavati</st1:place></st1:City>. By the merit he had accrued by fasting on Saphala Ekadashi, he had become a handsome prince once more and was able to absorb his mind in the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari. In other words, he had become My pure devotee.

    "Lumpaka offered his father, King Mahismata, his humble obeisances and once more accepted his princely responsibilities. Seeing his son decorated with Vaishnava ornaments and tilaka, King Mahismata gave him the kingdom, and Lumpaka ruled unopposed for many, many years. Whenever Ekadashi came, he worshiped the Supreme Lord with great devotion. And by the mercy of Shri Krishna he obtained a beautiful wife and a fine son. In old age Lumpaka handed his kingdom over to his sonjust as his own father, King Mahismata, had handed it over to him-and then went into the forest to serve the Supreme Lord with controlled mind and senses. Purified of all material desire, he left his body and returned home, back to Godhead, attaining a place near the lotus feet of Lord Shri Krishna.

    "0 Yudhisthira, one who approaches Me as Lumpaka did will become completely free of lamentation and anxiety. Indeed, anyone who properly observes this glorious Saphala Ekadashi - even if unknowingly, like Lumpaka-will become famous in this world. He will become perfectly liberated at death and return to Vaikuntha. Of this there is no doubt. Moreover, one who simply hears the glories of Saphala Ekadashi, obtains the same merit derived by one who performs a Rajasuya-yajna and at the very least he goes to heaven in his next birth."

    Thus ends the narration of the glories of Pausha-krshna Ekadasi, or Saphalaa Ekadasi, from the Bhavishya-uttara Purana.
     
  4. anurar20

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    Putrada Ekadasi - The Story of Putrada Ekadashi

    Yudhisthira Maharaja said, "0 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 brdhmanas 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 <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">Lake</st1:placeType> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Manasarovara</st1:placeName></st1:place>. 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 Pausha-shukla Ekaadasii, or Putradaa Ekaadasii, from the Bhavishya Purana of Veda Vyaasadeva
     
  5. anurar20

    anurar20 IL Hall of Fame

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    Shattila Ekadashi – The Story of Sat-tila Ekadasi

    Dalbhya Risi said to Pulastya Muni, "When the spirit soul comes in contact with the material energy, he immediately begins to perform sinful activities, such as stealing, killing, and illicit sex. He may even perform many other terrible deeds, such as killing a brahmana. 0 purest of personalities, please tell me how these unfortunate souls may escape the punishment of being sent to hellish regions of creation. Kindly inform me how, by giving even a little in charity, one may easily become free of his sins."

    Pulastya Muni replied, "0 fortunate one, you have asked me a food and confidential question, which not even Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, or Indra has ever asked. Please listen very carefully to my answer.

    "With the arrival of the month of Magha [January-February], one should bathe, carefully control his senses by giving up lust, anger, pride, jealousy, faultfinding, and greed, and meditate on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Shri Krishna. One should then gather up some cow dung before it touches the ground and, after mixing it with sesame seeds and cotton, form 108 balls. This should be done on the day when the constellation of Purvasadhanaksatra arrives. Then one should follow the rules and regulations of Ekadashi, which I shall now explain to you.


    "After bathing, the person who intends to observe Ekadashi should worship the Supreme Lord. While praying to Lord Krishna by chanting His name, he should promise to observe the Ekadashi fast. He should remain awake overnight and perform a homes. Then the devotee should perform arati to the Lord-who holds a conch, disk, club, and so on in His hands-offering Him sandalwood paste, incense, camphor, a bright ghee lamp, and delicious preparations of food. Next the devotee should offer the 108 balls of cow dung, sesame seeds, and cotton into the sacred fire while chanting the holy names of the Supreme Lord, <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place>. Throughout the whole day and night he should also observe the standard Ekadashi fast, which in this case is a fast from all grains and beans. On this occasion one should offer the Lord pumpkin, coconut, and guava. If these items are unavailable, betel nut may be substituted.


    "The devotee should pray to Lord Janardana, the benefactor of all beings, in this way: '0 Lord Shri <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place>, You are the most merciful Personality of Godhead and the liberator of all fallen souls. 0 Lord, we have fallen into the ocean of material existence. Please be kind to us. 0 lotus-eyed divinity, please accept our most humble and affectionate obeisances. 0 protector of the world, we offer You our respects again and again. 0 Supreme Spirit, 0 Supreme One, 0 source of all our forefathers, may You and Your eternal consort, Shrimati Laksmi-devi, please accept these humble offerings.'


    "The devotee should then try to please a qualified brahmana with a warm welcome, a pot full of water, an umbrella, a pair of shoes, and clothes, requesting him at the same time to bestow his blessings, by which one may develop unalloyed love for <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place>. According to one's ability, one may also donate a black cow to such a brahmana, particularly to one who is very well versed in all the injunctions of the Vedic scriptures. One should also offer him a pot full of sesame seeds.


    "0 exalted Dalbhya Muni, black sesame seeds are especially suitable for formal worship and fire sacrifices, while white or brown sesame seeds are meant to be eaten by a qualified brahmana. One who can arrange to give both kinds of sesame seeds on this sacred Sat-tila Ekadashi will be promoted to the heavenly planets for as many thousands of years as the number of seeds that would be produced if the seeds he donated were sown in the ground and grew into mature, seed-bearing plants.


    "On this Ekadashi a faithful person should bathe in water mixed with sesame seeds, rub sesame seed paste on his body, offer sesame seeds in sacrifice, eat sesame seeds, give sesame seeds away in charity, and accept charitable gifts of sesame seeds. These are the six [sat] ways in which sesame seeds [tila] are utilized for spiritual purification on this Ekadashi. Therefore it is called Sat-tila Ekadashi.


    "The great Devarsi Naradaji once asked the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna, 'O mighty-armed Lord, 0 You who are so affectionate to Your loving devotees, please accept my most humble obeisances. O Yadava, kindly tell me the result one obtains by observing Sat-tila Ekadashi.'


    "Lord Shri Krishna replied, '0 best of the twice-born, I shall narrate to you an account of an incident I personally witnessed. Long ago on earth there lived an old female brahmana who worshiped Me every day with controlled senses. She very faithfully observed many a fast, especially on special days honoring Me, and served Me with full devotion, devoid of any personal motive. Her rigorous fasting made her quite weak and thin. She gave charity to brdhmanas and young maidens, and even planned to give away her house in charity. 0 best of the brdhmanas, although this spiritually-minded woman gave charitable donations to worthy people, the odd feature of her austerity was that she never gave food to brdhmanas or demigods.


    " 'I began to reflect on this curious omission: "This fine woman has purified herself by fasting on all the auspicious occasions and by offering Me strict devotional worship. Therefore she has certainly become eligible to enter My personal abode, which is unattainable by ordinary persons." So I came down to this planet to examine her, disguising Myself as a follower of Lord Siva's complete with a garland of skulls draped around My neck and a begging pot in My hand.


    "'As I approached her, she said to Me, "0 respectable one, tell me truthfully why You have come before me."


    "'I replied, "0 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! 0 Narada, I simply turned around and went back to My personal abode, astonished at this fine brahmani's peculiar mixture of great magnanimity and stinginess.


    "'At last this austere lady reached the spiritual world in her self-same body, so great were her efforts at fasting and charity. And because she had indeed offered Me a lump of mud, I transformed that mud into a beautiful home. However, 0 Naradaji, this particular house was completely devoid of any edible grains, as well as any furniture or ornamentation, and when she entered it she found only an empty structure. She therefore approached Me and said with great anger, "I have fasted repeatedly on so many auspicious occasions, making my body weak and thin. I have worshiped You and prayed to You in so many different ways, for You are truly the master and protector of all the universes. Yet despite all this there is no food or wealth to be seen in my new home, 0 Janardana. Why is this?"


    "I replied, "Please return to your house. Sometime later the wives of the demigods will pay you a visit out of curiosity to see the new arrival, but do not open your door until they have described to you the glories and importance of $a!-tila Ekadashi."

    "'Hearing this, she returned to her house. Eventually the demigods' wives arrived there and in unison said, "0 beautiful one, we have come to have your darsana. 0 auspicious one, please open your door and let us see you."


    " 'The lady replied, "0 most dear ones, if you want me to open this door, you will have to describe to me the merit one obtains by observing the sacred fast of Sat-tila Ekadashi." But not one of the wives responded.


    "'Later, however, they returned to the house, and one of the wives nicely explained the sublime nature of this sacred Ekadashi. And when the lady at last opened her door, they saw that she was neither a demigoddess, a Gandharvi, a she-demon, nor even a Naga-patni. She was simply an ordinary lady.


    "'From then on the lady observed Sat-tila Ekadashi, which awards material enjoyment and liberation at the same time, as it had been described to her. And she finally received the beautiful furnishings and grains she had expected for her home. Moreover, her once ordinary material body was transformed into a beautiful spiritual form with a fine complexion. So, by the mercy and grace of Sat-tila Ekadashi, both the lady and her new home in the spiritual world were at last radiantly splendid and lustrous with gold, silver, jewels, and diamonds.


    "'0 Naradaji, a person should not ostentatiously observe Ekadashi, out of greed, with the hope of attaining wealth dishonestly. Selflessly, he should simply donate sesame seeds, clothes, and food according to his capacity, for by doing so he will achieve good health and exalted spiritual consciousness, birth after birth. Ultimately, liberation and admittance into the Lord's supreme abode will be his to enjoy. That is my opinion, O best of the demigods.'

    "0 Dalbhya Muni," Pulastya Risi concluded, "one who properly observes the wonderful Sat-tila Ekadashi with great faith becomes free from all kinds of poverty-spiritual, mental, physical, social, and intellectual-as well as all kinds of ill luck and evil omens. Indeed, following this Ekadashi fast by donating, sacrificing, or eating sesame seeds frees one of all past sin, without a doubt. One need not wonder how this happens. The rare soul who properly performs these acts of charity in the right devotional mood, following the Vedic injunctions, will become utterly free of all sinful reactions and go back to Godhead, back home to the spiritual world."

    Thus ends the narration of the glories of Magh-krishna Ekaadasii, or Sat-tilaa Ekaadasii, from the sacred Bhavishya-uttara Purana of Srila Krishna Dwaipayana Vyaasa.
     
  6. anurar20

    anurar20 IL Hall of Fame

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    Bhaimi Ekadashi – The Story of Bhaimi Ekadasi or Jaya Ekadasi

    Yudhisthira Maharaja said, "0 Lord of lords, Shri Krishna, all glories unto You! 0 master of the universe, You alone are the source of the four types of living entities-those born from eggs, those born from perspiration, those born from seeds, and those born from embryos. You alone are the root cause of all, 0 Lord, and therefore You are the creator, maintainer, and destroyer.

    "My Lord, You have so kindly explained to me the auspicious day known as Sat-tila Ekadashi, which occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Magha [January-February]. Now please explain the Ekadashi, that occurs during the light fortnight of this month. By what name is it known, and what is the process for observing it? Who is the Deity that is worshiped on this sublime day, which is so very dear to You?"

    Lord Shri Krishna replied, "0 Yudhisthira, I shall gladly tell you about the Ekadashi, that occurs during the light half of the month of Magha. This Ekadashi, obliterates all kinds of sinful reactions and demoniac influences affecting the spirit soul. It is known as Jay& Ekadashi, and the fortunate soul who observes a fast on this sacred day is relieved of the great burden of ghostly existence. Thus there is no better Ekadashi, than this, for it truly bestows freedom from birth and death. It is to be honored very carefully and diligently. So I ask you to listen to Me very attentively, 0 Pandava, as I explain a wonderful historical episode regarding this Ekadashi, an episode I have already related in the Padma Purana


    "Long, long ago in the heavenly planets, Lord Indra ruled his celestial kingdom very nicely, and all the demigods living there were very happy and content. In <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Nandana</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Forest</st1:placeType></st1:place>, which was beautifully graced with parijata flowers, Indra drank ambrosia whenever he liked and enjoyed the service of fifty million celestial maidens, the Apsaras, who danced in ecstasy for his pleasure.


    "Many singers, led by Puspadanta, sang in voices sweet beyond compare. Citrasena, Indra's chief musician, was there in the company of his wife Malini and his beautiful son Malyavan. An Apsara named Puspavati became very much attracted to Malyavan; indeed, Cupid's sharp arrows pierced the core of her heart. Her beautiful body and complexion, along with the enchanting movements of her eyebrows, captivated Malyavan.


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

    "Seeing Puspavati in all her heavenly beauty, Malyavan was bewitched at once. They had come with other performers to please Lord Indra by singing and dancing enchantingly, but because they had become so enamored of each other, pierced through the heart by the arrows of Cupid, lust personified, they were utterly unable to sing or dance properly before the lord and master of the heavenly realms.' Their pronunciation was wrong and their rhythm careless. Lord Indra understood the source of the errors at once. Offended at the discord in the musical performance, he became very angry and screamed, 'You useless fools! You pretend to sing for me while in a stupor of infatuation with each other! You are mocking me! I curse you both to suffer henceforth as pisacas [hobgoblins]. As husband and wife, go to the earthly regions and reap the reactions of your offenses.'

    "Struck dumb by these harsh words, Malyavan and Puspavati at once became morose and fell from the beautiful Nandana Forest in the kingdom of heaven to a Himalayan peak here on planet earth. Immeasurably distressed, and their celestial intelligence vastly diminished by the effects of Indra's fierce curse, they lost their senses of taste and smell, and even their sense of touch. It was so cold and miserable high on the Himalayan wastes of snow and ice that they could not even enjoy the oblivion of sleep.


    "Roaming aimlessly hither and thither in those harsh altitudes, Malyavan and Puspavati suffered more and more, from one moment to the next. Even though they were situated in a cave, because of the snowfall and cold their teeth chattered ceaselessly, and their hair stood on end because of their fright and bewilderment.


    "In this utterly desperate situation, Malyavan said to Puspavati, 'What abominable sins did we commit to have to suffer in these pisaca bodies, in this impossible environment? This is absolutely hellish! Though hell is very ferocious, the suffering we are undergoing here is even more abominable. Therefore it is abundantly clear that one should never commit any sin.'


    "And so the forlorn lovers trudged onward in the snow and ice. By their great good fortune, however, it so happened that that very day was Jaya Ekadashi, the Ekadashi of the light fortnight of the month of Magha. Because in their misery they neglected to drink any water, kill any game, or even eat whatever fruits and leaves were available at that altitude, they unknowingly observed Ekadashi by fasting completely from all food and drink. Sunk in misery, Malyavan and Puspavati collapsed beneath a pipal tree and did not even try to get up. The sun had set by this time.


    "The night was even colder and more miserable than the day. They shivered in the frigid snowfall as their teeth chattered in unison, and when they became numb, they embraced just to keep warm. Locked in each other's arms, they could enjoy neither sleep nor sex. Thus they suffered through the whole night under the powerful curse of Indra.


    "Still, 0 Yudhisthira, by the mercy of the fast they had by chance observed on Jaya Ekadashi, and because they had remained awake all night, they were blessed. Please hear what happened on the next day. As Dvadasi dawned, Malyavan and Puspavati had given up their demoniac forms and were once again beautiful heavenly beings wearing lustrous ornaments and exquisite garments. As they looked at each other in amazement, a celestial airplane [vimana] arrived on the spot. A chorus of heavenly denizens sang their praises as the couple stepped into the beautiful aircraft and proceeded directly to the heavenly regions, buoyed up by the good wishes of everyone. Soon Malyavan and Puspavati arrived at Amaravati, Lord Indra's capital city, and then they immediately went before their lord and offered him their cheerful obeisances.


    "Lord Indra was astonished to see that they had been restored to their original status and forms so soon after he had cursed them to suffer as demons far, far below his celestial kingdom. Indra asked them, 'What extraordinary meritorious deeds have you performed so that you could give up your pisaca bodies so quickly after I had cursed you? Who released you from my irresistible curse?'


    "Malyavan replied, '0 lord, it was by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vasudeva, and also by the powerful influence of Jaya Ekadashi, that we were released from our suffering condition as pisacas. This is the truth, 0 master: Because we executed devotional service to Lord Vishnu by observing Jaya Ekadashi, the day most dear to Him, we have happily been restored to our former status.'


    "Indra said, 'Because you served the Supreme Lord Kesava by observing Ekadashi, you have become worshipable even by me, and I can see that you are now completely purified of sin. Whoever engages in devotional service to Lord Shri Hari or Lord diva becomes praiseworthy and worshipable even by me. Of this there is no doubt.' Lord Indra then gave Malyavan and Puspavati free rein to enjoy each other and wander about his heavenly planet.


    "Therefore, 0 Yudhisthira, one should strictly observe a fast on the day of Lord Hari, especially on Jaya Ekadashi, which frees one from the sin of killing even a twice-born brahmana. A great soul who observes this fast with full faith and devotion has in effect given all kinds of charity, performed all kinds of sacrifice, and bathed in all the holy places of pilgrimage. Fasting on Jaya Ekadashi, qualifies one to reside in Vaikuntha and enjoy unending happiness for billions of yugas-indeed, forever. 0 great king, one who even hears or reads these glories of Jaya Ekadashi, achieves the blessed merit attained by performing an Agnistoma sacrifice, during which hymns from the Sama-veda are recited."


    Thus ends the narration of the glories of MAgha-shukla EkAdasii, or JayA EkAdasii, from the Bhavishya-uttara Purana
     
  7. anurar20

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    Moksada Ekadashi – The Story of Mokshada Ekadasi

    Yudhisthira Maharaja said, "O Vishnu, master of all, 0 delight of the three worlds, O Lord of the universe, 0 creator of the world, O oldest personality, O best of all beings, I offer my most respectful obeisances unto You.

    "0 Lord of lords, for the benefit of all living entities, kindly answer some questions I have. What is the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Margasirsa and removes all sins? How does one observe it properly, and which Deity is worshiped on that holy day? O Lord, please fully explain this to me."

    Lord Seri Krishna replied, "0 Yudhisthira, your inquiry is very auspicious and will bring you fame. Just as I previously explained to you the dearest Utpanna Maha-dvadasi - w ich occurs during the dark part of the month of Margasirsa, which is the day when Ekadashi-devi appeared from My body to kill the demon Mura, and which benefits everything animate and inanimate in the three worlds-so I shall now explain to you the Ekadashi that occurs during the light part of the month of Margasirsa. This Ekadashi is famous as Moksada because it purifies the faithful devotee of all sinful reactions and bestows liberation upon him. The worshipable Deity of this day is Lord Damodara. With full attention one should worship Him with incense, a ghee lamp, flowers, and tulasi manjaris [buds].

    "0 best of kings, please listen as I narrate to you the old and auspicious history of this Ekadashi Simply by hearing this history one can attain the merit earned by performing a horse sacrifice. By the influence of this merit, one's forefathers, mothers, sons, and other relatives who have gone to hell can go to heaven. For this reason alone, 0 king, you should listen carefully to this narration.


    "There was once a beautiful city named Campaka-nagara, which was decorated with devoted Vaishnavas. There the best of saintly kings, Maharaja Vaikhanasa, ruled his subjects as if they were his own sons and daughters. The brahmanas in that capital city were all expert in four kinds of Vedic knowledge. The king, while ruling properly, had a dream one night in which his father was suffering the pangs of torture in a hellish planet. The king was overwhelmed with compassion and shed tears. The next morning, Maharaja Vaikhanasa described his dream to his council of twice-born brdhmanas.


    '0 brdhmanas" the king said, 'in a dream last night I saw my father suffering on a hellish planet. He was crying out, "O son, please deliver me from the torment of this hell!" Now I have no peace, and even this beautiful kingdom has become unbearable to me. Not even my horses, elephants, and chariots give me any joy, and my vast treasury gives me no pleasure at all.


    "'Everything, 0 best of the brdhmanas, even my own wife and sons, has become a source of unhappiness since I beheld my dear father suffering the tortures of hell. Where can I go, and what can I do, 0 brdhmanas, to alleviate this misery? My body is burning with fear and sorrow! Please tell me what kind of charity, what mode of fasting, what austerity, or what deep meditation I may perform to deliver my father from his agony and bestow liberation upon my forefathers. O best of brdhmanas, what is the use of one's being a powerful son if one's father must suffer on a hellish planet? Truly, such a son's life is utterly useless!'


    "The twice-born brdhmanas replied, 'O king, in the mountainous forest not far from here is the asrama where the great saint Parvata Muni resides. Please go to him, for he knows the past, present, and future of everything and can surely help you in your misery.



    "Upon hearing this advice, the distressed king immediately set out on a journey to the asrama of the famous sage Parvata Muni. The asrama was very big and housed many learned sages expert in chanting the sacred hymns of the four Vedas. Approaching the holy asrama, the king beheld Parvata Muni seated among the sages like another Lord Brahma, the unborn creator.


    "Maharaja Vaikhanasa offered his humble obeisances to the muni, bowing his head and then prostrating his entire body. After the king had seated himself, Parvata Muni asked him about the welfare of the seven limbs of his extensive kindgdom. The muni also asked him if his kingdom was free of troubles and whether everyone was peaceful and happy. To these inquiries the king replied, 'By your mercy, O glorious sage, all seven limbs of my kingdom are doing very well. Yet there is a problem that has recently arisen, and to solve it I have come to you, 0 brahrrtand, for your expert guidance.'

    "Then Parvata Muni, the best of all sages, closed his eyes and meditated on the king's past, present, and future. After a few moments he opened his eyes and said, 'Your father is suffering the results of committing a great sin, and I have discovered what it is. In his previous life he quarreled with his wife when he enjoyed her sexually during her menstrual period. She tried to resist his advances and yelled out, "Someone please save me! Please, 0 husband, do not interrupt my monthly period!" Still he did not leave her alone. It is on account of this grievous sin that your father has fallen into such a hellish condition.'

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

    "Parvata Muni replied, 'During the light fortnight of the month of Margasirsa there occurs an Ekadashi called Moksada. If you observe this sacred Ekadashi strictly, with a full fast, and give directly to your suffering father the merit you thus obtain, he will be freed from his pain and instantly liberated.'

    "Hearing this, Maharaja Vaikhanasa profusely thanked the great sage and then returned to his palace. 0 Yudhisthira, when the light part of the month of Margasirsa at last arrived, Maharaja Vaikhanasa faithfully and perfectly observed the Ekadashi fast with his wife, children, and other relatives. He dutifully gave the merit from this fast to his father, and as he made the offering, beautiful flowers showered down from the sky. The king's father was then praised by the messengers of the demigods and escorted to the celestial regions. As he passed his son, the father said to the king, 'My dear son, all auspiciousness unto you!' At last he reached the heavenly realm.

    O son of Pandu, whoever strictly observes the sacred Moksada Ekadashi, following the established rules and regulations, achieves full and perfect liberation after death. There is no better fasting day than this Ekadashi of the light fortnight of the month of Margasirsa, O Yudhisthira, for it is a crystal-clear and sinless day. Whoever faithfully observes this Ekadashi fast, which is like cintamini [a gem that yields all desires], obtains special merit that is very hard to calculate, for this day can elevate one to the heavenly planets and beyond-to perfect liberation."


    Thus end the narration of the glories of Margashirsha-shukla Ekadasi or Mokshada Ekadasi, from the Brahmanda Purana.


    Some also call as Vaikuntha Ekadashi but this is different to the traditional Vaikuntha Ekadashi that is so wonderfully observed in Sri Rangam.
     
  8. anurar20

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    Amalaki Ekadashi – The Story of Amalaki Ekadasi

    King MAndhAtA once said to Vasishtha Muni, "O great sage, kindly be merciful to me and tell me of a holy fast that will benefit me eternally."
    Vasishtha Muni replied. "O king, kindly listen as I describe the best of all fast days, Amalakii EkAdasi. He who faithfully observes a fast on this EkAdasii obtains enormous wealth, gets free of the effects of all kinds of sins, and attains liberation. Fasting on this EkAdasii is more purifying than donating one thousand cows in charity to a pure brAhmana. So please hear me attentively as I tell you the story of a hunter who, though daily engaged in killing innocent animals for his living, achieved liberation by observing a fast on Amalakii EkAdasii and following the prescribed rules and regulations of worship.


    "There was once a kingdom named VaidishA, where all the brAhmanas, kshatriyas, vaishyas, and shudras were equally endowed with Vedic knowledge, great bodily strength, and fine intelligence. Oh lion among kings, the whole kingdom was full of Vedic sounds, not a single person was atheistic, and no one sinned. The ruler of this kingdom was King PAshabinduka, a member of the dynasty of Soma, the moon. He was also known as Chitraratha and was very religious and truthful. It is said that King Chitraratha had the strength of ten thousand elephants and that he was very wealthy and knew the six branches of Vedic wisdom perfectly.

    "During the reign of Maharaja Chitraratha, not a single person in his kingdom attempted to practice another's dharma (duty) so perfectly engaged in their own dharmas were all the brAhmanas, kshatriyas, vaisyas, and sudras. Neither miser nor pauper was to be seen throughout the land, not was there every drought or flood. Indeed, the kingdom was free of disease, and everyone enjoyed good health. The people rendered loving devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vishnu, as did the king, who also rendered special service to Lord Shiva. Moreover, twice a month everyone fasted on EkAdasii.


    "In this way, O best of kings, the citizens of VaidishA lived many long years in great happiness and prosperity. Giving up all varieties of materialistic religion, they completely dedicated themselves to the loving service of the Supreme Lord, Hari.


    "Once, in the month of Phalguna (February - March), the holy fast of Amalakii EkAdasii arrived, conjoined with DvAdasi. King Chitraratha realised that this particular fast would bestow especially great benefit, and thus he and all the citizens of VaidishA observed this sacred EkAdasii very strictly, carefully following all the rules and regulations.


    "After bathing in the river, the king and all his subjects went to the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">temple</st1:placeType> of <st1:placeName w:st="on">Lord Vishnu</st1:placeName></st1:place>, where an Amalakii tree grew. First the king and his leading sages offered the tree a pot filled with water, as well as a fine canopy, shoes, gold, diamonds, rubies, pearls, sapphires, and aromatic incense. Then they worshiped Lord ParashurAma with these prayers: 'Oh Lord ParashurAma, Oh son of RenukA, Oh all-pleasing one, Oh liberator of the worlds, kindly come beneath this holy Amalakii tree and accept our humble obeisances.'


    Then they prayed to the Amalakii tree: 'Oh Amalakii, Oh offspring of Lord BrahmA, you can destroy all kinds of sinful reactions. Please accept our respectful obeisances and these bumble gifts. O Amalakii, you are actually the form of Brahman, and you were once worshiped by Lord RAmachandra Himself. Whoever circumambulates you is therefore immediately freed of all his sins.'


    "After offering these excellent prayers, King Chitraratha and his subjects remained awake throughout the night, praying and worshiping according to the regulations governing a sacred EkAdasii fast. It was during this auspicious time of fasting and prayer that a very irreligious man approached the assembly, a man who maintained himself and his family by killing animals. Burdened with both fatigue and sin, the hunter saw the king and the citizens of VaidishA observing Amalakii EkAdasii by performing an all-night vigil, fasting, and worshiping Lord Vishnu in the beautiful forest setting, which was brilliantly illuminated by many lamps. The hunter hid nearby, wondering what this extraordinary sight before him was.


    'What is going on here?' he thought. What he saw in that lovely forest beneath the holy Amalakii tree was the Deity of Lord DAmodara being worshiped upon the Asana of a waterpot, and what he heard were devotees singing sacred songs describing Lord Shri Krishna's transcendental forms and pastimes. Despite himself, that staunchly irreligious killer of innocent birds and animals spent the entire night in great amazement as he watched the EkAdasii celebration and listened to the glorification of the Lord.


    "Soon after sunrise, the king and his royal retinue - including the court sages and all the citizens - completed their observance of EkAdasii and returned to the city of <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">VaidishA</st1:place></st1:City>. The hunter then returned to his hut and happily ate his meal. In due time the hunter died, but the merit he had gained by fasting on Amalakii Ekadasii and hearing the glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as well as by being forced to stay awake all night, made him eligible to be reborn as a great king endowed with may chariots, elephants, horses, and soldiers. His name was VasUratha, the son of King VidUratha, and he ruled over the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">kingdom</st1:placeType> of <st1:placeName w:st="on">Jayanti</st1:placeName></st1:place>.


    "King VasUratha was strong and fearless, as effulgent as the Sun, and as handsome as the Moon. In strength he was like Shri Vishnu, and in forgiveness like the Earth itself. Very charitable and ever truthful, King VasUratha always rendered loving devotional service to the Supreme Lord, Shri Vishnu. He therefore became very well versed in Vedic knowledge. Always active in the affairs of state, he enjoyed taking excellent care of his subjects, as though they were his own children. He disliked pride in anyone and would smash it when he saw it. He performed many kinds of sacrifices, and he always made certain that the needy in his kingdom received enough charity.

    "One day, while hunting in the jungle, King VasUratha strayed from the footpath and lost his way. Wandering for some time and eventually growing weary, he paused beneath a tree and, using his arms as a pillow, fell asleep. As he slept, some barbarian tribesmen came upon him and, remembering their longstanding enmity toward the king, began discussing among themselves various ways to kill him. 'It is because he killed our fathers, mothers, brothers-in-law, grandsons, nephews, and uncles that we are forced to aimlessly wander like so many madmen in the forest.' So saying, they prepared to kill King VasUratha with various weapons, including spears, swords, arrows, and mystic ropes.


    "But none of these deadly weapons could even touch the sleeping king, and soon the uncivilised, dog-eating tribesmen grew frightened. Their fear sapped their strength, and before long they lost what little intelligence they had and became almost unconscious with bewilderment and weakness. Suddenly a beautiful woman appeared from the king's body, startling the aborigines. Decorated with many ornaments, emitting a wonderful fragrance, wearing an excellent garland around her neck, her eyebrows drawn in a mood of fierce anger, and her fiery red eyes ablaze, she looked like death personified. With her blazing chakra discus she quickly killed all the tribal hunters, who had tried to slay the sleeping king.


    "Just then the king awoke, and seeing all the dead tribesmen lying around him, he was astonished. He wondered, 'These are all great enemies of mine! Who has slain them so violently? Who is my great benefactor?'


    "At that very moment he heard a voice from the sky: 'You ask who helped you. Well, who is that person who alone can help anyone is distress? He is none other than Sri Keshava, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He who saves all who take shelter of Him without any selfish motive.'


    "Upon hearing these words, King VasUratha became over-whelmed with love for the Personality of Godhead Shri Keshava (<st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place>). He returned to his capital city and ruled there like a second lord Indra (king of the heavenly regions), without any obstacles at all.


    "Therefore, Oh King Mandhata," the venerable Vasishtha Muni concluded, "...anyone who observes this holy Amalakii EkAdasii will undoubtedly attain the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu, so great is the religious merit earned from the observance of this most sacred fast day."


    Thus ends the narration of the glories of Phalguna-sukla Ekadasi, or Amalaki Ekadasi, from the Brahmanda Purana.
     
  9. anurar20

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    Papamocani Ekadashi – The Story of Papamochani Ekadasi

    Yudhisthira Maharaja said, "0 Supreme Lord, I have heard from You the explanation of Amalaki Ekadashi, which occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Phalguna [February-March], and now I wish to hear about the Ekadashi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Caitra [March-April]. What is its name, 0 Lord, and what results can one attain by observing it?"

    The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Shri Krishna, replied, "0 best of kings, for the benefit of everyone I shall gladly describe to you the glories of this Ekadashi which is known as Papamocani. The history of this Ekadashi was once narrated to the emperor Mandhata by Lomasa Risi. King Mandhata addressed the risi, '0 great sage, for the benefit of all people, please tell me the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Caitra, and please explain the process for observing it. Also, please describe the benefits one gains by observing this Ekadashi.'

    "Lomasa Risi replied, 'The Ekadashi that occurs during the dark part of the month of Caitra is named Papamocani Ekadashi For the faithful devotee it removes the influences of ghosts and demons. 0 lion among men, this Ekadashi also awards the eight perfections of life, fulfills all kinds of desires, purifies one's life of all sinful reactions, and makes a person perfectly virtuous.


    "'Now please listen to a historical account concerning this Ekadashi and Citraratha, the chief of the Gandharvas [heavenly musicians]. During the spring season, in the company of heavenly dancing girls, Citraratha once came upon a beautiful forest bursting forth with a great variety of flowers. There he and the girls joined other Gandharvas and many Kinnaras, along with Lord Indra himself, the king of heaven, who was enjoying a visit there. Everyone felt that there was no better garden than this forest. Many sages were also present, performing their austerities and penance The demigods particularly enjoyed visiting this celestial garden during the months of Caitra and Vaisakha [April-May].


    " 'A great sage named Medhavi resided in that forest, and the very attractive dancing girls would always attempt to seduce him. One famous girl in particular, Manjughosa, contrived many ways to allure the exalted muni, but out of great respect for the sage and fear of his power, which he had attained after years and years of asceticism, she would not come very close to him. At a spot two miles from the sage, she pitched a tent and began singing very sweetly as she played a tamboura. Cupid himself became excited when he saw and heard her perform so nicely and smelled the fragrance of her sandal-paste unguent. He remembered his own unfortunate experience with Lord 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 yoga's sanctity had become seriously eroded, Manjughosa decided to abandon him and return home. She said, "0 great one, please permit me to return home."

    "'Medhavi replied, "But you have only just arrived, 0 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, "0 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 <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">me.</st1:place></st1:State>"


    "'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 "0 sinful one, 0 hard-hearted, degraded one! You know only sin! May all terrible fortune be yours! 0 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! 0 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, 0 master, so please be kind to me!"

    "'Medhavi Muni replied, "0 gentle lady, what can I possibly do? You have destroyed all my austerities. But even though you have done this sinful deed, I shall tell you a way you can be released from my wrath. In the dark fortnight of the month of Caitra there is an allauspicious Ekadashi that removes all one's sins. Its name is Papamocani, 0 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, "0 son, by acting unlawfully you have squandered the wealth of your penances and austerities."


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

    "'Cyavana Muni answered, "Dear son, you must fast on Papamocani Ekadashi. which occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Caitra. It eradicates all sins, no matter how grievous they may be."


    "'Medhavi followed his father's advice and fasted on Papamocani Ekadashi. Thus all his sins were destroyed and he again became filled with excellent merit. Similarly, Manjughosa observed the same fast and became free of the hobgoblin curse. Ascending once again to the heavenly spheres, she too returned to her former position.'


    "Lomasa Risi continued, 'Thus, 0 king, the great benefit of fasting on Papamocani Ekadashi is that whoever does so with faith and devotion will have all his sins completely destroyed.'

    Shri Krishna concluded, "0 King Yudhisthira, whoever reads or hears about Papamocani Ekadashi. obtains the very same merit he would get if he donated a thousand cows in charity, and he also nullifies the sinful reactions he may have incurred by killing a brahmana, killing an embryo through abortion, drinking liquor, or having sex with his guru's wife. Such is the incalculable benefit of properly observing this holy day of Papamocani Ekadashi, which is so dear to Me and so meritorious."


    Thus ends the narration of the glories of Chaitra-Krishna EkAdasii, or Papamocani EkAdasii, from the Bhavishya-uttara PurAna.
     
  10. anurar20

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    Kamana Ekadashi - The Story of Kamada Ekadasi

    Shri Suta Gosvami said, "0 sages, let me offer my humble ",and respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Lord Hari, Bhagavan Shri Krishna, the son of Devaki and Vasudeva, by whose mercy I can describe the fast day that removes all kinds of sins. It was to the devoted Yudhisthira that Lord Krishna glorified the twenty-four primary Ekadashis, which destroy sin, and now I shall recount one of those narrations to you. Great learned sages have selected these twenty-four narrations from the eighteen Puranas, for they are truly sublime.

    "Yudhisthira Maharaja said, '0 Lord Krishna, 0 Vasudeva, please accept my humble obeisances. Please describe to me the Ekadashi that occurs during the light part of the month of Caitra [MarchApril]. What is its name, and what are its glories?'


    "Lord Shri Krishna replied, '0 Yudhisthira, please listen to Me attentively as I relate the ancient history of this sacred Ekadashi, a history Vasistha Muni once related to King Dilipa, the greatgrandfather of Lord Ramacandra.


    " 'King Dilipa asked the great sage Vasistha, "0 wise brahmana, I wish to hear about the Ekadashi, that comes during the light part of the month of Caitra. Please describe it to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">me.</st1:place></st1:State>"

    "Vasistha Muni replied, "0 king, your inquiry is glorious. Gladly shall I tell you what you wish to know. The Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of Caitra is named Kamada Ekadashi. It consumes all sins, as a forest fire consumes a supply of dry firewood. It is very purifying, and it bestows the highest merit upon one who faithfully observes it. 0 king, now hear an ancient history, which is so meritorious that it removes all one's sins simply by being heard.


    'Once, long ago, there existed a city-state named Ratnapura, which was decorated with gold and jewels and in which sharp fanged snakes would enjoy intoxication. King Pundarika was the ruler of this most beautiful kingdom, which numbered many Gandharvas, Kinnaras, and Apsaras among its citizens.

    "Among the Gandharvas were Lalita and his wife Lalita, who was an especially lovely dancer. These two were intensely attracted to each other, and their home was full of great wealth and fine food. Lalita loved her husband dearly, and likewise he constantly thought of her within his heart.


    'Once, at the court of King Pundarika, many Gandharvas were dancing and Lalita was singing alone, without his wife. He could not help thinking about her as he sang, and because of this distraction he lost track of the song's meter and melody. Indeed, Lalita sang the ending of his song improperly, and one of the envious snakes who was in attendance at the king's court complained to the king that Lalita was absorbed in thinking of his wife instead of his sovereign. The king became furious upon hearing this, and his eyes turned crimson with rage. Suddenly he shouted, '0 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!'

    '0 king, Lalita immediately became a fearful cannibal, a great maneating demon whose appearance terrified everyone. His arms were eight miles long, his mouth was as big as a huge cave, his eyes were as awesome as the sun and moon, his nostrils resembled enormous pits in the earth, his neck was a veritable mountain, his hips were four miles wide, and his gigantic body stood a full sixty-four miles high. Thus poor Lalita, the loving Gandharva singer, had to suffer the reaction of his offense against King Pundarika.


    'Seeing her husband suffering as a horrible cannibal, Lalita became overwhelmed with grief. She thought, 'Now that my dear husband is suffering the effects of the king's curse, what is to be my lot? What should I do? Where should I go?' In this way Lalita grieved day and night. Instead of enjoying life as a Gandharva's wife, she had to wander everywhere in the thick jungle with her monstrous husband, who had fallen completely under the spell of the king's curse and was wholly engaged in terrible sinful activities. He wandered fitfully across forbidding regions, a oncebeautiful Gandharva demigod now reduced to the ghastly behavior of a man-eater. Utterly distraught to see her dear husband suffer so much in his dreadful condition, Lalita began to cry as she followed his mad journeying.


    ’By good fortune, however, Lalita came upon the sage Srngi one day. He was sitting on the peak of the famous Vindhyacala Hill. Approaching him, she immediately offered the ascetic her respectful obeisances. The sage noticed her bowing down before him and said, '0 most beautiful one, who are you? Whose daughter are you, and why have you come here? Please tell me everything in truth.'


    'Lalita replied, '0 great sage, I am the daughter of the great Gandharva Viradhanva, and my name is Lalita. I roam the forests and plains with my dear husband, whom King Pundarika has cursed to become a man-eating demon. 0 brahmana, I am greatly aggrieved to see his ferocious form and terribly sinful activities. 0 master, please tell me how I can perform some act of atonement on behalf of my husband. What pious act can I perform to free him from this demoniac form, 0 best of brahmanas?'


    ' "The sage replied, '0 heavenly maiden, there is an Ekadashi named Kamada that occurs in the light fortnight of the month of Caitra. It is coming up soon. Whoever fasts on this day has all his desires fulfilled. If you observe this Ekadashi fast according to its rules and regulations and give the merit you thus earn to your husband, he will be freed from the curse at once.' Lalita was overjoyed to hear these words from the sage.


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


    "As soon as Lalita finished speaking, her husband, who stood nearby, was at once freed from the king's curse. He immediately regained his original form as the Gandharva Lalita, a handsome heavenly singer adorned with many beautiful ornaments. Now, with his wife Lalita, he could enjoy even more opulence than before. All this was accomplished by the power and glory of Kamada Ekadashi. At last the Gandharva couple boarded a celestial airplane and ascended to heaven."

    "Lord Shri Krishna continued, '0 Yudhisthira, best of kings, anyone who hears this wonderful narration should certainly observe holy Kamada Ekadashi to the best of his ability, such great merit does it bestow upon the faithful devotee. I have therefore described its glories to you for the benefit of all humanity. There is no better Ekadashi than Kamada Ekadashi. It can eradicate even the sin of killing a brahmana, and it also nullifies demoniac curses and cleanses the consciousness. In all the three worlds, among movable and immovable living entities, there is no better day."


    Thus ends the narration of the glories of Chaitra-sukla Ekadashi or Kamada Ekadashi, from the VarAha PurANa.
     

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