Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja said, "O Vāsudeva, I offer my most humble obeisances unto You. Please now describe to me the Ekādaśī of the dark fortnight of the month of Vaisākha (April-May), including its specific merits and influence."

Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa replied, "O King, in this world and the next, the most auspicious and magnanimous Ekādaśī is Varūthinī Ekādaśī, which occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Vaisākha.

Whosoever observes a complete fast on this sacred day has his sins completely removed, obtains continuous happiness, and achieves all good fortune. Fasting on Varūthinī Ekādaśī makes even an unfortunate woman fortunate. Upon anyone who observes it, this Ekādaśī 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.

"By observing this Ekādaśī properly, King Māndhātā was liberated. Many other kings also benefited from observing it – kings such as Mahārāja Dhundhumāra, in the Ikṣvāku dynasty, who became free from leprosy resulting from the curse that Lord Śiva had imposed upon him as a punishment. Whatever merit one obtains by performing austerities and penances for ten thousand years is achieved by a person who observes Varūthinī Ekādaśī.

The merit one achieves by donating a great amount of gold during a solar eclipse at Kurukṣetra is gained by one who observes this one Ekādaśī with love and devotion, and certainly attains his goals in this life and the next. In short, this Ekādaśī is pure and very enlivening and the destroyer of all sins.

"Better than giving horses in charity is giving elephants, and better than giving elephants is giving land. But better still than giving land 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 or 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, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of God, has said that giving cows in charity is equal to giving food grains. Still better than all these charities is teaching spiritual knowledge to the ignorant. Yet all the merits one can attain by performing all these acts of charity are attained by one who fasts on the Varūthinī Ekādaśī."

"One who lives off the wealth of his daughters suffers a hellish condition until the inundation of the entire universe, O Bhārata. Therefore one should be especially careful not to use the wealth of his daughter. O best of kings, any householder who takes his daughter‟s wealth out of greed, who tries to sell his daughter, or who takes money from the man to whom he has given his daughter in marriage – such a householder becomes a lowly cat in his next life. Therefore it is said that whoever, as a sacred act of charity, gives away in marriage a maiden decorated with various ornaments, and who also gives a dowry with her, obtains merit that cannot be described even by Citragupta, the chief secretary of Yamarāja in the heavenly planets. That very same merit, however, can be easily achieved by one who fasts on the Varūthinī Ekādaśī.

"The following things should be given up on the Daśamī, the day before the Ekādaśī: eating on bell-metal plates, eating any kind of urad-dāl, eating red-lentils, eating chick peas, eating kondo, eating spinach, eating honey, eating in another person‟s house/home, eating more than once and sex.

"On the Ekādaśī itself one should give up the following: gambling, sports, sleeping during the daytime, betal nuts and its leaf, brushing one‟s teeth, spreading rumours, faultfinding, talking to the spiritually fallen, anger, and lying. On the Dvādaśī the day after Ekādaśī, one should give up the following: eating on bell-metal plates, eating urad-dāl, red-lentils, or honey, lying, strenuous exercise or labour, eating more than once, any sexual activity, shaving the body, face or head, smearing oils on one‟s body, and eating in another‟s home."

Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa continued, "Whoever observes the Varūthinī Ekādaśī in this way becomes free from all sinful reactions and returns to the eternal, spiritual abode. One who worships Lord Janārdana on this Ekādaśī by staying awake throughout the entire night, also becomes free from all his previous sins and attains to the spiritual abode. Therefore, O king, he who is frightened of his accumulated sins and their attendant reactions, and thus of death itself, must observe Varūthinī Ekādaśī by fasting very strictly. Finally, O noble Yudhiṣṭhira, he who hears or reads this glorification of the sacred Varūthinī Ekādaśī obtains the merit earned by donating one thousand cows in charity, and at last he returns home, to the abode of Lord Viṣṇu."

Thus ends the Vṛjavāsī narration of the glories of Vaisākha-kṛṣṇa Ekādaśī, or Varūthinī Ekādaśī, from the Bhaviṣya-uttara Purāṇa.


Kondo a grain that is primarily eaten by poor people and that resembles poppy seeds or agarpanthas seeds.

Text taken from Ekādaśī - The Day of Lord Hari, Mahāmandelswar Mahant, Kṛṣṇa Balarām Swāmi

Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja said, "O Janārdana, what is the name of the Ekādaśī that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Vaisākha (April-May) ? What is the process for observing it properly? Kindly narrate all of these details to me. 

Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa replied, "O blessed son of Dharma, what Vasiṣṭha Muni once told to Lord Rāmacandra I shall now describe to you. Please listen to Me attentively. 

"Lord Rāmacandra asked Vasiṣṭha 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 Sitā, and so I wish to hear from you about how My suffering can be ended.' 

"The sage Vasiṣṭha replied, 'O Lord Rāma, O You whose intelligence is so keen, simply by remembering Your name one can cross the ocean of the material world. You have questioned me in order to benefit all of humanity and fulfill everyone's desires. I shall now describe that day of fasting which purifies the whole world. 

'O Rāma, that day is known as Vaisākha-śukla Ekādaśī, which falls on Dvādaśī. It removes all sins and is famous as Mohinī Ekādaśī. Truly, O dear Rāma, the merit of this Ekādaśī frees the fortunate soul who observes it from the network of illusion. Therefore, if You want to relieve Your suffering(s), observe this auspicious Ekādaśī perfectly, for it removes all obstacles from ones path and relieves the greatest miseries. Kindly listen as I describe its glories, because for one who even just hears about this auspicious Ekādaśī, the greatest sins are nullified. 

'On the banks of River Sarasvatī there was once a beautiful city named Bhadrāvati, which was ruled by King Dyutīmān. O Rāma, that steadfast, truthful, and highly intelligent king was born in the dynasty of the Moon. In his kingdom was a merchant named Dhanapāla, who possessed a great deal of wealth of food grains and money. He was also very pious. Dhanapāla 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 Bhadrāvati. He was an excellent devotee of Lord Viṣṇu and had five sons: Sumāna, Dyutīmān, Medhāvī, Sukṛtī and Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī. 

'Unfortunately, his son Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī always engaged in greatly sinful activities, such as sleeping with prostitutes and associating with similar degraded persons. He enjoyed illicit sex, gambling, and many other varieties of acts aimed at gratifying the senses. He disrespected the demigods, the brāhmaṇas, the forefathers and other elders of the community, as well as his family's guests. The evil-hearted Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī spent up his father's wealth indiscriminately, always feasting on untouchable foods and drinking alcohol to excess. 

'One day Dhanapāla kicked Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī out of the house after he saw him walking along the road arm-in-arm with a known prostitute. From then on all Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī's relatives were highly critical of him and distanced themselves from him also. After he had sold all of his ornaments and become destitute, the prostitute also abandoned him and insulted him because of his poverty. 

“ 'Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī was now full of anxiety, and also hungry. He thought, "What should I do ? Where should I go ? How can I maintain myself ? He then began to steal. The king's constables arrested him, but when they learned who it was, and that his father was the famous Dhanapāla, they released him. He was caught and released in this way many times. But at last, sick of his arrogance and total disrespect for others, and their property, the ill-mannered Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī was apprehended, handcuffed, and then beaten. After whipping him, the king's marshals warned him, "O evil minded one, there is no place for you in this kingdom. 

'However, Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī was freed from his tribulation by his father and immediately thereafter entered the dense forest. He wandered here and there, hungry and thirsty and suffering greatly. Eventually he began killing the jungle animals, the lions, deer, boars, and even wolves for food. Always ready in his hand was his bow, always on his shoulder was his quiver full of arrows. He also killed many birds, such as chakoras, peacocks, kankas, doves and pigeons. He unhesitatingly slaughtered many species of birds and animals to maintain his sinful way of life, the sinful results accumulating more and more each day. On account of his previous sins, he was now immersed in an ocean of great sin that was so relentless that it appeared that he could not get out. 

“ 'Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī was always miserable and anxious, but one day, during the month of Vaisākha, by the force of some of his past merit he chanced upon the sacred āśrama of Kauṇḍinya Muni. The great sage had just finished bathing in the River Ganges and water was dripping from him still. Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī had the great good fortune to touch some of those droplets of water that were falling from the great sage's wet clothing. Instantly Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī was freed of his ignorance, and his sinful reactions were reduced. Offering his humble obeisances to Kauṇḍinya Muni, Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī prayed to him with joined palms; "O great brāhmaṇa, please describe to me some of the atonement I may perform without too much endeavour. I have committed so many sins in my life, and these have now made me very poor. 

“ 'The great Ṛṣi replied, "O son, listen with great attention, for by hearing me your life will change, and you will become free of all your remaining sins. In the light fortnight of this very month, Vaisākha (April-May) there occurs the sacred Mohinī Ekādaśī, 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 Ekādaśī, which is so dear to Lord Hari, you will be freed from all the sinful reactions of many, many births. 

“ 'Hearing these words with great joy, Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī promised to observe a fast on Mohinī Ekādaśī according to the sage's instructions and direction. O best of kings, O Rāma Bhagavān, by fasting completely on Mohinī Ekādaśī, the once sinful Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī, the prodigal son of the merchant Dhanapāla, became sinless. Afterwards he achieved a beautiful transcendental form and, free at last of all obstacles, rode upon the carrier of Lord Viṣṇu, Garuḍa, to the Supreme abode of the Lord. 

“ 'O Rāma, the fast day of Mohinī Ekādaśī removes the darkest illusory attachments to material existence. There is thus no better fast day in all the three worlds than this.' 

Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa concluded, "and so, O Yudhiṣṭhira, 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 the Mohinī Ekādaśī. And He who hears and studies the glories of Mohinī Ekādaśī achieves the merit of giving away one thousand cows in charity.

Thus ends the Vṛjavāsī narration of the glories of Vaisākha-śukla Ekādaśī, or Mohinī Ekādaśī, from the Kūrma Purāṇa.

Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja said, "O Janārdana, what is the name of the Ekādaśī that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Jyeṣṭha (May-June)? I wish to hear from You the glories of this sacred day of Hari. Please narrate everything to me" 

Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa said, "O king, your inquiry is wonderful because the answer will benefit the whole human society. This Ekādaśī is so sublime and meritorious that even the greatest sins can be erased by its potency. O great king, the name of this unlimitedly meritorious Ekādaśī is Aparā Ekādaśī. Whoever fasts on this holy day becomes famous all over the universe. Even such sins as killing a brāhmaṇa, a cow or an embryo; blasphemy; or having sex with another man‟s wife are completely eradicated by observing Aparā Ekādaśī. 

"O king people who bear false witness are most sinful. A person who falsely or sarcastically glorifies another; one who cheats while weighing something on a scale; one who fails to execute the duties of his varṇa or āśrama (an unqualified man‟s posing as a brāhmaṇa, 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 āyurvedic doctor. All these are surely as bad as persons who bears false witness and they are all destined for hellish punishments. But simply by observing Aparā Ekādaśī, all such sinners become completely free of their sinful reactions. 

"Warriors who fall from their kṣatriya-dharma and flee the battlefield go to a ferocious hell. But, O Yudhiṣṭhira, even such a fallen kṣatriya, if he observes fasting on the Aparā Ekādaśī, is freed of that great sin and goes to heaven. 

"That disciple is the greatest sinner who, after receiving a proper spiritual education from his spiritual master, turns around and blasphemes him. Such a so-called disciple suffers unlimitedly. But even he, rascal though he be, if he simply observes Aparā Ekādaśī, can attain to the spiritual world. Listen, O king, as I describe to you further glories of this Ekādaśī. 

"The merit attained by one who performs all of the following acts of piety is equal to the merit achieved by one who observes Aparā Ekādaśī: bathing three times daily in Puṣkara-kṣetra during Kārtika (October-November); bathing at Prayāg in the month of Māgh (January-February) when the sun is in the zodiac of Capricorn; rendering service to Lord Śiva at Varāṇasī during Śiva-rātri; offering oblations to one‟s forefathers at Gayā; bathing in the sacred River Gautamī when Jupiter transits Leo; having darśana of Lord Śiva at Kedārnātha; seeing Lord Badrinātha when the Sun transits the sign of Aquarius; and bathing at the time of a solar eclipse at Kurukṣetra 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 Aparā Ekādaśī 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, Aparā Ekādaśī is an axe that cuts down the fully matured forest full of trees of sinful deeds, it is a forest fire that burns sins as if they were kindling firewood, it is the sun blazing before one‟s dark misdeeds, and it is a lion stalking the meek deer of impiety. Therefore, O Yudhiṣṭhira, whoever truly fears his past and present sins must observe Aparā Ekādaśī 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 Aparā Ekādaśī and worship the Supreme Personality of God, Śrī Trivikrama. One who does so is freed of all his sins and promoted to the abode of Lord Viṣṇu. 

"O Bhārata, for the benefit of all humanity I have thus described to you this the importance of the holy Aparā Ekādaśī. Anyone who hears or reads this description is certainly freed from all kinds of sins, O king. 

Thus ends the Vṛjavāsī narration of the glories of Jyeṣṭha-kṛṣṇa Ekādaśī or Aparā Ekādaśī, from the Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa. 


1. Puṣkara-kṣetra, in western India, is the only place on Earth where a bonafide temple of Lord Brahmā is to be found. 

2. The Vedas declare, narAh budbudA samAh: "The human form of life is like a bubble in water". In water, many bubbles form and then suddenly burst a few seconds later. Thus if a person does not utilize his rare human body to serve the Supreme Personality of God, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, his life has no more value or permanence than a bubble in water. 

Therefore, as the Lord herein recommends, we should serve Him by fasting on Hari-vAsara, or Ekādaśī. 

In this regard, Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada writes in the Śrīmad Bhagavatam (SB 2:1:4 purport) "The great ocean of material nature is tossing with the waves of time, and the so-called living conditioned are something like foaming bubbles, which appear before us as bodily self, wife, children, society, countrymen, etc. Due to a lack of knowledge of self, we become victimized by the force of ignorance and thus spoil the valuable energy of human life in a vain search after permanent living conditions, which are impossible in this material world." 

Once Bhīmasena, the younger brother of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, asked the great sage Śrīla Vyāsadeva, the grandfather of the Pāṇḍavas, if it is possible to return to the spiritual world without having observed all the rules and regulations of the Ekādaśī fasts. 

Bhīmasena said, "O greatly intelligent and learned grandfather, my brother Yudhiṣṭhira, my dear mother Kuntī, and my beloved wife Draupadī, as well as Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva, fast completely on each Ekādaśī and strictly follow all the rules, guidelines and regulative injunctions of that sacred day. Being very religious, they always tell me that I should also fast on that day too. But, O grandfather, I tell them that I cannot live without eating, because unbearable to me. I can give widely in charity and worship Śrī Keśava properly, but I cannot be asked to fast on Ekādaśī. Please tell me how I can obtain the same merits result without fasting." 

Hearing these words, Śrīla Vyāsadeva replied, "If you want to go to the heavenly planets and avoid the hellish planets, you should indeed observe a fast on both the light and dark Ekādaśīs." 

Bhīma replied, "O great intelligent grandfather, please listen to my plea. O greatest of munis, since I cannot live if I eat only once in a day, how can I possibly live if I fast completely? Within my stomach burns a special fire named vṛka, the fire of digestion. 

nly when I eat to my full satisfaction does the fire in my stomach become satisfied. O great sage, I might possibly be able to fast only once, so I beg that you tell me of an Ekādaśī that is worthy of my fasting and that includes all other Ekādaśīs. I shall faithfully observe that fast and hopefully still become eligible for liberation." 

Śrīla Vyāsadeva replied, O king, you have heard from me about the various kinds of occupational duties, such as elaborate Vedic ceremonies and pujas. In the Kali-yuga, however, no one will be able to observe all these occupational and functional duties properly. I shall therefore tell you how, at practically no expense, one can endure some small austerity and achieve the greatest benefit and resultant happiness. The essence of what is written in the Vedic literatures known as the Purāṇas is that one should not eat on either the dark or light fortnight Ekādaśīs. One who fasts on Ekādaśīs saved from going to the hellish planets." 

Hearing Śrīla Vyāsadeva's words, Bhīmasena, the strongest of all warriors, became frightened and began to shake like a leaf on a banyan tree in a strong wind. The frightened Bhīmasena then said, "O grandfather, what should I do? I am completely unable and ill equipped to fast twice in a month throughout the year! Please tell me of the one fasting day that will bestow the greatest benefit upon me!" 

Vyāsadeva replied, "Without drinking even water, you should fast on the Ekādaśī that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Jyeṣṭha (May-June) when the sun travels in the sign of Gemini and Taurus, According to learned personalities, on this day one may bathe and perform ācamana for purification. But while performing ācamana 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, which one should form to resemble a cow's ear. If one drinks more water than this, he might as well have drunk wine. 

"One must certainly not eat anything, for if he does so he breaks his fast. This rigid fast is in effect from sunrise on the Ekādaśī day to sunrise on the Dvādaśī day. If a person endeavours to observe this great fast very strictly, he easily achieves the result of observing all twenty-four other Ekādaśī fasts throughout the entire year. 

"On Dvādaśī the devotee should bathe early in the morning. Then, according to the prescribed rules, guidelines and regulative injunctions, and of course depending on his ability, he should give some gold and water to worthy brāhmaṇas. Finally, he should cheerfully honour prasādam with a brāhmaṇa. 

"O Bhīmasena, one who can fast on this special Ekādaśī in this manner reaps the benefit of having fasted on every Ekādaśī during the year. There is no doubt of this, nor should there be. O Bhima, now hear the specific merit one gets by fasting on this Ekādaśī. The Supreme Lord Keśava, 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 Ekādaśī, without taking even drinking water or eating, becomes free of all sinful reactions, and that one who observes the difficult nirjala fast on Jyeṣṭha-śukla Ekādaśī truly reaps the benefit of all other Ekādaśī fasts. 

"O Bhīmasena, 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 Vedik principles and ceremonies, how will there be any means of purifying the self? But there is the opportunity to fast on Ekādaśī and become free of all one's past sins. 

"O son of Vāyu, what more can I say to you? You should not eat during the Ekādaśīs that occur during the dark and light fortnights, and you should even give up drinking water on the particularly auspicious Ekādaśī day of Jyeṣṭha-śukla Ekādaśī. O Vṛkodara, whoever fasts on this Ekādaśī receives the merits of bathing in all the places of pilgrimage, giving all kinds of charities to worthy persons, and fasting on all the dark and light Ekādaśīs throughout the year, in one go. Of this there is no doubt. O tiger among men, whoever fasts on this Ekādaśī truly becomes a great person and achieves all manner of opulence and wealth, grains, strength, and health. And at the fearful moment of death, the terrible Yamadūtas, whose complexions are yellow and black and who brandish huge maces and twirl mystic pāśa ropes in the air for binding their victims, will refuse to approach him. Rather, such a faithful soul will at once be taken to the supreme abode of Lord Viṣṇu by the Viṣṇu-dūtas, whose transcendentally beautiful forms are clothed in gorgeous yellowish garments and who each hold a disk, club, conch and lotus in their four hands, resembling Lord Viṣṇu. It is to gain all these benefits that one should certainly fast on this very auspicious and important Ekādaśī, even from water." 

When the other Pāṇḍavas heard about the benefits to be gained by following Jyeṣṭha-śukla Ekādaśī, they resolved to observe it exactly as their grandfather Śrīla Vyāsadeva had explained it to their brother, Bhīmasena. All the Pāṇḍavas observed it by refraining from eating or drinking anything, and thus this day is also known as Pāṇḍava Nirjalā Dvādaśī. 

Śrīla Vyāsadeva continued, O Bhīmasena, therefore you should observe this important fast to remove all your past sinful reactions. You should pray to the Supreme Personality of God, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa in this way making your sankalpa declaration, `O Lord of all the demigods, O Supreme Personality of God, today I shall observe Ekādaśī without taking any water. O unlimited Ananta, I shall break fast on the next day, Dvādaśī.' Thereafter, to remove all his sins, the devotee should honour this Ekādaśī fast with full faith in the Lord and with full control over his senses. Whether his sins are equal in volume to Mount Sumeru or to Mandarācala Hill, if he or she observes this Ekādaśī, the sins that have been accumulated all become nullified and are burned to ashes. Such is the great power of this Ekādaśī. 

"O best of human beings, although a person should also give water and cows in charity during this Ekādaśī, if for some reason or other he cannot, then he should give a qualified brāhmaṇa some cloth or a pot filled with water. Indeed, the merit achieved by giving water alone equals that gained by giving gold ten million times a day. 

"O Bhīma, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa has said that whoever observes this Ekādaśī should take a Holy bath, give charity to a worthy person, chant the Lord's Holy names on a japa-māla, and perform some kind of recommended sacrifice, for by doing these things on this day one receives imperishable benefits. There is no need to perform any other kind of religious duty. Observance of this Ekādaśī fast alone promotes one to the supreme abode of Śrī Viṣṇu. O best of the Kurus, if one donates gold, cloth, or anything else on this day, the merit one obtains is imperishable. 

"Remember, whosoever eats any grains on Ekādaśī becomes contaminated by sin and verily eats only sin. In effect, he has already become a dog-eater, and after death he suffers a hellish existence. But he who observes this sacred Jyeṣṭha-śukla Ekādaśī and gives something in charity certainly achieves liberation from the cycle of repeated birth and death and attains to the supreme abode. Observing this Ekādaśī, which is merged with Dvādaśī, frees one from the horrible sin of killing a brāhmaṇa, drinking liquor and wine, becoming envious of one's spiritual master and ignoring his instructions, and continually telling lies. 

"Furthermore, O best of beings, any man or woman who observes this fast properly and worships the Supreme Lord Jalaśāyī (He who sleeps on the water), and who on the next day satisfies a qualified brāhmaṇa with nice sweets and a donation of cows and money - such a person certainly pleases the Supreme Lord Vāsudeva, so much so that one hundred previous generations in his family undoubtedly go to the Supreme Lord's abode, even though they may have been very sinful, of bad character, and guilty of suicide, etc. Indeed, one who observes this amazing Ekādaśī rides on a glorious celestial airplane (vimāna) to the Lord's abode. 

"One who on this day gives a brāhmaṇa a waterpot, 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, Śrī Viṣṇu. Whoever performs the śrāddha ceremony to the forefathers on the dark-moon day called amāvasyā, 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 Ekādaśī.

"One should clean his teeth properly and, without eating or drinking, observe this Ekādaśī to please the Supreme Lord, Keśava. On the day after Ekādaśī one should worship the Supreme Personality of God in His form as Trivikrama by offering Him water, flowers, incense, and a brightly burning lamp. Then the devotee should pray from the heart, `O God of gods, O deliverer of everyone, O Hṛṣīkeśa, master of the senses, kindly bestow upon me the gift of liberation, though I can offer you nothing greater than this humble pot filled with water.' Then the devotee should donate the waterpot to a brāhmaṇa.

"O Bhīmasena, after this Ekādaśī fast and donating the recommended items according to his ability, the devotee should feed brāhmaṇas and thereafter honour prasādam silently."

Śrīla Vyāsadeva concluded, "I strongly urge you to fast on this auspicious, purifying, sin-devouring Dvādaśī in just the way I have outlined. Thus you will be completely freed of all sins and reach the supreme abode."

Thus ends the Vṛjavāsī narration of the glories of Jyeṣṭha-śukla Ekādaśī, or Bhīmaseni-nirjalā Ekādaśī, from the Brahmā-vaivarta Purāṇa.

Agni the fire-deity, descends from Lord Viṣṇu through Brahmā, from Brahmā to Angirasa, from Angirasa to

Brihaspathi, and from Brihaspathi to Samyu, who was Agni'' father. He is the gatekeeper in charge of Nairritti, the south-eastern direction. He is one of the eight material elements, and Parikshit Mahārāja, he is very expert at examining things. He examined Mahārāja Shibi once by turning into a dove (for further information on this incident see Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's Śrīmad Bhagavatam commentary to 1:12:20. Purport.)

Agni is divided into three categories; DavAgni, the fire in wood, JatharAgni, the fire in the digestion in the stomach, and VadavAgni, the fire that creates fog when hot and cold streams mix in for example the ocean. Another name for the fire of digestion is Vrika. It is this powerful fire that resided in Bhima's stomach.

As stated in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavat MahāPurāṇam) 12:13:12 and 15.) the Bhagavat Purāṇam is itself the essence or cream of all VedAnta philosophy (sara-vedAnta-sAram), and the Śrīmad Bhagavatam's unequivocal message is that of full surrender to Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and the rendering of loving devotional service to Him. Observing

Ekādaśī strictly is a great aid in that process, and here Śrīla Vyāsadeva is simply stressing to Bhima the importance of the Ekādaśī vratam.

Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja said, "O Supreme Lord, I have heard the glories of the Nirjalā Ekādaśī, which occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Jyeṣṭha. Now I wish to hear from You about the Ekādaśī that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Āṣāḍha (June - July). Kindly describe to me all about it in detail, O killer of the Madhu demon." 

The Supreme Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, then replied, "O king, I shall indeed tell you about the best of all fasting days, the Ekādaśī that comes during the dark part of the month of Āṣāḍha. Famous as Yoginī Ekādaśī, it removes all kinds of sinful reactions and awards supreme liberation. 

"O best of kings, this Ekādaśī 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 Purāṇas. 

"The king of Alakāpuri - Kuvera, the treasurer of the demigods - was a steadfast devotee of lord Śiva. He employed a servant named Hemamālī as his personal gardener. Hemamālī, a Yakṣa like Kuvera, was very lustfully attracted to his gorgeous wife, Swarūpavatī, who had large, enchanting eyes. 

" Hemamālī‟s daily duty was to visit Mānasarovara Lake and bring back flowers for his master, Kuvera, with which he would use them in the puja offerings to lord Śiva. One day, after picking the flowers, Hemamālī went to his wife instead of returning directly to his master and fulfilling his duty by bringing the flowers for the puja. Absorbed in loving affairs of a bodily nature with his wife, he forgot to return to the abode of Kuvera. 

"O king, while Hemamālī was enjoying with his wife, Kuvera had begun the worship of lord Śiva as normal in his palace and soon discovered that there were no flowers ready to be offered in the midday pūjā. The lack of such an important item angered the great demigod even more, and he asked a Yakṣa messenger, „Why has dirty-hearted Hemamālī not come with the daily offering of flowers? Go find out the exact reason and report back to me in person with your findings.‟ The Yakṣa returned and told Kuvera, „O dear lord, Hemamālī is freely enjoying sex with his wife.‟ 

"Kuvera became extremely angry when he heard this and at once summoned lowly Hemamālī before him. Knowing that he had been remiss and dawdling in his duty and exposed as meditating on his wife‟s body, Hemamālī approached his master in great fear. The gardener first paid his obeisances and then stood before his lord, whose eyes had become red with anger and whose lips trembled in rage. So enraged, Kuvera cried out to Hemamālī, „O you sinful rascal! O destroyer of religious principles! You are a walking offense to the devas! I therefore curse you to suffer from white leprosy and to become separated from your beloved wife! Only great suffering is deservedly yours! O lowborn fool, leave this place immediately and betake yourself to the lower planets to suffer!‟ 

"And so Hemamālī fell at once from grace in Alakāpurī and became ill with the terrible affliction of white leprosy. He awoke in a dense and fearful forest, where there was nothing to eat or drink. Thus he passed his days in misery, unable to sleep at night due to pain. He suffered in both winter and summer season, but because he continued to worship lord Śiva himself 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 here and there, over mountains and across plains, Hemamālī eventually came upon the vast Himalayan mountain ranges. There he had the wonderful good fortune to come upon the great saint Mārkaṇḍeya Ṛṣi, the best of ascetics, whose duration of life it is said, extends to seven of the days of Brahmā. Mārkaṇḍeya Ṛṣi was seated peacefully at his āśrāma, looking as effulgent as a second Brahmā. Hemamālī, feeling very sinful, stood at a distance from the magnificent sage and offered his humble obeisances and choice prayers. Always interested in the welfare of others, Mārkaṇḍeya Ṛṣi saw the leper and called him near, "O you, what sort of sinful deeds have you done to earn this dreadful affliction?‟ 

"Hearing this, Hemamālī replied, „Dear sir, I am a Yakṣa servant of Lord Kuvera, and my name is Hemamālī. It was my daily service to pick the flowers from the Mānasarovara Lake for my master‟s worship of Lord Śiva, but one day I was negligent and was late in returning with the offering because I had become overwhelmed with lusty passion for enjoying bodily pleasures with my wife. When my master discovered why I was late, he cursed me in great anger. Thus I am now bereft of my home, my wife and my service. 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 and always carry the interest of others uppermost in their hearts. That is their nature. O best of sages, please help me!‟ 

"Softhearted Mārkaṇḍeya Ṛṣi 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 Ekādaśī that comes during the dark fortnight of the month of Āṣāḍha, you will surely be freed of this terrible curse.‟ Upon hearing these blessed words from the renowned sage, Hemamālī fell to the ground in complete gratitude and offered him his humble obeisances again and again. But Mārkaṇḍeya Ṛṣi stood there and lifted Hemamālī up, filling him with inexpressible happiness. 

"Thus, as the sage had instructed him, Hemamālī dutifully observed the Ekādaśī fast, and by its influence he again became a handsome Yakṣa. Then he returned home, where he lived very happily with his wife." 

Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa concluded, "So, you can readily see, O Yudhiṣṭhira that fasting on Yoginī Ekādaśī is very powerful and auspicious. Whatever merit one obtains by feeding eighty-eight thousand pious brāhmaṇas is also obtained simply by observing a strict fast on Yoginī Ekādaśī. For one who fasts on this sacred Ekādaśī, she destroys heaps of past sinful reactions and makes him most pious. O King, thus I have explained to you the purity of Yoginī Ekādaśī." 

Thus ends the Vṛjavāsī narration of the glories of Āṣāḍha-kṛṣṇa Ekādaśī, or Yoginī Ekādaśī, from the Brahmā-vaivarta Purāṇa. 

Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja said, "O Keśava, what is the name of that Ekādaśī that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Āṣāḍha (June-July)? Who is the worshipable Deity for the auspicious day, and what is the process for observing this event?

Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa replied, "O caretaker of this Earthly planet, I shall gladly tell you a wonderful historical event that the deva Lord Brahmā once narrated to his son Nāradaji.

"One day Nārada asked his father, „What is the name of the Ekādaśī that comes during the light part of the month of Āṣāḍha? „Kindly tell me how I should observe this Ekādaśī and thus please the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu.‟

"Lord Brahmā replied, „O great saintly orator, O best of all sages, O purest devotee of Lord Viṣṇu, your question is as usual excellent for all mankind. There is nothing better than Ekādaśī, the day of Lord Śrī Hari, in this or any other world. It nullifies even the worst sins if observed properly. For this reason I shall tell you about this Āṣāḍha-śukla Ekādaśī.

„Fasting on this Ekādaśī purifies one of all sins and fulfills all ones desires. Therefore, whoever neglects to observe this sacred fast day is a good candidate for entering into hell. Āṣāḍha-śukla Ekādaśī is also famous as Padmā Ekādaśī. Just to please Hṛṣīkeśa, the master of the senses, one should fast on this day. Listen carefully, O Nārada, as I relate to you a wonderful historical event that was recorded in the scriptures regarding this Ekādaśī. Just hearing this account destroys all kinds of sins, along with all obstacles on the path to spiritual perfection.

„O son, there was once a saintly king in the Sun dynasty whose name was Māndhātā. Because he always stood up for the truth, he was appointed emperor. He took care of his subjects as though they were his very own family members and children. On account of his piety and great religiosity, there was no pestilence, drought, or disease of any kind in his entire kingdom. All his subjects were not only free of all kinds of disturbances but also were very wealthy. The king‟s own treasury was free of any ill-gotten moneys, and thus he ruled happily for many years.

„Once, however, because of some sin in his kingdom, there was a drought for three years. The subjects found themselves beset by famine also. The lack of food grains made it impossible for them to perform the prescribed Vedic sacrifices, offer oblations to their forefathers and to the devas, engage in any ritualistic worship, or even study the Vedic literatures. Finally, they all came before their beloved king in a great assembly and addressed him thus, „O king, you always see to our welfare, so we humbly beg your assistance now. Everyone and everything in this world needs water. Without water, almost everything is rendered useless or dead. The Vedas call water nāra, and because the Supreme Personality of God sleeps upon water, His another name is Nārāyaṇa. God makes His own abode on water and takes His rest there. In His form as the clouds, the Supreme Lord is present throughout the sky and pours forth rains, from which grow the grains that maintain every living entity.

“ „O king, the severe drought has caused a great lack of valuable grains; thus we are all miserable, and the population is decreasing as people die off or leave your kingdom. O best ruler on Earth, please find some solutions to this problem and bring us to peace and prosperity once again.”

“ „The king replied, "You speak the truth, for grains are like Brahman, the Absolute Truth, who lives within grains and thereby sustains all beings. Indeed, it is because of grains that the entire world lives. Now, why is there a terrible drought in our kingdom? The holy scriptures discuss this subject very thoroughly. If a king (or head of the country) is irreligious, both he and his subjects suffer. I have meditated upon the cause of our problem for a long time, but after searching my past and present character I can honestly say that I find no sin. Still, for the good of all you subjects, I shall try to remedy the situation.”

Thinking in this way, King Māndhātā 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 āśramas and inquiring about how to resolve the crisis in his kingdom. At last he came upon the āśrama of one of my other sons, Aṅgirā Muni, whose effulgence lit up all directions. Seated in his hermitage, Aṅgirā looked like a second Brahmā. King Māndhātā was very pleased to see that exalted sages, whose senses were completely under control.

„The king immediately dismounted his horse and offered his respectful obeisances at the lotus feet of Aṅgirā Ṛṣi. Then the king joined his palms and prayed for the Muni‟s blessings. That saintly person reciprocated by blessing the king with sacred mantras; then he asked him about the welfare of the seven limbs of his kingdom.

„After telling the sage how the seven limbs of his kingdom were situated, King Māndhātā asked the sage about his own situation, and if he was happy. Then Aṅgirā Ṛṣi asked the king why he had undertaken such a difficult journey into the forest, and the king told him of the affliction his kingdom was suffering. The king said, "O great sage, I am ruling and maintaining my kingdom while following the Vedic injunctions, and thus I do not know the reason for the drought. To solve this mystery, I have approached you for help. Please help me relieve the suffering of my subjects.

„Aṅgirā Ṛṣi said to the king, „The present age, Satya yuga, is the best of all ages, for in this age Dharma stands on all four legs. In this age everyone respects brāhmaṇas as the topmost members of society. Also, everyone fulfills his occupational duties, and only twice-born brāhmaṇas are allowed to perform Vedic austerities and penances. Although this is a standard, O lion among kings, there is one śudra who is unlawfully performing the rites of austerity and penance in your kingdom. This is why there is no rain in your land. You should therefore punish this laborer with death, for by so doing you will remove the contamination inflicted by his actions and restore peace to your subjects.

“ „The king then replied, "How can I kill an offense-less performer of austerity and sacrifice? Please give me some spiritual solution.”

„The great sage Aṅgirā said, "O king, you should observe a fast on the Ekādaśī that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Āṣāḍha. This auspicious day is named Padmā Ekādaśī, and by its influence plentiful rains and thus grains and other foodstuffs will surely return to your kingdom. This Ekādaśī bestows perfection upon its faithful observers, removes all kinds of bad elements, and destroys all obstacles on the path to perfection. O king, you, your relatives, and your subjects should all observe this sacred Ekādaśī fast. Then everything in your kingdom will undoubtedly return to normal.”

„Upon hearing these words, the king offered his obeisances and then returned to his palace.

When the Padmā Ekādaśī arrived, King Māndhātā assembled all the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiṣyas and śudras in his kingdom and instructed them to strictly observe this important fast day. After they had observed it, the rains fell, just as the sage had predicted, and in due course of time there were abundant crops and a rich harvest of grain. By the mercy of the Supreme Lord Hṛṣīkeśa, the master of the senses, all the subjects of King Māndhātā became extremely happy and prosperous.

„Therefore, O Nārada, everyone should observe this Ekādaśī fast very strictly, for it bestows all kinds of happiness, as well as ultimate liberation, upon the faithful devotee‟

Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa concluded, "My dear Yudhiṣṭhira, Padmā Ekādaśī is so powerful that one who simply reads or hears its glories becomes completely sinless. O Pāṇḍava, one who wishes to please Me should strictly observe this Ekādaśī, which is also known as Deva-sayani Ekādaśī. O lion among kings, Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, whoever wants liberation should regularly observe a fast on this Ekādaśī which is also the day when the Cāturmāsya fast begins.”

Thus ends the Vṛjavāsī narration of the glories of the Āṣāḍha-śukla Ekādaśī - also known as Padmā Ekādaśī or Deva-śayanī Ekādaśī - from the Bhaviṣya-uttara Purāṇa.

It is said that three things cannot exist without water; pearls, human beings, and flour. The essential quality of a pearl is its luster, and that is due to water. The essence of a man is his semen, whose main constituent is water. And without water, flour cannot be made into dough and then be cooked into various forms of bread, offered and eaten. Sometimes water is called jala-nArAyaNa, the Supreme Lord in the form of this life sustaining substance - water.

The seven limbs of a king‟s domain are the king himself; the ministers; his treasury; his military forces; his allies; the brāhmaṇas; the sacrificial performances performed in the kingdom and the needs of the subjects under his care.

The four legs of dharma are Truthfulness, Austerity, Mercy, and Cleanliness.

Deva-sayani, or Viṣṇu-sayani, indicates the day when Lord Viṣṇu goes to sleep with all the devas (demigods). It is said that after this day one should not perform any new auspicious ceremonies until DevotthAni Ekādaśī (Haribodhinī (Probodhini) Devotthāni (Utthana) Ekādaśī), which occurs during the month of KArtika (October - November), because the devas (demigods), being asleep, cannot be invited to the sacrificial arena and because the Sun is traveling along its Southern course (Dakshinayanam).

Text taken from Ekādaśī - The Day of Lord Hari, Mahāmandelswar Mahant, Kṛṣṇa Balarām Swāmi

Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira said, "O Supreme Lord, I have heard from You the glories of fasting on Deva-śayanī Ekādaśī, which occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Āṣāḍha. Now I would like to hear from You the glories of the Ekādaśī that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Śrāvaṇa (July -August). O Govinda, please be merciful to me and explain its glories. O Vāsudeva, I offer my humble obeisances unto You. 

The Supreme Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, replied, "O King, please listen attentively as I describe the auspicious influence of this holy fast (vrata) day, which removes all sins. Nārada Muni once asked Lord Brahmā about this same topic. 'O regent of all,' said Nāradaji, 'O you who sit upon a water born lotus throne, please tell me the name of the Ekādaśī that occurs during the dark fortnight of the sacred month of Śrāvaṇa. Please also tell me which Deity is to be worshipped on that holy day, the process one must follow to observe it, and the merit it awards.' 

Lord Brahmā replied, 'My dear son Nārada, for the benefit of all humanity I shall happily tell you everything you wish to know, for just hearing the glories of the Kāmikā Ekādaśī 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 Gadādhara, who holds conchshell, disc, club and lotus in His hands and who is also known as Śrīdhara, Hari, Viṣṇu, Mādhava, and Madhusūdana. And the blessings achieved by such a person / devotee, who worships Lord Viṣṇu exclusively are far greater than those achieved by one who takes a sacred bath in the Ganges at Kāśī (Vārāṇasī), in the forest of Naimiśāraṇya, or at Puśkara, where I am worshipped. But one who observes this Kāmikā Ekādaśī and also worships Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa achieves greater merit than one who has darśana of Lord Kedāranātha in the Himālayas, or one who bathes at Kurukṣetra during a solar eclipse, or one who donates the whole Earth in charity, including its forests and oceans, or one who bathes in the River Gaṇḍakī or the River Godāvari on a full moon (purnima) day that falls on a Monday when Leo and Jupiter are conjoined. 

“ 'Observing Kāmikā Ekādaśī bestows the same merit as donating a milk-cow and her auspicious calf, along with their feed. On this all auspicious day, whosoever worships Lord Śrīdhara-deva, Viṣṇu, is glorified by all the devas, Gandharvas, Pannagas, and Nāgas. 

“ 'Those who are afraid of their past sins and completely immersed in sinful material life should at least observe this best of Ekādaśīs according to their ability and thus attain liberation. This Ekādaśī is the purest of all days and the most powerful for removing sins of the native. O Nārada ji, Lord Śrī Hari Himself once said about this Ekādaśī, "One who fasts on Kāmikā Ekādaśī attains much more merit than one who studies all the spiritual literatures.” 

“ 'Anyone who fasts on this particular day remains awake throughout the night will never experience the anger of Yamarāja, death personified. Whoever observes Kāmikā Ekādaśī will not have to suffer future births, and in the past many yogīs who fasted on this day went to the spiritual world. One should therefore follow in their auspicious footsteps and strictly observe a fast on this Ekādaśī. 

'Whosoever worships Lord Śrī Hari with tulasī 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. Whosoever offers Lord Śrī Hari but a single leaf from the tulasī tree attains as much merit as one who gives away in charity two hundred grams of gold and eight hundred grams of silver. The Supreme Personality of God is more pleased by one who offers Him a single tulasī leaf than by one who worships Him with pearls, rubies, topaz, diamonds, lapis lazuli, sapphires, gomedā stones, cat's eye gems, and coral. One who offers Lord Keśava newly grown mañjarīs from the tulasī plant gets rid of all the sins he has committed during this or any other lifetime. Indeed, mere darśana of tulasī on Kāmikā Ekādaśī removes all sins, and merely touching her and praying to her removes all kinds of disease. One who waters tulasī devi need never fear the Lord of death, Yamarāja. One who plants or transplants tulasī on this days will eventually reside with Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa in His own abode. To Śrīmatī Tulasī devi, who awards liberation in devotional service, one should therefore daily offer one's full obeisances. 

“ 'Even Citragupta, Yamarāja's secretary, cannot calculate the merit obtained by one who offers Śrīmati Tulasi-devi a perpetually burning ghee lamp. So dear is this sacred Ekādaśī to the Supreme Personality of God that all the forefathers of one who offers a bright ghee lamp to Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa on this day ascend to the heavenly planets and drink the celestial nectar there. Whoever offers a ghee or sesame oil lamp to Śrī Kṛṣṇa on this day is freed from all his sins and enters the abode of Sūrya, the sun-deity, with a body as bright as ten million lamps. 

“O Yudhiṣṭhira, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa concluded, "these were the words Lord Brahmā to Nārada Muni concerning the incalculable glories of this Kāmikā Ekādaśī, which removes all sins. This sacred day nullifies even the sin of killing a brāhmaṇa or the sin of killing an unborn child in the womb, and it promotes one to the spiritual world by making one supremely meritorious. Whoever hears these glories of the Kāmikā Ekādaśī with faith becomes free of all sins and returns home, back to Viṣṇu-loka. 

Thus ends the Vṛjavāsī narration of the glories of the Śrāvaṇa-kṛṣṇa Ekādaśī or Kāmikā Ekādaśī, from the Brahmā-vaivarta Purāṇa. 


Puśkara, which is the only place on the planet where I am formally worshipped.

This Ekādaśī is so powerful that if one who is unable to fast simply follows the practices as mentioned herein, s/he is elevated to the heavenly planets, along with all their forefather.

One who kills the innocent, i.e., a brāhmaṇa (brāhmaṇa), a child in the womb, a pious and spotless woman, etc., and then later hears about the glories of Kāmikā Ekādaśī will be relieved of the reaction to one's sins. However, one should NOT think beforehand that one can kill a Brāhmaṇa or other innocent folk and then go unpunished simply by hearing of this Ekādaśī. Such knowing commission of sin is an abomination.

King Māndhātā once said to Vasiṣṭha Muni, "O great sage, kindly be merciful to me and tell me of a holy fast that will benefit me eternally." 

Vasiṣṭha Muni replied. "O king, kindly listen as I describe the best of all fast days, Āmalakī Ekādaśī. He who faithfully observes a fast on this Ekādaśī obtains enormous wealth, gets free of the effects of all kinds of sins, and attains liberation. Fasting on this Ekādaśī is more purifying than donating one thousand cows in charity to a pure brāhmana. 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 Āmalakī Ekādaśī following the prescribed rules and regulations of worship. 

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

"During the reign of Mahārāja Citraratha, not a single person in his kingdom attempted to practice another's dharma so perfectly engaged in their own dharmas were all the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiṣyas and śūdras. Neither miser nor pauper was to be seen throughout the land, not was there ever a 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 God, Lord Viṣṇu, as did the king, who also rendered special service to Lord Śiva. Moreover, twice a month everyone fasted on Ekādaśī. 

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

"Once, in the month of Phalguna, the holy fast of Āmalakī Ekādaśī arrived, conjoined with Dvādaśī. King Citraratha realised that this particular fast would bestow especially great benefit, and thus he and all the citizens of Vaidiṣā observed this sacred Ekādaśī very strictly, carefully following all the rules and regulations. 

"After bathing in the river, the king and all his subjects went to the temple of Lord Viṣṇu, where an Āmalakī 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 Paraśurāma with these prayers: 'O Lord Paraśurāma, O son of Reṇukā, O all-pleasing one, O liberator of the worlds, kindly come beneath this holy Āmalakī tree and accept our humble obeisances.' Then they prayed to the Āmalakī tree: 'O Āmalakī, O offspring of Lord Brahmā, you can destroy all kinds of sinful reactions. Please accept our respectful obeisances and these bumble gifts. O Āmalakī, you are actually the form of Brahman, and you were once worshiped by Lord Rāmacandra Himself. Whoever circumambulates you is therefore immediately freed of all his sins.' 

"After offering these excellent prayers, King Citraratha and his subjects remained awake throughout the night, praying and worshiping according to the regulations governing a sacred Ekādaśī 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 Vaidiṣā observing Āmalakī Ekādaśī by performing an all-night vigil, fasting, and worshiping Lord Viṣṇu 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 Āmalakī tree was the Deity of Lord Dāmodara being worshiped upon the āsana of a waterpot, and what he heard were devotees singing sacred songs describing Lord Kṛṣṇa'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 Ekādaśī 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 Ekādaśī and returned to the city of Vaidiṣā. 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 Āmalakī Ekādaśī and hearing the glorification of the Supreme Personality of God, 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 Vasūratha, the son of King Vidūratha, and he ruled over the kingdom of Jayantī. 

"King Vasūratha was strong and fearless, as effulgent as the Sun, and as handsome as the Moon. In strength he was like Viṣṇu, and in forgiveness like the Earth itself. Very charitable and every truthful, King Vasūratha always rendered loving devotional service to the Supreme Lord, Śrī Viṣṇu. 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 Vasūratha 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 Vasūratha 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 Śrī Keśava, the Supreme Personality of God, He who saves all who take shelter of Him without any selfish motive.'

"Upon hearing these words, King Vasūratha became over-whelmed with love for the Personality of God. He returned to his capital city and ruled there like a second Indra, without any obstacles at all.

"Therefore, O King Māndhātā," the venerable Vasiṣṭha Muni concluded, "...anyone who observes this holy Āmalakī Ekādaśī will undoubtedly attain the supreme abode of Lord Viṣṇu, so great is the religious merit earned from the observance of this most sacred fast day."

Thus ends the Vṛjavāsī narration of the glories of Phālguna-sukla Ekādaśī, or Āmalakī Ekādaśī, from the Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa.