24.10.2015 ۞ Pāpāṅkuśā Ekādaśī ۞

Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja said, O Madhusūdana, what is the name of the Ekādaśī that comes during the light fortnight of the month of Āśvina (September - October)? Please be merciful and disclose this truth to me." 

The Supreme Personality of God Śrī Kṛṣṇa replied, "O king, please listen as I explain the glories of this Ekādaśī - Pāpāṅkuśā Ekādaśī - which removes all sins. On this day one should worship the Deity of Padmanābha, the lotus naveled Lord Viṣṇu, according to the rules and regulations. By so doing, one achieves whatever heavenly pleasures one may want in this world, and at last attains liberation from this world thereafter. Simply by offering one's humble obeisances unto Lord Viṣṇu, the rider of Garuḍa, one can achieve the same merit as is gained by performing great penances for a long time restraining and controlling the senses. Although a person might have committed unlimited and abominable sins, he can still escape hellish punishment just by paying his obeisances to Lord Śrī Hari, the taker away of all sin." 

"The merits gained by going on pilgrimage to tīrthas of this earthly planet can also be achieved simply by chanting the holy names of Lord Viṣṇu. Whosoever chants these sacred names - such as Rāma, Viṣṇu, Janārdana or Kṛṣṇa - especially on Ekādaśī, never sees Yamarāja's abode. Nor does such a devotee who fasts on Pāpāṅkuśā Ekādaśī, which is very dear to Me, see that abode." 

"Both the Vaiṣṇava who criticizes Lord Śiva and the Śaivite who criticizes Me certainly go to hell. The merit obtained by performing one hundred horse sacrifices and one hundred Rājasūrya sacrifices is not even equal to one sixteenth of the merit a devotee is able to attain by fasting on Ekādaśī. There is no higher merit one can achieve than that attained by fasting on Ekādaśī. Indeed, nothing in all the three worlds is as pleasing or as able to purify one of accumulated sin as Ekādaśī, the day of the lotus-naveled Lord, Padmanābha. 

"O king, until a person observes a fast on the day of Lord Padmanābha named Pāpāṅkuśā Ekādaśī, he remains sinful, and the reactions of his past sinful activities never leave him like a chaste wife. There is no merit in all the three worlds that can match the merit that one gains by observing a fast on this Ekādaśī. Whosoever observes it faithfully never has to see death personified, Lord Yamarāja. One who desires liberation, elevation to the heavens, good health, beautiful women, wealth, and food grains should simply fast on this Pāpāṅkuśā Ekādaśī. O king, neither the Ganges, Gayā, Kāśī, nor Puṣkara, nor even the holy site of Kurukṣetra, can grant as much auspicious merit as this Pāpāṅkuśā Ekādaśī. 

"O Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, protector of the earth, after observing Ekādaśī during the daytime, the devotee should remain awake through the night, absorbed in hearing, chanting and serving the lord - for by so doing he easily attains to the Supreme abode of Lord Viṣṇu. Not only that, but ten generations of ancestors on his mother's side, ten generations on his father's side, and ten generations on his wife's side are all liberated by a single observance of a fast on this Ekādaśī. All these ancestors attain their original, four armed transcendental Vaikuṇṭha forms. Wearing yellow garments and beautiful garlands, they ride to the spiritual realm on the back of Garuḍa, the renown great enemy of the snakes. This is the benediction My devotee earns simply by observing one Pāpāṅkuśā Ekādaśī properly.

"O best of kings, whether one is a child, a youth, or in old age, fasting on Pāpāṅkuśā Ekādaśī frees him from all sins and makes him immune to suffering a hellish rebirth. Whosoever observes a fast on the Pāpāṅkuśā Ekādaśī becomes free of all his sins and returns to the spiritual abode of Lord Śrī Hari. Whosoever donates gold, sesame seeds, fertile land, cows, grain, drinking water, an umbrella, or a pair of shoes on this most auspicious of holy days will never have to visit the abode of Yamarāja, who always punishes the sinners. But if a resident of earth fails to perform spiritual deeds, especially the observance of a fast on days such as Ekādaśī, his breathing is said to be no better, or of as much use as the puffing of a blacksmith's bellows.

"O best of the kings, especially on Pāpāṅkuśā Ekādaśī, even the poor should first bathe and then give some charity according to their means, and perform other auspicious activities in accordance with their ability.

"Whosoever performs sacrifices and benefits the people, or builds public ponds, resting places, gardens, or houses does not suffer the punishments of Yamarāja. Indeed, one should understand that a person much have performed such pious activities as these in the past life if he is long lived, wealthy, of high birth, or free from all diseases. But a person who observes Pāpāṅkuśā Ekādaśī goes to the abode of the Supreme Lord.

Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa then concluded, "Thus, O saintly Yudhiṣṭhira, I have narrated to you the glories of the auspicious Pāpāṅkuśā Ekādaśī."

Thus ends the Vṛjavāsī narration of the glories of the Pāpāṅkuśā Ekādaśī, or Āśvina - śukla Ekādaśī, from the Brahmā-vaivarta Purāṇa.