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[From Brahm-Vaivart Puraan] Read also How to do Ekaadashee Vrat?
Indiraa Ekaadashee falls in Pitri Paksha - in the Krishn Paksha (black fortnight) of the Aashwin month. Yudhishthir Mahaaraaj said - "O Madhusoodan, O killer of the Madhu demon, What is the name of the Ekaadashee that occurs during the dark fortnight (Krishn Paksha) of the month of Aashwin (September-October)? Please describe its glories to me."
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Shree Krishn then replied - "This Holy day is called Indiraa Ekaadashee. If a person fasts on this day, all his sins are eradicated and his forefathers who have fallen into hell are liberated. O best of the kings, one who simply hears about this sacred Ekaadashee achieves the great merit earned by performing a horse sacrifice.
"In the Sat Yug there lived a king named Indrasen, who was so powerful that he destroyed all his enemies. His kingdom was called Mahishmatee Puree. The glorious and highly religious King Indrasen took good care of his subjects, and therefore he was rich in gold, grains, sons, and grandsons. He was greatly devoted to Lord Shree Vishnu as well. He especially enjoyed chanting My name, calling out 'Govind, Govind' In this way King Indrasen systematically dedicated himself to pure spiritual life and spent much time meditating on the Absolute Truth.
One day, as King Indrasen happily and peacefully presided over his assembly, the perfect orator, Shree Naarad Muni, was seen descending. White as a conch, shining like the Moon, like a jasmine flower, like a lightening bolt, Naarad Muni descending from the sky. He is decorated with matted locks of reddish hair. The king offered Devarshi Naarad, the saint among the Devtaa (demigods), great respect by greeting him with joined palms, inviting him into the palace, offering him a comfortable seat, washing his feet, and speaking sweat words of welcome. Then Naarad Muni said to Mahaaraaj Indrasen - "O King, are the seven limbs of your kingdom prospering?" The seven limbs of a king's domain being; the King's well being himself, his ministers, his treasury, his military forces, his allies, the Braahman, the sacrifices performed in his kingdom, and the needs of the King's subjects. "Is your mind absorbed in thinking of how you can properly perform your occupational duty? Are you becoming more and more devoted and dedicated to the service of the Supreme Lord, Shree Vishnu?"
The king replied - "By your kind grace, Oh greatest of sages, everything is quite well. Today, just by your presence all the sacrifices in my kingdom are successful. Please show me mercy and explain the reason for your kind visit here."
"Shree Naarad Jee then said - "O lion among kings, listen to my astonishing words. When I descended from Brahm Lok to Yam Lok, Lord Yam Raaj praised me very graciously and offered me an excellent seat. As I glorified his truthfulness and wonderful service to the Supreme Lord, I noticed your father in Yam Raaj's assembly. Though he had been very religious all he time, because he broke an Ekaadashee fast prematurely, he had to go to the Yam Lok. Your father gave me a message for you. He said, "In Mahishmatee Puree lives a king named Indrasen. Please tell him about my situation here - that because of my past sinful deeds I have somehow been forced to reside in Yam Raaj's kingdom. Please give him this message from me that : "O son, kindly observe the coming Indiraa Ekaadashee and give much in charity so I can go upward to heaven."
Philosophically we can understand that every living entity is an individual, and individually everyone has to practice Krishn consciousness to traverse back to home - back to Godhead. As stated in Garud Puraan, someone who is suffering in hell cannot practice Krishn consciousness, because this requires some mental peace, which the reactionary tortures of hell make impossible. If a relative of a sinner suffering in hell gives some charity in the name of the sinner, he can leave hell and enter the heavenly planets. But if the sinner's relative observes this Ekaadashee fast for his suffering kinsman, the kinsman goes directly to the spiritual world, as stated in this narration based on Brahm Vaivart Puraan.
Naarad Jee continued - "Just to deliver this message, O King, I have come to you. You should help your father by observing the fast of Indiraa Ekaadashee. By the merit you gain by observing this Ekaadashee, your father will go to heaven." King Indrasen asked - "O great Naarad Jee, please be merciful and tell me specifically how to observe a fast on Indiraa Ekaadashee, and also tell me during what month and on what day it occurs?"
Naarad Muni replied - "O King, please listen as I describe to you the full process of observing the Indiraa Ekaadashee. This Ekaadashee occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Aashwin month. On the Dashamee Tithi, the day before Ekaadashee, rise early in the morning, take bath, and then do some service for God with full faith. At noon, take bath again in running water and then offer oblations to your forefathers with faith and devotion. Be sure not to eat more than once on this day and at night sleep on the floor.
When you awaken on Ekaadashee morning, cleanse your mouth and teeth thoroughly and then with deep devotion for the Lord take this sacred vow - "Today I shall fast completely and give up all kinds of sense enjoyment. O lotus-eyed Supreme Personality of Godhead, O infallible one, please give me shelter at Your lotus feet." At noon, stand before the sacred form of the Shree Shaal Graam Shilaa and worship Him faithfully, following all the rules and regulations; then offer oblations of Ghee into the sacred fire, and Tarpan directed to help your forefathers. Next, feed qualified Brahman (obviously non-grain Prasaad) and offer them some charity according to your means. Now take the food Pind you offered to your forefathers, smell it, and then offer it to a cow. Next, worship Lord Hrishikesh with incense and flowers, and finally, remain awake all night near the Deity of Lord Shree Keshav.
Early in the morning of the next day, on Dwaadashee Tithi, worship Shree Hari with great devotion and invite Brahmin devotees to a sumptuous feast. Then feed your relatives, and finally take your meal in silence. O King, if you strictly observe a fast on Indiraa Ekaadashee in this way, with controlled senses, your father will surely be elevated to the abode of Lord Vishnu." After saying this, Devarshi Naarad Jee immediately disappeared from the scene to bless someone else with his presence.
"King Indrasen followed the great saint's instructions perfectly, observing the fast in the association of his relatives and servants. As he broke his fast on the Dwaadashee Tithi, flowers fell from the sky. The merit that Indrasen earned by observing this fast released his father from the kingdom of Yam Raaj and caused him to attain a completely spiritual body. Indeed, Indrasen saw him rising to the abode of Lord Hari on the back of Garud Vaahan. Indrasen himself was able to rule his kingdom without any obstacles, and in time when he handed over the kingdom to his son, he also went to the spiritual realm of Vaikunth.
So O Yudhishthir, these are the glories of the Indiraa Ekaadashee, which occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Aashwin. Whoever hears or reads this narration certainly enjoys life in this world, is freed of all reactions to his past sins, and at the time of death returns home, back to Godhead, where he lives eternally."
Thus ends the narration of the glories of Aashwin Krishn Ekaadashee, or Indiraa Ekaadashee.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 01/19/12