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Ekaadashee, Saphalaa

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Saphalaa Ekaadashee
From   Bhavishya Uttar Puraan
     Read also  How to do Ekaadashee Vrat?

There are 24 Ekaadashee (see their list) in a year excluding 2 Ekaadashee of Leap Year (or precisely Adhik Maas). Among all of them, Paush Krishn Ekaadashee is called Saphalaa Ekaadashee. It is mentioned in Bhavishya Uttar Puraan.

Yudhisthir Mahaaraaj said, "O my Dear Lord Shree Krishn, what is the name of that Ekaadashee that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Paush (December-January)? How is it observed, and which Deity is to be worshipped on that sacred day? Please narrate these details to me fully, so that I may understand Oh Janaardan." The Supreme Personality of Godhead Shree Krishn then replied, "O best of kings, because you desire to hear, I shall fully describe to you the glories of the Paush Krishn Ekaadashee. "I do not become as pleased by sacrifice or charity as I do by my devotee's observance of a full fast on Ekaadashee. To the best of one's ability, therefore, one should keep fast on Ekaadashee, the day of Lord Hari.

O Yudhisthira, I urge you to hear with undivided intelligence the glories of Paush Krishn Ekaadashee, which falls on a Dwaadashee. As I explained previously, one should not differentiate among the many Ekaadashees. O King, to benefit humanity at large I shall now describe to you the process of observing Paush Krishn Ekaadashee.

Paush Krishn Ekaadashee is also known as Saphalaa Ekaadashee. On this sacred day one should worship Lord Naaraayan, for He is its ruling Deity. One should do so by follow the previously described method of fasting. Just as among all snakes Shesh Naag is the best, and among all the birds Garud is the best, among all the sacrifices the Ashwamedh Yagya is the best, among all the rivers Mother Gangaa is the best, among all the gods Lord Vishnu is the best, and among all the two-legged beings the Braahman are the best, so among all fasting days Ekaadashee is by far the best.

O foremost of kings who took your birth in the Bharat dynasty, whoever has strictly observed Ekaadashee becomes very dear to me and indeed worshippable by me in every way. Now please listen as I describe the process for observing this Saphalaa Ekaadashee. On Saphalaa Ekaadashee my devotee should worship me by offering me fresh fruits according to time, place and circumstance, and by meditating on Me as the all-auspicious Supreme Personality of Godhead. He should offer Me Jaambeer fruit, pomegranate, betel nuts and leaves, coconut, guava, varieties of nuts, cloves, mangoes, and different kinds of aromatic spices. He should also offer me incense and bright ghee lamps, because such an offering of lamps on Saphalaa Ekaadashee is especially glorious. The devotee should try to stay awake the Ekaadashee night.

Now please hear with undivided attention as I tell you how much merit one gets if he fasts and remains awake throughout the entire night singing and chanting the glories of Naaraayan. O best of kings, there is no sacrifice or pilgrimage that yields merit that is equal to or better than the merit one gained by fasting on this Saphalaa Ekaadashee. Such fasting particularly if one can remain awake and alert the entire night long bestows the same merit upon the faithful devotee as the performance of austerity for five thousand earthly years. O lion among kings, please hear from me the glorious history that made this Divine Ekaadashee famous.

Story of Saphalaa Ekaadashee

Once there was a city called Champaavatee, which was ruled by the saintly King Maahishmata. He had four sons, the eldest of whom, Lumpak, was always engaged in all manner of very sinful activities illicit sexual encounters with the wives of others, gambling, and continual association with known prostitutes. His evil deeds gradually reduced the wealth of his father, King Maahishmata. Lumpaka also became very critical of the numerous Devtaa, the empowered universal attendants of the Lord, as well as toward the Braahman, and every day he would go out of his way to blaspheme the Vaishnav. At last King Maahishmata, seeing the unrepentant brazen fallen condition of his son, exiled him to the forest. Out of fear of the king, even compassionate relatives didn't come to Lumpak's defense - so angry was the king toward his son, and so sinful was this Lumpak.

Bewildered in his exile, the fallen and rejected Lumpak thought to himself, "My father has sent me away, and even my kinsmen do not raise but a finger in objection. What am I to do now?" He schemed sinfully and thought, "I shall sneak back to the city under cover of darkness and plunder its wealth. During the day I shall stay in the forest, and as night returns, so shall I to the city.' So thinking, the sinful Lumpaka entered the darkness of the forest. He killed many animals by day, and by night he stole all kinds of valuable items from the city. The city-dwelling folk apprehended him several times, but out of fear of the king they left him alone. They thought to themselves that it must have been the accumulated sins of Lumpak's previous births that had forced him to act in such a way that he lost his royal facilities and became to act so sinfully like a common selfish thief.

Though a meat-eater, Lumpak would also eat fruits every day. He resided under an old banyan tree that unknown to him happened to be very dear to Lord Vaasudev. Indeed, many worshipped that tree as the demigod (representative departmental head) of all the trees in the forest. In due course of time, while Lumpak was doing so many sinful and condemnable activities, the Saphalaa Ekaadashee arrived. On the eve of the Ekaadashee (Dashamee) Lumpak had to pass the entire night without sleep because of severe cold that he felt due to his scanty bed clothes (bedding). The cold not only robbed him of all peace but almost of his very life. By the time the Sun rose, he was near dead, his teeth chattering and near comatose. In fact all that Ekaadashee morning, he remained in that stupor and could not awaken out of his near comatose condition.

When midday of the Saphalaa Ekaadashee arrived, the sinful Lumpak finally came to and managed to rise up from his place under that banyan tree. But with every step he took, he stumbled and fell to the ground. Like a lame man, he walked slowly and hesitantly, suffering greatly from hunger and thirst in the midst of the jungle. So weak was Lumpak that he couldn't even concentrate to nor muster strength to go and kill even a single animal that whole day. Instead, he was reduced to collecting whatever fruits had fallen to the ground of their own accord. By the time he returned to his banyan tree home, the Sun had set.

Placing the fruits on the ground next to him (at the base of the sacred banyan tree), Lumpak began to cry out, "O, woe is me ! What should I do? Dear father, what is to become of me? O Shree Hari, please be merciful to me and accept these fruits as an offering !" Again he was forced to lie awake the whole night without sleep, but in the meantime the all merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Madhusoodan become pleased with Lumpak's humble offering of forest fruits, and He accepted them. Lumpak had unwittingly observed a full Ekaadashee fast, and by the merit he reaped on that day. He regained his kingdom with no further obstacles."

Krishn further said - "Listen, O Yudhisthir, to what happened to the son of King Maahishmata when but a fragment of the merit sprouted up within his heart. As the Sun beautifully rose in the sky on the day following Ekaadashee, a handsome horse approached Lumpak as if seeking him out, and stood next to him. At the same time, a voice suddenly boomed out from the clear blue sky saying, "This horse is for you, Lumpak! Mount it and ride swiftly out of this forest to greet you family! O son of King Maahishmata, by the mercy of the Supreme lord Vaasudev and the strength of the merit you acquired by observing Saphalaa Ekaadashee, your kingdom will be returned to you without any further hindrances. Such is the benefit you have gained by fasting on this most auspicious of days. Go now, to you father and enjoy your rightful place in the dynasty."

Upon hearing these celestial words resounding from above, Lumpak mounted the horse and rode back to the city of Champaavatee. By the merit of observing Ekaadashee Vrat he had accrued by fasting on Saphalaa Ekaadashee, he had become a handsome prince on ce 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.

Lumpak offered his father, King Maahishmata, his humble obeisance and once more accepted his princely responsibilities. Seeing his son so decorated with Vaishnav ornaments and Tilak (Oordhwa Pundra) King Maahishmata gave him the kingdom, and Lumpak ruled unopposed for many many years. Whenever the Ekaadashee came, he worshipped the Supreme Lord Naaraayan with great devotion. And by the mercy of Krishn he obtained a beautiful wife and a fine son. In old age Lumpak handed over his kingdom to his son just as his own father, King Maahishmata, had handed it over to him. Lumpak then went to the forest to dedicate his concentrate attention to gratefully serve the Supreme Lord with controlled mind and senses. Purified of all material desires, he left his old material body and returned to home, back to Godhead, attaining a place near the lotus feet of his worshipful Lord, Shree Krishn.

O Yudhisthir, one who approaches me as Lumpak did, will become completely free of lamentation and anxiety. Indeed, anyone who properly observes this glorious Saphalaa Ekaadashee even unknowingly, like Lumpak will become famous in this world. He will become perfectly liberated at death and return to the spiritual abode of Vaikunth. Of this there is no doubt. Moreover, one who simply hears the glories of Saphalaa Ekaadashee obtains the same merit derived by one who performs a Raajasooya Yagya, and at the very least he goes to Heaven in his next birth, so where is the loss?"

Thus ends the narration of the glories of Paush Krishn Ekaadashee, or Saphalaa Ekaadashee, from the Bhavishya Uttar Puraan.

 

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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
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Updated on 01/19/12