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Saphalā Ekādaśī

Śrī Kṛṣṇa says, “On the ekādaśī day worship Śrī Nārāyaṇa during the day with upavāsa. Amongst the snakes Ādi-śeṣa, amongst the birds Garuḍa, amongst Gods Viṣṇu and similarly amongst all the vratas, ekādaśī vrata is the most prominent (śreṣṭha). Perform jāgaraṇa (night vigil) with hari-bhaktas. On dvādaśī day Offer coconut, pomegranate, gooseberry(Āmalakī), berry fruit (ber), raw mango, beetle leaves and beetle nuts. Perform pūjā with Lamps(dīpa) and incense(dhūpa) . Offer naivedya to Śrī Hari. Offer prasāda to the learned people and then break fast.

This Saphalā ekādaśī occurs during the waning moon in the month of December/January. The glories of this ekādaśī is described in Brāhmaṇḍa Purāṇa in the conversation between Lord Kṛṣṇa and Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira.

Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira said, ‘O Kṛṣṇa, what is the name of the ekādaśī that occurs during the waning moon in the month of December/January and how one should observed it? Please Explain this to me in detail.’

The Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa replied, ‘O best of the Bhārata dynasty, just as Śeṣa is best among the snakes, Garuḍa is best
among the birds, horse sacrifice is best among the sacrifices, the Ganges is best among the rivers, Lord Viṣṇu is best among
the demigods and the brāhmaṇas are best among the human beings, similarly among all the vows the day of ekādaśī is best.

O best of the kings any one who observes ekādaśī is very dear to me. The amount of piety one accumulates by undergoing
austerity for five thousand years, is achieved simply by observing ekādaśī.’

There was a famous king named Māhiṣmatā lived in the city of Campāvatī. This King had 4 sons. Among them the eldest son Lumbhaka was very sinful. He used to blaspheme the brāhmaṇas, Vaiṣṇavas and demigods and was extremely attached to gambling and prostitution. For this reason his father King Māhiṣmata exiled him. The exiled Lumbhaka lived in the Jungle and at night began to plunder wealth from the people of his father’s kingdom. In spite of staling the citizens would set him free knowing him to be the son of the king. Lumbhaka spend his life by regularly eating raw meatsand fruits.

There was a banyan tree in this forest who was as worshipable as the demigods. Lumbhaka lived underneath this tree for some time.

Coincidentally when Lumbhaka was living in this way the ekādaśī of the waning moon of the month of November- December occurred due to fatigue and weakness he became unconscious on the day before ekādaśī and regained his consciousness at mid-day on ekādaśī. There was no possibility for Lumbhaka to kill any animal on that day because he was severely afflicted with hunger. Thereafter he accumulated some fruits and offered them to Lord Viṣṇu for His pleasure. The sun had set by then. That night Lumbhaka remained awake.

As a result of fasting and keeping awake he unknowingly observed Saphalā ekādaśī. Lord Madhusūdana accepts the worship and vow of this ekādaśī offered by the practitioner. As a result of performing this ekādaśī Lumbhaka got an opulent kingdom. On the next morning a divine horse came and stood before Lumbhaka; at that time a voice from the sky was heard ‘o prince, by the mercy of Lord Madhusūdana and by the influence of Saphalā ekādaśī you will receive a kingdom and rule it without any difficulty. Return to your father and enjoy the kingdom.’ According to this instruction Lumbhaka returned to his father and accepted the responsibility of ruling
the kingdom.

Thereafter he got a beautiful wife and had good sons. In this way Lumbhaka happily ruled this kingdom. By observing the vow of Saphalā ekādaśī persons attain fame in this life liberation in next life. Those who follow this ekādaśī are glorious. By following this ekādaśī one attains the result of performing Aśvamedha sacrifice.

Ekādaśī is the mother of Kṛṣṇa- Bhakti, love and affection. If you do not follow ekādaśī, Kṛṣṇa- Bhakti will never come.