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Ṣaṭ-tilā Ekādaśī

This ekādaśī occurs during the waning moon in the monthof January-February. The glories of Ṣaṭ-tilā ekādaśī is described in Bhaviṣya-uttara Purāṇa. Once sage Dālbhya asked sage Pulastya—O respected brāhmaṇa people are engaged in various sinful activities such as killing brāhmaṇas and sense gratification in this mortal world. Please explain to me how can they be delivered from the hellish condition as a result of their sinful activities. Sage Pulastya replied—O most fortunate one! One should worship the Supreme Lord in a pure state of mind on the day of ekādaśī which occurs during the waning moon in the month of January-February.

At the time of worship one should pray as follows. O Lord Janārdana! O most merciful Śrī Kṛṣṇa! You are the deliverer of the sinful people. Please be merciful to those who have drowned in the ocean of material existence. O Supreme Brahman! O Supreme personality of Godhead! O Lord of the universe! You please accept my worship with your consort Śrīmatī Lakṣmī-devī. Thereafter one should worship the brāhmaṇas by giving them umbrella, cloth, shoes and pitcher filled with water in charity. According to ones capacity one should also give black cow and sesame seeds in charity to the best of the brāhmaṇas. By giving sesame seeds in charity one can live in the heavenly planets for many years.

One should bath in water mixed with sesame seed, smear sesame seed paste on his body, perform fire sacrifice with sesame seed, offer oblations to the forefather with the water mixed with sesame seeds, eat sesame seed and give sesame seed in charity on this ekādaśī. By doing so all ones sinful reactions will be destroyed. That is why the name of this ekādaśī is Ṣaṭ-tilā ekādaśī. Lord Kṛṣṇa narrated the following story to Nārada Muni when he approached Kṛṣṇa to hear the glories and results of observing Saṭ-ṭilā ekādaśī.

An the ancient time there lived a female brāhmaṇī. She is strictly followed the vow of celibacy and engaged in worshiping the Lord. By
constantly observing various vows in the course of her worship she gradually became weak and skinny. Although she gave charity to the poor brāhmaṇas and unmarried girls but she never pleased the brāhmaṇas and demigods by giving food grains in charity. So I consider that although the body of the brāhmaṇī became weak on account of performing many severe vows yet she is a purified soul. Moreover she has not given any food grains in charity to the hungry people. O best of the brāhmaṇas! In order to test this brāhmaṇī I took the form of a mendicant and personally appeared in this mortal world.

I took a begging pot in my hands and approached the house of that brāhmaṇī for begging alms. The brāhmaṇī said ‘O brāhmaṇa! Please tell me the truth from were have you come’ I pretended as if I have not heard anything and begged for the alms again. She became angry at this and took a handful of clay and put it in my begging pot.

Thereafter I returned to my abode. That ascetic brāhmaṇī as a result of observing severe vows also returned to my abode.
Although she got a beautiful house but due to offering me clay in charity she had no food grains or wealth in her house.

O brāhmaṇa! When she entered that house she did not find anything and gradually due to lack of wealth she became restless. Thereafter she approached me in an angry mood and said ‘ O Janārdana! I have undergone severe austerities, vows and worship Lord Viṣṇu adequately. Yet why am I bereft of food-grains and wealth?

Then I said ‘O brāhmaṇī! As you have come here from the material world now please go back to your house. When out of curiosity the wives of the demigods will come to your house for darśana then you should inquire from them about the glories of Ṣaṭ-ṭilā ekādaśī. Do not open the door until they finish the narration.’ After hearing my statement the brāhmaṇī returned home.

One day when the brāhmaṇī was siting in her room closing the door from inside at that time some wives of the demigods came there and said ‘ O beautiful one! We have come here for darśana please open the door’. The brāhmaṇī replied ‘If you want to see me then please explain to me the importance, piety and glories of Ṣaṭ-ṭilā ekādaśī before I open the door.

Then one of the wives of the demigod narrated the glories of this ekādaśī. After hearing the narration the brāhmaṇī became satisfied and opened the door. The wives of the demigods became pleased by seeing the brāhmaṇī.

Under the instruction of these demigoddesses the brāhmaṇī observed the vow of Ṣaṭ-ṭilā ekādaśī. Thereafter she became beautiful, effulgent and became the proprietor of sufficient food-grain, wealth and gold. However no one should observe this ekādaśī being controlled by greed. By following this ekādaśī once misfortune and poverty are destroyed. If one donates sesame seeds on this day then all his sinful reaction are vanquished.

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