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Yoginī Ekādaśī
Significance
This is a special ekādaśī the benefits of which can cure
severe diseases in the body. This is known as the Yoginī
ekādaśī. Its interesting to note that this ekādaśī is recommended
by a great devotee of Lord Śiva, Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya Ṛṣi to
another Śiva devotee. Thus gives a clear indication that ekādaśī
vrata is for everyone including the devotee of Lord Śiva too.

The glories of Yoginī ekādaśī which occurs during the
waning moon in the month of June-July is described in
Brahma-vaivarta Purāṇa in the conversation between Lord
Kṛṣṇa and Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira.

Once Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira said, “O Supreme Lord! O
Madhusūdana! I have heard the glories of Nirjalā ekādaśī. Now
I wish to hear about the ekādaśī that occurs during the waning
moon in the month of June- July.”

Lord Kṛṣṇa replied, “O King! I will explained to you about
the ekādaśī that comes during the month of June-July. The
name of this ekādaśī is Yoginī and it destroys all once grave
sinful reactions and delivers one from the ocean of material
existence.”

“O best of the kings! Now I will narrate a story from
Purāṇa to illustrate this truth. Kubera the king of Alakā-purī
was a staunch devotee of Lord Śiva. He regularly worshiped
Lord Śiva. He had a Yakṣa gardener named Hema. The name
of this gardener Hema’s wife was Viśālakṣī. Viśālakṣī was
exquisitely beautiful. Hema was very attached to his beautiful
wife. He regularly gathered flowers from Mānasa-sarovara
Lake and gave to Kubera the King of Yakṣas for his worship of
Lord Śiva. One day he brought flowers from Mānasa-sarovara
Lake and instead of giving it to Kubera he remained at home
being bound by the love of his dear wife.”

“O King! As a result of this Kubera did not receive any
flower on that day. Meanwhile the king of the Yakṣas Kubera
waited six hours for Hema. Due to the absence of flower he
could not complete the worship of Lord Śiva. Being extremely
angry the king immediately sent his messenger to find out the
cause of gardener’s delay. The messenger immediately left.”
“After some time the Yakṣa Messenger returned and said
to the king. ‘O Master Hema is enjoying the association of his
wife at home. On hearing these words of messenger Kubera
became very angry and immediately ordered his servants to
bring Hema before him.

On realizing that he has made a great mistake Hemamālī became ashamed and with great fear he
came before Kubera. The gardener first offered his respectful
obeisances. Kubera whose entire body trembled and whose
eyes became red with anger said, ‘O sinful one! O destroyer of
religious principle you have disregarded my most
worshipable Lord Śrī Śaṅkara and engaged in your own sense
gratification, hence I am cursing you. You will be afflicted with
white leprosy and you will remain separated from your dear
most wife forever. O Low-class fool! You will immediately
degrade from this place.'”

Being cursed by Kubera Hemamālī immediately fell from
Alakā-purī and took birth in this world. He became afflicted
with white leprosy and suffered extremely miserable
conditions. In such a condition and with intense mental agony
and lake of food and water he went to a formidable dense
forest. In that forest he suffered the pangs of hunger and thirst
day and night. During the day he did not find any happiness
and at night he could not sleep as well. He suffered great
miseries both in winter and summer. But because he helped
worship Lord Śiva faithfully his memory remained intact.
Although he was engaged in various sinful activities he
remembered his previous activities and his consciousness
remained pure and alert.

“After wondering throughout the forest in this way he
fortunately came upon the Himalayan Mountain. While
moving here and there by providence he had the good fortune
of meeting the great sage Mārkaṇḍeya who is the best of the
ascetics and whose duration of life is seven Kalpas. Hemamālī,
feeling very sinful stood at a distance from the sage and
repeatedly offered his humble obeisances. The kind hearted
sage Mārkaṇḍeya called that leprosy ridden man before him
and asked ‘ O you! How have you got this dreadful affliction?
What kind of sinful and condemned activities you have
performed so that you had to suffer such a miserable
condition?'”

“On hearing this Hemamālī replied, ‘O great sage! I am the
gardener of Kubera the king of the Yakṣas. My name is
Hemamālī. I use to collect flowers regularly from Mānasasarovara
Lake and give it to my master Kubera. With this
flower Kubera performed his worship of Lord Śiva. One day I
was late to give flower to my master as a result of remaining
engaged in fulfilling my lusty desires with my wife. That is
why Kubera the King of the Yakṣas became angry and cursed
me. As a result of that curse I am profusely suffering the
miseries of White leprosy and I have been separated from my
wife. But now I do not know for what previous misdeeds this
unfortunate soul has suddenly become fortunate to meet a
great personality like you. I have heard that the hearts of the
saintly persons are always afflicted by seeing the distress of
others and they are always engaged in well fare activities. O
great sage! With the desire to obtain auspicious result today
this fallen soul has surrendered unto you. Please be kind and
deliver him.'”

“Thereafter the great sage Mārkaṇḍeya spoke to him with
compassion. ‘O gardener! I am instructing to you about a most
auspicious and beneficial vow. You should observe the vow of
ekādaśī known as Yoginī that occurs during the waning moon
in the month of June-July and by the influence of its piety you
will certainly be liberated from the curse of suffering from
leprosy.' On hearing this instruction of the great sage
Mārkaṇḍeya, Hemamālī became joyful and with feelings of
gratitude he offered his humble obeisances to him. Thereafter
he duly observed this sacred vow of ekādaśī as the sage has
instructed him. By the influence of this vow he regained his
divine form. Then he returned home and reunited with his
wife.

The result one obtains by feeding 88 Thousand
brāhmaṇas is attained by observing this Yoginī ekādaśī. This
ekādaśī destroys all ones sinful reactions and awards one great
piety.”

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