17 August 2017 — Annada Ekadashi
The glories of Annada Ekadashi is described in the Brahmavaivartha purana in the conversation between Lord Krishna and Maharaj Yudhisthira.
Maharaj Yudhisthira said, "O, Krishna! What is the name of the Ekadashi, which occures during the wanning moon in the month of August/September. Please be kind to me and explain this".
Lord Krishna replied, "O, King! Hear me with full attention. The name of this auspicious Ekadashi which removes all ones sins is Annada Ekadashi. One who observes the vow of this Ekadashi and worships lord Hrishikesha, the master of the sences becomes freed from the reactions of his sinful activities.
In an ancient time there was a famous emperer named Harischandra. He was very truthful and honest. Due to some unknown deeds and inorder to protect the validity of his promice he lost his great kingdom. He even had to sell himslef wife and son. O, King! This pious emperer became a menial sevant of a dog eater. Still he maintained his firm faith in truthfulness. By the order of his master the dogeater he began to accept the cloths from the dead bodies in the crimitorium as his salary. Inspite of engaging in such a lowclass service he did not fall from his truthfulness and proper code of conduct. In this way he spent many years.
Then one day the king began to contemplate with great unhappiness. "What should I do? Where should I go? How will I delivered?" Considering that the king is in great distress the great sage Gautam came to him. Onseeing the great sage the king thought the Lord Brahma the creater has created the Brahmana’s for the benefit of others. The King then offered his respectful obeisances to that best of the brahmins and stood before him with folded hands. Thereafter he narrated his entire pitiful story to sage Gautama.
After hearing the pathitic story of the king, the great sage Gautam became very astonished and instrcted the king, "O, King! The Annada Ekadashi, which occures during the wanning moon in the month of August/September, is extremely auspicious and sin remover. It is your good fortune that this Ekadashi is coming soon. You should observe this Ekadashi by fasting and staying awake at night. As a result of this soon all your sinful reaction will be eradicated. O, best of the Kings! Only by your influence I have come here".
After instructing King Harichandra in this way the great sage Gautama disappeared. Thereafter according to the instruction of the sage the King observed the vow of Annada Ekadashi and became lioberated from all his sinful reactions.
Lord Krishna concluded, "O Lion like King! The wonderful influence of this Ekadashi is such that one immediately exhausts the sufferings that he was destined to suffer for many many years. By the influence of this Ekadashi King Harishchandra regained his wife and his dead son became aliva. The demigods began to ply drums and shower flowers on the sky. Thereafter by the influence of this Ekadashi the King enjoyed his kingdom without any impediment. Finally the king went to the spiritual world along with his relatives, associates and subjects. O, King! Anyone, who will observe this Ekadashi will become freed from all sins and go to the spiritual world. By hearing or reading the glories of this Ekadashi one can obtain the result of horse sacrifice".
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