31 December 2018 — Saphala Ekadashi
This Saphala Ekadashi occures during the waning moon in the month of December/January. The glories of this Ekadashi is described in Brahmanada Puran in the conversation between Lord Krishna and Maharaj Yudhisthira.
Maharaj Yudhisthira said, "O, Krishna, what is the name of the Ekadashi 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 Shri Krishna replied, "O, best of the Bharata Dynasty, just as Sesa is best among the snakes, Garuda is best among the birds, horse sacrifice is best among the sacrifices, the Ganges is best among the rivers, Lord Vishnu is best among the demigods and the brahmins are best among the human beings, similarly among all the vows the day of Ekadashi is best. O, best of the kings, any one who observes Ekadashi is very dear to me. The amount of piety one accumulates by undergoing austerity for five thousand years, is achived simply by observing Ekadashi.
There was a famous king named Mahismata lived in the city of Champavati. This King had 4 sons. Among them the eldest son Lumpaka was very sinful. He used to blashfame the brahmins, vaishnavas and demigods and was extremely attached to gambling and prostitution. For this reason his father King Mahismata exiled him. The exiled Lumpaka lived in the Jungal and at night began to plunder wealth from the people of his fathers kingdom. Inspite of staling the citizens would set him free knowing him to be the son of the king.
Lumpaka spend his life by regularly eating raw meats and fruits. There was a banyan tree in this forest who was as worshipable as the demigods. Lumpaka lived underneith this tree for some time.
Co-incidentaly when Lumpaka was living in this way the Ekadashi of the wanning moon of the month of November/December occured. Due to fatigue and weekness he became unconscious on the day before Ekadashi and regained his consciousness at mid-day on Ekadashi. There was no possibility for Lumpaka to kill any animal on that day because he was severely afflicted with hunger. Thereafter he accumulated some fruits and offered them to Lord Vishnu for His pleasure. The sun had set by then. That night Lumpaka remained awake.
As a result of fasting and keeping awake he unknowingly observed Saphala Ekadashi. Lord Madhusudan accepts the worship and vow of this Ekadashi offered by the practictioner. As a result of performing this Ekadashi Lumpaka got an opulant kingdom. On the next morning a divine horse came and stood before Lumpaka; at that time a voice from the sky was heard, "O, Prince, by the mercy of Lord Madhusudan and by the influence of Saphala Ekadashi you will receive a kingdom and rule it without any difficulty. Return to your father and enjoy the kingdow".
According to this instruction Lumpaka returned to his father and accepted the responsibility of ruling the kingdom. Therafter he got a beautiful wife and had good sons. In this way Lumpaka happily ruled this kingdom.
By observing the vow of Saphala Ekadashi persons attain fame in this life liberation in next life. Those who follow this Ekadashi are glories. By following this Ekadashi one attains the result of performing Ashwamedha sacrifice".
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