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20 June 2017 — Yogini Ekadashi

            The glories of Yogini Ekadashi which occures during the wanning moon in the month of June/July is desicribed in Brahma Vaivartha Purana in the conversation between Lord Krishna and Maharaj Yudhisthira. 
 
            Once Maharaj Yudhisthira said, "O, Supreme Lord! O, Madhusudana! I have heard the glories of Nirjala Ekadashi. Now I wish to hear about the Ekadashi that occures during the wanning moon in the month of June/ July.
 
            Lord Krishna replied, "O, King! I will explained to you about the Ekadashi that comes during the month of June/July. The name of this Ekadashi is Yogini and it destroyes 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 Purana to illustrate this truth. Kubera, the king of Alokapuri, was a stonch devotee of Lord Shiva. He regularly worshiped Lord Shiva. He had a Yaksa gardener named Hema. The name of this gardner Hema’s wife was Visalakshi. Visalakshi was exquisitely beautiful .  Hema was very attached to his beautiful wife. He regularly gathered flowers from Manasa Sarovara Lake and gave to Kubera the King of Yaksas for his worship of Lord Shiva. One day he brought flowers from Manasa Sarovara Lake and instead of giving it to Kubera he ramained 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 Yaksas Kubera waited  six hours for Hema. Due to the absence of flower he could not complete the worship of Lord Shiva. Being extremely angry the king immediately sent his messanger to find out the cause of gardenerns delay. The messanger immediately left.
 
            After some time the Yaksa Messanger returned and said to the king. "O, Master! Hema is enjoying the association of his wife at home". On hearing these words of messanger Kubera became very angry and immediately ordered his servants to bring Hema before him. On realising that he has made a grate mistake Hema Mali 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 Shri Shankar and engaged in your own sence gratification, hence I am coursing you. You will be afflicted with white leprosy and you will remain seperated from your dear most wife for ever. O, low class fool! You will immediately degrade from this place".
 
            Being cursed by Kubera Hema Mali immediately fell from Alokapuri and took birth in this world. He became efflicted 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 formiddable dence 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 meseries both in winter and summer. But because he helped worship lord Shiva 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 Markandeya who is the best of the asetics and whose duration of life is seven Kalpas. Hema Mali, feeling very sinful stood at a distance from the sage and repeatedly offered his humble obeisances. The kind hearted sage Markandeya called that leprosy ridden man before him and asked, "O, you! How have you got this dradeful affliction? What kind of sinful and condemned activities you have performed so that you had to suffer such a meserable condition?"
 
            On hearing this Hema Mali replied, "O, great sage! I am the gardener of Kubera, the king of the Yaksas.  My name is Hema Mali. I use to collect flowers regularly from Manasa Sarovara Lake and give it to my master Kubera. With this flower Kubera performed his worship of Lord Shiva. 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 Yaksas became angry and cursed me. As a result of that curse I am profusely suffering the meseries of White leprosy and I have been seperated 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 auspecious result today this fallen soul has surrendered unto you. Please, be kind and deliver him.
 
             Thereafter the great sage Markandeya 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 Ekadashi known as Yogini that occures during the wanning moon in the month of June/July and by the influence of its peity you will certainly be liberated from the curse of suffering from leprosy". On hearing this instruction of the great sage Markandeya, Hema Mali became joyful and with feelings of gratitude he offered his humble obeisances to him. Thereafter he duely observed this sacred vow of  Ekadashi 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 Brahamins is attained by observing this Yogini Ekadashi. This Ekadashi distroyes all ones sinful reactions and awards one great peity.



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