24 March 2021 — Amalaki Ekadashi
The topics of the glories of Amalaki Ekadashi which occures during the waxing moon in the month of February/ March is described in Brahmanda Purana in the conversation between King Mandhata and sage Vasistha.
Once King Mandhata asked to the sage Vasistha, "O, most fortunate one, if you are pleased with and merciful to me then kindly discribe to me about a vow by following of which I can attain all auspiciousness".
The sage Vasistha replied, "O, King, now I will explained to you about the glories and history of a great vow which awards one all auspiciousness. O, King! The name of this vow is Amalaki Ekadashi. The influence of the piety accumulated by following this Ekadashi certainly distroyes all ones sinful reactions and awards liberation as well as one can attain the result of donating one thousand cows.
In the ancient time there was a city named Vaidisa which was inhabited by many healthy prosperous brahmins, kshatriyas, vaisyas and sudras. O, Lion hearted king, there was no atheiestic or sinful person in this beautiful city. The entire city was filled with the sound of vedic mantras. In this famous city there lived a truthful pious king named Caitraratha who was born in the family of king Pasabinduka, a member of the dynasty of moon.
King Caitraratha was powerful, heroic, opulant and well versed in the scriptures. During the reign of this king there were all kinds of auspiciousness and prosperity found in the kingdom. All his subjects were attached to the devotional service of lord Vishnu and all of them observed the vow of Ekadashi. Due to remaining engaged in the devotional service to lord Hari everyone lived happily in his Kingdom. There was not a single poor or miser person found in his kingdom. After living happily for many many years in this way once Amalaki Ekadashi conjoined with dvadasi which occures during the waxing moon in the month of February/ March.
Realising that this Ekadashi bestows great benefits the king and his subjects resolved to observe this Ekadashi with proper rules and regulations. Early in the morning on the day of Ekadashi the King and his subjects took bath in the river and went to the temple of Lord Vishnu situated on the bank of the river. Within the temple there was an Amalaki tree where he places a pitcher filled with water and brought an umbrella, cloths,shoes and five kinds of jewells for the worship. Thereafter the king worshiped lord Parasurama and Amalaki by offering water, shoes, conopy, gold, diamonds, rubies, pearls, sapphires and fragrant incense.
Then the king led by the sages and follwed by his subjects offered prayers to Lord Parasurama as follows. "O, Lord Parasurama! O, Son of Renuka! O, you who is situated under the shadow of Amalaki tree! O, bestower of material enjoyment and liberation, I offer my respectful obeisances to you".
Then they offered prayers to the Amalaki tree. O, Amalaki! O, Sustainer of the Universe! O, Offspring of Lord Brahma! O, distroyer of all sins! We offer our respectful obeisances to you. Kindly accept our offering". After properly worshiping the lord and Amalaki in this way the king accompanied by his subjects remained awake that night within the temple of Lord Vishnu. They sang songs and offered beautiful prayers with devotion in praise of the lord and the Amalaki tree. At that time by providence a hunter came there. This hunter earned his livelihood simply by killing various living entities. When he came to the temple which was decorated with ghee lamp, incense and other auspicious items and saw that many people were remaining awake while glorifying the Lord. He sat down with them and began to contemplate what all these was going on?
The fortunate hunter took darshan of Lord Damodar placed on the top of the pitcher and began to hear the transcendental topics of Vishnu. Although he was afflicted with hunger he was astonished to see this and remained awake that whole night while hearing the glories of Ekadashi.
In the morning king left towards his palace accompanied by his subjects. The hunter also returned home and happily took his meal. After many many years the hunter left his body. By the influence of Amalaki Ekadashi and as a result of remaining awake on the night of this Ekadashi the hunter in his next life became a king with inumerable elephants, horses, chariots and army. The hunter took birth as Vasurath the powerful son of King Vidurath who ruled the famous city of Jayanti.
King Vasurath ruled one million villages. He was as brilient as the sun, as effulgent as the moon and as powerful as lord Vishnu as tolarent as the earth. He was truthful, fixed in his occupational duties and became a great devotee of Lord Vishnu.
One day king Vasurath who was very kind and charitable lost his way while hunting in the forest. He was extremely tired and afflicted with hunger. Not finding any other alternative the king lied down within that dence forest using his arm as pillow. At that time some mlechhas who lived in that forest came before the sleeping king and began to torture him in various ways. Considering the king as their enemy they attempted to kill him. They thought that this king had previously killed our fathers, mothers, sons, grandsons and uncles and have compelled us to wonder aimlessly. Speaking in this way the mlechhas took up their different weapons and began to beat the king. But to their utter surprise non of their weapons touched the body of the king and as a result the king did not feel any injury at all. When all their weapons were used up the mlechhas became moroose and lifeless due to fear. They lost all power to move any further .
At that time a beautiful extraordinary women decorated with various ornaments and fragrent sandalwood paste appeared from the body of the king. She was decorated with an attrative flower garland and her eyes were redish due to anger. She raised her eye brow and holding a disc in her hand she rushed towards the mlechhas to kill them in an angry mood. Within a movement that powerful women killed all the sinful mlechhas. After this incident the king wokeup. On seeing such a ghastly killings the king who just got up from sleep became frightened and stunned. When the king saw his fierce looking enemies lying killed he became astonished and said, "Alas! Who is that most well wishing friend of mine who has protected my life by killing these powerful enemies? I convey my heartfelt greatfulness to him for this great act". At that time a voice from the sky was heard, "Whoelse except Lord Keshava is capable of protecting his surroundered souls? He alone is the maintainer of surroundered devotees". After hearing these voice from the sky the king became extremely amazed and his heart melted with devotional feeling .
Thereafter the king returned to his palace and ruled his kingdom like Indra without any obstacles". The Sage Vasistha continued, "My dear king! Any person who observes this vow of this sacred Amalaki Ekadashi undoubtedly returns to the abode of Lord Vishnu".
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