18 August 2021 — Pavitra Ekadashi
The glories of Pavitra Ekadashi is described in Bhavishyottara Purana in the conversation between Lord Krishna and Maharaj Yudhisthira.
Once Maharaj Yudhisthira said to Krishna, "O, Madhusudana, the killer of Madhu demon! What is the name and glories of the Ekadashi, which occures during the waxing moon in the month of July/August. Please explain it to me in detail".
Lord Krishna replied, "O King! The name of this sacred Ekadashi is Pavitra Ekadashi. Now please hear attentively the topics of this Ekadashi, which destroyes ones sinful reaction. By hearing the glories of this Ekadashi one obtains the result of Bajapeya sacrifice.
In an ancient time in the begining of Dvapara Yuga, there was a King, named Mahijit, who ruled the kingdom, named Mahismatipuri. But since the king had no sons, he did not feel any happiness in conducting his activities. A married man, who has no son, does not get any happiness either in this life or in the next. The King spent many years in trying to get a son, but he was not fortunate enough to get a jewell like son, who would give him all pleasure.
Realising his own pathetic condition, one day the king called his subjects, whom he treated as his childred, to the royal assembly and said to them, "O, dear subjects! I have never commited any sinful activity in this life, I did not increase my treasury by unlawfully earned wealth, I didnot plunder the wealth of the brahmins and the demigods, rather I have conquered this world by following the proper code of conduct, I have maintained all of you like my own children, I have never hasitated to award due punishment even to my dearones like my brother and relatives according to their faults and I have showed due respect to evn my enemy if he was gentle and pious. O, brahmanas, inspite of travelling on the religious path like this, why I am breft of a son? Please consider carefully the reason behind this and advise me".
After hearing these lementing words of King Mahijit, the kings brahmana adviser discussed the subject matter among themselves and decided that for the benefit of the king they would go to the forest and visit the ashramas of the great sages who know the past, present and future. Theat is exactly what they did. They entered the forest and while wondering here and there they came across the various ashramas of the great sages. Finally they met Lomasa Muni, who was engaged in severe austerities, whose body was spiritual and full of bliss, who strictly observe the vow of fasting, who was self controlled, who knew the science of Eternal Religious Pricipal, who was well conversant with the knowledge of all the scripture, whose duration of life was as long as that of Brahma and who was an effulgent saint. When a kalpa of Brahma passes, one hair (loma) out of his body fallsout, that is why the name of the sage is Lomasa. The sage Lomasa was the knower of past, present and future.
Enchanted by this great sage, the advisers of the king offered their obeisances to him and spoke with humility, "O, great sage! Due to our great fortune we have met a great soul like you". The sage Lomasa inquired, "Who are you all? Why have you come here? Why are you praising me like this?". The brahmins replied, "O, great sage! We have come to you for removing some of our doubts. O, Lord! Our king Mahijit has no sons. We are his subjects and we are treated by the king as his own children. We are feeling distressed on seeing the distress of the King. O, best of the Brahmin, we want to strictly under go austerity here. It is the good fortune of the king that today we met a great personality like you. By the darshan of a great personality, a man certainly attains all perfections. Please instruct us in such a way so that our sonless king can have a son".
After hearing their sincere prayers, the sage Lomasa entered into a deep meditation for a movement and immediately understood the king Mahijits previous life. He then said, in his previous life this king was a poor Vaisya or a Merchant. He commited a sinfuldeed. Once while travelling from village to village in the course of his business, he became overwhelmed with thirst. It was the midday of dvadasi in the month of July. Soon he found a beautiful lake and decided to drink its water. At that time a cow and her newly born calf came there to drink water. As the cow began to drink water from the lake, the merhant immediately drove her away and began to drink water himself. As a result of obstructing and unsatisfyed thristy cow from drinking water the merchant had commited a sin. For this reason though the merchant who by the influence of his peity has now been born as a King Mahijit, but he has got no son.
On hearing these words of the great sage, the kings advicers said, "O, great sage! It is stated in the Puranas that by the influence of piety all ones sinful reactions are counter acted. Therefore please instruct us in such a way that all the sinful reactions of the king may be distroyed and he can obtain a son".
The great sage Lomasa replied, "There is a famous auspicious Ekadashi, known as Pavitra Ekadashi, which occures during the waxing moon in the month of July/August. You and your King should properly observe this Ekadashi. Thereafter you should give away your piety that you will earn by observing this Ekadashi. If you follow my instruction then the King will certainly be blessed with a son". After hearing these words from sage Lomasa, all the kings advicers became happy and satisfied. They offerd their obeisances to the sage and returned home. Then they meet king Mahijit and explained to him in detail whatever they have heard from the great sage Lomasa.
Thereafter when the proper time arrived, the kings advicers remembered the advice of the sage and properly observed the vow of Pavitra Ekadashi along with the king. On the day of Dvadasi they gave away their occumulated peity to the king as adviced by the sage. By the influence of this peity the queen became pregnent and in due course of time she gave birth to a beautiful son.
O, King Yudhisthira! Any one, who observes this sacred Ekadashi, is releived from sinful reactions and becomes happy both in this life and in the next. One who hears the glories of this Ekadashi obtains the happiness derived from having a son in this life and goes back to godhead in his next life".
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