Krishna Paksha Ekadashi in the month of Karthigai falls on December 13, 2017.It is called Saphala Ekadashi or Pausha Krishna Ekadashi. It is considered very sacred since it can help a person in getting rid of negative effects of his sins.
Lord Krishna narrated the significance of Saphala Ekadashi to Yudhishtra and said that it is one of the Ekadashis that will fetch maximum spiritual benefits for a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Even those who listen to the glory of this Ekadashi get the merit equal to that of performing Rajasuya Yagna.
Mythological background of Saphala Ekadashi
In ancient times, the city of Champavati was ruled by the king Mahishmata.He had four sons. His eldest son was Lumpaka who was very cruel and wicked in heart. He tortured many people and had illicit affairs with many women. He also spoke ill of Gods, attendants of Gods, Brahmins and Vaishnavites. Due to his bad activities, he reduced the wealth of the kingdom. So, Mahishmata banished Lumpaka from his kingdom and sent him to a nearby forest.
Lumpaka started living in the forest and killed animals for food. He also ate fruits every day. Though he was able to satisfy his hunger and thirst, his wicked nature remained with him still. He decided to sneak into his father’s kingdom at night and steal valuables from the houses of people. Though many citizens were able to identify him, they did not reveal the fact to the king out of fear.
Lumpaka was residing under a Banyan tree without knowing its significance. Banyan tree is one of the trees worshipped by the devotees of Lord Vishnu. As time went on, Saphala Ekadashi arrived. It was bitter cold on the day (Dashami) before Saphala Ekadashi and Lumpaka was unable to sleep that night. He did not have proper bed and was shivering out of cold.
He went to the level of stupor and the next day(Ekadashi), he was not able to eat anything but only fruits. It was because he did not have the energy to hunt any animal. Before eating the fruits, he lamented “Oh, Lord of Lords Sri Hari! Have mercy upon me and accept these fruits as my humble offering. I feel very helpless.” He offered the fruits to Sri Hari realizing his pathetic situation. That night he lay awake as he was unable to sleep out of cold and weakness.
Next morning, when Lumpaka woke up, he was surprised to find a horse standing near him. And, he heard a voice in the sky:
“Hey Lumpaka! Mount the horse and go back to your kingdom. You will get the throne and enjoy your rights as the king. You get back your kingdom because of the merit you acquired through observing Saphala Ekadashi fast yesterday and Lord Vishnu is pleased with you.”
The jubilant Lumpaka went back to his kingdom on the horse and found his father pleased with his changed appearance. Lumpaka was looking like a true Vaishnavite with a tilak on his forehead. He observed all Ekadashi Vrata and ruled the kingdom without blemish. By the grace of Lord Vishnu, he got a beautiful wife and a son. When he got old, he handed over the kingdom to his son like his father and went to the forest to do penance. He entered Vaikuntam after his death.
Thus, observing Saphala Ekadashi can get a person back even his kingdom.
Saphala Ekadashi gets the devotee back the lost honour and position.
It relieves a person of the negative effect of his sinful actions.
It removes a person’s anxiety and lamentation.
The person will become famous.
He will attain the feet of Lord Vishnu after death.
A person who listens to the glory of Saphala Ekadashi will attain the merit equivalent to conducting Rajasuya Yagna. He will go to heaven in his next birth.
Lord Narayana is the presiding deity for Saphala Ekadashi.
Offering flowers, coconut, betel nuts, pomegranate and incenses are very auspicious on this day.
Offering ghee lamps is very sacred on this day.
Observing full-day fast and keeping vigil at night will get one the boundless grace of God.
Thus, observing Saphala Ekadashi vrat brings bounteous spiritual merits for a devotee and helps him in reaching the gates of Vaikuntam after death.
Also, check out our other blogs related to Ekadashi Vrata