Rama Ekadashi 2017 date is October 15, Sunday
Rama Ekadashi falls in the Krishna Paksha of Aippasi month (October-November). It is considered auspicious for the reason that it deprives one of his sins and helps him in attaining moksha.
Lord Krishna described the merit of Rama Ekadashi to Yudhishthira in Brahma Vaivatra Purana.
In ancient times, there was a king called Muchakunda.He was friendly with Indra, Yama, Vibhishana and Varuna. He had a daughter whose name was Chandrabhaga. Muchakunda named his daughter after the famous river Chandrabhaga. Muchakunda gave Chandrabhaga in marriage to Shobana, who was the son of Chandrasena.
Muchakunda was an ardent devotee of Lord Hari and was a strict observer of Ekadashi vrat. He did not allow even animals to eat and drink water on the Ekadashi day. He would beat a kettledrum on Dashami to announce that all should fast on the next day, that is, Ekadashi day.
Shobana went to the palace of Muchakunda on a Dashami and heard the kettledrum indicating that all should fast on the next day and the next day was Rama Ekadashi.Shobana fasted the whole day and also kept vigil throughout the night. He had poor health and was unable to bear the hunger and thirst when he fasted on Rama Ekadashi. So, he died that night.
Muchakunda did all the final rites for him but did not allow his daughter to enter the funeral pyre along with her husband. He asked Chandrabhaga to live in his palace with him. Chandrabhaga started living in the palace of Muchakunda and observed Ekadashi vrat as usual. She accumulated the merit gained out of her Ekadashi vrat.
After his death, Shobana got a kingdom to rule on the peak of the Mandrachala mountain He got this kingdom due to the merit he earned by fasting on Rama Ekadashi. The kingdom was very rich in its look and all the things including the crown and the throne of the king in the palace were decorated with precious gems and stones. Shobana was served by apsaras and Gandharvas (celestial dancers and singers) and was looking like a second Indra in his splendour.
One day, a brahmin named Somasharma from the kingdom of Muchakunda visited the place ruled by Shobana. The Brahmin was visiting many places as part of his pilgrimage and he chanced upon the place which was ruled by Shobana. He was respectfully welcomed by Shobana who enquired about the wellbeing of his wife and father- in- law.
The Brahmin replied that everybody was well in the kingdom of Muchakunda and also said that he was surprised to see Shobana in such a place. Shobana replied that he got this kingdom due to the merit he obtained through observing Rama Ekadashi. But it was only a temporary city though it was splendid, beautiful and glittering with precious stones. It was because Shobana fasted on Rama Ekadashi without faith that he got a kingdom which was temporary despite being beautiful and rich.
Shobana asked the Brahmin to convey this message to his wife Chandrabhaga that her husband was ruling a beautiful city but it was temporary. She had to do something to make the city permanent in its beauty and splendour. The Brahmin promised that he would convey this message to Chandrabhaga and request her to do the needful.
Somasharma went back to the kingdom of Muchakunda and met Chandrabhaga. He explained what Shobana had conveyed to her. Chandrabhaga was surprised and happy to hear about her husband’s wonderful kingdom. She requested the Brahmin to take her to the place ruled by her husband. She was confident that the merit accumulated by her through observing Ekadashi vrat would surely make her husband’s kingdom permanent.
As Somasharma and Chandrabhaga arrived at the foot of the Mandrachal mountain, they came across the ashram of Vamadeva. When Chandrabhagha bowed at the feet of the rishi Vamadeva and explained her situation, he performed some holy rites and sprinkled holy water upon her. This made her transcendental and she happily went to the kingdom of her husband along with the Brahmin.
On seeing his wife, Shobana was overwhelmed with joy and wanted her to resolve his crisis. Chandrabhaga said,” I have been observing Ekadashi fast from my childhood with full faith. So, I’ve acquired merit. If I transfer my merit to you, you can make your kingdom permanent with that transferred merit.” She transferred her merit to her husband and the kingdom became permanent and they lived there happily forever.
· Rama Ekadashi vrat absolves a person of all his sins
· By observing Rama Ekadashi vrat, one can overcome the obstacles in his life.
Thus, observing Rama Ekadashi brings valuable merit to a person and every Ekadashi fast brings merit to a devotee who fasts with faith.