“Oh Janardana, what is the name of the Ekadasi that takes place during the light fortnight (shukla paksha) of the extra, leap year month,” said Sri Suta Goswami.
Please narrate all this to me and tell me how one observes it properly. ”.
“Oh Pandava, the meritorious Ekadasi that takes place during the light fortnight of the extra month of the leap year is called Padmini,” retorted the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna.
It is very fortunate. The blessed one who observes it with great steadfastness and faith will return to My own home. In terms of undoing sins, this extra-month Ekadasi is just as effective as I am. Even the four-headed Lord Brahma cannot sufficiently exalt it. This liberating, sin-eradicating Ekadasi was first revealed to Narada by Lord Brahma a long time ago. ’.
“The inquiry of Yudhishthira greatly pleased the lotus-eyed Lord Krishna, who then spoke to him in the following kind words:.
Oh king, pay close attention as I describe to you the practice of fasting on Padmini Ekadasi, which is uncommon even among great sages. On Dashami, the day before Ekadasi, one should start their fast by abstaining from eating any urad dal, chickpeas, spinach, honey, or sea salt. They should also refrain from eating in other people’s homes or on bell-metal plates. We should steer clear of these eight things. On the Dashami, one should refrain from sexual activity and consume only one meal. The follower should get up early on Ekadasi but avoid brushing his teeth. Then, if possible, he should take a thorough bath in a shrine. He should cover his body in cow dung mixed with clay, sesame paste, kusha grass, and the powder of Amalaki fruits while reciting holy hymns from the Vedas. The devotee should then take another thorough bath and recite the following prayers: “Oh sacred clay, you have been created by Lord Brahma, purified by Kashyapa Muni, and lifted by Lord Krishna in His form as Varaha, the boar incarnation. Please cleanse my head, eyes, and other limbs, clay. I prostrate myself before you, clay. Help me to become pure so that I can worship Sri Hari, the Supreme Lord.
“Oh cow-dung, you have medicinal and antiseptic properties because you came straight from the stomach of our universal mother, the cow. The whole of Earth can be made clean. Accept my fervent apologies and purify me.
Please accept my sincere adulations, oh Amalaki fruits. Because you were created from Lord Brahma’s saliva, just being on the planet makes it more pure. Please purify and clean my physical parts.
“Oh Supreme Lord Vishnu, Oh God of Gods, Oh Ruler of the Universe, Oh Possessor of the Conch, Disc, Club, and Lotus, Please Permit Me to Bathe in All the Holy Places of Pilgrimage. ”.
“One should take a bath in whatever body of water is nearby while reciting these excellent prayers, chanting mantras to Lord Varuna, and contemplating all the pilgrimage sites situated along the banks of the Ganges. The devotee should then rub his body, Oh Yudhishthira, purifying his mouth, back, chest, arms, and waist as a preparation for worshiping the Supreme Lord, who wears brilliant yellow garments and gives pleasure to all creatures. The devotee will eliminate all of his sins by doing this. He should then recite the holy Gayatri mantra, make sacrifices for his ancestors, and enter a Vishnu temple to worship Lord Narayana, the husband of the Goddess of Fortune, Laxmi-devi.
Then, if possible, the devotee should make gold Deities of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna or Shiva and Parvati and present them with lovely devotional worship. In order to create an Asana for the Radha-Krishna or Shiva-Parvati murtis to sit upon and perform worship, he must first fill a copper or clay pot with pure water mixed with scents. He must then cover the pot with a cloth lid and a gold or silver lid. The devotee should then worship these murtis with aromatic incense, a bright ghee lamp, and sandalwood paste along with camphor, musk, kumkum, and other scents, as well as chosen aromatic flowers like white lotuses and other seasonal blooms, as well as very nicely prepared foods. The devotees are expected to dance and sing wildly in front of the Deity on this special Ekadasi. A woman in her period, others who are so preoccupied, and low-born people (untrained people habituated to low acts) should all be avoided at all costs, as should prajalpa (talking unnecessarily about ordinary, mundane conversational topics). He must take extra care to speak the truth on this day and must never criticize anyone in front of the brahmins, the Deity of Lord Vishnu, or the spiritual guide. He should instead focus on hearing Vaishnavas read about Lord Vishnu’s virtues from the Puranas while surrounded by other devotees. On this Ekadasi, one should refrain from drinking any liquids, including water, and those who are unable to observe this fast should stick to milk or water. The fast is deemed broken in any other case. That Ekadasi night, one should stay awake while singing and playing musical instruments for the Supreme Person’s transcendental enjoyment.
The devotee should give his worshippable Deity (Isthadeva) some coconut meat during the first quarter of the Ekadasi night, soothing bel fruit during the second, an orange during the third, and betel nuts as the night draws to a close. The devotee/sadhaka receives the same benefit from sleeping through the first half of the Ekadasi night as they would from performing the Agnistoma-yajna. The benefit of remaining awake during the second half of the night is equivalent to that of performing a Vajapeya-yajna. One receives the same benefit from remaining awake during the third section as they would from performing an Ashvamedha-yajna. And one who stays awake the entire night gains all of the aforementioned merits in addition to the great merit of having performed a Rajasurya-yajna. Therefore, Padmini Ekadasi is the best fasting day of the year. Nothing can compare to it as a source of merit, not even a fire sacrifice, knowledge, education, or austerity. Indeed, whoever keeps this holy Ekadasi fast receives all the merit obtained by taking a bath in all the holy sites around the world.
The devotee should wake up at dawn, take a bath, and then worship Me properly after staying awake all night. Then, after respectfully handing over the Lord Keshava Deity and the pot of pure, fragrant water, he should feed a qualified brahmin. This gift ensures the devotee’s happiness in this life and release in the next.
Oh sinless Yudhishthira, as per your request, I have discussed the guidelines and advantages of the Ekadasi, which takes place during the light fortnight of the extra leap-year month. The merit gained from fasting on this Padmini day is equivalent to the merit gained from fasting on all other Ekadasis. Both this Ekadasi and the Parama Ekadasi, which falls on the darkest day of the extra month, are equally effective at purging sin, Padmini. Please pay close attention as I recount to you a fascinating story about this holy day. At one point, Pulastya Muni told Naradji this tale.
Narada Muni asked his friend, “Oh greatest of sages, since this Ravana defeated all the demigods, including Lord Indradev, how could Kartaviry Arjuna defeat Ravana, who was so skilled in battle?” when he learned of Pulastya Muni’s occasion to free the ten-headed demon Ravana from the prison of Kartaviry Arjuna.
Oh great Narada, Kartavirya (Kartaviry Arjuna’s father) was born in the Haihaya dynasty during the Tretayuga, Pulastya Muni retorted. He had a thousand Queens, whom he loved dearly, and Mahishmati was his capital city. But none of them were able to provide him with the son he yearned for so desperately. He offered sacrifices and worshiped the devas (demigods) and forefathers (pitris), but due to a sage’s curse he was unable to conceive a son. Without a son, a king cannot truly enjoy his realm, just as a hungry man can never truly enjoy his senses.
King Kartavirya carefully considered his predicament before deciding to engage in extreme penance in order to fulfill his ambition. He then put on a loincloth made of bark, developed matted hair, and gave his ministers control of his kingdom. One of his queens, Padmini, the best of all women and the daughter of King Harishchandra, who was born into the Ikshvaku dynasty, witnessed the king leaving. As a chaste wife, she believed it was her responsibility to uphold the values her devoted husband had instilled in her. She then followed her husband into the forest after taking off all the regal jewelry from her lovely body and donning just one piece of clothing.
Kartavirya eventually made it to the top of Mount Gandhamadana, where he spent ten thousand years performing severe penances and austerities while praying to the club-wielding Lord Gadadhara. But he still didn’t have a son. As she watched her beloved husband degenerate into nothing more than skin and bone, Padmini came up with a solution. She visited the virgin Anasuya. With great reverence, Padmini said, “Oh great lady, my dear husband, Kartavirya, has been performing penance for the past 10,000 years, but Lord Krishna (Keshava), who alone can erase one’s past transgressions and present difficulties, has not yet become pleased with him. Oh most fortunate one, please advise me of a fast day we can observe and thus appease the Supreme Lord with our devotion, in order that He will bless me with a nice son who will later rule the world as an emperor. ’.
The great Anasuya, who was very chaste and devoted to her husband, responded to Padmini’s persuasive speech with these cheery words: “Oh lovely, lotus-eyed lady, normally there are twelve months in a year, but after every thirty-two months an extra month is added, and the two Ekadasis that occur during this month are called Padmini Ekadasi and Parama Ekadasi. They coincide with the Dvadasis of the light and dark halves of the month. On these days, you should refrain from eating or drinking and remain awake all night. The Supreme Person of Godhead, Sri Hari, will bestow a son upon you if you follow his advice. ’.
Oh Narada, in this manner Anasuya, the wise Kardama Muni’s daughter, described the effectiveness of these unique Ekadasis. After hearing this, Padmini obediently carried out the instructions to satisfy her desire for a son. In ecstasy, Padmini danced while chanting the praises of God and abstaining from all liquids.
She also fasted completely.
As a result, Lord Keshava was extremely pleased with her devotion and showed up in front of her on the enormous Garuda. Oh beautiful one, by fasting on the special Ekadasi of the extra month of Purushottama, you have greatly pleased Me, the Lord said. Please ask Me for a benediction. ’.
Following the universe’s supreme overseer’s sublime words, Padmini prayed fervently to the Supreme Lord, requesting the blessing her husband desired. After feeling moved to respond, Lord Keshava (Krishna) said, “Oh gentle lady, I am very happy with you. There is no month dearer to Me than this, and the Ekadasis that occur during this month are the most dear to Me of all Ekadasis. I shall carry out what will please you because you have perfectly followed My devotee Anasuya’s instructions. You will have the son you want, along with your husband. ’.
When the world’s suffering was finally over, the Lord appeared to King Kartavirya and said, “Oh King, please ask of Me any boon that will fulfill your heart’s desire. Your dear wife has greatly pleased Me with her devotional fasting.”. The news made the king very happy. Naturally, he asked for the son he had long desired: “Oh master of the universe, Oh killer of the Madhu-demon, kindly grant me a son who will never be subdued by the demigods, humans, snakes, demons, or hobgoblins, but whom only You can defeat.”. The Supreme Lord immediately remarked, “So be it!” before vanishing.
After becoming incredibly happy with his wife, the king took her with him back to his palace. The powerfully armed Kartaviry Arjuna soon appeared as Padmini’s son after she became pregnant. Because he was the strongest person in all three worlds, even the ten-headed Ravana was unable to defeat him in combat. No one could defeat him besides Lord Narayana, who has a club, a disc, and other symbols in His hands. He was able to defeat even the dreaded Ravana thanks to the merit that resulted from his mother’s strict and devoted observance of Padmini Ekadasi. Oh Naradji, this is not at all surprising because Kartaviry Arjuna was the one who carried out the Supreme Personality of Godhead’s blessing. Having said this, Pulastya Muni left. ’.
“Oh sinless Yudhishthira, I have explained to you the power of this special Ekadasi as you have enquired from Me,’ the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna, said in conclusion. Oh best of kings, whoever keeps this fast will undoubtedly enter My own home. And similarly, you should follow suit if you want all of your desires to come true. ’.
Dharmaraja (Yudhishthira) was overjoyed to hear these words come from his beloved Keshava, and when the time came, he dutifully observed Padmini Ekadasi. “Oh sage Saunaka, I have explained to you all about this meritorious Ekadasi,” Suta Goswami said in conclusion. Anyone who fervently fasts on the Ekadasis that fall during the additional, leap-year months while meticulously adhering to all the rules becomes glorious and joyfully returns to Godhead. And one who simply learns or reads about these Ekadasis will also accrue great merit and eventually reach Lord Sri Hari’s abode.
The Skanda Purana’s description of the splendors of Padmini Ekadasi, the Ekadasi that takes place during the light fortnight of the additional leap-year month of Purushottama, comes to an end at this point.
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