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Indira Ekadashi

Indira Ekadashi : Mon 18th Sep, 2006

Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “O Madhusudana, O killer of the Madhu demon,
what is the name of the Ekadasi. that occurs during the dark fortnight
of the month of Asvina [September-October]? Please describe its glories
to me.”

The Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna, replied, “This holy day is called Indira
Ekadasi. If a person fasts on this day, all his sins are eradicated and
his forefathers who have fallen into hell are liberated. O best of
kings, one who simply hears about this Ekadasi. achieves the great merit
earned by performing a horse sacrifice.”

In the Satya-yuga there lived a king named Indrasena, who was so
powerful that he destroyed all his enemies. His kingdom was called
Mahismati-puri. The glorious and highly religious King Indrasena took
good care of his subjects, and therefore he was rich in gold, grains,
sons, and grandsons. He was greatly devoted to Sri Visnu as well. He
especially enjoyed chanting My name, calling out ‘Govinda! Govinda!’ In
this way King Indrasena systematically dedicated himself to pure
spiritual life and spent much time meditating on the Absolute Truth.

One day, as King Indrasena happily and peacefully presided over his
assembly, the perfect orator, Narada Muni, was seen descending from the
sky. The king offered Devarsi Narada, the saint among the demigods,
great respect by greeting him with joined palms, inviting him into the
palace, offering him a comfortable seat, washing his feet, and speaking
sweet words of welcome. Then Narada Muni said to Maharaja Indrasena, ‘O
king, are the seven limbs of your kingdom prospering?’ Is your mind
absorbed in thinking of how you can properly perform your occupational
duty? Are you becoming more and more devoted to the Supreme Lord, Sri

The king replied, ‘By your kind grace, O greatest of sages, everything
is quite well. Today, just by your presence all the sacrifices in my
kingdom are successful! Please show me mercy and explain the reason for
your visit here.’

Sri Narada, the sage among the demigods, then said, ‘O lion among kings,
listen to my astonishing words. When I descended from Brahmaloka to
Yamaloka, Lord Yamaraja praised me very graciously and offered me an
excellent seat. As I glorified his truthfulness and wonderful service to
the Supreme Lord, I noticed your father in Yamaraja’s assembly. Though
he had been very religious, because he broke an Ekadasi fast
prematurely, he had to go to Yamaloka. Your father gave me a message for
you. He said, “In Mahismati lives a king named Indrasena. Please tell
him about my situation here-that because of my past sinful deeds I have
somehow been forced to reside in Yamaraja’s kingdom. Please give him
this message from me: ‘O son, kindly observe Indira Ekadasi and give
much in charity so I can go upward to heaven.’

Narada continued, ‘Just to deliver this message, O king, have I come to
you. You should help your father by observing the fast of Indira
Ekadasi. By the merit you gain, your father will go to heaven.’

King Indrasena asked, ‘O great Naradaji, please be merciful and tell me
specifically how to observe a fast on Indira Ekadasi, and also tell me
during what month and on what day it occurs.’

Narada Muni replied, ‘O king, please listen as I describe to you the
full process of observing Indira Ekadasi. This Ekadasi. occurs during
the dark fortnight of the month of Asvina. On Dasami, the day before
Ekadasi. rise early in the morning, bathe, and then do some service for
God with full faith. At noon, bathe again in running water and then
offer oblations to your forefathers with faith and devotion. Be sure not
to eat more than once on this day, and at night sleep on the floor.

“‘When you awaken on Ekadasi morning, cleanse your mouth and teeth
thoroughly and then with deep devotion for the Lord take this sacred
vow: “Today I shall fast completely and give up all kinds of sense
enjoyment. O lotus-eyed Supreme Personality of Godhead, O infallible
one, please give me shelter at Your lotus feet.” At noon, stand before
Sri Salagrama-sila and worship Him faithfully, following all the rules
and regulations; then offer oblations to your forefathers. Next, feed
qualified brahmanas and offer them some charity according to your means.
Now take the food you offered to your forefathers, smell it, and then
offer it to a cow. Next, worship Lord Hrsikesa with incense and flowers,
and finally, remain awake all night near the Deity of Sri Kesava.

Early in the morning of the next day, Dvadasi, worship Sri Hari with
great devotion and invite brahmanas to a sumptuous feast. Then feed your
relatives, and finally take your meal in silence. O king, if you
strictly observe a fast on Indira Ekadasi in this way, with controlled
senses, your father will surely be elevated to the abode of Lord Visnu.’
After saying this, Devarsi Narada immediately disappeared.

King Indrasena followed the great saint’s instructions perfectly,
observing the fast in the association of his relatives and servants. As
he broke his fast on Dvadasi, flowers fell from the sky. The merit
Indrasena earned by observing this fast released his father from the
kingdom of Yamaraja and caused him to attain a completely spiritual
body. Indeed, Indrasena saw him rising to the abode of Lord Hari on the
back of Garuda. Indrasena himself was able to rule his kingdom without
any obstacles, and in time he handed over the kingdom to his son and
also went to Vaikuntha.

O Yudhisthira, these are the glories of Indira Ekadasi, which occurs
during the dark fortnight of the month of Asvina Whoever hears or reads
this narration certainly enjoys life in this world, is freed of all his
past sins, and at death returns home, back to Godhead, where he lives


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