The Padma Purana

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

This page describes saphala ekadashi which is chapter 40 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the fortieth chapter of the Uttara-Khanda (Concluding Section) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Disclaimer: These are translations of Sanskrit texts and are not necessarily approved by everyone associated with the traditions connected to these texts. Consult the source and original scripture in case of doubt.

Chapter 40 - Saphalā Ekādaśī

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Yudhiṣṭhira said:

1. Which Ekādaśī would take place (i.e. fall) in the dark half of Pauṣa? What is the name and the manner of observing it? Tell this to me in detail, O master; tell me which deity is worshipped on that day.

Śrī kṛṣṇa said:

2-14. O lord of kings, due to the bond of affection (between us) I shall tell (it to you). O king, I am not so much pleased with sacrifice in which profuse gifts are given, as I am pleased with the Ekādaśī-vow. Therefore, with all efforts, the day of Viṣṇu should be observed (as the day of vow). O you famous among the most religious, this is true, not false. On the Ekādaśī day falling in the dark half of Pauṣa and called Saphalā, a man should duly worship god Viṣṇu. This auspicious Ekādaśī should be observed in the same manner as told before. O king, as Śeṣa is (the best) of the serpents, as (Garuḍa) the eater of serpents is (the best) of the birds, as Viṣṇu is (the best) of the deities, as brāhmaṇa is (the best) of the bipeds, so the day of Ekādaśī is the best of the vows. O king, those men who are devoted to the day of (i.e. sacred to) Viṣṇu, andobserve the vow of Ekādaśī, are always venerable to me. They are united with wealth here (i.e. in this world) only, and after death they obtain salvation. O king, on (the day of) the Saphalā (Ekādaśī) a man should worship Viṣṇu by uttering his (various) names, with coconuts, betel-nuts, citron-fruits, jambīra-fruits, pomegranates, and auspicious dhātrī-fruits, so also with cloves, badari-fruits and especially with mangoes. So also he should worship the lord of gods with incense and lights. Especially on the Saphalā (day) he should cause to be given (i.e. should give) the present of lights. He should keep awake along with Viṣṇu’s devotees during (that) night. O king, listen to the religious merit of him, of a concentrated mind, who keeps awake during that night (just) for (the time of) the twinkling of an eye. No sacrifice is equal to that. There is no sacred place like that. All (other) vows do not deserve (i.e. are not equal to even) the sixteenth part (of the Saphalā-vow). O lord of kings.

15-23. He who thus keeps awake, gets the fruit which cannot be obtained by (practising) penance for thousands of years. O best king, listen to the auspicious account of the Saphalā. There was a city of (i.e. belonging to) Māhiṣmata well-known as Campāvatī. That royal sage had five young sons. Of them the eldest was always engaged in (committing) sins. He was an adulterer, fond of prostitutes and a drunkard. The sinner spent his father’s money in that only. He was always engaged in bad behaviour and censured brāhmaṇas. He always censured Viṣṇu’s devotees and deities. Noticing his son to be like this, king Māhiṣmata called him, among the sons, by the name Lumpaka (i.e. a robber). His father and brothers expelled him from the kingdom. He was thus abandoned like an obstructor by the attendants also. Lumpaka also, who was abandoned like that, then thought: ‘I have indeed been expelled from the kingdom by my kinsmen and my father.’ Thinking like this he set his heart on (committing) sins. ‘I must go to a fearful, dense forest; and from it I shall plunder the entire city of my father.’

24-31a. Thinking like this, Lumpaka, by a lucky coincidence, went out of that city, and went into that dense forest. He was always engaged in killing living beings. He was the treasure of the arts of stealing and gambling. That sinner plundered the entire city. He, moving in the city for stealing, was arrested by night-stalkers. To them he said: “I am the son of king Māhiṣmata.” He who committed sinful deeds was released by them, and again came (back) to the forest. He was fond of to (eating) flesh and fruits. Near that wicked man there was the abode of Viṣṇu. There was an old Aśvattha tree (standing there) for many years. The tree had great divineness in the forest. That Lumpaka, of a sinful mind, living just there, ate, after many days had passed, fruits of trees due to some collection of (his) religious merit on the tenth day of the dark half of Pauṣa.

31b-38. Lumpaka who was the most sinful, was oppressed by heat. He was without clothes and lost his sight. Being oppressed by severe cold, he did not enjoy the pleasure of sleep near that tree of (i.e. sacred to) Viṣṇu. He was as it were dead. Covering his mouth (i.e. his lips) with his teeth, he passed the entire night. Even at sunrise, the most sinful one did not (re-)gain consciousness. (Thus) Lumpaka remained unconscious on that day of Saphalā. When the Sun was in the middle (of the sky) that Lumpaka got (back) consciousness. He looked here and there; was pained; and tumbling from his seat, he again and again walked like a lame man with his feet. He went into the middle part (i.e. the interior) of the forest, was emaciated by hunger and was oppressed. That Lumpaka, of a wicked mind, did not have strength to kill a living being. O king, at that time that Lumpaka did not obtain fruits. When he came there, the Sun had set. ‘O pity, what will happen (to me)?’ Like this he wailed. There, at the root of the tree he placed many fruits and said:

39-44a. “May Viṣṇu be pleased with these fruits.” Having spoken like this Lumpaka did not get sleep on (that) night. Viṣṇu regarded his (sleeplessness as) keeping awake at night (in his honour), and took the placing of fruits as being worshipped with fruits (on the day) of Saphalā. That Lumpaka observed this vow accidentally only. By the power of that religious merit he obtained the kingdom free from troubles. Till it was sunrise, Viṣṇu went to heaven. At that time a divine voice was heard: “By the favour of Saphalā, O son, you will obtain the kingdom.” When he said “All right”, he became one of a divine form. O king, he had a great inclination towards Viṣṇu.

44b-49. He, rich with divine ornaments, obtained the kingdom which was free from trouble. He ruled over the kingdom for fifteen years. By the favour of Kṛṣṇa he had charming sons and a (charming) wife. Having quickly abandoned his kingdom and having given it to his son, he went to Kṛṣṇa’s proximity, going where a man does not meet with grief. O king, he who observes the excellent vow of Saphalā in this way, gets happiness in this world, and after death would obtain salvation. Those men who are engrossed in (the vow of) Saphalā, areblessed. Their existence is fruitful. No doubt should be raised about this. A man, by reciting, listening to and observing the (vow of Saphalā) obtains the fruit of a Rājasūya-sacrifice, O king.

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