The Padma Purana

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

This page describes devashayani ekadashi which is chapter 53 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 fifty-third 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 53 - Devaśayanī Ekādaśī

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Yudhiṣṭhira said:

1. Which would be (i.e. is) the Ekādaśī in the bright half of Āṣāḍha? What is the name and the manner of it? (i.e. in which manner is it observed?) Tell me about it in detail.

Śrīkṛṣṇa said:

2-8. I shall tell you (about that Ekādaśī) named Śayanī which is very auspicious, which gives heaven and salvation, which is great and which removes all sins, merely hearing about which a man would obtain the fruit of a Vājapeya (sacrifice). I have told (you) the truth and the truth (only). Nothing is greater than this for men. O lord of kings, the best one is created by the Creator for the destruction of the sins of sinners. There is no greater (vow) than this which would give salvation. Listen, O king, for this reason that the best position would be obtained by men, the listeners, even by listening to it. Those are the Vaiṣṇavas (i.e. Viṣṇu’s devotees) who are greatly devoted to me. In Āṣāḍha, the great god Vāmana (i.e. Viṣṇu) is worshipped. He who has worshipped with lotuses the lotus-eyed Vāmana in the bright half of Āṣāḍha on the day of Kāmikā, has honoured the entire world and has worshipped the three ancient gods (viz. Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Śiva); so also, he who has observed the Ekādaśī—the day of (i.e. sacred to) Viṣṇu—has honoured the entire world and worshipped the three ancient gods.

Yudhiṣṭhira said:

9-10. O Viṣṇu, 1 have a great doubt here. (Please) listen. How do you sleep (in the ocean)? How have you resorted to Bali? What do the other people do? Why do they sleep on the ground, O very intelligent one, tell (i.e. explain) this. I have a great doubt.

Śrīkṛṣṇa said:

11-16. O best king, listen to the great account which removes sins, (and) by merely hearing which all sins would perish. O king, formerly in the Tretā age there was a demon named Bali. Greatly devoted to me he worshipped me everyday. With various sacrifices the demon worshipped me, the ancient one. O king, with great devotion he performed sacrifices and observed vows. Then having deliberated in many ways with Indra, Brahaspati [Bṛhaspati?] and (other) deities, I though worshipped with hymns (by Bali) in various ways, conquered the demons with my Vāmana-form in my fifth incarnation, with (i.e. after taking up) a very fierce form of the nature of (i.e. pervading) the entire universe by prevarication. (Bali, however,) remained firm resorting to truth only. Śukra warded him off saying, ‘This is Viṣṇu’.

17-26. O king, I begged for land measured by my three steps and a half. When he offered the water just for conveying his intention, O king, listen, I took up a form like this: I put my feet in the ‘Bhūr’ world, and I put knees in the ‘Bhuvas’ world. I put my waist in the ‘Svar’ world, and belly in the ‘Mahas’ world. I put my heart in the ‘Jana’ world, and my neck in ‘Tapas’ world. I put my face in the ‘Satya’ world, and head above it. The planets like the Moon, the Sun, so also the constellations, so also gods with Indra, nāgas, yakṣas, gandharvas and kinnaras praised (me) with various hymns from the Vedas. Seizing Bali by his hand, I occupied the earth in three steps. Then I placed half the step on his head. O king, the demon, my worshipper, went to the lower world. I threw down the demon. What else did I do after it? He was bent with modesty, Viṣṇu was very much pleased. Kāmikā in the bright half of Āṣāḍha is Viṣṇu’s day. On that day one of my forms remains resorting to Bali. Another (form) lies on the back of Śeṣa in the ocean, O great king, till the coming (Ekādaśī) in Kārtika. Till then he would be very religious and devoted to best of all duties.

27-37. A man who observes the vow goes to the best position. For this reason, O king, it should be carefully observed. There is no other (Ekāḍaśī) than this which is pure and which destroys sins. On that day on which the lord of gods holding a conch, a disc, and a mace sleeps, a man should worship the god holding a conch, a disc, and a mace, and he should especially, with devotion, keep awake at night. (Even) Brahma is not able to measure the religious merit of (i.e. due to) it. O king, he who, in this way, observes this best vow of Ekādaśī, which removes all sins, gives pleasures and salvation, even though a cāṇḍāla, always lives in my heaven doing what is dear to me. Those men who pass the four months (from the eleventh of the bright half of Āṣāḍha to the eleventh of the bright half of Kārtika) by offering lights, and with the vow of eating on a palāśa-leaf, are dear to me. When Viṣṇu is lying (on Śeṣa), a man should sleep on the ground. He should avoid vegetables in Śrāvaṇa, and curd in Bhādrapada. He should avoid milk in Āśvina, and give up two-leafed (grains) in Kārtika. Or remaining in celibacy, he would reach the highest position. O king, due to the Ekādaśī-vow a man is freed from sins. It should always be observed. It should never be forgotten. That Ekādaśī falling in the dark half between Śayanī and Prabodhinī should be observed by a householder; never any other. O king, a man should listen to the great account which removes sins. He (thereby) obtains the fruit of a horse-sacrifice.

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