by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291
This page describes padma ekadashi which is chapter 57 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-seventh 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.
4-13. O best sage, you are Viṣṇu’s devotee. You have indeed asked well. In this world there is nothing superior to this day of Viṣṇu. This Ekādaśī in the bright half of Bhādrapada is known as Padmā. On it Viṣṇu is worshipped. (This) excellent vow should be observed. I shall tell you an auspicious old account by just hearing which (even) a great sin perishes. A royal sage, Māndhātṛ by name, born in the family of Vivasvat, was a valorous emperor who was true to his word. He righteously looked after his subjects like his own sons. In his kingdom there was no famine. There were no agonies or diseases. His subjects were healthy and prospered with wealth and grains. The wealth in the treasury of the king was earned justly. All castes and stages of life abided by their duties. In the kingdom of that king the land resembled the desire-yielding cow. When he was ruling like this, many groups of years passed. And one year there was indeed the maturity of his acts. The cloud(s) did not shower (water) in his country for three years. By that his subjects, oppressed by hunger, were frustrated. They were without Svāhā (i.e. offerings to gods), Svadhā (i.e. oblations to dead ancestors), Vaṣaṭkāra (i.e. oblations to deities) and Vedic study. Due to his misfortune, his country was troubled by (ill) luck. Then the subjects gathered and said these words to the king:
The subjects said:
14-16. O best king, listen to the words of your subjects. In the Purāṇa(s) the wise have called āpa (water) nārā (water). That is the lord’s abode. Therefore, he is called Nārāyaṇa. Viṣṇu, the lord in the form of rain, is present everywhere. He alone causes rain, from rain comes up food and from that subjects (spring up). O best king, without it the subjects perish. O king, do that by which security of possession would take place.
The king said:
17-26. You have told the truth. You have told no lie. Since food is called Brahman, everything is placed in food. Beings spring up from food. The world exists due to food. This is heard in (i.e. from) the very extensive Purāṇa (literature). Due to the bad behaviour of the kings the subjects would be oppressed. (Even) thinking with my intellect I do not see anything like this done by me. Yet with a desire for the well-being of the subjects I shall strive. The king having innumerable attendants thought like this, (and) saluting the Creator went into a dense forest. He went to principal sages and to hermitages resorted to by ascetics. Then the king saw the sage Aṅgiras, Brahmā’s son, who had brightened the quarters with his lustre and who was, as it were, another Brahmā. Seeing him, the delighted king got down from his vehicle, and the restrained one, with the palms of his hands joined, saluted his feet. Having greeted him with blessings (like ‘May it be well with you’), he asked about the well-being of the king in the seven constituents (of the kingdom). The king told it and asked him about his health. He who was offered a seat and had received a respectful offering, sat near him. The king, asked by the sage about the reason of his arrival, replied:
The king said:
27-28. O revered one, when I was righteously looking after the earth, there was a drought. I do not see the reason for this. I have come to you to get my doubt removed. Give delight to my subjects by (securing) their welfare.
The sage said:
29-31. O king, this is the Kṛta age, best among the ages. In this (age) people are devoted to Brahman, and Dharma has four feet. In this age (only) brāhmaṇas practice penance, not other people. O king, in your country a cāṇḍāla is practising penance. For this reason the cloud does not shower. Make an effort to kill him, by which (your) sin will come to an end.
The king said:
32. I shall not kill that innocent one practising penance. Instruct me in righteousness which will destroy the trouble.
The sage said:
33-41. If this is so, then, O king, observe the Ekādaśī-vow. In the bright half of Bhādrapada (falls the Ekādaśī) well-known as Padmā. By its power there will certainly be good rainfall. This one gives all prosperity and destroys all calamities. O king, observe its vow along with your subjects and attendants.
Having heard these words of the sage, the king came home. In the bright half of the month of Bhādrapada he along with all his subjects and the four castes observed the vow of Padmā. O king, when thus the vow was observed, the cloud showered. Land was inundated with water and was resplendent with corn. By the power of the best sage people got happiness. For this reason this excellent vow should be thus observed. On this (day) a man should give a pitcher full of water along with curd and rice and well covered, so also an umbrella and (a pair of) sandals to a brāhmaṇa. (He should pray:) “Salutations to you, O wise Govinda, called Śravaṇa. Destroying the streams of (my) sins, give me all pleasures. Give pleasures and salvation and happiness to people.” By reciting or listening to (this account a man) is free from all sins.