The Padma Purana

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

This page describes prabodhini ekadashi which is chapter 61 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 sixty-first 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.

Chapter 61 - Prabodhinī Ekādaśī

Yudhiṣṭhira said:

1. O Kṛṣṇa, I have duly heard from you the importance of Ramā (Ekādaśī). O you who respect (others, now) tell me about the Ekādaśī falling in the bright half of Kārtika.

Śrīkṛṣṇa said:

2. O king, I shall tell you about (the Ekādaśī) falling in the bright half of Kārtika, as it was told by Brahmā, the creator of the worlds, to Nārada.

Nārada said:

3. Tell me in detail the importance of the Prabodhinī (Ekādaśī) on which Viṣṇu, the propounder of righteousness, keeps awake.

Brahmā said:

4-11. O best sage, listen to the greatness of Prabodhinī which destroys sins, which increases religious merit, and which gives salvation to men of good minds. Till the Prabodhinī of (i.e. sacred to) Viṣṇu (falling) in Kārtika does not arrive, all the holy places including the oceans and the lakes roar. O best brāhmaṇa, Gaṅgā-Bhāgīrathī roars on the earth till the Ekādaśī awakening Viṣṇu (and falling) in Kārtika and destroying sins has not come. A man would obtain even through one fast on the Prabodhinī (day) (that whicḥ is obtained by means of) thousands of horse-sacrifices, and hundreds of Rājasūya sacrifices. The Haribodhinī (i.e. Prabodhinī Ekādaśī) gives, O son, even that whicḥ is difficult to obtain, whicḥ is difficult to reach, and which is not within the range of the three worlds, even though it is not asked for. The Haribodhinī, when fasted on, gives people splendour, wealth, intellect, kingdom, happiness and riches. This (Ekādaśī) that destroys sins, burns even when it is fasted on once the sins that are declared and have the size of Meru and Mandara. Keeping awake at night on this (Ekādaśī) burns like a heap of cotton the sin committed in thousands of former existences.

12-20. O best sage, he who, according to his nature, duly observes a fast on Prabodhinī, gets the fruit as declared(in sacred texts). O best among the excellent sages, a man who duly does the good act as enjoined, gets the fruit (as large) as Meru. He who without the proper manner does a good act as much (i.e. as big) as Meru, obtains its fruit just of the measure of an atom, O Nārada. The dead ancestors of those who will devoutly observe (the vow of Prabodhinī, are delighted and live in Viṣṇu’s world. A man, even after having committed a terrible sin like the murder of a brāhmaṇa, is freed from the hellish misery and goes to the highest place of Viṣṇu (on observing the Prabodhinī-vow). Having kept awake (in honour) of Viṣṇu, the sins of a man are washed. O brāhmaṇa, that fruit difficult to obtain by means of the sacrifices like the horse-sacrifice, is easily obtained by means of keeping awake on Prabodhinī. A man obtains that fruit by keeping awake (in honour) of Viṣṇu, which he would get by bathing in all holy places and by giving gold or land. He who has observed the Prabodhinī in Kārtika, is alone born fortunate and has himself only purified his family. Though death is certain for men, wealth and body are uncertain.

21-25. Realising this, O best sage, the day of (i.e. sacred to) Viṣṇu should be observed (as a fast-day). All the holy places that are there in the three worlds, are (present) in the house of the one who properly observes the (fast on) the Prabodhinī. What is the use of many (other) acts of religious merit for him who has observed (a fast on) the Prabodhinī (Ekādaśī)? This Haribodhinī (falling) in Kārtika gives sons and grandsons. He (alone) is wise, is a meditating saint, an ascetic, and has controlled his senses (who fasts on Prabodhinī). He (who) fasts on Haribodhinī, gets pleasures and salvation. This one, helping the essence of righteousness, is very dear to Viṣṇu. A man who devoutly observes (this vow) would enjoy pleasures. By fasting on Prabodhinī a man does not enter a womb (i.e. he is not reborn).

26-33. Therefore, giving up all other meritorious acts, a man should observe (this vow). All the sin committed through deeds, mind and speech is washed by Viṣṇu on a man’s keeping awake on Prabodhinī. All that a man does like a bath, (giving) a gift, muttering (hymns), worship in honour of Viṣṇu on Prabodhinī is inexhaustible. Those men who devoutly worship god Viṣṇu on that day and observe a fast on that day, are free from sins incurred during hundreds of existences. O son, this is a great vow which destroys a stream of great sins. A man should duly fast on the day of Viṣṇu’s being awake and should please Viṣṇu with this vow. Illuminating all quarters he goes to Viṣṇu’s abode. Men desiring brilliance and wealth should carefully observe this. Viṣṇu worshipped on this day, washes men’s sin which is accumulated (by them) in their childhood, in their youth, and in their old age, so also the sin committed during hundreds of existences, even if it is small or great. This one brings wealth and grains, is auspicious, is great and removes all sins.

34-41a. By fasting on it through devotion for Viṣṇu, there would be nothing difficult to obtain. The fruit which is obtained (on bathing) at the lunar or the solar eclipse, is said to be thousandfold by keeping awake on the Prabodhinī. All that—bath, (giving) gifts, muttering (hymns), sacrifice, self-study, Viṣṇu’s worship, done on Prabodhinī becomes crorefold. All the religious merit that would be earned by a man from his birth, becomes fruitless if the vow in Kārtika is not observed. O Nārada, a man who would spend Kārtika without observing the vow of Viṣṇu, does not obtain the fruit of the religious merit earned during his existence. Therefore, O best brāhmaṇa, with all efforts he should serve Viṣṇu, the god of gods. It gives all desired objects. A man devoted to Viṣṇu, should avoid others’ food in Kārtika. By avoiding others’ food, he would obtain the fruit of the Cāndrāyaṇa-vow. A man who would spend every day of Kārtika in (pursuing) sacred texts would burn all (his) sins, and would obtain the fruit of a myriad sacrifices.

4lb-48a. Viṣṇu is not so much pleased with sacrifices, gifts, and Vājapeya etc. as he is pleased with the narration of stories from the sacred texts in Kārtika. Those who narrate Viṣṇu’s account or listen to (his) auspicious accounts, or to half a verse or a quarter of a verse in Kārtika obtain the fruit of (having given) a hundred cows. Giving up all other righteous acts, sacred texts should be discussed and grasped in Kārtika before (the image of) Viṣṇu, O great sage. O best sage, he who, with (a desire for) the highest good and any (other) desire, narrates (or listens to) Viṣṇu’s accounts in Kārtika, would emancipate a hundred (members) of his family. A man who regularly listens to Viṣṇu’s account, especially in Kārtika, obtains the fruit of (having given) a thousand cows. O sage, he who listens to Viṣṇu’s account on the day of his awakening (i.e. on the Prabodhinī Ekādaśī) obtains that fruit (which is obtained) by giving (the earth) with the seven islands. O best sage, eternal world (of gods) is said to be reached by them who, after hearing the divine account of Viṣṇu, honour according to their own capacity the knower (i.e. the reader) of the account.

48b-54. O Nārada, that man who would pass Kārtika in singing and in pursuing sacred texts, is not seen by me to be reborn. O sage, the man, a meritorious soul, who does (i.e. engages himself in) singing, dancing, (playing on) musical instruments, and (listens to) the auspicious account of Viṣṇu, remains above the three worlds. With many flowers, with many fruits and camphor, agaru and saffron, Viṣṇu’s worship should be done on the Prabodhinī day in Kārtika, from which immeasurable religious merit is obtained, O best sage. At the time of keeping awake on the Prabodhinī (night) respectful offering with various kinds of fruits should be made after taking water in a conch. A crore-fold of fruit which (is obtained by bathing) at all holy places, that fruit which (is had) by means of all gifts, is got by giving a respectful offering on the Prabodhinī day. After that the preceptor should be honoured with a meal, a covering etc., so also with gifts in order to please the Disc-holder (i.e. Viṣṇu), O divine sage.

55-68. A man who listens to Bhāgavata, and a man who would listen to a Purāṇa, would obtain for every letter (of the text) the fruit due to the gift of a tawny cow. O best sage, for him who observes, according to his capacity, the vow (in honour) of Viṣṇu, as has been laid down, salvation is certainly secured. Madhusūdana, the eagle-bannered god, worshipped with one ketakī-leaf, becomes very much pleased for a thousand years. The fire of hell is put out by seeing him who would worship Viṣṇu with agasti-leaves, O divine sage. Viṣṇu, the greatest person, when worshipped with mango-leaves in Kārtika, gives desired objects, as at the lunar or the solar eclipse. He who, leaving all (other) flowers, devoutly worships Viṣṇu with mango-blossoms, would obtain the fruit of a horse-sacrifice. O child, all the sin of those, (even) of a myriad existences, who offer Tulasī-leaves and flowers to Viṣṇu in Kārtika, would burn. Tulasī is auspicious if it is always seen, touched, meditated upon, described, praised, planted, sprinkled and worshipped. O sage, those who everyday are devoted to Tulasī in (these) nine ways, produce religious merit lasting for thousands of crores of yugas. O sage, as long as Tulasī planted by men on the earth grows with branches, twigs, seeds, flowers and leaves, (the persons) that are born or will be born in their families, live in Viṣṇu’s house for (many) thousand years till universal deluge. That fruit which exists in all flowers and leaves, is obtained by (offering) a Tulasī-leaf (to Viṣṇu) in Kārtika. Seeing that Kārtika has arrived, great Viṣṇu should be regularly worshipped with tender Tulasī-leaves. The religious merit obtained by the performance of hundreds of sacrifices and giving many gifts is obtained by worshipping Viṣṇu with Tulasī-leaves in Kārtika.

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