by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291
This page describes kamala ekadashi which is chapter 62 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-second 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.
1-4. O revered one, I desire to listen to the best of the vows (in honour) of Viṣṇu, which removes all sins and gives (its) fruit to those who observe it. O Janārdana, tell me the account of Viṣṇu’s month; what is the manner in which it is observed? What is its fruit? Which deity is worshipped during it? O Janārdana, tell me about the vow that is observed when the intercalary month arrives. What is the fruit of what gift? What should be done by men, O lord? In what a bath (should be taken)? What (hymns) should be muttered? What is said to be the manner of the worship? Which best food should be eaten in this Puruṣottama-month?
5-18. Through love for you, I shall, O best king, narrate the sin-destroying greatness of the Puruṣottama-month. That Ekādaśī day which would come when the intercalary month has arrived, is called Kamalā, and is the best of days. By the power of that vow Lakṣmī would be favourable. One who observes (this) vow, should get up in the early part of the day, and having remembered Viṣṇu, he should duly bathe and should observe the vow. Muttering (of his names) in the house has onefold effect, while that of doing it in a river has double that effect. (The effect) is more than a thousand-fold (if the muttering is done) in a cow-pen; and is a hundred-fold (if it is done) at auspicious, holy places and in the proximity of deities. (The effect) is a lakh(-fold if the muttering) is done near Tulasī and is infinite (if it is done) near (the image of) Viṣṇu. In Avantī there was an excellent brāhmaṇa, Śivaśarman (by name). He had five sons. The youngest one was hurtful. Then (i.e. so) he was abandoned by his father and forsaken by kinsmen and relatives. Due to the power of his bad deeds he went to a very distant forest. Once fortunately he went to the best holy place. Emaciated with hunger, having a melancholy face, he bathed in Triveṇī. Oppressed by hunger, there he looked for sages’ hermitages. In the Puruṣottama month and the gathering of people, there he saw the excellent hermitage of the sage Harimitra. From the mouth of the brāhmaṇas, telling a sin-destroying tale, he devoutly listened to the account of Kamalā in the hermitage. The Ekādaśī is most auspicious, and gives pleasures and salvation. Having duly heard about this Kamalā day—that the Ekādaśī is most auspicious and gives pleasures and salvation, Jayaśarman at that time observed the vow with them in the lonely temple. When it was night, Lakṣmī came there. (She said:) “O brāhmaṇa, due to the power of Kamalā I (shall) grant you a boon.”
19-20. O beautiful one, who are you? To whom do you belong? How are you pleased with me? Are you Indrāṇī (the wife) of the lord of gods, or Bhavānī (the wife) of Śaṅkara? Or (are you) a female gandharva, a female kinnara or the spouse of either the Moon or the Sun? O you of a beautiful face, I have neither seen nor heard about the like of you.
21-24a. Now I am pleased. Being urged by the god of gods due to the efficacy of (the vow of) Kamalā, I have come from Vaikuṇṭha. At Prayāga, near the sages, you have observed the vow of that (Ekādaśī) which would fall in the bright half of the Puruṣottama month. O best brāhmaṇa, there is no doubt that by the power of this vow in your family will be born (those) men (who) will, through my favour, obtain (good position). I have told the truth.
The brāhmaṇa said:
24b-25a. O Lakṣmī, if you are pleased, then explain the vow in detail, which those brāhmaṇas that are good introduce in tales.
25b-30a. This is the best (account) for the listeners to listen. It is the most holy. It is auspicious and removes bad dreams. Therefore, it should be carefully heard. The best man who reads devotedly a verse or half a verse, is instantly freed from crores of great sins. As Garuḍa is among the birds, this is the best among months. This Dvādaśī day is among the days as the Gaṅgā is among the rivers. Even now all the gods desiring to be born in Bharata, duly worship that Nārāyaṇa Anāmaya. The groups of deities like Brahmā always worship those who devoutly worship the lord, god Viṣṇu.
30b-43. Those who are engrossed in (muttering Viṣṇu’s) names, so also those who are engaged in the narration (of the virtues of Viṣṇu), so also those who are intent upon worshipping Viṣṇu are fortunate in the Kali age. There would be the couple of Ekādaśīs: (the one) in the bright half, (the other) in the dark half. The householders should observe (a fast on) the former, and for the ascetics the latter is prescribed. (The three days—) Ekādaśī, Dvādaśī and Trayodaśī partly in the night (after Dvādaśī, are auspicious). If the fast is broken on Trayodaśī, the religious merit is that of a hundred sacrifices. “O Puṇḍarīka, fasting on the Ekādaśī day, I shall eat on the next day. O Acyuta, be my refuge.” Uttering this hymn of (i.e. sacred to) the god of gods, the Disc-holder, he, with his mind pleased, should devoutly observe a fast. The restrained observer of the vow should keep awake in front of the deity with songs, musical instruments, dances and Purāṇa-recitals. Then the observer of the vow, having got up (early) in the morning, having bathed and with his senses controlled should duly worship Viṣṇu. By bathing (the image of) Viṣṇu with pañcāmṛta on Ekādaśī, and with water on Dvādaśī, a man gets assimilation into Viṣṇu. O Keśava, favour me, and be (well-)disposed through this vow to me who am blinded by the darkness of ignorance, and give me the sight of knowledge. Having thus prayed to the lord of the god of gods, the Mace-holder, he should devoutly feed brāhmaṇas and give them gifts. Then, controlled in speech and solely devoted to Viṣṇu, he should offer the five great sacrifices and eat along with his relatives. He who, being controlled, observes in this way the auspicious Ekādaśī-vow goes to Viṣṇu’s abode, return from which is difficult.
Speaking thus, and granting him a boon, Lakṣmī disappeared. The brāhmaṇa too, being rich came to his father’s house.
O king, he who would in this way observe the excellent vow of the Kamalā (Ekādaśī), and would listen to (Viṣṇu’s account) on the day of (i.e. sacred to) Viṣṇu is freed from all sins.
Footnotes and references:
Pañcāmṛta: A collection of five sweet things, viz., milk, sugar, ghī, curd and honey used in worshipping a deity.
Mahāyajña: See Manu. 69.71. They are: the sacrifices offered to Brahma, deities, manes, human beings and beings.