Saphala Ekadashi !!
King Yudhishtira requests Lord Krishna to describe the importance of Saphala Ekadashi - which falls on the dark fornight in the month of Pausha. King Yudishtira enquired Lord Krishna about who should be worshipped and how it should be observedon this auspicious day .
The Supreme Lord Krishna replies to Yudhishtira about the Saphala Ekadashi in the month of Pausha - Krishna Paksha Ekadashi. Lord Krishna reveals the importance of Fasting on the day of Ekadashi as superior than any sacrifices or charity made on this day. Everyone should observe fast within their ability and worship Lord Hari.
On Saphala Ekadashi Lord Narayana is worshipped. Lord Krishna continues, as Shesha is superior among the Nagas, Ganga is superior among the rivers, Garuda among the birds, Ashwamedha Yaga is superior among all the Yagas, Brahmin is the superior among the Varnas, Lord Narayana is superior among the deities and fasting on an Ekadashi day is superior among any other day. The prominent Kings who were born in the Bharata Varsha were strict observers of Ekadashi.
As a part of observance of Saphala Ekadashi, the devotee worships Lord Narayana with fresh fruits, flowers, incense, betel leaf and nuts, Ghee Lamp. The devotee should observe fast , compulsorily should avoid any grains and keep awake all night.
There was a city called Champavathi, which was ruled by a righteous King Mahishmata. He had four sons and the eldest among them was Lumpaka. He was characterless, engaged in all sinful deeds, having illicit relationships and gambling made him to lose all his wealth. Finally, the King Mahishmata had to exile his son - Lumpaka to forest. Though he was exiled from the Kingdom, during the day he wandered in the forest and hunted animals and during night hours, he entered the city and looted the wealth of the people. The people of the Champavathi could not do much either. It was his fate which made him run away from all the luxuries and pleasures and deserted him as a forest-deweller engaged in all sinful activities.
Lumpaka chose the Banyan tree as his shelter place. This is one of the auspicious trees, Lord Vishnu dwells in them. In due course, Saphala Ekadashi arrived. On the eve of Ekadashi during the night hours because of severe cold and battered clothes he had to keep awake the whole night. The severe cold almost killed him and dropped him into an unconscious state. When the midday of Saphala Ekadashi arrived, he managed to rise from the ground . Stumbling and limping, he managed to enter into the forest. Tired of hunger and thirst, he could not kill even a single animal. He collected fruits which were available within his reach and returned to his shelter under the Banyan tree. By the time the sun had almost set. He kept the fruits on the ground and started weeping like a mad man. He sobbed calling Lord Madhusudhana and offered the fruit. The Supreme Lord accepted the fruits offered by him and the merits Lumpaka achieved was he regained his Kingdom.
On the very next day of Ekadashi, Lumpaka was surprised to see a horse standing in front of him and a heavenly voice instructing him to move towards his Kingdom. His family and his people were looking forward to receive him with all the dignities. As the merit he acquired from fasting a Saphala Ekadashi , he regained his Kingdom and transformed into a handsome prince once again. He had become the True devotee of Lord Hari. With the blessings of Lord Hari - Lumpaka ruled the Kingdom wisely for many years. He had a beautiful wife and a virtuous son. At his old age, King Lumpaka entrusted the Kingdom and all its wealth to his son and turned himself into a forest-dweller as his own father. He spend the rest of his life in the service of The Supreme Lord by controlling mind and sense and finally attained the Supreme Abode of Lord Hari.
Lord Krishna continued, whoever observes the Saphala Ekadashi with utmost devotion and faith would be liberated from the cycles of birth and death. Whoever listens to the glories of Ekadashi Mahathmyam would achieve the merits of Rajasuya Yagna and will attain Moksha.
Jai Sriman Narayana !!