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13 September 2020 — Indira Ekadashi

            The glories of Indira Ekadashi  is described in Brahmavaivartha Purana in the conversation between Lord Krishna and Maharaj Yudhisthira. 
            Maharaj Yudhisthira said, "O, Krishna! O, Madhusudana!  O Killer of the demon Madhu!  What is the name of the Ekadashi which occures during the wanning moon in the month of September/October. What are the rules and regulations for observing this Ekadashi and what is the merit one gains by observing it". 
            Lord Krishna replied, "The name of this sacred Ekadashi is Indira Ekadashi. By observing this Ekadashi one can deliver his degraded forefathers and all his sinful reactions are eradicated. 
            O, King! There was a King named Indrasen lived in Satya Yuga. He was very expert in subduing his enemies. He ruled his Kingdom Mahismatipuri with great prosperity. He was surrounded by his children and grand children and lived happily. He was always attached to the devotional service of the Vishnu. The King who was a devotee and constantly absorbed in spiritual knowledge spent his time by chanting the holy names of Shri Govinda the bestower of liberation.  
            One day, when the king was happily sitting in his royal thrown, suddenly Shri Narada Muni appeared before him from the sky. On seeing the great sage Narada the King immediately stud  up with folded hands and then offered his respectful obeisances to him. Thereafter the king duely worshiped the sage by sixteen ingredients. After the sage was happily seated, he asked Indrasen, "O, great King! Are every one happy and prosperous in your kingdom? Is your mind fixed in religious principles? Are you engaged in devotion service to Vishnu?
            The King replied, "O, best of the sages! Everything is well and auspicious by your mercy. Today my life has become successful by your darshan and my performing sacrifices bore fruits.O, sage among the demigods! Please tell me the cause of your arrival".
            After hearing these humble words of the king, Narada Muni said, "O, Lion like king! Now hear about an wonderful incident that had happened to me. O, best of the Kings! Once I went to the abode of Yamaraja from the abode of Lord Brahma. Yamaraj greeted me respectfully and worshiped me properly. After I was comfortably seated, I offered prayers to the pious truthful Yamaraj.  In the assembly of Yamaraj I saw your greatly pious father. As a result of breaking a vow your father had to go there. O, King! He gave this message to me and requested me to convey this to you. He said, "Indrasen, the king of Mahismatipuri, is my son. O, Lord! Please tell him that due to some sinful activities commited in my previous life now I am living in the abode of Yamaraj.  Therefore, he should observe to vow of Indira Ekadashi and give away its  piety to me. Then I will be released from my present condition of life". Naradmuni continued, "O, King! This is your fathers request to you. So inorder to deliver your father to the spiritual world you should observe the vow of Indira Ekadashi". 
            Then King Indrasen said, "O, sage among the demigods! Now kindly explain to me the procedure for following this Indira Ekadashi".
            Naradmuni replied, "On the day before Ekadashi one should take bath early in the moring and faithfully offer oblations to the forefathers for their satisfaction. On that day one should eat only once and sleep on the floor at night. On the day of Ekadashi one should rise early in the morning, brush his teeth, wash his hands and mouth and take bath. Thereafter he should take a vow of not indulging in any kinds of material enjoyment and thus observe a total fast. He should also pray to the Lordsaying, "O, Lotus eyed! I take shelter of you". 
            Thereafter at noon, in front of shaligrama sheela he should offer oblations to his forefather according to  proper rules and regulation. The he should  worship the brahmanas and after feeding them sumptiously he should give dakshina.  At the end one should give the remnants of the oblations to the cows.  During the day one should worship Lord Hrishikesha by offering sandal wood paste flowers, incense, lamp and foodstuffs with devotion.  One should remain awake that night while chanting,hearing and  remembering the names, forms. qualities and pastimes of the supreme lord.  On the day after Ekadashi one should worship lord Hari in the morning and feed the brahmins.  Thereafter one should break his fast by  eating along with his brothers,children, grandchildren and relatives while maintaining silence.  O King! If you follow this Ekadashi as a have just described then your father will certainly to the abode of Vishnu.  After speaking in this way Naradmuni disappeared from there.
            According to the instrructions of Naradmuni the king Indrasen strictly observed this Ekadashi.  O Son of Kunti this King accompanied by his children, servants and others duely  observed this vow.  As a result of observing this Ekadashi flowers  were showered from the sky.  The father of King Indrasen immediately rode on the back of Garuda and went to the abode of Lord Vishnu.  The saintly King Indrasen also ruled his kingdom without any impediment.  At the end of his life the king entrusted his kingdom to his son and personally retuned to the spiriutalk world.  Such is the glories of Indira Ekadashi.  Any one who reads or hears the gloies of this Ekadashi, becomes freed from all sinful reactions and altimately  returns to the abode of Vishnu.

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