Parama Ekadasi - Adik Maas --10-06-2018


Sri Yudhishthira Maharaja said, Oh Supreme Lord, what is the nameand character of that Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight(krishna paksha) of the extra, leap year month of Purushottama.
Also, Oh master of all the universes, what is the process forobserving it properly? Kindly narrate all of this to me?


The Supreme Lord, Lord Sri Krishna, replied, Oh Yudhishthira, thismeritorious day is called Parama Ekadasi. It bestows the greatbenediction of an enjoyable life and ultimate liberation,
release from birth and death. The process for observing it issimilar to that for observing the Ekadasi that occurs during thelight part of this month of Kartika.
That is to say, on this Ekadasi one should worship Me – LordNarotram, the best of all living beings, with full love and devotion.In this connection I will now tell you a wonderful history, just as Iheard it from the great sage in the city of Kampilya.


Once a very pious Brahmin named Sumedha resided in Kampilya withhis wife, Pavitra, who was extremely chaste and devoted to herhusband. On account of having committed some sin in his previouslife,
Sumedha was without any money or food grains, and even though hebegged many people for food, he could not obtain any substantialamount. He hardly had adequate food, clothing, or
shelter for himself and his beautiful young wife, who was of suchexcellent character that she continued to serve Sumedha faithfullydespite their poverty. When guests would come to their home,


Pavitra mataji would give them her own food, and although sheoften went hungry, her beautiful, lotuslike face never faded. Thisfasting made her weak, but her affection for Sumedha remainedunbreakable.
Seeing all this, and lamenting his bad luck, Sumedha one day saidto Pavitra, My dear wife, Oh most beautiful one, I beg alms from therich but receive scarcely a scrap. What am I to do?
What possible relief is there for our plight? Where should I gofor relief? Oh most obedient and loving wife, without enough wealth,household affairs is never successful. Therefore please permit me togo abroad and attain some wealth.


If I make such an effort, I shall certainly obtain whateverfortune I am destined to enjoy. Without making some endeavor a personcannot satisfy his desires or meet his needs.
Thus wise men have said that enthusiastic endeavor is alwaysauspicious. One who endeavors enthusiastically will certainly attainsuccess, but one who merely says ‘I accept my lot in life’ is alazy man.
Upon hearing this from her husband as he spoke these words,Pavitra joined her palms and, her eyes brimming with tears, spoke tohim with great respect and affection: 'I think there is no onegreater or more learned than you, my dear.


One who, though in misery, is interested in the welfare of othersspeaks just as you have. However, the scriptures state that whateverwealth a person attains in his life is due to his having givencharity in previous lives,


and that if one has not given charity in previous lives, then eventhough he may sit atop a mound of gold as big as Mount Sumeru, hewill still remain poor.
Transcendental knowledge, spiritual education, satisfying wealth,and pleasing family members are acquired by a person who has givenprofuse charity. Whatever good a person does returns to him manyfolds.
Whatever is predestined by Viddhata, the fortune-maker, willsurely happen. One's so called good education, skill, and enthusiasmwill not necessarily guarantee to bring one success." Whatevercharity a person gives in the form of education,


money, fertile land and the like is returned to him in a futurelifetime. We gain what we have given, when given with a good heart.Indeed, whatever the Lord of destiny, the creator, has written asone's fortune will certainly come
to pass. No one attains any wealth without having given in charityin his previous life. Oh best of the Brahmins, since we are now poor,in our previous lives neither you nor I must have givenany/sufficient charity to worthy persons. Therefore, Oh gracioushusband, you should remain here with me. Without you I cannot liveeven a moment.

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Bereft of her husband, a woman is not welcomed by her father,mother, brother, father-in-law, or any other family members. Everyonewill say, ‘You have lost your husband; you are bad luck/fortunepersonified!’ In this way I shall be criticized severely!
A chaste woman always thinks that pleasing her spirituallysituated husband is her heavenly pleasure, utmost duty, and greatestausterity. Whatever is destined, we shall obtain in due course oftime and enjoy here in perfect happiness.'


Hearing these plaintive words from his wife, Sumedha decided toremain in their native village. One day the great sage Kaundinyaarrived at their place, and upon seeing him the Brahmin Sumedha andhis wife stood up before him and then offered him their respectfulobeisance.


With his head bowed, Sumedha welcomed him: 'We are very fortunateto behold you here today, Oh wisest of sages. My life has becomesuccessful, and I am much obliged to you.
Sumedha offered Kaundinya Muni a comfortable seat and highlypraised his austerities and learning. "Just by having yourdarshan today," said Sumedha, "I have become veryfortunate." The poor Brahmin couple fed the sage as sumptuouslyas they could afford to according to their means, and afterwardsPavitra asked the mendicant,


‘Oh most learned one, what process can we follow to be relievedof our poverty? How can a person who has not given anything incharity in his previous life get a good family, much wealth, and afine education in this life? My husband wants to leave me here and goabroad to beg alms, but I have earnestly prayed to him to stay herewith me.
I humbly told him that if one lacks wealth in the present life, itis because of not having given sufficient charity in previouslifetimes. And so he has consented to remain here. It is only due tomy great fortune that you have so mercifully come here today. Now weare certain to see the end of our poverty very soon.’


Oh best of the Brahmans, please tell us how we can be free of thisperpetual misery brought on by poverty. Oh merciful one, kindly
describes some means - a place of pilgrimage we may visit, a dayof fasting we may observe, or an austerity we may perform - by whichour ill fortune will end forever.
Hearing this sincere supplication from the patient lady, the greatsage Kaundinya reflected silently for a moment and then said, Thereis a fast day very dear to the Supreme Lord, Lord Hari. Fasting onthis day nullifies all kinds of sins and removes all miseries causedby poverty.


This fast day, which occurs during the dark part (Krishna paksha)of the extra, leap-year month, is known as Parama Ekadasi. It is thetopmost day of Lord Vishnu, hence the name Parama.
This extra month (Purushottam Maas), dark fortnight Ekadasibestows all the necessities of life, such as money and food grains,and at last gives liberation/release. When the evening of this daycomes, one should begin singing the glories of the Lord and dancingin ecstasy, and one should continue through the entire night.


This holy fast was once observed faithfully by Lord Kuvera (thetreasurer of the devas). Also, king Harishchandra fasted on thisEkadasi after his dear wife and son had been sold, and the king wasable to get them back.


Thereafter he ruled his kingdom with no further impediments.Therefore, Oh broad-eyed lady, you also should observe the sacredfast of Parama Ekadasi, following all the appropriate rules andregulations and remaining awake all night.'"


Lord Sri Krishna continued, Oh Yudhishthira, son of Pandu, in thisway Kaundinya Muni mercifully and affectionately instructed Pavitraabout the Parama Ekadasi fast. Then he said to Sumedha, ‘On theDvadasii, the day after Ekadasi, you should vow to observePancharatriki fasting according to all the rules and regulations.
After taking a bath early in the morning, you and your good wife,along with both your parents and hers, should fast for five daysaccording to your ability. Then you will all become eligible toreturn home, to the abode of Lord Vishnu.


A person who simply makes use of only one seat during these fivedays goes to the heavenly planets. Whoever feeds qualified Brahminsnicely on these five days has in effect fed all the demigods, allhuman beings, and even all the demons
.
Whoever donates a pot of drinking water to a twice born Brahminduring this five-day period will gain merit equal to that gained bydonating the entire planet in charity.
Anyone who gives a learned person a pot filled with sesame seedsresides in heaven for as many years as there are seeds in the pot.One who donates a pot filled with golden ghee will surely go to
the abode of the sun god after fully enjoying the pleasures ofthis earthly planet. Whoever remains celibate during these five-dayswill attain celestial happiness and enjoy with the maidens ofIndraloka. Therefore both of you -


Sumedha and Pavitra- should fast during these five days ofPancharatrika in order to be rewarded with ample grains and wealthfor the rest of your lives on this planet. The spiritual world willbe your abode thereafter.
Hearing this sublime advice, the Brahmin couple, Sumedha andPavitra, properly observed the Parama Ekadasi and the fast ofPancharatrika, and very soon thereafter they beheld a handsome princeapproaching them from the royal palace.


On the orders of Lord Brahma, the prince gave them a beautiful,exquisitely furnished house and invited them to live in it.
Praising their austerity and patience, he also gave them anentire village for their livelihood. Then he returned to the palace.Thus Sumedha and his wife enjoyed all kinds of facilities in thisworld and at last went to the abode of Lord Vishnu.


Anyone who observes a fast on Parama Ekadasi and also the fast ofPancharatrika is freed from all his sins, and after enjoying life hereturns to Vishnuloka, as did the Brahmin Sumedha and his faithfulwife, Pavitra.
It is impossible, Oh Yudhishthira, to calculate the extent of themerit one obtains by fasting on Parama Ekadasi, for such anobservance is equal to bathing in places of pilgrimage such asPushkara Lake and the Ganges river, giving cows in charity, andperforming all sorts of other religious activities.


One who fasts on this day has also completed the offerings ofoblations to his forefathers in Gaya. He has, in effect, fasted onall other auspicious days.


As in the social order the Brahmin are considered the best, asamongst four-legged creatures the cow is best, and as among demigodsLord Indradev is the best, so among all months the extra month ofleap-year is the best. The Pancharatrika fast - the fast of five days(panch = five, ratri = nights) in the extra, leap year month - issaid to remove all kinds of abominable sins.
But the Pancharatriki fast, together with the fasts of Parama andParamai Ekadasi, destroys all a person's sins. If a person is unableto fast on these days, he should observe the fasts during the extramonth according to his ability.


A person who, having received a human birth, does not take aproper bath during this extra month and then observes these Ekadasis,which are very dear to Lord Hari, commits suicide and suffers. Therare human birth is meant for accumulating


merit and at last achieving liberating release from this materialworld. Therefore one should by all means observe fasting on thisauspicious Parama Ekadasi.
Lord Sri Krishna concluded, Oh sinless Yudhishthira, as you haverequested, I have described to you the wonderful merit one can attainby fasting on the Ekadasi named Parama, which occurs during the darkpart of the extra, leap-year month. You should observe this fast ifat all possible.


Whoever, after taking a proper bath, observes a fast on these twoextra-month Ekadasis will go to heaven and finally attain to theabode of Sri Vishnu, and as he travels there he will be praised andprayed to by all the demigods.


Thus ends the narration of the glories of Parama Ekadasi, theEkadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the extra, leap-yearmonth, from the Skanda Purana.

Rules & Ending of Fast

Those persons who are serious about the ultimate benefit for thesoul will never eat grains on the Ekadashi tithi. According to theinstructions of Lord Vishnu, every kind of sinful activity that canbe found in the material world takes its residence in this place offoodstuff (grain).


Whoever follows Ekadashi is freed from all sins and never entersinto hellish regions. If one doesn't follow Ekadashi because ofillusion, he is still considered the utmost sinner. For everymouthful of grain that is eaten by a person, one receives the effectof killing millions of Brahmans.
It is definitely necessary that one give up eating grain onEkadashi. Especially since even if one by trickery follows Ekadashi,all of his sin becomes destroyed and he very easily attains thesupreme goal, the abode of Vaikuntha.



Rules for Ekadashi



You should recommend the avoidance of mixed Ekadashi and theperformance of pure Ekadashi. You should also describe the fault innot observing this. One should be very careful as far as these itemsare concerned. If one is not careful, one will be negligent inexecuting devotional service.



Vratas - what to do / austerities:

Specified foodgrains and beans (pulses) as foods that must beavoided on Ekadashi. One may use spices for cooking, although mustardseeds should be avoided. You should not use powdered asafatoeda(hing), since it (generally) contains grains. Sesame seeds are alsoto be avoided, except on Satila Ekadashi, when they may be offeredand eaten.



Do not use any cooking ingredients that might be mixed withgrains, such as ghee that has been used to fry puris, or spicestouched by hands dusted with chapati flour. There is absolutely NOdoubt about what is NOT permissible to eat on Ekadashi.ANNA-grains.What we could eat -"Fruits, Roots, Nuts, Milk".


If you stick to these types of foods you should be fine. Of coursethe sure way is to fast completely. Water of course can be taken.Except if you wish to do Nirjala.

Someone who is very strictly observing Ekadashi should avoid allspices except pepper, rock salt and cumin. He should also eschewcertain vegetables, such as tomatoes, cauliflower, eggplant, andleafy vegetables.

Dvadashi (the day after ekadasi - the day of breaking the EkadashiFast):



(To observe Ekadashi properly, one should strictly observe thebreaking of this fast.)

One should break the fast after the sunrise of the dvadasi, afterthe first quarter of the dvadashi tithi has passed, but before thedvadashi tithi has ended. After taking morning bath, one should offerthe upavasa to the Lord:

Oh Kesava, be pleased with this vrata performed by one fallen inthe modes of darkness. Oh Lord, bestow your glance of knowledge uponme.



Mahadvadasi:

Sometimes, due to the manner in which the ekadashi tithi and thedvadashi tithis are positioned in relation to the sunrise (there aresix different cases), the vrata is observed on the dvadashi and thefast is broken the next day, the trayodashi. Such a fast day iscalled a mahadvadashi, to distinguish it from a regular dvadashi,which is the day to break the ekadashi fast.