July 12, 2019, is fasting for Shayana Ekadashi, at Mumbai
(Breakfast timings on July 13, 2019 are 06:33 am to 10:33 am)
Next three Ekadashis are
Kamika Ekadashi on July 28, 2019
(Breakfast timings on July 29, 2019 are 06:14 am to 10:35 am)
Pavitropana Ekadashi on August 11, 2019
(Breakfast timings on August 12, 2019 are 06:19 am to 10:35 am)
Annada Ekadashi on August 27, 2019
(Breakfast timings on August 28, 2019 are 06:23 am to 10:34 am)
(from Bhavishyottara Purana)
The topics of Shayana or Devashayani or Padma Ekadashi is described in Bhavishyottara Purana in the conversation between Lord Krishna and Maharaja Yudhisthira.
Once Maharaja Yudhisthira said, “O Keshava! What is the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the waxing moon in the month of June/July? Who is the worshipable deity for this sacred day? And what are the rules and regulation for observing this Ekadashi. Please explain this to me in detail.”
Lord Krishna replied, “O maintainer of this world! This question was once asked by Narada Muni to Lord Brahma. Now please hear from me the wonderful history which Lord Brahma narrated to Narada Muni in his reply.
Once the great orator and best of the sages Narada said to Lord Brahma, ‘O Father! What is the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the waxing moon in the month of June/July? Kindly explain to me how I should observe this Ekadashi in order to please the Supreme Lord Vishnu.’
Lord Brahma replied, ‘There is no other vow in this material world which is as sacred as the vow of Ekadashi.’ It is extremely necessary for one to observe the vow of Ekadashi in order to nullify all his sinful reactions. A person who does not observe Ekadashi in this world certainly goes to hell. The Ekadashi, which occurs during the waxing moon in the month of June/July, is called Devashayani or Padma Ekadashi. In order to please the Supreme Lord, Hrishikesh one should follow this Ekadashi.
It is stated in the Purana that there was a saintly emperor named Mandata who ruled the entire world. He was born in the dynasty of Sun-God, extremely powerful and always stood up for the truth. This King maintained his subjects piously and affectionately like his own children. In the kingdom of this pious king there was no famine, drought or any kind of disease. All his subjects lived peacefully without any anxiety and they were very prosperous. There was no wealth in the treasury of the king which was unlawfully earned. In this way he and his subjects happily spent their days.
After many years due to providence and some sinful activities there was no rainfall in his kingdom for three consecutive years. As a result people became afflicted with hunger due to lack of food and became full of anxiety. As a result of suffering from lack of food the performance of various sacrifices and study of the Vedas came to a standstill. Then all the subjects came before the King and appealed. ‘O King! Please hear our words which will ultimately benefit us. The water is addressed in the scriptures as ‘Nara’. The Supreme Lord resides in ‘ayana’. That is why another name of the Supreme Lord is Narayana. The Supreme Lord Vishnu is all pervading in His form as clouds. He alone causes the rainfall. The food grains are produced from rain and the living entities subsist on rain. At present due to lack of this food grains your subjects are suffering and decreasing.
O best of the Kings! Please find some remedy for our miserable condition and restore peace and prosperity among us.’
The King replied, ‘Whatever you all have said is truth. The food grains are considered like Brahman. Everything is sustained by food grains. The entire world and the living entities, subsist on food grains. It is clearly stated in the Puranas and other scriptures that due to the sinful activities committed by the king, he and his subjects suffer. Although I cannot ascertain my fault through my own consideration and intelligence nevertheless I will try my best for the benefit of my subjects.’
After speaking in this way the King Mandata gathered some of his principal armies and after offering obeisances to Brahma he entered the forest. Within the forest he regularly visited the ashrams of great sages and ascetics. While wondering in the forest in this way one day by providence the king met with the great sage Angira the son of Brahma. Sage Angira was as effulgent as Brahma and all the four directions were illuminated by his effulgence. As soon as the self-controlled king saw him he immediately got down from his carrier and offered his respectful obeisances at the feet of the sage. Then the King folded his hand and offered prayers. The sage reciprocated and blessed the king.
Thereafter the sage inquired from the King about the cause of his arrival and the well-being of his kingdom. The King replied, ‘O Lord! I have been ruling my kingdom according to religious principles, still there is no rainfall in my kingdom for last three years. As a result my subjects are suffering from various miseries. I have not been able to ascertain its cause in order to remove this cause. Today I have come to your lotus feet. Kindly tell me the way by which my subjects can live peacefully and thus attain auspiciousness.’
The sage Angira replied, ‘O King! This present age of Satya Yuga is the best of all the Yugas. In this Yuga people worship the Supreme Brahman. The fourfold religious principles are manifest in this Yuga. No one except the Brahmanas are supposed to perform austerity in this Yuga. In spite of this standard a sudra in your Kingdom is undergoing this austerity. As a result of this unlawful conduct you are facing its consequences in the form of drought. Therefore you should try to kill him and bring peace and prosperity into your Kingdom.
The King said, ‘O great sage it will be impossible for me to kill an innocent person who is engaged in performing austerity. Therefore please instruct me about some easy solution.’
Then the sage replied, ‘O King if this is the case then observe the sacred Ekadashi known as Padma or Devashayani which occurs during the waxing moon in the month of June/July. By the influence of this vow there will certainly be rainfall in your kingdom. This Ekadashi awards one all auspiciousness and perfection. It destroys all obstacles on the path to perfection. O King! You along with your subjects should observe this Ekadashi.’
After hearing these assuring words of the great sage the king offered his obeisances and returned to his palace. Thereafter in the month of Ashadha or June/July the king along with his family members and subjects properly observed this auspicious Padma or Shayana Ekadashi. By the influence of this observance the rain poured in all over his Kingdom. This scarcity of water remained no longer and soon the entire world became filled with food grains by the mercy of the supreme Lord Hrishikesha everyone lived happily. Therefore it is the duty of everyone to observe this sacred Ekadashi. This Ekadashi awards everyone the happiness and liberation. By hearing and reading the glories of this Ekadashi all one’s sinful reactions are destroyed.
This Ekadashi is also known as Vishnu Shayani Ekadashi. In order to please Lord Vishnu the devotees observe this Ekadashi with special devotion. They do not endeavor for material enjoyments rather they pray for the pure devotional service to the Lord. The famous vow of Chatumasya begins from this Ekadashi. The devotees observe this vow of Chaturmasya by hearing and chanting the topics of Lord for four months beginning from the day when Lord Hari goes to bed up to the day He wakes up. Maharaj Yudhisthira said to Lord Krishna, ‘O Krishna! Please tell me how one should observe this Vishnu Shayana Vrata or Chatumasya Vrata.’
Lord Krishna replied, ‘O King! When the sun remains in the sign of Cancer then Sri Madhusudana, the Lord of the entire universe goes to bed and when the sun goes to the sign of Libra the Lord wakes up. The vow of Chaturmasya commences from the day of Shayana Ekadashi. O King Yudhisthira! After taking bath one should dress up Lord Vishnu with yellow garments. Then he should make a bed and cover it with white sheets to put the Lord on it to rest. First one should bath the Lord with five ingredients such as yoghurt, milk, ghee, honey and sugar water by the qualified Brahmins. Thereafter one should wipe the Lord’s body with a cloth and apply fragrant sandal wood paste. Then he should worship the Lord by offering incense, ghee lamp and flowers with devotion.
One can also begin observing the vow of Chaturmasya either from the day of Ekadashi, Dvadashi, Purnima, Ashtami or Sankranti (when the sun enters into the sign of Cancer) The vow of Chaturmasya ends on the day of Dvadasi which falls the day after Utthana Ekadashi in the month of Kartika. A person who observes the vow of Chaturmasya while remembering Lord Hari goes back to the abode of Lord Vishnu sitting on an airplane as effulgent as the sun. Anyone who cleans the temple and the courtyard of the Lord, decorates them with flowers and creepers and feeds the Brahmins according to his capacity at the end of the vow obtains inexhaustible happiness for seven lifetimes. By offering ghee lamps to the Lord during this vow one can become fortunate and prosperous. One who chants Gayatri mantra one hundred and eight times in the temple of the Lord in three different times, morning, noon and evening no longer have to indulge in sinful activities. Lord Vyasadeva becomes pleased with such a person and the practitioner returns to the abode of Vishnu. Anyone who donates twenty-eight or hundred and eight pots of sesame seeds to the intelligent Brahmins at the end of the vow becomes freed from this sinful reaction accumulated by his body, mind and speech. He becomes freed from all diseases and obtains intelligent children.
A practitioner of devotional service should not sleep on a bedstead for four months during which Lord Janardhan takes place. It is prohibited to have sex during Chaturmasya only except the days of menstruation? One should observe this vow with fasting eating only supper, eating only once a day or eating that which comes without asking for it. One who chants and sings before Lord Vishnu during Chaturmasya goes to the planet of the Gandharvas. A person who gives up eating Gur or Jaggery is blessed with sons and grandsons. By giving up oil one becomes beautiful and his enemies are destroyed. By giving up the taste of bitter, pungent, sour, sweet and salty preparations ones ugliness and bodily odor is vanquished. Those who give up the enjoyment of flowers go to the heavenly planets and become Vidyadharas. By giving up the chewing of beetle nuts one immediately becomes disease less. If one eats out of the bare flower he attains the heaven, the abode of Indra. If one gives up milk and yoghurt for the pleasure of Krishna he goes back to the supreme abode of Goloka. One who does not cut his nails and shaves his head attains the good fortune of touching the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu. One who circumambulates the temple of the Lord returns to the abode of Lord riding on an aeroplane carried by the swans.
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