Fasting to be observed on 13th AUGUST2011
The Ekādhaśī that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Shravana (July – August) is Ajaa Ekadhasi.
- Anyone who fasts on this ekadhasi, becomes free of all reactions of his sins.
- He’s at once freed from his past sins.
- The merit one obtains by observing a complete fast on Ekādhaśī cannot be measured. The powerful effect of this merit is inconceivable even to the demigods.
There once lived a famous king named Hariścandra, who was the emperor of the world and a person of great truth and integrity. His wife’s name was Candrāmatī, and he had a son named Lohitāśva. By the force of destiny, however, Hariścandra lost his great kingdom and sold his wife and son. The pious king himself became a menial servant of a dog-eater, who made him guard a crematorium. Yet even while doing such menial service, he did not forsake his truthfulness and good character, just as soma-rasa, even when mixed with some other liquid, does not lose its ability to bestow immortality.
The king passed many years in this condition. Once he got a chance to see the great Gautama muni. At once Hariścandra paid his respectful obeisances to the sage. With joined palms the king stood before Gautama Muni and narrated his pitiful story. Gautama Muni was astonished to hear the king’s tale of woe. He thought, “How has this mighty king been reduced to collecting clothes from the dead?” Gautama Muni became very much compassionate toward Hariścandra and instructed him on the process of fasting for purification.
Gautama Muni said, ‘O king, during the dark fortnight of the month of Bhādrapada there occurs an especially meritorious Ekādaśī named Ajā, which removes all sins. Indeed, this Ekādaśī is so auspicious that if you simply fast on that day and perform no other austerity, all your sins will be nullified. By your good fortune it is coming in just seven days. So I urge you to fast on this day and remain awake through the night. If you do so, all the reactions of your past sins will come to an end. O Hariścandra, I have come here because of your past pious deeds. Now, all good fortune to you in the future!’ So saying, the great sage Śrī Gautama Muni immediately disappeared from his vision.
With great happiness, the king fasted the Ajaa Ekadhasi with great devotion. Just because the king fasted on that day, the reactions to his previous sins were completely destroyed at once. It immediately vanquished all the meseries he was suffering as a result of past sinful activities. Just by the power of this wonderful Ekādhaśī, he was reunited with his wife and son, who had died but were now revived. In heaven the demigods began beating on their celestial kettledrums and showering down flowers upon Hariścandra, his queen, and their son. By the blessings of the Ekādhaśī fast, he regained his kingdom without difficulty. Moreover, when King Hariścandra left this planet, his relatives and all his subjects too, went with him to the spiritual world.