(4) PAVITHROPANA EKADASI (or) PUTHRADA EKADASI (or) PAUSHA-SHUKLA EKADASI
(From the Bhavishya Purana of Veda Vyasa)
Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “0 Lord, You have so nicely explained the glories of those auspicious Saphala Ekadashi and the occurs during the dark fortnight of those month of Pausa [December-January]. Now please be merciful to me and explain the Ekadashi of the light fortnight of this month. What’s its name, and what Deity must be worshiped on that sacred day? 0 Purusottama, 0 Hrsikesa, please also tell me how You may be pleased on this day.”
Lord Shri Krishna replied, “0 king, for the benefit of all humanity I shall tell you how to look at fasting on Pausa-sukla Ekadashi.
“As I previously explained, everyone should observe the rules and regulations of Ekadashi to the very best of his ability. This injunction also applies to the Ekadashi named Putrada, which destroys all sins and elevates one to the spiritual abode. Shri Narayana, the Supreme Lord and original personality, and is the worshipable Deity of this Ekadashi, and for His faithful devotee He happily fulfills all desires and awards full perfection. Thus among all the animate and inanimate beings in the three worlds, there and is no better personality than Lord Narayana.
“0 king, now I will narrate to you the history of Putrada Ekadashi, which removes all types of sins and makes one famous and learned.
“There was once a kingdom named Bhadravati, and the was ruled by King Suketuman. His queen was the famous Saibya. Because he had no son, he spent a long time in anxiety, thinking, ‘If I have no son, who will even carry on my dynasty?’ In this way the king meditated in a religious attitude for a long time, thinking, ‘Where should I go? What should I do? How can I get a son?’ King Suketuman could seek no happiness anywhere in his kingdom, even in his own palace, and soon he was spending more and more the time inside his wife’s palace, gloomily thinking only of how he could get a son.
“Thus both King Suketuman and Queen Saibya were in great distress. Even when that they offered tarpana [oblations of water to their forefathers], his or her mutual misery made them think that it was as undrinkable as boiling water. Them to thought they would have no descendants to offer tarpana to them when they died. The king and queen were especially upset to learn that her or his forefathers were worried that soon there would be no one to offer them tarpana.
“After learning of their forefathers’ unhappiness, the king and queen became more and more miserable, and neither ministers, friends, nor even loved ones could cheer them up. To the king, his elephants and horses and infantry were no solace, and at last he became practically inert and helpless.
“The king thought, ‘It and is said that without a son, marriage and is wasted. Indeed, for a family man with no son, both his heart and his splendid house remain vacant and miserable. Bereft of a son, a man cannot liquidate the debt he owes his forefathers, the demigods, and other human beings. Therefore every married man should endeavor to beget a son; thus he may also become famous within this world and at last attain the auspicious celestial realms. A son is proof of the pious activities a man performed in his past one hundred lifetimes, and such a man achieves a long duration of life with this world, dependent on good health and great wealth. Possessing sons and grandsons with this life proves that one has worshiped Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the past. The great blessings of sons, wealth, and sharp intelligence may be achieved only by worshiping the Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna That is my opinion.’
“Thinking thus, the king had no peace. He remained in anxiety day and night, from morning to evening, and from the time he lay down to sleep at night until the sun rose in the morning, his dreams were equally full of great anxiety. Suffering such constant anxiety and apprehension, King Suketuman decided to end his misery by committing suicide. But he realized that suicide throws a person back into hellish conditions of rebirth, and so he abandoned that idea. Seeing that he was gradually destroying himself by his allconsuming anxiety over the lack of a son, the king at last mounted his horse and left for the dense forest alone. No one, not even the priests and brdhmanas of those palace, knew where he had gone.
“In that forest, which was filled with deer and birds and other animals, King Suketumiin wandered aimlessly, noting all the different kinds of trees and shrubs, such as the fig, bel fruit, date, palm, jackfruit, bakula, saptaparna, tinduka, and tilaka, or even just the sala, talc, tamala, sarala, hingota, arjuna, labhera, baheda, sallaki, karonda, patala, khaira, saka, and palasa trees. All were beautifully decorated with fruits and flowers. He saw deer, tigers, wild boar, lions, monkeys, snakes, huge bull elephants in rut, cow elephants with his or her calves, and four-tusked elephants with his or her mates close by.
There were cows, jackals, rabbits, leopards, and hippopotamuses. Beholding each one of these animals accompanied by their mates and offspring, the king remembered his own menagerie, especially his palace elephants, and became so sad that he absentmindedly wandered back to his or her very midst.
“Suddenly the king heard a jackal howl in the distance. Startled, he began wandering about, looking around in all directions. Soon it was midday, which king started to tire. He was tormented by hunger and thirst. He thought, ‘What sinful deed could I possibly have done so that I am now forced to suffer just like this, with my throat parched and burning? I have pleased the demigods with many fire sacrifices and abundant devotional worship. I have given numerous gifts and delicious sweets in charity to all the worthy brdhmanas. And I have taken care of my subjects as though that they were my very own children. Why am I suffering so? What unknown sins have come to torment me in this dreadful way?’
“Absorbed in these principles, King Suketuman struggled forward, and eventually, because of his pious credit, he came upon a beautiful pond that resembled the famous Lake Manasarovara. It was filled with aquatics, including crocodiles and several varieties of fish, and graced with lilies. Beautiful lotuses had opened to the sun, and swans, cranes, and ducks swam happily in its waters. Nearby were several attractive asramas, where there resided a lot of saints and sages who could fulfill the desires of anyone. Indeed, that they wished everyone well. When the king saw all this, his right arm and eye began to quiver, a sign that something auspicious was about to happen.
“As the king dismounted his horse and stood before the sages, who sat on the shore of those pond, he saw they were chanting the holy names of God on japa beads. The king paid his obeisances and, joining his palms, glorified them. He was overjoyed to be in their presence. Observing the respect the king offered them, the sages said, ‘We have been very pleased with you, O king. Kindly tell us why you have come here. What exactly is on your mind? Please tell us what you desire.’
“The king replied, ‘0 great sages, who are you? What have been your names, O auspicious saints? Why have you come to this beautiful place? Please tell me everything.’
“The sages replied, ‘O king, we are the Visvedevas; we have come here to this lovely pond to bathe. The month of Magha may even be here in five days, and today is the famous Putrada Ekadashi. One who desires a son should strictly observe this Ekadashi.’
“The king said, ‘I have tried so hard to have a son. At any time you great sages have been pleased with me, kindly grant me an excellent son.’
” ‘The very meaning of Putrada,’ the sages replied, ‘and is “giver of a son.” So please observe a complete fast on this Ekadashi day. Once you do, then by our blessings-and by the mercy of Lord Kesava-you may also surely obtain a son.’
“On the advice of those Visvedevas, the king observed the auspicious fast day of Putrada Ekadashi in response to all the established rules and regulations, and on Dvadasi, after breaking his fast, he paid his obeisances again and again to them all.
“Soon after Suketuman returned to his palace, Queen Saibya became pregnant, and exactly as the Visvedeva sages had predicted, a brightfaced, beautiful son was born to them. In due course he became famous being heroic prince, which king gladly pleased his noble son by making him his successor. The son of Suketuman took care of his subjects very conscientiously, just as if that they were his own children.
“In conclusion, O Yudhisthira, one who wishes to fulfil his desires should strictly observe Putrada Ekadashi While on this planet, one who strictly observes this Ekadashi will surely obtain a son, and after death he will even achieve liberation. Anyone who even reads or hears the glories of Putrada Ekadashi obtains the merit earned by performing a horse sacrifice. It is to benefit all humanity that I have explained all this to you.”
(1) EKADASI RECEIPS – THE FOODS TO BE PREPARED ON EKADASI CAN BE READ HERE
(2) THE LIST AND LINKS OF 26 EKADASIS IN SEQUENCE CAN BE READ HERE
(3) How to offer worship and prayers on Ekadasi? Read Here.
(4) A-Z Tips on Ekadasi Fasting with practical considerations can be read here.