Fasting to be observed on 27th july, 2015,Monday
· This is the day where Sriman Narayana falls asleep with the other demigods in Ksheerasagar –cosmic ocean of milk on Shesha Naga, the thousand-headed cosmic serpent.
· Vishnu finally awakens from his slumber four months later on Prabodhini Ekadasi during Oct-Nov.
· This period is known as Chaturmasya and coincides with the rainy season.
· Thus, Shayani Ekadashi is the beginning of Chaturmasya.
· Devotees start observing the Chaturmasya Vratha to please Vishnu on this day. Thus this Ekadasi is also known as Deva-Sayani Ekadasi. Deva refers to Sri Vishnu and Shayani denotes resting or sleeping.
· Sriman Narayana has told that, "Whether one takes fruits, roots, or even water on My sleeping day, or My turning-over-on-My-side day of Ekadasis, he pierces My heart with a sharp spear."
· The Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Ashada (June-July) is the Shayani or Padma Ekadashi.
· As Sri Hari will be going into Yoga Nidra on this Ekadasi, One should fast this Ekadasi completely even without taking water.
· Whoever observes this sacred fast will never enter into hell.
· This Ekadashi bestows perfection upon its faithful observers, removes all kinds of bad elements, and destroys all obstacles on the path to perfection.
· As Chaturmasya starts from this Ekadasi, by fasting completely on this Ekadasi brings invaluable merits.
· There is a wonderful historical event that was recorded in the scriptures regarding this Ekadashi. Just hearing this account destroys all kinds of sins, along with all obstacles on the path to spiritual perfection.
· There was once a saintly king named Mandhata in the Sun dynasty who always stood up for the truth. Once because of some sin in the kingdom, there was a drought for three years. Everything became impossible for everyone without water and grains. The king meditated upon the cause of their problem for a long time, but even after searching his past and present character he honestly said that he can find no sin. Finally the king decided to go into forest searching for advices from sages.
· At last he came upon the Angirasa Muni, whose effulgence lit up all directions. King Mandhata was very please and immediately dismounted his horse and offered his respectful obeisance's and told him their problem.
· Angirasa Muni, said to the king, "The present age, Satya yuga, is the best of all ages, for in this age Dharma stands on all four legs. In this age everyone respects Brahmanas as the topmost members of society. Only twice-born Brahmanas are allowed to perform Vedic austerities and penances. Although this is a standard, there is one Sudra who is unlawfully performing the rites of austerity and penance in your kingdom. This is why there is no rain in your land. You should therefore punish this laborer with death, for by so doing you will remove the contamination inflicted by his actions and restore peace to your subjects."
· The king then replied, "How can I kill an offense-less performer of austerity and sacrifice? Please give me some spiritual solution."
· Angirasa Muni said, "O king, you should observe a fast on the Ekadasi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Ashada . This auspicious day is named Padma Ekadasi, and by its influence plentiful rains and thus grains and other foodstuffs will surely return to your kingdom. This Ekadasi bestows perfection upon its faithful observers, removes all kinds of bad elements, and destroys all obstacles on the path to perfection. O king, you, your relatives, and your subjects should all observe this sacred Ekadasi fast. Then everything in your kingdom will undoubtedly return to normal."
· Hearing these words King Mandhata assembled all the brahmanas, khsatriyas, vaishyas and sudras in his kingdom and instructed them to strictly observe this important fast day. After they had observed it, the rains fell, just as the sage had predicted, and in due course of time there were abundant crops and a rich harvest of grain. By the mercy of the Supreme Lord Hrsikesha the master of the senses, all the subjects of King Mandhata became extremely happy and prosperous.
Oh lion among kings, Yudhishthira Maharaj, whoever wants liberation should regularly observe a fast on this Ekadasi which is also the day when the Chaturmasya fast begins.
Thus ends the narration of the glories of the Ashadha-shukla Ekadasi