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Parshva Ekadashi

Aug - Sep

Yudhisthira Maharaja asked Sri Krishna, “What is the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight (Shukla paksha) of the month of Bhadrapada (August-September)? Who is the worshipable Deity for this Ekadashi, and what merit does one attain in observing it?”

Lord Sri Krishna replied,

“Parshva Ekadashi is also called Vamana Ekadashi, and it bestows upon those who observe it with both great merit and liberation from material bondage. As it removes sinful reactions, it is also known as Jayanti Ekadashi. Thus if one truly desires freedom from the material world, one should fast on Vamana Ekadashi.

While observing the fast, one should worship the Supreme Lord in His form as Vamandeva, the dwarf incarnation. By doing so, he worships all other Deities as well, including Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, and at death, he undoubtedly goes to that abode of Sri Hari. The reason this Ekadashi is so auspicious is that it celebrates the day when the sleeping Lord Vishnu turns over on His other side; thus it is also known as Parivartini Ekadashi.”

Maharaja Yudhishthira then asked, “Oh Janardana, how is it that the Supreme Lord sleeps and then turns over on His side? When You are asleep what happens to all the other living entities? Please also tell me how You bound the king of the demons, Bali Daityaraj (Bali Maharaja).”

Sri Krishna replied,

“I will narrate to you an historical event that, simply by hearing, eradicates all of one’s sinful reactions.

In the Treta-yuga there was a king of the name Bali. Though born in a dynasty of demons (daityas), he was very devoted to Me. He had a quarrel with Indra and took over his entire celestial kingdom. Therefore Indra and all the other demigods, along with many great sages, approached Me and complained about Bali Maharaja. They worshipped Me along with their spiritual master, Brihaspati. Thus I agreed to appear on their behalf as Vamanadeva, My dwarf incarnation.

Though a dwarf, I was a brahmana, and I approached that pious king Bali to ask him for just three steps of land in charity. As soon as Bali promised to give Me the land, My body began to expand into a gigantic transcendental form. I covered the entire Earth and all the planets of the universe, including the Sun and the Moon, by My gigantic form.

Then I told Bali, ‘Oh sinless one, I have covered the whole Earth with one step and all the heavenly planets with the second. Now, where shall I place My foot to measure the third step of land you promised Me?’

Upon hearing this, Bali Maharaja bowed down in humility and offered Me his head to place My third step. I placed My foot on his head and sent him all the way to Patalaloka. I became very pleased and told Bali that henceforth I would permanently reside in his palace. Thereafter, on Parivartini Ekadashi, Bali, the grandson of Prahlada, installed a Deity form of Me in his residence.

Oh king, until Haribodhini Ekadashi, which occurs during the light part of the month of Kartika, I continue to sleep in the ocean of milk. The merit one accumulates during this period is particularly powerful. One should, therefore, observe Parivartini Ekadashi carefully. On this day the faithful devotee should worship Vamanadeva, who is the supreme father because on this day I turn over to sleep on My other side.

If possible, on this day one should give a qualified person some yogurt mixed with rice, as well as some silver, and then remain awake throughout the night. This simple observance will free one of all material conditioning. One who simply hears this narration with devotion will go to the abode of the demigods.”

Thus ends the narration of the glories of Parivartini Ekadashi or Vamana Ekadashi or Parshva Ekadashi which occurs during the light part of the month of Bhadrapada, from the Brahma-vaivarta Purana.

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