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Yudhisthira Maharaja said, "O Vasudeva, I offer my most humble obeisances unto You. Please now describe the Ekadashi of the dark fortnight of the month of Vaisakha [April-May], including its specific merits and influence."
Lord Shri Krishna replied, "O king, in this world and the next, the most auspicious and magnanimous Ekadashi is Varuthini Ekadashi, which occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Vaisakha. Whoever observes a complete fast on this sacred day has his sins completely removed, obtains continuous happiness, and achieves all good fortune. Fasting on Varuthini Ekadashi makes even an unfortunate woman fortunate. Upon anyone who observes it, this Ekadashi bestows material enjoyment in this life and liberation after death. It destroys the sins of all and saves people from the miseries of rebirth.
"By observing this Ekadashi properly, King Mandhata was liberated. Many other kings also benefited from observing it-kings such as Maharaja Dhundhumara, in the Iksvaku dynasty, who became free from leprosy resulting from a curse Lord Siva had imposed as a punishment. Whatever merit one obtains by performing austerities and penances for ten thousand years is achieved by a person who observes Varuthini Ekadashi. The merit one achieves by donating a great amount of gold during a solar eclipse at Kuruksetra is gained by one who observes this Ekadashi fast. Indeed, he who observes this one Ekadashi with love and devotion certainly attains his goals in this life and the next. In short, this Ekadashi is pure and very enlivening and a destroyer of all sins.
"Better than giving horses in charity is giving elephants, and better than giving elephants is giving land. But better than giving land is giving sesame seeds, and better than that is giving gold. Still better than giving gold is giving food grains, for all the forefathers, demigods, and human beings become satisfied by eating grains. Thus there is no better charity than this in the past, present, or future.' Yet learned scholars have declared that giving away a young maiden in marriage to a worthy person is equal to giving food grains. Moreover, Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, has said that giving cows in charity is equal even to giving food grains. Still better than all these charities is teaching spiritual knowledge to the ignorant. Yet all the merits one can attain by performing all these acts of charity are attained by one who fasts on Varuthini Ekadashi.
"One who lives off the wealth of his daughters suffers a hellish condition until the inundation of the entire universe, 0 Bharata. Therefore one should be especially careful not to use the wealth of his daughter. 0 best of kings, any householder who takes his daughter's wealth out of greed, who tries to sell his daughter, or who takes money from the man to whom he has given his daughter in marriage-such a householder becomes a lowly cat in his next life. Therefore it is said that whoever, as a sacred act of charity, gives in marriage a maiden decorated with various ornaments, and who also gives a dowry with her, obtains merit that cannot be described even by Citragupta, the chief secretary of Yamaraja in the heavenly planets. That very same merit, however, can easily be achieved by one who fasts on Varuthini Ekadashi.
"The following things should be given up on Dasami, the day before Ekadashi. eating on bell-metal plates, eating any kind of urad ddl, eating red lentils, eating chick-peas, eating kondo, eating spinach, eating honey, eating in another person's home, eating more than once, and sex. On Ekadashi itself one should give up the following: gambling, sports, sleeping during the daytime, betel nut and its leaf, brushing one's teeth, spreading rumors, faultfinding, talking to the spiritually fallen, anger, and lying. On Dvadasi, the day after Ekadashi, one should give up the following: eating on bell-metal plates, eating urad dal, red lentils, or honey, lying, strenuous exercise or labor, eating more than once, sex, shaving, smearing oil on one's body, and eating in another's home." Lord Shri Krishna continued, "Whoever observes Varuthini Ekadashi in this way becomes free from all sinful reactions and returns to the eternal, spiritual abode. One who worships Lord Janardana on this Ekadashi by staying awake throughout the night also becomes free from all his sins and attains to the spiritual abode. Therefore, 0 king, he who is frightened of his sins and their attendant reactions, and thus of death itself, must observe Varuthini Ekadashi by fasting very strictly. Finally, 0 noble Yudhisthira, he who hears or reads this glorification of the sacred Varuthini Ekadashi obtains the merit earned by donating one thousand cows in charity, and at last he returns home, to the abode of Lord Vishnu."