Wash away your sins this ‘Safala Ekadashi’
The eleventh lunar day of the dark fortnight in the month of Paush is celebrated as Safala Ekadashi or Paush Krishna Ekadashi. People in India worship Lord Vishnu in order to retrieve their lost wealth, honour, and rights. On the occasion of Safala Ekadashi, people offer banana, pomegranate, coconut, betel nut, seasonal fruits, incense, and aromatic objects to Lord Vishnu. It is a custom to light ‘diyas’ on the evening of Safala Ekadashi, and to stay awake throughout the night.
There is a story behind the glory of this day. Once upon a time, there was a king named Mahishmati. Mahishmati had four sons. The youngest among them, Lumpak, was wicked and evil-minded. He was wasting all the wealth on sinful deeds. So, the king expelled him from his kingdom. Lumpak had to leave his father?s kingdom and wander through the jungles. But in spite of all this, he did not mend himself. He continued his bad habits. Once he had to remain without food for three days as he was punished for a robbery. Unable to bear the pangs of hunger, he planned to rob the cottage of a hermit in the forest. It was the day of ‘Safala Ekadashi’. After a thorough search, he found that there was no food in the cottage. When the hermit saw him frantically searching for food, he happily offered him food and clothing. This unexpected behaviour of the hermit, completely changed Lumpak. He thought: ‘How good is this man! I came to rob his house, even then he treated me like a guest. I am a human being just like him. But how wicked and sinful I am.’ He realised his own mistakes. He fell at the feet of the hermit, and begged pardon.
The hermit asked Lumpak to stay with him. Lumpak started living on alms brought by the hermit. Gradually, the dark side of his character started disappearing. The hermit advised Lumpak to observe penance on Safala Ekadashi. In course of time, when Lumpak completely redeemed himself, the hermit revealed his own identity. He was none other than the king Mahishmati himself. As his son had now acquired all the good human qualities, the king brought him back to his palace and gave him charge of the royal administration. The subjects of the kingdom were astonished to see the change in Lumpak’s character. He performed all his royal duties sincerely. Lumpak observed penance(vrata) of Safala Ekadashi throughout his life, and propagated the glory of this holy day.
Safala Ekadashi falls on 19th December this year. You are advised to observe a fast on Safala Ekadashi to retrieve your lost wealth and glory.
With Ganesha’s Grace,