Sunday, October 15th, 2017
The Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna then spoke as follows, “O lion among kings, please listen as I narrate to you. The Ekadasi that occurs during the dark part of the month of Karttika is called Ramaa Ekadasi. It is most auspicious, for it at once eradicates the greatest sins and awards one the passage to the spiritual abode. I shall now narrate to you its history and glories.
“There once lived a famous king of the name Muchakunda, who was friendly to Lord Indra, the king of the heavenly planets, as well as with Yamaraj, Varuna, and Vibhishana, the pious brother of the demon Ravana. Muchakunda always spoke the truth and constantly rendered devotional service to Me. Because he ruled according to religious principles, there were no disturbances in his kingdom.
“Muchakunda’s daughter was named Chandrabhaagaa, after a sacred river, and the king gave her in marriage to Shobhana, the son of Chandrasena. One day, Shobhana visited his father-in-law’s palace on the auspicious Ekadasi day. This visit made Shobhana’s wife Chandrabhaagaa quite anxious, for she knew that her husband was physically very weak and unable to bear the austerity of a day-long fast. She said to him, `My father is very strict about following Ekadasi. On Dasami, the day before Ekadasi, he strikes a large kettledrum and announces, “Nobody should eat on Ekadasi, the sacred day of Sri Hari!
“When Shobhana heard the sound of the kettledrum, he said to his wife, `O beautiful one, what am I to do now? Please tell me how I can save my life and obey your father’s strictness and at the same time satisfy our guests!
“Chandrabhaagaa then spoke, `My dear husband, in my father’s house nobody – not even the elephants or horses, what to speak of consenting human beings – eats on Ekadasi. Indeed, none of the animals are given their ration of grains, leaves, or straw – or even water ! – on Ekadasi, the sacred day of Sri Hari. So how can you escape fasting? My beloved husband, if you must eat something, then you should leave here at once. Now, with firm conviction decide on what you have to do.’
“Prince Shobhana then said, `I have decided to fast on the sacred Ekadasi day. Whatever my fate is, it will surely come to pass.’ “Deciding thus, Shobhana attempted to fast on this Ekadasi, but he became unbearably disturbed with excessive hunger and thirst.
“One day, a brahmin named Somasharma, who lived in Muchakunda’s kingdom, happened upon Shobhana’s kingdom while travelling to various places of pilgrimage. The brahmin saw Shobhana in all his resplendent glory and thought he might be the son-in-law of his own king Muchakunda. When Shobhana saw the brahmin approaching, he immediately rose up from his seat and welcomed him. After Shobhana had paid his respectful obeisances he asked the brahmin about his well-being and about the health and welfare of his (Shobhana’s) father-in-law, his wife and all the residents of the city. “Somasharma then said, `O king, all the residents and subjects are well in your father-in-law’s kingdom, and Chandrabhaagaa and your other family members are also quite well. Peace and prosperity reign throughout the kingdom.
“King Shobhana then began to tell his story, `Because I observed the Ramaa Ekadasi, I was given this splendid city to rule over. But for all of its grandeur, it is only temporary. I beg you to do something to correct this deficiency. You see, this is only an ephemeral city, a place of this material world. How may I make its beauties and glories permanent? Kindly reveal this to me by your instructions.
“The brahmin then asked, `Why is this kingdom unstable and how will it become stable? Please fully explain this to me, and I shall try to help you.’
“Shobhana then answered, `Because I fasted on the Ramaa Ekadasi without any faith, this kingdom is impermanent. Now hear how it can become permanent. Please return to Chandrabhaagaa, the beautiful daughter of king Muchukunda, and tell her what you have seen and understood about this place and about me.
“Somasharma the brahmin replied, `O Princess, I have seen your late husband face to face in that wonderful kingdom, which resembles a realm of the denizens’ of heavens playgrounds.
“Chandrabhaagaa then said, `O sage among the brahmins, please take me to that place where my husband resides at once, for I greatly desire to see him again! Surely I shall make his kingdom permanent with the merit that I have acquired by fasting on every Ekadasi throughout my life. Please reunite us at once, again. It is said that one who reunites separated persons also obtains very great merit.’
“The humble brahmin Somasharma then led Chandrabhaagaa to Shobhana’s effulgent kingdom. Before reaching it, however, they stopped at the foot of Mount Mandaracala, at the sacred ashrama of Vamadeva. Upon hearing their story, Vamadeva chanted hymns from the Vedas and sprinkled holy water from his samanya arghya upon Chandrabhaagaa.
“When Shobhana saw his wife approaching him high on Mount Mandarachala, he was overwhelmed with joy and called out to her in great happiness and jubilation.
Lord Sri Krishna then continued to address Yudhisthira as follows, “O Yudhisthira, in this way Chandrabhaagaa who was beautifully decorated with the finest ornaments and had an exquisitely transcendental body, at last enjoyed peace and happiness with her husband.
“O greatest of kings, I have thus narrated to you the glories of Ramaa Ekadasi that falls in the dark fortnight of the month of Kartika.
Thus ends the narration for the glories of the sacred Karttika-krishna Ekadasi, or Ramaa Ekadasi, from the Brahma-Vaivarta Purana of Srila Krishna Dwaipayana Veda Vyaasa.