The eleventh day in the dark and bright fortnights are called Ekadashi and are the best among the tithis, granting great spiritual merit upon those who observe a fast on these auspicious days. Each and every one of these Ekadashi have a special story behind them and the story related to Sri Rama Ekadashi, falling in the dark fortnight of Kartik, is that related to the daughter of the great devotee Muchukunda.
King Muchukunda, the friend of the demigods and the greatly pious devotee who received the darshan of Lord Krishna, had a beautiful and qualified daughter named Chandrabhaga, who was given in marriage to a prince name Shobhana, the son Chandrasena. Once when Shobhana was visiting the home of his father-in-law along with his wife, the auspicious Rama ekadashi came and Chandrabhaga informed her husband that in her father’s kingdom everyone, even the animals, follow ekadashi’s without eating or even drinking anything. This posed a problem for Shobhana as he was physically weak and could not stay for a whole day without eating. His wife told him that he would have to go somewhere else if he needs to eat something on ekadashi. Shobhana however decided to stay and follow ekadashi regardless of the outcome. Rama ekadashi came and everyone fasted and so did Shobhana, but due to his weak constitution he suffered greatly and ultimately died the next morning. With a heavy heart King Muchukunda performed the last rights of his son-in-law and instructed his daughter to refrain from entering the pyre with her husband. Following his order, she did not give up her life and continued staying with him.
Shobhana, by the merit of having observed ekadashi, was made the king of a celestial city on top of the Mandarachal mountain and reigned there happily. Once a brahmana from the kingdom of Muchumunda happened to go to this glorious city and saw Shobhana there. Shobhana welcomed the Brahamana and asked about the welfare of his wife and other family members and requested the Brahmana to go back and tell his wife about him. He also told the brahmana to tell his wife that because of having performed ekadashi without firm faith, his city was not permanent but rather could vanish at any time, and requested her to find a solution to it. The Brahmana then went back and informed Chandrabhaga about her husband. Overjoyed to hear about her husband, she requested the brahmana to take her to her husband immediately. Reaching the base of the Mandarachal mountain, she requested the great sage Vamadev, who was staying there, to transfer the merit of her ekadashi’s, which she had followed with great faith, to her husband so that his kingdom would become permanent. She then proceeded and met her husband in his city. Being overjoyed to be reunited with his wife, he sat her down on his left and she then informed him that due to her having transferred the merits of her ekadashi’s to him, the kingdom had now become permanent. After thanking the brahmana, they lived happily in the city and became great devotees of the Lord.
This glorious ekadashi tithi is therefore capable of granting both material and spiritual merits to those who observe this ekadashi with firm faith.