The saintly king Yudhishthira Maharaj said, “Oh Keshava, what is the name of that Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Ashadha (June – July)? Who is the worshipable Deity for the auspicious day, and what is the process for observing this event?”
Lord Shri Krishna replied, “Oh caretaker of this Earthly planet, I shall gladly tell you a wonderful historical event that the deva lord Brahma once narrated to his son Narad Muni.
One day Narad Muni asked his father, “What is the name of the Ekadashii that comes during the light part of the month of Ashadha, much as you did? Kindly tell me how I should observe this Ekadashi and thus please the Supreme Lord, Shri Vishnu.”
Lord Brahma replied, Oh great saintly orator, O best of all sages, Oh purest devotee of Lord Vishnu, your question is as usual excellent for all mankind. There is nothing better than Ekadashi, the day of Lord Shri Hari, in this or any other world. It nullifies even the worst sins if observed properly. For this reason I shall tell you about this Ashadha-shukla Ekadashi.
Fasting on this Ekadashi purifies one of all sins and fulfills all ones desires. Therefore, whoever neglects to observe this sacred fast day is a good candidate for entering into hell. Ashadha-shukla Ekadashi is also famous as Padma Ekadashi. Just to please the Supreme Lord Hrishikesha, the master of the senses, one should fast on this day.
Listen carefully, Oh Narad, as I relate to you a wonderful historical event that was recorded in the scriptures regarding this Ekadashi. Just hearing this account destroys all kinds of sins, along with all obstacles on the path to spiritual perfection.
Oh son, there was once a saintly king in the Surya Vamsha (Sun dynasty) whose name was Mandhata. Because he always stood up for the truth, he was appointed emperor. He took care of his subjects as though they were his very own family members and children. On account of his piety and great religiosity, there was no pestilence, drought, or disease of any kind in his entire kingdom. All his subjects were not only free of all kinds of disturbances but also were very wealthy. The king’s own treasury was free of any ill-gotten moneys, and thus he ruled happily for many years.
Once, however, because of some sin in his kingdom, there was a drought for three years.The subjects found themselves beset by famine also. The lack of food grains made it impossible for them to perform the prescribed Vedic sacrifices, offer oblations of grita (ghee) to their forefathers and to the devas, engage in any ritualistic worship, or even study the Vedic literatures.
Finally, they all came before their beloved king in a great assembly and addressed him thus, ‘Oh king, you always see to our welfare, so we humbly beg your assistance now. Everyone and everything in this world needs water. Without water, almost everything is rendered useless or dead. The Vedas call water nara, and because the Supreme Personality of Godhead sleeps upon water, His another name is Narayana. God makes His own abode on water and takes His rest there. It is said that three things cannot exist without water; pearls, human beings, and flour.
The essential quality of a pearl is its luster, and that is due to water. The essence of a man is his semen, whose main constituent is water. And without water, flour cannot be made into dough and then be cooked into various forms of bread, offered and eaten. Sometimes water is called jala-narayaaa, the Supreme Lord in the form of this life sustaining substance – water. In His form as the clouds, the Supreme Lord is present throughout the sky and pours forth rains, from which grow the grains that maintain every living entity.
Oh king, the severe drought has caused a great lack of valuable grains; thus we are all miserable, and the population is decreasing as people die off or leave your kingdom. Oh best ruler on Earth, please find some solutions to this