Sri Yudhishthira Maharaj said, "Oh Janardana, what is the name of
the Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight (krishna paksha)
of the month of Jyeshtha (May-June)?
I wish to hear from You the glories of this sacred day of Hari.
Please narrate everything to me"
Lord Sri Krishna said, "Oh king, your inquiry is wonderful because
the answer will benefit the whole human society.
This Ekadasi is so sublime and meritorious that even the greatest
sins can be erased by its purity.
"Oh great saintly king, the name of this unlimitedly meritorious
Ekadasi is Apara Ekadasi.
Whoever fasts on this holy day becomes famous all over the
Even such sins as killing a brahmana, a cow, or an embryo;
blasphemy; or having sex with another man's wife are completely
eradicated by observing Apara Ekadasi.
Oh king people who bear false witness are most sinful.
A person who falsely or sarcastically glorifies another; one who
cheats while weighing something on a scale; one who fails to
execute the duties of his varna or Ashrama (an unqualified man's
posing as a brahmin, for example, or a person's reciting the Vedas
wrongly); one who invents his own scriptures; one who cheats
others; one who is a charlatan astrologer, a cheating accountant,
or a false Ayurvedic doctor.
All these are surely as bad as persons who bears false witness, and
they are all destined for hellish punishments.
But simply by observing Apara Ekadasi, all such sinners become
completely free of their sinful reactions.
Warriors who fall from their kshatriya-dharma and flee the
battlefield go to a ferocious hell.
But, Oh Yudhishthira, even such a fallen kshatriya, if he observes
fasting on the Apara Ekadasi, is freed of that great sinful
reaction and goes to heaven.
That disciple is the greatest sinner who, after receiving a proper
spiritual education from his spiritual master, turns around and
Such a so-called disciple suffers unlimitedly.
But even he, rascal though he be, if he simply observes Apara
Ekadasi, can attain to the spiritual world.
Listen, Oh king, as I describe to you further glories of this
The merit attained by one who performs all of the following acts of
piety is equal to the merit achieved by one who observes Apara
bathing three times daily in Pushkara-kshetra during Kartika
(October-November); bathing at Prayag in the month of Magh
(January-February) when the sun is in the zodiac of Capricorn;
rendering service to Lord Shiva at Varanasi (Benares) during
Shiva-ratri; offering oblations to one's forefathers at Gaya;
bathing in the sacred Gautami River when Jupiter transits Leo
(Simha); having darshan of Lord Shiva at Kedarnatha; seeing Lord
Badrinath when the Sun transits the sign of Aquarius (Kumbha); and
bathing at the time of a solar eclipse at Kurukshetra and giving
cows, elephants, and gold there in charity.
All the merit one gets from performing these pious acts is gained
by a person who observes the Apara Ekadasi fast.
Also, the merit attained by one who donates a pregnant cow, along
with gold and fertile land, is attained by one who fasts on this
In other words, Apara Ekadasi is an axe that cuts down the fully
matured forest full of trees of sinful deeds, it is a forest fire
that burns sins as if they were kindling firewood, it is the sun
blazing before one's dark misdeeds, and it is a lion stalking the
meek deer of impiety.
Therefore, Oh Yudhishthira, whoever truly fears his past and
present sins must observe Apara Ekadasi very strictly.
One who does not observe this fast must be born again in the
material world, like one bubble among millions in a huge body of
water, or like a small ant among all other species.
Therefore one must faithfully observe the sacred Apara Ekadasi and
worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Trivikrama.
One who does so is freed of all his sins and promoted to the abode
of Lord Vishnu.
Oh Bharata, for the benefit of all humanity I have thus described
to you this the importance of the holy Apara Ekadasi.
Anyone who hears or reads this description is certainly freed from
all kinds of sins, oh best of saintly kings, Yudhishthira.
Thus ends the narration of the glories of Jyeshtha-krishna Ekadasi,
or Apara Ekadasi, from the Brahmanda Purana.
1. Pushkara-kshetra, in western India, is the only place on Earth
where a bonafide temple of Lord Brahma is to be found.
2. The Vedas declare, narah budbuda samah: "The human form of life is like a
bubble in water".
In water, many bubbles form and then suddenly burst a few seconds
Thus if a person does not utilize his rare human body to serve the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, his life has no more
value or permanence than a bubble in water.
Therefore, as the Lord herein recommends, we should serve Him by
fasting on Hari-vasara, or Ekadasi.
In this regard, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada writes in
the Srimad Bhagavatam (SB 2:1:4 purport) :
"The great ocean of material nature is tossing with the waves of
time, and the so-called living conditioned are something like
foaming bubbles, which appear before us as bodily self, wife,
children, society, countrymen, etc.
Due to a lack of knowledge of self, we become victimized by the
force of ignorance and thus spoil the valuable energy of human life
in a vain search after permanent living conditions, which are
impossible in this material world."