It has four
names: Haribodhini -
Prabodhini - Devotthani - Utthana Ekadasi and it is the second
Ekadasi (Kartik Shukla, light fortnight) in the month of
Lord Brahma said to Narada Muni, "Dear son, O best of the sages, I
shall narrate to you the glories of Haribodhini Ekadasi, which
eradicates all kinds of sins and bestows great merit, and
ultimately liberation, upon the wise persons who surrender unto the
"O best of the brahmanas, the merits acquired by bathing in the
Ganges remain significant only as long as Haribodhini Ekadasi does
This Ekadasi, which occurs during the light fortnight of the month
of Kartika, is much more purifying than a bath in the ocean, at a
place of pilgrimage, or in a lake.
This sacred Ekadasi is more powerful in nullifying sin than one
thousand Asvamedha sacrifices and one hundred Rajasuya
Narada Muni inquired, "O father, please describe the relative
merits of fasting completely on Ekadasi, eating supper (without
grains or beans), or eating once at midday (without grains or
Lord Brahma replied, "If a person eats once at midday on Ekadasi,
the sins of his previous birth are erased, if he eats supper, the
sins acquired during his previous two births are removed, and if he
fasts completely, the sins accumulated during his pervious seven
births are eradicated.
"O son, whatever is only rarely achieved within the three worlds is
obtained by him who strictly observes Haribodhini Ekadasi.
A person whose sins equal Mount Sumeru in volume sees them all
reduced to nothing if he simply fasts on Papaharini Ekadasi
(another name for Haribodhini Ekadasi).
The sins a person has accumulated over a thousand previous births
are burned to ashes if he not only fasts but also remains awake
throughout Ekadasi night, just as a mountain of cotton can be
burned to ashes if one lights a small fire in it.
O Narada, a person who strictly observes this fast achieves the
results I have mentioned.
Even if one does a small amount of pious activity on this day,
following the rules and regulations, one will earn merit to Mount
Sumeru in volume; however a person who does not follow the rules
and regulations given in the Scriptures may perform pious activity
equal to Mount Sumeru in volume, but he will not earn even a small
amount of merit.
One who does not chant the Gayatri mantra three times a day, who
disregards fast days, who does not believe in God, who criticises
the Vedic Scriptures, who thinks the Vedas bring only ruination to
one who follows their injunctions, who enjoys another's wife, who
is utterly foolish and wicked, who does not appreciate any service
that has been rendered to him, or who cheats others - such a sinful
person can never perform any religious activity effectively.
Be he a brahmana or a shudra, whoever tries to enjoy another man's
wife, particularly the wife of a twice-born person, is said to be
no better than a dog-eater.
"O best of the sages, any brahmana who enjoys sex with a widow or a
brahmana lady married to another man brings ruin to himself and his
Any brahmana who enjoys illicit sex will have no children in his
next life, and any past merit he may have earned is ruined.
Indeed, if such a person displays any arrogance toward a twice-born
brahmana or a spiritual master, he loses all his spiritual
advancement immediately, as well as his wealth and children.
"These three kinds of men ruin their acquired merits: he whose character is immoral, he who
has sex with the wife of a dog-eater, and he who appreciates the
association of rogues.
Whoever associates with sinful people and visits their homes
without a spiritual purpose will go directly to the abode of Lord
Yamaraj, the superintendent of death.
And if someone eats in such a home, his acquired merit is
destroyed, along with his fame, duration of life, children, and
"Any sinful rascal who insults a saintly person soon loses his
religiosity, economic development, and sense gratification, and he
at last burns in the fire of hell.
Anyone who likes to offend saintly persons, or who does not
interrupt someone who is insulting saintly persons, is considered
no better than an ass.
Such a wicked man sees his dynasty destroyed before his very
"A person whose character is unclean, who is a rogue or a swindler,
or who always finds fault with others does not achieve a higher
destination after death, even if he gives charity generously or
performs other pious deed.
Therefore one should refrain from performing inauspicious acts and
perform only pious ones, by which one will acquire merit and avoid
"However, the sins of one who, after due consideration, decides to
fast of Haribodhini Ekadasi are erased from one hundred previous
lives, and whoever fasts and remains awake overnight on this
Ekadasi achieves unlimited merit and after death goes to the
supreme abode of Lord Vishnu, and then thousand of his ancestors,
relatives, and descendants also reach that abode.
Even if one's forefathers were implicated in many sins and are
suffering in hell, they still attain beautifully ornamented
spiritual bodies and happily go to Vishnu's abode.
O Narada, even one who has committed the heinous sin of killing a
brahmana is freed of all stains on his character by faster on
Haribodhini Ekadasi and remaining awake that night.
The merit that cannot by won by bathing in all the places of
pilgrimage, performing a horse sacrifice, or giving cows, gold, or
fertile land in charity can easily be achieved by fasting on this
holy day and remaining awake throughout the night.
"Anyone who observes Haribodhini Ekadasi is celebrated as highly
qualified and makes his dynasty famous.
As Death is certain, so losing one's wealth is also certain.
Knowing this, O best of sages, one should observe a fast on this
day so dear to Hari - Sri Haribodhini Ekadasi.
"All places of pilgrimage in the three worlds at once come to
reside in the house of a person who fasts on this Ekadasi.
Therefore, to please the Lord, who holds a disc in His hand, one
should give up all engagements, surrender, and observe this Ekadasi
One who fasts on this Haribodhini day is acknowledged as a wise
man, a true yogi, an ascetic, and one whose senses are truly under
He alone enjoys this world properly, and he will certainly achieve
This Ekadasi is very dear to Lord Vishnu, and thus it is the very
essence of religiosity.
Even one observance of it bestows the topmost reward in all the
"O Naradaji, whoever fasts on this Ekadasi will definitely not
enter a womb again, and thus faithful devotees of the Supreme
Godhead give up all varieties of religion and simply surrender to
fasting on this Ekadasi.
For that great soul who honours this Ekadasi by fasting and
remaining awake throughout the night, the Supreme Lord, Sri
Govinda, personally terminates the sinful reactions that soul has
acquired by the actions of his mind, body, and words.
"O son, for anyone who bathes in a place of pilgrimage, gives
charity, chants the holy names of the Supreme Lord, undergoes
austerities, and performs sacrifices for God on Haribodhini
Ekadasi, the merit thus earned all becomes imperishable.
A devotee who worships Lord Madhava on this day with first-class
paraphernalia becomes free from the great sins of a hundred
A person who observes this fast and worships Lord Vishnu properly
is freed from great danger.
"This Ekadasi fast pleases Lord Janardana so much that He takes the
person who observes it back to His abode, and while going there the
devotee illuminates then ten universal directions.
Whoever desires beauty and happiness should try to honour
Haribodhini Ekadasi, especially if it falls on Dvadasi.
The sins of one's past hundred births - the sins committed during
childhood, youth and old age in al those lifetimes, whether those
sins are dry or wet - are nullified by the Supreme Lord Govinda if
one fasts on Haribodhini Ekadasi with devotion.
Haribodhini Ekadasi is the best Ekadasi.
Nothing is unobtainable or rare in this world for one who fasts on
this day, for it gives food grains, great wealth, and high merit,
as well as eradication of all sin, the terrible obstacle to
Fasting on this Ekadasi is a thousand times better than giving
charity on the day of the solar or lunar eclipse.
Again I say to you, O Naradaji, whatever merit is earned by one who
bathes in a place of pilgrimage, performs sacrifices, and studies
the Vedas is only one then-millionth the merit earned by the person
who fasts but one on Haribodhini Ekadasi.
Whatever merit one has acquired in his life by some pious
activities becomes completely fruitless if one does not observe the
Ekadasi fast and worship Lord Vishnu in the month of Kartika.
Therefore, you should always worship the Supreme Lord, Janardana,
and render service to Him.
Thus you will attain the desired goal, the highest perfection.
"On Haribodhini Ekadasi, a devotee of the Lord should not eat in
another's house or eat food cooked by a non devotee.
If he does so, he achieves only the merit of fasting on a full moon
Philosophical discussion of Scriptures in the month of Kartika
pleases Sri Vishnu more than if one gives elephants and horses in
charity or performs a costly sacrifice.
Whoever chants or hears descriptions of Lord Vishnu's qualities and
pastimes, even if but a half or even a fourth of a verse, attains
the wonderful merit derived from giving away a hundred cows to a
O Narada, during the month of Kartika one should give up all kinds
or ordinary duties and devote one's full time and energy especially
while fasting, to discussing the transcendental pastimes of the
Such glorification of Sri Hari on the day so dear to the Lord,
Ekadasi, liberates a hundred previous generations. One who spends
his time enjoying such discussions, especially in the month of
Kartika, achieves the results of performing ten thousand fire
sacrifices and burns all his sins to ashes.
"He who hears the wonderful narrations concerning Lord Vishnu,
particularly during the month of Kartika, automatically earns the
same merit as that bestowed upon someone who donates a hundred cows
O great sage, a person who chants the glories of Lord Hari on
Ekadasi achieves the merit earned by donating seven islands."
Narada Muni asked his glorious father, "O universal sire, I best of
all demigods, please tell me how to observe this most sacred
What kind of merit does it bestow upon the faithful?"
Lord Brahma replied, "O son, a person who wants to observe this
Ekadasi should rise early on Ekadasi morning, during the
brahma-muhurta hour (an hour and a half before sunrise until fifty
minutes before sunrise).
He should then clean his teeth and bathe in a lake, river, pond, or
well, or in his own home, as the situation warrants.
After worshipping Lord Sri Keshava, he should listen carefully to
the sacred descriptions of the Lord.
He should pray to the Lord thus: 'O Lord Keshava, I shall fast on this
day, which is so dear to You, and tomorrow I shall honour Your
O lotus-eyed Lord, O infallible one, You are my only shelter.
Kindly protect me.'
"Having spoken this solemn prayer before the Lord with great love
and devotion, one should fast cheerfully.
O Narada, whoever remains awake all night on this Ekadasi, singing
beautiful songs glorifying the Lord, dancing in ecstasy, playing
delightful instrumental music for His transcendental pleasure, and
reciting the pastimes of Lord Krishna as records in bona-fide Vedic
literature - such a person will most assuredly reside far beyond
the three worlds, in the eternal, spiritual realm of God.
"On Haribodhini Ekadasi one should worship Sri Krishna with
camphor, fruits, and aromatic flowers, especially the yellow agaru
One should not absorb oneself in making money on this important
In other words, greed should be exchanged for charity.
This is the process for turning loss into unlimited merit.
One should offer many kinds of fruits to the Lord and bathe Him
with water from a conchshell.
Each of these devotional practices, when performed on Haribodhini
Ekadasi, is ten million times more beneficial than bathing in all
the places of pilgrimage and giving all forms of charity.
"Even Lord Indra joins his palm and offers his obeisances to a
devotee who worships Lord Janardana with first-class agastya
flowers of this day.
The supreme Lord Hari is very pleased when he is decorated with
nice agastya flowers.
O Narada, I give liberation to one who devotedly worships Lord
Krishna on this Ekadasi in the month of Kartika with leaves of the
And for one who worships Lord Janardana with fresh tulasi leaves
and fragrant flowers during this month, O son, I personally burn to
ashes all the sins he has committed for then thousand births.
"One who merely sees Tulsi Maharani, touches her, mediates on her,
narrates her history, offers obeisances to her, prays to her for
her grace, plants her, worships her, or waters her lives in the
abode of Lord Hari eternally.
O Narada, one who serves Tulsi-devi in these nine ways achieves
happiness in the higher world for as many thousands of yugas as
there are roots and subroots growing from a mature tulasi
When a full grown tulasi plant produces seeds, many plants grow
from those seeds and spread their branches, twigs, and flowers, and
these flowers also produce numerous seeds.
For as many thousands of kalpas as there are seeds produced in this
way, the forefathers of one who serves tulasi in these nine ways
will live in the abode of Lord Hari.
"Those who worship Lord Keshava with kadamba flowers, which are
very pleasing to Him, get is mercy and do not see the abode of
Yamaraj, death personified.
What is the use of worshipping someone else if all desires can be
fulfilled by pleasing Lord Hari?
For example, a devotee who offers Him bakula, ashoka, and patali
flowers is freed from misery and distress for as long as the sun
and moon exist in this universe, and at last he achieves
liberation. O best of the brahmanas, an offering of kannera flowers
to Lord Jagannatha brings as much mercy upon the devotee as that
earned by worshipping Lord Keshava for four yugas.
One who offers tulasi flowers (manjaris) to Sri Krishna during the
month of Kartika receives more merit than can be obtained by
donating ten million cows.
Even a devotional offering of newly grown sprouts of grass brings
with it a hundred times the benefit obtained by ordinary
ritualistic worship of the Supreme Lord.
"One who worships Lord Vishnu with the leaves of the samika tree is
freed from the clutches of Yamaraja, the lord of death.
One who worships Vishnu during the rainy season with champaka or
jasmine flowers never returns to the planet earth again.
One who worships the Lord with but a single kumbhi flower achieves
the boon of donating a pala of gold (two hundred grams).
If a devotee offers a single yellow flower of the ketaki, or
wood-apple, tree to Lord Vishnu, who rides on Garuda, he is freed
from the sins of ten million births.
Furthermore, one who offers Lord Jagannatha flowers and also a
hundred leaves anointed with red and yellow sandalwood paste will
certainly come to reside in Svetadvipa, far beyond the coverings of
this material creation.
"O greatest of brahmanas, Sri Narada, after thus worshipping Lord
Keshava, the bestower of all material and spiritual happiness, on
Haribodhini Ekadasi, one should rise early the next day, bathe in a
rive, chant japa of Krishna's holy names, and render loving
devotional service to the Lord at home to the nest of one's
To break the fast, the devotee should first offer some prasadam to
brahmanas and only then, with their permission, eat some
Thereafter, to please the Supreme Lord, the devotee should worship
his spiritual master, the purest of the Lord's devotees, and offer
him sumptuous food, nice cloth, gold, and cows, according to the
This will certainly please the Supreme Lord, the holder of the
"Next the devotee should donate a cow to a brahmana, and if the
devotee has neglected some rules and regulation of spiritual life,
he should confess them before brahmana devotees of the Lord.
Then the devotee should offer them some dakshina (money).
O king, those who have eaten supper on Ekadasi should feed a
brahmana the next day.
That is very pleasing to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
"O son, if a man has fasted without asking the permission of his
priest, or if a woman has fasted without asking her husband's
permission, he or she should donate a bull to a brahmana.
Honey and yoghurt are also proper gifts for a brahmana.
Someone who has fasted from ghee should donate milk, one who has
fasted from grains should donate rice, one who has slept on the
floor should donate a bedstead with a quilt, one who has eaten on a
leaf plate should donate a pot of ghee, one who as remained silent
should donate a bell, and one who has fasted from sesame should
give gold in charity and feed a brahmana couple with sumptuous
A man who wants to prevent baldness should donate a mirror to a
brahmana, one who has second-hand shoes should donate shoes, and
one who has fasted from salt should donate some sugar to a
During this month everyone should regularly offer a ghee lamp to
Lord Vishnu or to Srimati Tulsidevi in a temple.
"An Ekadasi fast is complete when one offers a qualified brahmana a
gold or copper pot filled with ghee and ghee wicks, along with
eight waterpots containing some gold and covered by cloths.
One who cannot afford these gifts should at least offer a brahmana
some sweet words.
One who does so will surely attain the full benefit of fasting on
"After offering his obeisances and begging permission, the devotee
should eat his meal.
On this Ekadasi, Chaturmasya ends, so whatever one gave up during
Chaturmasya should now be donated to brahmanas.
One who follows this process of Chaturmasya receives unlimited
merit, O king of kings, and goes to the abode of Lord Vasudeva
O king, anyone who observes the complete Chaturmasya without a
break attains eternal happiness and does not receive another
But if someone breaks the fast, he becomes either a blind man or a
"Thus I have narrated to you the complete process for observing
Someone who reads or hears about this achieves the merit earned by
donating cows to a qualified brahmana."
Thus ends the narration of the glories of Karttika-sukla Ekadasi -
also known as Haribodhini Ekadasi or Devotthaani Ekadasi - from the
PRABODHINIM UPOSYA EVA NA GARBHE VISATE NARAH SARVA
DHARMAN PARITYAJYA TASMAT KURVITA NARADA
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/289 from SKANDA PURANA spoken by Lord
Oh Narada Muni, one who fasts on Prabodhini (when the Lord gets up)
Ekadasi, does not enter again into the womb of another mother.
Therefore, a person should give up all varieties of occupation and
fast on this particular Ekadasi day.
DUGDHABDHIH BHOGI SAYANE BHAGAVAN ANANTO YASMIN DINE SVAPITI CA
ATHA VIBHUDHYATE CA TASMINN ANANYA MANASAM UPAVASA BHAJAM KAMAM
DADATY ABHIMATAM GARUDANKA SAYI
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/293 from PADMA PURANA)
One who fasts with one pointed intelligence on the day when the
Supreme Lord Sri Hari, Who sleeps on a bed of the enemy of Garuda
(snake) goes to take rest in the Milk ocean on the bed of Ananta
Sesa and also the day He gets up, gets all of his desires
BHAKTIPRADA HAREH SATU NAMNA KSATA PRAVODHINI YASA VISNOH PARA
MURTIR AVYAKTA ANEKA RUPINI SA KSIPTA MANUSE LOKE DVADADI MUNI
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/301 from VARAHA PURANA conversation between
Yamaraja and Narada Muni)
This Prabodhini Ekadasi is famous for rewarding devotion to Lord
Oh best of the sages (Narada Muni), the personality of Ekadasi is
present on this earthly planet in an unmanifested form of Lord
Srila Sanatana Gosvami remarks in his Digdarsini-tika that one who
exactly observes the Ekadasi fast by observing this, he directly
worships Lord Sri Hari.
This is the meaning of this verse.
Therefore, Ekadasi is said to be equal to Lord Sri Hari
CATUR DHA GRAHYA VAI CIRNAM CATUR MASYA VRATAM NARAH KARTIKE
SUKLAPAKSE TU DVADASYAM TAT SAMACARET
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/412 from MAHABHARATA)
A person who observed Caturmasya fast stated in four different ways
should end his fast on the Dvadasi day on the light fortnight of
the month of Karttika.
(Of course in ISKCON we do Caturmasya & Kartika-vrata from
Purnima to Purnima.)
EKADASYAM PARER DATTAM DIPAM PRAJVALYA MUSIKA MANUSYAM DURLABHAM
PRAPYA PARAM GATIM AVAPA SA
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/129 from SKANDA PURANA)
One rat (female mouse) had once burnt a ghee lamp which was offered
by someone else on Ekadasi day.
By doing so, she achieved a rarely achievable human form and at
last attained the topmost destination.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami writes in his Digdarsini-tika, "In this
verse it is found that it is possible to attain the results of
directly offering a lamp on Ekadasi.
This history of the mouse is very famous in the Padma Purana,
(In a temple of Lord Visnu, there was a mouse living who was eating
the ghee from the extinguished ghee lamps which had been offered by
others to Him.
One day when she felt hungry to eat ghee, she tried to eat the ghee
from a lamp which was not yet extinguished.
While eating ghee from the lamp, the cotton wick got stuck in her
Since the ghee wick had a flame, the mouse started jumping in front
of the Lord's Deity form and thus died due to fire.
But Lord Sri Visnu accepted the jumping of that mouse with a lit
ghee wick in her mouth as His aratik.
In the end He gave her liberation, the topmost destination.)
Glories of Remaining Awake on the night of Prabodhini
Ekadasi: (Padma Purana,
The sins accumulated in thousands of previous births burn like a
mass of cotton for someone who remains awake during
Even if guilty of the most heinous sins, such as killing a
brahmana, O sage a person shakes away his sins by remaining awake
in Visnu's honour throughout Prabodhani-ekadasi.
All his mental, vocal, and physical sins will be washed away by Sri
Results that are difficult to obtain even with great yajnas, such
as Asvamedha, effortlessly accrue to those who remain awake during
The Lord should be taken out on a grand Ratha-yatra festival on
this day after awakening Him from His sleep for the four months of
Caturmasya i.e from Sayani Ekadasi when the Lord had taken rest on
the Milk Ocean.
This festival has been elaborately described in the Padma