Yogini Ekadashi Fast
Yogini Ekadashi falls on Jeth Vad 11. The vratt of Yogini Ekadashi is described in detail in the Brahmvait Puran. Shree Krishna expressed to King Yudhistir, “O King! Yogini Ekadashi is the destroyer of all sins and the giver of salvation. The vratt relieves one from pain and gives harmony and peace.”
In the kingdom of Alka, the ruling King Kuberdev was very pious and looked after his subjects and people very well. In his free time, he always performed holy poojan and archan to the Gods. He had a servant named Hemmali whose duty was to gather flowers from the nearest Maansarovar and bring it to the palace for the King’s poojan. As always one morning, Hemmali went to the great waters of Maansarovar and gathered beautiful flowers. Passing his house on the way back, He got attracted to the charming glimpses from his wife and stayed in indoors and overlooked his duty to deliver the flowers. At the palace the King was awaiting for the flowers for archan to the Gods. On investigating the matter, the King realised the reason for Hemmali’s absence and became very furious and sent a message for Hemmali to appear before his court.
Enraged with the matter and learning about the imprudence of Hemmali, the king uttered a curse and said to the servant, “As you have done such an ill act and due to the incompetence of your duty, you will never be happy in life. You will always be diseased and will never have food and clothes. You will suffer pain and misery”. As time went by, the curse took its course in the life of Hemmali. Roaming through the jungles and mountains, Hemmali did not have food and water. He suffered great distress and carried on through the dense forests making his way up to the Himalayas.
Once in the mountains of Himalayas, he came to a hermitage of Markanday Rishi. He approached the rishi with great respect and fell at his feet and conveyed the occurrences of the events of his life. On hearing, the Rishi said, “O child! As you have confessed to me the truth about your mistakes I will show you a way out of this misery. Please have full faith in my words and listen very carefully. On the vratt of Yogini Ekadashi, perform a full fast taking no food or water. Devote yourself to God and chant His divine name the whole day and night. With the strength and energy of this vratt you will attain your original form again. You will become free from the curse and once again go back to your city and lead a happy life.”
As per Markanday Rishi’s guidance, Hemmali became free from all suffering and misfortunes. It is stated in the Brahmvait Puran that one who performs the vratt of Yogini Ekadashi will attain good deeds equivalent to feeding 88,000 Brahmins and become free from all sins.