The meaning of Ekadashi is fasting for the body and feasting for the soul, which means to sleep less, eat less, but also to intensify our chanting of the holy names, to increase hearing of Hari-katha and associate more with the devotees of the Lord. The Ekadashi which comes in the Pusya month in the Shukla Paksa is known as Putrada Ekadashi.
Method of observing this Ekadashi:
In Bhavishya Puran, this event is mentioned that once Yudhistir Maharaj approached Lord Krsna and pleaded to him, “Oh Lord! Please show mercy on me and tell me in detail, what is the name of the Ekadashi which comes in the Shukla Paksa of the Pusya month? Who is the presiding Deity to be worshiped on this auspicious day? And how can I also please you on this very day?”
When Lord Krsna heard these questions, he replied, “For the welfare of the masses I shall tell you about this Ekadashi. The name of this Ekadashi is ‘Putrada Ekadashi’ and as like any other Ekadashi you must also observe this Ekadashi strictly. This Ekadashi is the destroyer of the sins and paves a path to take one to Goloka. On this day, Lord Narayan should be worshiped as the presiding Deity and for his devotees, Lord Narayan fulfils all of their desires and provides the supreme journey. Now I’m going to relate to you the Tale of this Ekadashi. So listen to it carefully.”
The Tale of The Putrada Ekadashi:
Once upon a time, a kingdom named Bhadraavati was ruled by King Suketumaan and his queen, the famous Shaibyaa. Despite having all the world’s luxury, the King was in great anxiety over having no successor to his kingdom. The King was always distressed, “After me, who shall nurture this kingdom?”
In this way, he always used to think, “What should I do? How will I get a pious child?” Despite all luxury in the kingdom, he was not happy.
Moreover, he was in such a distressing condition that he did not even like to live in his palace. In this manner, he had started spending a greater proportion of his time in his wife’s palace, with only one worry eating him from the inside, “How would I get this child?”
Once, when the royal couple offered the Pindadaan to their ancestors, only one thought seemed to plague their mind. “Today, we are doing this for our ancestors, but who will do it for ourselves? Will we remain a wandering souls? Will we not get liberation?”
The entire kingdom seemed to give them no solace, and both seemed to get increasingly morose as days went by. Despite an abundance of elephants, horses, and a huge infantry, it was not providing him contentment and tranquillity, and they were always engaged in the child’s restlessness.
The King used to ponder, “What is the benefit of this great kingdom without any son? Without a son, my kingdom and my heart is appearing as a hollow filled with darkness! Without a son, how would I pay off the debt of my forefathers, of the demigods and the other humans?”
He always used to think, tensed, “If my son would exist then it would be of proof that I have done pious works in my past one hundred lives and I have sufficiently worshipped the Supreme Lord Vishnu. Great wealth, intelligence and sons can only be achieved if one worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna. If I don’t beget a son my life will become worthless and hollow.”
In this worry, he used to spend his days and nights. The King and queen felt more guilty when they heard that their forefathers were worried that there would be no one to offer Tarpana to them.
Suffering in this manner, the King thought of committing suicide, reasoning that if he had no son, what was the meaning of life?
But then he realized, “If I commit suicide, then I’ll have to face the punishments in hell.” So, leaving this thought aside, he decided he was ruining himself over the lack of a son. He went riding on his horse into the forest. No one knew where he had gone off to, neither the priests nor the Brahmans.
As he was wandering in the forest, he noticed how the trees were magnificently decorated with flowers and fruits different kinds of trees and shrubs, such as the fig, bel fruit, date palm, jackfruit, Bakula, saptaparnaa, Hindu ka, and tilaka, as well as the shala, taala, tamaala, saralaa, hingotaa, arjuna, labheraa, bahedaa, sallaki, karondaa, patala, khaira, shaka, and palaasha trees. He saw deer, tigers, wild boar, lions, monkeys, snakes, huge bull elephants in rut, cow elephants with their calves, and four-tusked elephants with their mates close by and watching every animal. His suffering increased multiple folds. Further, he started wandering in ten directions in a state of deep sorrow.
Soon it was noon, and the King had started feeling plagued with hunger and thirst. His stomach rumbled hungrily, and he thought to himself, “What sin must have I committed, for which I am getting punished in this manner, and for that, I have to suffer so much?”
He thought, “As far as I remember, I have done countless yajnas for the demigods. I have given so much of gifts and sweets to qualified Brahmins. I have taken care of my subjects as if my own child. Then why do I have to suffer like this? What unknown sins have I committed?”
Thus, by his past pious deeds, he reached near an alluring lake named Maanasarova. He saw that there were ducks, swans, and fishes wandering about in the lake, and in that lake bloomed rose pink lotuses.
He noticed that near the coast of the lake, there were many asharams of great sages and munis who could fulfill the desires of anyone. They wished everyone well. By watching this scene, his right eye and right arm started palpitating, which was a good sign that something auspicious was about to happen.
The King got off from his horse and noted that all the sages were chanting the holy names of Krsna. Humbly greeting them, the King glorified the sages with folded palms. Pleased with his respect, the sages said, “We are pleased by your behavior. Oh King, tell us what do you desire? O King, tell us the reason that you came here? What is going on inside your mind? What is your desire?
The King asks, burning with curiosity, “I want to know who you all are? What are you doing here?”
Then sages replied, “We are Vishvadevas. We are here in this solitary place for a holy bath. The month of Magha, also called the month of Madhav, will be here in 5 days and today is the most auspicious Putrada Ekadashi. One who desires a son should observe this Ekadashi very strictly.
When the King heard this, he started to pray with folded hands “I have an intense desire of begetting a son. I tried many things and many ways of getting a son, but all have proven to be useless. If you are pleased with me, please bless me so that I get a son”.
Hearing this, sages replied, “The name of this ekadasi is Putrada, the giver of a son (Putra). Obey this ekadasi strictly then by the mercy of Krsna and by our blessings, a son shall be born to you”.
As per their instruction, the King observed the Ekadashi strictly. The next day, on Dwadashi, King paid his obeisance to all the sages and went onwards, to his palace.
After some time, the King begot a majestic son. Just like the sages had predicted, he was beautiful, bright-faced, and as talented as the King, and he used to take care of his subjects just like his own children.
Fruit of observing this Ekadashi:
And hence, Lord Krsna concluded his narration by saying, “Oh Yudhisthira, if you want to fulfil your desires then you must observe this Putrda Ekadashi strictly. In this world, anyone who obeys this Ekadashi, he definitely gets a son and after death, he attains Goloka Dham. One who just hears or reads this Tale of Putrda Ekadashi, he acquires the result of performing an Ashvamedha yajna. For the welfare of masses, I have narrated to you this Tale and glorification of Putrda Ekadashi.” Thus ends the narration of the glories of Pausha-Shukla Ekadashi, or Putrada Ekadashi, from the Bhavishya Purana of Veda Vyaasadeva.
Hidden teachings from the Tale:
There are many lessons that we can take from the Tale, but the two special and hidden teachings of this Tale are:
1. Someone may have everything in the world, but there is always a ‘but’ or a question mark remaining in his life like the King who had all of the luxuries, but yet, he wasn’t happy. 2. Nothing can be achieved unless there are the blessings of the devotees. That’s why devotees’ blessings are very mandatory.
So, like all the Ekadashi, let’s fill this Ekadashi with Krsna’s holy name, Hare Krsna, Krsna Hare Hare.