The glories of Mohini Ekadashi are narrated in the Kurma Purana in a conversation between Maharaja Yudhishthira and Lord Krishna.
Yudhisthira Maharaja enquired from Lord Krishna. He said, “O Janardana! What is the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the bright fortnight (sukla paksha) of the month of Vaisakha (April-May)? What is the process for observing it? Kindly narrate to me.”
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna replied, “Oh blessed son of Dharma, I shall now describe to you what Vasishtha Muni once told Lord Ramachandra. Please hear attentively.
“Lord Ramachandra asked Vasishtha Muni, ‘O great sage, I would like to hear about the best of all fasting days, that day which destroys all sins and sorrows. I have suffered long in separation from My dear Sita, and I wish to learn from you how My suffering may end.’
“Sage Vasishtha replied, ‘O Lord Rama! O One of keen intelligence! Merely by remembering Your name one can cross the ocean of material miseries! You have only questioned me to benefit all humanity and for fulfilling everyone’s desires. Let me describe that day of fasting which purifies the whole world. That auspicious day O Rama is known as Vaisakha-Shukla Ekadashi, which falls on a Dvadasi. This sin eliminating Ekadashi is famous as Mohini Ekadashi.
‘Truly, O Lord, this Ekadashi frees the fortunate soul who observes it, from the network of material illusion. Therefore, if You wish to dispel Your sufferings, observe this auspicious Ekadashi perfectly, for it removes all obstacles from one’s path and allays great miseries.
Kindly listen as I describe its glories, for merely hearing about this auspicious Ekadashi, neutralizes reactions to the greatest sins.
‘On the banks of the River Sarasvati, there was once a beautiful city named Bhadravati ruled by King Dyutiman. O Rama! That steadfast, truthful, and highly intelligent king was born in the dynasty of the Moon (Chandra-vamsa).
‘In his kingdom was a merchant named Dhanapala, who possessed a great deal of wealth and food grains. He was also very pious. Dhanapala arranged for lakes to be dug, sacrificial arenas to be erected, and beautiful gardens to be cultivated for the benefit of all the citizens of Bhadravati. He was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu.He had five sons: Sumana, Dyutiman, Medhavi, Sukriti, and Dhrishthabuddhi.
‘Unfortunately, Dhrishthabuddhi was very sinful. He slept with
prostitutes and associated with degraded persons.He disrespected demigods (devas), Brahmins, forefathers, community elders, as well as family guests. The evil Dhrishthabuddhi spent his father’s wealth indiscriminately, feasting on untouchable foods and alcohol.
‘One day, Dhanapala saw him walking on the road arm-in-arm with a known prostitute and evicted him from the house. All of Dhrishthabuddhi’s relatives severely criticized him and distanced themselves from him. He sold all his inherited ornaments and become destitute. Even the prostitute insulted him for his poverty and abandoned him.
‘Hungry and gripped with anxiety, he wondered what he would do, where he would go and how he would maintain himself. Eventually, he became a thief. The king’s constables arrested him many times, but on learning that his father was the famous Dhanapala, released him.
‘At last, sick of his arrogance and disrespect for others and their property, the ill-mannered Dhrishthabuddhi was apprehended, handcuffed, and beaten. After having whipped him, the king’s marshals gravely declared, “O Evil minded one! There is no place for you in this kingdom.”
‘However, Dhrishthabuddhi was freed from his tribulation by his father and immediately afterward entered a dense forest. He wandered here and there, hungry and thirsty and suffering greatly. Eventually, he began killing the jungle animals – lions, deer, wild boars, and even wolves for food.
‘Always ready with his bow and a quiver full of arrows, he killed numerous birds, such as chakoras, peacocks, kankas, doves, and pigeons without hesitation. Sinful results accumulated each day. Adding to his previous sinful reactions, he was now immersed in an ocean of sin so vast that he could apparently never escape.
‘Dhrishthabuddhi was always miserable and anxious, but one day, during the month of Vaisakha, by good fortune, he chanced upon the sacred hermitage of Kaundinya Muni. The great sage had just finished bathing in the Ganges River, and water was still dripping from him. By good fortune, Dhrishthabuddhi touched some of those droplets of water falling from the sage’s wet clothing. Dhrishthabuddhi was instantly freed from his ignorance, and his sinful reactions mitigated.
Offering his humble obeisances unto Kaundinya Muni, Dhrishthabuddhi prayed to him with folded hands, “O great Brahmana! I have committed many sins in my life and now I am very poor. Please prescribe me atonement that I may perform without difficulty.” The great rishi replied, “O son! Listen with attention, for by hearing me you will be free of all your remaining sins and your life will change. In the bright fortnight of this very month, Vaisakha (April-May) there occurs the sacred Mohini Ekadashi, which has the power to nullify sins as great and heavy as Mount Sumeru. If you follow my advice and faithfully observe a fast on this Ekadashi, which is so dear to Lord Hari, you will be freed from all the sinful reactions of many, many births.”
‘Hearing these words with great joy, Dhrishthabuddhi promised to observe a fast on Mohini Ekadashi according to the sage’s instructions. O best of kings! O Ramachandra Bhagavan! By fasting completely on Mohini Ekadashi, the once sinful Dhrishthabuddhi, the prodigal son of the merchant Dhanapala, became sinless. Thereafter he achieved a beautiful transcendental form and, free of all obstacles, rode upon the carrier of Lord Vishnu, Garuda, to the eternal abode of the Supreme Lord.
‘O Ramachandra! Fasting on Mohini Ekadashi removes the darkest illusory attachments to material existence. There is thus no better fast day in all the three worlds than this.'”
Lord Sri Krishna concluded, “O Yudhishthira! there is no place of pilgrimage, no sacrifice, and no charity that can bestow merit comparable to even one-sixteenth the merit a faithful devotee of Mine obtains by observing Mohini Ekadashi. He who hears and studies the glories of Mohini Ekadashi achieves the merit of giving one thousand cows in charity.
Thus ends the Kurma Purana narration of Mohini Ekadashi.
This year Mohini Ekadashi falls on 12th of May 2022. We can observe Mohini Ekadashi by fasting from grains and chanting the mantra
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
at least 108 times which is one round of the mantra. The more rounds we chant the better it will be. In addition, we can allocate some time for reading ‘Bhagavad-Gita As It Is’ or any other book by Srila Prabhupada.
This Mohini Ekadashi we encourage you to fast from grains, chant Hare
Krishna and read Srila Prabhupada’s books. You will feel purified, enlightened, and elevated.