The glories of Papankusha Ekadasi or Ashwina-Shukla Ekadasi are narrated in the Brahma-vaivarta Purana in a conversation between Yudhishthira Maharaja and Lord Krishna.
Yudhishthira Maharaja said, “O Madhusudana, by what name is the Ekadasi that falls in the bright fortnight of the month of Ashvina (September – October) known? Please reveal this to me by your kind mercy.”
The Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna replied, “O king, please listen attentively to my narration of the glories of this Ekadasi called Papankusha Ekadasi that eradicates all sins.
“On this day, one should ritualistically worship Lord Padmanabha by the regulations of archana vidhi. This has the potency to award desired heavenly pleasures and ultimately grant liberation from this world.
“By merely offering humble obeisances unto Lord Vishnu, the One who travels on the back of Garuda, one can attain the merit of performing prolonged penances with restrained senses. Despite having committed unlimited, abominable sins, one can escape hellish punishment just by offering obeisances to Lord Sri Hari – the remover of sins.
“The merits of visiting places of pilgrimage on earth can also be obtained by merely chanting the Holy names of Lord Vishnu. Chanting the sacred names ‘Rama’, ‘Vishnu’, ‘Janardana’, or ‘Krishna’, especially on Ekadasi, saves one from the clutches of Yamaraj, the lord of death. A devotee who fasts on Papankusha Ekadasi, which is very dear to Me, does not see this plutonic abode meant for punishing the sinful.
“The merit of performing one hundred horse sacrifices and one hundred Rajasuya sacrifices cannot equal even one-sixteenth the merit of fasting on Ekadasi. Indeed, nothing in the three worlds is as capable of purifying one of the accumulated sins as Ekadasi.
“O king, until a person fasts on Papankusha Ekadasi, the day of Lord Padmanabha, the reactions of his past sins adhere to him like a chaste wife. Even the one who desires elevation to heavenly planets, good health, beautiful women, wealth, and food grains what to speak of one desiring liberation, should fast on Papankusha Ekadasi. O king, neither the Ganges nor the holy places of Gaya, Kashi, Pushkara or Kurukshetra, can grant as many pious credits as Papankusha Ekadasi.
“O Maharaj Yudhishthira, protector of the earth, after observing Papankusha Ekadasi during the daytime, the devotee should keep awake through the night, absorbed in hearing, chanting about and serving the Lord – for by this he easily attains to the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu. Not only that, ten generations of ancestors on his mother’s side, ten on his father’s, and ten on his wife’s are all liberated by just one observance of a fast on this Ekadasi. All these ancestors attain four-armed transcendental Vaikuntha forms. Wearing yellow garments and beautiful garlands, they ride to the spiritual realm on the back of Garuda, the renowned enemy of the snakes. This is the benediction My devotees earn by observing just one Papankusha Ekadasi properly.
“O best of kings, whether a child, a youth or an old person, fasting on Papankusha Ekadasi frees the performer from all sins and renders hellish rebirth impossible. He returns to the spiritual abode of Lord Sri Hari. One who donates gold, sesame seeds, fertile land, cows, grain, drinking water, an umbrella, or a pair of shoes on this auspicious day will never have to visit the abode of Yamaraj, the punisher of sinners. But if a human fails to perform spiritual deeds, like fasting on Ekadasi and other recommended days, his breathing is no better than a blacksmith’s bellows’.
“O best of the kings, even the poor should bathe and give some charity according to their means on Papankusha Ekadasi. They should perform this and other auspicious activities in accordance with their ability.
“One who performs sacrifices or helps by building public ponds, resting places, gardens, or houses does not suffer the punishments of Yamaraj. It should be understood that if a person is long-lived, wealthy, of high birth, or free from disease, he must have performed these pious activities in past lives. But, a person who observes Papankusha Ekadasi achieves the far greater benefit of attaining the abode of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu.”
Lord Sri Krishna thus concluded the narration of the glories of the auspicious Papankusha Ekadasi.
This year Papankusha Ekadasi falls on 27 Oct 2020.