ShatTila Ekadashi - Thursday 4th February
Posh Vad Ekadashi: ShatTila Ekadashi
Dalamya Rishi asked, "O Brahmin! Please tell me how can a sinner who commit grave sins such as killing a Brahmin or robbing his wealth and adultery escape from the punishments of hell. Please tell me what donation - even a miniscule amount can redeem one from such grave sins."
Paulstya Rishi replied, "O fortunate one! You have asked me a profound question. I will reveal its secret, which even Brahma has not revealed to Devtas. One should have a purifying bath in the morning on a day of the month of Posh when Pushya Nakshatra reigns. He should calm his mind by forsaking anger, ego and other vices and suppressing all desires. He should wash his feet and gather cow dung and mix it with sesame seeds and cotton seeds and make cow dung cakes. He should have Bhagwan Narayan's memory in his heart while doing this. On a night of the dark fortnight of Posh when the moon is in PurvaAshadha or Pushya Nakshatra, he should offer 108 offerings of these cow dung cakes in the sacred fire. He should take a vow to observe ShatTila Ekadashi a day prior to Ekadashi. He should wake up early and conclude his daily rituals such as Snaan and worship Bhagwan Narayan with sandalwood paste, camphor and sesame seeds. He should observe fast for the day and undertake Jagran at the night following Homa. He should offer Khichdi as Naivedhya and bananas and coconut as Arghya. One may offer beetle nuts in the absence of aforementioned fruits. He should pray to Bhagwan, 'O Shree Krishna! O merciful! You are my only sustainer. I bow down to You. O master of the universes! Please accept my offerings to You and Your consort Laxmi.' O Rishi! He should venerate a pious Brahmin and offer him a water pitcher with a gold coin in it, a pair of slippers or shoes, a cow and a bronze pot full of sesame seeds. He should give all these with the sole purpose of pleasing Bhagwan Shree Krishna. White sesame seeds mixed in water should be used for bathing and preparing food and black sesame seeds should be given to a Brahmin.
Using sesame seeds in these six ways : Massage body with sesame seeds, bath with water laced with sesame seeds, offer sesame seeds in sacred fire, drink water laced with sesame seeds, eat sesame seeds and donate sesame seeds; washes away all sins. (Therefore, this Ekadashi is called Shat (six) Tila (sesame seeds)"
Dalamya Rishi asked, "O Brahmin! Please narrate me the significance of Vrat of ShatTila Ekadashi." Paulstya Rishi narrated the fable he had heard in form of a dialogue between Bhagwan Shree Krishna and Sage Narad.
Bhagwan said, "O Narad! There lived a Brahmin woman a long time ago. She observed all Vrats faithfully, worshipped Bhagwan Vishnu earnestly, observed fast regularly and regularly donated to Brahmins but never actually offered food to Devtas, Brahmins or poor. She deserved Vaikunth Dham but will not attain complete bliss there unless she feeds needy and Brahmins. I took a form of beggar and sought food from her at her doorstep. She asked the reason for my presence at her home. When I asked for food, she became angry. Out of malice she gave me a piece of mud cake instead. I returned to Vaikunth with her offering. With a passage of time, she came to Vaikunth upon her death. A beautiful home was made ready for her, but her kitchen had no food. She protested angrily, 'I have observed all the Vrats and yet why my home has got no food?' O Narad! I said to the Brahmin woman, 'O lady! Some Apsaras will come to see you at your home, but do not let them in unless they narrate the significance of ShatTila Ekadashi.' After some time Apsaras knocked on her door and told her to open the door as they had come to meet her. The Brahmin lady asked them to narrate the significance of ShatTila Ekadashi as I had advised her. She opened the door only after Apsaras narrated the significance of Vrat and how to observe the Vrat. After the Brahmin woman observed the Vrat of ShatTila Ekadashi, her home became replete with food, wealth and other luxuries. O Narad! Whoever fasts and donate clothes and sesame seeds on ShatTila Ekadashi never has to endure poverty, sorrows and misfortune. Whoever donates sesame seeds with due reverence has his sins washed away and he never suffers any misfortune."
This significance of ShatTila Ekadashi is mentioned in Bhavishyottar Puran.