Padma Ekadashi - Friday 15th July
Padma Ekadashi - Ashadh Sud Ekadashi AKA Devshayani Ekadashi
King Yudhishthir once asked Bhagwan Shree Krishna, "O Keshav! By what name the Ekadashi falling in Sud fortnight of month of Ashadh is known? Please narrate me Mahatmya of this Ekadashi." Bhagwan Shree Krishna replied, "O king! Lord Brahma, the creator narrated Mahatmya of this Ekadashi to his son Narad. I shall reiterate the same Katha to you."
Brahma said to Narad Muni, "O son! The Ekadashi that falls in the bright fortnight of Ashadh is known as Padma Ekadashi. The Vrat of Ekadashi should be undertaken to please Bhagwan Narayan. I shall now narrate the significance of Padma Ekadashi. There was a famous and pious king born in the clan of Suryavansh named Mandhata. He ruled over his subjects justly and people were very happy and prosperous as a result. He ruled happily for many years. Once a drought of three consecutive years struck his kingdom. His wealth and stocks of food grain got depleted. People at large suffered from hunger. They approached their king and pleaded with him to alleviate their suffering. They urged him to find some solution to bring rains as only rain can bring back their happiness. The king agreed with them that life can only be sustained with food. He consoled his subjects that he will surely seek some solution for their plight. He decided to call on some eminent sages mediating in the forest to seek cause for famine and its remedy. Whilst seeking sages in the forest, he saw Angira Rishi, the son of Lord Brahma. King Mandhata dismounted from the horse as soon as he saw Rishi Angira and prostrated at sage's feet and stood in front of him with hands folded and head bowed. Angira Rishi blessed the king and asked his and his subjects' well being. The king replied in sorrowful voice, "O merciful sage! There has not been a drop of rain for past three years for some unknown reason. I have ruled my kingdom justly and looked after my subjects with affection, yet my kingdom is afflicted with famine. Please have mercy on my subjects and show me a way to alleviate miseries of my subjects." Angira Rishi replied, "O king! Dharma is well established (with Gnaan, Bhakti and Vairagya) in this Satya yug. However, only Brahmins have the right to undertake Tapasya (austerity). Your kingdom has suffered from famine because people from other Varnas besides Brahmins have performed austerity." King said, "It may be so, but still show me some way to surmount the famine." Angira Rishi said, "O righteous and just king! You and your subject must undertake the Vrat of forthcoming Padma Ekadashi. Vrat of Padma Ekadashi fulfils all desires and dispels all sorrows. Rains will arrive as a result of Punya earned by this Vrat and your kingdom will prosper once again." O Narad! King Mandhanta bowed down to Rishi before returning to his kingdom. King Mandhata and all his subjects observed the Vrat of Padma Ekadashi as advised by sage Angira and as a result of cumulative Punya, it rained heavily. The crops grew in abundance and the kingdom found its prosperity once again. Everyone became happy with Lord Vishnu's blessings. O Narad! Whoever reads, listens to or narrates Mahatmya of Padma Ekadashi becomes free from all sins."
This Mahtmya of Padma Ekadashi is narrated in the Brahmand Puran.