Putrada Ekadashi - Thursday 7th August
Putrada Ekadashi - Shravan Sud Ekadashi - AKA Pavitra Ekadashi
King Yudhishthir asked, "O Shree Krishna! Please tell me the name and significance of the Ekadashi that falls in the bright fortnight of the month of Shravan?"
Bhagwan Shree Krishna replied, "O king! Shravan Sud Ekadashi is called Putrada Ekadashi, the Vrat of which is powerful enough to wash away one's all sins committed - knowingly or inadvertently. Not only that, whoever listen to its Mahatmya is rewarded with Punya equivalent of performing a Vajpeyee Yagna.
Listen to this Katha attentively. In the bygone era, at the time of beginning of Dwapar Yug, a king named Mahijeet ruled over a vast kingdom from the city of Mahishmati. He had no sons despite having several wives. He tried many means at his disposal to father a son without any success. He was worried about his old age and passing on his kingdom to his heir. He called his courtiers and scholar Brahmins of his kingdom for a meeting. He said to the assembly, 'O wise ones! I have not committed any major sin in my life; I have not stole any wealth of Brahmins or temples; I have looked after my subject like my own children; I have always welcomed and greeted wise and holy people into my kingdom. I have followed the path of Dharma and treated my subject justly. Yet for some reason, I have not been blessed with a son. Ponder over the reason behind this and please find a way out of this dire situation.' O Yudhishthir! On hearing the words of King Mahijeet, the Brahmins and priests went to the hermitages of great sages into deep forests. They came across the hermitage of great Sage Lomash. The sage has undertaken severe austerity surviving without food and water for a prolonged period. He knew the essence of Dharma, was a great scholar of holy scriptures and had acquired Brahm Vidhya, the ultimate knowledge by which one becomes aware of past, present and future."
Bhagwan continued, " O Yudhishthir! The group of Brahmins bowed down to the feet of Sage Lomash. The sage asked their well beings and the reason for venturing so far away in a dense forest. Brahmins said, 'O sage! There is no one superior to Brahma and you in this world. Therefore, we have come to find a solution to our problem. We are subjects of King Mahijeet. He has no son and as a result, he is very depressed. We, his subjects feel sad at this predicament. One's all desires are fulfilled just by your Darshan. Show us means by which our king, Mahijeet may beget a son.' Sage Lomash was overcome by pity and compassion for King Mahijeet. He closed his eyes in meditation and get to know king's past life. The sage said, 'King Mahijeet was born in a poor Vaishya household in his previous life. Once he was travelling from his village to another village on Jyeshtha Sud Ekadashi. In a scorching he became very thirsty. When he saw a lake at distance, he rushed towards it to quench his thirst. Just as he was about to drink water, he saw a cow, which has just delivered a calf, drinking water from the same spot. He hit the cow with a stick and drove her away before she could quench her thirst. Due his many Punyas of previous lives he is born as a king but, he has been deprived of a son for this sin.' The Brahmins pleaded once again, 'O great sage! We have heard that sins may be dispelled by undertaking Punyas. Please show us the way by which our king's sin of his past life can be dispelled.' O King Yudhishthir! Sage Lomash replied, 'All of you should observe the Vrat of forthcoming Ekadashi - Putrada Ekadashi by fasting on the day and performing Jagaran and offer accumulated Punya to your king. King Mahijeet will sure have a son after this.
Bhagwan Shree Krishna continued, "O Yudhishthir! Delighted at the solution shown by great Sage Lomash, the subjects of Mahishmati returned to their kingdom. King Mahijeet and all his subjects observed the Vrat of Putrada Ekadashi as guided by Sage Lomash. People of Mahismati offered their Punya to their king and as a result of this Punya, the queen gave birth to a healthy son after nine months. Any person with a desire to have son should undertake the Vrat of Putrada Ekadashi. Whoever listens to or narrates Mahatmya of Putrada Ekadashi will be blessed with a son, be freed from his sins, have all his desires fulfilled and attain heaven upon his death."
This Mahatmya of Putrada Ekadashi is narrated in the Bhavishyottar Puran.