Yogini Ekadashi - Friday 1st July
Yogini Ekadashi - Jyeshtha Vad Ekadashi
King Yudhishthir asked Bhagwan, "O Shree Krishna! By what name the Ekadashi falling in Vad fortnight of Jyeshtha is known? Please narrate to me the significance of this Ekadashi.
Bhagwan Shree Krishna replied, "O king! This Ekadashi is called Yogini Ekadashi, which can fulfil men's all worldly desires and help him attain Moksha.
Kuber, an ardent devotee of Shiva, managed a large area of heaven. Many Yakshas served him. He had assigned one of them, HemMali, to bring fresh flowers from Mansarovar every morning, which Kuber used during his morning worship of Shiva. HemMali accomplished this task to the satisfaction of Kuber over a long period. HemMali had a wife named Vishalaxi, who was very beautiful and he loved her immensely. Once, when HemMali had returned to his home after picking fresh flowers from Mansarovar, he glanced his beautiful wife. Overcome by lascivious desires, he overlooked his duties. He did not go to deliver the fresh flowers to Kuber that morning. Kuber did not see the fresh flowers in the Puja platter this morning. He waited for a while for HemMali to deliver the flowers. He called one of his attendants to go to HemMali's home and inquire about his whereabouts. The attendant returned back to report that whilst cavorting with his wife, HemMali has not bothered to deliver the flowers. Kuber was angry and ordered his attendant to bring HemMali immediately to the court. O king Yudhishthir! HemMali was trembling with fear when brought to the court. Kuber exploded, 'O ill mannered. You have insulted Lord Shiva besides me for not delivering fresh flowers this morning. I curse you to fall on earth. You shall be separated from your wife and inflicted with vitiligo."
Bhagwan Shree Krishna continued, "O King! HemMali fell on a desolate forest of earth upon being cursed by Kuber. The white patches of vitiligo appeared on his body. He was unable to sleep in peace due to pain and endured hunger and thirst in forest. However, he had retained his memory of the past. He started to think about how he could free himself from the curse of Kuber. Wondering aimlessly, he stumbled upon the hermitage of Sage Markandeya in the Himalayas. HemMali fell at great sage's feet. Markandeya Muni was overcome with compassion at HemMali's state and asked him the reason for his awful state. Yaksha's eyes were filled up with tears and narrated his tale in trembling voice as how he was cursed by Kuber for his folly. He pleaded with Muni to release him from such a pitiful existence. Markandeya Muni thought that as he has repented and own up his folly, he should be helped. The sage comforted HemMali and said, 'O Yaksha! Observe the Vrat of Yogini Ekadashi that falls in the dark fortnight of Jyeshtha. Your suffering will end with the Punya earned by undertaking this Vrat. You will regain your previous form and be united with your wife. Kuber will take you back in his service.' Saying this, Markandeya Muni explained how to observe the Vrat of Yogini Ekadashi including observing fast on the day. HemMali prostrated at sage's feet before taking his leave. He observed the Vrat of Yogini Ekadashi as explained by Sage Markandeya. As a result of Punya of undertaking the Vrat, HemMali regained his previous state and joined Kuber's service. He was also reunited with his wife Vishalaxi.
Bhagwan Shree Krishna concluded, "O King Yudhishthir! I have narrated to you the significance of Vrat of Yogini Ekadashi. Whoever observes its Vrat sincerely earns Punya equivalent of feeding eighty eight thousand Brahmins. Vrat of this Ekadashi dispels all sins and evil and grants great Punya."
This Mahatmya of Yogini Ekadashi is narrated in the BrahmVaivart Puran.