Acara Kandha 127-135
– 127 –
Bhaimi Ekadasi and Dvadasi, Vratam
1-2Brahma said: -The renowned Bhimasena of yore fasted on the day of the eleventh phase of the moon’s increase (Ekadasi) marked by the Asterism Hasta, in the month of Magha; and behold, he was instantly exonerated from his obligations to the Pitris in consequence. Accordingly, the Vratam is called Bhaimi Ekadasi. This Bhaimi: Dvadasi is renowned for the fact of it increasing the piety of men. He, who observes a fast on this Ekadasi and breaks it on the following day acquires merit in the eyes of heaven.
3One should fast on that Ekadasi in the month of Magha even it be not marked by the above-named asterism, and even by so-doing one would be freed from the sins of a Brahmana-slaughter.
4This Ekadasi Vratam destroys all sins as surely as a bad son brings ruin on his family, a false wife brings death and disgrace to her husband; a false minister brings confusion to his king, and a pious act dispels the gloom of iniquity.
5As knowledge dispels nascence, as purity removes the impurity of the heart; as truth conquers untruth; and reverence, irreverence; so this Vratam annihilates all kinds of sin.
6As surely as cold removes heat, as profligacy destroys a stored-up treasure, as bragging of it destroys the merit of a gift, as worldliness destroys penance, the Ekadasi Vratarn destroys all sin.
7As surely as a son is ruined without good education, cattle are destroyed by straying far from the folds, as a peaceful temperament is ruffled by anger, and as expenditures without income destroy one’s wealth, so the Ekadasi Vratam destroys all kinds of sin.
8As surely as a motive destroys the merit of an act, as knowledge destroys nescience, this Vratam destroys all kinds of sin.
9The sin, which is attached to the acts of Brahmana-slaughter, wine-drinking gold-stealing and defiling the bed of a preceptor, when simultaneously done, are absolved by performing the Ekadasi Vratam in its true spirit. The dreadful astral combination, known as the Tripuskara Yoga, can annihilate the progeny and relations of the man, who dies under its influence, but cannot destroy his sins, which may be expiated by performing the Ekadasi Vratam.
10Neither the holy shrines of Kurukshetra, Prabhasa and Naiminya, nor the sacred rivers, the Ganga, the Yamuna, the Kalindi and the Sarasvati, can rank equal in merit with the Ekadasi Vratam.
11Neither the practice of charity and philanthropy, nor meditation and burnt offerings can vie with the Vratam under discussion, in respect of merit and sanctity.
12The merit of an Ekadasi Vratam weighed in balance with that of making a gift of the whole world, immensely outweighs the later. This Bhaimi Ekadasi is by far the most sacred of all the other sacred Ekadasi in the year.
13A golden image of the Varaha manifestation of the god should be worshipped inside a copper vessel placed on the top of the sacrificial pitcher.
14The image should be covered with a clean sheet of white linen and worshipped with the offerings of lighted lamps of gold, and a variety of costly vianda.
15-17The lower extremities of the image should be worshipped by reciting the Mantram, “Om, obeisance to Varaha;” its lips, by reciting the one which reads ad Om, obeisance to Krodhakriti; its navel, by reciting the Mantram, Om, obeisance to the deep-voiced one; its chest, by reading the Mantram, Om, obeisance to Srivatsadhari; its arms, by reciting the Mantram, Om, obeisance to the thousand headed one; its neck, by reciting the Mantram, Om, obeisance to the lord of all; its face, by reciting the Mantram, Om, obeisance to the soul of the universe; its fore-headed, by reciting the Mantram, “Om, obeisance to the Universal Master,” and its hair, by reciting the Mantram, which reads as, Om, obeisance to the hundred-mouthed deity.
18-19aHaving thus duly worshipped the god, the votary should pass the night in a holy vigil and hear the glorious exploits of his Varaha manifestation on earth from the Puranam, which deals with them. Gifts should be made to the beggars and the Brahmanas, the next morning; and wearing apparels containing bits of gold should be given to the Brahmanas in special.
19b-20After that, the votary should break his fast and take only a few morsels of food instead of eating too much. He, who practises the Vratam in the aforesaid manner, suffers not the pangs of re-births, and is exonerated from the three-fold obligations which a man incurs at his birth. The performance of the Vratam grants the merit of performing all other vows, and makes the performer, the happy possessor of all his wished-for objects.