“What amazing beauty, power, nobility, grace and sweetness!” they thought just by seeing Him. “O, what great fortune it would be to be His beloved!” Thus, the forest ascetics desired just by a moment’s darshana of Raghupati Raghava Raja Rama in Treta-yuga.
In His soft and compassionate heart, Sri Ramachandraji blessed the Dandakaranya rishis with future fulfilment of their cherished sankalpa.
Eons of time passed. Then the scorching suns of summer wreaked a terrible drought in South India. The cowherds, fearing the death of their precious wealth of cows, moved Northward to the lush green pastures and dense virgin forests of Vraja Gokula to take shelter of Vrajaraja Nanda Baba in Vrindavana.
In spring of the following year, the wives of these migrant cowherds gave birth to very beautiful girls—lovely little gopis. Realizing the boon of Lord Rama, the Dandakaranya rishis now took birth as Vraja gopis during the prakata-lila of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.
One day, these new Vraja gopis approached Srimati Radharani and asked, “O Ishvari Radha! How can we please Sri Krishna, attract His attention and acquire His mercy?”
Sri Radha tersely replied, “Strictly observe the Ekadashi vrata!”
After instructing them in various details, Radha added, “Also, you will gain the result (vrata phala) of observing the Dvadashi vrata for one year if you chant the name of the 26 Ekadashis:
“Utpanna, Mokshada, Saphala, Putrada, Shat-tila, Jaya, Vijaya, Amalaki, Papamochani, Kamada, Varuthini, Mohini, Apara, Nirjala, Yogini, Devashayani, Kamini, Pavitra, Aja, Padma, Indira, Pashankusha, Rama, Prabodhini, (Padmini, Parama: adhika mas).
(Garga Samhita, adapted)
Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe! Ekadashi Vrata Ki Jai!