Varuthini Ekadashi falls in the month of Vaisakh (April-May). It is also known as 'Vaishakh Krishna Ekadashi.' It is believed that whosoever observes a complete fast on this sacred day has his sins completely removed, obtains continuous happiness, and achieves all good fortune. Giving the daughter away as a daan on her wedding (kanyadaan) is termed as the most absolute daan a person can give to anyone in this world. However this varuthini ekadashi vrat gives a person similar fruits to a hundred kanyadaan.
Once King Yudhisthira asked Shree Krishna - "Oh Madhusudan, Please describe to me the Ekadashi of the krishna paksha of the month of Vaisakha (April-May), including its name, specific merits and influence."
Lord Shree Krishna replied, "Oh King, in this world and the next, the most auspicious and magnanimous Ekadashi is Varuthini Ekadashi, which occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Vaisakha. Whosoever observes a complete fast on this sacred day has his sins completely removed, obtains continuous happiness, and achieves all good fortune".
Fasting on Varuthini Ekadashi makes even an unfortunate woman fortunate. Upon anyone who observes it, this Ekadashi bestows material enjoyment in this life and liberation after the death of this present body. It destroys the sins of all and saves people from the miseries of repeated rebirth.
"By observing this Ekadashi properly, King Mandhata was liberated." Whatever merit one obtains by performing austerities and penances for ten thousand years is achieved by a person who observes Varuthini Ekadashi."
The merit one achieves by donating a great amount of gold during a solar eclipse at Kurukshetra is gained by one who observes this one Ekadashi with love and devotion, and certainly attains his goals in this life and the next. In short, this Ekadashi is pure and very enlivening and the destroyer of all sins.
"Better than giving horses in charity is giving elephants, and better than giving elephants is giving land. But better still than giving land is the giving of sesame seeds, and better than that is giving of gold. Still better than giving gold is giving food grains - for all the forefathers, demigods (devtas), and human beings become satisfied by eating grains. Thus there is no better gift of charity than this in the past, present or future."
"Yet learned scholars have declared that giving away a young maiden in marriage to a worthy person is equal to giving away food grains in charity. Moreover,giving cows in charity is equal to giving food grains. Still better than all these charities is teaching spiritual knowledge to the ignorant. Yet all the merits one can attain by performing all these acts of charity are attained by one who fasts on the Varuthini Ekadashi."
One who lives off the wealth of his daughters suffers a hellish condition until the inundation of the entire universe, therefore one should be especially careful not to use the wealth of his daughter. Oh best of kings, any householder who takes his daughter's wealth out of greed, who tries to sell his daughter, or who takes money from the man to whom he has given his daughter in marriage, such a householder becomes a lowly cat in his next life. Therefore it is said that whoever, as a sacred act of charity, gives away in marriage a maiden i.e. does kanyadaan. That very same merit, however, can be easily achieved by one who fasts on the Varuthini Ekadashi.
The following things should be given up on the Dashami, (the tenth phase of the Moon), the day before the Ekadashi:
- eating on bell-metal plates,
- eating any kind of urid-dahl,
- eating red-lentils,
- eating chick-peas,
- eating kondo (a grain that is primarily eaten by poor people and that resembles poppy seeds or agarpanthas seeds),
- eating honey,
- eating in another person's house/home,
- eating more than once,
- eating Channa and
- participating in sex of any kind.
On the Ekadashi itself one should give up the following: gambling, sports, sleeping during the daytime, betal nuts and its leaf, brushing one's teeth, spreading rumours, faultfinding, talking to the spiritually fallen, anger, and lying.
On the Dwadashi the day after Ekadashi (the twelfth phase of the Moon), one should give up the following: eating on bell-metal plates, eating urad-daal, red-lentils, or honey, lying, strenuous exercise or labor, eating more than once, any sexual activity, shaving the body, face or head, smearing oils on one's body, and eating in another's home.
Lord Sri Krishna continued, "Whoever observes the Varuthini Ekadashi in this way becomes free from all sinful reactions and returns to the eternal, spiritual abode. One who worships Lord Madhusudan (Krishna) on this Ekadashi by staying awake throughout the entire night, also becomes free from all his previous sins and attains to the spiritual abode. Therefore, Oh king, he who is frightened of his accumulated sins and their attendant reactions, and thus of death itself, must observe Varuthini Ekadashi by fasting very strictly."
"Finally, he who hears or reads this glorification of the sacred Varuthini Ekadashi obtains the merit earned by donating one thousand cows in charity, and at last attains heaven."