Sri Yudhishthira Maharaja
asked of Lord Sri Krishna, "What is the name of that Ekadasi that occurs during the light fortnight (shukla paksha) of the
month of Bhadrapada (August-September "Hrishikesha mase") ?
Who is the worshipable Deity for this Ekadasi, and what merit does one attain in observing it? Kindly
reveal all of this to me my Lord." The Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna addressed His devoted Yudhishthira
as follows, "This Ekadasii, Oh Yudhishthira, is called Vamana Ekadasi, and it bestows upon those who observe it both great
merit and ultimate liberation from material bondage. Therefore, because it removes all one's sinful reactions, it is also
called Jayanti Ekadasi. Just hearing of its glories frees one from all his past misdeeds.
So auspicious is this fast that observing it bestows the same merit as that earned
by performing a horse sacrifice. There is no better Ekadasi than this, because it awards liberation so easily. Thus if one
truly desires freedom from the punishing material world, one should fast on Vamana Ekadasi. "While observing this holy fast,
a Vaishnava should lovingly worship the Supreme Lord in His form as Vamandev, the dwarf incarnation, whose eyes are like lotus
petals. By doing so, he worships all other Deities as well, including Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, and at death he undoubtedly
goes to that abode of Sri Hari. In all the three worlds there is no fast that is more important to observe.
The reason this Ekadasi is so auspicious is that it celebrates the day when the sleeping Lord Vishnu turns over on
His other side; thus it is also known as Parivartinii Ekadasi." Maharaja Yudhishthira then asked of the Lord, "Oh Janardana,
please clear up a question I have. How is it that the Supreme Lord sleeps and then turns over on His side? Oh Lord, when You
are asleep what happens to all the other living entities? Please also tell me how You bound the king of the demons, Bali Daityaraj
(Bali Maharaja), as well as how one may please the brahmanas. How does one observe Chaturmasya, which You mention in the Chaturmasya-mahatmya
of the Bhavishya Purana? Kindly be merciful to me and answer these questions." The Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna
replied, "Oh Yudhishthira, lion among Kings, I will gladly narrate to you an historical event that, simply by hearing, eradicates
all one's sinful reactions. "In the TretA-yuga there once was a king of the name Bali.
Though born in a family dynasty of demons (daityas), he was very devoted to Me. He
sang many Vedic hymns to Me and performed the homa rituals (fire sacrifices) just to satisfy Me. He respected the twice-born
brahmins and engaged them in performing sacrifices daily. This great soul had a quarrel with Indra, however, and eventually
defeated him in battle. Bali took over his entire celestial kingdom, which I Myself had given to Indra. Therefore Indra and
all the other devas (demigods), along with many great sages, approached Me and complained about Bali Maharaja. Bowing their
heads to the ground and offering many sacred prayers from the Vedas, they worshipped Me along with their spiritual master,
Brihaspati. Thus I agreed to appear on their behalf as a dwarf Vamanadev, My fifth incarnation." King Yudhishthira further
enquired, "Oh Lord, how was it possible for You to conquer such a powerful demon, and only by coming in the form of a dwarf
brahmin? Please explain this clearly, for I am Your faithful devotee."
The Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna replied, "Though a dwarf, I was a brahmana, and I approached that pious
king Bali to ask him for alms in the form of land. I said, 'Oh Daityraj Bali, please give Me just three steps of land in charity.
Such a small piece of land will be good as all the three worlds for Me.' Bali agreed to grant My request without lengthy consideration.
But as soon as he vowed to give Me the land, My body began to expand into a gigantic transcendental form. I covered the entire
Earth with My feet, all the Bhuvarloka with My thighs, the Swarga heavens with My waist, Maharloka with My stomach, Janaloka
with My chest, Tapoloka with My neck, and Satyaloka with My head and face. I covered the entire material creation. Indeed,
all the planets of the universe, including the Sun and the Moon, were encompassed by My gigantic form." "Seeing this astonishing
pastime of Mine, all the demigods, including Indra and Shesha, the king of the snakes, began to sing Vedic hymns and offer
prayers to Me. Then I took Bali by the hand and said to him, 'Oh sinless one, I have covered the whole Earth with one step
and all the heavenly planets with the second. Now where shall I place My foot to measure the third step of land you promised
Me?' "Upon hearing this, Bali Maharaja bowed down in humility and offered Me his head to place My third step. Oh Yudhishthira,
I placed My foot on his head and sent him all the way to Patalaloka.
Seeing him thus humbled, I became very pleased and told Bali that henceforth I would permanently
reside in his palace. Thereafter, on Parivartinii Ekadasi, which occurs during the light part of the month of Bhadra (August-September),
Bali, the son of Virochana, grandson of Prahlad, installed a Deity form of Me in his residence. "Oh king, until Haribodhinii
Ekadasi, which occurs during the light part of the month of Karttika, I continue to sleep in the ocean of milk. The merit
one accumulates during this period is particularly powerful.
One should therefore observe Parivartinii
EkAdasii carefully. Indeed, it is especially purifying and thus cleanses one of all sinful reactions. On this day the faithful
devotee should worship Lord Trivikrama, Vamanadeva, who is the supreme father, because on this day I turn over to sleep on
My other side. "If possible, on this day one should give a qualified person some yogurt mixed with rice, as well as some silver,
and then remain awake throughout the night. This simple observance will free one of all material conditioning. One who observes
this sacred Parivartinii Ekadasi in the way I have described will surely attain all kinds of happiness in this world and the
kingdom of God in the hereafter. One who simply hears this narration with devotion will go to the abode of the demigods and
shine there like the Moon itself, so powerful is observance of this Ekadasi. Indeed, this observance is as powerful as the
performance of a thousand horse sacrifices." Thus ends the narration of the glories of Parivartinii Ekadasi, or Vamana Ekadasi,
which occurs during the light part of the month of Bhadrapada, from the Brahma-vaivarta Purana.
NOTE: The next day after Ekadashi is Sri Vamana Dvadashi: Appearance day of Lord Vamanadev. Ekadashi fast is observed
till noon. The fast is broken after noon with Ekadashi prasadam. Next day (Sri Vamana Dvadashi), observe Lord Vamanadev's
appearance by again fasting till noon and by chanting extra Mahamantra japa praying to the Lord for His shelter. Break this
fast with joyful feasting of Lord Vamanadev's appearance day mahaprasadam!
Hare Krishna ...