Jai Sriman Narayana !!
King Yudhishtira requests Lord Krishna to describe the importance of Saphala Ekadashi which falls on the dark fortnight in the month of Pausha and enquires Lord Krishna about who should be worshipped and what are the austerities should be conducted on this auspicious day.
The Supreme Lord Krishna replies to Yudhishtira about the Saphala Ekadashi in the month of Pausha/ Krishna Paksha Ekadashi. Lord Krishna reveals the importance of Fasting on the day of Ekadashi as superior than any sacrifices or charity made on this day, and everyone should observe fast according to their ability and worship Lord Narayana.
Lord Krishna continues, as Shesha is superior among the Nagas known as King of serpents, Ganga is superior among the rivers as river of life, Garuda among the birds as King of Birds, Ashwamedha Yaga is superior among all the Yagas, Brahmin is the superior among the Varnas and Lord Narayana is superior among the deities and fasting on an Ekadashi day is believed as superior among any other day. The prominent Kings who were born in the Bharata Varsha were strict observers of Ekadashi.
As a part of observance of Saphala Ekadashi, the devotee worships Lord Narayana with fresh fruits, flowers, incense, betel leaf and nuts, Ghee Lamp. The devotee should observe strict fast and compulsorily should avoid any grains and keep awake all night.
There was a city called Champavathi, which was ruled by a righteous King Mahishmatha. He had four sons and the eldest among them was Lumpaka. He was wicked and engaged in all sinful deeds and illicit relationships, ultimately gambling made him to lose all his wealth. King Mahishmata had to exile his son Lumpaka from his Kingdom Champavathi. Though he was exiled from the Kingdom, during the day he wandered in the forest and hunted animals and during night hours, he entered the city and looted the wealth of the people and the people of the Champavathi could not do much either about it. It was his fate which made him run away from all the luxuries and pleasures and deserted him as a forest-dweller engaged in all sinful activities.
Lumpaka chose the Banyan tree as his shelter place. This is one of the auspicious trees, Lord Vishnu resides in it andiIn due course, Saphala Ekadashi has arrived. On the eve of Ekadashi during the night hours due to severe cold and battered clothes he had to keep awake in the whole night. The severe cold almost killed him and dropped him into an unconscious stat and when the midday of Saphala Ekadashi has arrived, he managed to rise from the ground stumbling and limping, entered into the woods. He was tired of hunger and thirst; he could not kill even a single animal on that day. He collected fruits which were available within his reach and returned to his shelter under the Banyan tree, by that time it was the hours of dusk. He kept the fruits on the ground and started weeping like a lunatic. He wept bitterly and prayed to Lord Madhusudhana and offered the fruit. The Supreme Lord accepted the fruits offered by him and Lumpaka has regained his Kingdom once again.
On the very next day of Ekadashi, Lumpaka was surprised to see a horse standing in front of him and a mysterious voice instructed him to move towards his Kingdom. His family and his people were looking forward to receive him with all the honors. As the merit he has acquired from the observance of Saphala Ekadashi, he regained his Kingdom and transformed into a handsome prince once again. He had become the true devotee of Lord Hari, with the grace of Supreme Lord, Lumpaka ruled the Kingdom wisely for many years. He had a beautiful wife and a virtuous son. At his old age, King Lumpaka entrusted the Kingdom and all its wealth to his son and turned himself into a forest-dweller like his own father. He spent the rest of his life in the service of The Supreme Lord by controlling mind and sense and finally attained the Supreme Abode of Lord Hari.
Lord Krishna continued, whoever observes the Saphala Ekadashi with utmost devotion and faith would be liberated from the cycles of birth and death and whoever listens to the glories of Ekadashi would achieve the merits of Rajasuya Yagna and will attain salvation/Moksha.
Jai Sriman Narayana !!