Many devotees are very inquisitive about the appearance of Sri Ekadashi and about her special characteristics. Therefore I am presenting this description from the fourteenth chapter of the Padma Purana, from the section entitled “Kriya-sagara-sara.”

Once the great sage Jaimini Rishi said to his spiritual master Srila Vyasadeva, “Oh Gurudeva ! Previously, by your mercy, you described to me the history of the glories of the Ganga river, the benefits of worshipping Vishnu, the giving of grains in charity, the giving of water in charity, and the magnanimity of drinking the water that has washed the feet of the brahmanas. O best of the sages, Sri Gurudeva, now, with great enthusiasm, I desire to hear the benefits of fasting on Ekadashi and the appearance of Ekadashi.



kasmad Ekadashi jata tasyah ko va vidhir dvija
kada va kriyate kim va phalam kim va vadasva me
ka va pujyatama tatra deva ta sad-gunarnava
akurvatah syat ko dosa etan me vaktum arhasi

“Oh Gurudeva! When did Ekadashi take birth and from whom did she appear? What are the rules of fasting on the Ekadashi? Please describe the benefits of following this vow and when it should be followed. Who is the utmost worshippable presiding deity of Sri Ekadashi? What are the faults in not following Ekadashi properly? Please bestow your mercy upon me and tell about these subjects, as you are the only personality able to do so.”

Srila Vyasadeva, upon hearing this enquiry of Jaimini Rishi, became situated in transcendental bliss. “Oh! brahmana sage Jaimini! The results of following Ekadashi can only be perfectly described by the Supreme Lord, Narayana, because Sri Narayana is the only personality capable of describing them in full. But I will give a very brief description in answer to your question.”

“At the beginning of the material creation, the Supreme Lord created the moving and nonmoving living entities within this world made of five gross material elements. Simultaneously, for the purpose of punishing the human beings, He created a personality whose form was the embodiment of sin (Papa-purusha). The different limbs of this personality were constructed of the various sinful activities. A horrible personality embodying all the sinful activities and vices was created. His bodily colour is black, and his eyes are yellow. He inflicts extreme misery upon sinful persons.”

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vishnu, upon seeing this personality of sin, began to think to Himself as follows: ‘I am the creator of the miseries and happiness for the living entities. I am their master because I have created this personality of sin, who gives distress to all dishonest, deceitful, and sinful persons. Now I must create someone who will control this personality.’ At this time Sri Bhagavan created the personality known as Yamaraj and the different hellish planetary systems. Those living entities who are very sinful will be sent after death to Yamaraj, who will in turn, according to their sins, send them tom a hellish region to suffer.

“After these adjustments had been made, the Supreme Lord, who is the giver of distress and happiness to the living entities, went to the house of Yamaraj, with the help of Garuda, the king of birds. When Yamaraj saw that Lord Vishnu had arrived, he immediately washed His feet and made an offering unto Him. He then had Him sit upon a golden throne. The Supreme Lord, Vishnu, became seated on the throne, whereupon He heard very loud crying sounds coming from the southern direction. He became surprised by this and thus enquired from Yamaraj, ‘From where is this loud crying coming?’