Mohini Ekadashi fasting dedicated to Lord Vishnu is observed during the waxing phase of moon (Shukla Paksha) in Vaishakha month (April – May). Mohini Ekadashi Vrat Katha was first narrated to Lord Ram by Sage Vasishta. The story was later told to Yudhishitira by Lord Krishna and is found in the Surya Purana.
Once there lived a famous and pious merchant named Dhanapala in Bhadravati, a city along the banks of
. An ardent devotee of Vishnu, Dhanapala was known for this charity and spiritual activities. But unfortunately the pious man had a son named Dhrstabuddhi, who was just the opposite of his father in behavior. Due to bad association Dhrstabuddhi was thrown out of the house. Saraswati River
After roaming in the city and spending his last remaining wealth, Dhrstabuddhi took to stealing and was caught by the guards. The king, keeping in mind the reputation of his father, asked him to leave the kingdom immediately.
He immediately left the kingdom and took refuge in a forest. There he started to kill animals to suffice his hunger. He lived the life of a hunter for several years. But quite often he was immersed in remorse thinking about his past deeds and the lovely childhood.
Once he accidentally arrived at the ashram of Sage Kaundinya. The holy atmosphere there generated different emotions in him. Sage Kaundinya was returning from this bath and accidentally a few drops of water fell on Dhrstabuddhi and he broke down in tears.
Dhrstabuddhi narrated his tale to Sage Kaundinya. The sage patiently heard the lamentations of the sinful soul and advised him to observe Mohini Ekadashi falling in Vaiskhaka month. He said that this particular Ekadasi has the power to nullify the sins committed, even if the sins accumulated is equal to
. mount Meru
After observing Mohini Ekadasi, Dhrstabuddhi was able to wash away all the sins and he turned into a Vishnu devotee. He served the poor people and those that are ill. Finally, he attained Moksha.