Yogini Ekadasi is observed during the waning phase of moon in the month of June or July. The story associated with Yogini Ekadashi was told to Yudhisthira by Lord Krishna. Legend has it that Kuvera, the King of Alakapuri, was a devotee of Lord Shiva and his gardener Hema
, a Yaksha, provided the flowers for the daily Shiva puja performed by the king. Mali
Hema used to collects flowers from the
and used to provide it to the King. Hema had a beautiful wife named Visalakshi and he was very attached to her. One day, Hema forgot to provide the flowers for the daily Shiv puja of the king and instead he stayed with his wife. Manasarovar Lake
The king send a messenger to find out why he did not receive the flowers for puja and discovered that Hema was spending time with his wife instead of collecting flowers.
Hema was immediately summoned to the court. He pleaded for forgiveness. But the king cursed Hema that he will be afflicted with white leprosy. He was cursed for forgetting his duty and indulging in sense gratification and there by disrespecting Lord Shiva and breaking king’s daily puja schedule.
Hema was thrown out of the palace and soon got afflicted with white leprosy. Hema roamed the forests for several years and finally arrived at the ashram of sage Markandeya. Hema narrated his story to the sage. Saint Markandeya advised Hema to observe Yogini Ekadasi which will help in liberating him from the curse.
Hema observed Yogini Ekadasi and got back his divine form of Yaksha and he got reunited with his wife.