Yudhisthira Maharaj said, “O Janardana, O protector of all beings, what is the name of the Ekadasi that comes during the dark fortnight (Krishna paksha) of the month of Karttika (October – November)? Please impart this sacred knowledge to me.
The Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna then spoke as follows, “O lion among kings, please listen as I narrate to you. The Ekadasi that occurs during the dark part of the month of Karttika is called Ramaa Ekadasi. It is most auspicious, for it at once eradicates the greatest sins and awards one the passage to the spiritual abode. I shall now narrate to you its history and glories.
“There once lived a famous king of the name Muchakunda, who was friendly to Lord Indra, the king of the heavenly planets, as well as with Yamaraj, Varuna, and Vibhishana, the pious brother of the demon Ravana. Muchakunda always spoke the truth and constantly rendered devotional service to Me. Because he ruled according to religious principles, there were no disturbances in his kingdom.
“Muchakunda’s daughter was named Chandrabhaagaa, after a sacred river, and the king gave her in marriage to Shobhana, the son of Chandrasena. One day, Shobhana visited his father-in-law’s palace on the auspicious Ekadasi day. This visit made Shobhana’s wife Chandrabhaagaa quite anxious, for she knew that her husband was physically very weak and unable to bear the austerity of a day-long fast. She said to him, `My father is very strict about following Ekadasi. On Dasami, the day before Ekadasi, he strikes a large kettledrum and announces, “Nobody should eat on Ekadasi, the sacred day of Sri Hari!
“When Shobhana heard the sound of the kettledrum, he said to his wife, `O beautiful one, what am I to do now? Please tell me how I can save my life and obey your father’s strictness and at the same time satisfy our guests!
“Chandrabhaagaa then spoke, `My dear husband, in my father’s house nobody – not even the elephants or horses, what to speak of consenting human beings – eats on Ekadasi. Indeed, none of the animals are given their ration of grains, leaves, or straw – or even water ! – on Ekadasi, the sacred day of Sri Hari. So how can you escape fasting? My beloved husband, if you must eat something, then you should leave here at once. Now, with firm conviction decide on what you have to do.’
“Prince Shobhana then said, `I have decided to fast on the sacred Ekadasi day. Whatever my fate is, it will surely come to pass.’ “Deciding thus, Shobhana attempted to fast on this Ekadasi, but he became unbearably disturbed with excessive hunger and thirst.