Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “Oh Janardana, what is the name of the Ekadasi that occurs during the light fortnight (Shukla paksha) of the extra, leap-year month? How does one observe it properly?”
Lord Sri Krishna replied,
“Oh Pandava, the meritorious Ekadasi that occurs during the light fortnight of the extra month of leap-year is called Padmini. It is very auspicious. The fortunate soul who observes it with great determination and faith will return to My personal abode. This extra-month Ekadasi is as powerful as I am in nullifying sins.
Oh king, please listen carefully as I narrate to you the process of fasting on Padmini Ekadasi, which is rarely done even by great sages. One should begin his fast on the Dashami, the day before Ekadasi, by not eating any Urad dal, pink dal, chickpeas, spinach, honey, or sea salt, and also by not dining in homes of others.
One should eat only once on the Dashami, sleep on the ground, and remain celibate. On Ekadasi, the devotee should rise early in the morning, thoroughly bathe in a place of pilgrimage, if possible while chanting sacred hymns from the Vedas.
Then, the devotee should rub his body, thus purifying his mouth, back, chest, arms, and waist as a prelude to worshipping the Supreme Lord. By so doing, the devotee will destroy all his sins. Afterward, he should chant the sacred Gayathri mantra, offer oblations to his forefathers, and then enter a Vishnu temple to worship Lord Narayana.
He should avoid prajalpa (talking unnecessarily of ordinary, mundane conversational topics) at all costs and should not talk to or touch low-born persons (untrained persons habituated to low acts) or a woman in her menstrual period, or others so absorbed.
On this day he should be especially careful to speak the truth and certainly not criticize anyone before the Deity of Lord Vishnu, the brahmins or the spiritual master. With other devotees he should be absorbed in listening to Vaishnavas; read the glories of Lord Vishnu from the Puranas.
One should not drink or even touch water to his lips on this Ekadasi, and one who is unable to perform this austerity should drink only water or milk. Otherwise, the fast is considered broken. One should remain awake that Ekadasi night, singing and playing musical instruments for the transcendental pleasure of the Supreme Person.
And one who remains awake throughout the night receives all of the above-mentioned merit, as well as the grand merit of having performed a Rajasurya-yajna. Thus there is no better fasting day in the year than Padmini Ekadasi. After remaining awake throughout the night, the devotee should bathe at sunrise and then worship Me nicely.”
Anyone who devotedly fasts on the Ekadasis that occur during the extra, leap-year months, carefully following all the rules, becomes glorious and happily goes back to Godhead. And one who merely hears or reads about these Ekadasis will also obtain great merit and ultimately enter the abode of Lord Sri Hari. Thus ends the narration of the glories of Padmini Ekadasi from the Skanda Purana.