Here is the story of Amalaki Ekadashi – Amalaki Ekadashi Vrat Katha….
Amalaki Ekadashi falls in Shukla Paksha of Phalgun Month, 12th and the last month in Hindu calendar.
King Mandhata once told Vasishtha Muni – “Oh great sage, be merciful and let me know about a holy fast which can benefit me to come up in my life.” Vasishtha replied, “Oh King, follow the Amalaki Vrata for few days and have faith in the observance of fast on this Ekadashi. One can faithfully observe the fast on Ekadashi with faith and can obtain enormous wealth and can get freedom from all kinds of sins. Hence one can attain liberation. Fasting on Ekadashi is similar to donating thousand cows as charity to Brahman. Hear me attentively – there was hunter who was killing innocent animal for his livelihood. He achieved liberation by observing fast on Amalaki Ekadashi. He followed rules and regulations for worship.”
In the Vaidisha kingdom lived brahmanas, kshatriyas, vaishyas and shudras who had knowledge, power and strength. The region was ruled by King Pashabinduka who belonged to the Soma dynasty. King was also known as Chitraratha and was religious and truthful. It is said that the king was well versed about the 6 branches of Vedic scriptures and had the strength of 1000 elephants.
In the kingdom of Chitraratha, not a single person attempted to practice another dharma but was engaged in their dharmas. Neither pauper nor miser was seen in the country. Country was free of draught/flood. The kingdom was free of diseases and everyone enjoyed good health. People rendered good services to the supreme personality of the gods – Lord Vishnu, who was considered as the king and special offerings were rendered for Lord Shiva. Everybody fasted on Ekadashi every month.
In the month of Phalguna, Amalaki Ekadashi arrived. The king realized that particular fast can bestow special benefits to citizens of Vaidisha where sacred Ekadashi was strictly followed. The rules and regulations were strictly followed.
After a bath in the river, the king and his subjects went to the Lord Vishnu temple, where Amalaki tree grew. The king and his leading sages offered a tree pot which is filled with aromatic incense and water. After that, king offered prayers to Lord Parashuram – Oh Lord, son of Renuka, all pleasing one and liberator of worlds, come beneath the Amalaki tree and accept the humble obeisances.
Then people worshipped Amalaki tree – ‘Amalaki, the off spring of Brahma, you can destroy the evil in our self. Please accept our respect obeisance’s and humble gifts. Amalaki, you are in the form of Brahman with Lord Rama himself worshipping you. Who so ever circumambulates, frees himself away from his sins. King Chitraratha and all his subjects remained awake throughout the night and worshipped according to regulations which govern the Ekadashi fast.