Daalbhya Rishi once asked Palastya Muni, "When the spirit soul comes in contact with the material energy, it begins to perform sinful activities like stealing, killing, etc. Oh purest of personalities, please tell me how one may be released from such sinful activities?”
Pulastya Muni replied, "With the arrival of the month of Magha (January – February), one should bathe, carefully control his senses by giving up lust, anger, pride, etc., and meditate on the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna. One should collect cow dung before it touches the ground and mix it with sesame seeds and cotton, and form 108 balls. This should be done on the day when the constellation of purva-ashadha nakshatra arrives.
After bathing, while praying to Lord Sri Krishna by chanting His holy name, he should promise to observe the Ekadashi fast. He should perform an arati ceremony and offer sandalwood paste to His feet, incense, camphor, ghee lamp, and delicious food. He should next offer the 108 balls of cow dung, sesame seeds, and cotton wool into the sacred fire chanting the holy names of the Lord. During the whole day and night he should fast from all kinds of grains and beans. He should offer the Lord pumpkin, coconut, and guava. If these are unavailable, betel nut may be offered.
He should pray to Lord Krishna to accept his humble offering. After this he should try to please a qualified brahmana with a warm welcome, a pot full of water (purna kumbha), an umbrella, a pair of shoes and clothes requesting him to bestow his blessings, by which one may develop unalloyed love for Lord Sri Krishna. He should also offer him a pot full of sesame seeds.
Black sesame seeds are especially suitable for formal worship and fire sacrifices while white or brown ones are meant to be eaten. One who can arrange to give both kinds of sesame seeds especially on this Sat-tila Ekadashi day will be promoted to at least the heavenly planets after leaving this present body, for as many thousands of years as the number of seeds that would be produced if the seeds he donated were sown in the ground and grew into mature, seed bearing plants.
On this Ekadashi a faithful person should:
(1) bathe in the water mixed with sesame seeds,
(2) rub sesame seed paste on his body,
(3) offer sesame seeds into the fire in sacrifice,
(4) eat sesame seeds,
(5) give sesame seeds away in charity,
(6) accept charitable gifts of sesame seeds.
These are the six (sat) ways in which sesame seeds (tila) are utilised for spiritual purification on this Ekadashi. Therefore it is called Sat-tila Ekadashi.”
Thus ends the narration of the glories of Magh-Krishna Ekadashi, or Sat-tila Ekadashi, from the sacred Bhavishya-uttara Purana of Srila Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa.
This year Sat-tila Ekadashi falls on January 31, 2019.