The Story of Yogini Ekadasi

Aditi Banerjee
5 min readJul 1, 2024

The Yaksha Gardener Who Loved His Wife Too Much

Photo by Sergey Shmidt on Unsplash

Today is Yogini Ekadasi, and the legend associated with it is one of my favorite of all Ekadasi stories. This comes from the Brahmavaivarta Purana and is narrated by Sri Krishna to Yudhishthira.

The Anger of Kubera

Once, Kubera, the treasurer of the Devas and a great devotee of Shiva, discovered while performing his puja that there were no flowers ready for offering. Fresh flowers are one of the pancha upachara (the five basic offerings for deity worship: gandham (sandalwood paste), flowers, deepam (ghee or oil lamp), dhoopam (incense or fragrant resin and flowers / herbs offered through smoke), and fruit / naivedyam (sanctified food offering)), and its absence was a major dosha (fault) in the puja. Kubera was furious.

It was Kubera’s personal gardener, a Yaksha named Hemamali, who was in charge of gathering flowers for worship. Hemamali was so besotted with his beautiful wife, Swarapavati, with her large and enchanting eyes, that he was completely distracted. After picking the flowers, he visited his wife instead of bringing the offerings to Kuvera. Engrossed in physical pleasure with his wife, he completely forgot about the puja.

When Kuvera learned the truth, he summoned Hemamali. Kuvera’s eyes became red with anger and his lips…



Aditi Banerjee

Published novelist. Practicing attorney. Writer and speaker on Indic civilization and Hinduism. Incurable wanderlust for the Himalayas and other fabled lands.