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Jayā Ekādaśī

Significance

This is an auspicious ekādaśī in the month of Māgha also known as Jaya ekādaśī. On the dvādaśī day of śukla pakṣa we will sight Punarvasu Nakṣatra(star). Hence the day is considered very auspicious.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa explains the significance of Jaya ekādaśī to Dharmarāja "Oh Yudhiṣṭhira, I shall gladly tell you about the ekādaśī that occurs during the light half of this month of Māgha. This ekādaśī obliterates all kinds of sinful reactions and demoniac influences that may be affecting the spirit soul. It is known as Jayā Ekādaśī, and the fortunate soul who observes a fast on this sacred day is relieved of the great burden of ghostly existence. Thus there is no better Ekādaśī than this, for it truly bestows freedom from birth and death. It is to be honoured very carefully and diligently. So I as you to listen to Me very attentively, Oh Pāṇḍava, as I explain a wonderful historic episode regarding this ekādaśī.

Significance of bathing in river in the month of Māgha hareḥ pūjā ca vaiśākhe tapaḥ pūjā ca kārtike tapo homas thatā dānaṁ trayaṁ māghe viśiṣyate

In Vaiśākha Śrī Hari pūjā is gets precedent, in Kārtika all tapas regarding Śrī Hari gets precedent, in Māgha tapas, homa and dāna regarding Śrī Hari, All charity in name of Śrī Hari and all homa offered to Śrī Hari brings enormous benefits.

Ancient times Aditi-devī did morning (before sunrise) bath in Māgha without eating for 12 years. She became mother of 12 devas called dvādaśa Ādityas. Rohiṇī-devī practiced māgha snāna vrata and attained saubhāgya (good fortune). Arundhatī became best amongst women, by practicing māgha-snāna and dāna. Sacīdevī attained immense beauty because of the austerities performed including māgha-snāna.

Sun rays have special effect on our body and soul during predawn bathing in the month of Māgha. In the month of Māgha sesame seeds dāna and pre-sunrise bath in river are essential for bhakti in Śrī Hari.

- Conversation between Dilīpa and Sage Vasiṣṭha regarding significance of Māgha snāna.

The glories of Jayā ekādaśī which occurs during the waxing moon in the month of January-February is described in Bhaviṣya-uttara Purāṇa in the conversation between Lord Kṛṣṇa and Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira.

Once Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira asked Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, “O Lord Kṛṣṇa! O original personality of godhead, O Lord of the universe Śrī Kṛṣṇa! You are the original cause of the four types of living entities namely those who born from perspiration, those born from seeds, those born from egg and those born from embryos. You alone are the creator, maintainer and destroyer of everything. Please describe to me the glories of that ekādaśī which occurs during the waxing moon in the month of January-February. Also please explain to me the
procedure for observing this ekādaśī and which deity is to be worshiped on this auspicious day. Lord Kṛṣṇa said ‘ O best of the Kings Yudhiṣṭhira! The ekādaśī which occurs during the waxing moon in the month of January-February is celebrated as Jayā ekādaśī.

Following of this ekādaśī takes away all ones sinful reactions. The performer of this ekādaśī is never subjected to accept the body of a ghost. O King! As far as awarding liberation and exhausting ones sinful reactions are concerned this ekādaśī has no substitute.

O Lion like King! Now please hear the description of this ekādaśī which I had previously narrated in Padma Purāṇa.

The demigods were living happily in the heavenly kingdom of Indra under his rule. In the nandana-kānana forest which was filled with the fragrance of fully blossomed Pārijāta flowers and were the Apsarās freely enjoyed their lives Indra also enjoyed various exchanges with the Apsarās.

Once Indra in the pleasant mood arranged a dance festival of fifty million Apsarās. In that assembly there was a Gandharva singer
named Puśpadanta. Another Gandharva named Citrasena came there along with his wife Mālinī and daughter. Citrasena had a son named Puśpavāna whose son was Mālyavān. A Gāndharvī named Puśpavantī became attracted by the beauty of Mālyavān. Being pierced by the sharp arrows of cupid. The most beautiful Puśpavantī tried various ways such as gestures and glances to bring Mālyavān under her control.

O King! What can I describe the splendid beauty of Puśpavantī? She had beautiful arms which resemble the ropes of cupid, the
beauty of her face resembled the beauty of the moon. She had broad eyes, ears decorated with ear rings, her neck defeated the beauty of the conch. Her waist was thin, breasts were highly raised, her hips were broad and her thighs resembled like banana tree. Her shining feet defeated the beauty of the red lotus flower. Her beautiful features appeared more enchanting by being decorated with gorgeous ornaments and garments.

On seeing such a beautiful women Puśpavantī, Mālyavān totally became captivated. In order to please Indra both Mālyavān and Puśpavantī began to perform dancing and singing with other Apsarās in that dance festival. But since both were attracted to each other they could not perform well. As a result there was a disturbance in the ongoing performance of dancing assembly.

Continuously looking each other through the corner of their eyes both of them became pierced by the arrows of Cupid.

When Indra noticed the perpetual disturbance in the process of singing and dancing he understood their mental condition.
Due to constant disturbance in their performance Indra felt insulted and cursed them as follows. ‘ Both of you are fools and sinful. You have disobeyed my order hence I am cursing you. Both of you accept the bodies of a male and female ghost and take birth in the earthly planet and enjoy the result of your karma.’

After being cursed in this way both Mālyavān and Puśpavantī received the bodies of ghost and began to spend their miserable lives within a cave of the Himalaya Mountain.

As a result of receiving ghost bodies both of them felt great distress and lamentation. By the influence of the curse they could not take pleasure from the sense of smelling, touch and sleeping. While wondering in the dense forest and cold mountainous regions of Himalaya once they sat down in one place and began to introspect. The male ghost said to the female ghost ‘ Alas, What heinous sinful activities we have committed that we have received such a miserable ghost bodies’. They felt extreme sadness and merged in the ocean of repentance.

Both Mālyavān and Puśpavantī in the form of male and female ghost spend that day without taking any food while continually repenting for their misdeeds.

Coincidentally this day was the auspicious day of Jayā ekādaśī which occurs during the waxing moon in the month of January-February. Although they were extremely afflicted with hunger and thirst, they did not kill any living entity on that. Even they abstained from taking any roots, fruits or water. O King! In this way when the ghost couple was sitting underneath a banyan tree in miserable condition the sun was about to set. Due to freezing cold and being absorbed in deep thought they felt great unhappiness and spend that entire night without sleeping. Due to mental disturbance no propensity for sense gratification appeared in their hearts.

O Lion hearted King! In this way they unknowingly observed the vow of Jayā ekādaśī and by the influence of the piety accumulated from observing this vow the very next day they attained liberation from their ghost bodies. Thereafter Puśpavantī and Mālyavān regained their original positions and returned to heaven through air plains. On returning to heaven both of them happily approached Indra the king of demigods and offered their obeisances. When Indra saw them He was struck with wonder and he asked them what a wonder! By the influence of which piety have your ghostly condition of lives been destroyed? Which demigod has freed
you from my curse? In answer to this Mālyavān said ‘ By the causeless mercy of the Supreme Lord and as a result of observing the vow of Jayā ekādaśī which is very dear to Him, we have became freed from the curse. O master! I am telling you with full conviction that we have been freed from our ghostly lives simply by the influence of devotional service’.

After hearing this words Indra again said to Mālyavān ‘ You have become purified as a result of executing devotional service to Lord Viṣṇu and observing the vow of ekādaśī.

Therefore now you are worshipable by me also. Those human beings who are engaged in devotional service of Viṣṇu are certainly worshiped and respected by me.’ Thereafter Puśpavantī and Mālyavān began to live happily in the heavenly planet.

O King Yudhiṣṭhira! That is why one must observe the vow of ekādaśī. Observance of the vow of Jayā ekādaśī takes away even the sin of killing a brāhmaṇa. The secondary fruits of observing this vow is that one automatically receives the piety of giving charity, performing sacrifice and visiting holy places. If one properly follows the vow of this ekādaśī with faith and devotion then he lives in Vaikuṇṭha for ever. Just by reading and hearing the glories of this ekādaśī one can attain the result of Agniṣṭoma sacrifice.

Ekādaśī is the mother of Kṛṣṇa- Bhakti, love and affection. If you do not follow ekādaśī, Kṛṣṇa- Bhakti will never come.