22 February 2021 — Bhaimi Ekadashi
The glories of Jaya Ekadashi which occures during the waxing moon in the month of January /February is described in Bhavisya Uttara Purana in the conversation between Lord Krishna and Maharaj Yudhisthira.
Once Maharaj Yudhisthira asked Lord Shri Krishna, "O, Lord Krishna! O, original personality of godhead! O, Lord of the universe Shri Krishna! 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 creater, maintainer and destroyer of everything. Please, discribe to me the glories of that Ekadashi which occurs during the waxing moon in the month of Janurary/Februrary. Also please explain to me the proceedure for observing this Ekadashi and which deity is to be worshiped on this auspicious day".
Lord Krishna said, "O, best of the Kings Yudhisthira! The Ekadashi which occures during the waxing moon in the month of January/February is celebrated as Jaya Ekadashi. Following of this Ekadashi takes away all ones sinful reactions. The performer of this Ekadashi 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 Ekadashi has no substitute. O, Lion like King! Now, please hear the description of this Ekadashi which I had previously narrated in Padma Purana.
The demigods were living happily in the heavenly kingdom of Indra under his rule. In the Nandan Kanana forest which was filled with the fragrence of fully blossamed Parijata flowers and were the Apsaras freely enjoyed their lives Indra also enjoyed various exchanges with the Apsaras. Once Indra in the pleasant mood arranged a dance festival of fifty million Apsaras. In that essembly there was a Gandharva singer named Pushpadanta. Another Gandharva named Chitrasena came there along with his wife Malini and daughter. Chitrasena had a son named Pushpavana whose son was Malyavan. A Gandharvi named Pushpavati became attracted by the beauty of Malyavan. Beeing pierced by the sharp arrows of cupid. The most beautiful Pushpavati tried various ways such as gestures and glances to bring Malyavan under her control.
O, King! What can I discribe the spendid beauty of Pushpavati? 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 earrings, her neck defeated the beauty of the counch. 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 Pushpavati, Malyavan totally became captivated.
In order to please Indra both Malyavan and Pushpavati began to perform dancing and singing with other Apsaras 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. Continuesly 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 Malyavan and Pushpavati 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 sence of smelling, touch and sleeping. While wondering in the dence forest and cold mountanious regions of Himalaya once they sat down in one place and began to introspect. The male ghost said to the female ghost, "Alas! What henious sinful activities we have commited that we have received such a miserable ghost bodies".
They felt extreme sadness and merged in the ocean of repentence. Both Malyavan and Pushpavati in the form of male and female ghost spend that day without taking any food while continuely repenting for their misdeeds. Co-incidentaly this day was the auspicious day of Jaya Ekadashi which occures 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 day. Even they abstained from taking any roots, fruits or water. O King! In this way when the ghost couple was sitting underneith 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 sence gratification appeared in their hearts.
O, Lion hearted King! In this way they unknowingly observed the vow of Jaya Ekadashi and by the influence of the peity accumulated from observing this vow the very next day they attained liberation from their ghost bodies. Thereafter Pushpavati and Malyavan 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 peity have your ghostly conditon of lives been distroyed? Which demigod has freed you from my curse?" In answer to this Malyavan said, "By the causeless mercy of the Supreme Lord and as a result of observing the vow of Jaya Ekadashi 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 Malyavan, "You have become purified as a result of excuting devotional service to Lord Vishnu and observing the vow of Ekadashi. Therefore now you are worshipable by me also. Those human beings who are engaged in devotional service ot Vishnu are certainly worshiped and respected by me". Thereafter Pushpavati and Malyavan began to live happily in the heavenly planet.
O, King Yudhisthira! That is why one must observe the vow of Ekadashi. Observance of the vow of Jaya Ekadashi takes away even the sin of killing a brahmin. The secondary fruits of observing this vow is that one automatically receives the peity of giving charity, performing sacrifice and visiting holy places. If one properly follows the vow of this Ekadashi with faith and devotion then he lives in Vaikuntha for ever. Just by reading and hearing the glories of this Ekadashi one can attain the result of Agnistoma sacrifice".
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