18 February 2020 — Vijaya Ekadashi
The glories of this Ekadashi is discribed in Skanda Purana. Once Maharaj Yudhisthira enquired from Shri Krishna, "O, Lord Krishna, please be kind to me and discribe the Ekadashi that occures during the wanning moon in the month of February/March".
Lord Krishna replied, "O, King Yudhisthira! I will happily discribe the Ekadashi known as Vijaya Ekadashi to you. By observing the vow of this Ekadashi ones sinful reactions are simultaniously eradicated.
Once great sage Narada asked Lord Brahma, "O, best of the demigods! Kindly discribed to me the result one achieves by following the vow of Vijaya Ekadashi which occures during the wanning moon in the month of February/ March". In reply to this Lord Brahma said, "My dear son, this oldest vow is pure and distroyer of all sinful activities. Actually it has got great results as its name suggests. This Vijaya Ekadashi undoubtedly awards one the power of victory".
When Shri Ramachandra went to the forest for fourteen years with His wife Sitadevi and brother Laxman inorder to fulfill the order of His father They lived in a beautiful forest known as Panchavati on the bank of the river Godhavari for sometime. While residing in this forest one day Ravana the king of demons kidnapped austere Sitadevi. Due to separation from Sitadevi Ramachandra became overwhelmed with extreme distress.
While wondering throughout the forest insearch of Sita, Ramachandra met with Jatayu, the king of the birds who was about to die. Jatayu told Ramachandra everything about Sita and left this world and returned to Vaikuntha. Thereafter Ramachandra made friendship with Sugriva. Inorder to help the mission of Ramachandra many monkey soldiers were gathered. Meanwhile Hanuman the king of the monkeys completed a great mission. He went to the Ashoka forest in Lanka and met Sitadevi and inorder to convince her he gave Ramachandras ring. Thereafter Hanuman returned to Ramachandra and explained the whole incident to Him.
After hearing the words of Hanuman Ramachandra had a meeting with His friend Sugriva and resolved to invade Lanka. Ramachandra gathered a great number of monkey soldiers and arrived at the shore of the ocean. He then said to Laxman, "O, Saumitra! How will we cross beyond this unfathomable ocean which is full of fierces aquatics such as whales and crocodiles?"
Laxman replied, "O, original Supreme Personality of Godhead! You are the primeval Lord. There is a great sage named Bakadalbhya lives in this Island. His ashrama is situated four miles away from here. O, son of the dynasty of Raghu! This sage has got darshan of Lord Brahma. We should ask him about the means of crossing this ocean".
Being adviced by Laxman in this way Lord Ramachandra went to the ashrama of Bakadalbhya and offered respectful obeisances to him. The omnicient sage could immediately understand that this personality was the Supreme Lord Ramachandra. For some perticular cause such as killing the demon Ravana he has now appeared in this material world. The great sage asked him, "O, Ramachandra, for what purpose you have kindly come here?"
Ramachandra replied, "O, brahmin! By your mercy I have come here on the shore of this ocean with my soldiers. In order to fight the demons and conquer Lanka. O, best of the sages! Please tell me a simple method by which I can easily cross over this insurmountable ocean. For this reason only I have come to your lotus feet".
The great sage said to Ramachandra, "O, Ramachandra! I will tell you about observing a great vow by which you will certainly conquer your battle and obtain extraordinary fame and opulance in this world. You should follow this vow with undiviated attention. O, Rama! There is an Ekadashi known as Vijaya which occures during the wanning moon in the month of February/March. By observing this Ekadashi you will certainly be able to cross over this ocean with your monkey soldiers. O, Lord Ramachandra! Now please hear about the procedure of following this Ekadashi. On the day before Ekadashi you should fill a golden, silver, copper or clay pitcher with water and decorate it with Mango twigs. Thereafter you should place this pitcher on a sanctified raised alter which is decorated with seven kinds of grains. Thereafter you should place a golden deity of Lord Narayana upon this pitcher. On the day of Ekadashi you should take bath early in the morning and worship this deity of Lord Narayana with devotion by offering various items such as Tulasi leaves, sandalwood paste, flowers, garlands, incense, ghee lamp and food stuff. You should also remain awake that night. On the day after Ekadashi you should place this pitcher on the bank of a river, pond or lake after the sun rise and duely worship it. Thereafter you should donate this pitcher along with the deity of Narayana to a brahmin who strictly follows the vow of celibacy. By doing so you will certainly conquer over your enemies".
According to the instruction of this great sage Lord Ramachandra exibited the ideal example of properly following this vow of Ekadashi and conquer the battle. A person who properly follows this vow of Ekadashi certainly becomes victories in this life and in the next". Lord Brahma continued to speak to Narada, "O, my dear son! That is why every human being should follow this vow of this Vijaya Ekadashi. The glories of Vijaya Ekadashi distroyes all ones sinful reaction. One who reads or hears the glories of this Ekadashi obtains the result of Bajapeya sacrifice".
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