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Mokshda Ekadashi
Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja said, "O Viṣṇu, master of all, O delight of the three worlds, O Lord of the entire Universe, O creator of the world, O oldest personality, O best of all beings, I offer my most respectful obeisances unto You.

"O Lord of lords, for the benefit of all living entities, kindly answer some questions that I have. What is the name of the Ekādaśī that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Mārgaśirṣa (November-December) and removes all sins? How does one observe it properly, and which Deity is worshipped on that holiest of days? O my Lord please explain this to me in full."

Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa replied, "O dear Yudhiṣṭhira, your enquiry is very auspicious in itself and will bring you fame. Just as I previously explained to you about the dearest Utpannā Mahā-Dvādaś ī - which occurs during the dark part of the month of Mārgaśirṣa, which is the day when Ekādaśī- devi appeared from My body to kill the demon Mura, and which benefits everything animate and inanimate in the three worlds - so I shall now relate to you regarding this Ekādaśī that occurs during the light part of the month of Mārgaśirṣa. This Ekādaśī is famous as Mokṣadā because it purifies the faithful devotee of all sinful reactions and bestows liberation upon him. The worshippable Deity of this all auspicious day is Lord Dāmodara. With full attention one should worship Him with incense, a ghee lamp, fragrant flowers, and Tulasi manjaris (buds).

"O best of saintly kings, please listen as I narrate to you the ancient and auspicious history of this wonderful Ekādaśī. Simply by hearing this history one can attain the merit earned by performing a horse sacrifice. By the influence of this merit, one's forefathers, mothers, sons, and other relatives who have gone to hell can turn around and go to the heavenly kingdom. For this reason alone, O king, you should listen with rapt attention to this narration. "There once was a beautiful city named Campaka- nagara, which was decorated with devoted Vaiṣṇavas. There the best of saintly kings Mahārāja Vaikhānasa, ruled over his subjects as if they were his very own dear sons and daughters. The brāhmaṇas in that capital city were all expert in four kinds of Vedic knowledge. The king, while ruling properly, had a dream one night in which his father was seen to be suffering the pangs of hellish torture in one of the hellish planets ruled over by the Yamarāja. The king was overwhelmed with compassion for his father and shed tears. The next morning, Mahārāja Vaikhānasa described what he had seen in his dream to his council of twice born learned brāhmaṇas.

" ' O brāhmaṇas,' the king said, 'in a dream last night I saw my father suffering on a hellish planet. He was crying out in anguish, "O son, please deliver me from this torment of this hellish condition !" Now I have no peace in my mind, and even this beautiful kingdom has become unbearable to me. Not even my horses, elephants, and chariots and my vast wealth in my treasury that formerly brought so much pleasure, gives me no pleasure at all.

" 'Everything, O best of the brāhmaṇas, even my own wife and sons, have become a source of unhappiness since I beheld my father suffering the tortures of that hellish condition so. Where can I go, and what can I do, O brāhmaṇas, to alleviate this misery? My body is burning with fear and sorrow! Please tell me what kind of charity, what mode of fasting, what austerity, or what deep meditation, and in service upon which Deity I may have to perform to deliver my father Yfrom that agony and bestow upon liberation upon my forefathers. O best among the brāhmaṇas, what is the use of one's being a powerful son if one's father must suffer on a hellish planet? Truly, such a son's life is utterly useless, to him and to his forefathers.

"The twice born brāhmaṇas replied, 'O king, in the mountainous forest not far from here is the ashram where a great saint Parvata Muni resides. Please go to him, for he knows the past, the present, and the future of everything and can surely help you in your gaining relief from your misery.'

"Upon hearing this advise, the distressed king immediately set out on a journey to the ashram of the famous sage Parvata Muni. The ashram was indeed very big and housed many learned sages expert in chanting the sacred hymns of the four Vedas. Approaching the holy ashram, the king beheld Parvata Muni seated among the assembly of sages like another Lord Brahmā.

"Mahārāja Vaikhānasa offered his humble obeisances to the muni, bowing his head and then prostrating his entire body before him. After the king had seated himself among the assembly Parvata Muni asked him about the welfare of the seven limbs of his extensive kingdom. The muni also asked him if his kingdom was free of troubles and whether everyone was peaceful, happy and satisfied. To these enquiries the king replied, 'By your mercy O glorious and great sage, all seven limbs of my kingdom are doing very well. Yet there is a problem that has recently arisen and to solve it I have come to you, O brāhmaṇa for your expert help and guidance'. "Then Parvata Muni, the best of all sages, closed his eyes and meditated on the king's past, present and future. After a few moments he opened his eyes and said, 'Your father is suffering the results of committing a great sin and I have discovered what it is. In his previous life he quarrelled with his wife and forcibly enjoyed her sexually during her menstrual period. She tried to protest and resist his advances and even yelled out, "Someone please save me! Please, O husband, do not interrupt my monthly period in this way!" Still he did not stop or leave her alone. It is on account of this grievous sin that your father now has fallen into such a hellish condition of suffering.'

"King Vaikhānasa then said, 'O greatest among sages, by what process of fasting or charity may I liberate my dear father from such a condition? Please tell me how I can relieve and remove the burden of his sinful reactions, which are a great obstacle to his progress toward ultimate liberation.'


"Hearing this, Mahārāja Vaikhānasa profusely thanked the great sage and then returned to his palace. O Yudhiṣṭhira, when the light part of the month of Mārgaśirṣa at last arrived, Mahārāja Vaikhānasa faithfully waited for the Ekādaśī tithi to arrive. He then perfectly and with full faith observed the Ekādaśī fast with his wife, children, and other relatives. He dutifully gave the merit from this fast to his father, and as he made the offering, beautiful flower petals showered down from the devas who peered out from behind the clouds in the sky. The king's father was then praised by the messengers of the demigods (devas) and escorted to the celestial region. As he passed his son, as he traversed the lower to middle to higher planets, the father said to the king, 'My dear son, all auspiciousness unto you!' At last he reached the heavenly realm.

"O son of Pandu, who so ever strictly observes the sacred Mokṣadā Ekādaśī, following the established rules and regulations, achieves full and perfect liberation after death. There is no better fasting day than this Ekādaśī of the light fortnight of the month of Mārgaśirṣa, O Yudhiṣṭhira, for it is a crystal-clear and sinless day. Whoever faithfully observes this Ekādaśī fast, which is like cintā-mani (a gem that yields all desires), obtains special merit that is very hard to calculate, for this day can elevate one from hellish life to the heavenly planets, and for one who observes Ekādaśī for his own spiritual benefit, this elevates one to go back to God, never to return to this material world."

Thus ends the Vṛjavāsī narration of the glories of Mārgaśirṣa-shukla Ekādaśī or Mokṣada Ekādaśī, from the Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa.

Notes

The four Vedas are Rg, Yajur, Sama and Arthava

The seven limbs of a king‟s domain are the king himself, his ministers, his treasury, his military forces, his allies, the brāhmaṇas, the sacrificial offerings performed and the needs of his subjects.

Mokshada Ekādaśī is a special Ekādaśī in two regards; It was the auspicious day on which Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa spoke the Śrīmad Bhagavad Gītā to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukṣetra, at the place now known as Jyotisar Tirtha.

Anyone who gifts a Bhagavad Gītā away to a deserving person on this day is bestowed profuse blessings by the Śrī Kṛṣṇa Bhagavān.


Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare|
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare||