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Paapavimochani Ekadashi
Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja said, "O Supreme Lord, I have heard from You the explanation of Āmalakī Ekādaśī which occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Phālguna (February-March), and now I wish to hear about the Ekādaśī that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Caitra (March-April). What is its name, O Lord, and what results can one attain by observing it?"

The Supreme Personality of God, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, replied, "O best of kings, for the benefit of everyone I shall gladly describe to you the glories of this Ekādaśī, which is known as Pāpamochanī. The history of this Ekādaśī was once narrated to the Emperor Māndhāta by Lomaṣa Ṛṣi. King Māndhāta addressed the ṛṣi, 'O great sage, for the benefit of all people, please tell me the name of the Ekādaśī that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Caitra, and please explain the process for observing it. Also, please describe the benefits one gains by observing this Ekādaśī.'

"Lomasa Ṛṣi replied, "The Ekādaśī that occurs during the dark part of the month of Caitra is named Pāpamochanī Ekādaśī. For the faithful devotee it removes the influences of ghosts and demons. O lion among men, this Ekādaśī also awards the eight perfections of life, fulfils all kinds of desires, purifies one's life of all sinful reactions, and makes a person perfectly virtuous.

"'Now please listen to a historical account concerning this Ekādaśī and Citraratha, the chief of the Gandharvas (heavenly musicians). During the spring season, in the compa ny of heavenly dancing girls, Citraratha once came upon a beautiful forest bursting forth with a great variety of flowers. There he and the girls joined the Gandharvas and many Kinnaras, along with Lord Indra himself, the king of heaven, who was enjoying a visit there. Everyone felt that there was no better garden than this forest. Many sages were also present, performing their austerities and penances. The demigods particularly enjoyed visiting this celestial garden during the months of Caitra and Vaisākha (April-May).

"'A great sage named Medhāvī resided in that forest, and the very attractive dancing girls would always attempt to seduce him. One famous girl in particular, Mañjughoṣā, contrived many ways to allure the exalted Muni, but out of great respect for the sage and feat of his power, which he had attained after years and years of ascetics, she would not come very close to him. At a spot two miles from the sage, she pitched a tent and began singing very sweetly as she played a tamboura. Cupid himself became excited when he saw and heard her perform so nicely and smelled the fragrance of her sandal-paste unguent. He remembered his own unfortunate experience with Lord Śiva and decided to take revenge by seducing Medhāvī. (see footnote 1)

"'Using the eyebrows of Mañjughoṣā as a bow, her glances as a bowstring, her eyes as arrows, and her breasts as a target, Cupid approached Medhāvī in order to tempt him to break his trance and his vows. In other words, Cupid engaged Mañjughoṣā as his assistant, and when she looked at that powerful and attractive young sage, she also became a gitated by lust. Seeing that he was Yhighly intelligent and learned, wearing a clean white brāhmaṇa's thread draped across his shoulder, holding a sannyāsī's staff, and sitting handsomely in the aśrāma of Cyavana Ṛṣi, Mañjughoṣā came before him.

"'She began to sing seductively, and the small bells of her belt and around her ankles, together with the bangles on her wrists, produced a delightful musical symphony. The sage Medhāvī was enchanted. he understood that this beautiful young woman desired union with him, and at that instant Cupid increased his attraction for Mañjughoṣā by releasing his powerful weapons of taste, touch, sight, smell, and sound.

"'Slowly Mañjughoṣā approached Medhāvi, her bodily movements and sweet glances attracting him. She gracefully put her tamboura down and embraced the sage with her two arms, just as a creeper winds itself around a strong tree. Captivated, Medhāvī gave up his meditation and decided to sport with her - and instantly his purity of heart and mind abandoned him. Forgetting even the difference between night and day, he went away with her to sport for a long, long time. (see footnote 2)

"'Seeing that the young yogī's sanctity had become seriously eroded, Mañjughoṣā decided to abandon him and return home. She said. "O great one, please permit me to return home." "'Medhāvi replied, "But you have only just arrived, O beautiful one. Please stay with me at least until tomorrow."

"'Fearful of the sage's yogic power, Mañjughoṣā stayed with Medhāvi for precisely fifty-seven years, nine months, and three days, but to Medhāvī all this time seemed like a moment. Again she asked him, "Please permit me to leave."

"'Medhāvī replied, "O dear one, listen to me. Stay with me for one more night, and then you may leave tomorrow morning. Just stay with me until I have performed my morning duties and chanted the sacred Gāyatrī mantra. Please wait until then."

"'Mañjughoṣ ā was still fearful of the sage's great yogic power, but she forced a smile and said, "How long will it take you to finish your morning hymns and rituals? Please be merciful and think of all the time you have already spent with me."

"'The sage reflected on the years he had been with Mañjughoṣā and then said with great astonishment. "Why, I have spent more than fifty-seven years with you!" His eyes turned red and began to emanate sparks. He now regarded Mañjughoṣā as death personified and the destroyer of his spiritual life. "You rascal woman! You have turned all the hard-earned results of my austerities to ashes!" Trembling with anger, he cursed Mañjughoṣā, "O sinful one, O hardhearted, degraded one! You know only sin! May all terrible fortune by yours! O rascal woman, I curse you to become an evil hobgoblin - piśāca! "

"'Cursed by the sage Medhāvī, the beautiful Mañjughoṣā humbly beseeched him, "O best of the brāhmanas, please be merciful to me and revoke your curse! O great one, it is said that association with pure devotees gives immediate results but their curses take effect only after seven days. I have been with you for fifty-seven years, O master, so please be kind to me!" "'Medhāvī Muni replied, "O gentle lady what can I possibly do? You have destroyed all my austerities. But even though you have done this sinful deed, I shall tell you a way you can be released from my wrath. In the dark fortnight of the month of Caitra there is an all-auspicious Ekādaśī that removes all one's sins. Its name is Pāpamochanī, O beautiful one, and whoever fasts on this sacred day becomes completely freed from having to take birth in any kind of devilish form."

"'With these words, the sage left at once for his father's āśrama. Seeing him enter the hermitage, Cyavana Muni said, "O son, by acting unlawfully you have squandered the wealth of your penances and austerities." "'Medhavī replied, "O Father, kindly reveal what atonement I must perform to remove the obnoxious sin I have incurred by privately associating with the dancing girl Mañjughoṣā." "'Cyavana Muni answered, "Dear son, you must fast on Pāpamochanī Ekādaśī, which occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Caitra. It eradicates all sins, no matter how grievous they may be." "'Medhāvī followed his father's advice and fasted on Pāpamochanī Ekādaśī. Thus all his sins were destroyed and he again became filled with excellent merit. Similarly. Mañjughoṣā observed the same fast and became free of the hobgoblin curse. Ascending once again to the heavenly spheres, she too returned to her former position.' "Lomaśa Ṛṣi continued, 'Thus, O king, the great benefit of fasting on Pāpamochanī Ekādaśī is that whoever does so with faith and devotion will have all his sins completely destroyed.'

Śrī Kṛṣṇa concluded, "O King Yudhiṣṭhira, whoever reads or hears about Pāpamochanī Ekādaśī obtains the very same merit he would get if he donated a thousand cows in charity, and he also nullifies the sinful reactions he may have incurred by killing a brāhmaṇa, killing an embryo through abortion, drinking liquor, or having sex with his guru's wife. Such is the incalculable benefit of properly observing this holy day of Pāpamochanī Ekādaśī, which is so dear to Me and so meritorious."

Thus ends the Vṛjavāsī narration of the glories of Caitra-kṛṣṇa Ekādaśī, or Pāpamocanī Ekādaśī, from the Bhaviṣya-uttara Purāṇa.

Notes


1. After Lord Śiva lost his dear wife Sati at the sacrificial arena of Prajāpati Daksha, Śiva destroyed the entire arena. Then he brought his father-in-law Daksha back to life by giving him the head of a goat, and finally he sat down to meditate for sixty thousand years. Lord Brahmā, however, arranged for Kāmadeva (Cupid) to come and break Śiva's meditation. Using his arrows of sound, taste, touch, sight, and smell, Cupid attacked Śiva, who at last awoke from his trance. He was so angry at being disturbed that he instantly burned Cupid to ashes with a glance from his third eye.

2. Female association is so powerful that a man forgets his time, energy, possessions, and even his own identity. As it is said in the Niti-s hāstra, striya charitram purushasya bhābyaM daivo vijānāti kuto manushyāh: "Even the demigods cannot predict the behavior of a woman. Nor can they understand the fortune of a man or how it will determine his destiny." According to Yajñavalkya Muni, "A (celibate) person who desires spiritual life should give up all association with wo men, including thinking of them, seeing them, talking with them in a secluded place, taking service from them, or having sexual intercourse with them."

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