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Vijaya Jaya Vaikuntha Ekadashi
Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja said, O Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, O glorious son of Vasudeva, please be merciful to me and describe the Ekādaśī that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Phālguna (February-March).

Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa replied, O Yudhiṣṭhira, O king of kings, gladly I shall tell you about this great fast, known as Vijayā Ekādaśī. Whoever observes it certainly achieves success in this life and the next. All the sins of one who fasts on this Ekādaśī and hears its sublime glories are eradicated. Nārada Muni once asked Lord Brahmā, who sits on a lotus flower about the Vijayā Ekādaśī. Śrī Nārada said, O best of all the demigods, kindly tell me the merit one can achieve by faithfully observing Vijayā Ekādaśī.

Nārada‟s great father then replied, My dear son, this oldest of fasting days is pure, and it nullifies all sins. I have never revealed this to anyone until today, but you can understand beyond any doubt that this Ekādaśī bestows the result indicated by its name… (Vijayā means Victory). When Lord Rāma was exiled to the forest for fourteen years, He, the goddess Sitā, and His divine brother Lakṣmaṇa stayed at Pañcavaṭi as mendicants. Mother Sitā was then kidnapped by the demon Rāvaṇa, and Lord Rāma seemingly became bewildered like an ordinary man by distress. While searching for His beloved consort, the Lord came upon the dying Jaṭāyu and thereafter killed His enemy Kabandha. The great devotee-vulture Jaṭāyu returned to Vaikuṇṭha after telling Rāma how His dear Sitā had been abducted by Rāvaṇa.

“ 'Later, Lord Rāma and Sugrīva, the king of the monkeys, became friends. Together they amassed a grand army of monkeys and bears and sent Hanumānji to Śrī Laṅkā, where he was able to see Jānaki, Sitā devī in an aśoka garden. He delivered Lord Rāma‟s message and showed the ring proving his authenticity for rendering such great service to the Supreme Lord.

With the help of Sugrīva, Lord Rāma proceeded toward Śrī Laṅkā. Upon arriving at the shore of the ocean with the army of monkeys, He could understand that the water was uncommonly deep. Thus He said to Lakṣmaṇa, O son of Sumitrā, how can We earn enough merit to be able to cross this vast ocean, the unfathomable abode of Varuṇa? I can see no easy way to cross it, teeming as it is with sharks and other ferocious aquatics.

“ 'Lakṣmaṇa replied, O best of all beings, O origin of all the devas, O primal personality, the great sage Bakadālbhya lives on an island just four miles from here. O Rāghava, he has seen many Brahmās come and go, so aged and wise is he. Let us ask him how We can safely reach Our goal.

So Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa proceeded to the humble āśrama of the incomparable Bakadālbhya Muni. Approaching him, the two Lords paid Their respectful obeisances to him as if he were a second Viṣṇu. Bakadālbhya could understand, however, that Śrī Rāma was actually the Supreme Personality of God, who for His own reasons had appeared on the Earth as a human being.

"O Rāma", said Bakadālbhya, "O best of the beings, why have You come to my lowly abode?" The Lord replied, "O great, twice born brāhmaṇa, I have come here to the ocean shore with My phalanx of monkey and bear warriors in order to cross the sea and conquer Laṅkā and its demon horde. O greatest of sages, please be merciful unto Me and please tell Me how I can cross this vast ocean. That is why I have come to you today."

The sage said, "O Lord Rāma, I shall tell you of the most exalted of all fasts, observing which You will surely conquer Rāvaṇa and be eternally glorified. Kindly now listen with full attention."

"On the day before Ekādaśī, fashion a water pot of gold or silver, or even copper. Even clay will do if these metals are unavailable. Fill the pot with pure water and then decorate it nicely with mango leaves. Cover it and place it near a holy altar upon a mound of seven grains. Now take Your morning bath, decorate the water pot with flower garlands and sandalwood paste, and in the concave lid atop of the pot place there the barley, pomegranate and coconut. Now with great love and devotion worship the waterpot Deity form and offer Him incense, sandalwood paste, flowers, a ghee lamp, and a plate of sumptuous foods. Remain awake that night beside this sacred pot. On top of the lid filled with barley, etc., place a golden mūrtī of Lord Śrī Nārāyaṇa.

“ ' When Ekādaśī dawns, take Your morning bath and then decorate the water pot with fine sandalwood paste and garlands. Then worship the pot again with first class incense, lamps, sandalwood paste and flowers dipped in sandalwood paste, and then devoutly/devotedly place many kinds of cooked food, pomegranate, and coconut before the water pot. Then remain awake over night.

When the Dvādaśī dawns, take the waterpot to the bank of a holy river, or even to the shore of a small pond. After worshipping it again properly, O King of kings, offer it with all the aforementioned ingredients to a pure hearted brāhmaṇa, expert in the Vedic sciences. If You and Your military commanders observe the Vijayā Ekādaśī in this way, You will surely be victorious in every way."

Lord Rāmacandra, the Supreme Personality of God, did just as Bakadālbhya Muni instructed and thus He conquered all demoniac forces. Similarly, anyone who observes the Vijayā Ekādaśī in this way will always be victorious in this mortal world, and after leaving this world he/she will reside forever in the anxiety free realm of the Kingdom of God.

O Nārada, my son, from this history you can understand why one should observe this Ekādaśī fast properly, strictly following the rules and regulations. This fast is powerful enough to eradicate all one‟s sinful reactions, even the most abominable ones.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa concluded, O Yudhiṣṭhira, anyone who reads or hears this history will attain the same great merit as that which is earned by performing a horse sacrifice.

Thus ends the Vṛjavāsī narration of the glories of Phālguna-kṛṣṇa Ekādaśī or Vijayā Ekādaśī, from the Skanda Purāṇa.

Notes
Sugriva a great monkey, was the son of Indra and AhilyA. She was the wife of Gautama, one of the seven great sages who appeared from the mind of Lord Brahmā. Indra disguised himself as Gautama Muni and seduced AhilyA, who had been blessed that she would never age beyond sixteen. She was the most beautiful lady on earth, and both Indra and the sun-deity became enamored by her beauty. One after the other, Indra and the sun -deity came to her in the form of Gautama Muni and had union with her, and Sugriva and VAli were born as a result, respectively (Sugriva of Indra‟s union and VAli of Surya‟s union).

At first, Sugriva and VAli looked like human beings, but when Gautama discovered his wife‟s infidelity, he angrily threw both the boys into the ocean saying” If you are not my sons, turn into monkeys”. Thus they became monkeys. Sugriva helped his friend Rāma to find Sitā devi, and in return Rāma helped Sugriva regain his kingdom of KishkindhA from his brother VAli.

Regarding Gautama Muni‟s possessing a spectacularly wife, the moralist Canakhya Pandita says:

RinakartA pitA shatruh MAtA cha vyabhichArinI
BhAryA rUpavatI shatruh Putra shatruh kupanditah


“In this world, a man has four enemies; a father who is a debtor, a mother who is like a prostitute, a beautiful wife, and a son who is uninterested in spiritual science” A beautiful wife is an enemy because many other men will be attracted to her.

The seven grains are barley, wheat, rice, corn, chickpeas, kukani, and dahl or peas.

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