Jaya Ekadashi - Vrat Katha
Falls on: Magh sukla paksh
Source of all living entities
Yudhisthir said, �Hai Purna Prushotam Bhagwan Shri Krishna, all glories unto You! Hai
Vishve ke Swami, You alone are the source of the four types of living entities-those born
from eggs, those born from perspiration, those born from seeds, and those born from
embryos. You alone are the root cause of all, Bhagwan, and therefore You are Swami of
Jaghat. You are the reason of all uthpatis and you are Jagat ke uthpati (the creator),
Jagat ke Stithi karen; Isthiti (maintainer), and Jagat ke Sangha-rak Pralayeh Karta
Yudhisthir asks Shri Krishna
�Bhagwan, You have so kindly explained to me the auspicious day known as Sat-tila
Ekadashi, which occurs during Magh Krishna Paksh. Now please explain the Ekadashi that
occurs during Magh Sukla Paksh. What it is known as, and what is the process for
observing it? You in which form is worshiped on this sublime day, which is so very dear
Shri Krishna reveals freedom from birth and death
Bhagwan Shri Krishna replied, �Yudhisthir, I shall gladly tell you about this Ekadashi,
which occurs during Magh Sukla Paksh. This Ekadashi obliterates all kinds of sinful
reactions and demoniac influences affecting the spirit soul. It is named as Jaya Ekadashi,
and the fortunate soul who observes a fast on this sacred day is relieved of the great
burden of ghostly existence. Thus there is no better Ekadashi, than this, for it truly
bestows freedom from birth and death. It is to be honored very carefully and diligently.
So I ask you to listen to Me very attentively, Pandav, as I explain a wonderful historical
episode regarding this Ekadashi, an episode I have already related in the Padma Puran�.
Shri Krishna explains Padma Puran episode
�Long, long ago in the heavenly planets, Indra ruled his celestial kingdom very nicely,
and all the Devs living there were very happy and content. In Nandanvan Forest, which was
beautifully graced with parijat flowers, Indra drank ambrosia whenever he liked and
enjoyed the service of fifty million Apsaras (celestial maidens), who danced in ecstasy
for his pleasure�.
�Many singers, led by Puspadanta, sang in voices sweet beyond compare. Citrasena, Indra's
chief musician, was there in the company of his wife Malini and his beautiful son
Malyavan. An Apsara named Puspavati became very much attracted to Malyavan; indeed,
Kam-dev�s (Cupid) sharp arrows pierced the core of her heart. Her beautiful body and
complexion, along with the enchanting movements of her eyebrows, captivated Malyavan�.
�Rajan, listen as I describe the splendid beauty of Puspavati. She had incomparably
graceful arms with which to embrace a man like a fine silken noose, her face resembled
the moon. Her lotus eyes reached almost to her lovely ears, which were adorned with
wonderful earrings. Her thin, ornamented neck looked like a conch; her waist was very
slender, the size of a fist; her hips were broad, and her thighs like the trunks of
banana trees; her naturally beautiful features were complemented by gorgeous ornaments
and garments; her breasts were highly raised; and to look upon her feet was to behold
newly grown red lotuses�.
Consequence of being fascinated
�Seeing Puspavati in all her heavenly beauty, Malyavan was bewitched at once. They had
come with other performers to please Indra Dev by singing and dancing enchantingly, but
because they had become so enamored of each other, pierced through the heart by the
arrows of Kam-dev (Cupid), lust personified, they were unable to sing or dance properly
before the master of the heavenly realms. Their pronunciation was wrong and their rhythm
careless. Indra understood the source of the errors at once. Offended at the discord in
the musical performance, he became very angry and screamed, You useless fool! You pretend
to sing for me while in a stupor of infatuation with each other! You are mocking me! I
curse you both to suffer henceforth as pisach (hobgoblins). As husband and wife, go to
the earthly regions and reap the reactions of your offenses�.
�Struck dumb by these harsh words, Malyavan and Puspavati at once became morose and fell
from the beautiful Nandanvan Forest in the kingdom of heaven to a Himalayan peak here on
planet earth. Immeasurably distressed, and their celestial intelligence vastly diminished
by the effects of Indra's fierce curse, they lost their senses of taste and smell, and
even their sense of touch. It was so cold and miserable high on the Himalayan vast of
snow and ice that they could not even enjoy the oblivion of sleep�.�.
�Roaming aimlessly hither and thither in those harsh altitudes, Malyavan and Puspavati
suffered more and more, from one moment to the next. Even though they were situated in a
cave, because of the snowfall and cold their teeth chattered ceaselessly, and their hair
stood on end because of their fright and bewilderment�.
�In this utterly desperate situation, Malyavan said to Puspavati, What abominable sins
did we commit to have to suffer in these pisach bodies, in this impossible environment?
This is hellish! Though hell is very ferocious, the suffering we are undergoing here is
even more abominable. Therefore it is abundantly clear that one should never commit any
Good fortune arrived
�And so the forlorn lovers trudged onward in the snow and ice. By their great good
fortune, however, it so happened that that very day was Jaya Ekadashi, the Ekadashi of
Magha Sukla Paksh. Because in their misery they neglected to drink any water or even eat
whatever fruits and leaves were available at that altitude, they unknowingly observed
Ekadasi by fasting completely from all food and drink. Sunk in misery, Malyavan and
Puspavati collapsed beneath a pipal tree and did not even try to get up. The sun had set
by this time�.�.
�The night was even colder and more miserable than the day. They shivered in the frigid
snowfall as their teeth chattered in unison, and when they became numb, they embraced just
to keep warm. Locked in each other's arms, they could not sleep. Thus, they suffered
through the whole night under the powerful curse of Indra�.
Powerful influence of Ekadashi
�Still, Yudhisthir, by the mercy of the fast they had by chance observed on Jaya Ekadashi,
and because they had remained awake all night, they were blessed. Please hear what
happened on the next day. As Duvadasi dawned, Malyavan and Puspavati had given up their
demoniac forms and were once again beautiful heavenly beings wearing lustrous ornaments
and exquisite garments. As they looked at each other in amazement, a celestial viman
(airoplane) arrived on the spot. A chorus of heavenly denizens sang their praises as the
couple stepped into the beautiful aircraft and proceeded directly to the heavenly regions,
buoyed up by the good wishes of everyone. Soon Malyavan and Puspavati arrived at
Amaravati, Indra Dev�s capital city, and then they immediately went before Indra and
offered him their cheerful obeisances�.
Released from Indra�s irresistible curse
�Indra was astonished to see that they had been restored to their original status and
forms so soon after he had cursed them to suffer as demons far, far below his celestial
kingdom. Indra asked them, 'What extraordinary meritorious deeds have you performed so
that you could give up your pisach bodies so quickly after I had cursed you? Who released
you from my irresistible curse�?
"Malyavan replied, Dev, it was by the mercy of Bhagwan Vasudev and also by the powerful
influence of Jaya Ekadashi, that we were released from our suffering condition as pisach.
This is the truth, Master: Because we executed devotional service to Bhagwan Visnu by
observing Jaya Ekadashi, the day most dear to Him, we have happily been restored to our
"Indra said, because you served Bhagwan Kesav by observing Ekadashi, you have become
worshipable even by me, and I can see that your sins are now completely purified.
Whoever engages in devotional service to Bhagwan Shri Hari becomes praiseworthy and
worshipable even by me. Of this, there is no doubt. Indra then gave Malyavan and
Puspavati free rein to enjoy each other and wander about his heavenly planet".
Shri Krishna concluded
"Therefore, Yudhisthir, one should strictly observe a fast on this day of Jaya Ekadashi
especially for Bhagwan Hari as this pleases Him., and this will free one from the sin of
killing even a twice-born Brahmin. A great soul who observes this fast with full faith
and devotion has in effect given all kinds of charity, performed all kinds of sacrifice,
and bathed in all the holy places of pilgrimage. Fasting on Jaya Ekadashi, qualifies one
to reside in Vaikunth dham and enjoy unending happiness for billions of yugas-indeed,
its virtually almost forever in mankind's time. Maharaj, one who even hears or reads
these glories of Jaya Ekadashi, achieves the blessed merit attained by performing an
Agni-stoma sacrifice, during which hymns from the Saam-veda are recited".