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Glories of Mokshada Ekadashi

धर्मराज युधिष्ठिर कहने लगे कि हे भगवान! मैंने मार्गशीर्ष कृष्ण एकादशी अर्थात उत्पन्ना एकादशी का सविस्तार वर्णन सुना। अब आप कृपा करके मुझे मार्गशीर्ष माह के शुक्ल पक्ष की एकादशी के विषय में भी बतलाइये। इस एकादशी का क्या नाम है तथा इसके व्रत का क्या विधान है? इसकी विधि क्या है? इसका व्रत करने से किस फल की प्राप्ति होती है? कृपया यह सब विधानपूर्वक कहिए।

भगवान श्रीकृष्ण बोले: मार्गशीर्ष माह के शुक्ल पक्ष मे आने वाली इस एकादशी को मोक्षदा एकादशी कहा जाता है। यह व्रत मोक्ष देने वाला तथा चिंतामणि के समान सब कामनाएँ पूर्ण करने वाला है। जिससे आप अपने पूर्वजो के दुखों को खत्म कर सकते हैं। इसका माहात्म्य मैं तुमसे कहता हूँ, ध्यानपूर्वक सुनो।

गोकुल नाम के नगर में वैखानस नामक राजा राज्य करता था। उसके राज्य में चारों वेदों के ज्ञाता ब्राह्मण रहते थे। वह राजा अपनी प्रजा का पुत्रवत पालन करता था। एक बार रात्रि में राजा ने एक स्वप्न देखा कि उसके पिता नरक में हैं। उसे बड़ा आश्चर्य हुआ।

प्रात: वह विद्वान ब्राह्मणों के पास गया और अपना स्वप्न सुनाया। कहा- मैंने अपने पिता को नरक में कष्ट उठाते देखा है। उन्होंने मुझसे कहा कि हे पुत्र मैं नरक में पड़ा हूँ। यहाँ से तुम मुझे मुक्त कराओ। जबसे मैंने ये वचन सुने हैं तबसे मैं बहुत बेचैन हूँ। चित्त में बड़ी अशांति हो रही है। मुझे इस राज्य, धन, पुत्र, स्त्री, हाथी, घोड़े आदि में कुछ भी सुख प्रतीत नहीं होता। क्या करूँ?

राजा ने कहा- हे ब्राह्मण देवताओं! इस दु:ख के कारण मेरा सारा शरीर जल रहा है। अब आप कृपा करके कोई तप, दान, व्रत आदि ऐसा उपाय बताइए जिससे मेरे पिता को मुक्ति मिल जाए। उस पुत्र का जीवन व्यर्थ है जो अपने माता-पिता का उद्धार न कर सके। एक उत्तम पुत्र जो अपने माता-पिता तथा पूर्वजों का उद्धार करता है, वह हजार मुर्ख पुत्रों से अच्छा है। जैसे एक चंद्रमा सारे जगत में प्रकाश कर देता है, परंतु हजारों तारे नहीं कर सकते। ब्राह्मणों ने कहा- हे राजन! यहाँ पास ही भूत, भविष्य, वर्तमान के ज्ञाता पर्वत ऋषि का आश्रम है। आपकी समस्या का हल वे जरूर करेंगे।

ऐसा सुनकर राजा मुनि के आश्रम पर गया। उस आश्रम में अनेक शांत चित्त योगी और मुनि तपस्या कर रहे थे। उसी जगह पर्वत मुनि बैठे थे। राजा ने मुनि को साष्टांग दंडवत किया। मुनि ने राजा से सांगोपांग कुशल पूछी। राजा ने कहा कि महाराज आपकी कृपा से मेरे राज्य में सब कुशल हैं, लेकिन अकस्मात मेरे चित्त में अत्यंत अशांति होने लगी है। ऐसा सुनकर पर्वत मुनि ने आँखें बंद की और भूत विचारने लगे। फिर बोले हे राजन! मैंने योग के बल से तुम्हारे पिता के कुकर्मों को जान लिया है। उन्होंने पूर्व जन्म में कामातुर होकर एक पत्नी को रति दी किंतु सौत के कहने पर दूसरे पत्नी को ऋतुदान माँगने पर भी नहीं दिया। उसी पापकर्म के कारण तुम्हारे पिता को नर्क में जाना पड़ा।

तब राजा ने कहा ‍इसका कोई उपाय बताइए। मुनि बोले: हे राजन! आप मार्गशीर्ष एकादशी का उपवास करें और उस उपवास के पुण्य को अपने पिता को संकल्प कर दें। इसके प्रभाव से आपके पिता की अवश्य नर्क से मुक्ति होगी। मुनि के ये वचन सुनकर राजा महल में आया और मुनि के कहने अनुसार कुटुम्ब सहित मोक्षदा एकादशी का व्रत किया। इसके उपवास का पुण्य उसने पिता को अर्पण कर दिया। इसके प्रभाव से उसके पिता को मुक्ति मिल गई और स्वर्ग में जाते हुए वे पुत्र से कहने लगे- हे पुत्र तेरा कल्याण हो। यह कहकर स्वर्ग चले गए।

मार्गशीर्ष मास की शुक्ल पक्ष की मोक्षदा एकादशी का जो व्रत करते हैं, उनके समस्त पाप नष्ट हो जाते हैं। इस व्रत से बढ़कर मोक्ष देने वाला और कोई व्रत नहीं है। इस दिन गीता जयंती मनाई जाती हैं साथ ही यह धनुर्मास की एकादशी कहलाती हैं, अतः इस एकादशी का महत्व कई गुना और भी बढ़ जाता हैं। इस दिन से गीता-पाठ का अनुष्ठान प्रारंभ करें तथा प्रतिदिन थोडी देर गीता अवश्य पढें।

 

Read in English


Mokshada Ekadashi is one of the most important Ekadashis It is the all-auspicious day on which Lord Sri Krishna spoke the Srimad Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, at the place now known as Jyotisha tirtha. Anyone who gifts a Bhagavad Gita away to a deserving person on this day is bestowed profuse blessings by Lord Krishna.

The Ancient History of Mokshada Ekadashi from Brahmanda Purana:

Yudhishthira Maharaj said, "O Lord of lords, for the benefit of all living entities, kindly answer some questions that I have. What is the name of the Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Margashirsha (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 Sri Krishna replied, "O dear Yudhishthira, your inquiry is very auspicious in itself and will bring you fame. This Ekadashi is famous as Mokshadaa because it purifies the faithful devotee of all sinful reactions and bestows liberation upon him. The worshipable Deity of this all auspicious day is Lord Damodara. With full attention, one should worship Him with incense, a ghee lamp, fragrant flowers, and Tulsi manjaris (buds).

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 Champaka-Nagar, which was decorated with devoted Vaishnavas. There the best of saintly kings Maharaj Vaikhaanasa, ruled over his subjects as if they were his very own dear sons and daughters. The brahmins in that capital city were all experts in four kinds of Vedik 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 on one of the hellish planets ruled over by the Yamaraj. The king was overwhelmed with compassion for his father and shed tears. The following day, Maharaj Vaikhaanasa described what he had seen in his dream to his council of twice-born learned brahmins.

" ' O Brahmanas,' the king addressed them, '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 of mind, and even this beautiful kingdom has become unbearable to me. Where can I go, and what can I do, O brahmins, 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 from that agony and bestow liberation upon my forefathers.

"The twice-born brahmins 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 is tri-Kala-jnani (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 advice, the distressed king immediately set out on a journey to the ashram of the famous sage Parvata Muni. The ashram was indeed huge and housed many learned sages experts in chanting the sacred hymns of the four Vedas.

Approaching the holy ashram, the king beheld Parvata Muni seated among the assembly of sages adorned with hundreds of tilaks (from all the authorized sampradayas) like another Brahmaa or Vyaas. Maharaj Vaikhaanasa 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 (his ministers, his treasury, his military forces, his allies, the brahmins, the sacrificial offerings performed, and the needs of his subjects).

The muni also asked him if his kingdom was free of troubles and whether everyone was peaceful, happy, and satisfied. To these inquiries, 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 brahmana 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 Vaikhaanasa then said, 'O greatest among sages, by what process of fasting or charity may I liberate my dear father from such a condition?

Parvata Muni replied, 'During the light fortnight of the month of Margashirsha there occurs an Ekadashi called Mokshadaa. If you observe this sacred Ekadashi strictly, with a full fast, and give directly to your suffering father the merit you thus attain/obtain, he will be freed from his pain and instantly liberated.

"Hearing this, Maharaj Vaikhaanasa profusely thanked the great sage and then returned to his palace to perform his vrata (austere rite).

O Yudhishthira, when the light part of the month of Margashirsha, at last, arrived, Maharaj Vaikhaanasa faithfully waited for the Ekadashi tithi to arrive.

He then perfectly and with full faith observed the Ekadashi fast with his wife, children, and other relatives. 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 the middle to higher planets, the father said to the king, 'My dear son, all auspiciousness unto you!'

At last, he reached the heavenly realm from where he can again with his newly acquired merit perform devotional service to Krishna or Vishnu and in due course return back to home back to Godhead.

"O son of Pandu, who so ever strictly observes the sacred Mokshadaa Ekadashi, following the established rules and regulations, achieves full and perfect liberation after death.

There is no better fasting day than this Ekadashi of the light fortnight of the month of Margashirsha, O Yudhishthira, for it is a crystal-clear and sinless day.

Whoever faithfully observes this Ekadashi fast, which is like chinta-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 Ekadashi for his spiritual benefit, this elevates one to go back to Godhead, never to return to this material world."

Thus end the narration of the glories of Margashirsha-Shukla Ekadashi or Mokshada Ekadashi, from the Brahmanda Purana.