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Pausha Putrata Ekadashi
Pausha Putrata Ekadashi is ascribed to Sri Maha Vishnu.
Pausha Putrata Ekadashi occurs in the Pausha month of both Amanta and Purnimanta Calendars.
Pausha Putrata Ekadashi is the eleventh day from the new moon day (Shukla Paksha Ekadashi). In the year 2021, it occurs on Sunday, 24th January 2021. The duration of the Ekadashi Tithi has to be ascertained from the applicable regional calendar.
“Putrata” means “bestower of progeny”. Hence this Vrat is observed for seeking progeny from Sri Maha Vishnu.
Pausha Putrata Ekadashi – story
As per the legend, Bhadravathi City was ruled by King Suketu. He and his wife Shaibya were unhappy as they had no progeny.
They were so forlorn in their agony that they wanted to end their lives. So, they left the Kingdom to their Minister and went to the forest.
In the forest, they realized that ending life was not right. At that time, they heard some Vedic chants. They went to the place from where they heard the chants.
There was a beautiful lake. Some sages were chanting Vedas. The King asked them who they were. They said ,” We are Vishva Devas, the sons of Vishva. Our names are Vasu, Satya, Kratu, Daksha, Kala, Kama, Dhriti, Pururava, Madrava and Kuru. We have come here to take bath in the lake. We will observe Putrata Ekadashi today.”
The King told them about his lack of progeny. They advised the King and the Queen to observe Ekadashi Vrat to be blessed with children. That Ekadashi is called Pausha Putrata Ekadashi.
Pausha Putrata Ekadashi – Puranic reference
This Vrat is said to be referred in Bhavishya Puran as conversation between Lord Sri Krishna and King Yudhishtra. Hearing the story of Putrata Ekadashi is said to accrue the benefits equal to performing an ashwa-medh yagna.
How is it observed
The basic rituals of Ekadashi Vrats are to be followed as given below:
-The exact time of dawn of Ekadashi tithi is ascertained either from family elders / astrologers. It is mentioned in the Holy Almanac (Panchang) as well. Even daily Calendars provide the information.
-The idol or picture of Sri Vishnu is decorated with flowers. Incense sticks are burned. Diyas are lit. Pujas are done with tulsi leaves. Slokas or stotras of Sri Maha Vishnu are recited with devotion.
-At the end of the puja, aarti is done. Prasad is distributed to the family members.
-Devotees of Lord Maha Vishnu observe strict fasting from the dawn of Ekadashi.
-They do not sleep on the night of Ekadashi. At this time, tales of Sri Maha Vishnu are recited by the elders. Others listen to the stories.
-Various bhajans and kirtans are held.
-The fast shall continue till the sunrise of the next day, i.e., Dwadashi.
-Those devotees who cannot do fasting due to medical or other reasons can take sattvic food. Mostly prasadams and fruits are partaken.
-Making daan / donation to the needy on Ekadashi day is believed to please Sri Maha Vishnu.
-On Dwadashi day, unless it happens to be another Vrat day, a nutritious meal is partaken to balance the internal physical effects of fasting on the previous day.
Specially for Pausha Putrata Ekadashi, chanting of Santana Gopala Mantra is believed to be beneficial.
Santana Gopala Mantra:
ॐ देवकी सुत गोविन्द वासुदेव जगत्पते।
देहि मे तनयं कृष्ण त्वामहं शरणं गत:
Om devaki sudha govinda vasudeva jagath pathe
dehi mey thanayam krushNa thvaam-aham sharaNam gataha
Sri Krishna, you are the son of Devaki; you are Govinda, the protector of cows; you reside in our minds as our Lord; you are the Lord of the universe;
Kindle bestow the progeny; I humbly surrender to you.
Ekadashi Vrats – Reference in Bramha Puran
As per the legend, Ekadashi Vrat is being referred in Bramha Puran as given below:
As per the legend, a Sanyasi was living in a humble abode. He used to get food through bhiksha (alms). One day, he found mud in the food. He was angry. Disgusted, he threw away the food. For wasting food, he got cursed to be born as Chandala in his next birth.
In his next birth, he was born in Avanti as Chandala. Even though born as Chandala, he was a devout Vishnu-Bhakt. He was regularly observing Ekadashi Vrats.
During Ekadashi day, he used to observe fasting for the whole day. At night, he used to visit the Vishnu temple near Kshipra river. For the whole night he used to sing in praise of Sri Vishnu.
On one of the Ekadashis, the Chandala was plucking flowers from a tree to take to Vishnu temple. At that time, a Bramha Rakshas, which was staying in the tree, caught him. It told him, “Hey Chandala, I’m hungry. I am going to eat you”.
Promise made by Chandala
The Chandala said “Oh Bramha Rakshas, I’m glad to be your food. But today is Ekadashi. Please allow me to visit Vishnu temple. I will come back tomorrow morning. You can then eat me”.
Bramha Rakshas allowed him. As promised, the Chandala came back to the Rakshas, the next day morning.
Bramha Rakshas past story
Bramha Rakshas was quite surprised and pleased to see the Chandala back. It said-
”Hey Chandala. Originally, I was born a brahmin. My name was Sharma. My father is Soma Sharma. As per the custom, one can participate in Yagna / homa only if one has Yagnopavita (Janeau / Poonal / Danjyam) through proper ceremony. However, even before having Janeau, I used to participate in Yagnas through mis-representation. This has landed me in the curse to become a Bramha Rakshas.
If you can donate a portion of your Ekadashi Vrat Punya (benefits) to me, I will become normal again”.
Chandala immediately donated two hours’ worth of his Ekadashi Vrats to the Bramha Rakshas. It became normal brahmin again. He thanked the Chandala.
The Chandala then went about Tirtha Yatra. He also realized about his previous birth as the Sanyasi.
The details of procedure to observe Saphala Ekadashi is given in the previous article.
The rest of the Ekadashi Vrats shall be dealt with in the subsequent articles of the series.