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Pausha Putrata Ekadashi
Pausha Putrata Ekadashi is ascribed to Sri Maha Vishnu. It is observed on the eleventh day of Shukla Paksha of Pausha month.(December – January)
“Putrata” means “bestower of progeny”. Hence this Vrat is observed for seeking progeny from Sri Maha Vishnu.
The details of procedure to observe Ekadashi Vrats was dealt with in the previous article about Saphala Ekadashi.
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.
Ghee / oil lamps are to be lighted near the pictures of Sri Maha Vishnu in the puja place at homes. Simple prasadams are to be offered in Neivedyam. Vishnu slokas can be chanted.
Praying to Sri Maha Vishnu with tulsi leaves and observing fasting on this day are said to be beneficial. Normally, fasting is observed for the day.
Some people partake only fruits while some take the prasadam made for Neivedyam. Some
people have food for one time only.
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 rest of the Vrats shall be dealt with in the subsequent articles of the series.