Ekadashi Vrats – Vijaya Ekadashi

Sri Vijaya Ekadashi
Sri Vijaya Ekadashi Sri Narayana

Vijaya Ekadashi is ascribed to Sri Maha Vishnu. It occurs in the Magha month of Amanta / Phalguna month of Purnimanta Calendars.

Vijaya Ekadashi is the eleventh day from the full moon day (Krishna Paksha Ekadashi). In the year 2021, it occurs on Tuesday, the 9th of March 2021.  The duration of the Ekadashi Tithi has to be ascertained from the applicable regional calendar.

Vijaya Ekadashi – the related story

It is believed to be mentioned in Skanda Purana as the subject of conversation between Sri Brahma and Sage Narada.

As per the legend, Vijaya Ekadashi is associated with Lord Rama.

Sri Rama’s mission

Sri Rama and His army came to the point at the seashore to cross over to Srilanka. They had to go there to fight and defeat Ravan and retrieve Sri Sita Devi who was held captive.

The ocean situation

When they saw the ocean, it was full of crocodiles. They sensed it to be dangerous. Sri Rama was worried about the safety of His army during the cross-over. Seeing Sri Rama’s plight, His brother Sri Lakshmana said “Oh Ram Prabhu! Please do not worry. In the nearby Kumari island, a Sage is living; If we approach him, he may guide us as to how we can cross the ocean”.

Meeting of the Sage

Sri Rama and Sri Lakshmana reached the island and consulted the Sage. The Sage was pleased to welcome them.

After hearing their worries, the Sage said

Sri Rama, a ritual has to be followed before embarking on the sea voyage. The name of the ritual is Vijaya Ekadashi Vrat. I will tell you the procedure”.

The Sage also said “Sri Rama, If you observe the Vrat as directed, surely you will attain victory in all your endeavours”.

Vijaya Ekadashi – procedure for the Dashami (previous) day

The Sage said,

Sri Rama, make a pot or kalash in gold or silver or copper or mud. Fill it up with pure water. Decorate it with mango leaves.

Place seven types of grains in the holy alter or puja sthaan in your abode. On the grains, place the water filled decorated pot.

On the top of the pot, put a concave shaped lid. In the lid, put some barley, coconut and pomegranate. On the top, keep the small statue or vigraha of Sri Narayana.

Light lamps and dhup. Offer some food as Neivedyam. Sit near the puja place for the whole night without sleeping”.

Procedure on Vijaya Ekadashi day

The Sage continued,

Sri Rama, on the next day, take a holy dip and do puja to the kalash.

Light lamps and dhup. Apply Chandan and flower garlands to the kalash. Offer simple food as Neivedyam. Do not partake any food on the day. Keep doing prayers for the whole day. Do not sleep at night”.

Procedure on Dwadashi (next) day

The Sage concluded,

Sri Rama, on Dwadashi day, complete your morning bath and puja. Take the Kalash alongwith the grains with you. At the bank of either a river or a pond, donate the Kalash to a brahmin who is well versed in Vedas. This constitutes the completion of the Vrat.

The observation of this Vrat shall help you to not only cross the ocean, but also to conquer and defeat Ravan”.

Sri Rama had listened to the procedure narrated by the Sage. He then proceeded to do the same.

Vijaya Ekadashi – other names

-Pankodhar Ekadashi.

-Phalguna Krishna Ekadashi

Vijaya Ekadashi – rituals and beliefs

The general rituals followed for Ekadashi Vrats is 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.

However, the rituals specific to Vijaya Ekadashi are also to be followed as mentioned in the story.

It is believed that

-offering seven anjeer / fig fruit as Neivedyam to Sri Narayana may bring success in all ventures;
-lighting eleven lamps with ghee and kesar may fulfill wishes related to work and the family; and
-offering roti smeared with honey to Sri Hari as Neivedyam may alleviate the effects of bad luck; It may bring auspiciousness in life.

Vijaya Ekadashi – possible benefits

-Removal of sins of past and present births
-Success in all endeavours
Even listening to the merits of Vijaya Ekadashi bestows the same benefits as observing the Vrat.
Importance should be given to the sincere prayers to Sri Maha Vishnu.

The rituals pertaining to Saphala Ekadashi, Pausha Putrata Ekadashi, Shat Tila Ekadashi and Bhishma Ekadashi are narrated in the respective articles.

The rest of the Ekadashi Vrats shall be dealt with in the subsequent articles of the series.

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