Fasting on Papamochani Ekadashi absolves all your sins

03 Apr 2017

Papamochani Ekadashi 2017 is on March 24
The 11th day of the waning moon in the Chaitra month is celebrated as Papamochani Ekadashi, as per the North Indian Hindu calendar. This is the last of the 24 Ekadashis of the year. It is celebrated as per the South Indian calendar, in the Krishna Paksha of Phalguna month, but it falls on the same day in both calendars. This year the date of Papamochani Ekadashi is 24th of March.

The two words Paap and Mochani combine to form the word Papamochani, the former meaning 'sin' and the latter meaning the 'remover' of sin. It is considered very auspicious to observe a fast on Papamochani Ekadashi, and devotees who follow this are forgiven all their sins. It is Lord Vishnu who is worshiped on this Ekadashi.

Method of fasting on Papamochani Ekadashi
Devotees observe a full day fast on Papamochani Ekadashi day. They pray to Lord Vishnu, chant mantras and sing songs or bhajans in praise of Lord Vishnu. In temples, gatherings are held where sermons are given on the Bhagwat Gita. It is believed that chanting while fasting forms a shield around a devotee's body.

The Papamochani Ekadashi Vrat Katha
This Papamochani Ekadashi Katha is outlined in the Bhavishya Uttara Purana as dialogues between Lord Krishna and King Yudhishtira. According to the story, there was a sage called Medhavi who was a big devotee of Lord Shiva. This sage used to do tapasya (meditation) in the forest of Chaitraratha, which was full of beautiful and fragrant flowers. Indra and the apsaras visited the forest frequently. The apsaras tried many times to seduce the young Medhavi, but never succeeded. One of the apsaras, called Manjughosa, tried several ways to seduce this sage but she could not even come close to him due to the power of his tapasya.

Papamochani Ekadashi Mahatmya
Eventually Manjughosa decided to make a tent a few miles away from the sage and then started to sing, which even got Kamdev (Cupid) excited. Everytime Manjughosha looked at the young and attractive body of the sage, she herself got restless with lust. Finally Manughosha managed to reach close to Medhavi and embraced him, which broke the sage's tapasya. Whereupon, the sage lost himself completely in the charms of Manjughosha and was trapped. He lost his purity immediately. He even forgot the difference between day and night.

Medhavi kept the sage entrapped in her charms for for 57 years, after which she lost interest in him and decided to leave. When she told Medhavi of her wish to go away, the sage came back to his senses and realized how the apsara had kept him trapped for 57 years.

Significance of Papamochani Ekadashi
Enraged, the sage cursed the apsara to become an ugly witch. Feeling very sad, Medhavi went back to his father Sage Chyavana’s ashram and recounted the whole Papamochani Ekadashi Katha. Sage Chyavana asked both Medhavi and Manjughosha to observe the Papamochani Ekadashi vrat and pray to Lord Vishnu with full devotion. He assured them that all their sins will be thus removed.

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