Lord Vishnu is one of the most significant Gods worshipped by the Hindus during Magha Maas that falls between January-February every year. People take dips during early mornings in the holy river of Ganga during these months, and especially on Magha Purnima. It is believed that Lord Vishnu resides in this holy river during this auspicious time and blesses all those who bathe there to get rid of their sins. After Magha Purnima comes Vijaya Ekadashi, another auspicious day when Lord Vishnu is worshipped. Vijaya Ekadashi as known in North India is known as Pankoddhar Ekadashi in Orissa, Mukkoti Ekadashi in Andhra Pradesh, and Baikuntha Ekadashi in South India.
Vijaya Ekadashi falls on the day of the waning phase of the moon in Krishna Paksha; and this year it is to fall on 22nd
February. Millions of Hindus fast on this day to please Lord Vishnu. It is believed that those who perform Vijaya Ekadashi can overcome their fears and conquer their senses. It strengthens individuals to overcome any kinds of difficulties. It is also believed that those who fast on this day are blessed to enter Vishnulok
– the abode of Lord Vishnu.
Legend of Vijaya Ekadashi
It is believed that Lord Rama, before marching towards Lanka with his 'vaanar sena
', observed this Vijaya Ekadashi fast. When Lord Rama could see no means to cross the mighty ocean to reach Lanka, he began praying and decided to observe fast, as advised by sage Bakadalabhya. The sage also told Lord Rama that his fast would be a source of inspiration for millions of Vishnu devotees, and that his victory will be for sure. Also, in Skanda Purana, Lord Brahma narrated to sage Narada the importance of fasting and praying on Vijaya Ekadashi.
How to perform Vijaya Ekadashi?
Vijaya Ekadashi is to be strictly followed for 24 hours. Devotees are advised to take bath with coconut oil and turmeric. People take bath in the holy rivers of Ganga, Yamuna, Padma and Mahanadi early morning on this day to begin their fast. Fasting on Vijaya Ekadashi is equivalent to fasting on the other 23 Ekadashis of the Hindu calendar. This fasting liberates an individual from the cycle of birth and death. Due to this, it is also known as Mokshadeyi Ekadashi. Devotees chant the Gayatri Mantra
and offer prayers to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi. Lamps of ghee are lit. The Vishnu Sahashranama
is recited. Fasting includes abstinence from evil actions, bad thoughts and worldly pursuits. Brahmins are offered food and alms to get rid of past sins. Devotees who observe this fast are only allowed to consume fruits, nuts and milk on this day. Also, chick peas and jaggery are allowed. The fast is broken at dawn by consuming cereal and jaggery.
Vijaya Ekadashi ensures purity of mind, body and soul in various ways. If you are looking for such kind of peace and purity in life, you must also perform this fasting and prayer. Not only Lord Vishnu, but whichever God and Goddess you worship and whichever kind of Puja you are looking for, you can always rely on MakeMyPuja to help you with any kind of assistance. You can also hire MakeMyPuja Pandits to help you perform all sorts of Pujas in the most appropriate manner to help bring the best outcomes.