According to the Hindu Calendar Ekadashi is the technically the eleventh day of a fortnight and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. There are two Ekadashis in the month of Magha and are called Jaya Ekadashi and Vijaya Ekadashi
What is Jaya Ekadashi to be exact?
Jaya Ekadashi is also known as BHisma Ekadashi or Bhoumi Ekadashi and is considered of extreme importance by the devout devotees of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.
Ekadashi as mentioned earlier is generally associated with the worship of Lord Vishnu, but in case of Jaya Ekadashi, because it falls in the month of Magha or January or February by the Gregorian calendar; it is considered to be extremely auspicious in terms of worshipping Lord Shiva.
What is the legend behind Jaya Ekadashi?
The legend and significance of Jaya Ekadashi was explained in by Lord Krishna to the eldest Pandava, Yudhistira and also finds a mention in the Padma PUrana and the Bhavisyothara Purana. According to the legend, when the soul of BHisma, left his body after Uttarayana, it went to heaven on the day of Jaya Ekadashi. Before he left for the heavenly abode, lying on his bed of arrows, he revealed the Vishnu Stothram to the Pandavas. While he disclosed this extremely powerful stotram, Krishna, manifestation of Lord Vishnu; was present there. Thus Jaya Ekadashi started being celebrated with great devotion and effort. The devotee who observes this with utmost intention attains freedom from the cycle of birth and rebirth.
How to do the rituals on Jaya Ekadashi?
Fasting on Jaya Ekadashi yields wonderful results. It is sadi that fasting on this day ensures the devotee of a place in Vaikuntha or the abode of Vishnu. Thus one should take a bath in the early mornings on the day of the Jaya Ekadashi, and offer prayers to Lord Shiva and Vishnu. Non Vegetarian food, alcohol, beans, spices, grains and cereals are to be avoided on this day. While breaking fast in the evening, the devotee should chant the Shiva and the Narayana Aarti stotram. Ekadashi fasting for the days, ekadashi and the next day is suggested for stauch devout devotees who are dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is said that the listener of the Jaya Ekadashi Vrat katha too attains blessings and merits gained from performing an agni (fire) sacrifice.
According to the Skanda Purana, Lord Krishna said –
I might let you know about Jaya Ekadashi. This Ekadashi decimates a wide range of evil responses and demoniac impacts that might be influencing the soul. It is known as Jaya Ekadashi, and the lucky soul who watches this holy day is assuaged of the immense weight of unholy presence. Subsequently there is no preferred Ekadashi over this, for it really presents opportunity from conception and demise. It is to be regarded deliberately and determinedly. Thus one ought to entirely watch a quick on the consecrated day of Lord Hari, particularly on this Jaya Ekadashi. Any soul who watches this with full confidence and dedication has as a result given a wide range of philanthropy, performed a wide range of penance, and washed in all the Holy places of journey.
Thus, whoever observes the Jaya Ekadashi religiously achieves immense success in the present life and the coming ones.