Papmochani Ekadashi falls between the auspicious occasions of Holika Dahan and Chaitra Navaratri and the day itself is supremely blessed with the important blessings of Lord Vishnu.
Papmochani Ekadashi occurs during the waning phase of the moon in the month of Chaitra, according to the traditional Hindu calendar or March April according to the Gregorian calendar. This Ekadashi is the last one amongst all the twenty four ekadashi fastings.
It is an absolute miracle that this vrat day falls on the very same day according to North Indian and South Indian traditional calendars. The Papmochini Ekadashi will fall on the 31st of March, 2019.
- Meaning of the word Papmochani
The meaning of the word Papmochani is fairly simple. Pap means sin and mochini signifies eradication or wiping it off. Thus Papmochani means eradication or the wiping off sins. Therefore, Papmochani Ekadashi eradicates sins from one’s life.
- Legend behind the Papmochani Ekadashi
It is believed that the significance of the Papmochani Ekadashi was related to Yudhisthirs by Lord Kishna, and finds a mention in the Bhavisyottara Purana. The legend behind the Papmochani Ekadashi is one of love, lust and realization. Long time ago there used to be a sage called Medhavi residing and doing his prayers in the forest of Chaitaratha. He was a great devotee of Lord Shiva and did his meditation in the beautiful forest. The forest being beautiful was fairly frequented by apsaras from the heaven.
Many of them tried deviating Madhavi from his meditation, but to no avail. However, a beautiful apsara called Manjughosha one day, overcame with lust on seeing the handsome sage deep in meditation started singing beautifully. The song somehow reached Medhavi’s ears. Manjughosha too went upto the sage and embraced him. Medhavi’s meditation broke off and he became enamored by the beautiful and seductive Manjughosha and married her.
They happily stayed married together for 57 years, when Manjughosha finally wanted to leave Medhavi and go back to the Devalok. Medhavi had by this time forgotten all about his meditation, but hearing Manjughosha’s decision of going back to Devalok he remembered everything. Enraged at having been tricked into leaving his meditation; Medhavi cursed manjughosha to become an ugly witch and went to visit his father, the sage Chyavana. Chyavana, advised Medhavi to observe the Papmochani Ekadashito eradicate all his sins. Medhavi observed the vrat with complete devotion and Lord Vishnu absolved him from all his sins. Chyavan advised the same to Manjughosha who too managed to eradicate all her sins by following the Papmochani Ekadashi devoutly. Since then Papmochani Ekadashi has become an important religious ritual to be followed.
- Rules to follow the Papmochani Ekadashi
The system or the rules of observing this fast and the ritual is clearly mentioned in the Harivasara. The rituals of the fast are to be carried out from a day prior, ie from Dashami. Only satwik food items are consumed by the devotees. A spiritual bath is taken by the devotee and then puja to Lord Vishnu is observed by flowers, Prasad, incense sticks and by cooking a sacred feast or bhog to be offered to Lord Vishnu. Various temples organize special puja on the Papmochani Ekadashi and there are readings from the Gita or chanting of the Krishna Mantra. It is believed that chanting mantras and fasting gives the devotees an extra immunity by building a protective layer around his body. The devotee may break off his fast the next day, which is on the dwadashi morning.