The Padma Purana

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

This page describes vijya ekadashi which is chapter 44 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the forty-fourth chapter of the Uttara-Khanda (Concluding Section) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Yudhiṣṭhira said:

1. What is the name of the Ekādaśī that would fall (i.e. falls) in the dark half of Phālguna? O Vāsudeva, favour me and tell it to me.

Śrīkṛṣṇa said:

2. Nārada asked the lotus-seated Brahma: “O best of brāhmaṇas, favour me, and tell me about the religious merit due to the observance of the Vijayā Ekādaśī that would fall (i.e. that falls) in the dark half of Phālguna.

Brahmā said:

3-12. O Nārada, listen; I shall tell (you) a great account that removes sins. I have not narrated to anyone this Vijayā-vow which is ancient, pure, and which removes sins. There is no doubt that Vijayā gives victory to the kings. Formerly, Rāma went to the forest and lived in Pañcavaṭī for fourteen years with Sītā and Lakṣmaṇa. The glorious wife, Sītā, of Rāma of a victorious nature, who lived there was kidnapped by Rāvaṇa through lustfulness. Due to that grief even Rāma was embarassed, and (while) wandering he saw Jaṭāyus who was dead. Then he, wandering in the forest, killed Kabandha. (Then) his friendship with Sugrīva took place. The forces of the monkeys came together for Rāma. Then Sītā was seen in the (Aśoka) garden of Laṅkā by Hanūmat. He gave her the token of Rāma and performed a great feat. Then again having come back to Rāma, he told him the entire (account). Then Rāma, having heard the words of Hanūmat, was pleased to (take out) a march (against Rāvaṇa) with Sugrīva’s consent. (He said to Lakṣmaṇa:) “O Saumitra, due to which religious merit this very unfathomable abode of Varuṇa (i.e. the ocean) full of aquatic animals, can be crossed? I do not see a means with which this (ocean) can be crossed easily.”

Lakṣmaṇa said:

13-18. You alone are the first god, and the ancient, best man. In this island lives the sage Bakadālbhya. O Rāghava, his hermitage is at a distance of half a yojana from this place. O son (i.e. descendant) of Raghu, there are many other brāhmaṇas also. O best king, having gone (there), ask the best sage.

Having heard these extremely good words of Lakṣmaṇa, Rāma went to see that great sage Bakadālbhya. With his head (bent down) he saluted the sage, as a god (salutes) Viṣṇu. Then hat sage having recognized that ancient best man who had entered the human body for some reason, was pleased, and said, “O Rāma what for have you come?”

Rāma said:

19-24. O brāhmaṇa, by your favour I have come along with the army to this shore of the ocean to conquer Laṅkā along with the demons. O sage, be favourable and tell me the means by which I shall cross the ocean. Now be pleased. O god, for this reason only I have come to see you.

Having heard the words of Rāma, the great sage Bakadālbhya, with his mind very much pleased, said to the lotus-eyed Rāma: “O Rāma, today you should observe the best among vows, having observed which you will be mightily victorious. Having conquered Laṅkā and the demons, you will obtain pure fame. Being concentrated in mind, observe this vow. The Vijayā Ekādaśī would fall in the dark half of the month of Phālguna.

25-35. O Rāma, by (the observance of) that vow you will get victory. You will, along with the monkeys, undoubtedly cross the ocean. O king, listen to the manner of this vow (i.e. in which the vow should be observed), which is fruitful. When the tenth day has arrived a man should cause to get fashioned a pitcher. He should place this decorated pitcher made of gold, silver, copper or clay and filled with water and with sprouts. He should put under it seven (kinds of) grains, and barley upon it. On it he should place the golden (image of) the lord Nārāyaṇa. When the eleventh day comes, he should bathe in the morning. Along with a wreath round the neck and unguents he should keep it (the pitcher) steady. He should worship it especially with betel nuts and coconuts, so also with sandal, incense, lights and various offerings of eatables. O Rāma, the day is passed in front of it with (i.e. in narrating) good tales. A wise man should also keep awake at night in front of it. For the continuous observance of the vow he should light a lamp of ghee. When the twelfth day comes, on the rise of the sun he should take the jar to the region of water and place it in a river or into a stream and should worship it duly. He should give that jar to a brāhmaṇa who has mastered the Vedas. O lord of kings, he should cause to give (i.e. he should give) the great gifts (Mahādānas) along with the jar (to a brāhmaṇa). O Rāma, observe along with the chiefs of troops carefully the vow in this manner. You will be victorious.”

36-39. Having heard like this, that Rāma did as he was told. When the son (i.e. descendant) of Raghu (i.e. Rāma) observed that vow, he became victorious. He got (back) Sītā. He conquered Laṅkā, killed Rāvaṇa in the battle. O son, those men who observe the vow in this manner, get success in this world, and get the inexhaustible other world (i.e. they live permanently in heaven). For this reason, O son, the vow of Vijayā should be observed. The greatness of Vijayā destroys all sins. A man by reciting (about) or listening (to this vow) would obtain the fruit of the performance of the Vājapeya sacrifice.

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