Jaya Ekadashi is a sacred Hindu annual event. Jaya Ekadashi is observed once in a year. Jaya Ekadashi marks the observing of Vrat, fasting, in dedication and devotion to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu is one of the top three Hindu deities along with Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva.
The Sanskrit word Ekadashi means the 11th day of each of the two monthly lunar fortnights. The Sanskrit number ‘Ekadash’ means eleven. There are about 24 Ekadashis in a Gregorian year. Jaya Ekadashi is observed on the 11th day, Tithi, in the Shukla Paksha moon phase, in the Hindu calendar month of Magh. Shukla Paksha is the rising-waxing phase of the moon. The Gregorian date of Jaya Ekadashi may vary every year. Jaya literally means victory.
In a mythological story about the pious Jaya Ekadashi, in the ancient times in the heavenly forests called Nandavan, a festive event was being held. Many noble persons, Sages, Saints, Lords, deities etc were present there. At that time, the talented Gandharva were singing and dancing. Among these Gandharvas - the talented singers and dancers, there was one Gandharva named Malyavan who had a very sweet melodious voice, who was also very good looking and attractive. There was also another dancer named Pushyavati among them in the same event.
In this event, Pushyavati noticed and her attention went on to Malyavan and kept looking on continuously lovingly. On this, even Malyavan lost the presence of mind and got distracted from singing. With this act, Lord Indra got very annoyed and gave a curse to them of being deprived of heaven, living a life of vampires, and getting a life of misery. On this, they fell in some dense remote area of the Himalayas, fell on a tree, and started living there. However, unknowingly, on the day-night of Magh Shukla Ekadashi, they went hungry due to the scarcity of food and kept awake the whole night.
They also died due to the bitter cold. However, unknowingly, in misery, hunger state, they had remembered and worshiped God on Magh Shukla Jaya Ekadashi. On this, Lord Vishnu relieved them of the curse and blessed them for going to heaven. Lord Indra was shocked to see them in heaven and asked how they got to heaven, but he was happy about the Jaya Ekadashi Vrat. This is a story that marks the significance of observing Jaya Ekadashi Vrat, fast.
On the occasion of Jaya Ekadashi, devotees wake up early and bathe. They clean their surrounding areas, and some prepare to perform prayer, Puja. Some pray at home while some visit Lord Vishnu temples, while some observe a Jagran by staying awake at night and worshiping Lord Vishnu. They offer items like flowers, fruits, sesame etc and light the pleasant fragrance incense sticks. Devotees also observe Jaya Ekadashi to in remembrance and peace to their deceased ancestors. Observing Jaya Ekadashi is also said to relieve, free one of any despicable ghost, vampire or curse. Worshipping Lord Vishnu on Jaya Ekadashi also brings auspiciousness in wealth and happiness.
A Mantra for Lord Vishnu is -
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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