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ShatTila Ekadashi - Monday 27th January

Posh Vad Ekadashi: ShatTila Ekadashi

Dalamya Rishi asked, "O Brahmin! Please tell me how can a sinner who commit grave sins such as killing a Brahmin or robbing his wealth and adultery escape from the punishments of hell. Please tell me what donation - even a miniscule amount can redeem one from such grave sins."

Paulstya Rishi replied, "O fortunate one! You have asked me a profound question. I will reveal its secret, which even Brahma has not revealed to Devtas. One should have a purifying bath in the morning on a day of the month of Posh when Pushya Nakshatra reigns. He should calm his mind by forsaking anger, ego and other vices and suppressing all desires. He should wash his feet and gather cow dung and mix it with sesame seeds and cotton seeds and make cow dung cakes. He should have Bhagwan Narayan's memory in his heart while doing this. On a night of the dark fortnight of Posh when the moon is in PurvaAshadha or Pushya Nakshatra, he should offer 108 offerings of these cow dung cakes in the sacred fire. He should take a vow to observe ShatTila Ekadashi a day prior to Ekadashi. He should wake up early and conclude his daily rituals such as Snaan and worship Bhagwan Narayan with sandalwood paste, camphor and sesame seeds. He should observe fast for the day and undertake Jagran at the night following Homa. He should offer Khichdi as Naivedhya and bananas and coconut as Arghya. One may offer beetle nuts in the absence of aforementioned fruits. He should pray to Bhagwan, 'O Shree Krishna! O merciful! You are my only sustainer. I bow down to You. O master of the universes! Please accept my offerings to You and Your consort Laxmi.' O Rishi! He should venerate a pious Brahmin and offer him a water pitcher with a gold coin in it, a pair of slippers or shoes, a cow and a bronze pot full of sesame seeds. He should give all these with the sole purpose of pleasing Bhagwan Shree Krishna. White sesame seeds mixed in water should be used for bathing and preparing food and black sesame seeds should be given to a Brahmin.

Using sesame seeds in these six ways : Massage body with sesame seeds, bath with water laced with sesame seeds, offer sesame seeds in sacred fire, drink water laced with sesame seeds, eat sesame seeds and donate sesame seeds; washes away all sins. (Therefore, this Ekadashi is called Shat (six) Tila (sesame seeds)"

Dalamya Rishi asked, "O Brahmin! Please narrate me the significance of Vrat of ShatTila Ekadashi." Paulstya Rishi narrated the fable he had heard in form of a dialogue between Bhagwan Shree Krishna and Sage Narad.

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Jaya Ekadashi - Monday 10th February

Jaya Ekadashi - Maha Sud Ekadashi

Dharmaraj Yudhishthir said to Bhagwan, "O Krishna! You are the creator, sustainer and destroyer of everything. Please tell me the name of Ekadashi that falls in the Sud fortnight of month of Maha."

Shree Krishna replied, "O Yudhishthir! This Ekadashi is called Jaya Ekadashi. Listen attentively to its significance and greatness. Whoever observes Vrat of this Ekadashi will have all his desires and also attains Moksha. A man never has to become a ghost or indeed an evil spirit is released from that life after observing the Vrat of this holy Ekadashi. Let Me cite an example from Padma Puran which details the reward one earns for observing the Vrat of Jaya Ekadashi."

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Vijya Ekadashi - Wednesday 26th February

Vijya Ekadashi - Maha Vad Ekadashi

King Yudhishthir asked, "O merciful Lord Vaasudev! What is the name of the Ekadashi that falls on the dark fortnight of month of Magh? What is its significance?"

 Bhagwan Shree Krishna replied, "O king! This Ekadashi is called Vijya Ekadashi and as the name suggests, anyone undertaking the Vrat of this Ekadashi becomes victorious. Once, Sage Narad approached Brahma and asked him to narrate to him the Mahatmya of Vijya Ekadashi. Brahma said, 'O Son! This Vrat is very ancient, holy and dispeller of all evils. I have not revealed its secret to anybody as yet. Anyone observing this Vrat can easily annihilate his enemies and become victorious in a battle. This Vrat instils new confidence in a disheartened man."

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Maha Shivratri - Thursday 27th February

Shivratri: Maha Vad Chaudash

Shiva is one element of the holy triumvirate along with Brahma and Vishnu. Brahma creates, Vishnu sustains while Shiva destroys the universe. All three remain constant as long as the cosmos exists. In that sense, Shivratri is not his birthday as such. The legend has it that the great Asp Shesha, on whose head the universe is held steady, felt lonely on his own. Therefore, Visnu and Shiva agreed to give him company in turn for six months each. When Shivji stays with Shesha for six months, the underground water turns warmer than the surface water. It is on Shivratri i.e. Maha Vad Chaudash that Shiva comes back to earth from netherworld. Hindus undertake special veneration to welcome Him back among them.

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