(9) PAPAMOCHANI EKADASI (or) CHAITRA-KRISHNA EKADASI
(From the Bhavishya-uttara Purana)
Sri Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “Oh Supreme Lord, I have heard from You the explanation of Amalakii Ekadasii which occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Phalguna (February-March), and now I wish to hear about the Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Chaitra (March-April). What is its name, Oh Lord, and what results can one attain by observing it?”
The Supreme Lord, Lord Sri Krishna, replied, O best of kings, for the benefit of everyone I shall gladly describe to you the glories of this Ekadasi, which is known as Papamochanii. The history
of this Ekadasi was once narrated to the Emperor Mandhata by Lomasa Rishi. The reply he gave is what I am going to tell you.
Lomasa Rishi replied, O King, The Ekadasi that occurs during the dark part of the month of Chaitra is named Papamochanii Ekadasi.
For the faithful devotee it removes the influences of all sins. Purifies one’s life of all sinful reactions, and makes a person perfectly virtuous.
Now please listen to the historical account concerning this Ekadasi .
In old times Kuber had a garden named Chitraratha. There the daughters of the Gandharvas (heavenly musicians) and Kinnaras lived. There were different types of flowers blooming in this garden and many sages were also present, performing their austerities and penances. The demigods particularly enjoyed visiting this celestial garden during the months of Chaitra and Vaisakha (April-May). Lord Indra himself, the king of heaven, was enjoying a visit there.
A great sage named Medhavi resided in that forest. He was a devotee of Lord Shiva. One day one Apsara in particular, Manjughosha, contrived many ways to allure the exalted Muni, but
out of great respect for the sage and feat of his power, which he had attained after years and years of ascetics, she would not come very close to him. At a spot far from the sage, she sat and began singing very sweetly as she played a (Veena) tamboura. Cupid himself became excited when he saw and heard her perform so nicely and smelled the fragrance of her sandal-paste . He remembered his own unfortunate experience with Lord Shiva and decided to take revenge by seducing Medhavi.
Using the eyebrows of Manjughosha as a bow, her glances as a bowstring, her eyes as arrows, and her breasts as a target, Cupid approached Medhavi in order to tempt him to break his trance and his vows. In other words, Cupid engaged Manjughosha as his assistant, and when she looked at that powerful and attractive young sage, she also became agitated by lust. Seeing that he was
highly intelligent and learned, wearing a clean white Brahmana’s thread draped across his shoulder, holding a sannyasi’s staff, and sitting handsomely in the ashram.
She began to sing seductively, and the small bells of her belt and around her ankles, together with the bangles on her wrists, produced a delightful musical symphony. The sage Medhavi was
enchanted. He understood that this beautiful young woman desired union with him, and at that instant Cupid increased his attraction for Manjughosha by releasing his powerful weapons of taste, touch, sight, smell, and sound.
Slowly Manjughosha approached Medhavi, her bodily movements and sweet glances attracting him. She gracefully put her tamboura down and embraced the sage with her two arms, just as a creeper winds itself around a strong tree. Captivated, Medhavi gave up his meditation and decided to sport with her – and instantly his purity of heart and mind abandoned him. Forgetting even the difference between night and day, he went away with her to sport for a long, long time.
Seeing that the young yogi’s sanctity had become seriously eroded, Manjughosha decided to abandon him and return home.
She said. “O great one, please permit me to return home.”
Medhavi replied, “But you have only just arrived, O beautiful one. Please stay with me at least until tomorrow.”
Fearful of the sage’s yogic power, Manjughosha stayed with Medhavi for precisely fifty-seven years, nine months, and three days, but to Medhavi all this time seemed like a moment. Again she asked him,
“Please permit me to leave.”
Medhavi replied, “O dear one, listen to me. Stay with me for one more night, and then you may leave tomorrow morning.”
Manjughosha was still fearful of the sage’s great yogic power, but she forced a smile and said, “How long will it take you to finish your morning hymns and rituals? Please be merciful and think of all the time you have already spent with me.
The sage reflected on the years he had been with Manjughosha and then said with great astonishment.
Why, I have spent more than fifty-seven years with you! His eyes turned red and began to emanate sparks. He now regarded Manjughosha as death personified and the destroyer of his spiritual life. You bad woman! You have turned all the hard-earned results of my austerities to ashes!
Trembling with anger, he cursed Manjughosha, Oh sinful one, Oh hard-hearted, degraded one! You know only sin! May all terrible fortune by yours! Oh rascal woman, I curse you to become an evil hobgoblin – pishacha (hobgoblin)!
Cursed by the sage Medhavi, the beautiful Manjughosha humbly beseeched him, “Oh best of the Brahmanas, please be merciful to me and revoke your curse! I have been with you for fifty-seven years, Oh master, so please be kind to me!
Medhavi Muni replied, Oh gentle lady what can I possibly do? You have destroyed all my austerities. But even though you have done this sinful deed, I shall tell you a way you can be released from my wrath. In the dark fortnight of the month of Chaitra there is an allauspicious
Ekadasi that removes all one’s sins. Its name is Papamochanii, Oh beautiful one, and whoever fasts on this sacred day becomes completely freed from having to take birth in any kind of devilish form.
With these words, the sage left at once for his father’s Ashram.
Seeing him enter the hermitage, Chyavana Muni said, “Oh son, by acting unlawfully you have squandered the wealth of your penance and austerities.”
Medhavi replied, Oh Father, kindly reveal what atonement I must perform to remove the obnoxious sin I have incurred by privately associating with the dancing girl Manjughosha.
Chyavana Muni answered, Dear son, you must fast on Papamochanii Ekadasi, which occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Chaitra. It eradicates all sins, no matter how grievous they may be.
Medhavi followed his father’s advice and fasted on Papamochanii Ekadasi. Thus all his sins were destroyed and he again became filled with excellent merit. Similarly. Manjughosha observed the same fast and became free of the hobgoblin curse. Ascending once again to the heavenly spheres, she too returned to her former position.
Lomasha Rishi continued, Thus, Oh king, the great benefit of fasting on Papamochanii Ekadasi is that whoever does so with faith and devotion will have all his sins completely destroyed.
Whoever reads or hears about Papamochanii Ekadasi obtains the very same merit he would get if he donated a thousand cows in charity, and he also nullifies the sinful reactions he may have
incurred by killing a Brahman, killing an embryo through abortion, drinking liquor, or having sex with his guru’s wife, etc. all such sins are destroyed and heaven is attained.
(1) EKADASI RECEIPS – THE FOODS TO BE PREPARED ON EKADASI CAN BE READ HERE
(2) THE LIST AND LINKS OF 26 EKADASIS IN SEQUENCE CAN BE READ HERE
(3) How to offer worship and prayers on Ekadasi? Read Here.
(4) A-Z Tips on Ekadasi Fasting with practical considerations can be read here.