What is Mokshada Ekadashi & Why is it Celebrated?

Mokshada Ekadashi and celebration

You must have heard of Mokshada Ekadashi several times from the elders in your family. But did you ever wonder what is so special about this Ekadashi?

A lot of us might not be aware of the story that makes Mokshada Ekadashi special. Today we will understand the significance of Mokshada Ekadashi and why we celebrate it with immense dedication.

What is Mokshada Ekadashi?

Also celebrated as Geeta Jayanti, Mokshada Ekadashi is when Shri Krishna gave the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna before the battle between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. In a place known as Jyotisha Tirtha, Shri Krishna spoke the verses documented in the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna when he was skeptical of going into a battle against his own family.

It is also believed that Mokshada Ekadashi is the best day to gift someone a Bhagavad Gita as Shri Krishna showers his blessings on both the giver and the receiver. Hence, we encourage the exchange of Bhagavad Gitas on this auspicious day. Because not only was this the day when the Gita came to life, but also a blessed day where Shri Krishna himself bestows his mercy on us.

Mokshada Ekadashi Vrat Katha

The story behind Mokshada Ekadashi fast is an exciting one. The dialogue between Shri Krishna and King Yudhishthira tells us the story of how we came to start the Mokshada Ekadashi Vrat and how this fast was able to resolve quite a few problematic situations for Yudhishthira. Here is how the story goes about:

Maharaj Yudhishthira said to Shri Krishna, “O Lord! You are the Lord of the three worlds. The one who gives happiness to all, and the husband of the world. I greet you, O God! Remove my doubt and tell me what the name of Margashirsha Ekadashi is?

Which deity is worshiped on that day, and what is its method? Please tell me.” Lord Krishna replied, saying, “Dharmaraja, you have asked a great question. By listening to this, your fame will spread in the world. Margashirsha Shukla Ekadashi is about to destroy many sins. Its name is Mokshada Ekadashi.

mokshada ekadashi vrat katha

On this day, the God of Damodar should be worshiped with incense, a ghee lamp, fragrant flowers, and Tulsi manjaris. Now in this subject, I will tell the story from the Puranas. A king named Vaikhanas ruled in the city named Champakanagar. The Brahmins, who knew the four Vedas, lived in his kingdom. Once at night, the King had a dream that his father was in hell. He was shocked.

In the morning, he went to the learned Brahmins and narrated his dream. He said, “I have seen my father suffering in hell. He told me, O son, I am in hell. You free me from here. I have been very nervous ever since I heard these words. My mind is disturbed. I do not feel any happiness with anything in this kingdom, be it money, son, elephant, horse, etc. What should I do?”

The King said, “O Brahmin gods! Because of this sorrow, my whole body is burning. Please show me any meditation, charity, fast – a way that my father will be liberated. The life of a son who is unable to save his parents is meaningless.

A good son who saves his parents and ancestors is better than a thousand foolish sons. Just like a moon lights up the whole world, but thousands of stars cannot.” The Brahmins said, “O Rajan! Nearby here is the ashram of the Parvata sage who knows the past, the future, and the present. He will solve your problem.”

food for life

Hearing this, the King went to Muni’s ashram. In that ashram, many yogis and sages were doing penance. Parvata Muni was sitting at the same place. The King prostrated in front of the Muni.

The philosopher asked the King about the seven limbs of his kingdom. The King said, “By your kindness, all are proficient in my kingdom. But there are a lot of issues that I am facing.”

Hearing this, Parvata Muni closed his eyes and started thinking. Then he said, “Rajan! I have known your father’s misdeeds through the power of yoga. He quarreled with his wife and forcibly enjoyed her sexually during her menstrual period in his previous life.

She tried to protest and resist his advances requesting him not to interrupt her monthly period like that. Still, he did not stop or leave her alone. Because of this grievous sin, your father now has fallen into such a hellish condition of suffering.”

Then the King asked for a solution. Parvata Muni said, “O Rajan! You fast on Mokshada Ekadashi during the month of Margashirsha and resolve the virtue of that fast to your father.

With this effect, your father must be freed from hell. Hearing these words of the Muni, the King came to the palace and, according to the Muni, observed Mokshada Ekadashi’s fast with his family.

He gave the virtue of his fast to his father. As a result of this, his father got liberated, and while going to heaven, he said to the son, “O son, be your welfare.” Having said this, he went to heaven.

Then Shri Krishna tells Yudhishthira that there is no better day to fast than Mokshada Ekadashi. He says, “Whoever faithfully observes this Ekadasi fast, which is like chinta-mani (a gem that yields all desires), obtains special merit that is very hard to calculate.

For this day can elevate one from hellish life to the heavenly planets. For one who observes Ekadasi for his spiritual benefit, this elevates one to go back to Godhead, never to return to this material world.”

This is how the story of Mokshada Ekadashi Vrat goes.

What is the significance of Mokshada Ekadashi?

According to the Mahabharata, it is the day Shri Krishna gave the holy Bhagavad Gita to prince Arjuna of the Pandavas.

Arjuna did not want to go into battle with the Kauravas as he didn’t want to fight his family. That is when Shri Krishna gave him the words of wisdom in the 700-verse Bhagavad Gita.

This marked the beginning of the climactic war between the Pandavas, and the Kauravas accounted for in the Mahabharata.

This exchange of wisdom between Shri Krishna and Arjuna in the form of the Gita is also why this day is called Gita Jayanti.

Why is Mokshada Ekadashi celebrated?

Mokshada Ekadashi is very significant for the Hindus. We dedicate this day to Lord Vishnu, the sustainer of life. As per the beliefs of Hinduism, Lord Vishnu liberates us from the cycle of life and death.

We fast on this day in honor of Lord Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu. We also fast so that our deceased ancestors are relieved of their sins and bane.

We can say that Mokshada Ekadashi is celebrated so that we can come together as a family and ask for the redemption of our deceased ancestors so that they can have a peaceful afterlife.

Mokshada Ekadashi Date

Mokshada Ekadashi is on Friday, December 25, 2020, this year.

Conclusion

We often celebrate different Ekadashis, but we never really know what they mean. Today, we understood why Mokshada Ekadashi is revered and why it is a crucial Ekadashi for us in Hinduism. We hope that this has helped you learn more about Mokshada Ekadashi and strengthened your belief in the fast-held cause on this day. Come together and celebrate Mokshada Ekadashi with your family for the well being of your ancestors.