Yudhisthira Maharaj said, “Oh Lord Sri Krishna, O glorious son of Vasudeva, please be merciful to me and describe the Ekadasii that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Phalguna (February-March)”
Lord Sri Krishna replied, “Oh Yudhisthira, Oh king of kings, gladly I shall tell you about this great fast, known as Vijaya Ekadasii. Whoever observes it certainly achieves success in this life and the next. All the sins of one who fasts on this Ekadasii and hears its sublime glories are eradicated.
“Narada Muni once asked lord Brahma, who sits on a lotus flower about the Vijaya Ekadasii. Sri Narada said, ‘Oh best of all the demigods, kindly tell me the merit one can achieve by faithfully observing Vijaya Ekadasii.’
“Narada’s great father then replied, ‘My dear son, this oldest of fasting days is pure, and it nullifies all sins. I have never revealed this to anyone until today, but you can understand beyond any doubt that this Ekadasii bestows the result indicated by its name… (Vijaya meaning Victory).
“When Lord Rama was exiled to the forest for fourteen years, He, the goddess Sita, and His divine brother Lakshmana stayed at Panchavati as mendicants. Mother Sita was then kidnapped by the demon Ravana, and Lord Rama seemingly became bewildered like an ordinary man by distress. While searching for His beloved consort, the Lord came upon the dying Jatayu and thereafter killed His enemy Kabandha.. The great devotee-vulture Jatayu returned to Vaikuntha after telling Rama how His dear Sita had been abducted by Ravana.
“ ‘Later, Lord Rama and Sugriva, the king of the monkeys, became friends. Together they amassed a grand army of monkeys and bears and sent HanumAnji his minister to Sri LankA, where he was able to see Janaki (Srimati Sita devi) in an Ashoka grove garden. He delivered Lord Rama’s message and showed the ring proving his authenticity for rendering such great service to the Supreme Lord Sri Rama.“ ‘With the help of Sugriva, Lord Rama proceeded toward Sri Lanka. Upon arriving at the shore of the ocean with the army of monkeys, He could understand that the water was uncommonly deep and hostile. Thus He said to Lakshmana, “Oh son of Sumitra, how can We earn enough merit to be able to cross this vast ocean, the unfathomable abode of Varuna deva? I can see no easy way to cross it, teeming as it is with sharks and other ferocious aquatics.”
“ ‘Lakshmana replied, “Oh best of all beings, Oh origin of all the devas, Oh primal personality, the great sage Bakad Albhya lives on an island just four miles from here. Oh Raghava, he has seen many BrahmAs come and go, so aged and wise is he. Let us go to him, take his darshan (audience) and ask him how We can safely reach Our goal.”
“ ‘So Rama and Lakshmana proceeded to the humble Ashrama of the incomparable Bakad Albhya Muni. Approaching him, the two Lords paid Their respectful obeisances to him as if he were a second Vishnu. Bakad Albhya could immediately understand, however, that Sri Rama was actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who for His own reasons had appeared on the Earth and was enacting just like a human being…
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