Papamochani Ekadashi 2017 falls on March 24, Friday. Papamochani or Papavimochani Ekadashi, as the name implies takes away all the effects of sins in one’s life and purifies his soul. It occurs in the month of Chaitra (March-April) during the dark fortnight of the Moon. The history of this Ekadasi was once narrated to the Emperor Mandhata (Emperor Mandhata is said to be an ancestor of kolis in the lineage of suryavamsi rulers long before Sri Rama and Dasharadha) .by Lomasa Rishi. (Lomasa Samhita is a text written by Lomasa Rishi, the Ajivaka sage, who lived before Asoka's period)
Ekadashi is the most sacred fasting observed in reverence of Maha Vishnu twice a month on the 11Th day from No Moon and Full Moon days. This fasting takes one to moksha and frees him from sins.
Papavimochani Ekadashi observance removes the influence of demons and ghosts in one’s life, grants eight perfections in life, purifies the soul and rids a person of his sins, fulfils all his desires and makes a person virtuous.
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This is related to a story of Chitraratha, the chief musician among Gandharvas. He came with dancing girls, Kinnaras and Gandharvas to a garden which was very beautiful. Indra also came there and there were many sages residing there, performing their austerities and ascetic activities. The demigods used to visit this garden often especially in the month of Chaitra andVaisakha.
Among the dancing girls, one was Manjughosha, an apsara, who wanted to attract Medhavi, a sage residing in the place. He was perseverant in his penance without giving room for deviation. Being afraid of his powers and having respect for his penance, Manjughosha stayed 2 miles away from him, singing melodiously with a tamboura. On seeing her beauty and listening to her melody, Cupid (Kamadeva) decided to help her in winning the attention of Medhavi.
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Manjughosha came near the sage and Kamadeva sent his arrow through her eyes upon the sage. The sage felt attracted, left his penance and started living happily with her. Time went on and he spent time with her for almost fifty-eight years. When she wanted to return, the sage asked her to stay for some more time upon which she pointed out that she had already stayed with him for 57 years.
Realizing his mistake that he had gone astray from his penance, Medhavi cursed Manjughosha that she would turn to be a hobgoblin (ghost) for enchanting him and deviating him from the path of penance. She, in turn, pleaded for his mercy and asked him to revoke his course. That way, Medhavi suggested that she should observe Papamochani Ekadashi that falls in the month of Chaitra during dark lunar fortnight. This way she would get rid of her curse of being a hobgoblin. She observed Papamochani Ekadashi and got rid of her curse and went back to her world.
When Medhavi entered the ashram of his father Chyavana Rishi, he was forbidden by his father since he had gone astray from his penance. When he asked how to get rid of the sin committed by him, he was advised by his father to observe Papamochani Ekadashi and get rid of his sin. The sage did it and got rid of his sin.
Papamochani Ekadashi observers will get the benefit equivalent to donating a thousand cows and also will get rid of the negative effect of the sins like drinking liquor, killing an embryo and killing a Brahman.
Let us observe Papmochani Ekadashi to get rid of our sins and become virtuous in life.