Mokshada Ekadashi or Vaikuntha Ekadashi, an auspicious day for Hindus, is also observed as ‘Gita Jayanti’ on the Ekadashi tithi or the 11th day of Shukla Paksha (the waxing phase of moon) during the lunar month of Margashirsha (Agrahayana) as per the Hindu calendar. The legend about Mokshada Ekadashi is narrated by the Lord Krishna to the Pandava King Yudhishthira in the Brahmanda Purana. It is also believed that on this day, Lord Krishna revealed the essence of the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. The legend associated with Mokshada Ekadashi is narrated below.
Once upon a time there was a king named Vaikhanasa in Champak Nagar. He was endowed with Vaishnava qualities. Many learned Brahmins lived in his kingdom. He loved his subjects very much. His subjects were all prosperous. One day he dreamed that his late father had fallen into hell and was suffering there. He told his dream to the Brahmins of his kingdom and said that he was in great distress mentally seeing his father’s suffering in Naraka (hell). Then the king asked the Brahmins of the kingdom to find a way to free his ancestors from sufferings.
Then the Brahmins advised the king to go to the ashram of Parbvata Muni. The Brahmins further told the king that only that great sage could tell the way to the liberation of his ancestors.
Hearing the advice of the Brahmins, King Vaikhanasa went with them to the ashram of Parbatha Muni. They bowed to Muni from a distance and approached him. Muni then asked the king about his well-being. Then the king told him (Muni) the details of his (king)dream and wanted to know the way to save his(king) father from the sufferings of Naraka (hell). Muni then meditated and told the king that his father was suffering in Naraka (hell) as a result of his previous sins. Muni also told the king that if he observed Mokshada Ekadashi occured during the lunar month of ‘Margashira’, and offered its virtue to his father, his father would be freed from the sufferings of Naraka (hell).
After hearing Muni’s words, the king returned to his house. Then on the auspicious date of Mokshada Ekadashi, he observed Ekadashi vrat with his wife and son and he offered its virtue to his father. As a result, the king’s father was released from the sufferings of Naraka (hell) and went to Heaven.
Mokshada Ekadashi is very significant to Sanatan Hindu devotees. On this day, devotees worship Lord Vishnu who is considered to be the supreme power, to liberate them from the cycle of birth and death and attain Moksha (salvation).