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Ekadasi Devi Puja. -

Radharaman - Mon, 10 May 2004 19:06:37 +0530
A good friend has stopped observing Ekadasi because he read that after every eleven Ekadasi's one has to perform a puja, failure to do this he says leads to a very heavy result.
I've told him that the text he read probably belongs to the karma kanda section of the veda's, but to no avail. Can anyone supply quotes that show that for Vaishnava's fasting is enough and that this puja does'nt need to be done?.
Madhava - Mon, 10 May 2004 19:12:06 +0530
If a person does not wish to observe Ekadasi, I don't think any amount of quotes will do the trick.

Has your friend read any of those quotes describing the results of not observing Ekadasi to begin with?

Whatever the case, it was the request of Mahaprabhu that Ekadasi be followed. Is that not enough for an argument?
Radharaman - Thu, 13 May 2004 22:17:28 +0530
He has indeed, I guess you are right.
sadhaka108 - Sun, 16 May 2004 09:06:56 +0530

Chapter 18

Sri Ekadasi

ONE DAY, LORD GAURAHARI went from Gundica mandira to the Jagannatha-vallabha gardens and sat amongst the flowers. The day was ekadasi. He celebrated this auspicious occasion by chanting the holy name incessantly, day and night. Present with Him were Svarupa Damodara, Ramananda Raya, Vakresvara Pandita and the other resident Vaisnavas of Sri Purusottama-ksetra, Puri.

The Lord said, "Today, all of you should refrain from eating and sleeping, and constantly chant Krsna's name. Some of you should chant japa, some of you should circumambulate the temple with prostrated obeisances and others should discuss the pastimes of Lord Balarama and Lord Krsna." Everyone became spiritually surcharged by the Lord' instructions and busied themselves with different activities, chanting, "Govinda, Govinda!" They felt intoxicated with prema.

Suddenly, Sri Gopinatha arrived from Gundica, accompanied by Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. They were laden with Lord Jagannatha's maha-prasadam! They placed the prasadam of cooked rice, a variety of vegetables, pitha, pana, sweet rice, curd and yoghurt before the Lord. At the Lord's bidding, devotees offered respectful obeisances to the prasadam and then continued chanting the Lord's name deep into the night in an ecstatic mood of devotion , free from all material desires.

Early next morning, the devotees, begged permission from Sri Gaurahari and, went to take bath. On returning, they sat down and respectfully honoured maha-prasadam, breaking their ekadasi fast. They experienced ineffable bliss, and falling to the ground they offered obeisances to the Lord and spoke to Him in great earnestness with folded hands:

Ekadasi in Puri

"Sri Harivasara ekadasi, is considered to be the most important vrata vow of fasting. It is to be observed by maintaining complete fast and without sleeping at night. We also know that Lord Jagannatha's maha-prasadam must be respected at all times in Purusottama-ksetra. It should be honoured by eating it immediately upon receiving it. Therefore, we find ourselves in a dilemma as to how to honour prasadam on ekadasi. Please tell us unequivocally the conclusions of the scriptures on this subject in a manner that would convince even spiritual stalwarts like Lord Siva and Lord Brahma. This will dispel our disquietude."

Lord Caitanya's conclusion

Lord Caitanya replied, "To not observe complete fasting on ekadasi will greatly endanger one's spiritual life. Honour prasadam on ekadasi only by offering it obeisances and eating it the next day. In this way, one can easily cross this material ocean. The fast is any way over on the following day.

"All Vaisnavas, beloved associates of the Supreme Lord, are very pleased when ekadasi is properly observed by simply relishing the nectar of Lord Krsna's holy name. One should not taste anything nor should any mundane topics be discussed on Ekadasi. All physical pleasures should be proscribed. It is a Vaisnava's duty to daily honour and eat only prasadam, for he never consumes unoffered food. On ekadasi he observes complete fasting, and the next day he breaks his fast with maha-prasadam. and if, for some reason, one has to eat on ekadasi, then let the Vaisnavas take anukalpa, a light meal consisting of merely fruits, roots and milk, without grains or beans or other prohibited vegetables.

"The non-Vaisnavas gormandise without control, offering only lame excuses that they are honouring maha-prasadam. They do this on ekadasi, because they are engrossed day and night in sense enjoyment. They enjoy grains and rice on ekadasi and thereby eat the sins that enter grains on such days, disregarding the sanctity of ekadasi-vrata. You must diligently execute devotional service and respect the process of devotion. You will then surely receive the blessings of Bhakti-devi Herself. Avoid the association of non-devotees and properly observe the ekadasi-vrata by constantly chanting the holy name.

"Try to realise in your heart that there is no offence or contradiction in refusing maha-prasadam on ekadasi or any other important fast day. It is inane to observe certain spiritual disciplines and vows while neglecting others. Earnestly observe prescribed vows on designated days and timings and in an appropriate devotional manner. Sri Vrajendra-nandana, Krsna, is the Lord and ultimate goal of all vows and devotional activities, so observe all spiritual vows for His pleasure and satisfaction alone. Therefore, remember to abstain from eating, drinking and sleeping on ekadasi, and so the next day honour prasadam with full relish."

The devotees present, both from Bengal and Orissa were experiencing intense joy upon hearing the Lord speak. They chanted, "Govinda! Govinda!" in blissful appreciation. Svarupa Damodara, Ramananda Raya and other stalwarts felt ineffable exultation.

O my dear brothers! Lord Gauranga is the most valuable treasure of my heart. Worship His lotus feet, freeing yourself from duplicity. This can help you to easily cross this insurmountable ocean of nescience and experience everlasting peace, beyond anxiety and death.

Chanting the holy name and observing ekadasi-vrata are both eternal spiritual activities, hence they are on the same devotional platform. Therefore, become sincerely fixed in executing these activities.
Revati - Sun, 16 May 2004 11:24:13 +0530
If for some reason, one fails to follow Ekadasi, can Dvadasi, on the next day, rectify it?

Advaitadas - Sun, 16 May 2004 11:31:07 +0530
No, Dvadashi is the day of PAran, break fast. One must eat grains then. The atonement for all the broken Ekadashis of the year is Nirjala Ekadashi, which is accidentally the next Ekadashi to come, on the 30th of May in Central Europe. On this day one must then atone by not eating or drinking anything at all until the next Dvadasi.
Revati - Sun, 16 May 2004 22:19:04 +0530
In the rules to follow Ekasasi, apparently, Dvadasi is not just a day for breakfasting, but it works as a substitute option when the Tirti not occurred on the proper time. As so, the next day after Mahadvadasi will be Tryadasi, the alternative day for breaking fast. When reading the “Ekadasi Book” by Krishna Balarama Swami, he says that “If one breaks Ekadasi, being Dvadasi as powerful as Ekadasi, one can fast and get the same benefit as if followed Ekadasi”. As a support for the idea, he uses Mahadvadasi as an example….

"Ekadasi must come in prior to the brahma muhurta (1 hour 36 min before sunrise). When it does so it is called Suddha Ekadasi, pure Ekadasi. If it begins after that, it is considered impure and is therefore to be observed on the Dvadasi (making Mahadvadasi or compounded) on the next day."

I do not have the book with me, but how is that?
Madhava - Sun, 16 May 2004 22:29:40 +0530
The fast is observed on dvadashi whenver the tithi on ekadashi is not pure, or complete. Such dvadashis are often called maha-dvadashis. The general rule, however, is that a day of fasting should be followed by a day when one breaks the fast. Whenever a maha-dvadashi occurs, the fast is broken on trayodashi, which is the following day.

I do not quite follow the first sentence you quote.
Revati - Sun, 16 May 2004 23:11:23 +0530
Thanks Madhava,

I was trying to say that Dvadasi is not just a day for “breakfast”, as Advaitadas said. It is an alternative day for fasting “if” the Tithi not occurred on the proper time, too.

In other words, in his Ekadasi book, KBS says that one can fast on Dvadasi if fails to follow Ekadasi on the previous day. He, KBS, uses the example of Mahadvadasi, justifying how one can fast on Dvadasi because "Davadasi is as powerful as Ekadasi".

Thinking that Dvadasi is as powerful as Ekadasi, I was somewhat sure that one could fast on Dvadasi day and get the same benefit?
Madhava - Sun, 16 May 2004 23:16:41 +0530
Dvadashi is a day of fasting only when the tithi is not full on ekadashi, not otherwise. It is alternative, yes, but the alternation occurs in accordance with the movements of the moon, not according to our shortcomings in observing fast when the proper tithi is present.
Advaitadas - Sun, 16 May 2004 23:30:29 +0530
There are only 8 Mahadvadashis for fasting, not 26, just every two weeks in the year or so. They are - unmilani, vanjani, trisprisha, paksavardhini, jaya, vijaya, jayanti and papanashini.
Revati - Sun, 16 May 2004 23:51:56 +0530
KBS’s Ekadasi Book was for some time, very respected in Iskcon. I wonder where did he get the idea of Dvadasi as a substitute for Ekadasi..? I’m sure the book influenced many. With all the different calendar available, I though that could be a good solution; Dvadasi as an alternative fasting day, but powerful like Ekadasi.
Advaitadas - Mon, 17 May 2004 00:04:40 +0530
The same book is telling you that the Nirjala Ekadashi is the atonement for broken Ekadashis of the year. Who are we to decide ourselves when our sins will be destroyed? Isnt it a matter of Sadhu Guru and Shastra?