Yudhisthira Maharaj said, “O my Dear Lord Sri Krishna, what is the name of that Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Pausha (December-January)? How is it observed, and which Deity is to be worshipped on that sacred day? Please narrate these details to me fully, so that I may understand Oh Janardana.” The Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna then replied, “O best of kings, because you desire to hear, I shall fully describe to you the glories of the Pausha-krshna Ekadasi.
“I do not become as pleased by sacrifice or charity as I do by My devotees observance of a full fast on Ekadasi. To the best of one’s ability, therefore, one should fast on Ekadasi, the day of Lord Hari.
“O Yudhisthira, I urge you to hear with undivided intelligence the glories of Pausha-krshna Ekadasi, which falls on a Dwadasi. As I explained previously, one should not differentiate among the many Ekadasis. O king, to benefit humanity at large I shall now describe to you the process of observing Pausha-krshna Ekadasi.
“Pausha-krshna Ekadasi is also known as Saphalaa Ekadasi. On this sacred day one should worship Lord Narayana, for He is its ruling Deity. One should do so by follow the previously described method of fasting. Just as among snakes Shesha-naga is the best, and among birds Garuda is the best, among sacrifices the Ashvamedha-yajna is the best, among rivers Mother Ganges is the best, among gods Lord Vishnu is best, and among two-legged beings the brahmins are the best, so among all fasting days Ekadasi is by far the best. O foremost of kings who took your birth in the Bharata dynasty, whoever strictly observes Ekadasi becomes very dear to Me and indeed worshippable by Me in every way. Now please listen as I describe the process for observing Saphalaa Ekadasi. “On Saphalaa Ekadasi My devotee should worship Me by offering Me fresh fruits according to time, place and circumstance, and by meditating on Me as the all-auspicious Supreme Personality. He should offer Me jaambira fruit, pomegranate, betal nuts and leaves, coconut, guava, varieties of nuts, cloves, mangoes, and different kinds of aromatic spices. He should also offer Me incense and bright ghee lamps, for such an offering of lamps on Saphalaa Ekadasi is especially glorious. The devotee should try to stay awake all the Ekadasi night.
“Now please hear with undivided attention as I tell you how much merit one gets if he fasts and remains awake throughout the entire night singing and chanting the glories of Narayana. O best of kings, there is no sacrifice or pilgrimage that yields merit that is equal to or better than the merit one gains by fasting on this Saphalaa Ekadasi. Such fasting – particularly if one can remain awake and alert the entire night long – bestows the same merit upon the faithful devotee as the performance of austerity for five thousand earthly years. O lion among kings, please hear from Me the glorious history that made this Divine Ekadasi famous.
“Once there was a City called Champaavati, which was ruled by the saintly King Maahishmata. He had four sons, the eldest of whom, Lumpaka, always engaged in all manner of very sinful activities – illicit sexual encounters with the wives of others, gambling, and continual association with known prostitutes. His evil deeds gradually reduced the wealth of his father, King Maahishmata. Lumpaka also became very critical of the numerous devas, the empowered universal attendants of the Lord, as well as toward the brahmins, and every day he would go out of his way to blaspheme the Vaishnavas. At last King Maahishmata, seeing the unrepentant brazen fallen condition of his son, exiled him to the forest. Out of fear of the king, even compassionate relatives didn’t come to Lumpaka’s defense, so angry was the king toward his son, and so sinful was this Lumpaka.
“Bewildered in his exile, the fallen and rejected Lumpaka thought to himself, ‘My father has sent me away, and even my kinsmen do not raise but a finger in objection. What am I to do now?’ He schemed sinfully and thought, ‘I shall sneak back to the city under cover of darkness and plunder its wealth. During the day I shall stay in the forest, and as night returns, so shall I to the city.’ So thinking, the sinful Lumpaka entered the darkness of the forest. He killed many animals by day, and by night he stole all manner of valuable items from the city. The city-dwelling folk apprehended him several times, but out of fear of the king they left him alone. They thought to themselves that it must have been the accumulated sins of Lumpaka’s previous births that had forced him to act in such a way that he lost his royal facilities and became to act so sinfully like a common selfish thief.
“Though a meat-eater, Lumpaka would also eat fruits every day. He resided under an old banyan tree that unknown to him happened to be very dear to Lord Vaasudeva. Indeed, many worshipped as the demi-god (representative departmental head) of all the trees in the forest. In due course of time, while Lumpaka was doing so many sinful and condemnable activities, the Saphalaa Ekadasi arrived. On the eve of the Ekadasi (Dasami) Lumpaka had to pass the entire night without sleep because of severe cold that he felt due to his scanty bedclothes (bedding). The cold not only robbed him of all peace but almost of his very life. By the time the sun rose, near dead, his teeth chattering and near comatose. In fact all that Ekadasi morning, he remained in that stupour and could not awaken out of his near comatose condition.
“When midday of the Saphalaa Ekadasi arrived, the sinful Lumpaka finally came to and managed to rise up from his place under that banyan tree. But with every step he took, he stumbled and fell to the ground. Like a lame man, he walked slowly and hesitantly, suffering greatly from hunger and thirst in the midst of the jungle. So weak was Lumpaka that he couldn’t even concentrate to nor muster strength to go and kill even a single animal that whole day. Instead, he was reduced to collecting whatever fruits had fallen to the ground of their own accord. By the time he returned to his banyan tree home, the sun had set.
“Placing the fruits on the ground next to him (at the base of the sacred banyan tree), Lumpaka began to cry out, ‘O, woe is me ! What should I do ? Dear father, what is to become of me? O Sri Hari, please be merciful to me and accept these fruits as an offering !’ Again he was forced to lie awake the whole night without sleep, but in the meantime the all merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Madhusudana, had become pleased with Lumpaka’s humble offering of forest fruits, and He accepted them. Lumpaka had unwittingly observed a full Ekadasi fast, and by the merit he reaped on that day he regained his kingdom with no further obstacles. “Listen, O Yudhisthira, to what happened to the son of King Maahishmata when but a fragment of the merit spouted up within his heart.
“As the Sun beautifully rose in the sky on the day following Ekadasi, a handsome horse approached Lumpaka as if seeking him out, and stood next to him. At the same time, a voice suddenly boomed out from the clear blue sky saying, ‘This horse is for you, Lumpaka! Mount it and ride swiftly out of this forest to greet your family! O son of King Maahishmata, by the mercy of the Supreme lord Vaasudeva and the strength of the merit you acquired by observing Saphalaa Ekadasi, your kingdom will be returned to you without any further hindrances. Such is the benefit you have gained by fasting on this most auspicious of days. Go now, to your father and enjoy your rightful place in the dynasty.’ “Upon hearing these celestial words resounding from above, Lumpaka mounted the horse and rode back to the city of Champaavati. By the merit he had accrued by fasting on Saphalaa Ekadasi, he had become a handsome prince once more and was able to absorb his mind in the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari. In other words, he had become My pure devotee.
“Lumpaka offered his father, King Maahishmata, his humble obeisances and once more accepted his princely responsibilities. Seeing his son so decorated with Vaishnava ornaments and tilak (udhvara pundra) King Maahishmata gave him the kingdom, and Lumpaka ruled unopposed for many, many years. Whenever the Ekadasi came, he worshipped the Supreme Lord Narayana with great devotion. And by the mercy of Sri Krishna he obtained a beautiful wife and a fine son. In old age Lumpaka handed his kingdom over to his son – just as his own father, King Maahishmata, had handed it over to him. Lumpaka then went to the forest to dedicate his concentrate attention to gratefully serve the Supreme Lord with controlled mind and senses. Purified of all material desires, he left his old material body and returned back to home, back to Godhead, attaining a place near the lotus feet of his worshipful Lord, Sri Krishna.
“O Yudhisthira, one who approaches Me as Lumpaka did will become completely free of lamentation and anxiety. Indeed, anyone who properly observes this glorious Saphalaa Ekadasi – even unknowingly, like Lumpaka – will become famous in this world. He will become perfectly liberated at death and return to the spiritual abode of Vaikuntha. Of this there is no doubt. Moreover, one who simply hears the glories of Saphalaa Ekadasi obtains the same merit derived by one who performs a Rajasurya-yajna, and at the very least he goes to heaven in his next birth, so where is the loss?”
Thus ends the narration of the glories of Pausha-krshna Ekadasi or Saphalaa Ekadasi, from the Bhavishya-uttara Purana.
These Ekadasi stories can be found in the book, "Ekadasi: The Day of Lord Hari" 1986. HH Krishna Balaram Swami. Bhaktivedanta Institute Press.
Below is an excerpt of an article that appeared in yesterday's Montreal Gazette. Sriman George Harrison and this record introduced countless souls to Krishna and certainly made more than a few devotees. In the meantime there has been a new generation of devotees and a new era. Most of today's general youth population has never heard this record or the transcedental sound vibration. It would make for an amazing preaching tool to reintroduce this album on a grand scale and as part of ISKCON book distribution. Perhaps as a "bonus" CD with purchase of a Bhagavad Gita or Big book. Just an idea to harness some of the lustrous ISKCON legacy and to re-introduce an album that Srila Prabhupada greatly appreciated.
On this trip we have had the great fortune of meeting so many sincere devotees. Both second generation and dedicated Prabhupada disciples who continue to serve their Spirtual Master through thick and thin.
They say you learn something new everyday and I was enthralled with a conversation my dad had in which he reffered to "the contract" that Srila Prabhupada reffered to between himself and his disciples. I guess I was not the only once since someone researched the quotes and they came to me today and I wanted to share them. Of course I have jazzed it up with some pictures and emphasized text for those who simply skim the posts.
We were planning to blog from the road but it has been a very busy week and we are still travelling so we will prepare a daily blog post in the new year recounting the wonderful and enlivening experiences that have rejuvenated and elevated our love for Prabhupada and Krishna Consciousness.
In the meantime, our dandavats again and again and again to those devotees who continue to sincerley carry out Srila Prabhupada's mission.
"Regarding your question of an initiated person falling prey to the maya, the answer is that so long we are in this material world, there is always chance of being spoiled by Maya, so we must stick with vow to the Lotus Feet of Krishna. An initiated devotee is given the chance for becoming free from the entanglement of karma wheel. Initiated means beginning, not perfection. The Spiritual Master's business is to guide him to the perfectional point. But if one does not strictly follow the guidance of a bonafide Spiritual Master his initation does not bear any meaning. The initiation performance is an agreement by the disciples to abide by the order of the Spiritual Master. Therefore, if the Spiritual Master is bonafide and the disciple is serious to abide by His order, then the success is sure."
Letter from Srila Prabhupada January 11, 1970
"My advise is always chant 16 rounds minimum and follow the four regulative principles. All of my disciples must agree on this point otherwise they are not my disciples.”
Letter from Srila Prabhupada Letter February 17, 1976
"Out of the ten kinds of offenses, the number one offense is to disobey the orders of the Spiritual Master. The instructions given to the disciple by the Spiritual Master at the time of initiation should be strictly followed. That will make one advance to the spiritual path. But if one deliberately defies such instructions, then his advancement is hampered from the very beginning. This defying means to disconnect the relationship with the spiritual master. And anyone who defies and therefore disconnects the relationship with the spiritual master can hardly expect the assistance of the Spiritual Master life after life."
Letter fromSrila Prabhupada July 9, 1969
We were just heard the news about HH Narayana Maharaja from a few hours ago...
We are travelling and were making plans for the next stop and when we heard the news and were silent.
At a difficult time for that Vaishnava community, who share the same Sampradaya family tree, all we can do is pray for them and to Guru and Gauranga. May Sri Gauranga bring shelter and harmony to the Vaishnava community.
Prayers to the Merciful Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
svardhunyash charu-tire sphuritam ati-brihat-kurma-prishthabha-gatram
ramyaramavritam san-mani-kanaka-mahasadma-sanghaih paritam
shri-vrindatavy-abhinnam tri-jagad-anupamam shri-navadvipam ide
"I praise that holy dham, Navadvipa, which, being entirely nondifferent from Shri Vrindavana, is completely different from the material world consisting of the three planetary systems. It is situated on the gorgeous banks of the Ganges covered by beautiful groves and gardens appearing in form like the back of a gigantic turtle. Situated there are many great palatial houses made of gold bedecked with brilliant jewels, where Krishna-sankirtana is always being performed in the mellow of ecstatic love."
caitanyam kanaka-dyutim nija-janaih samsevyamanam bhaje
"I worship Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is being served by all His devotees and associates; whose hair is bound with strings of pearls; on whose moonlike face is the nectar of His gentle smile. His beautiful golden body is covered with lovely garments and various shining ornaments. He is so charming, being absorbed as He is in the enjoyment of sweet mellows in dancing, and is more splendid in His dress than even Cupid himself."
yad advaitam brahmopanishadi tad apy asya tanu-bha
ya atmantaryami purusha iti so 'syamsha-vibhavaha
shad-aishvaryaih purno ya iha bhagavan sa svayam ayam
na chaitanyat krishnaj jagati para-tattvam param iha
"What the Upanishads describe as the impersonal Brahman is but the effulgence of His body, and the Lord known as the Supersoul is but His localized plenary portion. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna Himself, full with six opulences. He is the Absolute Truth, and no other truth is greater than or equal to Him." (Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi-lila 1.3)
anarpita-charim chirat karunayavatirnah kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-shriyam
sada hridaya-kandare sphuratu vah shacinandanaha
"May that Lord, who is known as the son of Srimati Shacidevi, be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold. He has appeared in the age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant spiritual knowledge of the mellow taste of His service." (Cc. Adi, 1.4.)
radha krishna-pranaya-vikritir hladini-shaktir asmad
ekatmanav api bhuvi pura deha-bhedam gatau tau
chaitanyakhyam prakatam adhuna tad-dvayam chaikyam aptam
radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitam naumi krishna-svarupam
"The loving affairs of Sri Radha and Krishna are transcendental manifestations of the Lord's internal pleasure-giving potency. Although Radha and Krishna are one in Their identity, They have separated Themselves eternally. Now these two transcendental identities have again united in the form of Sri Krishna Caitanya. I bow down to Him, who has manifested Himself with the sentiment and complexion of Shrimati Radharani although He is Krishna Himself." (Cc.Adi,1.5)
shri-radhayah pranaya-mahima kidrisho vanayaiva-
svadyo yenadbhuta-madhurima kidrisho va madiyaha
saukhyam chasya mad-anubhavatah kidrisham veti lobhat
tad-bhavadhyah samajani shachi-garbha-sindhau harinduhu
"Desiring to understand the glory of Radharani's love, the wonderful qualities in Him that she alone relishes through Her love, and the happiness She feels when She realizes the sweetness of His love, the Supreme Lord Hari, richly endowed with Her emotions, appears from the womb of Srimati Shachidevi, as the moon appears from the ocean." (Cc. Adi. 1.6)
dheyeyam sada paribhava-ghnam abhishta-doham
tirthaspadam shiva-virinchi-mutam sharanyam
vande mahapurusha te charanaravindam
"O Supreme Personality of Godhead, O protector of the surrendered souls, You are now playing the role of Your own devotee, and Your lotus feet are the only object of perpetual meditation for the pure living entities. They destroy the material existence of the living entity. They are the fulfiller of all desires, the abode of all holy places, worshipable even by Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva, the shelter of all that exists, the destroyer of the troubles of Your devotees and the only boat for crossing over the ocean of material existence. Therefore I offer my obeisances unto Your lotus feet." (Bhagavatam 11.5.33)
dharmishtha arya-vachasa yadagad aranyam
maya-mrigam dayitayepsitam anvadhavad
vande mahapurusha te charanaravindam
"O Mahaprabhu, You have given up the goddess of fortune (Lakshmi, Your wife), whose glance is desired by the great demigods, and who is the most difficult attachment to renounce. In order to keep the word of some brahmana's curse, You have gone to the forest. Thus to show Your great mercy to the helpless living entities who are following maya--the illusory energy--You have chased after them to give them Your own devotional service. Therefore I offer my humble obeisances unto Your lotus feet." (Bhagavatam 11.5.34)
"I bow down to Lord Krishna, who appears as a devotee (Lord Caitanya), as His personal expansion (Sri Nityananda), His incarnation (Sri Advaita), His devotee (Sri Srivasa), and His energy (Sri Gadadhara), and who is the source of strength for the devotees." (Cc.Adi.1.14)
caitanya-chandraya namo namas te
"Obeisances unto Him, Sri Caitanya-chandra, the giver of the mellow of the highest love of Godhead, who is the embodiment of blissful pastimes, and who is so beautiful, having a dazzling luster, like gold." (Chaitanya-chandramrita)
namne gaura-tvise namaha
"O most munificent incarnation! You are Krishna Himself appearing as Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. You have assumed the golden color of Srimati Radharani, and You are widely distributing pure love of Krishna. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You." (Cc.Madhya. 19.53)
Happy Appearance day Kishori! May your progress in Krishna Consciousness continue.
"If one loves Krishna, he must love Lord Jesus also. And if one perfectly loves Jesus he must love Krishna too. If he says, "Why shall I love Krishna? I shall love Jesus," then he has no knowledge. And if one says, "Why shall I love Jesus? I shall love Krishna", then he has no knowledge either. If one understands Krishna, then he will understand Jesus. If one understands Jesus, you'll understand Krishna too"
(Srila Prabhupada - Room conversation with Allen Ginsberg, May 12, 1969 - Columbus - Ohio)
So Lord Jesus Christ said, "My Lord, hallowed be Thy name." He wants to glorify the name of the Lord. And some people says that there is no name of God. How? If Lord Jesus Christ says "Hallowed by Thy name," there must be name. The name is there, but he did not pronounce it because the people at that time will not be able to understand or maybe some reason, but he says there is name. So we are making this propaganda, Krsna consciousness movement, the "Hallowed by Thy name. My Lord Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, let Your holy name be glorified." This is our movement. It is not a sectarian...
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture: Bhagavad Gita 3.27 Melbourne June 27, 1974)
www.radhashyamasundar.com continues to have intermittent service interruptions. The hosting company is saying it is a DNS issue wity many of their sites and if you are reading this it means it is resolved.
We are on the road and was going to blog updates of our Krishna pilgramage over the Xmas holidays. Hopefuly we can start these posts tomorrow....1 week...6 temples!
This Sunday at ISKCON Toronto, I had to step away to make a call and tried to pick a quiet corner. Kids were whizzing by in all directions. At the bottom of the stairs I hear one of the Toronto Sankirtan organizers ask a kid "do you come to the temple to play?". I did not catch the kids response but the I heard Prabhu say, "How foolish is that". I chuckled...but I am sure many devotees can relate.
We have 3 kids and sometimes I think I am too hard on them. It seems that one of us is always telling them about manners and etiquette and giving them a stern warning about how to behave. For the most part it works and sometimes we even throw the occasional compliment or proverbial carrot at them.
Well today an article on a totally seperate subject was sent to me but I picked up an intersting "Prabhupada said" quote from there and it kinda' linked to this scenario...
Srila Prabhupada tells the true story of a young man who was never disciplined throughout his childhood and who grew up a quite wayward fellow. He fell into bad company, was arrested by the police for a serious crime, and was about to be sentenced to a term in prison. He was asked if he had anything further to say, and motioned that he would like to speak to his aunt who had raised him. When he leaned over to whisper in her ear, instead of speaking to her he bit off a piece of her ear lobe. As she screamed and the blood ran down her cheek, he called out: “That’s for never disciplining me when I was a child! Now look at the result of your kindness!”
Food for thought...discipline through dialogue and realistic consequences within the sweet and loving parental child relationship provides an important foundation for nurturing spirtual, educational and matierial goals.
I was watching one my dad's lectures from a couple of months back. I had my sis record it since there are 12 0f us in our family in Toronto we usually cannot all make it to each temple or program being conducted.
I am not in the habit of reposting my dad's lectures, however in this clip I could not help to notice that he got a bit emotional in describing what Srila Prabhupada had to endure when writing these books to deliver mankind.
On this important month of Prabhupada marathon I am hoping realizations of what Srila Prabhupada went through to deliver these most important books to us, provides some inspiration for all of us to take up the service and nectar of distributing these very books.
This weekend one of my best friends' mom passed away. Truly a gem of a lady that was pious, happy and caring. We all called her auntie out of respect but she truly was a loved auntie.
At these difficult times it is hard for people to swallow philosophy when they are wallowing in sadness. This was expecially since she passed away out of country just days before she was to return to North America. On top of that she had just recieved a clean bill of health from the doctors. Before coming she was going to attend a birthday party for her brother in Chennai and also decided to go to their native rural temple a few hours away. After doing some puja they were outside the temple and she complained of not feeling well and my friend's dad thought she was exhausted. But she actually passed away right on temple steps in the lap of her husband.
My friend initially handled it well since he was immersed in making arrangements but by the time we met he was full of regrets and realizations of "could haves", "would haves" and "should haves". We were saddened and besided remorse could not muster much else up. Then the invetible questions started coming up including, suppose they had made it back here and suppose she skipped making the trip to the temple, would she still be with us. Anyhow, after condolences we parted each others company.
Later on that night he could not sleep and sent an email thanking for everyone's support. He then sent an email with some of his readings on the internet...his quest for answers. What ensued was a series of late night emails in which he turned to the Bhagavad Gita for answers. I ain't no vaishnava scholar and still simply trying to be a worthy devotee, but wanted to try to provide solace. A few days earlier I transcribed my dad's note for the Gita Jayanti entry in which 2.13 was quoted "As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change." So I quickly borrowed this and other quotes. Thank Krishna for Vedabase since I was able to cut and paste words from Krishna Himself and Srila Prabhupada that may have helped relieve his suffering. After some time he was tired enough to go to bed.
The next day we went over to try to help him pack and see him off since he was off to India to make the final arragments. I had no intention to preach further since I did not feel it was the time or place and was not sure even if the support went too far the night before. To be honest we were having a hard time coming to grips with the loss.
However he brougt up the Gita and the late night email conversation and wanted to print out a chapter of the Gita to read on the way. He was trying to ask which chapter to print out and I am sure his intent was to print out one of the many short versions, summaries or abbreviated translations found on the internet. I told him to hang on for a minute and went out to the car and grabbed a Bhagavad Gita As-it-is. (After not having enough copies during a political launch party I vowed to always have some in the car and bought a case and spread a few in each car). I gave it to a very appreciative friend and he seemed to literally hug it. Another long time friend of theirs from out of town reached for it and at the moment you could feel and see how much the Gita was needed. I am certain he is going to read it on the way.
So the Gita was being readily recieved in a period of difficult circumstances. During the conversations and remorse this son, husband, father and friend was having many realizations and so were many of the other friends that turned up to support him in this difficult period. One realization I kept thinking about is how rare this human form of life is and how important it is to get it right this time around...
Finally, my earnest prays for the soul of this pious lady and may her soul return to Krisna's abode.
As Krishna says, "That supreme abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by fire or electricity. Those who reach it never return to this material world." (15.6)
In memory of Gautham Auntie.