Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Ekadashis's Stories (PART :-01)

Ekadashis's Stories (PART :-01)

Ekadashi fasting is done on every 11th date in the Hindu calendar.  There are two Ekadashi fasts in a month, one of which is on the Shukla Paksha and the other on the Krishna Paksha.  To get the blessings of Lord Vishnu, their devotees observe Ekadashi fast.

What is Ekadashi?

 The Sanskrit word Ekadashi literally means eleven.  Ekadashi falls on the eleventh day of the fifteen-day Paksha (lunar month).  In a lunar month (Shukla Paksha), the moon moves from Amavasya to the full moon, and on its next side (Krishna Paksha) it goes from the full moon of the full moon to the Amavasya. Therefore Ekadashi falls twice every calendar month , Shukla Ekadashi which falls on the eleventh day of the rising moon, and Krishna Ekadashi which falls on the eleventh day of the decreasing moon.  It is instructed that every Vaishnav should fast on the day of Ekadashi.

 Austerities performed in this way are extremely beneficial for devotional life.

Origin of Ekadashi:---

 In the Chaturdasha chapter of the Padma Purana, in the section called Kriya-Sagar Saar, the origin of Ekadashi explains  by Shri Vedvyasha to the Jaimini rishi as follows:
At the time of the creation of this material world, the Supreme God created a person (Papapurusha) in the form of an idolized form of sin to punish sinners.  The legs and hands of this person were composed by many sin deeds. Yamraj originated with the creation of many hellish planetary systems to control this sinful man(Paappurusha).  Those souls who are extremely sinful are sent to Yamaraja after death, Yamaraja sends the creature to suffer in hell according to the deeds of their sins. In this way, Jeevatma began to enjoy happiness and sorrow according to his deeds.  Seeing so many souls suffering in hells, the merciful God felt bad for them.  With help for them, God, in his own form, incarnated the form of Ekadashi. For this reason, Ekadashi is a personification of fasting on the fifteenth day of a lunar month.  For this reason Ekadashi and Lord Shri Vishnu are not integral.  Sri Ekadashi Vrat is a highly auspicious act, which occupies the top position in the resolutions taken.
Thereafter, various sinful people started following the rules of Ekadashi fast and due to that they immediately started receiving Vaikuntha Dham.  With the ascension followed by Shri Ekadashi, the papapurusha (idolized form of sin) slowly began to see that now his existence was in danger.
He reached Lord Vishnu praying, "Lord, I am your work created by you, and through me you torment the creatures with gross sin.  But now with the influence of Shri Ekadashi, I am now declining.
Please protect me from the fear of Ekadashi.  No pious deeds can bind me.  But Ekadashi in your form is resisting me.  I do not know any place where I can be free from the fear of Shri Ekadashi.  Oh my lord!  I am born from your own work, so please tell me the address of a place where I can reside fearlessly. "
Thereafter, Lord Sri Vishnu, observing the situation of the Pappurush, said, "O Papurush!  get up!  Do not be sorrowful anymore.  Just listen, and I tell you where you can reside on the holy day of Ekadashi. On the day of Ekadashi, which will give benefits in Trilok, on that day you can go to the shelter of food like grains.  Now you have no reason to be heartbroken, because in my form Shri Ekadashi Devi will no longer resist you. "
After assuring the papapurusha, Lord Shri Vishnu became disappeared and the papapurusha began to complete his deeds again.  According to this instruction of Lord Vishnu, all the sinful deeds that can be found all over the world reside in these foods (grains).  Therefore, those people who are aware of the basic benefits of the soul, they never eat food on the day of Ekadashi.

Importance of Ekadashi:---

 A  devotion verse taken to the Skanda Purana,  while criticize that people who eat grains on the day of Ekadashi, are guilty of the death of their mother, father, brothers and their guru .  However, even if humans reach Vaikuntha Dham, they fall down from there. It is forbidden to receive any kind of grain on that day, even if it is offered to Lord Vishnu.
The Brahma-Vaivarta Purana states that whoever observes fast on the day of Ekadashi gets rid of all the sins of sin and progresses in spiritual life.
The basic principle is not to starve only on that day, but to strengthen your loyalty and love to Govinda, or Krishna even more.  The main reason for fasting on Ekadashi is to reduce the needs of your body and to spend your time in the service of God in the form of chanting or any other service. The best thing to do on the day of fasting is to meditate on the leelas of Lord Govind and to listen to his holy names continuously. Ekadashi fast is observed by both Hare Krishna devotees and Hindus on the eleventh day of the rising moon of the moon.  There are many rules related to what things can be eaten to observe this fast, which can be changed according to the strictness of the fast.  According to the advice of Vaishnav Panchang, fast should be done so that the right day can be fasted.
According to the Puranas, Ekadashi is also known as 'Hari Din' and 'Hari Vasar'.  This fast is celebrated by both Vaishnava and non-Vaishnav communities.  It is said that Ekadashi fast gives more fruit than havan, yagna, Vedic karma-kand etc.  There is also a belief that observing this fast means that ancestors or fathers attain heaven.  The importance of Ekadashi fast is also mentioned in Skanda Purana.  Wheat, spices and vegetables etc. are prohibited on the day of Ekadashi for anyone who observes this fast.  Devotees start the preparation of Ekadashi fast a day before i.e. from Dashami.  On the day of Dashami, devotees wake up early in the morning and take bath and on this day they take food without salt.

Rules for observing Ekadashi fast:---

 Complete fasting is a very appropriate action to control your senses, but the main reason for observing a fast is to remember / meditate on Krishna.  On that day the needs of the body are simplified, and on that day it is recommended to concentrate on devotional service, scriptural study and chanting etc. by short duration sleeping.

The fast begins at sunrise and lasts until the next day's sunrise, so if someone takes food in the meantime, the fast is broken.  In Vedic teachings, it is not recommended to eat before sunrise, especially on Ekadashi day.  The observance of Ekadashi fast should be observed only after waking up that day.  If the fast breaks accidentally, then it should be done till the rest of the day or the next day.
Those people who observe Ekadashi fast very strictly should not eat anything after sunset of the previous night so that they can be assured that there is nothing left in the stomach on the day of Ekadashi. Many people do not even receive any prasad that contains food.  The Vedic scriptures teach that on the day of Ekadashi, the Sakshat Papas (sin men) dwell in food, and therefore they should not be used in any way (even if offered to Krishna).  On the day of Ekadashi, the offerings of food should be stored till the next day or distributed to those who do not strictly follow its rules or give it to animals.
People of any gender or any age can observe this fast voluntarily.  People wishing to observe Ekadashi fast have to follow certain rules from the day of Dashami (one day before Ekadashi).  From the day of Dashami, devotees should not eat meat-fish, onions, lentils (of lentils) and honey.  Staying away from indulgence at night, one should observe complete celibacy.
Do not use wooden daatun(brush) to clean teeth in the morning on Ekadashi.  Instead, chew with lemon, berries or mango leaves and clean the throat with your finger.  On this day it is also forbidden to pluck leaves from the tree, that is why you use fallen leaves yourself and if you are unable to arrange the leaves, then rinse them with plain water.  After taking a bath etc., go to the temple and read the Gita or listen to the Gita from Panditji.  Chant ॐ Namo Bhagwate Vasudevaya Mantra with true mind.  Remember Lord Vishnu and offer his prayers.  There is also a lot of recognition of charity on this day, that is why donate as much as you can.
The next day of Ekadashi is known as Dwadashi.  Dwadashi is a common day like Dashami and other days.  On this day, by taking a bath early in the morning, worship Lord Vishnu and complete the fast by eating normal food.  On this day, it is customary to give sweets and Dakshina etc. to Brahmins.  Keep in mind that devotees should observe the fast before coming to Trayodashi.  On this day one should try to follow the rules of Ekadashi fast and there should be no lapse in it.

Devotional service on Ekadashi:---

 Ekadashi, along with all its benefits, should be considered such a remedy or means which helps in achieving the ultimate goal of all beings, Bhagavad Bhakti.  By the grace of God, this day has become very auspicious and fruitful for doing devotional service to God.  Freed from sinful desires, a devotee can do pure devotional service and become a blessing of God. Therefore, for devotees, fasting on Ekadashi is a means to progress in the path of cultivation-devotion.  The act of fasting purifies the consciousness and frees the devotee from any number of material thoughts.  Because the benefit of devotional service performed on this day is many times more than the service performed on another day, so devotees do other devotional services on this day as much as possible by chanting, kirtan, discussions on the Leela memoir of God, etc.
Srila Prabhupada recommends for devotees to complete at least twenty-five chanting beads on this day, to recite the Leela memoirs of God, and to be minimally engaged in physical activities.  However, for those devotees who are already actively engaged in the services of devotion to God (like book distribution, discourses etc.), they have given some relaxation, such as those foods which they can eat or drink on this day as well which are not contain grains.

Sometimes Ekadashi fast is observed for two consecutive days.  When Ekadashi fast is two days, then the family members should observe Ekadashi fast on the first day.  The second day of Ekadashi is called "Dooji Ekadashi".  Sanyasis, widows and devotees desirous of attaining Moksha should fast on the day of Dooji Ekadashi.  Whenever Ekadashi fast is for two days, then Dooji Ekadashi and Vaishnava Ekadashi are on the same day. In Hinduism, Ekadashi fasting on both days is considered to be a very auspicious date for the supreme devotees desiring the love and affection of Lord Vishnu.  Ekadashi date comes twice in every month.  According to this, 24 Ekadashi fasting dates come in each year.  But their number increases to 26 with the malmash Ekadashi.

The significance of awakening near Srihari on the night of Ekadashi:---

Knowledgeable of all religions, versed in the economics of Vedas and scriptures, knowing the essence of Shri Vishnu, who delighted in everyone's heart, and Bhagwatparain Prahladji, while sitting happily, Maharishis, who followed self-righteousness, came to ask him something.
The Maharishis said: Prahradji!  Show me a means through which knowledge, meditation and sensuality can get the ultimate rank(Vaikhuntha dham) of Lord Vishnu without any effort.
When they said this, Vishnabhakta Mahabhag Prahadraji, who was determined to benefit the whole world, said in a nutshell: Maharishi!  Listen, describe the essence of the eighteen Puranas, which was told to him by Lord Shankar when asked by Karthikeya.
Mahadevji said to Kartikeya: One who recites Vaishnava scripture while awakening in the night of Ekadashi in Kaliyuga, four types of sins committed in his life are destroyed.  One who preaches Vaishnava scripture on Ekadashi should know my devotee. One who does not sleep in the awakening of Ekadashi and who dances and sings enthusiastically is my special devotee.  I give him excellent knowledge and Lord Vishnu bestows salvation.  Therefore, my devotee should be specially awakened.  Those who hate Lord Vishnu, they should know the hypocrite.
Those who have done awakenning near Srihari, they took self-study of the four Vedas, worshiped the deities, performed rituals of yagyas and bathed in all the pilgrimages.  There is no deity higher than Shri Krishna and there is no other fast like Ekadashi fast.  Where there is Bhagavata Shastra, where jagran is performed for Lord Vishnu and where the Shalagrama Shila is situated, there is a real God Vishnu present.

Beginning of Ekadashi:---

Ekadashi is considered to be the beginning of Ekadashi fast.  According to mythological belief, a demon named Mur had created a lot of terror, even Vishnu himself fought with him, but while fighting, he started sleeping and the war did not come to any conclusion, when Vishnu went to sleep, Mur took the opportunity.  Wanted to take advantage of but a goddess appeared from Lord Vishnu and started a war with Mur.  In this war, Mur became unconscious, after which he was beheaded.  That date was the date of Ekadashi of the Krishna Paksha of Margashirsha month.  It is believed that Ekadashi had asked for a boon from Lord Vishnu that anyone who observes Ekadashi fasting will get welfare and salvation.  Since then, the tradition of Ekadashi fasting every month started.

Ekadashi fast food:---

 According to the scriptures, you can use these items and spices in your fast food on the day of devotee Ekadashi.
- Fresh fruits
 - Nuts(Dry fruits)
 -  sugar
 -  Coconut
 - Olives
 -  Milk
 -  Ginger
 -  Black pepper
 - Rock salt
 -  potato
 -  Sago
 -  Sweet potato
The food of Ekadashi fast should be satvik.  Some people perform this fast without drinking water, which is known as Nirjala Ekadashi.
What not to do on Ekadashi?
 ● Do not break leaves from the tree.
 ● Do not sweep the house.  This is done because by applying broom etc. there is fear of dying of ants or small creatures.  And it is a sin to kill a creature on this day.
 ● Do not get hair cut.
 ● Speak only when needed.  Try to speak at least.  This is done because more words are likely to come out of the mouth.
 ● Rice consumption is also prohibited on Ekadashi.
 ● Do not eat any grains, etc.
 ● Do not let any kind of disorder come to your mind.
 ● If there is any fruitarian, then they should not consume cabbage, spinach, turnip etc.  They can take mango, banana, grapes, pistachios and almonds etc.

Ekadashi fasting story:---

 Every religious observance has some religious reason or legend hidden behind it.  There are many stories behind celebrating Ekadashi fast.  Ekadashi fasting story is considered very important.  Ekadashi, as we all know, comes twice every month, which we know by different names.  All the Ekadashi have hidden their separate story behind.  On the day of Ekadashi, it is mandatory to listen to the fast story related to it.  According to the scriptures, the person's fast is not complete without hearing the story of Ekadashi.

Main Ekadashi fast:---

 Even though all Ekadashi fasts are virtuous, fruitful and provide salvation, yet some Ekadashi are considered very welfare.  Among them, Nirjala Ekadashi falling on the Jyestha month of Shukla Paksha and Devotthan Ekadashi falling on the Shukla Paksha of Kartik month are considered very fortunate.  It is recommended to do.
Two Ekadashi falls in each month.  Whose name is different which is as follows:
 Kamada Ekadashi
 Papamochani Ekadashi
 Varuthini Ekadashi
 Kamala Ekadashi
 Mohini Ekadashi
 Apara Ekadashi
 Nirjala Ekadashi
 Yogini Ekadashi
 Devshayani Ekadashi
  Pavitra Ekadashi
 Aja Ekadashi
 Padma Ekadashi
 Indira Ekadashi
 Papankusha Ekadashi
 Rama Ekadashi
 Dev Prabodhini Ekadashi
 Utpana Ekadashi
 Mokshada Ekadashi
 Safala Ekadashi
 Putrada Ekadashi
 Shatila Ekadashi
 Jaya Ekadashi
 Vijaya Ekadashi
 Amalki Ekadashi
 Pramodini Ekadashi
 Parma Ekadashi

 The story of all the Ekadashi mentioned above will be told in the next section.

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