The glories of Ekadasi

19 July 2017, Rio de Janeiro/Brazil

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Today is super excellent auspicious day, Ekadashi Tithi.  Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur sang this song:

ekadashi-tithi, bhakti-janani, jatane palana kori
krsna-basoti, basoti boli’, parama adare bori
(Sudha Bhakata, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura)

If we observe Ekadashi Tithi then Bhakti-devi will manifest in our heart.  So we have to properly observe shuddha Ekadashi Tithi. Our Shrimad Bhagavatam gives the evidence, if you observe it, then you’ll be free from all kinds of sinful activities. Lord Himself mercifully manifests in this material world in the form of Ekadashi Tithi. For this regard, it is also called Madhava Tithi.  

Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu observed Ekadashi Tithi with His devotees.  Vrindavan Das Thakur in Chaitanya Bhagavata also glorified how Lord Chaitanya Mahaprahu observed it. Day and night He chanted the holy names, nama sankirtana with the devotees. Understand? Mahaprabhu’s name is Vishvambhara, which means that He holds all the universes with His divine love. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu nourishes all the living entities with shuddha-bhakti. In this material world, all is nothing without shuddha-bhakti.  

na sadhayati mam yogo
na sankhyam dharma uddhava
na svadhyayas tapas tyago
yatha bhaktir mamorjita

(Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 11.14.20)

In Shrimad Bhagavatam, eleventh canto, Krishna gave Uddhava some instructions.  That is called Uddhava-Krishna samvada.  Krishna told, “Hey Uddhava, no one can attain Me by performing karma, jñana, yoga, tapasya.  But one who performs shuddha-bhakti can attain My abode”. 

So, I’ll tell you how shuddha-bhakti Ekadashi Tithi manifested in this material world.  Although bhakti or Ekadashi is eternal and transcendental, for the loka siksha it manifests here. 

There was one demon. His name was Mura.  He performed hard austerities and worshipped Lord Shiva.  Lord Shiva was pleased with him and asked him, “Hey, Mura, what do you want?” Mura told, “Please, give me a benediction that Vishnu cannot kill me.” The demon was thinking, “Vishnu is very powerful. So if He cannot kill me, then nobody can”. So he asked Lord Shiva for that blessing.  Lord Shiva told, “Ok, I’ll grant it to you”.  Then Mura demon thought, “Now I am Bhagavan. No one can kill me.”  What is it like to be a demon? Demons destroy everything. So Mura daitya killed brahmanas, cows, he cut all fruit-bearing trees, and disturbed everybody.  

dvau bhuta-sargau loke ’smin
daiva asura eva ca
visnu bhaktah bhaved daiva

asuras tad-viparyayah
(Visnu-Purana)

In Shrimad Bhagavad-gita Krishna told, “In this material world there are two types of living entities. One is called devata and another is called asura”Devata means demigod. Mostly demigods are in sattvik-bhava, but some of them have rajasik and tamasik bhava.  Demons are always in the mood of ignorance, tama-guna bhava – 99 percent of demons are in tama-guna. Shivji destroyed the material world with his tama-gunaTama-guna destroys everything. Lust, anger, enviousness, jealousy come from tama-guna. Anger destroys everything. 

So, Mura demon disturbed everyone. Then people headed by Brahmaji approached Lord Vishnu and prayed to Him. Vishnu nourishes all the living entities. For this regard, Brahmaji prayed to Him, “Please give mercy to the human beings. Mura is disturbing everyone.”  When Brahmaji prayed to Lord Vishnu, Vishnu told, “Hey Brahmaji, keep patience. I will kill Mura demon soon”. “How will You kill him?”, asked Brahmaji, “He got this benediction from Lord Shiva that You can’t do it.” Vishnu told, “Hey Brahmaji, I will not kill Mura directly but with the help of my potency, shakti.  I must respect the benediction of Lord Shivji. And now, Brahmaji, return back to your Brahmaloka.  I will kill Mura pretty soon.”  

Then Lord Vishnu appeared in this material world with His arms holding shankha, chakra, gada, and padma. Lord Vishnu told, “Hey Mura, stupid nonsense… Why are you disturbing people?  Those who are doing bhajana and sadhana?”  Mura daitya got very angry with Lord Vishnu. He told, “I have been searching for You for so long but now You have come in front of me! I’ll kill You!” Vishnu told, “Stupid nonsense, rascal. You don’t know who I am”. “I know, because You can’t kill me.  Shivji gave me this benediction, I will not die at Your hands. So You can fight with me.”  Mura again and again challenged Lord Vishnu, and then they started fighting back. Lord Vishnu bitterly beat Mura with His club. Mura ran away and returned back again.  So, over and over Lord Vishnu attacked the demon. 

In this material world some people cannot fight. They just speak too much. I’ll tell you one story… A tiger and a monkey were living in the jungle.  The tiger was completely in tama-guna, the mood of ignorance, and the monkey was in raja-guna, the mood of passion. So when the tiger saw the monkey, he became very angry. The monkey was hissing at him. The tiger thought, “I will catch him and kill him!” When he approached the monkey, he jumped on the top of the tree. The tiger could not climb the tree, and the monkey kept teasing him. Then after a few minutes, the tiger became tired and took rest under the tree. The monkey came down and grabbed his ear. He woke up and the monkey jumped on the tree. The monkey was very clever. So he very quickly climbed the top of the tree. In this way he beat up the tiger but the tiger could not do anything.  

So Lord Vishnu heavily beat up Mura. Mura was running away and then coming back. Lord Vishnu could kill him with His sudarshana-chakra but He respected the blessing of Lord Shiva. Then, once Lord Vishnu was taking rest in the cave of a mountain. Mura thought, “Now Vishnu is taking rest, and I can kill Him.”  So he entered into the cave and tried to kill Vishnu with his big sword. At that very moment, one very nice, sweet and beautiful young lady manifested from the left side of Lord Vishnu’s body. She severely punished the demon. Very quickly she cut his body into pieces. In the meantime Lord Vishnu woke up and saw Mura’s body cut into pieces.  He became surprised and thought, “Who killed Mura demon?” Then He turned His face to the left and saw a young lady, about 16 years old. She folded Her hands and paid obeisances to Lord Visnhu. Lord Vishnu is Bhagavan, who has two qualities at the same time, sarvagata (He knows everything) and mugdhata (He knows nothing). He asked the young lady,  “Hey, who are You?” and the young lady very humbly told, “I am your maidservant. I am your energy, shakti.” Then Lord Vishnu asked, “Who killed Mura?” She told, “It was me. My duty is to protect You.  Mura attacked You, so I manifested from Your left arm, fought against him and finally killed him.” Lord Vishnu said, “I am very pleased with your service. Ask any blessing from Me” and she answered, “Everybody worships You. I also want to be worshipped by people”. Lord Vishnu said, “Ok, now I am giving to you the name Vishnu Shakti Ekadashi Tithi. Everybody has to worship you like they worship Me. They will call you Ekadashi Tithi or Madhava Tithi. And everybody will worship You even more than Me. You will be honoured by the demigods and the human beings”. Then Lord Vishnu said, “Hey Ekadashi Tithi, Madhava Tithi, I will tell You how people will worship You. In the day of Ekadashi, they should observe full fast, Nirjala Ekadashi (without food or water).  Those who do it, after their death, will attain My Vishnuloka”.  

Transcriber: Sanatan Das (USA)
Editor: Divya Premamayi Dasi (Slovakia)

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