Lord Vishnu glorifies Ekadashi

Brazil, 19 July 2017

Watch class here (closer to the end of the class)

Once Lord Vishnu went to the palace of Yama Maharaja, who is called the presiding deity of death.  In which direction does Yama Maharaja reside?  South. Lord Vishnu went to Yamaloka, the place is called Mrityuloka. Actually, Yama Maharaja is a pure devotee of Lord Vishnu. Amongst the twelve mahajanas, he is one of the most prominent devotees of Lord Vishnu. Do you understand what mahajanas means?  Wealthy people are also known as, mahajanas. In India they are called money lenders, they lend money and collect interest.  But in our path of bhakti, mahajanas means those who have shuddha bhakti in their heart. Do you understand?  How many mahajanas are mentioned in our scriptures?  Dvadashi, twelve mahajanas. Who are they?  Who knows?  Nobody?  (Devotees answer:)  

svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ
kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ
prahlādo janako bhīṣmo
balir vaiyāsakir vayam
(SB 6.3.20)

‘Svayambhū, nāradaḥ śambhuḥ’. Svayambhūr is Brahmaji, Nāradaḥ is Narada Rishi and Śambhuḥ is Shivaji. ‘Kumāra kapilo manuḥ’. Four Kumaras, Kapiladeva and Manu Maharaja. ‘Prahlādo janako bhīṣmo’. Prahlada, Janaka Maharaja and Bhishmadeva. From the Maharbharata, Bhisma Pitamah is also amongst the 12 mahajanas.  ‘Balir vaiyāsakir vayam’. Bali Maharaja and Shukadeva Gosvamipada. Here vaiyāsakir means Shukadeva Gosvami and vayam means Yama Maharaja. Try to understand and learn this shloka.

svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ
kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ
prahlādo janako bhīṣmo
balir vaiyāsakir vayam

Why are they mahajanas?  Because they have shuddha bhakti in their hearts.  For this regard, our scriptures mention these twelve mahajanаs. We are descendants of the Manu dynasty. Do you understand this? Because of this we are called manava, human beings. So returning to the story, Lord Vishnu once had visited the palace of Yama Maharaja, who is also Vaishnava and a mahabhagavata. Prahlada Maharaja, Bhishma and Shukadeva Gosvamipad are all mahabhagavatas.  Vishnu is Bhagavan.  For this regard, Yama Maharaja very humbly performed stavas, stutis, and arati to Lord Vishnu. Then Lord Vishnu and Yama Maharaja conversed. Our scriptures explain what the real path is.  What is the perfect path? Do you know?  Who knows?  ‘Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ’. Always follow the footsteps of a perfected soul.  

So now coming in this way.  Lord Vishnu and Yama Maharaja are discussing something.  In the mean time, Lord Vishnu heard some sounds coming from the south door of Yama Maharaja’s palace.  All of the living entities were crying and He could hear many painful sounds. They were crying, “Please save me, please save me, ohh.” Crying and crying. Lord Vishnu asked, “Who is crying at the south doors of this palace?”  Lord Vishnu knows everything, but still He asked Yama Maharaja, “Hey Yama Maharaja. Why are there are so many painful sounds coming from the south door of your palace?”  Then Yama Maharaja very humbly answered, “Lord Vishnu, You are Bhagavan, You know everything. But for the loka shiksha, the teaching of the others, You have asked me this question.” Yama Maharaja continued, “Those are the jivas who are not performing bhajana and sadhana and committing very sinful activities, papa karma. My assistants, Yamadutas, are bringing them here after their deaths.

In this material world there are many kinds of sinful activities, papa karma. Subsequently there are many kinds of sinners.  But mainly, there are five types of sinful activities. ‘Papi, maha papi, maha maha papi, etc’. In this way, different Puranas explain the five types of papa karmi, sinners.  If you have read my book, Bhakta, Bhakti, Bhagavan, you will recall a picture there showing how the Yamadutas give punishment to those who have committed sinful activities, papa karma. So now, those papi, maha papi are all crying and suffering in the place of Yama Maharaja.  How many different types of naraka exist? Do you know? You have to learn. There are 84 types of naraka.  Many Naraka-kundas, many naraka ponds. Now you do not understand, but if you go you will understand. Those who are intoxicating themselves by drinking alcohol will go there.  Then Yamadutas will bring a boiling well of liquid and pour it on them. You may ask yourself, “How can my body burn in the fire there, if I have already given my body up?” Atheist people think this way. They think, “We will never go to hellish planets like Yamaloka.” No, you should not think like this. Our scriptures explain after your death, this material body, pancha mahabhuta, the five elements of this body will burn in the fire.  This is true.  But when you die, Yamadutas will bring you to naraka and another body is given to you. That body is called ‘yatana mayi sharira. It looks the same as your material body. But with this new body, you will not die from the pain and suffering that will come.

In the Shrimad Bhagavatam, Shukadeva Gosvami also mentions this naraka katha to Parikshit Maharaja. You can read the Shrimad Bhagavatam, it is found in the sixth canto, before the Ajamila katha. Once you read, knowledge will come. Very carefully observe this – do not commit sinful activities, papa karma. Those who are committing sinful activities like illicit sex have to be put into burning hot iron armor and embrace each other. (Gurudev chuckles). This is true. You cannot imagine this in your mind. But you will understand when you go to Naraka-kunda. Again, very carefully observe this – do not commit sinful activities. You have to read the sixth canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam.

Returning, all the sinners are suffering in the 84 ponds of naraka.  All of them are suffering and screaming, “Please, save me!” When Lord Vishnu heard this katha from the lips of Yama Maharaja, His heart melted.  Then Lord Vishnu thought, “All of the living entities are My sons and daughters. How will I save My sons and daughters? How can I protect My sons and daughters?” What will you do if your son is suffering anywhere? Will you help or not? This is the nature of a parent. In the same way, when Lord Vishnu heard how all the living entities are suffering because of their sinful activities in Naraka-kunda, He immediately went to naraka. When all the jivas who were suffering saw Lord Vishnu they said, “Hey Lord Vishnu please save me, save me!  Oh my father, please, please, please save me!” Lord Vishnu told them, “Ok, now I am giving a special mercy to you.” All of the sinners were released from naraka just by receiving the darshan of Lord Vishnu. Then Lord Vishnu said, “Do not perform any kind of sinful activities again.  Now you can go back to Prithiviloka and perform bhajana and sadhana, and everybody there will observe Ekadashi Tithi.”  That time Lord Vishnu declared, “I will manifest in the form of Ekadashi Tithi. After your death, if you properly observe Ekadashi Tithi and vow to not commit sinful activities again, you attain my Vishnuloka.”

Because of His mercy everyone was released from Naraka-kunda and every one of them observed Ekadashi Tithi.  Lord Vishnu Himself said, “If your health is good, then you can observe Ekadashi without drinking water, or consuming any fruits or anything. On the day of Ekadashi just chant the holy names without sleeping.”  This is called nishi-jagaran. If your health is not well, you can take some fruits, some milk or yoghurt.  But on the day of Ekadashi one should not consume any kinds of grains.  Five types of grains should not be eaten on the day of Ekadashi Tithi. On the day of Ekadashi all kinds of sinful activities remain in these five types of grains.  Rice, dahl, wheat, mustard seeds, barley, etc. Do you understand?  So, on the day of Ekadashi do not consume five types of grains, pancha shasya. Many people still consume some foods that are restricted on Ekadashi.  Do not do this. On the day of Ekadashi, you should not take restricted foods. You can eat some fruits, milk or yoghurt. Understand this? And always chant the holy names – “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare Hare”  

Bolo Ekadashi Maha Tithi ki jai!  

On the day of Ekadashi, you listen harikatha and chant holy names.

Bolo Shachinandana Gaurahari ki Jai!



Transcriber: Sanatan das (USA)

Editors: Divya Premamayi dasi (Slovakia), Sanatan das (USA)



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