I am sharing the Srimad Bhagavatam by Srila Prabhupada Maharaja here to all the Krsna devotees so that they can download it from here and read it. Hope everyone takes advantage of this!!
I am sharing the Srimad Bhagavatam by Srila Prabhupada Maharaja here to all the Krsna devotees so that they can download it from here and read it. Hope everyone takes advantage of this!!
Srimad Bhagavad Gītā is a dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, narrated in the Bhishma Parva of the Mahabharata. It comprises eighteen discourses of a total of 700 Sanskrit verses. On the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Sri Krishna, during the course of His most instructive and interesting talk with Arjuna, revealed profound, sublime and soul-stirring spiritual truths, and expounded the rare secrets of Yoga, Vedanta, Bhakti and Karma.
In all the spiritual literature of the world there is no book so elevating and inspiring as the Gītā. It is the source of all wisdom. It is your great guide. It is your supreme teacher. It is an inexhaustible spiritual treasure. It is a fountain of bliss. It is an ocean of knowledge. It is full of divine splendour and grandeur.
The Gītā is the cream of the Vedas. It is the essence of the soul-elevating Upanishads. It is a universal scripture applicable to people of all temperaments and for all times. It is a wonderful book with sublime thoughts and practical instructions on Yoga, devotion, Vedanta and action. It brings peace and solace to souls that are afflicted by the three fires of mortal existence, namely, afflictions caused by one’s own body, those caused by beings around one, and those caused by the gods.
The study of the Gītā alone is sufficient for daily Swadhyaya (scriptural study). You will find here a solution for all your doubts. The more you study it with devotion and faith, the more you will acquire deeper knowledge, penetrative insight and clear, right thinking.
The world is one huge battlefield. The real Kurukshetra is within you. The battle of the Mahabharata is still raging within. Ignorance is Dhritarashtra; the individual soul is Arjuna; the indweller of your heart is Lord Krishna, the charioteer; the body is the chariot; the senses are the five horses; mind, egoism, mental impressions, senses, cravings, likes and dislikes, lust, jealousy, greed, pride and hypocrisy are your dire enemies.
The Gītā again and again emphasises that one should cultivate an attitude of non-attachment or detachment. It urges repeatedly that an individual should live in the world like water on a lotus leaf. “He who does actions, offering them to Brahman and abandoning attachment, is not tainted by sin as a lotus leaf by water”—V.10.
Attachment is due to infatuation. It is the offspring of the quality of Rajas. Detachment is born of Sattwa. The former is a demoniacal attribute, the latter a divine one. Attachment is born of ignorance, selfishness and passion and brings with it death; detachment is wisdom and brings with it freedom. The practice of detachment is a rigorous discipline. You may stumble like a baby who is just learning to walk, but you will have to rise up again with a cheerful heart. Failures are not stumbling-blocks but steppingstones to success.
Try to dwell always in your own Self. Abide in your centre. Think of the Self constantly. Then all attachments will die automatically. Attachment to the Lord is a potent antidote to annihilate all worldly attachments. He who has no attachments can really love others, for his love is pure and divine. “Therefore, without attachment do thou always perform action which should be done; for, by performing action without attachment man reaches the Supreme”—III.19.
Glories of Bhaimi Ekadashi
Bhaimi Ekadasi (Jaya Ekadasi) It is said that if one observes upavasa on this day then one receives entrance to Visnu’s abode, even though one has not performed the other vratas of the year. NOTE: The half day fast (vrata) for the appearance of Lord Varahadev is also observed on this Ekadasi day, and the utsav (festival celebration – pujas and feasting, etc.) is observed on the Dvadasi, which is when He appeared.
Yudhisthira Maharaj said, “Oh Lord of the lords, Sri Krishna, all glories unto You! Oh Master of the universe, You alone are the source of the four types of living entities ” those born from eggs, ” those born from perspiration, ” those born from seeds and ” those born from embryos. You alone are the root cause of all, Oh Lord, and therefore You are the creator, maintainer and destroyer. “My Lord, You have so kindly explained to me the auspicious day known as Sat-tila Ekadasi, which occurs during the dark fortnight (krishna paksha) of the month of Magha (January – February). Now please explain to me the Ekadasi that occurs in the light fortnight (shukla or Gaura paksha) of this month. By what name is it known, and what is the process for observing it? Who is the presiding Deity that is to be worshipped on this sublime day, which is so very dear to You? Lord Sri Krishna replied, “Oh Yudhisthira, I shall gladly tell you about the Ekadasi that occurs during the light half of this month of Magha.
Pushpavati and Malyavan
This Ekadasi obliterates all kinds of sinful reactions and demoniac influences that may be affecting the spirit soul. It is known as Jaya Ekadasi, and the fortunate soul who observes a fast on this sacred day is relieved of the great burden of ghostly existence. Thus there is no better Ekadasi than this, for it truly bestows freedom from birth and death. It is to be honoured very carefully and diligently. So you to listen to Me very attentively, Oh Pandava, as I explain a wonderful historic episode regarding this Ekadasi, an episode that I have already related in the Padma Purana.
Long, long ago in the heavenly planets, Lord Indra ruled his celestial kingdom very nicely, and all the devas (demigods) living there were very happy and content. In Nandana Forest, which was beautifully graced with Parijata Flowers, Indra drank ambrosia whenever he liked and enjoyed the service of fifty million celestial maidens, the Apsaras, who danced in ecstasy for his pleasure. Many singers, led by Pushpadanta, sang in sweet voices beyond compare. Chitrasena, Indra’s chief musician was there in the company of his wife Malini and his handsome son Malyavan.
An Apsara named Pushpavati became very attracted to Malyavan; indeed Cupid’s sharp arrows pierced the core of her heart. Her beautiful body and complexion, along with the enchanting movements of her eyebrows, captivated Malayavan. “Oh King, listen as I describe the splendid beauty of Pushpavati: She has incomparably graceful arms with which to embrace a man like a fine silken noose; her face resembles the Moon; her lotus eyes reached almost to her lovely ears, which were adorned with wonderful and costly ear-rings; her thin, ornamented neck looked like a conch, having three lines; her waist was very slender, the size of a fist; her hips were broad, and her thighs like the trunks of banana trees; her naturally beautiful features were complemented by gorgeous ornaments and garments; her breasts were highly raised emphasizing her prime of youth; and to look upon her feet was to behold newly grown red lotuses.
Seeing Pushpavati in all her heavenly beauty, Malyavan was bewitched at once. They had come with the other performers to please Lord Indra by singing and dancing enchantingly, but because they had become so enamored of each other, pierced through the heart by the arrows of Cupid, lust personified, they were utterly unable to sing or dance properly before the lord and master of the heavenly realms. Their pronunciation was wrong and their rhythm careless. Lord Indra understood the source of the errors at once.
Lord Indra’s curse
Offended at the discord in the musical performance, he became very angry and screamed, “You useless fools! You pretend to sing for me while in a stupour of infatuation with each other! You are mocking me! I curse you both to suffer henceforth as pisachas (hobgoblins). As husband and wife, go to the earthly regions and reap the reactions of your offenses.’ Struck dumb by these harsh words, Malyavan and Pushpavati at once became morose and fell from the beautiful Nandana Forest in the kingdom of heaven to a Himalayan peak here on planet Earth. Immeasurably distressed, and their celestial intelligence vastly diminished by the effects of lord Indra’s fierce curse, they lost their sense of taste and smell, and even their sense of touch. It was so cold and miserable high on the Himalayan wastes of snow and ice that they could not even enjoy the oblivion of sleep. “Roaming aimlessly hither and thither in those harsh altitudes, Malyavan and Pushpavati suffered more and more, from one moment to the next. Even though they were situated in a cave, because of the snowfall and cold their teeth chattered ceaselessly, and their hair stood on end because of their fright and bewilderment. In this utterly desperate situation, Malyavan said to Pushpavati, ‘What abominable sins did we commit to have to suffer in these pisacha bodies, in this impossible environment? This is absolutely hellish! Though hell is very ferocious, the suffering we are undergoing here is even more abominable. Therefore it is abundantly clear that one should never commit sins.” And so the forlorn lovers trudged onward in the snow and ice.
By their great good fortune, however, it so happened that very day was the all auspicious Jaya (Bhaimi) Ekadasi, the Ekadasi of the light fortnight of the month of Magha. Because of their misery they neglected to drink any water, kill any game, or even eat whatever fruits and leaves were available at that altitude, they unknowingly observed Ekadasi by fasting completely from all food and drink. Sunk in misery Malyavn and Pushpavati collapsed beneath a Pipal tree and did not even try to get up. The Sun had set by that time. The night was even colder and more miserable than the day. They shivered in the frigid snowfall as their teeth chattered in unison, and when they became numb, they embraced just to keep warm. Locked in each others arms, they could not enjoy neither sleep nor sex. Thus they suffered through the whole night under the powerful curse of the deva Indra.
The divine transformation
“Still, Oh Yudhisthira, by the mercy of the fast they had by chance (unknowingly) observed on Jaya Ekadasi, and because they had remained awake all night, they were blessed. Please hear what happened on the next day. As Dwdasi dawned, Malyavn and Pushpavati had given up their demoniac forms and were once again beautiful heavenly beings wearing lustrous ornaments and exquisite garments. As they both looked at each other in amazement, a celestial airplane (vimana) arrived on the spot for them. A chorus of heavenly denizens sang their praises as the reformed couple stepped into the beautiful aircraft and proceeded directly to the heavenly regions, buoyed up by the good wishes of everyone.
Soon Malyavan and Pushpavati arrived at Amaravati, Lord Indra’s capital city, and then they immediately went before their lord (Indradev) and offered him their cheerful obeisances. “Lord Indra was astonished to see that they had been transformed, restored to their original status and forms so soon after he had cursed them to suffer as demons far, far below his celestial kingdom. Indradeva ask of them, ‘What extraordinary meritorious deeds have you performed so that you could give up your pisacha bodies so quickly after I cursed you? Who released you from my irresistible curse? “Malyavan replied, ‘Oh lord, it was by the extreme mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna (Vasudeva) and also by the powerful influence of the Jaya Ekadasi, that we were released from our suffering condition as pisachas. This is the truth, Oh master, because we executed devotional service to Lord Vishnu (even performed unknowingly – by ajnata sukriti) by observing the day most dear to Him, we have happily been restored to our former status.”
“Indradev then said, ‘Because you served the Supreme Lord Sri Keshava by observing Ekadasi, you have become worshippable even by me, and I can see that you are now completely purified of sin. Whosoever engages in devotional service to Lord Sri Hari or Lord Shiva becomes praiseworthy and worshippable even by me. Of this there is no doubt.’ Lord Indradev then gave Malyavan and Pushpavati free rein to enjoy each other and wander about his heavenly planet as they wished. “Therefore, Oh Maharaj Yudhisthira, one should strictly observe a fast on the sacred day of Lord Hari, especially on this Jaya Ekadasi, which frees one from the sin of killing even a twice born brahmin. A great soul who observes this fast with full faith and devotion has in effect given all kinds of charity, performed all kinds of sacrifice, and bathed in all the Holy places of pilgrimage. Fasting on Jaya Ekadasi qualifies one to reside in Vaikuntha and enjoy unending happiness for billions of yugas – indeed, forever as the soul is eternal. Oh great king, Lord Sri Krishna continued, one who even hears or reads these wonderful glories of Jaya Ekadasi achieves the blessed merit attained by performing an Agnistoma fire sacrifice, during which the hymns from the Sama-veda are recited.”
Note on Cupid:
Kamadeva, lust personified, has five names according to the Amara-kosha dictionary: kandarpa darpako ‘nanga kamah pancha-sharaih smarah
“Cupid has five names;
2. Darpaka, ‘he who prevents future events’;
3. Ananga, ‘he who has no physical body’;
4. Kama, ‘lust personified’; and
5. Pancha-sharaih, ‘he who holds five arrows’ “.
Kandarpa: In the tenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita (BG 10:28.) Lord Sri Krishna says, prajanash casmi kandarpah; “Of causes for procreation, I am Kandarpa”. The word Kandarpa also means “very beautiful”. Kandarpa appeared as Lord Krishna’s son Pradyumna in Dwaraka.
Darpaka: This name indicates that Cupid can perceive what is to take place and prevent it from happening. Specifically, he tries to impede pure spiritual activity by alluring one’s mind and forcibly engaging one in material sense enjoyment.
Ananga: Once, when Cupid disturbed the meditation of Lord Shiva, that powerful deva (demigod) burned him (Cupid) to ashes. Still, Shiva gave Cupid the benediction that he would act in the world even without a physical body – like a ghost.
Kama: In Bhagavad Gita BG 7:11.) Lord Sri Krishna says, dharmaviruddho bhuteshu kamo’smi: “I am sex life which is not contrary to religious principles.”
Pancha-sharaih: The five arrows with which Cupid pierces the mind of the living entities are taste, touch, sound, smell, and sight. These are the five names of the empowered deva Cupid, who enchants all living entities and makes them do whatever he wants.
Without receiving the mercy of Guru and Krishna one cannot resist his power. Thus ends the narration of the glories of Magha-shukla Ekadasii, or Jaya Ekadasi, from the Bhavishya-uttara Purana.
Glories of Sat-Tila Ekadashi
Sri Dalbhya Rishi said to Palastya Muni, “When the spirit soul comes in contact with the material energy, he immediately begins to perform sinful activities, such as stealing, killing, and illicit sex. He may even perform many other terrible deeds, such as killing a brahmin. Oh purest of personalities, please tell me how these unfortunate souls may escape the punishment of being sent to hellish regions of creation. Kindly inform me how, by giving even a little in charity, one may be easily be released from the reactions of his sins.”
Pulastya Muni replied, “Oh fortunate one, you have asked me an important and confidential question, which not even Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva or Indra has ever asked. Please listen very carefully to my answer.
Observing Sat-Tila Ekadashi
“With the arrival of the month of Magh (January – February), one should bathe, carefully control his senses by giving up lust, anger, pride, jealousy, faultfinding, and greed, and meditate on the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna. One should then gather up some cow dung before it touches the ground and after mixing it with sesame seeds and cotton, form 108 balls. This should be done on the day when the constellation of Purva-ashadha nakshatra arrives. Then one should follow the rules and regulations of Sri Ekadasi, which I shall now explain to you.
“After bathing, the person who intends to observe Ekadasi should worship the Supreme Lord. While praying to Lord Sri Krishna by chanting His holy name, he should promise to observe the Ekadasi fast. He should remain awake overnight and perform a homa (fire sacrifice). Then the devotee should perform an Arati ceremony for the pleasure of the Lord – Who holds a conch, disk, club, and so on in His hands – offering Him sandalwood paste to his feet, incense, camphor, a bright ghee lamp, and delicious food preparations. Next the devotee should offer the 108 balls of cow dung, sesame seeds, and cotton wool into the sacred fire whilst chanting such holy names of the Lord as Purusha sukta, and other names. Throughout the whole day and night he should also observe the standard Ekadasi vrata (fast, which in this case is a fast from all kinds of grains and beans). On this occasion one should offer the Lord – pumpkin, coconut, and guava. If these items are unavailable, betel nut may be substituted.
“The devotee should pray to Lord Sri Janardana, the benefactor of all living beings, in this way: ‘Oh Lord Sri Krishna, You are the most merciful Personality of Godhead and the giver of liberation to all fallen souls. Oh Lord, we have fallen into the ocean of material existence. Please be kind to us. Oh lotus-eyed divinity, please accept our most humble, affectionate and respectful obeisances. Oh protector of the entire world, we offer You our humble respects again and again. Oh Supreme Spirit, Oh Supreme One, Oh source of all our forefathers, may You and Your eternal consort, Srimati Laxmi-devi, please accept these humble offerings.’ “The devotee should then try to please a qualified brahmin with a warm welcome, a pot full of water (purna kumbha), an umbrella, a pair of shoes, and clothes (cloth – dhoti, and anga vastra), requesting him at the same time to bestow his blessings, by which one may develop unalloyed love for Lord Sri Krishna. According to one’s ability, one may also donate a black cow to such a brahmin, particularly to one who is very well versed in all the injunctions of the Vedic scriptures. One should also offer him a pot full of sesame seeds. “Oh exalted Dalbhya Muni, black sesame seeds are especially suitable for formal worship and fire sacrifices while white or brown ones are meant to be eaten by a qualified brahmin. One who can arrange to give both kinds of sesame seeds (black and white or brown) especially on this Sat-tila Ekadasi day will be promoted to at least the heavenly planets after leaving this present body, for as many thousands of years as the number of seeds that would be produced if the seeds he donated were sown in the ground and grew into mature, seed bearing plants.
On this Ekadasi a faithful person should :
1. bathe in the water mixed with sesame seeds,
2. rub sesame seed paste on his body,
3. offer sesame seeds into the fire in sacrifice,
4. eat sesame seeds,
5. give sesame seeds away in charity,
6. accept charitable gifts of sesame seeds.
These are the six (sat) ways in which sesame seeds (tila) are utilised for spiritual purification on this Ekadasi. Therefore it is called Sat-tila Ekadasi.
“The great Devarishi Narad Muni once asked the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, ‘Oh mighty armed Lord, Oh! You who are so affectionate to Your loving devotees, please accept my most humble obeisances. Oh Yadava, kindly tell me the result one obtains by observing Sat-tila Ekadasi.’ “Lord Sri Krishna replied, ‘Oh best of the twice born brahmins, I shall narrate to you an account of an incident I personally witnessed.
Long ago on earth there lived an old female brahmini who worshipped Me every day with controlled senses. She very faithfully observed many a fast, especially on special days honouring Me (My various appearance days Janmasthami, Rama-navami, Vaman Dwadasi, Nrisimha Chaturdasi, Varaha Dwadasi, Gaura Purnima, etc.) and served Me with full devotion, devoid of any personal motive. Her rigorous fasting made her quite weak and thin. She gave charity to brahmanas and to young maidens (kanyas), and even planned to give away her house in charity. Oh best of the brahmanas although this spiritually minded woman gave charitable donations to worthy people, the odd feature of her austerity was that she never gave food to brahmanas or the devas (demigods). “‘I began to reflect on this curious omission: “This fine woman has purified herself by fasting on all the auspicious occasions and by offering Me strict devotional worship. Therefore she certainly has become eligible to enter My personal abode, which is unattainable by ordinary persons.” So I came down to this planet to examine her, disguising Myself as a follower of Lord Shiva’s, complete with a garland of skulls draped around My neck and a begging pot (kumandalu) in My hand. “‘As I approached her, she said to Me, “Oh respectful one, tell me truthfully why You have come before me.” “‘I replied, “Oh beautiful one, I have come to get some sacred alms from you” whereupon she angrily threw a dense lump of mud into My begging pot! Oh Narada Muni I simply turned around and went back to My personal abode, astonished at this fine brahmani’s peculiar mixture of great magnanimity and stinginess. “‘At last this austere lady reached the spiritual world in her self-same body, so great were her efforts at fasting and charity. And because she had indeed offered Me a lump of mud, I transformed that mud into a beautiful home. However, Oh Naradaji, this particular house was just like that mud completely devoid of any edible grains, as well as any furniture or ornamentation, and when she entered it she found only an empty structure.
She therefore approached Me and said with great anger, “I have fasted repeatedly on so many auspicious occasions, making my body weak and thin. I have worshipped You and prayed to You in so many different ways for You are truly the master and protector of all the universes. Yet despite all this there is no food or wealth to be seen in my new home, Oh Janardana, please tell me. Why is this?” “‘I replied, “Please return to your house. Sometime later the wives of the devas (demigods) will pay you a visit out of curiosity to see the new arrival, but do not open your door until they have described to you the glories and importance of Sat-tila Ekadasi.”
‘Hearing this, she returned to her house. Eventually the devas’ wives arrived there and in unison said, “Oh beautiful one, we have come to have your darshan. Oh auspicious one, please open the door to your house and let us see you. ‘The lady replied, “Oh most dear ones, if you want me to open this door, you will have to describe to me the merit one obtains by observing the sacred fast of Sat-tila Ekadasi.” But to this request, not even one of the wives responded. “‘Later, however, they returned to the house, and one of the wives nicely explained the sublime nature of this sacred Ekadasi. And when the lady at last opened her door, they saw that she was neither a demigoddess, a Gandharvi, a she-demon, nor even a Naga-patni. She was simply an ordinary human lady. “‘From then on the lady observed Sat-tila Ekadasi, which awards all material enjoyment and liberation at the same time, as it has been described to her.
And she finally received the beautiful furnishings and grains she had expected for her home. Moreover, her once ordinary material body was transformed into a beautiful spiritual form made of sac-cid-ananda (eternality, knowledge, and bliss), with a fine complexion. So, by the mercy and grace of Sat-tila Ekadasi, both the lady and her new home in the spiritual world were at last radiantly splendid and lustrous with gold, silver, jewels, and diamonds. “‘Oh Naradaji, a person should not ostentatiously observe Ekadasi out of greed, with the hope of attaining wealth dishonestly. Selflessly, he should simply donate sesame seed, clothes, and food according to his capacity, for by doing so he will achieve good health and exalted spiritual consciousness, birth after birth. Ultimately, he will be given release from the bonds of this world (liberation) and admittance into the Lord’s supreme abode will be his to enjoy. That is my opinion, Oh best of the demigods deva-rishis).’ “Oh Dalbhya Muni,” Pulastya Rishi concluded, “one who properly observes this wonderful Sat-tila Ekadasi with great faith become free from all kinds of poverty – spiritual, mental, physical, social, and intellectual – as well as all kinds of ill luck and evil omens (sakuna). Indeed, following this Ekadasi fast by donating, sacrificing, or eating sesame seeds frees one of all past sin, without a doubt. One need not wonder how this happens. The rare soul who properly performs these acts of charity in the right devotional mood, following the Vedic injunctions, will become utterly free of all sinful reactions and go back to Godhead, back home to the spiritual world.” Thus ends the narration of the glories of Magh-krishna Ekadasi, or Sat-tila Ekadasi, from the sacred Bhavishya-uttara Purana of Srila Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa.
They chose a quiet, secluded place for the kätyäyané-püjä. It was a pure place, free from the contamination of river foam and the footprints of birds or animals. One gopé asked, “Are we going to worship Katyayani separately or are we going to do it all together? We should decide now because we don’t want to make any mistakes.” Another gopé answered, “We should do it together because to worship separately is not very good. Worshipping together will be more beneficial.”
The deity of goddess Katyayani was fashioned out of sand from the bank of the Yamuna. As the vraja- kumärés did this, they chanted lovely verses praising Krishna. But even before they established the deity with mantras, they sensed that Katyayani was present and thus felt successful that she is already pleased. This encouraged them from the very beginning.
The young gopés started the püjä by chanting a mantra to invoke the deity’s presence. They beckoned her, “Please come Devi! Please come and accept this mürti. Please help me to come close to Krishna. I offer my obeisances unto you.” After welcoming her by bathing her feet with water, they offered arghya, äcamana and madhuparka. While offering these preliminary sweet items, the gopés prayed to taste Krishna’s sweet lips.
They began worshipping Katyayani in an extremely elaborate way, expressing their heart-felt desires while doing so. The lotus-eyed girls offered a sari woven with golden threads, and prayed, “O Devi! Please accept this golden sari. And please arrange that my clothes will be exchanged with Krishna’s clothes.” They brought flawless jewels and ornaments, and prayed, “Please adorn yourself with these priceless ornaments. And please adorn me with the nectar of Krishna’s limbs.” They offered fragrant ointments made of aguru, camphor and musk, and prayed, “O Devi! I anoint you with these rich ointments. Please arrange that I will become anointed with the touch of Krishna’s limbs.”
They began offering sandalwood paste, incense, flowers, ghee lamps, fruit, betel nuts, milk, butter, bananas, coconuts, mung-däl, rock candy, sun- dried rice, and cakes soaked in sugar water. They decorated her with new leaves from the trees and with garlands they had strung. They also offered various clothing, ornaments and cooked food like malpua, sweet rice, amåta-keli, and many different kinds of cakes. They prayed, “Please accept all of these offerings, dear goddess Katyayani, and please bestow upon me the remnants from the lotus mouth of the ever-youthful Krishna.” Then they chanted with great feeling the mantra found in Çrémad Bhägavatam (10.22.4) and other scriptures:
kätyäyani mahä-mäye mahä-yoginy adhéçvari nanda-gopa-sutaà devi patià me kuru te namaù
“O goddess Katyayani! O great potency of the Lord! O possessor of great mystic power and mighty controller of all! Please make the son of Nanda Maharaja my husband! I offer my obeisances unto you.”
Goddess Katyayani might object, “But when you say kuru, ‘Please do it!’ what do you want from me? You should be allowed to marry whomever you wish. I shall simply inspire your parents to arrange it. Therefore you should rather use the words, ‘please cause someone to do it’.”
Anticipating this objection, the gopés spoke this verse in agitation. “My connection with him should be immediately arranged by you, rather than with the unnecessary disturbance of my parents. After all, I am extremely anxious and cannot wait any longer. Besides, Krishna has not yet taken initiation and thus is not ready for formal marriage. O goddess, without the formal marriage ceremony, simply by the Gandharva rite, please make him my husband.”
The word adhéçvaré in the above prayer implies that, “There is nothing impossible for you.” But the goddess may object, “How can your desire to have intimate association with Krishna come to pass without your parents even knowing?” The gopés reply by the word mahä-mäyä: “By the power of illusion you should bewilder everyone so that no member of the cowherd community may cause them to surmise my marriage. They should not be able to ascertain the secret of my intimate association with Krishna. The status of being a husband can be achieved without marriage, and thus there is no harm even if I am formally married to some other cowherd man.” In this way, each of the gopés separately meditated on the meaning of the mantra.
Srila Vishwanath Chakravartipad has commented that the gopés were not actually worshipping mahä- mäyä, but rather yoga-mäyä. This is clear since the gopés are such exalted devotees of the Lord that they could never be in contact with the material energy. And they certainly do not need to worship mäyä-devé. Yogamäyä in Vrindavan is Paurnamasi and in other places she expands as Subhadra or Ekanamsa.
Hypothetically, there is no fault even if they were worshipping mahä-mäyä, since the inhabitants of Vraja are performing the pastime of acting as members of ordinary society. Furthermore, we have the statement of Çré Vaiñëava-toñaëé, Srila Sanatan Goswami’s commentary on the tenth canto, that some persons may think that this Durga is mahä- mäyä. But because such an idea is contrary, such persons are unable to touch even a faint trace of a taste of the gopés’ love for Krishna.
After offering ärati and finishing their prayers, the gopés paid their obeisances and offered the deity of Katyayani into the Yamuna. Throughout the entire month, the vraja-kumärés kept their enthusiasm, and even increased the standard of worship. Every day at dawn the young girls of Vrindavan village would come to the Yamuna and perform the same activities. The common folk thought that they were trying to obtain wealth, but they had no desire for wealth.
Just before the end of the month, the gopés received the mercy of Katyayani. Katyayani reciprocated with the young vraja-kumärés by appearing in their minds. She spoke to each of them thusly, “O young girls, you are the topmost attraction for Krishna’s conjugal love. You will attain all good fortune by worshiping Krishna. Your sincere prayers indicate your strong longings for Krishna. Your prayers also make me glorious. Very soon you will all attain Krishna’s association according to your individual tastes. Now you can complete your austerities.”
The Last Day
When the gopés received this revelation, they became greatly encouraged and finished the last few days of the vrata. Then, on the last day, which was Pürëimä, they went to take their final bath. The Bhägavatam tells us that they were bathing naked every day. To celebrate the successful completion of their vow, they, all having the same idea in mind, invited the daughter of Vrishabhanu, Sri Radhika, who along with her prominent sakhis was a special object of their affection. They brought these special gopés with them to the river that last morning. This statement indicates that Sri Radhika was not performing this vrata daily along with them because she and her girlfriends were already betrothed to be married.
The significance of the gopés’ inviting Sri Radha and her sakhis to the last day of their vrata is that one cannot enter vraja-lélä without the sanction and assistance of Vraja’s eternal residents. Therefore a sädhaka takes shelter of a nitya-siddha associate of Sri Radha and Sri Krishna and prays for that associate’s mercy to be accepted into the specific group desired. Srila Prabhupada describes:
“The våndävana-väsés — mother Yasoda, Krishna’s friends, and Krishna’s conjugal lovers, the younger gopés with whom he dances — have very intimate relationships with Krishna, and if one follows in the footsteps of these devotees, Krishna is available. Although the nitya-siddha expansions of Krishna always remain with Krishna, if those engaged in sädhana- siddhi follow in the footsteps of Krishna’s nitya-siddha associates, such sädhana-siddhas also can easily attain Krishna without difficulty.” [Purport to Bhäg. 10.9.21]
On that last morning, the gopés felt quivering in their left arms, eyes and thighs. This is auspicious for ladies, whereas quivering on the right side would indicate inauspiciousness. They were happily playing in the water that morning, feeling successful in the fulfillment of their vow. Their playing in the water was meant to serve as their avabhåtha-snäna, the ceremonial bath taken immediately upon the completion of a Vedic sacrifice.
Krishna knew and understood everything about the gopés’ desires and austerities, and he went to the bank of the Yamuna with four young boys to award the gopés the results of their loving endeavors. The four boys, whose names were Sridama, Sudama, Vasudama and Kinkini, are known to be the external manifestations of Krishna’s intelligence, ego, heart and mind. From the moment of their departure, the boys, being enthusiastic, kept asking him, “Where are we going? Where are we going?” until they finally arrived at the Yamuna.
Srila Sanatan Goswami and Srila Jiva Goswami have written that these boys were four or five years old, which makes their presence completely inoffensive. Srila Kavi Karnapur further describes that these boys were friends from the same group who were tending the cows that day along with Krishna. According to Srila Vishwanath Chakravarti Thakur, however, these boys were even younger, only two or three years old. As such they could not even judge the difference between a boy and a girl. He writes that they had left their homes completely naked in the usual fashion of young village boys. These little boys from Vrindavan were so attached to Krishna that when he left the village to herd the cows in the pasturing grounds, they had to follow him, not being able to tolerate his absence. Either way, Krishna arranged younger friends to accompany him that morning because the gopés would be too embarrassed if older boys were present.
The gopés’ prema had reached its goal because they had no other desire. This is necessary for success on the path of bhakti. Srila Rupa Goswami has defined uttama-bhakti as anyäbhiläñitä-çünyam, devoid of any other desires. Ones bhakti must gradually become one-pointed, and Krishna often helps his devotees to achieve this stage by taking everything else away from them. This is his special mercy. In this way, Bhagavan Sri Krishna is more assertive in dragging his devotee to perfection than the Paramatma, who simply fulfills desires. Srila Kaviraja Goswami has written in Caitanya-caritämåta madhya 22.38–39:
kåñëa kahe, — ‘ämä bhaje, mäge viñaya-sukha amåta chäòi’ viña mäge, — ei baòa mürkha
ämi — vijïa, ei mürkhe ‘viñaya’ kene diba?
sva-caraëämåta diyä ‘viñaya’ bhuläiba
Krishna says, “If one engages in my transcendental loving service but at the same time wants the opulence of material enjoyment, he is very, very foolish. Indeed, he is just like a person who gives up ambrosia to drink poison. Since I am very intelligent, why should I give this fool material prosperity? Instead I shall induce him to take the nectar of the shelter of my lotus feet and make him forget illusory material enjoyment.”
This scenario is for very sincere devotees. Srila Prabhupada has commented on this verse as follows:
Of course, sometimes if a devotee is very sincere, the Lord, as a special favor to him, refuses to fulfill his material desires and directly blesses him with pure, unalloyed devotional service. [Purport to Bhäg. 8.16.21]
Because of the strong, pure love of the gopés, Krishna left his cowherd friends and Balaram to reciprocate with them.
Written by Sri Srimad Purnachandra Das Goswami
When the gopés were very young, they developed an intense love for Krishna. Hankering to directly meet Lord Krishna before actually meeting him is a kind of love in separation called pürva-raga. The vraja-gopés desired to have a relationship with Krishna as their husband. Such was the desire of Dhanya Sakhi and the other virgin girls of Vrindavan. Individually, they secretly supplicated various deities with the object of having Krishna as their husband, but they were confused by the apparent failure of these efforts. Each of them prayed to reside in Nanda Bhavan with Nanda Baba and Yasodamayi as their parents-in-law and Krishna as their husband birth after birth. In due course of time, these girls met each other near the Yamuna. Though from different places, if many people simultaneously seek out the same goal, they come in contact with each other, just as students meet at the residence of their guru. When these girls met, they immediately felt a deep empathy for each other.
When this friendship was established, they revealed their heartfelt desires to each other. Although the hearts of those in love may be concealed, they are clear to those who are experiencing the same feelings. One day, as they were divulging their heart’s desire to each other and weeping, their well-wisher Vrinda arrived there in the dress of a female ascetic. Vrinda had been thinking, “The mutual love between these girls and the prince of Vraja possesses an indescribable power to bring them together. This love is far beyond the common affection of people in this world. Therefore they should worship some other god, other than Krishna personally.”
Upon arriving amongst the gopés, Vrinda accepted their respectful greetings and gave them her blessings. She said, “I am a resident of this forest and I couldn’t help but see how you are suffering due to your love. My heart has been torn with compassion, so I have come here. I ask you to carefully listen to my knowledge of magical ritual by which you will be able to fulfill your desires. It will not require extreme effort as you shall only have to exert yourselves for a month. I learned of these things from the compassionate Yogamaya, the reservoir of all spells and incantations, after I entreated her through austerities.”
Thus thinking of the girls’ welfare, Vrinda initiated the gopés by whispering a mantra into their ears and by instructing them in the rules and regulations for austerities meant to accompany the chanting of the mantra. She then disappeared. As soon as she left, the gopés joyfully began applying her instructions.
The mothers of these young girls wanted them to get married and so encouraged them to perform worship. But the mothers were worried that any austerities would be too much for the girls due to their tender and fragile young bodies. Thus their mothers affectionately warned them, “How can your young bodies endure austerities? And how will you get the needed determination? We have never seen you do such things before.” Their mothers’ doubts, however, simply increased their determination to perform the vrata. Their mothers also asked them, “O girls, who will you worship? Will you worship Uma or Umapati or maybe Lord Brahma? What type of püjä will you do? Will you need any wealth to perform the püjä? And who will be the äcärya to guide you in the chanting of the Vedic mantras? Please consider all these details and then tell us your decision.”
A vrata, vow, is specified by käla, deça, saìkalpa, mantra and iñöa-deva. The vraja-gopés were planning to perform a specific vrata, and, by the mercy of Vrinda-devi, they knew all of the particulars for that vrata. The time (käla) was set for the first day of the waning moon at the beginning of the month of Märgaçérña (November-December). The place (deça) to perform it was also planned: the pristine and beautiful banks of the Yamuna River. Their saìkalpa, desired goal, was deeply established in the core of their hearts: to attain the son of Nanda as their husband. The iñöa-deva to whom they would offer worship was to be goddess Katyayani, and the mantra they were going to chant during the offerings began with the words kätyäyani mahä-mäye.
It was the first month of the Hemanta season, winter. The girls briefly told their mothers, “We are going to worship Katyayani.” They did not tell their mothers much more because they were afraid that if their mothers would keep asking questions then the secret in their hearts would be revealed. That is one of the meanings of the word gopé. The Sanskrit root gup means “to hide”. Therefore, a girl who hides her love for Sri Krishna is known as a gopé. The gopés knew that if one reveals the flavor of ones love to others, it dissipates, just as spices lose their flavor if the lids of their containers are not kept tightly closed.
The vrata required that they eat only boiled rice and dal without any spices and to rise early every morning and bathe in the cold waters of the Yamuna River. There on the banks of the Yamuna they would worship goddess Katyayani and offer her prayers. They walked together every morning at dawn to take their morning baths, and then they worshipped goddess Katyayani. Every morning they made a mürti of Katyayani from sand.
The bodies of the gopés revealed a special kind of beauty during this time of austerity. They did not use oil while bathing, and thus their skin and hair appeared dry, clean and fresh like açoka leaves washed by rain. They also did not chew any tämbüla, so the natural hue of their lips was manifest. From eating only once a day their bodies became thin and lost their natural effulgence. Seeing their emaciated condition, the vrajaväsés felt pity for them.
Their burning desire to obtain Krishna caused them to often lay awake at night. And before they took rest they would secretly discuss how and where they would meet the following morning. Then when they would meet in the morning they would respectfully greet one another and lovingly embrace. They would sometimes call out to each other by name, “O fortunate girl, where are you? Why are you wasting time? Come!” As they walked together in the early morning toward the Yamuna, they would hold hands and sing songs about Krishna, teasing each other by exposing their own goals in song. Because they were effulgent, they appeared like a garland of lightening bolts moving on the earth.
Yamuna Devi could directly perceive the desire in their hearts. She knew that they all wanted Krishna as their husband. She welcomed them with her waves, desiring to embrace them, and respectfully called, “Come, come sakhis! Welcome!” When the eager gopés arrived at the bank of the Yamuna, they immediately threw off their woolen cadars, revealing their thin white underclothes for bathing. Thus they appeared more beautiful than fallen snow. Shivering and sighing due to the chill morning air, the young girls smiled and giggled at one another upon noticing that their friends felt the same way. Their lips quivered, revealing their jasmine bud-like teeth. They further reacted to the cold, making a comic scene by slapping their arms together and crossing their legs in a contorted, humorous fashion. They offered obeisances to Yamuna Devi before entering the river, and after bathing they gleefully ran back up the river bank, feeling elated at having bravely tolerated her icy waters.
After coming out, the water dripping from their garments fell onto the earth. It appeared that their garments were shedding tears after being tortured by the cold water. As they gracefully dried themselves with soft cloths, the gopés looked very beautiful. Their beauty was enhanced by their chanting of the sweet names of Krishna. The sweetness from their breath attracted bees that flew in front of their faces. But the gopés became annoyed, blinking and twitching their eyebrows, because the bees were creating a breeze by flapping their wings. Feeling compassionate, Suryadev gradually dispersed their chill by caressing them with his gentle, warm rays. Thus Suryadev offered more affection for the gopés than to his own daughter Yamuna Devi.
To be continued!!!!
These are excerpts of different replies given to certain questions of Bhakta and Fans. Just sharing for others to get benefited.
In the previous post, a fan asked the details of the child of Krishna that was shown in that picture!! Hence this explanation!
Krishna married 16, 108 wives as requested by them! Out of 16.108 wives of Krishna, every wife had 10 children who had the same nature of Krishna! Thus, Krishna had totally 1,61,080 Children. Let us see the list of the 80 children born through the first 8… wives!
(1) The names of the children of Rukmani: Prathyumnan, Charudeshnan, Sudheshnan, Charudehan, Seecharu, Saaraguptha, Bathracharu, Charuchandharin, Visaru & Charu!
(2) The names of the children of Sathyabama are: Banu, Subanu, Swarabanu, Prabanu, Banuman, Chandrabanu, Pragathbanu, Athibanu, Sribanu & Prathibanu!
(3) The 10 sons through Krishna’s third wife Jambhavathi: Samban, Sumithra, Prujith, Sadhajith, Sagasrajith, Vijayan, Chitrakethu, Vasuman, Dravidan & Kirathu. Krishna had more attachment with the sons through Jambhavathi.
(4) The 10 sons through Krishna’s Fourth wife Sathya, who was the daughter of the king of Nagnajith: Veera, Chandra, Ashvasena, Chitragu, Vegavan, Virusha, Aman, Sangu, Vasu, Kunti. Kunti was very mighty among these ten sons.
(5) The 10 sons through Krishna’s fifth wife Kalindhi: Shrutha, Kavi, Vrusha, Veera, Subahu, Bathra, Santhi, Dharsha, Pooranamashu & Somaha.
(6) The 10 sons through Krishna’s Sixth wife Lakshmana, who was from the present Tamilnadu & then Madras State: Pragosha, Gathravaan, Simma, Bala, Prabala, Oorthuvaga, mahashakthi, Saga, Oja, & Abarajith.
(7) The 10 sons through Krishna’s Seventh wife Mithra Vindha: Viruga, Harsha, Anila, Kiruthra, Varthana, Anandha, Mahamsa, Bhavana, Vahni and Shoothi.
(8) The 10 sons through Krishna’s Eighth wife Badhra: Sankramajith, Brugathsena, Soora, Pragarana, Arijith, Jaya, Subathra, Vama, Ayu and Sathyaga.
The elder son of Rukmini, Prathyumna married Mayavathi even while taking birth! That is, his marriage was done even before the birth even while he was in the mother’s womb by all the celestials!
All the sons of Krishna were equal to Him in Strength, Beauty, Knowledge, Fame, Wealth & Sacrifice! All 16,108 wives were considered as Rajakumaris! Krishna expanded as 16,108 Krishnas and always stayed with every wife without leaving them!
Every wife felt, “Oh, My Krishna is always with me & He loves me much & is always obedient to me & under my control”.
But Krishna just made them happy, but he had no attachments with any of them!”
ADDITIONAL DETAILS ABOUT KRISHNA’s ROUTINE IN HIS PALACE ARE WRITTEN HERE:
However, as Krishna is “ATHMARAM”, ie, He is self satisfied, He had neither any attachments nor any hatred with any of His wives! Krishna showed no partiality with any of His wife, and he lived as a good grahastha & made every wife happy! In fact, Krishna needs not even a single wife! Though they had got Krishna due to penances in previous births, they had not known the greatness of Krishna in this birth, but behaved as ordinary wives who loved Krishna not as a god, but as a king!
Every wife of Krishna had the outstanding beaauty! Every wife loved Krishna being attracted with Krishna’s Lotus eyes, Beautiful face, Long hands, Broad ears, Smart smile, Vitty/ Jocky speech, Sweet words, etc! They decorated themselves with beautiful dress & jewels so as to attract Krisshna’s attention! They attracted Krishna, by smiling at Him, moving the eyebrows, staring at Him! But, they were unable to kindle any excitement in the body of Krishna! Krishna had bodily relations with them only to get children!
The Gopis got Sri Krishna whom could not be reached even by Brahma & higher celstials! They were that much blessed souls! They lived as husband & wife! As Krishna behaved as a perfectl husband, the love of each girl on Krishna increased every second, that were expressed in her talks & relations! Every wife had hundreds of women servant maids! However, When Krishna comes to her palace, the wife would come herself & welcome Krishna; She would offer Him a grand seat to sit & would clean His legs with water;
After that, the wife would then fan His body with a colourful fan; Then, she would apply oil on Krishna & offer a garland around His neck; Then, she would comb the beautiful hairs of Krishna! Then she would rub the legs of Krishna to refresh Him from tiredness! Then, she would take Krishna to a seat & then pour water on His body to bath! After bathing, she would serve Krishna delicious food! Thus, every wife treated Krishna with love!
Actually, Srimad Bhagavatham’s Canto-10 contains transcendental lilas of Krishna! Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatham Canto-one to Nine explains about Krishna!
Krishna’s Authorised pastimes are found in Srimad Bhagavatham alone as it was written by Sri Vyasadev who was a avatar of Krishna Himself to record His pastimes! However, one is recommended to read the first 9 cantos of Bhagavatham and only after that go for canto-10, as they can perfectly understand His lilas mentioned in Canto-10. That is why your seniors have said like that! So, first read Bhagavad Gita and Bhagavatham 1-9, and then continue further for other volumes!
SRILA PRABHUPAD SAYS in Canto-10:
“Krsna-katha means narrations about Krsna. There are two krsna kathas: Narrations spoken by Krsna and Narrations spoken about Krsna.
Bhagavad-gita is the narration or the philosophy or the science of God, spoken by Krsna Himself.
Srimad-Bhagavatam is the narration about the activities and transcendental pastimes of Krsna.”
Both are krsna-katha.
It is the order of Lord Caitanya that krsna-katha should be spread all over the world, because if the conditioned souls, suffering under the pangs of material existence, take to krsna-katha, then their path of
liberation will be open and clear.”
FOR YOUR SECOND QUESTION:
It will be explained separately in near future! Because, it involves many details to be written about the plans of Krishna! Just I like to brief that No curse will be effective on Krishna! Krishna Himself wished that His Yadhu Vamsa to become vanished after He left for His Goloka!
Krishna never takes birth based on karma like us! He comes as per His own wish, performs lilas as per His wish and leaves the planet as per His wish! So, All are the plans of Krishna in advance!
Glories of Kamada Ekadashi
Sri Suta Goswami said, “Oh sages, let me offer my humble and respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Lord Hari, Bhagavan Sri Krishna, the son of Devaki and Vasudeva, by whose mercy I can describe the fast day that removes all kinds of sins.
It was to the devoted Yudhisthira that Lord Krishna glorified the twenty-four primary Ekadasis, which destroy sin, and now I shall recount one of those narrations to you.
Great-learned sages have selected these twenty-four narrations from the eighteen Puranas, for they are truly sublime.
Yudhishthira Maharaja said, ‘Oh Lord Krishna, Oh Vasudeva, please accept my humble obeisances. Please describe to me the Ekadasi that occurs during the light part of the month of Chaitra [March-April].
What is its name, and what are its glories?’
Lord Sri Krishna replied, ‘Oh Yudhishthira, please listen to Me attentively as I relate the ancient history of this sacred Ekadasi, a history Vasishtha Muni once related to King Dilipa, the great-grandfather of Lord Ramachandra.
King Dilipa asked the great sage Vasishtha, “Oh wise brahmana, I wish to hear about the Ekadasi that comes during the light part of the month of Chaitra.
Please describe it to me.”
Vasishtha Muni replied, “Oh king, your inquiry is glories. Gladly shall I tell you what you wish to know. The Ekadasi that occurs during the light fortnight of Chaitra is named Kamada Ekadasi. It consumes all sins, as a forest fire consumes a supply of dry firewood. It is very purifying, and it bestows the highest merit upon one who faithfully observes it.
Lalit and Lalita
Oh king, now hear an ancient history which is so meritorious that it removes all one’s sins simply by being heard. Once, long ago, there existed a city-state named Ratnapura, which was decorated with gold and jewels and in which sharp-fanged snakes would enjoy intoxication. King Pundarika was the ruler of this most beautiful kingdom, which numbered many Gandharvas, Kinnaras, and Apsaras among its citizens. Among the Gandharvas were Lalit and his wife Lalita, who was an especially lovely dancer. These two were intensely attracted to each other, and their home was full of great wealth and fine food.
Lalita loved her husband dearly, and likewise Lalit constantly thought of her within his heart.
Once, at the court of King Pundarika, many Gandharvas were dancing and Lalit was singing alone, without his wife. He could not help thinking about her as he sang, and because of this distraction he lost track of the song’s meter and melody. Indeed, Lalit sang the ending of his song improperly, and one of the envious snakes who was in attendance at the king’s court complained to the king that Lalit was absorbed in thinking of his wife instead of his sovereign. The king became furious upon hearing this, and his eyes turned crimson with rage.
Suddenly he shouted, ‘Oh foolish knave, because you were lustfully thinking of a woman instead of reverently thinking of your king as you performed your court duties, I curse you to at once become a cannibal! Oh king, Lalit immediately became a fearful cannibal, a great man-eating demon whose appearance terrified everyone. His arms were eight miles long, his mouth was as big as a huge cave, his eyes were as awesome as the sun and moon, his nostrils resembled enormous pits in the earth, his neck was a veritable mountain, his hips were four miles wide, and his gigantic body stood a full sixty-four miles high. Thus poor Lalit, the loving Gandharva singer, had to suffer the reaction of his offense against King Pundarika.
Seeing her husband suffering as a horrible cannibal, Lalita became overwhelmed with grief. She thought, ‘Now that my dear husband is suffering the effects of the kings’ curse, what is to be my lot?
What should I do? Where should I go?’
In this way Lalita grieved day and night.
Instead of enjoying life as a Gandharvas wife, she had to wander everywhere in the thick jungle with her monstrous husband, who had fallen completely under the spell of the king’s curse and was wholly engaged in terrible sinful activities.
He wandered fitfully across forbidding region, a once-beautiful Gandharva now reduced to the ghastly behaviour of a man-eater.
Utterly distraught to see her dear husband suffer so much in his dreadful condition, Lalita began to cry as she followed his mad journeying.
Observing Kamada Ekadashi
By good fortune, however, Lalita came upon the sage Shringi one day.
He was sitting on the peak of the famous Vindhyachala Hill.
Approaching him, she immediately offered the ascetic her respectful obeisances.
The sage noticed her bowing down before him and said, ‘Oh most beautiful one, who are you?
Whose daughter are you, and why have you come here? Please tell me everything in truth.
Lalita replied, ‘Oh great age, I am the daughter of the great Gandharva Viradhanva, and my name is Lalita.
I roam the forests and plains with my dear husband, whom King Pundarika has cursed to become a man-eating demon.
Oh brahmana, I am greatly aggrieved to see his ferocious form and terribly sinful activities.
Oh master, please tell me how I can perform some act of atonement on behalf of my husband.
What pious act can I perform to free him from this demonic form, Oh best of brahmanas?
‘The sage replied, ‘Oh heavenly maiden, there is an Ekadasi named Kamada that occurs in the light fortnight of the month of Chaitra.
It is coming up soon.
Whoever fasts on this day has all his desires fulfilled.
If you observe this Ekadasi fast according to its rules and regulations and give the merit you thus earn to your husband, he will be freed from the curse at once.’
Lalita was overjoyed to hear these words from the sage.
Lalita faithfully observed the fast of Kamada Ekadasi according to the instructions of the sage Shringi, and on Dvadasi she appeared before him and the Deity of Lord Vasudeva and said, ‘I have faithfully observed the fast of Kamada Ekadasi.
By the merit earned through my observance of this fast, let my husband be free from the curse that has turned him into a demoniac cannibal.
May the merit I have gained thus free him from misery.’
As soon as Lalita finished speaking, her husband, who stood nearby, was at once freed from the king’s curse.
He immediately regained his original form as the Gandharva Lalit, a handsome heavenly singer adorned with many beautiful ornaments.
Now, with his wife Lalita, he could enjoy even more opulence than before.
All this was accomplished by the power and glory of Kamada Ekadasi.
At last the Gandharva couple boarded a celestial airplane and ascended to heaven.
Lord Sri Krishna continued, ‘Oh Yudhishthira, best of kings, anyone who hears this wonderful narration should certainly observe holy Kamada Ekadasi to the best of his ability, such great merit does it bestow upon the faithful devotee.
I have therefore described its glories to you for the benefit of all humanity.
There is no better Ekadasi than Kamada Ekadasi.
It can eradicate even the sin of killing a brhmana, and it also nullifies demoniac curses and cleanses the consciousness.
In all the three worlds, among movable and immovable living entities, there is no better day’
Glories of Vaikuntha Ekadashi (Vijaya Ekadasi)
Yudhisthira Maharaj said, Oh Lord Sri Krishna, O glorious son of Vasudeva, please be merciful to me and describe the Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Phalguna (February-March). Lord Sri Krishna replied, Oh Yudhisthira, Oh king of kings, gladly I shall tell you about this great fast, known as Vijaya Ekadasi. Whoever observes it certainly achieves success in this life and the next. All the sins of one who fasts on this Ekadasi and hears its sublime glories are eradicated. Narada Muni once asked lord Brahma, who sits on a lotus flower about the Vijaya Ekadasi. Sri Narada said, Oh best of all the demigods, kindly tell me the merit one can achieve by faithfully observing Vijaya Ekadasi.’ Narada’s great father then replied, My dear son, this oldest of fasting days is pure, and it nullifies all sins. I have never revealed this to anyone until today, but you can understand beyond any doubt that this Ekadasi bestows the result indicated by its name (Vijaya meaning Victory).
When Lord Rama was exiled to the forest for fourteen years, He, the goddess Sita, and His divine brother Lakshmana stayed at Panchavati as mendicants. Mother Sita was then kidnapped by the demon Ravana, and Lord Rama seemingly became bewildered like an ordinary man by distress. While searching for His beloved consort, the Lord came upon the dying Jatayu and thereafter killed His enemy Kabandha. The great devotee-vulture Jatayu returned to Vaikuntha after telling Rama how His dear Sita had been abducted by Ravana. Later, Lord Rama and Sugriva, the king of the monkeys, became friends. Together they amassed a grand army of monkeys and bears and sent Hanumanji his minister to Sri Lanka, where he was able to see Janaki (Srimati Sita devi) in an Ashoka grove garden. He delivered Lord Rama’s message and showed the ring proving his authenticity for rendering such great service to the Supreme Lord Sri Rama. With the help of Sugriva, Lord Rama proceeded toward Sri Lanka. Upon arriving at the shore of the ocean with the army of monkeys, He could understand that the water was uncommonly deep and hostile. Thus He said to Lakshmana, Oh son of Sumitra, how can We earn enough merit to be able to cross this vast ocean, the unfathomable abode of Varuna deva? I can see no easy way to cross it, teeming as it is with sharks and other ferocious aquatics. Lakshmana replied, Oh best of all beings, Oh origin of all the devas, Oh primal personality, the great sage Bakadalbhya lives on an island just four miles from here. Oh Raghava, he has seen many Brahmas come and go, so aged and wise is he. Let us go to him, take his darshan (audience) and ask him how We can safely reach our goal. So Rama and Lakshmana proceeded to the humble Ashram of the incomparable Bakadalbhya Muni.
Observing Vaikuntha Ekadashi
Approaching him, the two Lords paid Their respectful obeisances to him as if he were a second Vishnu. Bakadalbhya could immediately understand, however, that Sri Rama was actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who for His own reasons had appeared on the Earth and was enacting just like a human being. “Sri Rama”, said Bakadalbhya, “Oh best of the beings, why have You come to my lowly abode?” The Lord replied, “Oh great, twice born brahmin, I have come here to the ocean shore with My phalanx of monkey and bear warriors in order to cross the sea and conquer Lanka and its demon horde headed by Ravana. Oh greatest of sages, please be merciful unto Me and please tell Me how I can cross this vast ocean. That is why I have come to your Ashram today.” The sage said, “Oh Lord Sri Rama, I shall tell you of the most exalted of all fasts, observing which You will surely conquer Ravana and be eternally glorified. Kindly now listen with full attention.” “On the day before Ekadasi, fashion a water pot of gold or silver, or even copper. Even clay will do if these metals are unavailable. Fill the pot with pure water and then decorate it nicely with mango leaves. Cover it and place it near a holy altar upon a mound of seven grains (the seven grains are barley, wheat, rice, corn, chickpeas, kukani, and dahl or peas). Now take Your morning bath, decorate the water pot with flower garlands and sandalwood paste, and in the concave lid atop the pot place there the barley, pomegranate, and coconut. Now with great love and devotion worship the water pot Deity form and offer Him incense, sandalwood paste, flowers, a ghee lamp, and a plate of sumptuous foods. Remain there awake that night beside this sacred pot. On top of the lid filled with barley, etc., place a golden murthy of Lord Sri Narayana. When Ekadasi dawns, take Your morning bath and then decorate the water pot with fine sandalwood paste and garlands. Then worship the pot again with first class incense, lamps, sandalwood paste and flowers dipped in sandalwood paste, and then devoutly/devotedly place many kinds of cooked food, pomegranate, and coconut before the water pot. Then remain awake over night. When the Dwadasi dawns, take the waterpot to the bank of a holy river, or even to the shore of a small pond. After worshipping it again properly, Oh King of kings, offer it with all the aforementioned ingredients to a pure hearted brahmin, expert in the Vedic sciences. If You and Your military commanders observe the Vijaya Ekadasi in this way, You will surely be victorious in every way.”
Lord Sri Ramachandra Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, did just as Bakadaalbhya Muni instructed, and thus He conquered all demoniac forces. Similarly, anyone who observes the Vijaya Ekadasi in this way will always be victorious in this mortal world, and after leaving this world he/she will reside forever in the anxiety free realm of the Kingdom of God known as the Vaikunthas. Oh Narada, my son, from this history you can understand why one should observe this Ekadasi fast properly, strictly following the rules and regulations. This fast is powerful enough to eradicate all one’s sinful reactions, even the most abominable ones. Lord Sri Krishna concluded, Oh Yudhisthira, anyone who reads or hears this history will attain the same great merit as that which is earned by performing a horse sacrifice on days of yore. Thus ends the narration of the glories of Phalguna-krishna Ekadasi or Vijaya Ekadasi, from the Skanda Purana.
While reading the book “Teachings of Queen Kunti”, I felt like to share few excerpts with you all. Here are the excerpts:
Srimati Kunti said: O Krsna, I offer my obeisances unto You because You are the original personality and are unaffected by the qualities of the material world. You are existing both within and without everything, yet You are invisible to all.
Srimati Kuntidevi was quite aware that Krsna is the original Personality of Godhead, although He was playing the part of her nephew.
Such an enlightened lady could not commit a mistake by offering obeisances unto her nephew. Therefore, she addressed Him as the original purusa beyond the material cosmos. Although all living entities are also transcendental, they are neither original nor infallible. The living entities are apt to fall down under the clutches of material nature, but the Lord is never like that. In the Vedas, therefore, He is described as the chief among all living entities (nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam).
Then again He is adressed as isvara, or the controller. The living entities or the demigods like Candra and Surya are also to some extent isvara, but none of them is the supreme isvara, or the ultimate controller. Krsna is the paramesvara, or the Supersoul. He is both within and without. Although He was present before Srimati Kunti as her nephew, He was also within her and everyone else. In the Bhagavad-gita (15.15) the Lord says, “I am situated in everyone’s heart, and only due to Me one remembers, forgets, and is cognizant, etc. Through all the Vedas I am to be known because I am the compiler of the Vedas, and I am the teacher of the Vedanta.” Queen Kunti affirms that the Lord, although both within and without all living beings, is still invisible. The Lord is, so to speak, a puzzle for the common man. Queen Kunti experienced personally that Lord Krsna was present before her, yet He entered within the womb of Uttara to save her embryo from the attack of Asvatthama’s brahmastra. Kunti herself was puzzled about whether Sri Krsna is allpervasive or localized. In fact, He is both, but He reserves the right of not being exposed to persons who are not surrendered souls. This checking curtain is called the maya energy of the Supreme Lord, and it controls the limited vision of the rebellious soul. It is explained as follows.
Being beyond the range of limited sense perception, You are the eternally irreproachable factor covered by the curtain of deluding energy. You are invisible to the foolish observer, exactly as an actor dressed as a player is not recognized.
In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Sri Krsna affirms that less intelligent persons mistake Him to be an ordinary man like us, and thus they deride Him. The same is confirmed herein by Queen Kunti. The less intelligent persons are those who rebel against the authority of the Lord. Such persons are known as asuras. The asuras cannot recognize the Lord’s authority. When the Lord Himself appears among us, as Rama, Nrsimha, Varaha, or in His original form as Krsna, He performs many wonderful acts which are humanly impossible. As we shall find in the Tenth Canto of this great literature, Lord Sri Krsna exhibited His humanly impossible activities even from the days of His lying on the lap of His mother. He killed the Putana witch, although she smeared her breast with poison just to kill the Lord. The Lord sucked her breast like a natural baby, and He sucked out her very life also. Similarly, He lifted the Govardhana Hill, just as a boy picks up a frog’s umbrella, and stood several days continuously just to give protection to the residents of Vrndavana. These are some of the superhuman activities of the Lord described in the authoritative Vedic literatures like the Puranas, Itihasas (histories), and Upanisads. He has delivered wonderful instructions in the shape of the Bhagavad-gita. He has shown marvelous capacities as a hero, as a householder, as a teacher, and as a renouncer. He is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead by such authoritative personalities as Vyasa, Devala, Asita, Narada, Madhva, Sankara, Ramanuja, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Jiva Gosvami, Visvanatha Cakravarti, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, and all other authorities of the line. He Himself has declared as much in many places of the authentic literatures. And yet there is a class of men with demoniac mentality who are always reluctant to accept the Lord as the Supreme Absolute Truth.
This is partially due to their poor fund of knowledge and partially due to their stubborn obstinacy, which results from various misdeeds in the past and present. Such persons could not recognize Lord Sri Krsna even when He was present before them. Another difficulty is that those who depend more on their imperfect senses cannot realize Him as the Supreme Lord. Such persons are like the modern scientist. They want to know everything by their experimental knowledge. But it is not possible to know the Supreme Person by imperfect experimental knowledge. He is described herein as adhoksaja, or beyond the range of experimental knowledge. All our senses are imperfect. We claim to observe everything and anything, but we must admit that we can observe things under certain material conditions only, which are also beyond our control. The Lord is beyond the observation of sense perception. Queen Kunti accepts this deficiency of the conditioned soul, especially of the woman class, who are less intelligent. For the less intelligent there must be such things as temples, mosques, or churches so that they may begin to recognize the authority of the Lord and hear about Him from authorities in such holy places. For the less intelligent, this beginning of spiritual life is essential, and only foolish men decry the establishment of such places of worship, which are required to raise the standard of spiritual attributes for the mass of people. For less intelligent persons, bowing down before the authority of the Lord, as generally done in the temples, mosques, or churches, is as beneficial as it is for the advanced devotees to meditate upon Him by active service.