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purshottam mass
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unnati
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 2:31 am    Post subject: purshottam mass Reply with quote

Jai jai shri gokulesh,

What is the importance of Purshottam mass??
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Vasant Punjabi
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jai Jai Shri Gokulesh,

Good question and at the right time Unnatiji. Hope you will guide us with this valuable information too. Thanks in advance.

With my limited knowledge let me add this !

Adhik-Maas (Extra Lunar Month) Also known as Purshottam Maas.

Astronomy

The lunar calendar adds one extra month every third year. This extra month is known by various names: Adhik Maas, Mal Maas, Purushottam Maas, Malimmacha. This is the thirteenth month of the lunar calendar.

Just as there is the lunar year with the extra month (Adhik Maas), so is there a lunar year with a diminished or reduced month, with only eleven months in the year. The lunar year comprising of eleven months only is very rare indeed. It occurs once in 140 years or once in 190 years. But the extra month or Adhik Maas comes every third year. Adhik Maas adopts the name of the month that follows Adhik Maas.

Whenever Sankranti does not fall within one month then Adhik Maas occurs. When there are two Sankrantis within one month then it becomes the lunar year with one reduced month (11 months in the year).

Vasishtha Siddhanta (the treatise of Vasishtha) mentions that Adhik Maas or the extra lunar month occurs after every 32 months, 16 days and 8 Ghadis (a Ghadi is a period of 24 minutes and 60 Ghadis equal 24 hours).

It is a fact that the solar year is made up of 365 days and about 06 minutes and the lunar year is made up of 354 days. Thus both the solar and the lunar years have gaps of 11 days, 1 hour, 31 minutes and 12 seconds. As this gap increases each year, it approximates in three years to one month.

[Note: The moon takes about 27.3 days to make one complete orbit around the earth. The earth orbits around the sun once every 365.2422 days (= earth’s orbital speed of 29.79 km per second). The earth and the moon in 27.3 days have moved as a system about 1/12 of the ways around the sun. This means that from one full moon to the next full moon, the moon must travel 2.2 extra days before it appears full. This is due to the curve of the earth’s orbit around the sun. The moon is still making one complete orbit (circle) in 27.3 days. But to line up with the earth and sun to become a full moon again it takes 29.531 days.

29.531 day Lunar months = 354.372 days per lunar year. Thus we arrive at a difference of 10.87 days a year between a lunar year and a solar year of 365.2422 days per year.]

Religious significance of Adhik Maas

Regarding Adhik Maas (Mal Maas Vrat ) is capable of washing away all the sins of people (who observe the Vrat). During this month mukta, nakta, fasting etc are undertaken and garments etc. are distributed to charities. A beautiful story relates to how, in ancient times, through the observance of Mal Maas Vrat, king Nahush was released from all bondage and acquired the throne of Indra (the ruler of gods in heaven).

It is written in the Devi Bhagavat that charitable and meritorious acts and fastings etc. carried out during this Mal Maas (Adhik Maas), inevitably produce results. Just as atomic sized contents within a seed produce a giant and long living Banyan tree, so in the same manner even a little charitable act done during Mal Maas (Adhik Maas) produces big results.

As mentioned before, Mal Maas or Adhik Maas is also known as Purushottama Maas. There is a nice story about this. According to the lunar year, there were only 12 months. Each of the twelve months was assigned to 12 gods. So that the lunar and the solar years do not get out of step with days and seasons, the far-sighted Rishi-Munis calculated and facilitated Adhik Maas (extra month) and shown its importance. But one problem still remained. Each of the 12 months was assigned to 12 different gods. But the 13th extra month was not assigned to any god. Adhik Maas (Mal Maas) felt sadness and approached Lord Vishnu and said that no god was assigned to him (Adhik Maas) and for that reason he was called Mal Maas or Malimmucha. Adhik Maas further spoke to Lord Vishnu: ‘ I am filled with anxiety and I have therefore come to seek your refuge and help.’

Lord Vishnu took pity on him. The Lord (Vishnu) agreed and assigned Adhik Maas to Himself and gave the name Purushottama Maas to this month. Lord Vishnu also said that acquisition of merits during other months through good deeds, japa, austerities etc can be acquired by japa, austerities etc. carried out within this one month. Since then it is known as the Purushottama Maas and acquired greater significance than the other months.

In a book called Purushottama Granth can be found many aspects of the special religious significance of this month. Many people read or listen to this book during Purushottama Maas (Adhik Maas). By reading and listening, high merits are acquired. There are lots of lovely stories connected with the special significance of this month.

It is written in the Bhavishyottar Purana that fasting or eating once a day should commence on the first day of the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) and end on the last day of the dark fortnight (Krishna Paksha). According to ability, distribute to charities and do good deeds.

Adhik Maas

The Puranas also sing high praises about Adhik Maas and indicate Puja, readings of scriptures etc. during Adhik Maas. Selfless actions, without the expectations of results, are to be performed during Adhik Maas. Mal Maas (Adhik Maas) is the month for Vishnu puja. The recitation of Srimad Bhagavat Purana and of the Bhagavad Gita during this month produce top meritorious results. In addition to singing and listening to the praises of the Lord (Vishnu), undertake Adhik Maas Vrat also. This Vrat is to begin from the first day and ends on the last day of Adhik Maas. Waking up during the hours of Brahma Muhurta (between 4 am and 6 am), after ablutions, place a murti of Radha-Krisha or Lakshmi-Narayana and perform Sodashopachara puja. If there is a temple nearby then perform puja of whatever deities are usually worshipped therein. During the entire month of Mal Maas Vrat eat Sattvic food (vegetarian meals, milk, fruits, nuts, grains, vegetables). One meal at night is recommended.

It is written in the Bhavishyottar Purana that Shri Krishna Himself has said regarding Adhik Maas Vrat that by carrying out the Vrat with the sole aim of worshipping God, through fasting, cleanliness, charity, puja etc. merits are acquired which produce unfailing results and all sorts of calamities are overcome.

It is also said that

In Purushottam month, Yagna and Punya daan (charity) remove the sinful reactions such as “Graha dosh”, “Pitru dosh”, “Kaal sarpa dosh”, “Nag dosh”, and “Bhumi dosh,”

Performance of this yagna makes one’s life fruitful, auspicious and fulfils one’s desires.

It was Lord Krishna who visited Yudhistar (Pandva Brothers) in the forest when they were having difficult times then Lord Krishna told them to observe Purshottam Maas and they just did that. Lord explained them that why Draupadi has 5 husbands now and He also told Draupadi everything about her previous birth. Then there are other stories of different people who kept their Purshottam Mas ekadashi knowingly and not knowingly and all were rewarded . Requesting please buy that pustak and read it. My advise to vaisnavs do your seva everyday do not wait for Purshottam Mas (Month) only but during Purshottam Month do more. As Lord Krishna is the giver and when He gives He gives a lot.

There is more to add but will leave for Unnatiji to add more.
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jai shree krishna.

thanks dear vasantji for explaining this topic. this is an important month and will try to improve on our sevas. may god gives us lot of energy to perform seva with bhava. its nice to be with all of you dear vaishnavs. i have missed all of you. please write in more stories regarding this pavitra month, so that mind and buddhi become shuddh. thanks a lot for all your help. Smile
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jai Shri Krishna,

It is nice to see you back Kavitaji. Very Happy

Story time for your kids

Padmini Ekadasi - Adik Maas Ekadasi

Yudhishthira Maharaja said, Oh Janardana, what is the name of the Ekadasi that occurs during the light fortnight (shukla paksha) of the extra, leap year month? How does one observe it properly? Please narrate all this to me.

The Supreme Lord, Lord Sri Krishna, replied the meritorious Ekadasi that occurs during the light fortnight of the extra month of leap year is called Padmini. It is very auspicious. The fortunate soul who observes it with great determination and faith will return toVishnu Loka. This extra-month Ekadasi is as powerful as I am in nullifying sins. Even four-headed Lord Brahma cannot glorify it sufficiently. Long ago Lord Brahma told Narada about this liberating, sin-removing Ekadasi.

Lord Krishna said: Oh king, please listen carefully as I narrate to you the process of fasting on Padmini Ekadasi, which is rarely done even by great sages.

One should begin his fast on the Dashami, the day before Ekadasi, by not eating any Urad dal, pink dal, chickpeas, spinach, honey, or sea salt, and also by not dining in homes of others or off bell-metal plates. These eight things should be avoided. One should eat only once on the Dashami, sleep on the ground, and remain celibate. On Ekadasi the devotee should rise early in the morning but should brush his teeth. Then he should thoroughly bathe - in a place of pilgrimage, if possible. While chanting sacred hymns from the Vedas, he should smear his body with cow dung mixed with clay, sesame-seed paste, kusha grass, and the powder of Amalaki fruits. Then the devotee should take another thorough bath, after which he should chant the following prayers: "Oh sacred clay, you have been created by Lord Brahma, purified by Kashyapa Muni, and lifted by Lord Krishna in His form as Varaha, the boar incarnation. Oh clay, please purify my head, eyes, and other limbs. Oh clay, I offer my obeisance unto you. Kindly purify me so I may worship the Supreme Lord, Sri Hari". "Oh cow-dung, you posses medicinal and antiseptic qualities because you have come directly from the stomach of our universal mother, the cow. You can purify the entire planet Earth. Please accept my humble obeisance’s and purify me". "Oh Amalaki fruits, please accept my humble obeisance’s. You have taken your birth from the saliva of Lord Brahma, and thus by your very presence the entire planet is purified. Kindly cleanse and purify my bodily limbs". "Oh Supreme Lord Vishnu, Oh God of the gods, Oh master of the universe, Oh holder of the conch, disc, club, and lotus, please allow me to bathe in all the holy places of pilgrimage."

Reciting these excellent prayers, chanting mantras to Lord Varuna, and meditating on all the places of pilgrimage located on the banks of the Ganges, one should bathe in whatever body of water is at hand. Then, Oh Yudhishthira, the devotee should rub his body, thus purifying his mouth, back, chest, arms, and waist as a prelude to worshipping the Supreme Lord, who wears brilliant yellow garments and gives pleasure to all creatures. By so doing, the devotee will destroy all his sins. Afterwards, he should chant the sacred Gayatri mantra, offer oblations to his forefathers, and then enter a Vishnu temple to worship Lord Narayana, the husband of the Goddess of Fortune, Laxmi-devi.

If possible, the devotee should then fashion Deities of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna or Shiva and Parvati out of gold and offer them nice devotional worship. He should fill a copper or clay pot with pure water mixed with scents, and then he should cover the pot with a cloth lid and a gold or silver lid, in this way preparing an Asana upon which the Radha-Krishna or Shiva-Parvati murthis may sit for worship. According to capacity, the devotee should then worship these murtis with fragrant incense, a bright ghee lamp, and sandalwood paste along with camphor, musk, kumkum, and other scents, as well as selected aromatic flowers like white lotuses and other seasonal blooms, and also very nicely prepared foods. On this special Ekadasi the devotees should dance and sing ecstatically before the Deity. He should avoid prajalpa (talking unnecessarily of ordinary, mundane conversational topics) at all costs and should not talk to or touch lowborn persons (untrained persons habituated to low acts) or a woman in her menstrual period, or others so absorbed. On this day he should be especially careful to speak the truth and certainly not criticize anyone before the Deity of Lord Vishnu, the Brahmins, or the spiritual master. Rather, with other devotees he should be absorbed in listening to Vaishnavas read the glories of Lord Vishnu from the Puranas. One should not drink or even touch water to his lips on this Ekadasi, and one who is unable to perform this austerity should drink only water or milk. Otherwise, the fast is considered broken. One should remain awake that Ekadasi night, singing and playing musical instruments for the transcendental pleasure of the Supreme Person.

During the first quarter of the Ekadasi night the devotee should offer some coconut meat to his worshippable Deity (Isthadeva), during the second part he should offer soothing bel fruit, during the third part an orange, and as the night draws to a close some betel nut. Remaining awake during the first part of the Ekadasi night bestows on the devotee / sadhaka the same merit as that gained by performing the Agnistoma-yajna. Staying awake during the second part of the night bestows the same merit as that gained by performing a Vajapeya-yajna. Stay awake during the third part gives one the same merit as that attained by performing an Ashvamedha-yajna. And one who remains awake throughout the night receives all of the above mentioned merit, as well as the grand merit of having performed a RajasUrya-yajna. Thus there is no better fasting day in the year than Padmini Ekadasi. Nothing can compare to it as a giver of merit, whether it be a fire sacrifice, knowledge, education, or austerity. Indeed, whoever observes this sacred Ekadasi fast receives all the merit attained by bathing in all the places of pilgrimage in the world.

After remaining awake throughout the night, the devotee should bathe at sunrise and then worship Me nicely. He should then feed a qualified Brahmin and respectfully give him the Deity of Lord Keshava and the pot filled with pure scented water. This gift will guarantee the devotee success in this life and liberation in the hereafter.

Oh sinless Yudhishthira, as you have requested, I have described the rules and regulations, as well as the benefits, regarding the Ekadasi that occurs during the light fortnight of the extra, leap-year month. Fasting on this Padmini day bestows merit equal to that gained by fasting on all other Ekadasis. The Ekadasi that occurs during the dark part of the extra month, which is known as Parama Ekadasi, is as powerful at removing sin as this one, Padmini. Now please listen to Me carefully as I narrate to you a fascinating account connected with this sacred day. Pulastya Muni once recited this history to Naradji.

Pulastya Muni once had occasion to rescue the ten headed demon Ravana from the prison of Kartavirya, and upon hearing of this event Narada Muni asked his friend, Oh greatest of sages, since this Ravana defeated all the demigods, including Lord Indradev, how could Kartavirya defeat Ravana, who was so skilled in battle?

Pulastya Muni replied, Oh great Narada, during the Tretayuga Kartavirya (Kartavirya’s father) took birth in the Haihaya dynasty. His capital city was Mahishmati, and he had one thousand Queens, whom he loved very dearly. None of them, however, was able to give him the son he wanted so badly. He performed sacrifices and worshipped the devas (demigods) and forefathers (pitris), but due to the curse of some sage he was unable to beget a son - and without a son, a king cannot enjoy his kingdom.

King Kartavirya carefully considered his plight and then decided to perform severe austerities to achieve his goal. Thus he donned a loincloth made of bark, grew matted locks, and turned over the reins of his kingdom to his ministers. One of his queens, Padmini - who was born in the Ikshvaku dynasty, who was the best of all women, and who was the daughter of King Harishchandra - saw the king leaving. She felt that, since she was a chaste wife, her duty was to follow in the footsteps of her beloved husband. Removing all the regal ornaments from her beautiful body and donning but one piece of cloth, she thus followed her husband into the forest.

At last Kartavirya reached the summit of Mount Gandhamadana, where he performed severe austerities and penance’s for ten thousand years, meditating and praying to Lord Gadadhara, who wields a club. But still he did not get a son. Seeing her dear husband waste away to mere skin and bone, Padmini thought of a solution to the problem. She went to the chaste Anasuya. With great reverence, Padmini said, ‘Oh great lady, my dear husband, Kartavirya, has been performing austerities for the last ten thousand years, but Lord Krishna (Keshava), who alone can remove one's past sins and present difficulties, has not yet become pleased with him. Oh most fortunate one, please tell me a fast day we can observe and thus please the Supreme Lord with our devotion, so much so that He will bless me with a nice son who will later rule the world as emperor.’

Upon hearing the appealing words of Padmini, who was very chaste and deeply devoted to her husband, the great Anasuya replied to her in a very cheerful mood: 'Oh beautiful, lotus-eyed lady, usually there are twelve months in a year, but after every thirty-two months an extra month is added, and the two Ekadasis that occur during this month are called Padmini Ekadasi and Parama Ekadasi. They fall on the Dvadasiis of the light and dark part of the month, respectively. You should fast on these days and remain awake throughout the night. If you do so, the Supreme Lord, Sri Hari, will bless you with a son.

Oh Narada, in this way Anasuya, the daughter of the sage Kardama Muni, explained the potency of these special Ekadasis. Hearing this, Padmini faithfully followed the instructions to fulfill her desire for a son. Padmini fasted completely, even from water, and remained awake all night, chanting the glories of God and dancing in ecstasy. Lord Keshava thus became most pleased with her devotion and appeared before her, riding on the back of the great Garuda. The Lord said, Oh beautiful one, you have greatly pleased Me by fasting on the special Ekadasi of the extra month of Purushottama. Please ask Me for a benediction.

Hearing these sublime words from the overseer of the entire universe, Padmini offered the Supreme Lord devotional prayers and asked Him for the boon her husband desired. Lord Keshava (Krishna) was moved to reply, Oh gentle lady, I am very happy with you, for there is no month dearer to Me than this, and the Ekadasis that occur during this month are the most dear to Me of all Ekadasis. You have followed My devotee Anasuya's instructions perfectly, and therefore I shall do what will please you. You and your husband will have the desired son that you wish.'

The Lord, who removes the distress of the world, then spoke to King Kartavirya: Oh King, please ask of Me any boon that will fulfill your heart's desire, for your dear wife has pleased Me greatly with her devotional fasting.

The king was very happy to hear this. Naturally he asked for the son he had desired for so long: Oh master of the universe, Oh killer of the Madhu-demon, kindly grant me a son who will never be conquered by the demigods, human beings, snakes, demons, or hobgoblins, but whom only You can defeat. The Supreme Lord immediately replied, ‘So be it!’ and disappeared.

The king became so very pleased with his wife and returned to his palace in her company. Padmini soon became pregnant, and the mighty-armed Kartavirya appeared as her son. He was the mightiest person in all the three worlds, and thus even the ten-headed Ravana could not defeat him in battle. Except for Lord Narayana, who holds a club, a disc, and other symbols in His hands no one could overcome him. By the merit that resulted from his mother's strict and faithful observance of Padmini Ekadasi, he could defeat even the dreaded Ravana. This is not at all surprising, Oh Naradji, for Kartavirya was the fulfillment of the benediction of the Supreme Lord. With these words, Pulastya Muni departed.

The Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna, concluded, 'Oh sinless Yudhishthira, as you have enquired from Me, I have explained to you the power of this special Ekadasi. Oh best of kings, whoever observe this fast will surely attain to Vishnu Loka.

Thus ends the narration of the glories of Padmini Ekadasi, the Ekadasi that occurs during the light fortnight of the extra, leap-year month of Purushottama, from the Skanda Purana.
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jai Shri Krishna,

There was one more question put by Yudhishthira

Shri Yudhishthira Maharaja said, Oh Supreme Lord, what is the name and character of that Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight (Krishna Paksha) of the extra, leap year month of Purushottama. Also, Oh master of all the universes, what is the process for observing it properly? Kindly narrate all of this to me?

Hope someone will reply this.
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jai jai shri gokulesh,

Vasantji, that was really excellent posting... Sorry to interrupt in between but here I’ve something more to share.

Sun shows it occurrence every month in different zodiacs but not in this extra month as a result of this no auspicious occasions are celebrated in Adhik Mass and it is known as Maal mass but since it is acepted by lord Vishnu it is known as Purushottam Maas.

As discussed by Shri Vishal Goswami for the topic Purshottam Maas;
Let us discuss astrological/mythological point of view---

surya har mahine ek raashi mein pravesh hota hai jise suryasankranti kehte hain aur surya pure mahine wohi ek raashi mein rehta hai, aur dhai saal mein ek mahina sesh hota hai jin main surya sankranti nahi karta, jise adhik ya mal maas ke naam se jaanaa jata tha aur hai. har mahina mein ek2 devta biraajmaan hain aadhidevik swaroop se.(is maas ko koi bhi devtaaon ne nahi swikaara tha isliye prabhu ne swayam is maas ko swikarte huve apna naam diya)

e.g for this year:
chaitra month se naya varsh praarambh hote hai, suryanarayan is in mesh raashi... then vrushab raashi vaishaakh mein hoti hai.....
jyestha mein mithun raashi hoti hai. this time suryanarayan has to go to mithun raashi lekin vrushab mein hi ruk gaye hain.
aashad mein kark mein biraajne chahiye, sawan mein singh, bhaadav mein kanya, aaso mein tula,kaartik mein vruschik,
maargashirsh mein dhanu raashi,paush mein kumbh, maagh mein makar, paagun mein meen.

is mahine mein shubh karya varjit hain like mairrages and thread ceremony is liye hame jyaada se jyaada prabhu smaran aur seva manorath vagere karke apne sevya thakurji ko laad ladana chahiye

As for vrat upvaas pusthimarga mein iski aagya nahin hai (except ekadashi and jayanti) kyonki agar aap khud thakurji ko vividh saamagri aarogatein ho aur fir use koi khayega nahin to woh prashad ka anadar hai and again agar aap bhuke rahoge toh fir seva se man vichalit hoga aur woh sabse bada apraadh hain (gusainji ne tansen ko afin kha kar kirtan karne ki aagya di thi kyonki unki raag afin kha kar nikalti thi aur usmein thakurji ko aanand aata tha....is udaahran ko anyatha na liya jaye)
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Last edited by unnati on Sun May 20, 2007 5:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jai Jai Shri Gokulesh

The names of the leap year Ekadashi's are;

1. Padmini Ekadashi: Bhavana is of Shri Laxmiji

2. Parma Ekadashi (Kamala Ekadashi) : Bhavana is of Shri Yamunaji
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jai Jai Shri Gokulesh,

Thanks for your inputs Unnatiji. Yes you are right as per Goswami Balak

"As for vrat upvaas pusthimarga mein iski aagya nahin hai (except ekadashi and jayanti"

Hence if you see my posting above I never mentioned any dates one should observe in Pushtimarg. It was general story about Shri Yudhishthra question and answer by Shri Krishna.
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jai jai shri gokulesh

Vasantji, I read the whole conversation between Shri Yudhishthra question and answer by Shri Krishna and u have not said anything about the Vrat's n all... Smile

Actually when the discussion was going on with Vishal bawa, the topic was like one has to observe fast or not during this month. So Vishal bawa gave the whole input and rather than deleting part of the posting i thought to upload the whole.
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jai sri krishna.

thanks unnatiji for the information. there were doubts about fasting in pushtimarg. but they are very clear now. thanks vasantji for the nice stories. pl keep writing more.
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Vasantji and Unnatiji for sharing this information.

Quote:
"As for vrat upvaas pusthimarga mein iski aagya nahin hai "

I think the word upavaas is not used in the right context here. upa means near and vaas means to stay. So Upavaas means staying near to god. It has nothing to do with fasting. So if we go by this meaning one can do upavaas throughout his life and there cannot be any restriction.

As far as fasting is concerned I have always failed to understand why we are allowed to eat certain food and why not other. For eg we are allowed to eat Potato, Sabudna etc and not wheat, rice etc. Anyone, how this is determined on what can we eat and why?

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jai Shri Krishna, AND Jai Jai Shri Gokulesh

Thanks for your inputs Unnatiji and Kavitaji Very Happy

Here is the answer to my above question on Purshottam Maas ekadashi which occurs on KRISHNA PAKSHA

(Good story for your kids since you requested more Kavitaji ! )

Parama Ekadasi - Adik Maas

Shri Yudhishthira Maharaja said, Oh Supreme Lord, what is the name and character of that Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight (krishna paksha) of the extra, leap year month of Purushottama. Also, Oh master of all the universes, what is the process for observing it properly? Kindly narrate all of this to me?

The Supreme Lord, Lord Sri Krishna, replied, Oh Yudhishthira, this meritorious day is called Parama Ekadasi. It bestows the great benediction of an enjoyable life and ultimate liberation, release from birth and death. The process for observing it is similar to that for observing the Ekadasi that occurs during the light part of this month of Kartika. That is to say, on this Ekadasi one should worship Me – Lord Narotram, the best of all living beings, with full love and devotion. In this connection I will now tell you a wonderful history, just as I heard it from the great sage in the city of Kampilya.

Once a very pious Brahmin named Sumedha resided in Kampilya with his wife, Pavitra, who was extremely chaste and devoted to her husband. On account of having committed some sin in his previous life, Sumedha was without any money or food grains, and even though he begged many people for food, he could not obtain any substantial amount. He hardly had adequate food, clothing, or shelter for himself and his beautiful young wife, who was of such excellent character that she continued to serve Sumedha faithfully despite their poverty. When guests would come to their home, Pavitra mataji would give them her own food, and although she often went hungry, her beautiful, lotuslike face never faded. This fasting made her weak, but her affection for Sumedha remained unbreakable.

Seeing all this, and lamenting his bad luck, Sumedha one day said to Pavitra, My dear wife, Oh most beautiful one, I beg alms from the rich but receive scarcely a scrap. What am I to do? What possible relief is there for our plight? Where should I go for relief? Oh most obedient and loving wife, without enough wealth, household affairs is never successful. Therefore please permit me to go abroad and attain some wealth. If I make such an effort, I shall certainly obtain whatever fortune I am destined to enjoy. Without making some endeavor a person cannot satisfy his desires or meet his needs. Thus wise men have said that enthusiastic endeavor is always auspicious. One who endeavors enthusiastically will certainly attain success, but one who merely says ‘I accept my lot in life’ is a lazy man.

Upon hearing this from her husband as he spoke these words, Pavitra joined her palms and, her eyes brimming with tears, spoke to him with great respect and affection: 'I think there is no one greater or more learned than you, my dear. One who, though in misery, is interested in the welfare of others speaks just as you have. However, the scriptures state that whatever wealth a person attains in his life is due to his having given charity in previous lives, and that if one has not given charity in previous lives, then even though he may sit atop a mound of gold as big as Mount Sumeru, he will still remain poor.

Transcendental knowledge, spiritual education, satisfying wealth, and pleasing family members are acquired by a person who has given profuse charity. Whatever good a person does returns to him many folds.
Whatever is predestined by Viddhata, the fortune-maker, will surely happen. One's so called good education, skill, and enthusiasm will not necessarily guarantee to bring one success." Whatever charity a person gives in the form of education, money, fertile land and the like is returned to him in a future lifetime. We gain what we have given, when given with a good heart. Indeed, whatever the Lord of destiny, the creator, has written as one's fortune will certainly come to pass. No one attains any wealth without having given in charity in his previous life. Oh best of the Brahmins, since we are now poor, in our previous lives neither you nor I must have given any/sufficient charity to worthy persons. Therefore, Oh gracious husband, you should remain here with me. Without you I cannot live even a moment.

Bereft of her husband, a woman is not welcomed by her father, mother, brother, father-in-law, or any other family members. Everyone will say, ‘You have lost your husband; you are bad luck/fortune personified!’ In this way I shall be criticized severely!

A chaste woman always thinks that pleasing her spiritually situated husband is her heavenly pleasure, utmost duty, and greatest austerity. Whatever is destined, we shall obtain in due course of time and enjoy here in perfect happiness.'

Hearing these plaintive words from his wife, Sumedha decided to remain in their native village. One day the great sage Kaundinya arrived at their place, and upon seeing him the Brahmin Sumedha and his wife stood up before him and then offered him their respectful obeisance. With his head bowed, Sumedha welcomed him: 'We are very fortunate to behold you here today, Oh wisest of sages. My life has become successful, and I am much obliged to you.

Sumedha offered Kaundinya Muni a comfortable seat and highly praised his austerities and learning. "Just by having your darshan today," said Sumedha, "I have become very fortunate." The poor Brahmin couple fed the sage as sumptuously as they could afford to according to their means, and afterwards Pavitra asked the mendicant, ‘Oh most learned one, what process can we follow to be relieved of our poverty? How can a person who has not given anything in charity in his previous life get a good family, much wealth, and a fine education in this life? My husband wants to leave me here and go abroad to beg alms, but I have earnestly prayed to him to stay here with me. I humbly told him that if one lacks wealth in the present life, it is because of not having given sufficient charity in previous lifetimes. And so he has consented to remain here. It is only due to my great fortune that you have so mercifully come here today. Now we are certain to see the end of our poverty very soon.’

Oh best of the Brahmans, please tell us how we can be free of this perpetual misery brought on by poverty. Oh merciful one, kindly describes some means - a place of pilgrimage we may visit, a day of fasting we may observe, or an austerity we may perform - by which our ill fortune will end forever.

Hearing this sincere supplication from the patient lady, the great sage Kaundinya reflected silently for a moment and then said, There is a fast day very dear to the Supreme Lord, Lord Hari. Fasting on this day nullifies all kinds of sins and removes all miseries caused by poverty. This fast day, which occurs during the dark part (Krishna paksha) of the extra, leap-year month, is known as Parama Ekadasi. It is the topmost day of Lord Vishnu, hence the name Parama. This extra month (Purushottam Maas), dark fortnight Ekadasi bestows all the necessities of life, such as money and food grains, and at last gives liberation/release. When the evening of this day comes, one should begin singing the glories of the Lord and dancing in ecstasy, and one should continue through the entire night.

This holy fast was once observed faithfully by Lord Kuvera (the treasurer of the devas). Also, king Harishchandra fasted on this Ekadasi after his dear wife and son had been sold, and the king was able to get them back. Thereafter he ruled his kingdom with no further impediments. Therefore, Oh broad-eyed lady, you also should observe the sacred fast of Parama Ekadasi, following all the appropriate rules and regulations and remaining awake all night.'"

Lord Sri Krishna continued, Oh Yudhishthira, son of Pandu, in this way Kaundinya Muni mercifully and affectionately instructed Pavitra about the Parama Ekadasi fast. Then he said to Sumedha, ‘On the Dvadasii, the day after Ekadasi, you should vow to observe Pancharatriki fasting according to all the rules and regulations. After taking a bath early in the morning, you and your good wife, along with both your parents and hers, should fast for five days according to your ability. Then you will all become eligible to return home, to the abode of Lord Vishnu.

A person who simply makes use of only one seat during these five days goes to the heavenly planets. Whoever feeds qualified Brahmins nicely on these five days has in effect fed all the demigods, all human beings, and even all the demons. Whoever donates a pot of drinking water to a twice born Brahmin during this five-day period will gain merit equal to that gained by donating the entire planet in charity. Anyone who gives a learned person a pot filled with sesame seeds resides in heaven for as many years as there are seeds in the pot. One who donates a pot filled with golden ghee will surely go to the abode of the sun god after fully enjoying the pleasures of this earthly planet. Whoever remains celibate during these five-days will attain celestial happiness and enjoy with the maidens of Indraloka. Therefore both of you - Sumedha and Pavitra- should fast during these five days of Pancharatrika in order to be rewarded with ample grains and wealth for the rest of your lives on this planet. The spiritual world will be your abode thereafter.

Hearing this sublime advice, the Brahmin couple, Sumedha and Pavitra, properly observed the Parama Ekadasi and the fast of Pancharatrika, and very soon thereafter they beheld a handsome prince approaching them from the royal palace. On the orders of Lord Brahma, the prince gave them a beautiful, exquisitely furnished house and invited them to live in it. Praising their austerity and patience, he also gave them an entire village for their livelihood. Then he returned to the palace. Thus Sumedha and his wife enjoyed all kinds of facilities in this world and at last went to the abode of Lord Vishnu.

Anyone who observes a fast on Parama Ekadasi and also the fast of Pancharatrika is freed from all his sins, and after enjoying life he returns to Vishnuloka, as did the Brahmin Sumedha and his faithful wife, Pavitra. It is impossible, Oh Yudhishthira, to calculate the extent of the merit one obtains by fasting on Parama Ekadasi, for such an observance is equal to bathing in places of pilgrimage such as Pushkara Lake and the Ganges river, giving cows in charity, and performing all sorts of other religious activities. One who fasts on this day has also completed the offerings of oblations to his forefathers in Gaya. He has, in effect, fasted on all other auspicious days.

As in the social order the Brahmin are considered the best, as amongst four-legged creatures the cow is best, and as among demigods Lord Indradev is the best, so among all months the extra month of leap-year is the best. The Pancharatrika fast - the fast of five days (panch = five, ratri = nights) in the extra, leap year month - is said to remove all kinds of abominable sins. But the Pancharatriki fast, together with the fasts of Parama and Paramai Ekadasi, destroys all a person's sins. If a person is unable to fast on these days, he should observe the fasts during the extra month according to his ability. A person who, having received a human birth, does not take a proper bath during this extra month and then observes these Ekadasis, which are very dear to Lord Hari, commits suicide and suffers. The rare human birth is meant for accumulating merit and at last achieving liberating release from this material world. Therefore one should by all means observe fasting on this auspicious Parama Ekadasi.

Lord Shri Krishna concluded, Oh sinless Yudhishthira, as you have requested, I have described to you the wonderful merit one can attain by fasting on the Ekadasi named Parama, which occurs during the dark part of the extra, leap-year month. You should observe this fast if at all possible.

Whoever, after taking a proper bath, observes a fast on these two extra-month Ekadasis will go to heaven and finally attain to the abode of Shri Vishnu, and as he travels there he will be praised and prayed to by all the demigods.

Thus ends the narration of the glories of Parama Ekadasi, the Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the extra, leap-year month, from the Skanda Purana.
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"Shri Vallabh Shri Vithal Sukh-kari naa-me nishpap thai nur-nari,
------Nitya Lila nitya nautam shruti na pame par."----
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jai Jai Shri Gokulesh,

Prashantbhai here is small description on importance of Ekadashi

One must consume satvic food and not tamasic also First we should understand what is 'Ekadashi'. Ekadashi as the name suggest is 10+1. We human beings have ten indriya(senses).Out of ten,five r 'karmendriya'and five r 'Gyanendriya'.Five 'karmendriya' r two hands, two legs, upasth and guda. Five 'gyanendriya' r nose, eyes, ears, tongue,skin. Ekadashi means to unite this ten indriya into one and do seva, smaran of Shree Thakorji. On Ekadashi we have to do Upvaas which wrongly spoken by many as 'Apvas'.There is drastic difference between this two words as explained by Shree Dwarkeshlalji Mahoday(Amreli Ghar)in aapshris pustak 'Pushti Parimal'.Upvaas means 'Shree Thakorji paase vaas' and Apvaas means 'Narak ma vaas'. So all vaishnavs please say upvaas and not apvaas. Now coming to the point, the main purpose of doing upvaas on ekadashi is to bring all our indirya toghether and do seva,smaran of Shree Thakorji. All our indriya should not waste time in doing anyother activities but only doing prabhu seva-smaran. First it was like small children and those who cannot stay starving could have 'faral' but now the trend is many have 'faral' on ekadashi. Anyways, we cannot have vegetables like cauliflower,lady fingers (Okra),beans,peas etc on ekadashi but we can have potatoes,cucumber on ekadashi. We can also have milk and fruits on ekadashi.

Thus ekadashi fast is also important from Bhoutic/Devik/Adhyatmic point. --------------------------------------------------
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI HAD made an AAGNYA to perform EKADASHIS AND 4 JAYANTI (KRISHNA, RAM, VAMAN, NRUSIH). So it is our DUTY to do this. EKADASHI is coming from ancient days. Everybody may know the story of AMBARISH MAHARAJ AND MAHARSHI DURVASA. In this story the right way of doing EKADASHI is enlightened. Also it will tell you the MAHATMYA of EKADASHI. From this we can say that SHREE THAKORJI likes the person who does the EKADASHI.

As per other story when SHREE LALITAJI asked SHREE RADHAJI that what is the way to please SHREE THAKORJI then SHREE RADHAJI replied that performing EKADASHI we can please SHREE THAKORJI. So as we are VAISHNAV and our duty is to please SHREE THAKORJI so we have to do EKADASHI. During EKADASHI we have to keep fast. SHREE MAHAPRABHUJI had made an AAGNYA that “TULSI PATRA PAR RAHE TETALU KHAAVU”

One more story for EKADASHI related to SHREE MAHAPRABHUJI. When he was in JAGANNATH PURI somebody gave him PRASAD on the EKADASHI day Then he told the MAHATMYA of PRASAD and sang kirtans the whole day and then on the DHWADASHI he took the PRASAD. Once again I would like to emphasis that every body has to do EKADASHI." --------------------------------------------------

The main reason is to control our Indriyas In Kaljug the main blockage to achieve God is Maya and our Indriyas. It seems Maya is controlling them instead of us.All this Kam, Krodh, Lobe is governing over our Indriyas. Therefore Ekadashi becomes very important for our mind to take over and control of our Indriyas which is very very hard to achieve due to kaljug hence Ekadashi does help to control the Indriyas.

Even in other margs if you have seen people do Satyanarayan katha and keep fasts also many must have read the articles written on Nirjala Ekadashi - Jyeshtha-shukla EkAdasii - from Brahma-vaivarta PurANa which tells its importance.
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------Nitya Lila nitya nautam shruti na pame par."----
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jai Jai Shree Gokulesh,

Thank you Vasantji for explanation of Ekadashi. You brought a very good point that instead of wasting much time on other things we should spend more time in Thakorji's seva on Ekadashi. And that is the reason we fast on that day so that no time is wasted in cooking. But since it is very difficult to get engrosed in god when the stomach is empty. So our rishi munis came up with Falahar. Meaning Fal no aahar, which is satvik and no need to cook, hence no time is spent in cooking.

But it is very interesting to note that at some point of time Falahar got changed to farad and there came a new definition of what we can eat and what we cannot eat. By introducing the farad the very purpose of Upvaas is gone.

Lets say for some people as you mentioned children or some old aged people cannot be on diet by just eating fruits. If they have to eat than why certain kind of food is not allowed? The only criteria should be satvik bhojan. So my question is, is there any other criteria for not eating certain kind of food or its just because it was defined at some point of time and so we refrain from eating it. And if its been going on for years without any reason than should we not make ammendments in such things?

I hope no one feels offended by such questions and takes it in the right spirit. Should someone feel so than I would like to appologize for the same.
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jai Jai Shri Gokulesh,

Prashantbhai here is the story on EKADASHI which may answer your question

Vaishnavs are very inquisitive about the appearance of Sri Ekadashi and about her special characteristics. Therefore I am presenting this description from the fourteenth chapter of the Padma Purana, from the section entitled "Kriya-sagara-sara."

Once the great sage Jaimini Rsi said to his spiritual master Srila Vyasadeva, "Oh Gurudeva! Previously, by your mercy, you described to me thehistory of the glories of the Ganga river, the benefits of worshipping Vishnu, the giving of grains in charity, the giving of water in charity, and the magnanimity of drinking the water that has washed the feet of the brahmanas. O best of the sages, Sri Gurudeva, now, with great enthusiasm, I desire to hear the benefits of fasting on Ekadashi and the appearance of Ekadashi.

kasmad ekadashi jata tasyah ko va vidhir dvija
kada va kriyate kim va phalam kim va vadasva me
ka va pujyatama tatra devata sad-gunarnava
akurvatah syat ko dosa etan me vaktum arhasi

"Oh Gurudeva! When did Ekadashi take birth and from whom did she appear? What are the rules of fasting on the Ekadashi? Please describe the benefits of following this vow and when it should be followed. Who is the utmost worshippable presiding deity of Sri Ekadashi? What are the faults in not following Ekadashi properly? Please bestow your mercyupon me and tell about these subjects, as you are the only personality able to do so."

Srila Vyasadeva, upon hearing this enquiry of Jaimini Rsi, became situated in transcendental bliss. "Oh brahmana sage Jaimini! The results of following Ekadashi can only be perfectly described by the Supreme Lord, Narayana, because Sri Narayana is the only personality capable of describing them in full. But I will give a very brief description in answer to your question."

"At the beginning of the material creation, the Supreme Lord created the moving and nonmoving living entities within this world made of five gross material elements. Simultaneously, for the purpose of punishing the humans beings, He created a personality whose form was the embodiment of sin (Papapurusha). The different limbs of this personality were constructed of the various sinful activities. His head head was made of the sin of murdering a brahmana, his two eyes were the form of the sin of drinking intoxicants, his mouth was made of the sin of stealing gold, his ears were the form of the sin of having illicit connection with the spiritual master's wife, his nose of the sin of killing one's wife, his arms the form of the sin of killing a cow, his neck made of the sin of stealing accumulated wealth, his chest of the sin of abortion, his lower chest of the sin of having sex with another's wife, his stomach of the sin of killing one's relatives, his navel of the sin of killing those who are dependent on him, his waist of the sin of self appraisal, his thighs of the sin of offending the guru, his genital of the sin of selling one's daughter, his buttocks of the sin of telling confidential matters, his feet of the sin of killing one's father, and his hair the form of lesser, less severe sinful activities. In this way, a horrible personality embodying all the sinful activities and vices was created. His bodily colour is black, and his eyes are yellow. He inflicts extreme misery upon sinful persons."

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vishnu, upon seeing this personality of sin, began to think to Himself as follows: 'I am the creator of the miseries and happiness for the living entities. I am their master because I have created this personality of sin, who gives distress to all dishonest, deceitful, and sinful persons. Now I must create someone who will control this personality.' At this time Sri Bhagavan created the personality known as Yamaraj and the different hellishj planetary systems. Those living entities who are very sinful will be sent after death to Yamaraj, who will in turn, according to their sins, send them tom a hellish region to suffer.

"After these adjustments had been made, the Supreme Lord, who is the giver of distress and happiness to the living entities, went to the house of Yamaraj, with the help of Garuda, theking of birds. When Yamaraj saw that Lord Vishnu had arrived, he immediately washed His feet and made an offering unto Him. He then had Him sit upon a golden throne. The Supreme Lord, Vishnu, became seated on the throne, whereupon He heard very loud crying sounds coming from the southern direction. He became surprised by this and thus enquired from Yamaraj, 'From where is this loud crying coming?'

"Yamaraj in reply said, 'Oh Deva! The different living entities of the earthly planetary systems have fallen into the hellish regions. They are suffering extremely for their misdeeds. The horrible crying is because of suffering from the inflictions of their past bad karma (actions).'

"After hearing this the Supreme Lord, Vishnu, went to the hellish region to the south. When the inhabitants saw who had come they began to cry even louder. The heart of the Supreme Lord, Vishnu, became filled with compassion. Lord Vishnu thought to Himself, 'I have created all this progeny, and it is because of Me thatthey are suffering.'"

Srila Vyasadeva continued: "Oh Jaimini, just listen to what the Supreme Lord did next.

etac canyac ca viprarse
vicintya karunamayah
babhuva sahasa tatra
svayam ekadashi tithih

'After the merciful Supreme Lord thought over what He had previously considered, He suddenly manifested from His own form the deity of the lunar day Ekadashi.' Afterwards the different sinful living entities began to follow the vow of Ekadashi and were then elevated quickly to the abode of Vaikuntha. Oh my child Jaimini, therefore the lunar day of Ekadashi is the selfsame form of the Supreme Lord, Vishnu, and the Supersoul within the heart of the living entities. Sri Ekadashi is the utmost pios activity and is situated as the haed among all vows.

"Following the ascension of Sri Ekadashi, that personality who is the form of the sinful activity gradually saw the influence she had. He approached Lord Vishnu with doubts in his heart and began offering many prayers, whereupon Lord Vishnu became very pleased and said, ' I have become very pleased by your nice offerings. What boon is it that you want?'

"The Papapurusha replied, 'I am your created progeny, and it is through me that you wanted distress given to the living entities who are very sinful. But now, by the influence of Sri Ekadashi, I have become all but destroyed. Oh Prabhu! After I die all of Your parts andparcels who have accepted material bodies will become liberated and therefore return to the abode of Vaikuntha. If this liberation of all living entities takes place, then who will carry on Your activities? There will be no one to enact the pastimes in the earthly planetary systems! Oh Keshava! If You want these eternal pastimes to carry on, then You please save me from the fear of Ekadashi. No type of pious activity can bind me. But Ekadashi only, being Yourown manifested form, can impede me. Out of fear of Sri Ekadashi I have fled and taken shelter of men; animals; insects; hills; trees; moving and nonmoving living entities; rivers; oceans; forests; heavenly, earthly, and hellish planetary systems; demigods; and the Gandarvas. I cannot find a place where I can be free from fear of Sri Ekadashi. Oh my Master! I am a product of Your creation, so therefore very mercifully direct me to a place where I can reside fearlessly.'"

Srila Vyasadeva then said to Jaimini, "After saying this, the embodiment of all sinful activities (Papapurusha) fell down at the feet of the Supreme Lord, Vishnu, who is the destroyer of all miseries and began to cry.

"After this, Lord Vishnu, observing the condition of the Papapurusha with laughter, began to speak thus: 'Oh Papapurusha! Rise up! Don't lament any longer. Just listen, and I'll tell you where you can stay on the auspicious lunar day of Ekadashi. On the day of Ekadashi, which is the benefactor of the three worlds, you can take shelter of foodstuff in the form of grains. There is no reason to worry about this any more, because My form as Sri Ekadashi Devi will no longer impede you.' After giving direction to the Papapurusha, the Supreme Lord, Vishnu, disappeared and the Papapurusha returned to the performance of his own activities.

"Therefore those persons who are serious about the ultimate benefit for the soul will never eat grains on the Ekadashi tithi. According to the instructions of Lord Vishnu, every kind of sinful activity that can be found in the material world takes its residence in this place of foodstuff (grain). Whoever follows Ekadashi is freed from all sins and never enters into hellish regions. If one doesn't follow Ekadashi because of illusion, he is still considered the utmost sinner. For every mouthful of grain that is eaten by a resident of the earthly region, one receives the effect of kiling millions of brahmanas. It is definately necessary that one give up eating grains on Ekadashi. I very strongly say again and again, 'On Ekadashi, don't eat grains, don't eat grains, don't eat grains!' Whether one be a ksatriya, vaisya, shudra, or of any family, he should follow the lunar day of Ekadashi. From this the perfection of varna and ashram will be attained. Especially since even if one by trickery follows Ekadashi, all of his sin become destroyed and he very easily attains the supreme goal, the abode of Vaikuntha."
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"Shri Vallabh Shri Vithal Sukh-kari naa-me nishpap thai nur-nari,
------Nitya Lila nitya nautam shruti na pame par."----
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