Some Ekadasi food for thought

April 24, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Posted in Bhakti Yoga, ekadasi | Leave a comment
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Today is Ekadasi when Vaishnavas eat no grains or beans as sin hides in these foods on this day. I found some nice quotes in the Vedabase from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu regarding Ekadasi that I wanted to share with you.

These quotes are from the Sri Chaitanya Caritamrta- Adi Lila 15.9

One day Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu fell down at the feet of His mother and requested her to give Him one thing in charity.
Ädi 15.9

His mother replied, “My dear son, I will give You whatever You ask.” Then the Lord said, “My dear mother, please do not eat grains on the Ekadasi day.” Adi 15.10

PURPORT

From the very beginning of His childhood life Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu introduced the system of observing a fast on the Ekadasi day. In the Bhakti-sandarbha, by Srila Jiva Gosvämi, there is a quotation from the Skanda Purana admonishing that a person who eats grains on Ekadasi becomes a murderer of his mother, father, brother and spiritual master, and even if he is elevated to a Vaikuntha planet, he falls down. On Ekadasi, everything is cooked for Vishnu, including regular grains and dhal, but it is enjoined that a Vaishnava should not even take vishnu-prasädam on Ekadasi. It is said that a Vaishnava does not accept anything eatable that is not offered to Lord Vishnu, but on Ekadasi a Vaishnava should not touch even mahä-prasädam offered to Vishnu, although such prasädam may be kept for being eaten the next day. It is strictly forbidden for one to accept any kind of grain on Ekadasi, even if it is offered to Lord Vishnu.

Mother Saci said, “You have spoken very nicely. I shall not eat grains on Ekadasi.” From that day, she began to observe fasting on Ekadasi. Adi 15.11

PURPORT

It is a prejudice among smärta-brahmanas that a widow must observe fasting on Ekadasi but a woman who is sa-dhava—who has her husband—should not. It appears that before Lord Caitanya’s request, Sacimata, being sa-dhava, was not observing Ekadasi. Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu, however, introduced the system that a woman, even if not a widow, must observe the Ekadasi and must not touch any kind of grains, even those offered to the Deity of Vishnu.

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