Adventures in Humility

News, Views, and Chews on spiritual issues.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Prabhodhani Ekadasi

Today (right now, the night vigil) is the day of Utthana [Prabhodhani] Ekadasi.

"Also, in the Padma Purana: 'The unlimited Lord, the rider of Garuda, fulfils all the desires of those who fast with undivided minds on the day when He wakes up from His sleep on the bed of serpents in the ocean of milk.'" (HBV 16.293)

"In the same book, in a conversation between Yama and Narada: 'O sage, now I will tell you something else, the most secret of secrets. The Ekadasi in the bright fortnight of Karttika immediately awards devotion to Lord Hari. It is called Prabhodani. Best of sages, the diverse, unmanifest divine form of Vishnu is manifest as Dvadashi in this world of men.'" (HBV 16.300-301)

"In the Skanda Purana, the greatness of Prabhodhani: 'Dear son, men who fast and worship Lord Madhava with devotion on this day are freed from any sins that they may have acquired in their childhood, youth or adulthood, indeed the sin of seven lives, whether great or small, dry or moist or very secret. Best of sages, Govinda burns all that when He is worshipped on this tithi.'" (HBV 16.305-307)
Dig-darshini-tika: Now he describes the greatness of worship and praise. These three verses deal with worship. 'Dry' sins are those done earlier, 'moist' those present.

"In the Skanda Purana: 'All the sin that one has accumulated during a thousand previous lives burns like a heap of cotton during the vigil on Prabhodhani. O sage, even a man who has performed a terrible sin like killing a brahmana becomes pure if he performs the vigil of Vishnu. Whatever sin one commits by his deeds, words or thoughts, Govinda cleanses away on the vigil of Prabhodani.'" (HBV 16.388-390)

"Prabhodhani including the vigil leads one quickly to the world of Vishnu, together with past, present and future relatives. The forefathers of someone who performs Krishna's vigil are liberated from hellish sufferings and, ornamented and ecstatically happy, depart for the world of Vishnu. Keeping vigil on Prabhodhani without a doubt liberates those born in the family of one's wife, mother and father." (HBV 16.395-397)

"In the Kashyapa Pancaratra: 'If an initiated, devoted Vaishnava eats food, even fruits or roots when I get up, go to sleep or turn over in My sleep, I will never forgive his offence. I will throw him down into a terrible hell, where he will stay until the destruction of the universe.'" (HBV 12.101-102)
Dig-darshini-tika: Here he gives an exception to the rule allowing eating at night [discussed in verses 97-100]. 'Offence' refers to his eating food, or to all things he has done earlier on and now.

"Elsewhere: 'He who eats fruits or roots or who drinks water when I go to sleep, get up or turn in My sleep, thrusts an arrow into My heart!'" (HBV 12.103)
Dig-darshini-tika: In the previous verse he showed that Vaishnavas should avoid eating on these three Ekadashis, and now he shows in the same way everyone should carefully avoid it. 'He thrusts an arrow into My heart' means he commits a great offence.


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