sábado, 24 de abril de 2010

Madhavi-Tithi: The Mother Of Prema Bhakti

To observe Ekadasi fully, like Ambarisa Maharaja, is very rare. - 03-17-2006, 08:37 AM

Madhavi-Tithi: The Mother Of Prema Bhakti
[Excerpted from Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja's "Nectar Sprinkles on Australia"]

Today is Ekadasi vrata. I think that most of you have observed it. To observe Ekadasi fully, like Ambarisa Maharaja, is very rare. He lived in Satya-yuga, and he was so strong that he could have fasted without sleep, standing on one leg, without even taking water or air. In Kali-yuga we are neither strong nor advanced; but we are fortunate. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has explained that on Ekadasi, if we are hungry we may take some fruit juice, or milk. We should not eat continually. It is not that we drink a litre of one type of juice, and half an hour later another type of juice, and again within half an hour we take boiled potatoes and other vegetables, then a large drink of water, half a kilo of paneer with sugar, and another half litre of rubari. We should eat only as much as is needed to allay sleep and idleness.

Remaining awake
day and night, we should spend Ekadasi chanting and remembering Sri Krsna, as did Ambarisa Maharaja. He was the emperor of the whole world, a householder, and he was externally entangled in material attachments.

Durvasa Muni was a brahmana and a realized yogi. He could curse someone to die, and also bring a dead man back to life. He was a brahmarsi, a brahmavadi with great powers. He thought: "I am born in a brahminical family and am in the dynasty of Sankara. Therefore I am a manifestation of Sankara. I am the son of Atri and Anasuya, who are highly learned uttama Vaisnavas. My parents gave so many teachings to Rama, and Sita-devi who is Laksmi Herself, when They both visited my parent's cottage. I am the greatest man in this world, and I am the most powerful." However, Durvasa Muni never observed Ekadasi.

In Madhuvana, Mathura, Ambarisa Maharaja observed Mahadvadasi, neither drinking water nor sleeping. He absorbed himself day and night in chanting, remembering, serving the Deities, and praying. The next day, after worshipping Krsna, when he was ready to break his fast, Durvasa Muni arrived at his palace. Durvasa was like a god, a realized brahmavadi, but he had not observed Ekadasi. Ambarisa Maharaja requested him to break Ekadasi, by taking Mahadvadasi parana, after which he himself would honor prasada. Durvasa Muni replied, "Yes, but first I will take bath nearby, in the Yamuna River. I won't be very long."

He took so much time, however, that only a few minutes were left before the auspicious time for breaking Ekadasi would be over. Ambarisa Maharaja wondered what to do. "A brahmana rsi, a siddha maha yogi, has come to my door. He is not an ordinary person and I should first respect him by offering him mahaprasada before I myself take it. Otherwise I will be disobeying Indian culture, and I may possibly go to hell. On the other hand, I must observe my Ekadasi vrata, which is not a worldly activity. It is transcendental, and if I fail to observe it by not taking mahaprasada at the proper time, I may lose my bhakti. Should I honor this brahmana, or honor bhakti?" After careful consideration he chose to honor bhakti. "I cannot act against bhakti in any way. Even if I lose some material prosperity or go to hell, I will not disrespect Ekadasi. I will break it within the prescribed time." He then drank a drop of water that had been used in the worship of Sri Krsna (caranamrta).

If one observes Ekadasi without taking juice or water, he can break the fast by taking caranamrta. But if water, fruit, juice, milk or vegetables have been taken, one will have to break it by taking some grain; otherwise his Ekadasi is not complete. Ambarisa Maharaja thought, "I have not taken even water during my observance of Ekadasi, so I can take caranamrta. In this way, because I will not have taken any grains, I will also be respecting the brahmana."

After taking a drop of caranamrta Durvasa Muni returned. "I know you. You are only a so-called bhakta. I am a siddha brahmana. You know my parentage. You know of my great powers, and yet you have dared to dishonor me. I will immediately burn you to ashes." He took one jata (dreadlock) from his hair, dashed it to the ground, and ordered it to become a burning fire. The fire demon then ran towards Ambarisa Maharaja in an attempt to burn him to ashes. At that moment the Sudarsana cakra appeared. Krsna had ordered His cakra to always protect the Vaisnavas, persons who have taken shelter of Him; so Sudarsana burned the fiery demon to ashes and then moved toward Durvasa Rsi, who fled, taking his legs on his head 1, and cried, "Save me! Save me! Save me!"

When the fire demon approached Ambarisa Maharaja, the king chanted and was fearless. He thought, "Whether I live or die depends on Krsna." He depended fully on Krsna, and Sudarsana cakra saved him.

Durvasa Muni, however, though a powerful brahmana and realized yogi, feared death and fled. He tried first to take shelter of his father, Lord Siva; but seeing him approach, Lord Siva called, "Go from here! You are in this predicament because you have dishonored a Vaisnava. I know how influential Vaisnavas are, and I fear offending them. If I give you shelter, Sudarsana will also attack me."

Durvasa Muni then went to Lord Brahma, who also refused to help him. After this he approached Lord Visnu and prayed, "O Visnu! O Visnu! Save me from Your weapon.

I am taking shelter of You."

Lord Visnu said, "I am powerless to protect you. I have no freedom. I am bound to My bhaktas. They have given their hearts to Me, and I have given Mine to them. I am in no way independent of My devotees."

sri bhagavan uvaca
aham bhakta-paradhino
hy asvatantra iva dvija
sadhubhir grasta-hrdayo
bhaktair bhakta jana-priyah

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead said to the brahmana: I am completely under the control of My devotees. Indeed, I am not at all independent. Because My devotees are completely devoid of material desires, I sit only within the cores of their hearts. What to speak of My devotee, even those who are devotees of My devotee are very dear to Me." [Bhag. 9.4.63]

If someone gets a thorn in his foot it cannot be removed from his head. It must be removed from his foot. So Lord Visnu is saying, "The Vaisnavas are everything to Me. It is My vow to protect them. If you want to be saved, you must go to Ambarisa Maharaja. Do not see him as a family man or a king. He is not an ordinary person, he is My dear devotee.

Offer him your obeisances. He is bhakta jana priya. Worldly persons tend to think, 'I am so learned, rich, and powerful. These bogus Vaisnavas are useless and only chant Hare Krsna.' But you, Durvasa, should become a sincere Vaisnava. Then Krsna will protect you and bestow upon you Krsna-prema."

Ever since Durvasa Muni had begun fleeing from the Lord's weapon one year earlier, Ambarisa Maharaja had not eaten anything.

When Durvasa Rsi finally came before Ambarisa Maharaja, the king apologized to him with great humility. "I am nothing-not even a devotee. I have disobeyed and dishonored you by breaking my fast." Durvasa Muni fell flat at the lotus feet of Ambarisa Maharaja, who then embraced him.

Ambarisa Maharaja asked him to be merciful and honor mahaprasada. Durvasa replied, "Please save me from the Sudarsana cakra. His heat is burning me." Ambarisa then prayed, "O Prabhu, O Lord, if I have ever performed devotional service to Krsna then please save this brahmana." No sooner were these words spoken then the Sudarsana cakra became cool and returned to Lord Visnu. Durvasa then expressed his new realization that bhaktas are more powerful than Krsna Himself. "Krsna has given all of His power to the Vaisnavas. But they hide this and cheat others, presenting themselves as fallen persons. Trnad api sunicena. Although they are powerful, they are also dina hina (meek), being both generous and polite."

Durvasa Rsi then gladly took mahaprasada, after which Ambarisa Maharaja also honored prasada along with his whole family.

So be like that, humble, with a strong faith in devotional service to Krsna. We can give our head, life and soul to observe Ekadasi. Ekadasi is the mother of prema-bhakti and she will protect us.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written: madhava tithi bhakti janani jatane palana kori. Ekadasi is madhava-tithi. Holy days like Ekadasi are bhakti janani, the mother of prema-bhakti. We should try to follow it as purely as possible, not eating and drinking many times throughout the day. If possible, observe it without even drinking water (nirjala), or take a little prasada once in the day if this is not possible. Many old people, who are lean and thin, can observe nirjala Ekadasi; so why not those of you who are young and strong? You should try to observe it like this. However, if by such fasting your head spins and you go to sleep, then what is the use? Try to remember Krsna, associate with Vaisnavas, read sastra and offer prayers day and night, such as: he krsna karuna sindhu dina bandho jagat pate gopesa gopika kanta radha kanta namo 'stu te. Observing Ekadasi gives even more spiritual power than brahma-jnana and brahma-yoga-samadhi.



1 "Taking his legs on his head" is a Hindi expression to illustrate one who flees at lightning speed.

Nectar Sprinkles on Australia

Madhav-tithi: Mother of Prema Bhakti

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