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Gita Jayanti-Vaikuntha Ekadasi Dec 16th

12/14/2010

Margashira Shukla Ekadasi in the year 2010 falls on Dec 16th. This auspicious day is also known as Vaikuntha Ekadasi and Gita Jayanti. The reason this day is also called as the Gita Jayanti is because it is widely beleived that this was the day Sanjaya started narrating the wonderful happenings on the battlefield of Kurkshetra to the blind king Dhritarasthra .  Swami Sivananda summed this up beautifully in his words

“The Gita Jayanti marks one of the greatest days in the history of mankind. Nearly six thousand years ago on that day a dazzling flash of brilliant light lit up the firmament of human civilization. That flash, that marvellous spiritual effulgence, was the message of the Bhagavad Gita, given by the Lord Himself on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Unlike ordinary flashes of light which die away after a split-second, this brilliant flash of that memorable day has continued to shine through the centuries, and even now illumines the path of humanity on its onward march to perfection.”

I cannot overemphasize the auspiciousness of this day and the other reasons for calling this Vaikuntha Ekadasi

1.The Sagara Mathana ( churning of the primordial ocean ) between the forces of good and evil ( devatas and Rakshasas) happenned on this day .

2.This Ekadasi occurs at the twilight of the movement of the sun into Uttarayana ( more on Uttarayana search the blog for the entry ) .It is beleived it is right about the time the devatas wake up from the deep slumber of Dakshinayana and twilight muhurtas are always powerful both in meditation and ritual practise.

3.Also in the Padma Purana we have the story of the rakshasa Muran who was troubling the entire cosmos. The gods sought refugee in Lord Vishnu who assumed the form of Goddess Ekadasi to kill the particular demon and free the worlds. The story here has the same hidden message of  Winter giving way to Spring and life beginning afresh . Also in the story it is mentioned Lord Vishnu takes rest in Badrikesh for a while before re emerging to kill the demon.

4. Devotees of Lord Shiva also take this to be the day the Lord drank the Halahala poison that emanated from the divine ocean churning to save the world.

5.Almost all the temples keep the main doors open on this day to symbolize the greatness of this ekadashi .Even if one has missed  fasting on rest of the Ekadasis ,fasting on this one single day grants one sufficient merit .

Ekaadasi Vrata mainly consists of observing “Upavaasa” (Upa means near and vaasa means live) literally means “living in the company or proximity” (of the Lord) and also observing a vrata or vow in the form of self discipline. One of the prerequisites for living in the company of the Lord is that one’s mind must be pure and be able to dwell on divine thoughts only. This is not possible when one allows ones mind to pursue sensual pleasures such as satisfying hunger and bodily needs. Human beings spend much time in procuring food, cooking, eating and
digesting. Some food types make the mind dull and agitated. Hence on days of this nature some Hindus decide to save time and conserve energy by either eating simple foods or totally abstaining from food to keep the mind alert and pure. Therefore, on Ekaadasi thithis (days) the practice of fasting, chanting prayers, singing spiritual kirtanaas (songs), listening to upanyaasaas (discourses) came into practice. Adi Shankara interprets fasting or voluntary denial of food to the body as not only abstaining from food that we eat but also refraining from worldly enjoyments that our senses crave for.  Fasting has been highly praised and glorified in the puraanic literature. The following verse from Dharma Shastra tells what one needs to do on this day

“Ekaadasyaam tu Kartavyam Sarveshaam Bhojanam dwayam
Suddhopavaasaha pratamaha satkathaa sravanaam thathha”
“Oh people these two things that should be done on Ekaadasi day by all. Firstcomplete fasting and thereafter listening to the glories of the Lord”

Lord Krishna giving the divine gift of the gita to Arjuna

Vishwa Rupa Darshana of the Lord

You can find additional posts on the efficacy of fasting for good health in the site.

May Lord Sriman Narayana’s grace shower on all of us.

 

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