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Ekadashi

From: a.prathivadi-bhayankaram-a (cbp95183_at_ccsun.strath.ac.uk)
Date: Thu Mar 07 1996 - 13:32:58 PST

Dear Bhagavathals,

I am a new entrant into the group and so I seem to have missed 
Jangannath's advance  posting about Ekadashi. In future I would also try 
to observe.

However, I wanted to react to one sentence in that posting about 
Ekadashi by Keshava Prasad. It said that (something like this) 
"Observance of Ekadshi is ordained by Vishnu to preserve the human race 
from the torments of naraka ....Ekadashi is another form of Vishnu 
himself chosen by the lord in his mercy to save humans and deliver them 
from their sins"

This sounds to me like imported from some other religion. First, our lord 
Srimannarayana cares not only about human beings but about the entire 
universe, all beings etc. The Vatapatrasai, the Viswarupa etc., go to 
prove this. So using such "human-centric" words will only belittle the 
concept. By using such terms we can attract criticism such as the comment 
by Professor Stephen Hawking who argues that in this universe there are 
so many permutations and combinantions and human form is only one such 
combination. To think that God is like a human or that he works for 
saving humans etc., is a limited view of god.

Secondly, as our Acharyas always point out the concept of sin and 
deliverance is not there in our philosophy. Srimannarayana is 
personification of love and affection. Even one stray thought about him 
and there is no question of sin. That does not mean we go out and 
deliberately kill someone or do somethings forbidden. Srivaishnava 
philosophy is one of universal love for our lord. We do these things 
neither to please him, for there is no concpet of pleasing or angering 
him; nor do we do these things to get deliverance from sins for there is 
no sin when we are vaishnavas. There are more reasons why ekadashi has 
been prescribed just as so many other practices have been prescribed. But 
that is not for deliverance from sin. All our practices are oriented to 
promote the satva guna which emanates from anyone who is a srivaishnava. 
We all remember the story of Dhanurdas and the beauty of the eyes of 
Bhagavad Ramanuja, is it physical beauty of having big eyes? To me that 
is the beauty of being a consummate vaishnava. How deep Bhagavad 
Ramanuja's love for our perumal can be seen from his taking the 
responsibility of thetask left unfinished by andal, of making 108 
akaravadisel. 

Please forgive me for my ignorance if I did not understand the meaning of 
keshava prasad's words. But I feel he meant this.

Regards
Anand