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Re: Ekadashi and "Unbiased opinions"

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani)
Date: Thu Mar 07 1996 - 15:00:50 PST

On Mar 7,  5:37am, Jaganath.Bharadwaj@nrecatao.nreca.org wrote:
> (1) During the reign of King Muchukunda in the Satya Yuga, Ekadashi
>     fasting was enforced on all human subjects as well as domesticated
>     animals.

If you really believe all the varied stories promulgated
in the Puranas, I have beachfront property to sell you
in Arizona ;-).

I would like to make a couple of points.  First,
Anand was right on the mark concerning Ekadashi.
Let's not be fundamentalists or literalists and
argue that those who don't observe some festival
are destined to fall into ``naraka''. These are
gross exaggerations.  It may be true that someone
is better off if they observe Ekadashi, in that
their body gets purified, but we should remember
that it is just an observance, and *not* an end
in and of itself.

Second: are we not ignoring the central purpose
of all this, which is to experience God and to live
more fulfulling lives? The posts of some people
are so dogmatic that I wonder whether they are
looking at small trees instead of the forest.
I would like to point out that vAkyArtha jnAna
leads nowhere, and this includes dogmatic observance
of rituals, unless it subserves the purpose of
leading a better life and experiencing God.

Finally: *please* do not abandon reason.  Just
because Desika says something in some text does
not mean that we throw our minds to the winds and
dogmatically assert it.  If some individual is
not inclined towards bhakti, but at the same time
lives a good, decent life, this person is not the
same as a murderer who hates God.  It's not all
black and white. [This is in response to the claim
that all people are ``either this or that.'']

namo narayanaya,
Mani