|You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : March 1996|
Date: Fri Mar 08 1996 - 18:29:47 PST
At the outset, I wish to thank Mani for bringing this forum back to life. I went back and looked at my posting after reading Mani's rebuttal. I did not see anything that I had written or even inferred to about going to hell for not observing Ekadashis. I do not see the need to refute something that I did not write in the first place. To say that Ekadashis have no benefit other than some limited bodily purity is to deny something that one has personally not experienced. However I know many people who will vouch for the spiritual benefits of observing Ekadashis. For a Srivaishnava Prapatti is the one act by doing which one becomes a Kritakritgna or "one who has done what one ought to do". After that every act is done with the intention of pleasing God. The primary reason for observing Ekadashi is to be able to give up regular activities twice a month and concentrate on Shravana, Kirtana, Smarana etc. How can this not be "experiencing God and living more fulfilling lives"? Ekadashi or Sandhyavandanam is not required to attain Moksha. Prapatti alone will do that. Therefore for a Prapanna each of these actions alone (thati is nitya and naimittika karmas) are an end in itself. This is because we understand from Shastra that this is what Sriman Narayana wants us to do during the rest of life on earth. Other activities like jobs, family affairs etc will be forced upon us by our Karmas anywhay. Secondly, what is so unbelievable about the story of King Muchukunda? It sounds as if you have decided that if something is written in the Puranas it is not worth the paper (or leaf) that it is written on. To me this sounds to be closed minded. If I can accept this statement, then I will also have to accept the statement of my relatives, that Ramayana and Mahabharata are just stories and not to be taken literally. At least I did not think that I was quoting Vedanta Desikar out of context. When He said something, He elaborated it with justification from Shastras. I have neither the time, nor the attention span of readers to go into multiple pages of justification of what is written. So for the purpose of most of this group it will suffice to quote Vedanta Desikar whose Dharma Bhuta Gnana was uncontracted. If I am quoting Vedanta Desikar out of context then please justify your claim. In reply to your point that a person living a good decent life is not in the same category as a murderer who hates God, Acharyas have quoted some examples. (1) Hiranyakasipu consoled Hiranyaksha's wife at Hiranyaksha's death by quoting philosophy and stating how everything is controlled by fate etc. He was at that time a "good king". We all know what he did later. (2) Kamsa was extremely fond of his cousin sister Devaki. This was till he was threatened with death at the hands of Devaki's 8th son. A person who does not feel that he belongs to God and exists to do only what God wants him to do, is in a category inimical to God, no matter what his current life situation may be. A person within the control of the 3 gunas will do good things when Sattva Guna is in the ascent, and evil things when Tamo guna is in the ascent. A jivatma surrendered to God will be corrected and perfected by God, even if he or she resorts to the most abominable action (Geeta Chapter 9 I believe). Therefore by this classification, there are only 2 kinds of souls, one whose association is beneficial, and the one whose association is not. All the other categories in between are not relevant to Moksha. Finally don't be too sure about beach front property in Arizona. If you sell me beach front property in Arizona, Sriman Narayana is capable of turning it into beachfront property just to keep the word of His devotee. Jaganath.