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Re: EkAdaSI: TSSundara Rajan

From: Krishna Kalale (
Date: Thu May 29 1997 - 11:46:34 PDT

At 07:10 PM 5/28/97 -0500, usdeiva wrote:

I enjoyed this posting. I had read about ekadasi in mahabharata,
srimadbhagawatam etc. The padmapurana one and the kaiseeka puranam is news
to me. I would like to read them if I get a chance. I got a copy of padma
samhita. this is different and is a part of pancharatra agama. This book
only has the details of aradhana / yoga kramas.

Krishna Kalale

> wrote:
>> My thanks to those who clarified the question of tithi vs. nakshatra in SV
>> tradition for me. Now, I have a somewhat related question: what importance
>> is given to the observance of Ekadashi in Sri Vaishnavism? Is fasting,
>> waking etc regarded as obligatory, and if so, do Sri Vaishnavas fast from
>> all foods, or only from certain items, such as rice? And what is the
>> importance of Vaikuntha Ekadashi, to which I have heard many refer?
>> As usual, many thanks in advance.
>> Martin Gansten
>>From T.S. Sundara Rajan, care Uchani Deivachilai, Memphis.
>Re: Martin Gansten's query reg: EkAdaSI.
>The most extensive theme-account of EkAdaSI is available 
>in the padma purANam which (despite its own quota of 
>visibly irrelevant and banal interpolations) could be 
>termed as the most authentic vaishnava purANam, reckoned
>as such after the vishNu p., varAha p., and bhAgavata p.
>Being on a visit from Srirangam to Memphis, I do not 
>readily have my copy of padma p. with me; hence write 
>from memory.   
>padma.p. devotes a chapter to each EkAdaSI of the year,
>each of them bearing a distinct name.  (EkAdaSI, as is
>well known, literally means the ordinal 'eleventh', and
>stands for the corresponding day/date of the waxing/waning 
>phase of the moon; this 'tithi' occurs twice in a month.)
>Of all the formal 'vratam' prescribed, the EkAdaSI is the 
>most cherished and exclusively vaishnava vratam.   The 
>observance consists of fasting through the day and overnight 
>vigil, dedicated throughout to devotional activity like 
>reading the scriptures, telling the rosary, recitation of the 
>'stotram'/'keertanam' etc.   [It is interesting that the
>purANam prohibits the woman from fasting as such;  with the
>exception that she may, with her husband's consent, fast for
>half of the EkAdaSI day.]    The EkAdaSI is completed only 
>with the pre-dawn bath the next morning (i.e. of the dvAdaSI) 
>and breaking the fast (pAraNA) by imbibing 'tulasI' 
>(ocimum sanctum) in holy water.
>nArAyaNa bhaTTattiri's work, 'nArAyaNIyam', a marvellous
>condensed retelling of SrImad-bhAgavatam, identifies
>EkAdaSI inter alia eight objects/observances identified with 
>deliverance and Grace, viz., (GanGa water, the celebrated 
>krshna-arjuna dialogue bhagavad-GeetA, the GAyatrI mantram, 
>the tulasI plant, the oordhva-puNDra mark drawn with Gopi 
>sandal powder, the devotions offered in the SALagrAma 
>(ammonite) stone, observance of the EkAdaSI vratam, 
>recitation of the (sahasra-) nAma.   Even though a later-day 
>(15th cent.?) work, 'nArAyaNIyam' has all the inspiration 
>and verity of an authentic 'sAmpradAyika' work, and has the
>status of good literature and a reliable religious document.
>"GanGA GItA cha GAyatrI api cha tulasikA GopikA-chandanam tat
>SALaGrAmAbhipoojA, para-purusha, tathaikAdaSee nAmavarNAh
>EtAnyashtAn-ayatnAn-yayi kali-samayE tvat-prasAda-pravrddhyA
>kshipram mukti-pradAnee-tyabhidadhu(h) rshayah tEshu mAm 
>                                                sajjayethAh!" 
>Of the EkAdaSI marking the annual calendar, the interval 
>between the Sayana- and the utthAna- EkAdaSI represents the
>span of yOGa-nidrA (cosmic slumber) of SrIman-nArAyaNa, and 
>is observed as the chAtur-mAsyam (the Four Months) when the 
>itinerant 'sannyAsI' should remain rooted in one place.   
>These two EkAdaSI are observed with great rapture and devotion 
>in panDharpur in mahArAshtra, the home of 'haridAsa' movement.
>The utthAna E. is observed in SrIrangam and tirukkurunguDi
>as 'kaiSika E.', named after a melody in which the hymn was
>set for worship on this E. day.  This E. is two E. precedent
>to the great vaikuNTha E.    The illustrative anecdote 
>of kaisika E. is contained in the varAha purANam (which 
>~~ unlike the other purANams recorded by SrI vEdavyAsa, and 
>vishNu p. by his sire sri parASara ~~ has the status of 
>bhagavacChAstram, being verily from the Lord himself).   
>SrI parASara-bhaTTa had written the Sloka-wise tamizh 
>paraphrase of the varAha p. anecdote, and this work is 
>recited by the bhaTTa descendants before namperumAL in the 
>arjuna-maNDapam on the midnight of kaiSika E.   The absolute 
>tranquility of the midnight hour, the audience of devotees 
>absorbing the enchantment of namperumAL's visage, and bhaTTar 
>reading the kaiSika-purANam and the exalted tamizh paraphrase
>out of the palm manuscript against the backdrop of the golden 
>crest of Sriranga-praNavAkAra-vimAnam ~~ all these blend to 
>produce the alchemy of an incomparable beatitude which is 
>hard to describe in words.
>It is, of course, tirukkurunguDi one thinks of to mention
>the kaiSika E which is considered (in the 'sampradAyam')
>to be dedicated to vaDivazhakia nambi, sundara-paripoorna-
>perumAL of this divya-deSam.    The kaisika E anecdote is 
>staged here as a play before perumAL.
>The vaikunTha E. is the event and festival held to be most
>precious in SrIrangam, and would constitute a full-book 
>theme in itself. This E. is especially sacred and dear to the
>vaishnava as marking the full recitation and glorification
>of the AzhvAr aruLiccheyal (divya-prabandham) hymns.
>The 3 important EkAdaSI were marked as follows over the last
>3 years in the Srirangam kOyil vAkya-panchAngam:
>samvatsaram. mAsam & tithi. Xian Y/M/D.   EkAdasI.
>-----------  -------------  ----------    -------
>ISvara.      dhanus 24.     1998 Jan 8.   VaikunTha/
>                                           Bheeshma. 
>             Vrschika 25.   1997 Dec 10.  utthAna/kaiSika.
>             mithuna 32.    1997 July 16. Sayana.
>dhAtr.       dhanus 5.      1996 Dec 20.  Vai/Bh.
>             vrschika 6.    1996 Nov 21.  utthAna/kaiSika.
>             kataka 11.     1996 Jly 26.  Sayana.
>yuva.        dhanus 17.     1996 Jan 1.   Vai/Bh.
>             vrschika 16.   1995 Dec 2.   utthAna/kaiSika.
>             mithuna 25.    1995 Jly 9.   Sayana.          
Krishna Kalale
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