Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi

ASK BVKS | July 21, 2014 |

English with Русский Translation; Dobromysh, Tatarstan, Russia

Question:

Should devotees observe a full fast of abstaining from water on Pandava Nirjala Ekadashi? Some devotees, don’t go to bed on Ekadashi, they stay awake all night and as soon as the night is over, they go to sleep. What should our attitude be?

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami: 

Observing jagarana – staying awake at night on Ekādaśī is the proper way to observe Ekādaśī, or if you want to observe it fully as in sastra, one should do that. Actually, there are many rules to follow. One’s last meal before the Ekādaśī should be at midday on the day before - on the Daśamī; and that should also be a very simple meal, according to sastra. And we have our daily duties and services to do in Kṛṣṇa’s service, so if just we go to sleep after staying awake all night, then in the name of extra service, we are cutting down our regular service. It’s like some devotees chant 64 rounds a day, but then they miss maṅgala-ārati, or they’re chanting their rounds during maṅgala-ārati… You’re trying to do something extra, but you’re cutting down on some of the basics. So, what’s the benefit? It’s best to stick to the basic things that Śrīla Prabhupāda gave us. If you want to do something extra, that’s nice, but we shouldn’t promote as if: “This is the great thing!” Prabhupāda already gave us all that we need for going back to Godhead. So, if we can just follow the basic things - that’s more than most devotees are doing. We always have to do something different. Or do something to show that we are better than others because we are doing something different. If you don’t do what I’m doing, then you can’t go back to Godhead. I’ve discovered the great secret. I’m the messiah for the present age. Hare Kṛṣṇa. If you go out and distribute books all night - that would be more pleasing to Śrīla Prabhupāda than staying awake. And a lot of this staying awake, I see actually they’re half-asleep anyway. So-called staying awake.

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Question:

I would like to ask for clarification of one subject, namely, Krishna's "assuming" different forms. In one of the classes that had been uploaded on the bvks.com you spoke about the Lord not "assuming" the form, as far as I remember, you made the point that these forms of the Lord do exist eternally and that the forms of the material world are the "copies" and not the other way round. You also made the point that the word "assume" should probably not be used in the verse.

Today we were listening to the class by Srila Prabhupada and he also spoke on the topic and this is what he said:

"So sometimes this earthly planet was thrown into the water, Garbhodaka-samudra, Garbhodaka Sea, and God took the form of a boar, having two tusks — because it was easier. Just like shovel, you take something like that. So He took the earth. So that is described: ksitir iha vipulatare tisthati tava… No. What is that? Dasana-sikhare? The, this is described in Jayadeva's prayer. Vasati dasana-sikhare dharani tava lagna. Vasati, "is resting"; vasati dasana-sikhare, "on the top of the tusk." Kesava dhrta- sukara-rupa jaya jagadisa hare. So He's yajnesa. It is not that He's… is shape was just like hog, but He's not hog. Don't misunderstand. His shape was a gigantic hog. You can just imagine what kind of hog He was. The shape was like hog, but He was resting the whole planet, earthly planet, on the tusk. Vasati dasana-sikhare dharani tava lagna sasini kalanka, kesava dhrta- sukara-rupa. Here it is stated, saukaram. Saukaram means like hog. Not that He's hog. He's yajnesa. He can take any shape. Just like here is, God has assumed the shape of a lion, half-lion, half-man. So He's all powerful, He can take any shape, any form, but He is not that form. That is for the time being. For the time being, He assumes so many forms. The real form is Krsna, the original form. Kesava dhrta-sukara, sukara-rupa or sukara-rupa. "My Lord Kesava, You have assumed this form." So there are many millions and millions of forms of God. According to time, necessity, circumstances, He assumes different forms. Because it is His business:

yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham
[Bg. 4.7]

He appears as soon as there are discrepancies in the methodical way."

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.7 — Los Angeles, September 13, 1972

I remember discussing this very same point with Gokula Candra Prabhu when we were in Salem, and the conclusion was that these forms do exist eternally, but from the above statement by Srila Prabhupada it seems to be otherwise. Could you clarify that please so that I may understand this properly?

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