Today is Mokshada Ekadashi. ‘Moksha’ as most of us know means liberation. And this is one Ekadashi in which the benefits of the austerities if performed can be transferred. How? Read on Yudhisthira once asks Lord Krishna, ‘What is the name of the Ekadashi which falls in the light fortnight of Margashirsha?’ The Lord replies, The Ekadashi which falls in the light fortnight of Margashirsha is known as Mokshada. The performance of this Ekadashi purifies the faithful devotee of sinful reaction and bestows liberation upon him. The deity of this Ekadashi is Lord Damodara and he is to be worshipped with Ghee lamps, flowers and tulsi buds (manjaris)’. And then he proceeds to glorify: In the beautiful Kingdom of Champaka Nagara there ruled a wise and just king named Vaikhaanasa. His rule was just and so the people in his kingdom were happy and peaceful. But once he had a dream in which he saw his father suffering in the hellish planets and from then on, he suffered too. And then came a time in which he could not tolerate any more and he ran to the Brahmans in his kingdom and told them his plight. He told them ‘O learned Brahmanas, I saw a dream in which I saw my father suffering in the hellish planets. And now I suffer too. How can I live a good life when my father is suffering so’. The Brahmanas consulted amongst themselves and advised him to go to Parvat Munis ashram. The Muni being a trikaal gyani, one who knew the past, the present and the future would surely know what to do about the suffering of the king’s father. The wise King ran to the ashram of Parvat muni. There he saw the muni in counsel with the other sages. The king ran and fell down at the feet of the sage. The sage raised him and greeted him as if he was his own, made him comfortable and asked, how he could be of help to the king. The King told him of his dream. The sage heard him patiently, then closed his eyes in meditation. After some time he opened his eyes and told that yes, his father was indeed suffering in hell. It had so happened that the erstwhile King the father of the present king had tried to enjoy his wife when she was having her monthly flow. She had pleaded for mercy but he had ignored her pleas and for that sin of his, he was now suffering in hell. Vaikhaanasa was confused. The sin that his father had committed was great. Firstly he had tried to enjoy his wife at a time when it was forbidden, secondly he had tried to enjoy her against her will. But still he was his father. How could he live knowing that his father was suffering? So he turns towards Parvat Muni and says, “please advise how can I relieve and remove the burden of my father’s sinful reaction?’ And the muni advises him to keep the Mokshada ekadashi strictly and to give the merits of the ekadashi directly to his father who would them be elevated from the hellish to the heavenly planets. The King then returns to his kingdom and waits patiently for the Mokshada ekadashi. And when it arrives, he performs it strictly. On completion, he transfers all the merits to his father. His father is instantly transferred to the heavens where in he starts his devotional service in earnest. Today is also the day when Lord Krishna narrated the Bhagvad Gita. Gita means song and Bhagvad means The Lord. SO Bhagvad Gita essentially means the song of the Lord. When the Mahabharatha was about to start, Arjuna asked his charioteer; Lord Krishna to take him to the middle of the battlefield because he wants to have alook at both the sides. But when he looks at the other side he starts doubting whether there is really a need for the fight because the opposite side people too are his own; his Guru, his cousins, his grandfather, how could he fight them all. And then he lists five arguments as to not to fight. the five arguments are
- Compassion- how can he fight his own family
- Loss of enjoyment- maybe he will fight and win but how can he enjoy his kingdom after killing his own people
- Fear of sinful reaction- won’t he suffer from bad karma after killing??
- Destruction of family lineage
- Indecision- to fight or not to fight?
And so in this indecision, he accepts Krishna as his Guru and asks him to guide him.
karpanya-dosopahata-svabhavah prcchami tvam dharma-sammudha-cetah yac chreyah syan niscitam bruhi tan me sisyas te ‘ham sadhi mam tvam prapannam
Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of weakness. In this condition I am asking You to tell me clearly what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me.
And so Krishna gives him the Absolute truth.
It is said that the entire Gita was spoken for just 45 minutes and whats more, Arjuna heard it, understood it and applied it in his life.