Happy Ekadasi to all .Most of us have heard about Ekadasi but many of us do not know its significance .So today on this auspicious day of Vijaya Ekadasi I thought to publish a detailed post as what is Ekadasi and what message Baba gave to His devotees on Ekadasi .
Ekadasi is a Sanskrit word, which means 'the eleventh',also called Gyaaras(ek+dus) .It refers to the eleventh day of a fortnight belonging to a lunar month. We all know that there are two fortnights in a lunar month—the bright and the dark,they say that observing of Vijaya Ekadasi(which is today) helps in removing all the guilt's associated with our past bad karmas committed and it's also helps in attaining victory.Let me narrate a small story behind Vijaya Ekadashi :-
It is believed that Lord Ram observed Vijaya Ekadashi to cross the ocean to reach Lanka and defeat Ravana .Lord Ram and his army Vanarasena(army of monkeys) started to look out for the ways to cross the ocean to reach Lanka ,while they all were looking out for ways to cross the ocean Lakshmana mentioned about a great Sage named Bakadalabhya who use to live very nearby in his Ashram ,it was believed that saint Bakadalabhya had darshan of lord Brahma .
Hearing this Lord Ram and the whole Vanarsena agreed to this idea and went to the ashram of the Sage. The holy saint immediately understood that it was Sri Hari Vishnu who was standing before him. Saint Bakadalabhya welcomed Lord Ram and asked if he could be of any help to them .Lord Ram described everything to the sage .Saint Bakadalabhya then advised Lord Ram to observe the Ekadasi falling during the waning phase of moon (Krishna Paksha) in January-February. He said that those observing this Ekadasi will be victorious in all their endeavors.Lord Ram did as guided by the sage and we all know the result .
So this was a brief history about Vijaya Ekadasi now one more thing which is attached to Ekadasi is Fasting as Hindus treat Ekadasi as a very holy day.So today with Baba's guidance I thought to put my point across about the myths many Sai devotees have about fasting on Ekadasi to make Baba happy.
Before going further let me make it very clear that all these views are my personal way of thinking and I have just no intentions to disgrace or harm any ones feelings or religion.This post is only for putting the light on the teachings of our father Sainath .
Since I have started this website I always pay emphasise that Baba never made any particular guidelines for doing His bhakti in a particular way in fact I personally believe that Sai pooja is the simplest of all as our father Sai just wants us to be good humans and nothing else ,We really don't have to do any special pooja to make Him happy but yes I do understand that we out of love and respect wants to show our gratitude for His love and blessings.In fact that was the reason that I had published my own methods of doing Sai pooja only after seeing the deep interest of Sai devotees in knowing the ways as how to do Sai pooja.
Coming back to the point I have noticed that many of us keep fast specially on Ekadasi thinking that Sai will be glad with our fasting ,but its all just personal assumptions where as if we read Sai Satcharitra with proper attention then I am sure we will understand that Baba was never in favour of keeping varat /fast,to prove that here I am describing a small incident from Sai Satcharitra which took place on the Ekadasi day in Shirdi or you can say that Sai played beautiful leela on Ekadasi day to make His devotees realize the importance of devotion in Guru and not in keeping fast but Baba always gave lots of importance to read Vishnu Sahasranamam ,which one should read with devotion (we should read Vishnu Sahasranamam specially on Ekadasi ),Now read further I am sure after reading this leela of Baba you will clearly understand the message of Sai.
One day it was a Ekadasi . Kusha bhav was sitting near to Baba in dwarakamai.Baba asked Kusha Bhav the following -
Saibaba asked - What did you eat today?Kusha bhav replied: Nothing Baba as today is Ekadasi.
Saibaba again asked: what does this Ekadasi mean ?Kusha bhav said- It means a day for fasting ( vart )
Further Baba asked- what is Upvas/Varat ?Kusha bhav replied to Sai that he has a habit to do fasting on Ekadasi day and he eats only Sweet potatoes on that day.
Hearing this Saibaba forced Kusha bhav to have onions(which is not suppose to be had on Ekadasi day )Saibaba took some onions and forced Kusha bhav to eat them.
Kusha bhav said Sai if you will eat with me then I shall also eat these onions with you ,then they both had onions .After few minutes some devotees came into Dwarakamai.Baba was in a very good mood. He played a wonderful leela .Sai told all the devotees who were present in Dwarkamai that look at Kusha Bhav,he is eating onions on Ekadasi day when a Vishnu devotee is supposed to do fasting.Hearing this Kusha bhav justified that Baba ate it with me so he also ate them .
Baba showed His leela to show that He never ate any onions ,Sai to give proof vomited in front of devotees and said see I have only eaten sweet potatoes and not onions.Kusha bhav thought that Baba's vomiting was a gift of Sai to him,he jumped and ate all the sweet potatoes because for him it was a prasad of Baba,wow what a leela and what a devotion .
Saibaba abused Kusha bhav, beat him and scolded him asking how can he go to this extent of eating vomit . Kusha bhav never bothered Saibabas words and was taking it as a blessing of his guru Sai.
The message which Baba wanted to give us was no matter what we eat or keep fast it has nothing to do with making Him(God ) happy.In fact your Strong faith and devotion on Sai with pure heart can do miracles .So their is just no need to starve yourself according to Baba we cannot even concentrate on God if we are hungry .
Here I would love to add that if still in case you want to keep fast then do it with a different aim ,and that aim should be not to make Baba happy but to feed some hungry people so that at lest you can make them happy with the food which you have not eaten due to fasting .I feel this is real fasting .
I am also attaching the Ekadasi 2011 dates based on Hindu Lunar Calendar,this calender is specially inserted for those Sai devotees who stay in foreign countries and find it difficult to keep a track of such auspicious days .I hope this will be helpful for you all : -
1) 28th February 2011 – Vijaya Ekadasi(which is today )
2) 16th March 2011 – Amalaki Ekadasi
3) 30th March 2011 – Papmochani Ekadasi.
4) 14th April 2011 – Kamda Ekadasi
5) 28th April 2011 – Varuthini Ekadasi
6) 13th May 2011 – Mohini Ekadasi
7)28th May 2011 – Apara Ekadasi
8)12th June 2011 – Bhima Nirjala Ekadasi
9)27th June 2011 – Yogini Ekadasi
10) 11th July 2011 – Devshayani Ekadasi
11) 26th July 2011 – Kamika Ekadasi
12) 9th August 2011 -Putrada Ekadasi
13) 25th August 2011 – Annada Ekadasi
14) 8th September 2011 – Parivartini Ekadasi
15) 23rd September 2011 – Indira Ekadasi (Smarta)
16) 24th September 2011 – Indira Ekadasi (Bhagavath)
17) 7thOctober 2011 - Pasankusa Ekadasi
18) 23rd October 2011 – Rama Ekadasi
19) 6th November 2011 – Prabodini Ekadasi
20) 21st November 2011 – Uttpatti Ekadasi
21) 6th December 2011 – Mokshada Ekadasi
22) 21stDecember 2011 - Saphala Ekadasi
After reading this detailed post Just remember one single thing that Baba will be happy only with our good deeds and pure heart nothing else can really win over good karmas .So be good and do good but please don't expect good from others as expectations is the main root cause for pain ,indulge your self totally in Sai bhakti and I am sure you will not feel any pain throughout your life for anything !!!