Pavitraropani Ekadashi – Siva Thakur Instructs Parvati
Today is Pavitraropani Ekadashi. By the causeless mercy of Guru-pada-padma and Vaisnavas we are present here in Vrndavan. Our bodies are here, but are minds our here? There is no guarantee where our minds are running. Today is Pavitraropani Ekadashi. Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave advice for not only all His followers, but for all living entities—ceto darpana marjanam, then param vijayate sri krsna sankirtanam. How can we become clean? By sadhu-sanga, then bhava-maha-davagni will be extinguished. But without sadhu-sanga we cannot become free of the forest fire of material existence. By following sadhu’s instructions the witch of maya runs away and one can become a sannyasi. Then sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam—by sadhu-sanga we are freed of our anarthas, and then all auspiciousness awakens for us. Guru is pleased with us and then God is pleased with us.
Mahaprabhu started His siksastakam with Ceto-darpana-marjanam. How to be clean hearted? So today is Pavitraropani-ekadashi. Ekadashi devi comes to help all sadhakas and sadhikas. What do they need? She thinks like this and comes with a different name, representing her different potencies and specialties that she helps with. Indra, Varuna, Candra, and the 330 million demigods prayed to Brahma, Visnu, and Mahesa, “We have everything but are restless. We always fight and are envious of one another. We compete and challenge one another. On one side Sukracarya is the demon-guru, and for us Brhaspati is guru, but even with us, Indra thinks himself no less than Brhaspati. Everyone has become proud because of their so-called qualifications. Who can make us humble? Otherwise, we always compete.”
Indra said, “I am the greatest,” Agni-devi said, “I am the greatest,” Varuna said, “I am the greatest.” All the demigods compete like this, and the demons do as well. But none of them were happy. They prayed to Brahma, Visnu, and Mahesa.
Siva Thakura at that time seriously followed Ekadashi. He advised Parvati, “This Ekadashi is Pavitraropani. The sunrise will be there for only a few minutes for parana.” Pavitra would read Visnu-sahasra-nama first everyday before eating or drinking anything, and then she would give Siva Thakura prasadam, and then she would break her vrata. So on this Ekadashi, there was only a short amount of time in which to break the parana after sunrise. She asked Siva Thakura, “When will I read Visnu-sahasra-nama? If I don’t do this, my vrata will be incomplete. What should I do?”
“Parvati, don’t worry. If you chant Visnu-nama a thousand times it is equal to one name of Rama, and three times chanting Rama-nama is equal to chanting one name of Krsna. So now chant krsna-nama and then you can break your vrata.”
“Why didn’t you tell me this before?” Parvati asked.
“You never asked. You were not surrendered. How could I do this by force?”
If good questions come in someone’s heart then they are a follower or disciple, but if a disciple has no question or inquiry for guru, then he is like a piece of wood or a stone. We should have questions, inquisitiveness how to progress. But if we don’t follow anything, then no questions will come to us. When good consciousness comes, then questions come. Therefore Krsna said: tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya.
First pranipata [approach a bonafide spiritual master], then pariprasna [submissive inquiries], and seva [service], then a good answer will come. Sadhu’s have sat-vrtti, good character, they don’t spread and distribute transcendental knowledge here and there openly in the marketplace. They look for who has faith and respect and a desire to accept, then they give transcendental knowledge, otherwise not.
“Please explain the glories of this Pavitraropani-Ekadashi,” Parvati said.
“Many yugas before,” Siva said, “the demigods prayed to Brahma, and Brahma came to me. I met with Visnu and we discussed the glories of this Ekadashi. We are either unclean or clean. There are five kinds of bath: air, water, mantra, rain, and sun. But still we are not clean. There is one method to stay always clean:
apavitrah pavitro va
sarvavastham gato ’pi va yah
sa bahyabhyantarah sucih
Siva Thakura said, “We are either pavitra or apavitra. By bathing we do not become clean. How to become pavitra? Vayah smaret pundarikaksa. Always remember Pundarikaksa—the lotus-eyed Lord.
smartavyah satatam visnur vismartavyo na jatucit
sarve vidhi-nisedhah syur etayor eva kinkarah
“As long as you are chanting God’s holy names you are pure, otherwise you are impure. As long as you are distance from God, your consciousness is polluted. Always remember this prescription of sastra—always remember God’s holy names. Then you are pure. The moment you are far away from God by forgetting Him, then you are impure. So always chant Harinama. This is the means to always be pure.”
This mantra, smartavyam satatam visnur, is the perfect order for Vaisnavas. Sastra, the Guru-varga, and Vaisnavas all give this instruction. All other instructions of scripture are subordinate to this. By following this you will always be near Guru and Vaisnavas. Mahaprabhu Himself said, “How will you be cleansed at heart? By always chanting harinama.”
Pavitraropani Ekadashi comes to remove our anarthas, aparadha, and everything keeping us separate from Krsna. Anarthas hide in our body and mind, in every corner. We have made our body contaminated, therefore the mind is always running here and there. If our body were aprakrta, then our mind would be peaceful.
Arjuna asked Krsna, “Cancalam hi manah Krsna. How can I control the mind?”
“By practice,” Krsna said. “Abhyasa.
paramam purusam divyam
[He who meditates on Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his mind constantly engaged in remembering Me, un-deviated from the path, he, O Partha, is sure to reach Me.]
atha cittam samadhatum
na saknosi mayi sthiram
mam icchaptum dhanañ-jaya
— Bhagavad-gita 12.9
[My dear Arjuna, O winner of wealth, if you cannot ﬁx your mind upon Me without deviation, then follow the regulative principles of bhakti-yoga. In this way develop a desire to attain Me.]
“What is practice? Keep your mind clean, and body clean, by always chanting, then Krsna, and Guru and Vaisnavas will always be in your mind, because it is clean.”
Today, offer your senses to God. Don’t follow your senses. Ekadashi-devi is the mother of Bhakti. She will come and take care of you. People have desire to follow everything but bhakti. So Ekadashi makes us pavitra, and then she will make a place for the limbs of bhakti. She will give us a good desire to perform sravana, kirtana, and the limbs of bhakti.
divasa rajani abola tabola pacala parite paro
tahara vitare kakhono keno ki govinda bolite naro
Day and night we waste our time in useless talks and amidst all that frivolity we cannot find the time to chant Govinda’s name even once. Prajalpa is very sweet. Mahaprabhu said, “Don’t speak useless gossip. Gramya katha na sunibe bolibe.”
Sripad Sridhara Maharaja’s Gurudeva has three monkeys in his temples, one covering his mouth, one covering his eyes, and one covering his ears, teaching us to speak no evil, see no evil, and hear no evil. This means to control our tongue, mind, and senses. Vaco vegam, manasa vegam, krodha vegam. If you speak about God, then you can control your tongue. How to control your mind? Manasi-vegam?
The demigods prayed to Brahma, Visnu, and Mahesa, on this Pavitraropani-Ekadashi day. They must all follow Ekadashi. This response came. Siva said, “I follow Ekadashi.” All the bhaktas follow Ekadashi.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura said: suddha bhakata carana renu bhajana anukula. We have no desire for the foot dust of the pure devotees. When we take their foot dust and also become like the foot dust of the bhaktas, then smartavyah satatam visnu is possible. If you don’t remember Pundarikaksa then you will not be pure.
Siva Thakura told Parvati, “Srnu, hear. Hear how Pavitraropani Ekadashi cleans the heart and makes a place for following the limbs of Bhakti.”
Goata kali yuga pavana nama bhramara saci-suta nadiya-dhama—Navadvipa-dhama is the place of navadha-bhakti. If you have no relation with navadha-bhakti your life is like that of a buffalo or animal. How to follow navadha-bhakti? Iti pumsarpita visnu—offer everything for Visnu. Don’t follow bhakti for selfish reasons.
The demigods said, “We will then take shelter of Ekadashi.”
“This is not everything,” Siva Thakura said, “today there is also Jhulan-yatra. To be forever pure at heart, arrange a swinging seat in your heart for Goloka-Bihari and Biharini. Bring Goloka-Vrndavan in your heart. Make a garden in your heart and then God will come there and play with His beloveds.”
If your heart is filled with the tigers and crocodiles of lust and anger, then God will not go there. Therefore make your heart a playing center for God.
Siva Thakura said, “Give your heart to Ekadashi-devi and then she will make it into a kunja-kutira for Krsna. Then your heart will be a permanent holy place.”
Mahaprabhu said, “Anyera hrdaya vana mora mana vrndavana. Other peoples’ hearts are jungles filled with the beasts of maya, but My heart is the same as Vrndavan.”
So we should try to bring Vrndavan in our heart. Otherwise, we will only suffer, burning in the fires of lust, anger, and greed—samsara duhkha jaladhau patitasya kama.
Taking shelter of Ekadashi, however, is not everything. Ekadashi-devi is not alone. Siva Thakura said, “Hear further. Ekadashi-devi comes with Madhava. Ekadashi-tithi, Madhava-tithi, and Hari-vasara. Hari promises to come on this day. So day time you follow Ekadashi, but at night, you sleep. Then how are you following Ekadashi? You are in bed, with your body. On Madhava-tithi, you should be with Madhava. Do not run in your bed at night on Ekadashi, otherwise you will become impure there. So Madhava-tithi means, Chalo Vrndavan! Play there in the gardens of Vraja with Krsna and the Vraja-devis. Do Krsna-kirtana the whole night, then you are following Madhava-tithi.”
Nanda Maharaja did like this, and then the snake came and ate Nanda Maharaja and Krsna came and saved him. In the daytime, we follow Ekadashi, but at night, we are swallowed by the snake of sleep. Then we are not followers of Ekadashi, we are followers of Nidra-devi, the goddess of sleep. Then how are we following smartavyah-satatam-visnu? Renounce one full day. Be a sannyasi for one day. Take this practice. Then by being a sannyasi for 24 days in the year, by doing this in this life, in next life, you may become a complete sannyasi for 365 days of the year. Today offer everything to Ekadashi-devi and give up all false designations—sarvopadhi vinirmuktam. Ekadashi-devi is then a nursing system. Ekadashi-devi checks to see where our anarthas are hiding and she chases them out. We follow Ekadashi at day, but at night, we beg Nidra-devi to come embrace us, otherwise we are disturbed if we cannot fall asleep. But while sleeping, then we are susceptible and maya attacks. Before the Guru-varga did not follow this.
I was present many times with the disciples of Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura. On Ekadashi day, Krsnadas Babaji Maharaja would do kirtana the whole night of Ekadashi, whether on the bank of Yamuna, at Govardhana, in Vrndavan, or Mathura. Wherever he was present, on Ekadashi he would follow navadha-bhakti the whole day and night. By following this example, your heart will become Krsna’s playing center, a kunja-kutira, then Jhulan-yatra will occur in your heart. Otherwise, many material forms of maya will dance and play in your heart.
We came to the holy dhama, nearby Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas, so try to follow everything seriously, and then you will understand the meaning of guru-krpa and sadhu-sanga. Then vidya-vadhu-jivanam. Nasta-prayasa abhadesu nityam bhagavata sevaya. Then you will continuously serve Guru and Vaisnavas, and from their hearts power will come, and then no agent of maya will be able to defeat you, otherwise you will have no protection.
Uttama-sloka-vartaya, always glorify Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas, and then you will understand the meaning of atma-samarpanam and sarvatma-snapanam. Don’t cheat yourself. This is soul suicide.
Srila Gurudeva would say again and again:
labdhva su-durlabham idam bahu-sambhavante
manusyam artha-dam anityam apiha dhirah
turnam yateta na pated anu-mrtyu yavan
nihsreyasaya visayah khalu sarvatah syat
[After many, many births and deaths one achieves the rare human form of life, which, although temporary, affords one the opportunity to attain the highest perfection. Thus a sober human being should quickly endeavor for the ultimate perfection of life as long as his body, which is always subject to death, has not fallen down and died. After all, sense gratification is available even in the most abominable species of life, whereas Krsna consciousness is possible only for a human being. –Vedabase.com]
nr-deham adyam su-labham su-durlabham
plavam su-kalpam guru-karnadharam
puman bhavabdhim na taret sa atma-ha
[The human body, which can award all benefit in life, is automatically obtained by the laws of nature, although it is a very rare achievement. This human body can be compared to a perfectly constructed boat having the spiritual master as the captain and the instructions of the Personality of Godhead as favorable winds impelling it on its course. Considering all these advantages, a human being who does not utilize his human life to cross the ocean of material existence must be considered the killer of his own soul. –Vedabase.com]
If you don’t think about the welfare of your soul, then you are killing your self. You have no life. You are only unconsciously moving in the cycle of birth and death in material existence. This is not life. Life is in Vraja, with Krsna and the Vrajavasis. So follow everything seriously, properly, and perfectly. Many people fast or are sick in the hospital unable to eat circumstantially on Ekadashi, but they do not receive the fruit of following Ekadashi. If one is not offered to Visnu and chanting His names, then one does not get the fruit of following Ekadashi. On Ekadashi, Mahaprabhu chanted in sankirtana the whole day and night. Sri hari vasara hari kirtana nidhana, nrtya arambhilo prabhu jagatera prana.
In the evening, we will hear about Jhulan-yatra, how it started, and where. In our Gaudiya-sampradaya, Jhulan-yatra goes from Ekadashi to Purnima. We should not do Jhulan-yatra only for five days and then invite maya’s agents to dance and swing in our heart.
In Gopala-campu, Ananda-Vrndavan-campu, Visnu-purana, and Hari-vamsi-purana, the glories of Jhulan-yatra are explained.
Gaura-premanande! Hari Haribol!