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Friday, December 23, 2016

Saphala Ekaadasi - December 24/ December 25, 2016



Dear Members:

The auspicious Saphala Ekaadashi falls on December 24/ December 25, 2016.

 The observance of this fast for different places on the globe is as follows:
1) for USA, Canada, West Indies, and other countries in American Continent, those living in United Kingdom, and countries in Europe, those living in Gulf countries, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh - December 24, 2016 (sarva Ekaadasi - common to both Smaartha and Vaishnava traditions on December 24, 2016).
2) For those living in South-East Asian countries (Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia) and observing Smaartha traditions the Ekaadasi is to be observed on December 24, 2016; those living in these places and observe Vaishnava traditions must observe the Ekaadasi fast on December 25, 2016.
2) For those living in Japan, Eastern parts of China, Korea, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Japan, the ekaadasi fast is to be observed on December 25, 2016. (both Smaartha and Vaishnav  traditions).

Glory of Saphala Ekaadashi
This is mentioned in Brahmaanda Purana. Fasting on Saphala Ekaadashi will help in cleansing all sins committed earlier, and also helps in attaining fame in this life.

Lumbaka - the son of a king was always questioning the authority of Lord Vishnu, and due to this irreverent attitude, he was exiled from the kingdom. He continued with his irreverential attitude, and added to that began plundering the wealth of poor villagers. He took his abode beneath a banyan tree, started killing animals, and began eating raw meat. (The legend purports to describe that the king's son had fallen into sinful ways that will add severely to karmic account).

Once, he fell ill on a particular day and hence could not partake his usual meals (of raw meat!); he also remained awake all night due to his sickness. As the day was Saphala Ekaadashi fast day, he had unknowingly followed the vrat! The next day he felt better and intuitively realized that this was all due to Grace of Lord Vishnu. He realized his mistake, returned to his father with a repentant attitude, and lived happily thereafter.

Such is the glory of the Saphala Ekaadashi - even a person who unknowingly kept that fast could gain Grace of Shri Vishnu. So, what to speak of the Holy and Pious persons who undertake this fast with full faith and with Divine Contemplation? Is it not obvious that Heavenly glory is open to those who undertake this auspicious Saphala Ekaadashi Fast?

Special austerities recommended in connection with this ekaadasi:
1) Offer Pomegranate, guava, variety of nuts, coconut, betel leaves, areca nuts, mangoes, and aromatic spices (like cloves, cardamom, etc.) in Honour of Lord Aadhi Naaraayana (The Original Viraat Roopa of Shriman Naaraayana - with His Consort Lakshmi on His Breast and mounted on Shri  Garuda, and carrying His Divine Conch and Disc with Full Glory) on this day. You can partake these items as prasad on dwaadasi day if you are keeping a full fast; those who are only observing partial fast (just abstaining from whole-grains and beans) may partake these in lieu of regular diet.

2) Light a ghee lamp in Honour of Lord Naraayana and Goddess Lakshmi in your pooja place and recite the Holy Ashtaakshari (Om NamO Naaraayanaaya) as many times as possible. Recital of Naaraayana Sooktham and Purushasooktham can also be done by those who are intiated into these vedic hymns.

A full-night vigil is also recommended. Those who cannot maintain a full-night vigil may at least recite Shriman Naaraayana naama as many times as possible and sleep with Divine Thought.

May our members undertake this fast and feel Blessed by Divine Grace.

Blessed be.
Pandit R DAKSHINAMOORTHI
dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in

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