Mahadvadasi

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj,
15 July 2012, speaking online to Caracas

 

Question: What is the meaning of mahadvadasi?

Mahadvadasi means two tithis (lunar days) coincide on one day. Sometimes in one day there can be also three tithis (ekadasi, dvadasi and trayodasi). Such days are important for us. If somebody can follow ekadasi on both ekadasi and mahadvadasi days, it is good, and if they cannot, then they can fast only on one day, on mahadvadasi, because mahadvadasi is more important than ekadasi.

উদিল অরুণ পূরব-ভাগে
দ্বিজমণি গোরা অমনি জাগে ।
ভকত-সমূহ লইয়া সাথে
গেলা নগর ব্রাজে ॥

udila aruna purava-bhage
dvija-mani gora amani jage

"As the sun arises in the east, the jewel of the brahmans, Sri Gorachand, awakens..."

"Aruna" means the sun, "udila aruna" one hour thirty-six minutes before the sunrise. If before that time one tithi (ekadasi) touches another tithi (dvadasi), it is then called mahadvadasi. When our astrologer makes the calendar, he looks very carefully at these things and shows properly when is ekadasi and when is mahadvadasi, that is why you should always follow our calendar.

Question: What is the real importance of mahadvadasi? We see yesterday was ekadasi, and today is mahadvadasi, are they different? Is it important?

Yes it is. Mahadvadasi is always important. What did I just tell you? Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur and all our Guru-varga say that when two tithis are together, or when three tithis are together, it is important to fast on such days, it is auspicious. Ekadasi is auspicious, and mahadvadasi is even more auspicious, that is why we observe it.

Question: Some people do not sleep the whole night and do not eat all day on Ekadasi. Is it right to do it?

It is not a problem. If they do nirjal ekadasi (eat nothing all day), it is not bad. If they can fast more, it is OK, but if they fast and sleep all day and do not do any service, it is not good. You can do a full fast on the ekadasi day, but you must also do more service—cooking, cleaning, making subji, and so on. You must do every service for the Deity, do not allow your Deity to fast. I have seen some brahmacharis in the temple doing nirjal ekadasi: they do not eat anything and stay all day in the room—they do not think about the Guru, about the temple and the Deities. This is not our conception.

In old days in Bengal, girls were married at the age of 13-15, and if after marriage their husband died, they became widows (our Srila Sridhar Maharaj's sister, Rama Didi and Sankari Didi also became widows when they were about 13-14 years old). The rule in the villages is such that widows must fast for three days—one day before ekadasi, on the ekadasi day, and on the dvadasi day also. The widows can never get married again, but they are young girls and must control their sex urge, that is why there is so much punishment for them, and this is what they do. It is actually a bad and nonsense rule. When I visit villages, I ask them, "When someone's husband dies, women do ekadasi, but why do men not do ekadasi when their wife dies?"

Before, there was so much samskara in India. For example, when the husband died, the wife also had to go to the burning ghat and they would forcefully put her into the fire with the husband. It is very bad...

These rules still exist in Bengal. I have been to many villages and the ladies who are not initiated, who are not devotees, do not do ekadasi at all because they think that ekadasi is only for widows and if they do ekadasi their husband will die. When we go on preaching we tell them the proper conception: whether you are eight or eighty-eight, unless you are sick, you must fast on ekadasi. Even Mahaprabhu first taught His mother that she had to follow ekadasi...

 

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Odds and Ends
'When you do service, happiness and satisfaction always come, no tiredness comes; but when you go to serve maya, that time tiredness comes.'

 

Sujanarvuda-radhita-pada-yugam
'He expounds the glory of Sri Rupa, Sri Sanatan, and Sri Raghunath. In this world he is glorified as being nondifferent from Sri Jiva and a counterpart of Srila Krsnadas Kaviraj and Srila Narottam Thakur. Eternally I offer my obeisance to my master's feet.'
সুজনার্ব্বুদরাধিতপাদযুগং

If you give food to your mind, it will become strong and it can
take you away from the service.

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