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Ekadasi Struggle?

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kolkata—Worldwide, 13 September 2020, part 4


Question: If a pregnant women is struggling with following ekadasi, is it bad to break it?

You must try to follow ekadasi, it will be good. Why will you break ekadasi? You always, every day eat rice, dal, subji—what is the problem to follow ekadasi two times a month? You can take some fruit, paneer, curd, you can drink milk, you can take potato and so many other things. Why is it necessary to break ekadasi? It is not good to break it and it is not necessary to break ekadasi. Ekadasi is Krishna's tithi, so Krishna will protect you and your baby. You must have a proper faith. Mahaprabhu said, "You must follow ekadasi," Gurudev said, "You must follow ekadasi," Guru Maharaj said, "You must follow ekadasi," then why will we break ekadasi? You must not break it. Only if Gurudev tells you to break it, then you can break it.

One time, Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhav Maharaj had a train ticket to Delhi on the Janmastami day. He had to go to Delhi, and Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur told the cook to prepare non-ekadasi food for Srila Madhav Maharaj. The cook thought, "May be Prabhupad has forgotten that tomorrow is Janmastami...", so he said to Srila Prabhupad, "But tomorrow is Janmastami..." Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur shouted, "I know that!!" So, when your Guru tells you to do it, that is another thing.

I remember also once Jamuna Didi bought me a plane ticket to Russia, and the flight to Moscow was on the Janmastami day. Gurudev chastised her a little, "How did you buy him the ticket? Could you not see the date?! It is Janmastami day!" But Gurudev did not tell me to break Janmastami fasting. I took some fruit with me and had that on the aeroplane. They gave me much food on the plane, but I did not take it. I took only anukalpa (what is permissible to take on Janmastami if you cannot fast for some reason). It was not a problem.

What is the fasting on ekadasi? We do not actually do a full fast—Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur relaxed the rules so much. If you are sick or if you are pregnant, you can take something (non-grain) in the morning. We actually fast until noon, but if you have some problem (for example, if you are too hungry or you have acidity), you can take something in the morning. There are only five things that are prohibited on this day [all grains—rice, wheat, barley, etc.—all pulses, and mustard/sesame oil]—other than that, there are so many things you can take on ekadasi. Why would we not be able to follow it? You must try to follow it.

Another thing is that when you are in hospital, they give you only saline for seven-ten days—you do not take any food, you only receive saline. This kind of austerity comes when you are hospitalised. When I had an operation in Chennai, I could not even drink anything for four hours. I was extremely thirsty after the operation, but they did not give me any water. I cried and shouted for water, and I complained to the doctor, "The nurse is so cruel! She does not give me any water!" Then the doctor agreed and what did he do? They brought a dropper and gave me a drop of water on my tongue! No water was allowed before and after the operation. I remember this austerity in hospital...

So, you must think and remember these things. You think that you will break ekadasi, that you will do what you like in your life, you will enjoy, but you do not think that after that austerity will come—you have no idea what hell is like, what kind of austerity you will get there.

চারি বর্ণাশ্রমী যদি কৃষ্ণ নাহি ভজে ।
স্বকর্ম্ম করিলেও সে রৌরবে পড়ি মজে ॥

chari varnasrami yadi krsna nahi bhaje
svakarma karileo se raurave padi maje

"Whatever varna (a priest, fighter, manager, or worker) or asram (a celibate, householder, renouncer of the household life, or monk) you may belong to, if you do not worship Krishna but engage in your prescribed duties, you will have to fall into a terrible hell (Raurav)."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.26)

What is Raurav? Raurav means there is a pot of boiling oil like they use for making pakoras and they will deep fry you in that oil just like a pakora! [His Divine Grace laughs.] There are many kinds of hell (narak), I wrote about it in Guidance 3, I explained there about different kinds of hell and what kind of austerity you get there. So, Raurav is one kind of hell where they make a pakora out of you. So, what austerity is there in following ekadasi? Can you not tolerate even a little bit of austerity? It is necessary to have tolerance and it is necessary to have patience. There are twenty-six symptoms of a Vaishnav, and patience, or tolerance, is one them. We must have tolerance.


— : • : —





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