H.H.Bhakti Vaibhava Swami Maharaja_10.32.14-16_12.03.2023
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Papamocani Ekadasi falls on the 11th day of the Krishna Paksha (the waning phase of moon) in the month of Chaitra as per the North Indian calendar. However, in the South Indian calendar this Ekadasi is observed in the Vedic month of Phalgun. In the English calendar this corresponds to the months of March to April. Papamocani Ekadasi is the last Ekadasi observance of the 24 Ekadasis in the Vedic calendar. It falls between the celebrations of Holika Dahan and Chaitra Navratri.
This is an auspicious time to contribute financially towards the completion of the Nrsimhadeva Temple in the TOVP, scheduled to open this October. There are many different types of sponsorships available and most are pledges which can be paid over several months or years. Visit the Give To Nrsimha 2023 Fundraiser page for more information.
NOTE: Papamocani Ekadasi is observed on March 17 in the U.S and March 18 in India. Please refer to your local calendar through www.gopal.home.sk/gcal.
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The venerable glories of Papamocani Ekadasi are given in the Bhavisyottara Purana, during a conversation between Sri Krsna and Maharaja Yudhisthira.
The eldest of the Pandavas, Yudhisthira, asked Lord Krsna. “O Lord, You have kindly narrated the glories of Amalaki Ekadasi. Now please describe unto me the details of the Ekadasi which occurs during the waning Moon in the Chaitra month (March/April) What is this Ekadasi called, and what is the procedure for observing it?”
Lord Krsna replied: “O unrivalled King, this Ekadasi is known as Papamocani, please listen carefully as I describe its glories unto you. In the dim recesses of the misty past this Ekadasi was discussed between the Sage Lomasa and King Mandata. This Papamocani Ekadasi falls during the waning Moon in the month of Chaitra. By carefully observing this Ekadasi day all one’s sinful reactions will be nullified, one need never fear taking birth as a ghost; it can also award eight kinds of mystic perfection.
“The great sage known as Lomasa said to King Mandata: ‘In an ancient time, Kuvera, the treasurer of the demigods, boasted a heavenly forest known as Caitraratha. The weather was always pleasant there, and exhibited an eternal springtime atmosphere. Many heavenly society girls such as the Gandharva’s and Kinnaras would come to that celestial forest to enjoy sporting in its blissful surroundings. King Indra and many other demigods would also come there to enjoy many varieties of exchanges.
‘There was also a sage known as Medhavi residing in the forest. He was a staunch devotee of Shiva and was engaged in performing great austerities. The Apsaras, or heavenly dancing girls tried to disturb the sage in various ways. Of all the Apsaras one was most celebrated and famous. Her name was Manju Ghosh and she devised a cunning plan to captivate the mind of the sagacious saint. She built a house situated just near to the sage’s ashrama and began to sing sweetly whilst playing enchanting melodies on a Vina. Upon witnessing Manju Ghosh’s salubrious beauty, adorned as she was with sandalwood pulp, fragrant garlands and divine ornaments, Cupid, who is the forsworn enemy of Lord Shiva, tried to conquer the sage by way of revenge against Lord Shiva. Cupid had once been burnt to ashes by Lord Shiva and thus remembering this previous insult conspired to humiliate Shiva’s devotee.
‘He entered the body of the sage Medhavi just as Manju Ghosh approached him playing on her vina, singing sweetly and casting seductively arrowed glances from the quiver of her eyes. The sage Medhavi became intoxicated with desire and enjoyed with the beautiful Apsara for many years. So absorbed he was in enjoying in this way he lost all sense of time, even the ability to discriminate between day and night.
‘Henceforth, when Manju Ghosh grew tired of the sage Medhavi, she decided to return to her own abode. She said to Medhavi, “O great sage, please allow me to return to my home in the heavenly planets.”
‘The sage replied: “O beauty incarnate, you have only arrived here in the evening, at least stay until morning and then depart.” Upon hearing these words Manju Ghosh became frightened and stayed with Medhavi for a few more years. In this way although she stayed with the sage for fifty-seven years, nine months and three days, it still only appeared to the sage to be half a night. Manju Ghosh asked again for permission to leave but the sage replied, “O attractive one, this is only morning, please wait until I have completed my morning rituals.” The beautiful Apsara then smiled and said, “O great sage, how long will your rituals take? Have you still not finished yet? You have been enjoying with me for many years, please consider the actual value of time.”
On hearing these words, the sage came to his senses and realized the length of time that had passed. “Alas, O beautiful lady, I have simply wasted fifty-seven years of my valuable time. You have ruined my life, spoiled all of my austerities and condemned me to madness!” The eyes of the sage Medhavi filled with tears and his body convulsed as he cried. Raising his head, his eyes turned red with anger, and in a fearsome voice he cursed Manju Ghosh with the following words, “O evil one, you have behaved with me exactly like a witch. Therefore you will immediately become a witch, O sinful unchaste Lady! Shame on you.”
‘After being cursed by the sage, Manju Ghosh humbly replied, “O best of the brahmanas! Please withdraw your heavy curse, I have spent many years in your company, bringing you pleasure beyond your wildest dreams! Surely for this reason you can forgive me. Please be kind to me.”
‘The sage replied, “O gentle one, what will I do now? You have destroyed my wealth of austerity. Still, I will give you a chance to free yourself from this curse. The Ekadasi that falls during the waning Moon of the Chaitra month is called Papamocani. If you observe this Ekadasi very strictly, all your sinful reactions will be destroyed and you will be free of this crippling curse.”
‘After speaking these words, Medhavi returned to the ashrama of his father, Cyavana Rsi. As soon as Cyavana Rsi saw his pathetic son he became extremely disappointed. He said, “Alas, alas my son, O what have you done? You are ruined and should not have spoiled yourself in this way.”
‘The young sage Medhavi replied, “O father, I have committed great sins in the company of a beautiful Apsara, please instruct me how I can be freed from the sinful reactions.”
‘Cyavana Rsi replied, “O my son, there is an Ekadasi that falls on the waning Moon of the month of Chaitra. This Ekadasi will destroy all your sinful reactions. Therefore, you should follow this Ekadasi, but you should know that I am most disappointed in you!”
‘Thereafter, the sage Medhavi observed Papamocani Ekadasi and regained his elevated status as a sage of great repute. At the same time Manju Ghosh carefully observed Papamocani Ekadasi and got liberated from her accursed form, regained her bodily attractiveness and returned to the heavenly strata.’
“After narrating this story to King Mandata, sage Lomasa concluded as follows: ‘My dear King, anyone who observes this Ekadasi will have all his sinful reactions annihilated.’
Sri Krsna concluded, “O King Yudhisthira, whoever reads or hears about Papamocani ekadasi obtains the very same merit he would get if he donated a thousand cows in charity, and he also nullifies the sinful reactions he may have incurred by killing a brahmana, killing an embryo through abortion, drinking liquor, or having sex with his guru’s wife. Such is the incalculable benefit of properly observing this holy day of Papamocani Ekadasi, which is so dear to Me and so meritorious.”
Thus ends the narration of the glories of Papamocani Ekadasi from the Bhavisyottara Purana.
This article has been used courtesy of ISKCON Desire Tree
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The historic Grand Opening of Lord Nrsimhadeva Wing in October, 2023 (date to be announced) is part of the greater TOVP 2024 Marathon to open the temple in 2024. This is a crucial stage towards that goal, and we request all devotees to come together and give their might to complete Lord Nrsimhadeva Wing for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada.
Go to the Give To Nrsimha 2023 Fundraiser page on the TOVP website WWW.TOVP.ORG, or use one of the quick links below and help finish Lord Nrsimhadeva’s temple today!
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My dear Kadamba Kanana Swami Maharaja,
Please accept my prostrated obeisances at your lotus feet. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. And all glories to your wonderful service to him.
Srila Prabhupada said that when a Vaishnava departs, we feel simultaneously happy and sad. We feel happy because we know that the Vaishnava has gone to serve Krishna, but we feel sad because we will miss the Vaishnava’s association. In your case, I am also happy that you no longer have to suffer in your disease-ridden body.
You were a most worthy, beloved disciple of His Holiness Jayadvaita Swami Maharaja, who was very reserved about and selective in accepting disciples.
As Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote,
He reasons ill who tells that Vaishnavas die,
When thou art living still in sound!
The Vaishnavas die to live, and living try
To spread the holy name around!
You were a man of character and integrity. You were strong and kept your word.
And you were like a loving father in taking care of your disciple children.
I was blessed to have your association in India, Africa, and America. In India we served together in Vrindavan, in Africa we served together in South Africa, and in America we met at the Sadhu Sanga Retreat in Utah, where we had heart-to-heart talks and relished kirtan together.
You also preached in Mauritius, where I have been deeply involved. And in South Africa you specifically encouraged the black preaching, practically more than any other ISKCON leader. I am grateful to you for the support you gave to my disciple Mahaprabhu dasa in Soweto—and to so many other initiatives in relation to black preaching.
In a letter in 2021, you wrote to the devotees in South Africa, “All my prayers are with you. I have been so closely connected with you for so many years. To see that you are now in such a difficult situation is very sad. May Krishna watch over all of you.
“I left South Africa approximately one year ago, after having spent the Covid lockdown in Durban. I haven’t been away from you all for such a long time in twenty-six years. I hope that soon things will return to a relative normal.
“The material world is never meant to be our real home; the material energy will bring happiness and distress. Srila Prabhupada instructed us to make the best use of a bad bargain. Under these grim circumstances, may you find shelter in Krishna consciousness. May you find shelter in Srila Prabhupada’s books and in chanting the holy name. . . .
“I hope that soon the nightmare of all the terrible things that have happened in the last one and half year may come to an end and that we may be reunited again and chant together in kirtan and discus matters related to Krishna and enjoy happiness in Krishna consciousness.”
During this last year in Vrindavan, I frequently visited you in your apartment, and I was struck by your elevated Krishna consciousness. We discussed many topics, including your writing projects, which would be so valuable to generations of ISKCON devotees. I was impressed by how you encouraged and engaged your disciples who came to visit you from different parts of the world—your instructions to them were brilliant and compassionate.
Considering your illness, I always thought that I should visit you at your place, but one day, you, considering my seniority, came to mine and joined me and other devotees for japa in my temple room before you and I went upstairs and spoke.
You had so much faith in and taste for chanting the holy name, both japa and kirtan. I relished chanting japa with you and singing in kirtan with you, and your kirtans at the Sadhu Sanga Retreat in Utah were most memorable.
You published a book called Kirtaniyah Sada Hari: To always chant the holy name of Krsna, which you called “a collection of short meditations on the holy name”—a compilation of excerpts from your talks along with your reflections on the holy names. You wrote, “I’ve boarded the train. I’ve got my seat, and now let the journey begin. Like that, let me get ready to chant my rounds and get into a regular rhythm just like the train—name after name in an unbroken chain with Goloka as my destination.”
You also encouraged book distribution. You wrote, “Prabhupada was reading the Krsna book and said to Srutakirti, ‘This is such a wonderful book. Anyone who reads this book will become a pure devotee! Anyone who reads one chapter of this book can become a pure devotee. Anyone who reads one page of this book can become a pure devotee. Not only that, anyone who reads one sentence can become a pure devotee.’ And then Prabhupada said, “Anyone who reads one word can become a pure devotee.’
“I met Srutakirti in Vrindavan, and we were talking about this pastime. Srutakirti said, ‘Yes, Prabhupada said it to me several times about different books—about the Krsna book, about Nectar of Devotion and other books.” Srutakirti then said, ‘Obviously, Prabhupada knew that I wasn’t reading.’
“Anyway, these books are very potent, and anyone who gets such a book is greatly benefitted. But the person who distributes the book is even more benefitted, because that person is undertaking austerity for the welfare of others and is finally learning how to stop manipulating things for their own advantage and is making a sacrifice to give out the mercy.
“In some parts of our movement, book distribution is a little out of fashion. There are many other ways to reach out to people. Times have changed, and there are other interesting strategic ways to reach people and all good. But book distribution is like a cold shower, whereas some of these other preaching tactics are nice, warm showers. Cold showers get the blood circulation really going. We can consider that there is a special purification when doing book distribution. It is this spirit of giving the mercy to others that should be our focus.”
And you were grateful. You wrote, “Dear Vaishnavas . . . I want to express my gratitude to all of you for your kindness, prayers, and good wishes in this trying time. It has been about a month since I was diagnosed with a tumor . . . I feel greatly . . . more close to my heart following a natural path and investing in my own Krishna consciousness and sharing it through writing. . . . You are all wonderful people. I am living by your prayers and kindness.”
Dear Maharaja, how I miss you now! There was never anyone like you, and there never will be.
I pray that you will put in a word with Srila Prabhupada and his lords to bring me to you all—after I have done what they want me to do here in this world—and we will all be reunited again in service to Srila Prabhupada, the holy names, and the Vaishnavas.
Maharaja, I love you.
Your eternal, grateful servant,
Dear Devotees On Thursday 9th March at 12.06pm, under the gaze of Śrī Giriraja, in the holy land of Śrī Vṛndāvana dhāma, in the loving company of his spiritual master and the vaisnavas, with a resounding kirtan party, His Holiness Kadamba Kanana Swami departed from this material realm. In the coming hours we will send […]
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