Eating grains on Janmastami

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By Payonidhi das

Unfortunately some devotees and dear friends have not understood that one should not eat grains on Janmastami and on other apperance days, now this has never seen to be a problem in Europe to understand. But here in the US we have seen this, is a practice in some temples. Srila Prabhupada has clearly stated ekadasi prasadam is to be served on Gaura Purnima and Janmastami, but some devotees seem to either ignore these instructions to not know the proper standard.

Srila Prabhupada has clearly stated not to eat grains on Janmastami and Gaura Purnima, that the temple management at however chooses to serve grains to the devotees too is a serious mistake based on Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and that of scripture, I at least want to warn devotees as I have done before to please not eat grains on Janmastami and Gaura Purnima:

Srila Prabhupadas has clearly stated:

“So far the Advent Day of Lord Caitanya is concerned, I have written a full suggestion to Montreal, in which the main points are that we should all observe strict fasting up till moonrise, and at that time, an offering is made to Lord Caitanya of Ekadasi foods, fruits, peanuts, milk, and so forth. Then, on the next day, Friday the 15th, a full-scale feast is held to celebrate His Advent Day. On the 14th, chanting, reading of Srila Bhaktivinode’s book, Life and Precepts and Caitanya Caritamrta, Introduction to Bhagavatam, may be held all the day in the Temple.” (San Francisco, written 12th March 1968 letter to Balai)

“Lord Caitanya’s Appearance day falls on March 22 (1970), that is on a Sunday. The devotees should fast until evening, when there is a ceremony and offering of a small amount of Ekadasi preparations. The next day, the devotees should celebrate amongst themselves with a small scale feast. You may hold the celebration open to the public on the following Sunday. The preparation to be offered specially on this occasion is bhuni kichri: Fry equal parts dal and rice in ghee and massala. Add two times water as dal and rice, and add vegetables (if you use more ghee, use less water). Cook it until it is dried and the rice is soft.”(Letter to Krishna dasa. 18th February 1970. Los Angeles.)

“P. S. No feasting in the evening of Caitanya’s birthday. Fasting all day till evening moon rise. Then take Prasadam like Ekadasi. Next day you can have full swing feasting. On the birthday if can take a procession of Kirtana on the street it is very nice.” (Post Script to Letter to Rayarama dasa. September. Unknown place unknown date Ref: 91-05-14.)

Adjusting the program for preaching (feasting):

“You can take quotations from the above mentioned books, and have discussions. Fasting should be continued up to evening, then you may have food like on Ekadasi, fruits, milk, etc. On the next day you may observe festival. Janardana consulted me and said he thinks Sunday feasting would be best, so you may do that if you like. Or you may do both days, as you feel best.”(Letter to Mahapurush. 7th March 1968.

Regarding Gaura Purnima)

“We performed Lord Caitanya’s Birthday ceremony, not very gorgeously, but amongst ourselves, and Govinda dasi cooked very nice Ekadasi foodstuffs. The next day I expected some big ceremony but it couldn’t be performed. (Letter to Purusottam. 6th March 1969. Hawaii)

For example, the scriptures state fasting from all grains and beans on Janmastami should be followed the same way one follows Ekadasi. Srila Sanatana Goswami supports this statement in his Digdarshini Tika where he states, “Just as one follows the rules of fasting on each Ekadasi, the same rules should be followed for fasting on Janmastami.”

In the Bhavisya Uttara Purana, Vyasadeva quotes Lord Krsna instructing King Yudhisthira thus, “Everyone past the age of eight, whether they be Brahmana, Ksatriya, Vaisya, Sudra, woman, widow, or following a different faith, have to fast on My appearance day.”

The Skanda Purana states, “All sages and saintly kings like King Prahlada have fasted on Lord Krsna’s appearance day, year after year.”

The Agni Purana states, “When the Rohini constellation was present on Janmastami day, all learned sages from the time of Satyayuga, Tretayuga and Dvaparayuga, had fasted on Janamastami day to please Lord Krsna.”

In the Brahma Purana it is stated, “For those who properly fast on the correct Janmastami day, Kaliyuga cannot influence them.”

In order to please Lord Krsna, one must fast from grains and beans throughout the entire day and night of Janmastami, until the proper break-fast time arrives. Only then one should accept prasad consisting of grains and beans. As stated by Lord Brahma in the Brahma Purana, “When the Janmastami tithi and its Rohini Naksatra ends (next morning), then only one should consume grains to break the fast.”

The Yagnavalkya Smruti supports Lord Brahma’s statement, stating the following, “Only when both–the tithi and the–Naksatra timings of Janmastami have ended, then only one should break ones fast. There is no other way than this.”

In the Vayu Purana it is stated, “If one desires to become free from all sin, he or she should accept some rice Mahaprasada of Lord Jagannatha (or other grains of Mahaprasadam) on the day after Janmastami day.”

Lord Brahma instructs Narada in the Visnu Rahasya, “Anyone who eats grains on Janmastami day becomes filled with all categories of sin performed in the three worlds, and takes birth as a snake in the forest.”

Based on what instruction of Srila Prabhupada is grains even served to guests on Janmastami? But my main concern is that devotee don’t eat grains on Janmastami as it is highly inauspicious.

Hita Harivamsa who was a disciple of Srila Gopala Bhatta Goswami was rejected by him as he refused to

fast on Ekadasi and Janmastami from grains, we surely should not follow this line of the sahajiyas and due to ignorance eat grains on Janmastami, the result will be very bad.

His grace Deenabhandhu Prabhu made a comment also that other vaisnava groups will see this as a deviation in ISKCON if eating grains on Janmastami is permitted, I surely agree.

But the real concern is for those devotees that eat grains on Janmastami.

Please stop eating grains and feeding devotees grains on Janmastami

Vows, Worship, and Fasting on Sri Janmastami

Sri Janmastami-vrata-pujopavasa-nirupana Chapter Eight: Sri Brahma-vaivarta Purana Sri Narada said: Now please tell me of the vow of Janmastami, which is the great vow of vows. Please tell me the result attained by following the ceremony of Jayanti-yoga.

O great sage, what sinful reaction does one meet by not following this vow or by eating on that day? What pious result does one attain by fasting on that day?

O Lord, please describe the result of following this vow, including the rules governing the day before the fast, and breaking the fast on the following day.

Sri Narayana Rsi said: On the saptami (seventh day) and on the day after the fast (the navami or ninth day) one should eat havisya (rice and ghee) only. On the day of Janmastami (the eight day) one should rise at dawn.

O brahmana, one should rise early, bathe, perform his morning duties, and be determined to follow the vow and the fast for the pleasure of Lord Krishna.

O brahmana, by bathing and worshipping the Lord during the eight day
(Janmastami) of the month of Bhadra (August-September) one attains the result of bathing and worshipping the Lord for a manvantar.

If on this day one offers only a little water to the pitas, he attains the result of performing sraddha at Gaya for a hundred years.

On that day, after bathing and performing his regular duties, a wise person should arrange for a maternity-room, place in it water, fire, and an iron sword, post guards,…… place many things there, place there an instrument for cutting the umbilical cord, have a midwife there,…

… place there, O Narada, sixteen articles for worshipping the Lord, eight fruits and candies,…

… the eight fruits and candies being jatiphala, kakkola, pomegranate, sriphala, coconut, jambira, kusmanda, and manohara,…

13 … and the sixteen articles for worship being a sitting place, garments, padya, madhuparka, arghya, water for achaman, water for bathing, a bed, fragrances, flowers, food-offerings, betel nuts, ointments, incense, lamps, and ornaments,…… wash his feet, put on clean clothes, perform acamana, say the word ’svasti’, sit on the seat,…

… place a pot there, worship the five deities, invite Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to appear there,…

… invite Vasudeva, Devaki, Yasoda, Nanda, Rohini, Balarama, Goddess Sasthi, Goddess Vasundhara,…

… Rohini, Brahma, Asthami, the Sthana-devata, Asvatthama, Bali, Hanuman, Vibhisana,…

… Krpacharya, Parasurama, Vyasadeva, and Markandeya and then meditate on Lord Krishna.

Then a wise person should place a flower to his head and meditate on the description of the Lord spoken in the Sama Veda. O Narada, please listen and I will tell you that description, which Lord Brahma told the Kumaras in ancient times.

I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is an infant boy, who is splendid as a dark monsoon cloud, who is very handsome, whose lotus face is smiling, whom Brahma, Siva, Sesa and Yama glorified for how many days? Whom the kings of sages cannot approach in their meditations, whom the munis, siddhas, and sons of Manu cannot attain, whom the kings of the yogis cannot imagine in their thoughts, who is the greatest, who is without peer, who is all-seeing witness.

The follower of this vow should thus meditate on the Lord. Then, reciting mantras, he should offer the flower, and all the other articles to the Lord. Please hear these mantras.

Here are the mantras: O Lord Krishna, please accept this all-beautiful jewel throne, wonderfully decorated with graceful and colorful pictures and designs.

O Lord Krishna, please accept these wonderful and colorful garments pure as fire and made by Visvakarma from threads of pure gold.

O Lord Krishna, please accept this golden pot filled with water to wash Your feet. Please accept this pure padya water and this beautiful flower.

O Lord Krishna, please accept these gold pots of honey, ghee, yoghurt, milk and sugar.

O Lord Krishna, please accept this durva grass, whole rice, white flower, clear water, sandal, aguru, and musk.

O Supreme Lord, please accept this clear, pure, sweet, scented achaman water.

O Lord Krishna, please accept this scented Vishnu-oil, amalaki paste, and bath water.

O Lord Krishna, please accept this beautiful bed made of the best of jewels and covered with exquisite cloth.

O Lord Krishna, please accept this scented paste made of musk the powdered tree-roots.

O Supreme Lord, please accept this fragrant flower so dear to all the demigods and grown from a blossoming tree.

O Lord Krishna, please accept this offering of ripe fruits, sugar-candy, svastika candy and other candies.

O Lord Krishna, please accept this laddu, modaka, ghee, milk, molasses, honey, fresh yoghurt, and buttermilk.

O Lord Krishna, please accept these betel nuts mixed with camphor and other things, which I offer to You with devotion.

O Supreme Lord, please accept this beautiful avir powder made with sandal, aguru, musk and kunkum.

O Lord Krishna, please accept this incense made by cooking the nectars of many trees, incense very dear to all the demigods.

O Lord Krishna, please accept this splendid and auspicious lamp that destroys the terrible blinding darkness.

O Lord Krishna, please accept this pure drinking-water scented with camphor and other fragrances, water that is the life of all living entities.

O Lord Krishna, as an ornament for Your transcendental body please accept this garland of many flowers on a fine thread.

O Supreme Lord, please accept these fruits, which are the seeds of trees, and which make one’s dynasty prosper.

In this way, at that place, one should offer many appropriate things to Lord Krishna.

The person following this vow should then devotedly worship the many deities there and then offer them all three palmfuls of flowers.

45 In this way one should worship Sunanda, Nanda, Kumuda, the gopas, the gopis, Sri Radha, Ganesha, Karttikeya, Brahma, Shiva, Parvati, Lakshmi, Sarasvati, the dik-palas, the planets, Sesa, Sudarsana, the liberated associates of the Lord, and all the demigods, and one should offer obeisances to them, falling to the ground like a stick. Then one should offer food and dakshina to the brahmanas. Then the person following this Janmastami vow should hear the chapter of scripture describing Lord Krishna’s birth, and then he should, sitting on a seat of kusa grass, keep an all-night vigil.

At dawn he should perform his regular duties and then he should worship Lord Krishna. Then he should feed the brahmanas and then he should chant the glories of Lord Krishna.

49 Sri Narada said: When a person follows the Janmastami vow, fasts, and keeps the all-night vigil, what result does he attain? What is the sin one commits by eating on this holy day? O best of the knowers of the Vedas, referring to the Vedas, Vedangas and ancient Samhitas, please, please describe this. Sri Narayana Rsi said: If (in the dark fortnight of the month of Bhadra) even only a quarter of the astami is present at midnight, that day is considered Janmastami, the time when Lord Krishna was born.

Because it brings victory (jaya) and piety (punya), this day is called Jayanti. A wise person should fast, follow the Janmastami vow, and keep an all-night vigil on this day.

This is the most auspicious of all times. The demigods Brahma and knowers of the Vedas say this.

One who fasts, follows the Janmastami vow, and keeps an all-night vigil on this day becomes freed from the sins of ten million births. Of this there is no doubt.

One should not celebrate Janmastami on an astami mixed with the saptami. Even if the star Rohini (is conjoined with the moon) this astami is not considered Janmastami.

Lord Krishna, the son of Devaki, was born on an astami unmixed with the saptami, an astami when the star Rohini was conjoined with the moon.

When this most auspicious moment, an astami when the moon is conjoined with Rohini, is passed, a person who has followed the Janmastami vow should break his fast.

When the tithi of Janmastami is over, one should remember Lord Krishna, worship the devas and asuras, and break his fast. Breaking the fast in this way is very purifying and destroys all sins.

Breaking the fast in this way, an essential part of the fast, brings purification and the attainment of other results. The breaking of the fast should be performed during daytime.

Otherwise, if the fast is not broken during the daytime, the results of fasting, following the Janmastami vow, and breaking the fast are all destroyed.

One should not break the fast at night. The only exception is the Rohini-vrata, when the fast may be broken at night, but not at midnight. In the morning one should worship the brahmanas and demigods and then break the fast. All the saintly persons agree this is the best time to break the fast. Only in the Rohini-vrata is it not the best time.

If one follows the Janmastami vow on a Janmastami when Mercury is conjoined with the moon, he will never again enter a mother’s womb.

63. If on a certain Janmastami the navami begins at sunrise and the moon is conjoined with Mercury or the star Rohini, that Janmastami is very auspicious. Such a Janmastami occurs perhaps in a hundred years. One who follows the Janmastami vow on that day delivers ten million of his relatives. Lord Krishna is pleased with His devotees that observe the fast of Janmastami, even though, because of not having sufficient wealth, they cannot perform the Janmastami vow.

To one who follows the vow, worshipping the Lord with various articles and keeping an all-night vigil, Lord Krishna, the enemy of the demons, gives the result of following the Janmastami vow.

A person who observes Janmastami in a way appropriate to his financial means attains the proper result, but a wealthy person who does not observe Janmastami in a way appropriate to his wealth does not attain the same result.

A wise person should not break his fast during Janmastami or while the star Rohini is still conjoined with the moon. To do that is to destroy his past pious deeds and the transcendental result earned by fasting.

Breaking the fast during the tithi of Janmastami destroys one’s pious deeds eight times over, and breaking the fast while the star Rohini is conjoined with the moon destroys one’s pious deeds four times over.

Therefore one should be careful to break his fast when Janmastami and the star Rohini have passed.

O best of sages, when the tithi of Janmastami and the star Rohini both end at midnight, a person following the Janmastami vow should break his fast on the third day from Janmastami.

O Narada, one who eats during the midnight of Janmastami attains the sinful reaction of killing a brahmana.

On a pure Janmastami (not mixed with the saptami) one should not eat even fruit or betel nuts, or even drink water. Eating these is like eating stool or cow’s flesh, or like drinking urine. What, then, can be said of eating rice?

The wise say that night lasts for 9 hours and is bounded, at its beginning and end, by sunrise and sunset, which last for 48 minutes each.

A person who on a pure Janmastami (not mixed with the saptami) follows the Janmastami vow and keeps an all-night vigil becomes free from the sins of a hundred births. Of this there is no doubt.

A person who on a pure Janmastami (not mixed with the saptami) fasts but does not follow the Janmastami vow or keep the all-night vigil, attains the result of performing an asvamedha-yajna.

He is freed from the sins performed in the infancy, childhood, youth, and age of seven lifetimes.

One who eats on Lord Krishna’s birthday is lowest of mankind. His sinful reaction is like that of having raped his mother and murdered a hundred brahmanas.

His pious credits of ten million births are at once destroyed. He become impure. He becomes unfit to worship the demigods or the pitas.

At the end of his life he enters the hell called Kalasutra (the rope of time). As long as the sun and moon shine in the sky he is repeatedly (with constant new rebirths) devoured by giant worms with teeth sharp like spears.

When his time in hell is over he rises to the earth, where he repeatedly becomes a worm in stool for sixty thousand years.

Then he becomes a vulture for ten billion births, a pig for a hundred births, a dog for a hundred births, and a jackal for a hundred births.

Then he becomes a snake for seven births and then a row for seven births. Then he takes birth as a human being, where he is unable to speak and where he becomes a leper, always suffering.

Then he becomes a butcher and then a hunter of wild beasts. At the end he becomes a thief and a murderer, a man with no scruples.

Then he becomes a washerman, then an oil-merchant, and then a professional brahmana, always impure at heart.

If one is unable to fast he should feed a brahmana and give him charity equal to twice the value of the food.

Or, he should chant mantras to Goddess Lakshmi a thousand times, or he should practice pranayama twelve times.

Thus I have described, as I heard it from Yamaraja’s mouth, the fasting, vows and worship performed on Janmastami.

Nectar from Hari Bhakti Vilas Tika Dikdarshini Tika of Sanatan Goswami and Gopal Bhatta Goswami on Janmastami:

BHADRE BHAGAVATO JANMA DINE KARYO MAHOTSAVAH VISESENA MAHA PUJAM VRATA PURNENA VAISNAVAIH

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/246 from KALIKA PURANA Vyasadeva speaks)

One should perform a festival on the birthday of Lord Hari, which falls in Bhadrapada (August - September) month. It is the duty of all Vaisnavas to fast on these days and to do specific great worship of the Supreme Lord.

PRAHLADA ADAIS CA BHUPALAIH KRTA JANMASTAMI SUBHA SRADDHAYA PARAYA VISNOH PRITAYE KRSNA VALLABHA PRAJAPATY ARKSA SAMYUKTA SRAVANASYA ASITA ASTAMI VARSE VARSE TU KARTAVYA TUSTY ARTHAM CAKRA-PANINAH

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/267,268 from SKANDA PURANA)

Great kings such as Prahlada had fasted on the most dear of day of Lord Sri Krsna named Janmastami, the birthday of Lord Krsna, to develop intense love for Krsna. One should certainly fast on such an auspicious day of Lord Krsna’s birth named Krsnastami every year to please Lord Sri Krsna Who holds a disk in His hand.

YE NA KURVANTI JANANTAH KRSNA JANMA ASTAMI VRATAM TE BHAVANTI MAHA PRAJNA VYALA MAHATI KANANE

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/275 from SKANDA PURANA)

Oh greatly intelligent, any person, even with knowledge of Krsna’s birthday
(Janmastami), who does not fast, he takes his next birth as a snake in a thick forest.

SAMPARKEN API YAH KURYAT KASCIT JANMASTAMI VRATAM VISNU LOKAM AVAPNOTI SO’PI PARTHA NA SAMSAYAH

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/295 from SKANDA PURANA)

If someone fasts on Janmastami day, with devotion, he attains the abode of Lord Sri Visnu.

TASYAM VISNU TITHAU KECID DHANYAH KALIYUGE JANAH YE’BHYARCAYANTI DEVESAM JAGRATAH SAMUPOSITAH

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/307 from BRAHMA PURANA Suta Gosvami speaks)

This day (Janmastami day) removes all kinds of sins. Specifically in Kali-yuga, if someone fasts on this day, remains awake overnight and worships Lord Sri Hari properly, those people are worshipable.

IDAM EVA PARAM SREYA IDAM EVA PARANTAPAH IDAM EVA PARO DHARMO YAD VISNU VRATA DHARANAM

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/312 from BRAHMA PURANA)

Fasting on the day of Lord Hari is the most auspicious thing, the topmost austerity and the topmost meritorious action.

SAMPURNA CA ARDHARATRE TU ROHINI YADI LABHYATE KARTAVYA SA PRAYATNENA PURVA VIDDHAM VIVARJAYET

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/370 from YAJNAVALKYA SMRTI)

If on the eighth day of the dark fortnight at midnight there is Rohini constellation, on that day one should fast, but if it is combined with the seventh day, it should be given up in all circumstances.

DVAU BHUTA SARGAU LOKE’SMIN DAIVA ASURA EVA CA VISNU-BHAKTI PARO DAIVA ASURAS TAD VIPARYAYAH

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/396 from AGNI PURANA and VISNU DHARMA)

There are two kinds of living entities created. One is divine and the other is demonic. The devotees of the Supreme Lord Visnu are said to be divine personalities. Those who are not His devotees are addressed as demonic.

I hope this standard set by Srila Prabhupada can be instituted even by GBC law as mandatory for all ISKCON temples, I know some devotees do not agree with this but how can they disagree with Srila Prabhupada and Krsna and the statements of sastra on this issue?

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Comments • [comment feed]

1 Damana Krishna dasa

Very important topic indeed. Thanks a lot for addressing it. From any point of view as scriptural, following Srila Prabhupada, and also from the point of view of healthy life Ekadasi prasadam on Janmasthami is to be followed. After all day fasting then midnight heavy grain prasadam makes you next day not able to follow Srila Prabhupada appearance properly. Means no morning program ,proper chanting etc. It would be interesting to hear why certain devotees have problem to follow this. We should not look how to avoid things but how to follow properly to attract full Srila Prabhupadas mercy. Thank you again for this article.

Comment posted by Damana Krishna dasa on December 6th, 2007
2 sita-pati

Preach it brother! :-)

My favorite story is from the first Janmastami (or perhaps Gaura Purnima). I think this one is in “Hare Krishna Explosion” by Hayagriva, but I may be mistaken and I’m currently traveling on business, so I don’t have access to my books to check.

Anyhow, the devotees had been fasting all day for the appearance day, an unprecedented event. As midnight approached their expectation grew and grew. They had tasted the wonderful feasts that “Swamiji” prepared with his own hands for the Sunday Love Feast, and they were sure that this feast for such a special occasion, would be indescribable, that it would surpass even those ecstatic culinary experiences.

Midnight came, and Srila Prabhupada came down from his room bearing the prasadam - a plate containing a sliced apple that he distributed to the eagerly awaiting and now totally bewildered devotees.

The Acarya’s personal example is clear.

Comment posted by sita-pati on December 6th, 2007
3 Akruranatha

This is a subject that was raised once in Berkeley temple (in around 1992) and we did some folio research at that time. It appears that the proper standard is that on all Vishnu-tattva appearance days, the break fast should be done with ekadasi prasadam (i.e., no grains and beans)

However, there is also evidence that Srila Prabhupada presided over observances of Vishnu-tattva appearance days where he instructed the devotees to serve out feasts with grains (halava, puris, rice). I remember that was the standard we followed in St. Louis temple in 1976 and Vancouver temple in 1977. I think some of the older devotees in the U.S. may just follow the standard they remember following in Srila Prabhupada’s presence.

Of course all proper rules and regulations should be observed, but we should also avoid becoming overly attached to the rules rather than the purposes behind them. “Niyamagraha” works both ways.

ISKCON in the ’70s was not long on intricate rituals but there was a lot of natural enthusiasm in Srila Prabhupada’s presence that was very contagious. We need to somehow always keep that enthusiastic, innocent mood (although I agree we should follow proper standards).

Some of the scriptures that talk about how much pious credit you will lose or gain by performing or breaking a specific vrata seem a little legalistic or “karma kanda” in their approach. We can appreciate them and I am certainly not advocating that anyone should be a breaker of vows, but our main emphasis should always be on chanting Hare Krishna without offense.

Many of the quotes provided refer only to observing fasting, about which there is no disagreement. Of course we fast from all food for a specified period on various holy appearance days (until noon, until moonrise, until sunset, until midnight).

I think the thrust of the article, though, is what we should eat when the appointed hour for fast-breaking occurs. Everyone agrees that we should refrain from all food until the appointed hour. Difference of opinion only arises regarding whether grains and beans may be taken at the end of the prescribed period for total fasting.

As I said above, I think the correct standard is that for Vishnu-tattva appearance days, the break fast should not consist of any grains or beans, and that is the standard observed in most places nowadays, certainly in India.

However, I think if you check on folio, you will also find references to Srila Prabhupada instructing devotees to serve feasts with rice, puris, halava and so on on Gaura Purnima, Lord Nityananda’s Appearance Day, Nrsimha Caturdasi, etc. Devotees who observed these festivals in that way with Srila Prabhupada might legitimately find the emphasis on breaking fast without grains not especially important.

Comment posted by Akruranatha on December 6th, 2007
4 varahanarasimha

The arguments of Akruranath Prabhu is the typical , misunderstanding .

What part of the quotes given are not clear?

Lord Brahma instructs Narada in the Visnu Rahasya, “Anyone who eats grains on Janmastami day becomes filled with all categories of sin performed in the three worlds, and takes birth as a snake in the forest.”

Eating grains on ekadasi everyone clearly understand is a great offense, and mistake.
So is the same frue for Janmastami, but eating grains on Janmastami is just as heavy or even more severe reactions. Becoming a black snake in a dense forest is no joke.

Lets understand Niyamagraha- in the Upadesamrita Srila Prabhupada translates it as:
4) Practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them and not for the sake of spiritual advancement, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically

Mostly the too much attached aspect is see, but in this case niyamagraha refers to ” not
observing the rules and regulations as has been given by sastra?

No 1 that is giving some mundane interpretation on clear instructions given by Srila Vyasadeva and Srila Prabhupada

no 2 is disobeying the instrctions of the spiritual master

Sankalpa Kalpa druma by Srila Visvanath Chakravati also clearly states that proper observance of Janmastami helps one attain higher levels of KC , and the quotes I have given clearly warns about the bad result that is obtained if one eats grains on Janmastami.

Srila Prabhupadas written instructions are clear- Gaura Purnima , Janamastami - Rama Navami are ekadasi fast up to the time given.

I have not seen Srila prabhupadas quotes on Narasimha Caturdasi- however Narasimha Purana warns devotees not to eat grains on Narasimha Caturdasi–a personal warning by Lord Narasimha Himself- and only a food will disobey the instruction given by Lord Narasimha in this matter.

Other vaisnavas , including Gaudiya Math follow strictly this system of fasting, the vaisnavas in Udupi are very conservative and will strictly follow like that, actually they don’t take prasadam until the next day.

It is a fact that during Srila Prabhupadas time especially during the early years sometimes these fasts where observed as grain fast, and why is that?
Because devotees simply did not know.There is no letter or an written statement by Srila Prabhupada today is Janamastami eat grains at midnight.Such a letter does not exist.
But there is many letters to the fact take ekadasi prasadam at such and such time.
But as they say it is hard to teach “an old dog new tricks”. No comparing any esteemed devotees to dogs, but unfortunately this bad habit of eating grains on Janmastami has become a tradition in some temples. And it is neither based on Srila Prabhupadas instruction nor on sastra. So why did Srila Prabhupada eat grains on some of these days, I was not there , and did not see, but I know he was introducing KC all over the world, and gradually rules and regulations as they are to be followed has been introduced.Like the following of the vaisnava calendar according to local time, which is proper also.
In the beginning devotees for example used boiling milk to bath Radha Parisisvara-without conches when they where installed, devotees did things very simply , with
little understanding. but Srila Prabhupada directed them. So they could do various things and gradually improve on the standard. This is a similar case. To ignore sastra in this matter of Janmastami fasting is described in the one vers I quoted from Hari Bhakti Vilasa

DVAU BHUTA SARGAU LOKE’SMIN DAIVA ASURA EVA CA VISNU-BHAKTI PARO DAIVA ASURAS TAD VIPARYAYAH

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/396 from AGNI PURANA and VISNU DHARMA)

There are two kinds of living entities created. One is divine and the other is demonic. The devotees of the Supreme Lord Visnu are said to be divine personalities. Those who are not His devotees are addressed as demonic.

So clearly reading the verses given by Sanatana Goswami in Hari Bhakti Vilasa it is obvious he is stating that those who don’t follow are not following the divine path but another path (the demoniac)

2 verses of the 16th chapter of the Gita comes to mind:

BG 16.23: He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination.

BG 16.24: One should therefore understand what is duty and what is not duty by the regulations of the scriptures. Knowing such rules and regulations, one should act so that he may gradually be elevated.

So still some will say “we are not fanatics”- again another bogus argument.
Once a devotee was told by other senior devotees not to eat “Milky Ways ‘ as they have egg white and thus can be offered. this devotee was very disturbed and went to Srila Prabhupada …and he came out like if he was victorious…”Srila Prabhupada said we are not fanatics”. …Well the person later blobbed and kept properly eating his Milky ways with egg whites ( we have been told this , by one senior devotee many years ago)

The point is who will we follow, proper vaisnava traditions for fasting, which is confirmed by Srila Prabhupadas clear written instructions, and by Sanatana Goswami in the Hari Bhakti Vilasa- or will we concoct our own system simply because we like to fill out bellies on Janmastami night with” delicious cakes and grains”- I choose the authority of Srila Prabhupada over the pushing’s of the tongue and risk severe reactions. Eating grains at midnight on Janmastami is pure ignorance.It is that simple.
One must follow the laws of sastra. if Akruranath Prabhu as a lawyer would present something to a jusge that was not in the laws, he would be minimum reprimanded
by the judge.Sastra is our law books, and devotional service that ignores sastra is a distrubance
your servant
Pyonidhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 7th, 2007
5 varahanarasimha

Akruranth Prabhu you wrote:

However, I think if you check on folio, you will also find references to Srila Prabhupada instructing devotees to serve feasts with rice, puris, halava and so on on Gaura Purnima, Lord Nityananda’s Appearance Day, Nrsimha Caturdasi, etc. Devotees who observed these festivals in that way with Srila Prabhupada might legitimately find the emphasis on breaking fast without grains not especially important. ”

Incorrect this does not exist it is a speculation. please prove or retract it

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 7th, 2007
6 varahanarasimha

Damana Krsna Prabhu has made a very important point, surely it is not good for ones sadhana to eat heavey grains at night after a long day of fasting, secondly I like to mention please ask any Ayur Vedic doctor, if fasting all day, and then eating heavey grains at night is good for health?
Sita Pati Prabhu also gave a very important quote, the very first Janmastami celebration in ISKCON, and devotees where expecting the feast Akruranth Prabhu also has invisioned
, Srila Prabhupada brought fruits.
Hari Sauri Prabhu has mentioned how Srila Prabhupada allowed Garga Muni to take some fruits and milk on Janmastami, (during the day) , in India children and older people often do that, but the general rule is , no food for all day, and even at midnight, nothing is served, actually the best standard is to fast untill the next day, like a full Nirjala ekadasi .
This is the recommondation of sastra, but for temple’s it appears Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada and Srila Prabhupada allowed light ekadasi prasadam- with their kind blessings we can take, at least ekadasi prasadam after midnight, but as said even better is to fully fast, till next morning as the auspiscious constallation of Rohin has not yet passed, and sastra recommends to wait till it has.
Actually we normally meditate the Devaki gives birth to Krsna, but lets not forget Mother Yasoda gives “birth” to Brajendra Nandana, also at the same time, in his Ananda Vrindavan Campu- Srila Kavi Karnapure has not even mentioned Devaki given birth to Krsna also, but this another topic altogether.

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 7th, 2007
7 varahanarasimha

I like to mention, that if you check with devotees that grew up in India , you will be surprised how much even the ordinary strictly follows Janmastami, at least we have also made this observation when observing Janmastami in New Delhi in ISKCON’s old temple in Greater Kailash in 1986–I was so happy to see , what seemed the whole city was observing,
though this is of course not the case, sometimes even muslims fast also, as it is a very old tradition in India.i have asked many indian born devotees how they used to observe as children, they all tell me the same stroy, even for the age of 8 they would not eat anything in many cases, or just some milk and milk sweets
Janmastami ki jaya
Bhaktivinoda Thakura has described these days like ekadasi and Janmastami , as Madhava tithi in his song “Suddha Bhakata Carana renu”- the mothes of devotion,
from such strict observance and fully engaging oneself in hearing and chanting as much as poosible a sweet attraction for Krsna , His name ,fame, pastimes and devotess develop.We certainly do not want to do anything to hamper this attraction for the all attractive Krsna–eating grains is just one of the things not to do- I hope this will help others to understand this fully.

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 7th, 2007
8 varahanarasimha

Another issue is that the Tithi of Janmastami is not over at midnight…then how can one eat grains after midnight—similarly we don’t serve ourself a feast of grains on ekadasi after midnight..if they do please stop that too.
Next morning the fast is broken

PRAHLADA ADAIS CA BHUPALAIH KRTA JANMASTAMI SUBHA SRADDHAYA PARAYA VISNOH PRITAYE KRSNA VALLABHA PRAJAPATY ARKSA SAMYUKTA SRAVANASYA ASITA ASTAMI VARSE VARSE TU KARTAVYA TUSTY ARTHAM CAKRA-PANINAH

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/267,268 from SKANDA PURANA)

Great kings such as Prahlada had fasted on the most dear of day of Lord Sri Krsna named Janmastami, the birthday of Lord Krsna, to develop intense love for Krsna. One should certainly fast on such an auspicious day of Lord Krsna’s birth named Krsnastami every year to please Lord Sri Krsna Who holds a disk in His hand.

Jaya Sri Krsna

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 7th, 2007
9 Akruranatha

Dear Payoninidhi Prabhu:

I do not have time right now to check the folio, but I will when I get a chance and if I cannot come up with the quotes I will “retract” what I said about folio.

I do have a distinct memory that this issue was raised in Berkeley in about 1992 or 1993 when I was responsible for deciding on how to break fast on some Vishnu Tattva appearance day. I do not remember specifically whether it was Gaura Purnima, Lord Advaita’s Appearance day, or some other day, but this research was done.

Rajahamsa Prabhu was saying that on all Vishnu Tattva appearance days, fast is broken with ekadasi prasadam (no grains and beans). Others were saying they had broken fast with grains in Prabhupada’s time. Research was done and many quotes were provided.

I specifically remember seeing several quotations where Srila Prabhupada approved breaking fast with grains (puris, halavah, rice) on certain Vishnu tattva appearance days. We decided that the actual rule was that fast was to be broken without grains, but that Srila Prabhupada did not always follow this rule in ISKCON. I am not lying about that.

I will try to find such quotes and post them here later.

Many of the quotes you have provided do not specifically refer to whether grains are to be taken when the fast is broken. They appear to refer only to the fast itself (i.e., fasting until the appointed hour for breaking the fast).

>>Lord Brahma instructs Narada in the Visnu Rahasya, “Anyone who eats grains on Janmastami day becomes filled with all categories of sin performed in the three worlds, and takes birth as a snake in the forest.”

Comment posted by Akruranatha on December 7th, 2007
10 Unregistered

Hare krsna prabhu agtsp: In the book titled servent of the servent by h.h. tamal krsna goswami srila prabhupada writes in on letter printed there that he wants full feasts on all the appearance days to attract the guests. He goes on to say in the same letter: If we serve ekadasi feasts no one will be attracted to the program. This was due to tamal krsna goswami’s asking about this subject matter, apparently tamal krsna had heard somewhere that the feasts in india were ekadasi (no grains). Srila prabhupadas answer there in this letter reads on: This is not india, what can be done there is not practical in the west. In india we must follow traditions unfortionatly even to open a temple, so I am telling you what to do. P.S. The letter is there in copy, dated and signed by srila prabhupada along with many other letters not in the unedited letters five volume book set. Read the book mentioned aboved, I did three times. Hare krsna agtsp. by Antaryami Dasa

Comment posted by Antaryami Dasa on December 7th, 2007
11 varahanarasimha

dear Antaryami Prabhu please provide the letter given ,or letters by Srila Prabhupada
However this is no allowance for regular devotees to eat grains, if the take it as such they are foolish.Yes if Srila Prabhupada has sanctioned in the above letter, that guest can take
I have also seen a letter where he say guest and devotees should observe the same fasting and feasting, I quoted this before:

Adjusting the program for preaching (feasting):

“You can take quotations from the above mentioned books, and have discussions. Fasting should be continued up to evening, then you may have food like on Ekadasi, fruits, milk, etc. On the next day you may observe festival. Janardana consulted me and said he thinks Sunday feasting would be best, so you may do that if you like. Or you may do both days, as you feel best.”(Letter to Mahapurush. 7th March 1968.

Here is another letter from Srila Prabhupada about Ramanavami

710407LE.BOM
So this process should be adopted, how to become sukrtina. Sukrti means yajna-dana-tapa-kriya. One must perform sacrifices as prescribed in the sastras, and they must give in charity their hard-earned money for Krsna’s cause. That is called dana. Yajna, dana, and tapasya. Tapasya. Just like tomorrow is Sri Rama-navami. The tapasya will be that all the devotees will observe fasting from morning till evening. This is called tapasya. JUST LIKE EKADASI DAY–THERE IS NO EATING SUMPTUOUSLY. SIMPLY YOU TAKE LITTLE FRUITS AND FLOWERS. TRY TO AVOID THAT ALSO. YOU DON’T TAKE EVEN WATER. THAT IS REALLY EKADASI. BUT BECAUSE WE CANNOT DO IT–IN THE KALI-YUGA THE TIME IS DIFFERENT–THEREFORE WE ARE ALLOWED TO TAKE LITTLE FRUIT AND MILK, WHICH IS CALLED ANUKALPA.

So if Srila Prabhupada has allowed grain feast for Guests however he has never authorized devotees to eat grains on Janmastami,.If Srila Prabhupada would authorize devotees to eat grains in Janmastami he would encourage them into bondage in Samsara, but he never did.
For Preaching we have heard Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada once allowed a preacher to read grains on ekadasi, but unless given such an instruction personally by Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada , no one should also attempt to do the same:

There is generally a tendency to do as little as possible for ones spiritual advancement,but this was not Srila Prabhupadas mood, we also know that many devotees that eat grains at midnight, don’t really fast but also eat so many different things during the day, often because they have to work even on Janmastami, but at least one could take only some ekadasi prasadam and not grains

71-07-09 Letter: Jadurani
Why just 25 rounds? You should chant as many as possible. Real Ekadasi means fasting and chanting and no other business. When one observes fasting, the chanting becomes easier. SO ON EKADASI OTHER BUSINESS CAN BE SUSPENDED AS FAR AS POSSIBLE UNLESS THERE IS SOME URGENT BUSINESS.

TLC 16
Lord Caitanya also explained the symptoms of a holy man and the process of satisfying the sage and rejecting the society of undesirable persons. The Lord also advised that one should hear Srimad-Bhagavatam constantly. Also to be followed are duties of the day and duties of the fortnight, as well as fasting on Ekadasi day. ONE MUST ALSO FOLLOW THE DUTIES OF THE MONTH AND OBSERVE CEREMONIES LIKE THE BIRTHDAY OF THE LORD, THE THREE SPECIFIC DATES OF FASTING EKADASI, JANMASTAMI, VAMANADVADASI, SRI RAMANAVAMI AND NRSIMHACATURDASI. WHEN THE FAST DAYS OVERLAP WITH OTHER DAYS (VIDDHA), THEY ARE HELPFUL IN THE ADVANCEMENT OF DEVOTIONAL SERVICE.

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 7th, 2007
12 varahanarasimha

Lord Caitanya instructed Sanatana Goswami:

CC Madhya 24.340: “You should describe the ritualistic duties to be performed every day, and you should also describe the fortnightly duties — especially how to observe the fortnightly Ekādaśī fast. You should also describe the duties to be observed every month, and you should especially describe the observance of ceremonies like Janmāṣṭamī, Rāma-navamī and Nṛsiḿha-caturdaśī.

CC Madhya 24.341: “Ekādaśī, Janmāṣṭamī, Vāmana-dvādaśī, Rāma-navamī and Nṛsiḿha-caturdaśī — all these should be described.

CC Madhya 24.342: “You should recommend the avoidance of mixed Ekādaśī and the performance of pure Ekādaśī. You should also describe the fault in not observing Ekādaśī. One should be very careful as far as these items are concerned. If one is not careful, one will be negligent in executing devotional service

I have given the guidelines from Hari Bhakti Vilasa written by Sanatana Goswami who is the highest authority on fasting on Janmastami as he was directly ordered by Lord Caitanya to explain it.

Brahma Vaivarta Purana has clearly explained:

On a pure Janmastami (not mixed with the saptami) one should not eat even fruit or betel nuts, or even drink water. Eating these is like eating stool or cow’s flesh, or like drinking urine. What, then, can be said of eating rice?

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 7th, 2007
13 Locanananda dasa

Very well researched, Payonidhi prabhu. The references cited from Srila Prabhupada’s instructions are mainly from his letters. In the 1970’s, temples did not have access to all of Srila Prabhupada’s letters and many probably never heard the guidelines for celebrating festivals like Janmastami and Gaura Purnima. In Southern Europe, for example, Gaura Purnima was not observed as a two day festival as recommended in one of the letters you quoted, and full feasting followed the day-long fast to celebrate the Lord’s appearance.

Now that we can see the compilation of references you have assembled, there should be no question as to whether grains can be eaten on Gaura Purnima or Janmastami. On the other hand, I would not conclude that it is best to fast through the night, as that is not what Srila Prabhupada personally told us to do. It is like saying, “It is best to chant sixty-four rounds daily, like in the Gaudiya Matha.”

I also don’t think the adage “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” should be applied to vaisnavas.

On the whole, though, your presentation is thoroughly convincing and I hope you will propose it through the proper channels as a GBC resolution. All in my humble opinion.

Your servant,
Locanananda dasa

Comment posted by Locanananda dasa on December 8th, 2007
14 varahanarasimha

My dear Locanananda Prabhu
Please accept my humble obaisences
All glories to Srila Prabhupada
I am feeling great ananda remembering you Prabhu, as I know you are sincere servant of Srila Prabhupada.
First I like to again apologize for the term teaching “old dogs new tricks” .I really did not mean that in any derogative ways as I also wrote

:”But as they say it is hard to teach “an old dog new tricks”. Not comparing any esteemed devotees to dogs, but unfortunately this bad habit of eating grains on Janmastami has become a tradition in some temples. And it is neither based on Srila Prabhupadas instruction nor on sastra.”

It was the only term that I could find to use, as some older devotees learned an improper standard and then as you said ( and I am so glad, your did) ,devotees did not have access to reading Srila Prabhupada’s letters, I would also add conversations. It makes a difference , now many older devotees have the impression Srila Prabhupada wanted grain feast, but as I said to Akruranath Prabhu where is the evidence, and he has claimed such letters exist, when they actually do not.
Srila Prabhupada gave the example of a lady that kept a cat in the basket simply because it caused disturbance at a wedding, however it was simpply because it was polluting the area where the marriage was going to take place, and the married lady , remembered it and made it a tradition, not understanding why the cat was in a basket.
It was simply due to ignorance.
To your suggestion that this should be brought to the GBC attention and level, I have tried since one year or more, I hope as you do Prabhu that this will be instituted as GBC laws as it is for the benefit of us all to follow the proper standards in this matter.
I am not giving up, but I need a lot of support in this, from senior devotees like yourself.
One the point of staying up all night or fasting later, yes it is even better but Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta allowed ekadasi prasadam it is actually a concession Srila Prabhupada has also encouraged us in some letters that if we can we can do the full fasting untill the next day. If we read the Hari Bhakti Vilasa carefully that is clearly understood also. The minimum is to takes ekadasi prasadam after midnight.
This is done so with the blessings of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada ,so thus we are safe, if we want to follow even more strictly.

Bhavisya Purana has stated:

Breaking the fast during the tithi of Janmastami destroys one’s pious deeds eight times over, and breaking the fast while the star Rohini is conjoined with the moon destroys one’s pious deeds four times over.

Therefore one should be careful to break his fast when Janmastami and the star Rohini have passed.

O best of sages, when the tithi of Janmastami and the star Rohini both end at midnight, a person following the Janmastami vow should break his fast on the third day from Janmastami.

O Narada, one who eats during the midnight of Janmastami attains the sinful reaction of killing a brahmana.

We can’t ignore sastra that has stated even better is to wait till the Rohini tithi has passed
There is letters where Srila Prabhupadas encourages fasting for Gaura Purnima and Janmastami untill next morning if one can, but I have to look for these quotes again.

I am considering writting a book about proper vasinava fastings, and the significance of various months ,the glories of various appeance days based on Srila Prabhupadas teachings and Sanatana Goswamis , Hari Bhakti Vilasa . In the book form I can also show how how these traditions are follwed by strict vaisanvas in different sampradayas.
My dear Goduncle Locananda Prabhu please bless me in these endeavors.
The chanting of 64 rounds is another issue you brought up, Srila Prabhupada encouraged us to chant more thant 16 rounds, 16 rounds is really a minimum.
This is of topic but I like to add something from Hari Bhakti Vilasa on this issue here:
One thing it explains also is one should keep ones beads covered by the bead bag.

YASTU BHAGAVATO BHUTVA NA GRHANATI GANITRIKAM
ASURI TASYA DIKSA TU NA SA DHARMAYA VIDYATE
GANITRIKAM GRAHITVA YO MANTRAM CINTAYET BUDHAH
JANMANTARA SAHASRANI CINTITO’HANCA TENA VAI

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/70,71 VARAHA PURANA)

After becoming a devotee or engaging in the devotional service to the Supreme Lord, one who does not accept a japa mala, his initiation is said to be demoniac. This kind of initiation is not very beneficial for religious principles. One who chants on the beads properly, I (the Supreme Personality of Godhead) think of this intelligent person for thousands of years.

ASTOTTARA SATAIH PURVA PANCASADBHIS TU MADHYAMA
KANYASI PANCA VINSATYA PARIMANAM VIDHIYATE

(HARI BHAKI VILASA 17/73 VARAHA PURANA)

The beads which have 108 seeds are said to be of he topmost quality. The beads which have 50 seeds are said to be of medium quality. The beads which have 20 seeds are said to be of the lowest quality.

TULASI KASTHA GHATITAIR MANIBHIR JAPA MALIKA
SARVA KARMANI SARVESAM IPSITARTHA PHALA PRADA

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/112 NARADA PANCATATRA)

One should understand that beads made out of Tulasi wood seeds is said to be fulfilling all kinds of desires in every activity or function.

TULASI SAMBHAVA YA TU SA MOKSAM TANUTE’CIRAT

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/113 GAUTAMIYA TANTRA)

The mala which is made out of Tulasi wood seeds is said to be certainly rewarding liberation.

ANAMA MADHYAM AKRAMYA JAPAM KURYAT TU MANASAM
MADHYAMA MADHYAM AKRAMYA JAPAM KURYAD UPANSUKAM
TARJANIM TU SAMAKRAMYA JAPAM NAIVA TU KARAYET
EKAIKA MANIM ANGUSTHENA AKARSAN PRAJAPEN MANUM
MERAU TU LANGHITE DEVI NA MANTRA PHALA BHAG BHAVET

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/114,115 SIVAGAMA)

Keeping the beads on the mid of ones ring finger, one should chant in murmering sound, one should not keep beads on the pointing finger and chant japa. Chanting japa with the pointing finger has been rejected. One by one, putting the beads inwards and chanting japa is recommended. Oh dear wife, one should not jump over the head of japa beads. Otherwise he will not get the results of his chanting.

TATRA ANGULI JAPAM KURVAN SANGUSTHA ANGULIBHIR JAPET
ANGUSTHENA VINA KARMA KRTAM TAD APHALAM BHAVET

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/116 SIVA AGAMA)

If one chants japa on the fingers, he should chant also using the thumb. Chanting japa without using the thumb does not give any success.

KANISTHA ANAMIKA MADHYA CATURTHI TARJANI MATA
TISRO’NGULYAS TRIPARVAH SYUR MADHYAMA CA EKA PARVIKA
PARVA DVAYAM MADHYAMAYA JAPAKALE VIVARJAYET
EVAM MERUM VIJANIYAD BRAHMANA DUSITAM SVAYAM
ARABHYAN ANAMIKA MADHYAT PRADAKSINAM ANUKRAMAT
TARJANI MULA PARYANTAM KRAMAT DASASU PARVASU

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/117,118,119)

Chanting on the fingers, namely the ring finger, the middle finger or the forth finger are accepted for chanting japa. On these three fingers, there are three parts to be used, and one part of the midfinger, all together ten, to chant japa. This means that one should reject using the first two parts of the mid finger and chant japa. Brahma has stated that the first two parts of the midfinger is said to be the meru or head of the beads, and he has rejected, himself to use it. One should start from the middle of the ring finger and carry on in a clockwise until the pointing finger’s root and thus altogether they become ten. ONe should hold his fingers together and chant japa.

ARABHYAN ANAMIKA MULAT PARIVARTET VAI KRAMAT
TARJANI MADHYA PARYANTAM JAPED DASASU PARVASU

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/122 GAUTAMIYA)

Beginning from the middle of the ring finger and continuing clockwise to the root of the pointing finger and chanting japa in this way numbering ten.

NA SPRASED VAMA HASTENA KARA BRASTAM NA KARAYET

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/124 GAUTAMIYA)

One should not touch his beads with the left hand nor make them fall from the hand.

APAVITRA KARO NAGNAH SIRASI PRAVRTO’PI VA
PRALAPAN VA JAPED YAVAT TAVAN NISPHALAM UCYATE

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/132 VYASA SMRATI)

Chanting japa becomes fruitless if somebody chants in an impure condition with dirty hands or with out a seat, or in nude condition, or with a covered head, or while talking during japa. Therefore one should chant japa carefully.

VADANNA GACCHANNA SVAPANNA ANYAT KIMAPI SANSMARAN
NA KSUT JRAMBHANA HIKKADI VIKALIKRTA MANASAH
MANTRA SIDDHIM AVPNOTI TASMAD YATNA PARO BHAVET

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/133 NARADA PANCARATRA)

While talking, walking, sleeping or thinking about some object, hungry, while stretching the body, while having hicups, while mentally disturbed, in such condition, if someone chants japa, he does not receive the perfection of chanting. Therefore one should endeavor to give up all of these functions to chant properly.

ANGULI AGRESU YAJJAPTA YAJJAPTAM MERU LANGHANE ASANKHYATAN CA YAJJAPTAM TAT SARVAM NISPHALAM BHAVET

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/135 VYASA SMRITI)

One who chants japa holding the beads on the tip of the fingers, or who jumps over the head bead or who chants japa without counting how much he has chanted, then that japa is said to be fruitless.

ADAVITRA KARO’SUDDHAH PRALAPAN NA JAPET KVACIT

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/137 MANTRARNAVA)

One should not hold japa beads or chant with dirty hands and one should not in an unclean condition or while talking with others.

ANASANAH SAYANO VA GACCHANN UTTHITA EVA VA
RATHYAYAMA SIVE STHANE NA JAPET TIMIRA ANTARE
UPANAD GUDHA PADO VA YANA SAYYAGATAS TATHA
PRASARYA NA JAPET PADAVA UTKATASANA EVA VA

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/139, 140 MANTRARANA)

Sitting without a seat, while lying down sleeping, while walking, while standing, while on a path or in impure places such a crematoriums or in dark areas are the forbidden to chant japa. Wearing shoes, climbing on a carrier in the sleeping condition, spreading two legs, on an impure asana, one should not chant japa.

NA PADA PADAM AKRAMYA NA CAIVA HI TATHA KARAU
NA CA ASAMA AHITA MANA NACA SANSAYANO JAPET
NA KAMPAYET SIRO GRIVAM DANTAN NAIVA PRAKASAYET

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/142 YAJNA VALKYA SAMHITA)

While chanting japa, one should not let ones leg climb another leg and arm climb upon another arm, in an unsteady mind, in a doubtful condition, one should not chant japa. While chanting, one should not shake his neck or head, one should not show ones teeth to others while chanting.

YAKSA RAKSASA BHUTANI SIDDHA VIDYADHARA GANAH
HARANTI PRASABHAM YASMAT TASMAD GUPTAM SAMACARET

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/144 YAJNA VALKYA SAMHITA)

If one chants japa while keeping his japa beads outside of his bead bag, then his japa is forcibly stolen by semidemigods, demons, ghosts, perfected living entities from Siddhaloka and Vidyadharas, the dancers in the heavenly planets. Therefore one should not keep his beads outside of his bead bag.

YADI VA YAMA LOPAH SYAT JAPA ADISU KATHANCANA
VYAHARED VAISNAVAM MANTRAM SMARED VA VISNUM AVYAYAM

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/148 TRAILOKYA SAMMOHANA TANTRA)

If somehow, due to certain circumstances, somebody breaks the stated rules to chanting, then he should chant a Visnu mantra or remember the imperishable personality of Godhead Sri Visnu.

TRIVIDHO JAPA YAJNAH SYAT TASYA BHEDAN NIVODHATA
VACIKAS CA UPANSUS CA MANASAS CA TRIDHA MATAH
TRAYANAM JAPA YAJNANAM SREYAN SYAD UTTAROTTARAH

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/155 NRSINGHA PURANA)

Japa yajna is of three kinds. Please listen. Chanting with a sound vibration, chanting with a murmuring condition and chanting within the mind. These three kinds of chanting are respectively one better than the other [chanting in the mind is best].

YADUCCHA NICA SVARITAIH SPASTA SAVDAVD AKSARAIH
MANTRAM UCCHARAYED VYAKTAM JAPA YAJNA SA VACIKAH
SANAIR UCCHARAYEN MANTRAM ISAD OSTHAU PRACALAYET
KINCIT SAVDAM SVAYAM VIDYAD UPANSUH SA JAPAH SMRATAH

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/156, 157 NRSINGHA PURANA)

Chanting japa is of three kinds, higher class, lower class and svarita class which is melodiously chanting clearly where every word can be heard by others. That is called vacika. Any japa mantra chanted in murmuring sound, where his two lips move very minutely, and one can only hear a few words out of it, that chanting is called upansu.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami, in his Digdharsanitika, writes that one who is chanting japa melodiocly, with high and low sounds, in a swinging condition, it is called svarita where others can hear every sound vibration clearly. Therefore, it is said that one should chant openly. But better is to chant japa insuch a way that one can hear it by himself only.

UPANSU JAPA YUKTASYA TASMAT SATA GUNO BHAVET
SAHASRO MANASAH PROKTO YASMAD DHYANA SAMO HI SAH

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/159 YAJNA VALKYA)

One hundred times better than chanting japa in clear or loud condition is to chant japa in mumuring condition where one can hear by himself. One thousand times better, still, is chanting within ones mind, because chanting within the mind is equal to meditating on the Supreme Lord.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami, clarifies this situation in his Digdharsanitika, stating that chanting within the mind is one hundred times better than chanting in murmuring condition which is one hundred times better than chanting with the sound vibration.
NADOSO MANASE JAPE SARVA DESE’PI SARVADA
JAPA NISTHO DVIJA SRESTHAH SARVA YAJNA PHALAM LABHET
ASUCIR VA SUCIR VAPI GACCHAN TISTHAN SVAPANNAPI
MANTRAIVA SARANO VIDVAN MANASAIVA SADA ABHYASET

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/161, 162 MANTRARANA)

Oh best of the brahmanas, in all conditions and always,one should chant japa in ones mind because it has no faults. Therefore, anyone who is engaged in chanting japa, gets the results of performing all kinds of sacrifices. Whatever conditon he may be, whether purified or unpurified condition, walking condition or still (standing or sitting) condition, sleeping condition, one should take shelter at the feet of chanting japa alone and chant japa within ones mind.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami remarks regarding chanting japa within ones mind, that because chanting japa within ones mind has no faults, therefore one should chant japa within his mind which is the best of all. Here the best of brahmanas refers to those who chant japa. In all conditions, one should take shelter in chanting japa without considering the time, place and circumstances. This is the understanding here.

JAPENA DEVATA NITYAM STUYAMANA PRASIDATI
PRASANNA VIPULAN BHOGAN DADYAM MUKTIS CA SASVATIM

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/166 PADMANABHIYA)

If japa is chanted regularly to please the Supreme Lord then the Supreme Lord being please will increase his spiritual advancement and give him the eternal liberation.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami says in his Digdharsanitika that eternal liberation means achieving the eternal abode of the Supreme Lord, Vaikunthadhama.

ATAH KURYAD JAPAM NITYAM SAKTYA NIYATA SANKHYAYA

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/199 NARADA PANCARATRA)

One should chant regularly, according to ones capacity, an fixed number of rounds every day. Srila Sanatana Gosvami says in his Digdharsanitika, that according to ones capacity, one should regularly chant a fixed number of rounds each day and account the number each day. “One should not chant less or more japa day after day”. When the fixed number of rounds are completed one should finish chanting japa and engage in other service.

your humble servant
Payonidhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 8th, 2007
15 Unregistered

Hari bol again prabhu agtsp: Regarding what you say of this issue grains or no grains, I will add only one more statement/letter that is there in the servent of the servent in a letter to tamal krsna and it reads: when in rome do as the romans. So prabhu when I visit one of your temples I will do as the romans do. But for meself I will continue to follow as I learned back in 76 to about 1999. ( granting heaven or hell) as stated in the N.O.D. by Srila Rupa Goswami he says: Hope agans’t Hope; Because I am trying my best to follow the rules and etc of devotional service I know krsna will accept me back home back to godhead when I leave this body-”hope agans’t hope”, hare krsna agtsp. Read the books prabhu as I and see for yourself what the acharya wanted and cared for etc regarding preaching to the masses in the west, as for your quotes on the issue of grains etc they seen to lean on many of the Godhi-a-math standards (no wrong there) the one thing though srila prabhupada did not care to establish here in the west in Iskcon temples, hare krsna agtsp. by Antaryami Dasa.

Comment posted by Antaryami Dasa on December 8th, 2007
16 Akruranatha

I am no whiz with folio (I rarely use it), but I did some quick research and found about 10 entries, many of which just indicated that there was a sumptuous feast after midnight and things of that nature. Such quotes do not specify that the feast had grains, but my impression is they did. We could ask the devotees who were present and wrote the articles(Kurma dasa, Madhavananda dasa, Maha Maya dasi, etc.)

I can email them to anyone interested, but it might be lengthy to post them all here. I am sure I could find more if I had time and energy to do so. I still did not find the letter Antaryami referenced. I do recal, though, that during the Berkeley episode I discussed above, devotees did show me quotations from letters and/or room conversations.

Here is one excerpt from and article by Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, regarding the original installation of Lord Jagannatha in San Francisco on Gaura Purnima. It is long, but it presents Prabhupada’s very merciful early mood when he was *very* lax on regulations, including even how to offer arati. The article depicts Srila Prabhupada eating a full feast on Gaura Purnima, with rice, samosas, halavah, puris:

“Prabhupada set March 26, the appearance day of Lord Caitanya as the day for installing the deities. The devotees would have a big feast and begin worshiping Lord Jagannätha.

“March 26
Prabhupada said that during the morning they would stay together in the temple, read about Lord Caitanya, and hold kirtana (congregational chanting), and in the evening they would have a ceremony for installing Lord Jagannatha. Having fasted until moonrise, they would then break fast with a feast of prasädam (food offered to Kåñëa).
That evening, devotees and hippie guests filled the room to capacity. Prabhupäda was present, and the mood was reverential and festive. It was a special event. * * *

“Although in big temples in India the installation of the Deity was a complex procedure, requiring several days of continuous rituals directed by highly paid priests, in San Francisco there were no brahmana priests to pay, and many other standards would be impossible to maintain.

“For non-Hindus to handle Lord Jagannatha and conduct His worship would be considered heresy by the caste-conscious brahmanas of India. Except for Prabhupäda, none of the persons present would have been allowed even to enter the temple at Jagannätha Puré. The white man, the Westerner, was not allowed to see Lord Jagannätha except once a year as He rode on His cart during the Ratha-yäträ festival. But these restrictions were social customs, not scriptural injunctions. * * *

“When the kirtana ended, Srila Prabhupada explained further: ‘This process which we just now introduced on the advent of Lord Jagannatha Svami means that now this temple is completely fixed. So this is the worshiping process. And this simple process, if you follow, you just see how you realize the Absolute Truth.’

“‘Another thing I request you: All the devotees—when you come to the temple, you bring one fruit and one flower. If you can bring more, it is very good. If not, it is not very expensive to bring one fruit and one flower—whatever you can afford—and offer it to the Deity.’

“He paused, looking around the room: ‘Yes, now you can distribute prasadam.’

“The guests sat in rows on the floor, and the devotees began serving prasadam, offering the first plate to Prabhupada. The food preparations were those Prabhupada had personally taught the devotees in his kitchen: samosas, halavah, puris, rice, several cooked vegetables, fruit chutney, sweets—all the Sunday specials. The guests loved the prasadam and ate as much as they could get. While the devotees served prasadam, the guests relaxed and enjoyed an evening of feasting and convivial conversation. After Prabhupada tasted all the preparations, he looked up with raised eyebrows: ‘Very nice preparations. All glories to the cookers.’”

Satsvarupa Das Goswami, “The Lord of the Universe Comes to Haight-Ashbury”, BTG #16-10 (1981)

Comment posted by Akruranatha on December 9th, 2007
17 Akruranatha

Here are the others I found, edited to keep them not too long. As I said, they do not specify grains are being served, but the impression one gets from reading them is that at least most of these feasts have grains. Kurma, the chef, might be expected to have mentioned in his book if the feast was grainless. In fact, I expect most devotees would mention that if it were the case (I know I would):

1. February 13th, 1976
Today is Lord Nityananda’s appearance, a half-day fast. Nityananda Prabhu liked urad dal, so this was one obvious preparation that was made for His feast.

[From Transcendental Diary, by Hari Sauri. However, there is no mention of whether the urad dal was served to the devotees or only to Lord Nityananda]

2. The six London-bound devotees had arrived in Montreal only a few days before two of the biggest festival days of the year: Janmastami, the appearance day of Lord Krsna, and Vyasa-puju, the appearance day of Srila Prabhupada. Now, with the festival days approaching and devotees from other cities arriving to be with Prabhupada, the usually quiet Montreal temple began to stir with activity. Cooking became so enthusiastic that it was like a big kirtana in the kitchen. Prabhupada supervised the cooking of some of the preparations and then returned to his apartment, where he personally cooked several special dishes.

The Janmastami festival was scheduled to last all day and on through the night until midnight, the time of Lord Krishna’s appearance, culminating in a midnight feast. Gopal had mailed invitations to many Indians and had made hundreds of phone calls. As a result, more than three hundred guests attended. Prabhupada spoke in the evening before a distracted, talkative audience of Indian families with children. Afterwards he had Gaurasundara, Mukunda, and Yamunä speak in turn. Pleased by the large gathering of guests and devotees in the bowling-alley-turned-temple, Prabhupada considered the Janmastami festival the high point of his stay in Montreal.

After the midnight feasting, as Prabhupada was leaving the temple, he stopped at the door and turned to Haàsadüta, who had done most of the cooking. “The sweetballs were very good,” Prabhupada said.
“Thank you, Prabhupada.”
“But mine,” Prabhupada smiled, “were better.”

[Satsvarupa Das Goswami, “Prabhupada Lila”, A Summer in Montreal, 1968]

3. Sriman Narayan pledged his help for solving our various visa problems of visas by introducing us to Sri Atul Bihari Bajpai, the new Minister for External Affairs. A feast had been prepared today on Lord Nrsimhadeva’s Appearance Day, and Srila Prabhupäda insisted that Sriman Narayan and family take prasadam. He explained afterwards that when one was made to take prasadam, he became “thick and thin.” He said to remember that always. Later, Prabhupada also took the feast. I prayed that he would not feel discomfort from the parathas and other preparations.

[TKG’s Diary, May, 1977]

[Here we see Srila Prabhupada taking parathas on Lord Nrsimhadeva’s Appearance Day, as late as May, 1977]

4. During our festival we celebrated Janmastami, the appearance day of Lord Krishna, a fast until midnight for us, but a feast day for the Lord. Outdoor kitchens were set up for the cooks from various temples. Wonderful foodstuffs were prepared and offered every hour all day long by pujaris, at special aratis.
* * *
A feast took place at one a.m. Afterwards many of us stayed up to chant our rounds. We didn’t want to sleep for just a few hours at the risk of missing mangal-arati, because the next day was another auspicious event, Srila Prabhupada’s seventy-sixth appearance day.

[Mahamaya Devi Dasi, “Srila Prabhupada is Coming”, 1972 in New Vrindaban]

5. For the first time, on 25 August 1970, the Sydney devotees celebrated the appearance day of Lord Krishna, Sri Krishna Janmastami, observing a full-day fast and a midnight feast. The day after, they celebrated the appearance day of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda, the Çré Vyäsa Püjä, with a simple ceremony and feast.

[Kurma Dasa, “The Great Transcendental Adventure”]

6. The room, now packed to capacity, became hotter and hotter until Prabhupäda finally drew the inaugural event to a close. Leaning close to the microphone, Prabhupäda intoned the auspicious concluding invocations. “Melbourne Rädhä-Krishna Mandir ki jaya! [All glories to Melbourne’s Rädhä-Krsna Temple.] Sri Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu Ävirbhäva Tithi ki jaya! [All glories to the Appearance Day of Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu.] All glories to the assembled devotees! All glories to the assembled devotees! Thank you very much!” Prabhupäda rose and left for his quarters. Finally, devotees and guests sat together and enjoyed the sumptuous feast of mahäprasädam drawing the propitious event to a close.

[Kurma Dasa, “The Great Transcendental Adventure”]

8. Last August at Bhaktivedanta Manor, a celebration of the birthday, or appearance day, of Lord Krsna drew over five thousand people to the temple. That gathering is seen on these pages. Krsna’s appearance day, called Janmastami, is the most important holiday on the Vedic calendar. Expecting a crowd, the devotees erected a large tent on the front lawn. Inside the tent, festivities—plays, movies, slides, discourses and congregational chanting of the Lord’s holy names—continued through the day and evening until midnight. Then a magnificent ceremony called abhiseka was performed. The Deities were bathed in yogurt, milk, rose water, clarified butter and honey, with fifteen hundred guests staying to watch. At its conclusion, everyone enjoyed a sumptuous feast of food offered to Krsna. That evening, inspired by the transcendental mission of ISKCON, eleven guests enrolled in the society’s life membership program.

[“The Birth of Lord Krishna, An International Holiday”, by Madhavananda dasa, Back to Godhead #10-08 (1975)]

9. As is customary on such holy days, the five of us fasted through the morning of Lord Nityänanda’s appearance day and chanted His glories. At noon we attended a blissful arati and then broke our fast with a splendid feast. Afterward, we set off for Great Marlborough Street Magistrates Court, confident that Lord Nityananda would protect us.

[“The Long Arm of the Law Catches Lord Caitanya’s Mercy”, by Saksi Gopal Dasa, Back to Godhead #12-08 (1977)]

My point in providing these quotes is to satisfy Payonidhi’s request and not to argue in favor of eating grains on Janmasthami.

Comment posted by Akruranatha on December 9th, 2007
18 Akruranatha

Holy days like ekadasi and Janmastami are the mothers of devotion for those who observe them. I am not minimizing their importance in devotional service, and I am not disagreeing with Payonidhi that we should only take grainless prasada after midnight on Janmasthami.

However, I think Payonidhi is going way too hard on devotees who disagree, especially senior devotees who took grains with Srila Prabhupada on festival days in his presence. To tell devotees who chant Hare Krishna daily that they will be born as snakes, or to quote verses suggesting that these devotees (who are following Srila Prabhupada’s instructions according to their lights) are demons, is . . . well, that is just wrong.

I appreciate Antaryami’s view that if Prabhupada made some innovation for preaching, we should respect that. Even if we strictly observe fasting ourselves, we can respect that these senior devotees are nice devotees whether they do so or not. We certainly should not berate them.

Offending devotees is probably more disastrous to our spiritual life than eating grains on Janmastami. Right? [Durvasa Muni cursed Maharaja Ambarish over some discrepancy in fasting/breaking fast. We need to emulate Ambarish Maharaja (who engaged all his senses in bhakti), and not Durvasa, who offended a pure devotee.]

I also agree with Antaryami that we should be cautious before changing ISKCON’s standards to make them more in line with other, more ritual-oriented sects. What Prabhupada has given us should be changed only with the greatest caution. Prabhupada considered preaching more important than careful observance of festivals in the temple.

Whatever we do, the result should be that we remain dynamic in preaching and spreading the chanting of Hare Krishna. [Prabhupada paid brahmanas to inaugurate Krishna-Balarama temple just to satisfy local Hindu sentiment, but he said that for us the Hare Krishna kirtan was the important thing.]

Payonidhi quotes verses about using kusa mats, staying up all night, observing a break fast according to the time that Rohini disappears, etc. Many of these things were never introduced in ISKCON. (Should we now all go out and get kusa mats? Is that necessary?)

Our basic standard has always been, we fast from all food on Janmastami, have an arati at midnight, take a feast (not compulsory for those who want to be more austere), and take some rest if our service permits, so that we can have strength to observe Vyasa Puja the next day. I agree the feast should have no grains and beans, and more power to those who want to go on fasting.

[If we are going to carefully observe the all night vigil on kusa mats, we will need to ask our expert astrologers: How do we break the Janmastami fast at the right time without improperly breaking the fast for Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa Puja? Do we need to worry about such legalistic details? Prabhupada generally did not emphasize such things for us.]

We need to consider these issues properly:

How can we square the fact that tasting prasadam even once guarantees a human birth (even for the lowest of mankind, and even for animals), with the statement that if a devotee eats grain prasadam on Janmastami he will be born as a snake?

My understanding is, for devotees of Krishna, the strict rules of Karma do not exactly apply. Lord Krishna directly takes charge of them. Even if they fall down from all spiritual practices, He personally makes arrangement for them to return to their lotus feet. (na vai jano jatu kathancanavrajen. . . S.B. 1.5.19)

Those who truly surrender to Krishna need not worry about sinful reactions. (“Sarva dharman paratyaja . . . moksayisyami ma sucah.” B.G. 18.66)

People can follow all of the rules and regulations of varnasrama dharma perfectly, but if they do not develop real attraction to bhakti, they gain nothing. (”. . . ko vartha apto ‘bhajatam sva-dharmatah.” S.B. 1.5.17) Without becoming attracted to Krishna, pious behavior is useless. (“. . .notpadayed yadi ratim, srama eva hi kevalam.” (S.B. 1.2.8)) That is the high standard of Bhagavatam.

Of course, we do not encourage people to neglect sruti, smrti, puranadi, pancaratna. That is *not* what I am saying. Morality and Krishna consciousness go hand in hand.

But Srimad Bhagavatam kicks out lesser religious principles concerned with temporary, material fruits (like being born as snakes) and extols pure Krishna bhakti (sravanam, kirtanam, etc.) (See, S.B. 1.1.2) We need to be in tune with that.

Devotees who follow four regulative principles and chant 16 rounds never have to be worried about what kind of birth they will take in their next lives. Naturally they will practice all rules for Deity worship and fasting as received in disciplic succession, out of love and obedience. We need pancaratriki marg as well as bhagavat marg to keep us pure. But our preaching emphasizes bhagavat marg, especially chanting Hare Krishna.

Payonidhi mentioned the Tattvavadis, and Lord Caitanya’s meeting with them in Udipi is instructive. (See CC, Madhya 9.255-278) The Lord saw elements of fruitive activity and mental speculation in that sampradaya, because of their emphasis on attaining liberation through following the rules of varnasrama dharma and offering the results to Krishna. Lord Caitanya told them that love of Krishna is the goal, and that fruitive activities and liberation hold no interest for pure devotees.

Payonidhi asked me about judges. The best judges know how to temper justice with mercy. Portia’s speech in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice is appropriate: “The quality of mercy is not strained . . . . [I]n the course of justice none of us do seek salvation, We do pray for mercy (And that same prayer teaches us to render the deeds of mercy)”

The Christians (like Shakespeare) have some glimpse of the fact that we cannot attain perfection by good deeds alone. The Lord’s grace must descend, and we should emulate His grace, by knowing when not to be sticklers. In Lord Caitanya’s movement we are not hanging judges.

“Treat all men according to their deserts and none shall ‘scape whipping.” (Hamlet to Polonius.) In the age of Kali this is certainly true.

“Yas tv indragopam athavendram aho sva- karma-, etc. . . (B.S. 5.54) Everybody is getting exactly the fruits of their good and bad deeds according to the strict laws of karma. . . But not the devotees. Those who are not imbued with devotion will go on forever cycling up and down as demigods and germs. Like elephants’ bathing, their religious observances will treat only the symptoms, not the cause of their distress (See. S.B. 6.1.6-19). But by actually chanting Hare Krishna without offense, both the reactions to sins and the propensity to engage in any further sins are destroyed. Thus all fruitive activities are burned up completely, stock, roots and all.

In this age of Kali, there is no other way, no other way, no other way, than chanting Hare Krishna.

Whatever we do in terms of refining our standards of fasting, Deity worship, and proper behavior, we cannot afford to lose sight of these fundamental principles Srila Prabhupada taught us. We should not become overly legalistic and “smarta brahman” like. That is not the spirit of Srila Prabhupada or Lord Caitanya.

Comment posted by Akruranatha on December 9th, 2007
19 varahanarasimha

Dear Antaryami das
I am praying to Antaryami - Paramatma that you will see this is nor some fantic approach, but this is the standard given by sastra, Lord, Krnsa, Himself, this is the standard He wished us to follow if we disobey sastra and go ahead and eat grains, then we will be rejected by such great authorities as Gopala Bhatta Goswami.
He had one disciple I mentioned this briefly Hita Harivamsa that refused to give up eating grains on Janmastami and Ekadasi, and Gopala Bhatta Goswami rejected him, he formed his own sect of ‘vaisnavism ” Radha Vallabha sect that Gaudiya vaisnavas ignore
.
We can not be successfull in our devotional service if we ignore sastra, or the clear instructions of Srila Prabhupada

Srila Rupa Goswami writes:

sruti smrti-puranadi-pancaratra-vidhim vina
aikantiki harer bhaktir utpatayaiva kalpate

Devotional service of the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literatures like the Upanisads, Puranas and Narada-pancaratra is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society. (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhuh 1.2.101)

I know for sure that eating grains on the appearance days of Krsna, and Lord Caitanya
is never auspiscious because all authorities starting from Srila Prabhupada has aksed us not to eat grains, and my understanding is no one that disobeys this instruction can not go back to Godhead-we are not christians that accept everything goes and we will still be saved. We can not expect grace if we disobey the instruction of the spiritual master and sastra.
Sanatana Goswami has clearly warned us not to eat grains too ,quoting sastra-why is so difficult to accept?

If you can show me a letter where Srila Prabhupada says you can eat grains on Janmastami, then I have no objections, but such a letter does not exist and neither you or Akrruranath Prabhu has shown such a letter.
In spiritual circles we base opinion on sastra, it is nothing personal:

again
sruti smrti-puranadi-pancaratra-vidhim vina
aikantiki harer bhaktir utpatayaiva kalpate

Devotional service of the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literatures like the Upanisads, Puranas and Narada-pancaratra is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society. (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhuh 1.2.101

I rest my case
Your servant
Payonidhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 9th, 2007
20 varahanarasimha

Antaryami Prabhu you should kindly try to prove things by statement of Srila Prabhupada otherwise no one will take you serious , you wrote:

as for your quotes on the issue of grains etc they seen to lean on many of the Godhi-a-math standards (no wrong there) the one thing though srila prabhupada did not care to establish here in the west in Iskcon temples, hare krsna agtsp. by Antaryami Dasa.

We accept what is favorabel for devotional service and reject the unfavorabel baesd on Srila Prabhupadas instruction , proper fasting is very favorabel on Janmastami - it helps us develop ecstatic love for Krsna-this is the opinion of Srila Visvanath Chakravati Thakura
this is the goal of all devotional service to develop pure love for Krsna .What other Gaudiya Maths done is a concern if they follow the standard set by Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada in this matter of fasting, yes I believe in most cases they do follow this standard correctly, though we have been told some Gaudiya maths also deviate by observing certain fasts with grains, but no one is unintelligent to serve grains on Janmastami– it is a standard even most hindus at least those who live in India follow.
So on the next Janmastami please remember all these these instruction of sastra, and I am begging you with folded hands:” Please, do not eat grains”.
YS
Payonidhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 9th, 2007
21 Locanananda dasa

Thank you, Payonidhi prabhu, for responding to my comment. I too remember your
lively presence at the New York temple and your enthusiastic participation in kirtana.
I especially recall how you ferociously appeared from a column as Lord Nrsimhadeva
and engaged in the greatest fight scene ever with Brhat sloka prabhu who played Hiranya Kashipu. I hope the wounds and bruises that you inflicted upon him have healed.

In a conversation with the GBC on 3-02-77, Srila Prabhupada suggested that guests visiting the Mayapur temple on Gaura Purnima day receive sweet rice and other preparations including an eggplant subji and tomato chutney. The guests were not expected to fast at all, even from grains. The GBC then made a plan to distribute prasadam to 100,000 visitors who were expected to come for darshan that day.

What we are seeing then are different standards that one may observe on festival days.
Because we are trying to induce people to take to Krishna consciousness, we want to have a sumptuous feast on festival days, but ekadasi type preparations can also be sumptuous.
On Gaura Purnima, it is better that guests not be deprived of prasadam, the Lord’s mercy,
just because the devotees are fasting. And on that day, papa bija, the seed of sinful activity, does not reside in grains, so they can be served to guests. The standard for devotees regarding fasting from grains on Janmastami and Gaura Purnima throughout the night has been set by instructions given in the letters you quoted. Those letters were written to devotees in the Western world and not to devotees residing in India, so the principle of the grain fast was meant for all of us.

Akruranatha and Antaryami prabhus have made the important point that we are not as concerned with all of the rules and regulations mentioned in sastra as we are with inducing others to chant the Holy Name and become attached to Krishna. The four regulative principles, chanting sixteen rounds, rising early, fasting from grains on Ekadasi, shaving up, bathing regularly — this is probably the maximum level of austerity that most of the human society can be expected to follow, and that may be possible only when one has regular association with devotees and is deriving great satisfaction from chanting Hare Krishna. Wasn’t it Lord Zetland who asked what he would have to do to become an initiated brahmana, and when he was told the four regulative principles, he replied, “Impossible!”

I was returning from Times Square Harinam sankirtana this evening and I saw a young man sitting opposite me on the subway with Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita in hand. We struck up a conversation and he said he had visited a Hare Krishna temple two or three times and was now reading chapter nine of the Gita. He was wearing neck beads and also had japa beads at home but had not yet bought a bead bag for them. I showed him how to chant on his beads without crossing over or chanting upon the head bead, just as you mentioned in a comment posted earlier tonight.

Gregory is a prime candidate for Krishna consciousness, but he has not yet completely given up meat-eating. He said it is difficult to do so because he spends time with family
and has to sometimes cook their meals. People in the West have never been exposed to Vedic culture, for the most part, and to induce them to adhere to many rules and regulations is out of the question. Srila Prabhupada said he had given us 10% of the rules and regulations to follow, and that if we were told all of them, we would faint.

So, I like the approach that if you are inclined to austerity, you can fast through the night, but it is not required for others who are still fully compliant with Srila Prabhupada’s instructions by ending the fast with Ekadasi-type preparations as mentioned. If you have 100,000 guests passing through for darshan on Gaura Purnima, they can be given some nice prasadam including sweet rice. Ordinarily, in the West, guests generally come for the full evening program on Gaura Purnima and my suggestion would be to serve a tasty non-grain feast that evening after moonrise and invite everyone back the next day for a full feast. Let your guests know in advance it is a two day festival, and on at least one of those days, everyone should be enaged in performing Sankirtana. I wouldn’t object if the temple managers decided to sell items like samosas and other grainy sweets and savories to guests who could not return on the second day, but that’s just my managerial instinct coming through. You could also package them and hand them to guests to take home for free, just to thank them for coming.

Hoping this finds all of you in the best of health and spirits, I beg to remain

Your servant,
Locanananda dasa

Comment posted by Locanananda dasa on December 9th, 2007
22 varahanarasimha

Dear Locananda Prabhu
Please accept my humble obaisences
All glories to Srila Prabhupada
Hahaha thank you for recalling the fight with Mr Hiranyakasipu, “Brhat Sloka Prabhu , who is the sweetest devotee in the world…he actually came so agressively at me, playing the role of Narasimha, I was surprised ..it was a good time in NY.I always remember with fondness ISKCON Brooklyn and the wonderful devotees of Radha Govinda, including yourself. Srila Prabhupada was pleased with one play during his time, and started his speech….”and my special thanks to Mr Hiranyakasipu”–I believe that was also the Vaikunatha players,2 of which directed this play-their names escape me…
Regarding the serving of grains to guests as you have quoted there , and I agree that a sumptous ekadasi feast can be served to guests also.We have always done that in Europe.
In 1996 I was temple commander in Soho Street in London for most of that year, and we had huge ekadasi feast for hundreds of guests and next day was a even huger feast there and in the Bhaktivedanta Manor for Srila Prabhupadas Vyasa Puja with lots of grains.
I am making my humble recommendations to the GBC …I am thankful for your comments- but if brahminical training has to continue and standards improve at least we should say not thanks to grains on Janmastami–it makes sense to me, if other cooks or serves them..what can we do
Your humble servant
Payonidhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 9th, 2007
23 varahanarasimha

dear Locananda Prabhu
Please accept my humble obaisences
All glories to Srila Prabhupada
One thing needs to be clarified

yena tena prakarena manah krsne nivesayet
sarva vidhi-nisedhasyur etayor eva kinkarah

“An acarya should devise a means by which people may somehow or other come to Krsna consciousness. All rules and regulations are subordinate to this principle.” (Brs.1.2.4)

Srila Prabhupada has explained that when establishing KC the rules and regualtions can gradually be introcuded as devotees advance in KC, so 40 years later after ISKCON being established , it is about time for those who have eaten grains on Janmastami to understand this is not the wish of Srila Prabhupada, also other days like Ramanavami are to be eakdasi feasts

710407LE.BOM Lectures
So this process should be adopted, how to become sukrtina. Sukrti means yajna-dana-tapa-kriya. One must perform sacrifices as prescribed in the sastras, and they must give in charity their hard-earned money for Krsna’s cause. That is called dana. Yajna, dana, and tapasya. Tapasya. Just like tomorrow is Sri Rama-navami. The tapasya will be that all the devotees will observe fasting from morning till evening. This is called tapasya. Just like Ekadasi day–there is no eating sumptuously. Simply you take little fruits and flowers. Try to avoid that also. You don’t take even water. That is really ekadasi. But because we cannot do it–in the Kali-yuga the time is different–therefore we are allowed to take little fruit and milk, which is called anukalpa. These are different methods of tapasya. And yajna. This yajna, sankirtanaih prayair yajnaih, yajanti hi su-medhasah. In this age you cannot perform that big asvamedha yajna, gomedha yajna, rajasuya yajna, so many other yajnas. It is not possible. First of all, you have no means to perform such yajnas, hundreds and hundreds of tons ghee required for putting into the sacrificial fire. You have not even a drop of your ghee. So forget all those yajnas. In this age, yajnaih sankirtanaih prayaih.

8-03-26.Letter: Mukunda
Please accept my blessings. I am sorry I am delayed to reply your letter dated March 14, 1968, which I received over a week ago. I am very glad that you are repentant even for some action which is not sanctioned by me. This attitude is very nice and improves one in progressing on the path of devotional service. The Rakhi Bandhan ceremony observed by you under instruction of Prasad isn’t approved by our Vaisnava rituals. Of course, such ceremony is observed among the Hindu community as a socio-religious convention. But in our Vaisnava community there is no such observance. Now, forget the incidence, and in future don’t be misled by some unauthorized person. Our next ceremony is Lord Ramacandra’s Birthday, on the 7th of April. It should be observed in the same way as Lord Caitanya’s Appearance Day, namely, fasting up to evening and then accept Prasadam, and all our ceremonies should be performed with continuous Kirtana, of Hare Krishna, Hare Rama. That will make all our functions successful.

68-03-28.Letter: Mahapurusa
So far the Advent Day of Lord Rama Candra, it should be celebrated as Lord Caitanya’s Birthday was done. Fasting up to evening, and then take prasadam, and chant Hare Krishna whole day, and be engaged in reading and chanting off and on, chant for some time, then read for some time, then again have Kirtana and so on, throughout the day. If you have not got a Ramayana, then you can read Bhagavad-gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam, that is all right.

770326r2.bom Conversations
Prabhupada: Rama-navami is upavasa up till the… Go to observe fasting up to the evening.
Tamala Krsna: So moon.
Prabhupada: Sunset.

your humble servant
Payonidhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 10th, 2007
24 Locanananda dasa

Payonidhi prabhu — I was wondering if in the course of researching the topic of suitable eatables, whether you (or any other prabhu) has found any instruction from Srila Prabhupada that there are particular preparations that should be offered (and honored) on particular feast days.

Yours in service,
Locanananda dasa

Comment posted by Locanananda dasa on December 10th, 2007
25 varahanarasimha

dear Locanananda Prabhu
please accept my humble obaisences
all glories to Srila Prabhupada

well fruits and water seems the best;

710407LE.BOM Lectures
So this process should be adopted, how to become sukrtina. Sukrti means yajna-dana-tapa-kriya. One must perform sacrifices as prescribed in the sastras, and they must give in charity their hard-earned money for Krsna’s cause. That is called dana. Yajna, dana, and tapasya. Tapasya. Just like tomorrow is Sri Rama-navami. The tapasya will be that all the devotees will observe fasting from morning till evening. This is called tapasya. Just like Ekadasi day–there is no eating sumptuously. Simply you take little fruits and flowers. Try to avoid that also. You don’t take even water. That is really ekadasi. But because we cannot do it–in the Kali-yuga the time is different–therefore we are allowed to take little fruit and milk, which is called anukalpa. These are different methods of tapasya. And yajna. This yajna, sankirtanaih prayair yajnaih, yajanti hi su-medhasah. In this age you cannot perform that big asvamedha yajna, gomedha yajna, rajasuya yajna, so many other yajnas. It is not possible. First of all, you have no means to perform such yajnas, hundreds and hundreds of tons ghee required for putting into the sacrificial fire. You have not even a drop of your ghee. So forget all those yajnas. In this age, yajnaih sankirtanaih prayaih.

in the Brahma Vivarta Purana it has been recommended to eat unspiced Kichri for the day before Janmastami and the day after

this is spoken by Narayan Rsi;

Sri Narayana Rsi said: On the saptami (seventh day) and on the day after the fast (the navami or ninth day) one should eat havisya (rice and ghee) only. On the day of Janmastami (the eight day) one should rise at dawn.

here is from a webiste about fasting in KC; salagram.net/E-prasad.htm

We weak minded, and sensually lusty personalities find it hard to fast, even a few hours. And so, Prabhupada being extremely merciful, made an exception and provided some small prasadams that didn’t consider breaking a fast if taken - fruits or boiled potatoes…(see below)

Suggestions to the devotees:
“So far the Advent Day of Lord Caitanya is concerned, I have written a full suggestion to Montreal, in which the main points are that we should all observe strict fasting up till moonrise, and at that time, an offering is made to Lord Caitanya of Ekadasi foods, fruits, peanuts, milk, and so forth. Then, on the next day, Friday the 15th, a full-scale feast is held to celebrate His Advent Day. On the 14th, chanting, reading of Srila Bhaktivinode’s book, Life and Precepts and Caitanya Caritamrta, Introduction to Bhagavatam, may be held all the day in the Temple.” (San Francisco, 12th March 1968 letter to Balai)

“Lord Caitanya’s Appearance day falls on March 22 (1970), that is on a Sunday. The devotees should fast until evening, when there is a ceremony and offering of a small amount of Ekadasi preparations. The next day, the devotees should celebrate amongst themselves with a small scale feast. You may hold the celebration open to the public on the following Sunday. The preparation to be offered specially on this occasion is bhuni kichri: Fry equal parts dal and rice in ghee and massala. Add two times water as dal and rice, and add vegetables (if you use more ghee, use less water). Cook it until it is dried and the rice is soft.”(Letter to Krishna dasa. 18th February 1970. Los Angeles.)

( INTERESTLY SRILA PRABHUPADA LIKE NARAYANA RSI IS RECOMMENDING KICHRI FOR NEXT DAYS PRASADAM

“P.S. No feasting in the evening of Caitanya’s birthday. Fasting all day till evening moon rise. Then take Prasadam like Ekadasi. Next day you can have full swing feasting. On the birthday if can take a procession of Kirtana on the street it is very nice.” (Post Script to Letter to Rayarama dasa. September. Unknown place unknown date Ref:91-05-14.)

“You can take quotations from the above mentioned books, and have discussions. Fasting should be continued up to evening, then you may have food like on Ekadasi, fruits, milk, etc. On the next day you may observe festival. Janardana consulted me and said he thinks Sunday feasting would be best, so you may do that if you like. Or you may do both days, as you feel best.”(Letter to Mahapurush. 7th March 1968. Regarding Gaura Purnima)

Proof that Srila Prabhupada followed this too:
“We performed Lord Caitanya’s Birthday ceremony, not very gorgeously, but amongst ourselves, and Govinda dasi cooked very nice Ekadasi foodstuffs. The next day I expected some big ceremony but it couldn’t be performed. (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Letter to Purusottam. 6th March 1969. Hawaii)

There is an amusing discription of the first ISKCON janmastami “feast” as described by Hayagriva Prabhu in his biography “Hare Krishna Explosion pg 62″ He writes:”as midnight approaches, we hungrily envision the great birthday feast of Lord Krishna, mountains of succulent prasadam: cake and kachoris, halava and puris, sabji, sweet rice, samosas and gulabjamuns. Just a few minutes before midnight, Swamiji finally descends from his kitchen with the Prasadam. But our faces drop. There is only a platter of cut fruit.”

There is a discription of Gaura Purnima in Mayapur India 1976 the final Gaura Purnima when Prabhupada was still present from the biography “A Transcendental Diary” Vol1 Mar.16. by Hari Sauri Prabhu: pg.461. “GAURA PURNIMA. The Appearance day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Everyone fasted until moon rise and then took an Ekadasi feast, although Prabhupada said this was not compulsory.(meaning it was not compulsory to break the fast with anything but to continue fasting until the next day)

I hope this is of some help Prabhu
Your servant
Payonidhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 10th, 2007
26 varahanarasimha

Dear Maharajas, Prabhus and Matajis
Please accept my humble obaisences
all glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada
Actually something wonderfull has happened and that is that Pragosh Prabhu has agreed to help present this to the GBC- I am very thankful and I am praying this standard which is a correct standard and Srila Prabhupadas standard too, can now be institued all over ISKCON without exceptions.
I am working on a final draft of the GBC proposal and will post it here for feedbacks and suggestions-
your humble servant
Payonidhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 13th, 2007
27 Unregistered

Dear prabhus and sadhus my respects to all of you agtsp. I will say this last piece towards the article of grains on feasts days. These informations presented have indeed proved that the books by the acarya or as stated in the srimad bhagavatam this philosophy and/or scriture can support all classes of devotees and common peoples. As when srila sukadeva goswami spoke to maharaja parisit 5000 years ago, three classes of peoples were in the audiance- 1. mayavadis, 2.impersonlists and 3.visnavas, each heard what each wanted to hear and all were satisfied at the end, sukadeva goswami spoke it in such a manner. So the acarya knew what would happen after his leaving us and gave to us what each of us wanted to here and etc. What it all boils down to is “If we really want to look hard enough we can find in the books and etc something to support whatever we want-to believe or we can follow as the acarya states: Preaching is the essence, books are the basis, and purity is the force, also: time, place, people and cercumstances are very important when preaching our gospal. thank you hare krsna agtsp.

Comment posted by Antaryami Dasa on December 13th, 2007
28 Unregistered

Hiri bol agtsp and to all vaisnavas concerned towards this gain issue. I found a logic in the fifth canto of srimad bhagavatam the logic of “atmavan manyate jagat” it reads that if I am blind then I feel all others are blind as well, or in short: since my age etc does not grant me wellness after I eat a big feast late at nite then no one should eat a good feast at nite either. If karmis are feeling unhappy after an ekadasi feast at midnite they can go to a nearby cafe etc and grab something with grains, why should we worry we know we are right on. Then if the next year the attendence at our celebrations fall short of what we expected so what, thats their maya, yes or no ? prabhu. Hare krsna my all respects at your feet prabhus in your ideologies and preaching ideas that you wish to introduce into this pure krsna consciousness and transcendental movement established and started by an utama adikari representative of krsna. Hare krsna agtsp. by Antaryami Dasa

Comment posted by Antaryami Dasa on December 14th, 2007
29 varahanarasimha

We should not forget (in response to Antaryami Prabhus text,) that Sukadeva Goswami and
Pariksit Maharaja was fasting for 7 days and nights hearing Srimad Bhagavatam- many do try to imitate the Bhagavatam recitations of these great souls so for 7 days they recite Srimad Bhagavatam, that is certainly noble , but they don’t and can’t fast for 7 days and nights, Srila Prabhupada hardly ate or even drank anything during the last period of his manifest pastimes, personally most of us are having a hard time even doing one day Nirjala fast , but it is something if it can be practised with the observance of ekadasis and especially Janmastami and other Visnu tattva appearance days, it will be a great plus also for helping us at the time of death, to help us go back home to Krsna. In ISKCON when Krsna -Balarama Swamis book on ekadasi came out many devotees got into 24 hour fasting , and do even today, we recall having done this for almost 2 years, and under the guidance of HH Tamal Krsna Maharaja, we all where spending 2 ekadasis in Vrindavan chanting and reading all day and night, and next morning braking the fast with some
milk prasadam mixed with water- but not being drunk hot, boiled and then it was allowed to cool, it is supposed to attract any parasites after 24 hours fast and flush them out, according to ayurveda this is also beneficial for good health.Some devotees like fasting on some other days for purely health reasons. Srila Prabhupada has recommended
only fasting on the appearance days of Visnutattva and that of the great acaryas:
SB 4.28.35-36
We can definitely see that to advance in Krsna consciousness one must control his bodily weight. If one becomes too fat, it is to be assumed that he is not advancing spiritually. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura severely criticized his fat disciples. The idea is that one who intends to advance in Krsna consciousness must not eat very much. Devotees used to go to forests, high hills or mountains on pilgrimages, but such severe austerities are not possible in these days. One should instead eat only prasada and no more than required. ACCORDING TO THE VAISNAVA CALENDAR, THERE ARE MANY FASTS, SUCH AS EKADASI AND THE APPEARANCE AND DISAPPEARANCE DAYS OF GOD AND HIS DEVOTEES. ALL OF THESE ARE MEANT TO DECREASE THE FAT WITHIN THE BODY SO THAT ONE WILL NOT SLEEP MORE THAN DESIRED AND WILL NOT BECOME INACTIVE AND LAZY. Overindulgence in food will cause a man to sleep more than required. This human form of life is meant for austerity, and austerity means controlling sex, food intake, etc. In this way time can be saved for spiritual activity, and one can purify himself both externally and internally. Thus both body and mind can be cleansed.

In the beginning some devotees stopped taking prasadam even on days when fasting was not prescribed and Srila Prabhupada did not approve of this for simple health reasons.
On bookdistribtuion I recall we often had half days fast in Europe, but over the years it is very clear to me , that best on these days give full attention to the paticular Visnutattva
celebrated—for example of the apperance day of Advaita Acarya we have personal experience of how much mercy there is in hearing and chanting about the glories of Sri Advaita Acarya- and chanting extra rounds , fasting etc…it is better to fully engage in hearing and chanting on these days, there will be a tomorrow for preaching.
HH Bhakti Vikas Maharaja told me about how in Bangladesh devotees where traveling and preaching on Narasimha caturdasi once and they had so much obstacels, we have similar experience on Rama Navami trying to distribute Srila Prabhupadas books, on that day I would just get problems all the time, police checking permission, etc etc. Then after 2 years of trouble on this day, I realized no more sankirtana day on Ramanavami, I will hear and chant only and celebrate Lord Rama, this has worked out best for my personal bhajan .
I hope this will be the recommendation of the GBC also that on these days it is better to hear and chant and glofie Krsna and His expansions on their paticular apperance day, mostly these fast goes on till evening time. Sadly we have recently “lost” many great souls,
because they went back to Godhead, that is wonderful for us and them also, but what bothers me is many where still relative young, and devotees need regular doctor check ups
it is not maya, we should want to make sure this body is healthy ,so we can all serve ISKCON in this world as long as possible for the spiritual benefit of society.
Western doctors and medicin are not all bad, we don’t need to be avoiding doctors and dentists, and sometimes ,and most often western medicin is the best to cure diseases, alternative sures can be a sure killer, we have seen that in the life of 2 great souls we have recently lost.this is our personal opinion.
Your humble servant
Payonidhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 15th, 2007
30 varahanarasimha

I agree with Antaraymi why serve grains to guests on ekadasi or any Visnutattva appearance day???? It makes no sense to me…..one TP told me recently, they may only come here once a year on Janmastami so we like to serve them nice grain prasadam.
Why not serve them nice ekadasi prasadam and tell them the benefit of not eating grains, and why my dear Prabhu are you eating grains too? Does it make any sense?
Actually the serving grains to guests, is an excuse so that devotees can eat grains too .
Once in germany I was on book distribution and a devotee offered me prasadam they where distributing on Harinama, it was a lovely sweet made , with grains in it, next we heard the loving and concerned chastisement of HH Bhaktavaibahva Swami : ” You fools today is ekadasi”.
Somehow we had both forgotten, so my point again is why serve grains at all, some devotee may even be taking it by accident, or the tongue may overpower the intelligence, I will take it ‘anyway”. In Vedic times in some kingdoms not even animals where eating grains on ekadasi imagine that?
We know Papa purusha is in grains on ekadasi–sin personified..maybe some dont know this pastime?
I found this nice article by Nandanandana Prabhu:
Ekadasi: The Appearance and Purpose of This Special Day

(This article was written in 1956 by Sri Navinacandra Cakravarti, a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. There are many stories of Ekadasi in the Puranas, but most explain the material benefits and blessings one gets from observing Ekadasi. This article, based on the conversation between Srila Vyasadeva and Jaimini Rishi, gives the real spiritual reason for following the vow of Ekadasi as emphasized by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Sri Caitanya-caritamrita and later by Srila Prabhupada.)

Many devotees are very inquisitive about the appearance of Sri Ekadasi and about her special characteristics. Therefore I am presenting this description from the 14th chapter of the Padma Purana, from the section entitled “Kriya-sagara-sara”.

Once the great sage Jaimini Rishi said to his spiritual master, “O Gurudeva! Previously, by your mercy, you described to me the history of the Ganga River, the benefits of worshiping Vishnu, the giving of grains in charity, the giving of water in charity, and the magnanimity of drinking water that has been used to wash the feet of the brahmanas. O best of sages, Sri Gurudeva, now, with great enthusiasm, I desire to hear of the benefits of fasting on Ekadasi and of the appearance of Ekadasi.”

“O Gurudeva! When did Ekadasi take birth and from whom did she appear? What are the rules of fasting on the day of Ekadasi? Please describe the benefits of following this vow and when it should be followed. Who is the utmost worshipable presiding deity of Sri Ekadasi? What are the faults in not observing Ekadasi properly? Please bestow your mercy upon me and tell about these subjects, as you are the only personality able to do so.”

Srila Vyasadeva, upon hearing this inquiry from Jaimini Rishi, became situated in transcendental bliss. “O brahmana sage Jaimini! The results of following Ekadasi can be perfectly described by the Supreme Lord, Narayana, because Sri Narayana is the only personality capable of describing them in full. But I will give a very brief description in answer to your question.”

“At the beginning of the material creation, the Supreme Lord created the moving and non-moving living entities within this world made of five gross material elements. Simultaneously, for the purpose of punishing the evil human beings, He created a personality whose form was the embodiment of the worst kinds of sin (Papa-purusha). The different limbs of this personality were constructed of various sinful activities. His head was made of the sin of murdering a brahmana, his two eyes were the form of drinking intoxicants, his mouth was made from the sin of stealing gold, his ears were the form of the sin of having illicit connection with the spiritual master’s wife, his nose was of the sin of killing one’s wife, his arms the form of the sin of killing a cow, his neck was made of the sin of stealing accumulated wealth, his chest of the sin of abortion, his lower chest of the sin of having sex with another’s wife, his stomach of the sin of killings one’s relatives, his navel of the sin of killing those who are dependent on him, his waist of the sin of egotistical self-appraisal, his thighs of the sin of offending the guru, his genitals of the sin of selling one’s daughter, his buttocks of the sin of telling confidential matters, his feet of the sin of killing one’s father, and his hair was the form of all sorts of less severe sinful activities. In this way, a horrible personality embodying all sinful activities and vices was created. His bodily color is black, and his eyes are yellow. He inflicts extreme misery upon sinful persons.

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vishnu, upon seeing this personality of sin began to think to Himself as follows: ‘I am the creator of the miseries and happiness for the living entities. I am their master because I have created this personality of sin, who gives distress to all dishonest, deceitful and sinful persons. Now I must create someone who will control this personality’. At this time Sri Bhagavan created the personality of Yamaraja and the different hellish planetary systems. Those living entities who are very sinful will be sent after death to Yamaraja, who will in turn, according to their sins, send them to an appropritate hellish region to suffer.

“After these adjustments had been made, the Supreme Lord, who is the giver of distress and happiness to the living entities, went to the house of Yamaraja, with the help of Garuda, the king of birds. When Yamaraja saw that Lord Vishnu had arrived, he immediately washed His feet and made an offering unto Him. He then had Him sit upon a golden throne. The Supreme Lord Vishnu became seated upon the throne, whereupon He heard very loud crying sounds from the southern direction. He became surprised by this and inquired of Yamaraja, ‘From where is this loud crying coming?’

“Yamaraja in reply said, ‘O Deva! The different living entities of the earthly planetary systems have fallen to the hellish regions. They are suffering extremely for their misdeeds. The horrible crying is because of suffering from the inflictions of their past bad actions.’

“After hearing this the Supreme Lord Vishnu went to the hellish region to the south. When the inhabitants saw who had come they began to cry even louder. The heart of the Supreme Lord Vishnu became filled with compassion. Lord Vishnu thought to Himself, ‘I have created all this progeny, and it is because of Me that they are suffering.’”

Vyasadeva continued: “O Jaimini, just listen to what the Supreme Lord did next. After the merciful Supreme Lord thought over what He had previously considered, He suddenly manifested from His own form the deity of the lunar day Ekadasi. Afterward, the different sinful living entities began to follow the vow of Ekadasi and were then elevated quickly to the abode of Vaikuntha. O my child Jaimini, therefore the lunar day of Ekadasi is the selfsame form of the Supreme Lord, Vishnu, and the Supersoul within the heart of the living entities. Sri Ekadasi is the utmost pious activity and is situated as the head among all vows.

“Following the ascension of Sri Ekadasi, that personality who is the form of sinful activity gradually saw the influence that she, Ekadasi, had. Thus, he approached Lord Vishnu with doubts in his heart and began offering many prayers, whereupon Lord Vishnu became very pleased and said, ‘I have become very pleased by your nice offerings. What boon is it that you want?’

“The Papa-purusha replied, “I am Your created progeny, and it is through me that you wanted distress given to the living entities who are very sinful. But now, by the influence of Sri Ekadasi, I have become all but destroyed. O Prabhu! After I die all of Your parts and parcels who have accepted material bodies will become liberated and return to the abode of Vaikuntha (the spiritual domain). If this liberation of all living entities takes place, then who will carry on Your activities? There will be no one to enact the pastimes in the earthly planetary systems! O Keshava! If you want these eternal pastimes to carry on, then You please save me from the fear of Ekadasi. No type of pious activity can bind me. But Ekadasi only, being Your own manifested form, can impede me. Out of fear of Sri Ekadasi I have fled and taken shelter of men; animals; insects; hills; trees; moving and non-moving living entities; rivers; oceans; forests; heavenly, earthly and hellish planetary systems; demigods; and the Gandharvas. I cannot find a place where I can be free from the fear of Sri Ekadasi. O my Master! I am a product of Your creation, so therefore very mercifully direct me to a place where I can reside fearlessly.’”

Vyasadeva then said to Jaimini, “After saying this, the embodiment of all sinful activities (Papa-purusha) fell down at the feet of the Supreme Lord Vishnu, who is the destroyer of all miseries and began to cry.

“After this, Lord Vishnu, observing the condition of the Papa-purusha, with laughter began to speak thus: ‘O Papa-purusha, rise up! Don’t lament any longer. Just listen, and I’ll tell you where you can stay on the lunar day of Ekadasi. On the date of Sri Ekadasi, which is the benefactor of the three planetary systems, you can take shelter of foodstuffs in the form of grains. There is no reason to worry about this any more, because My form as Sri Ekadasi will no longer impede you.’ After giving direction to the Papa-purusha, the Supreme Lord Vishnu disappeared and the Papa-purusha returned to the performance of his own activities.

“Therefore, those persons who are serious about the ultimate benefit of the soul will never eat grains on Ekadasi. According to the instructions of Lord Vishnu, every kind of sinful activity that can be found in the material world takes its residence in this place of (grains) foodstuff. Whoever follows Ekadasi is freed from all sins and never enters into the hellish regions. If one doesn’t follow Ekadasi because of illusion, he is still considered the utmost sinner. For every mouthful of grain that is eaten by a resident of the earthly region (on Ekadasi), one receives the effect of killing millions of brahmanas. It is definitely necessary that one give up eating grains on Ekadasi. I very strongly say again and again, ‘On Ekadasi, do not eat grains, do not eat grains, do not eat grains!’ Whether one be a kshatriya, vaishya, shudra, or of any family, he should follow the lunar day of Ekadasi. From this the perfection of varna and ashrama will be attained. Especially since if one (even) by trickery follows Ekadasi, all his sins become destroyed and he very easily attains the supreme goal, the abode of Vaikuntha.”

Additional Information

From the above article and story we can understand that Ekadasi is a form of Lord Vishnu, and by observing the Ekadasi vow, it not only decreases the amount of sin (bad karma) we imbibe, but it also eats up sinful reactions to help pave our way back to the abode of Lord Vishnu, Vaikuntha. This is also why Ekadasi is called “The mother of devotion”. It helps remove the obstacles on our path of devotional service to the Lord.

Ekadasi generally falls on the 11th day after the new moon, and the 11th day after the full moon. Eka means one and dasi is the feminine form of dasa, which means ten. Together it means eleven. Only occasionally may it fall on a different day. So it is on these days that devotees and devout Hindus will follow the vow of Ekadasi and not eat any beans or grains, or products with such substances in them. Thus, the diet is expected to be simple and plain as part of the mood of renunciation, and preferably only once in the day if possible. Other recommendations include that the food should be made of vegetables, fruit, water, milk products, nuts, sugar, and roots that are grown underground (except beet roots). Restrictions include spinach, eggplant, asafetida, and sea salt, but rock salt is alright.

Since there are 12 months in a year, with two Ekadasis in each month, there are 24 Ekadasis in each year. Each Ekadasi has a name, that are Utpanna, Mokshada, Saphala, Putrada, Shat-tila, Jaya, Vijaya, Amalaki, Papamocani, Kamada, Varuthini, Mohini, Apara, Nirjala, Yogini, Padma (Devashayani), Kamika, Putrada, Aja, Parivartini, Indira, Papankusha, Rama, and Haribodhini (Devotthani). Occasionally there are two extra Ekadasis that happen in a lunar leap year, which are Padmini and Parama.

Each Ekadasi day has particular benefits and blessings that one can attain by the performance of specific activities done on that day. By engaging in the extra study to learn what these are, one can derive even more benefit from each particular Ekadasi. Books devoted to Ekadasi are available that contain such information, so we will not include it here. However, reading the glories of each Ekadasi day, along with all the names of these days, will also achieve a similar goal of observing the Ekadasi vow. This also means that we are encouraged to increase our spiritual activities that day, which are centered around the chanting of the holy names of the Lord. Charity, especially to advanced devotees and preachers of the dharma, or directly engaging in activities of Krishna consciousness, Deity worship, chanting the purusha-sukta hymns, or other spiritual activities on Ekadasi are also highly recommended and brings great spiritual benefits to the performer.

It is said that even if one mistakenly misses the observance of an Ekadasi, he or she may make up for it by observing it the very next day on Dvadasi, and then break one’s fast from grain on the next day, Trayodasi. One may also observe the special fast on Nirjala Ekadasi. This is also called Bhima Ekadasi. This is because the Pandava brother known as Bhima was so strong and had such a voracious appetite that he could not observe Ekadasis twice a month. He could not fast because he was too hungry. So Lord Krishna told him to merely observe one Ekadasi a year, which is the Nirjala Ekadasi. Nir jala means no water. So he had to observe at least one Ekadasi a year, and on that day he had to abstain from not only beans and grains, but from all foods, even water. So devotees who miss an Ekadasi day often observe a complete fast from all food and liquids on the Nirjala Ekadasi, which is usually sometime in June, and thus make up for whatever was missed. However, this is a very potent Ekadasi, so a complete fast on this day gives one who observes this many pious credits.

Sometimes there is a day called Mahadvadasi. This is when Ekadasi is astronomically combined with Dvadasi, or the twelfth day of the full moon or new moon lunar cycle. This is called a pure Ekadasi and the observance is often started the evening before Mahadvadasi and through the next day with the basic Ekadasi fast.

Breaking the Ekadasi fast on the next day with some foodstuffs made from grains is usually done two-and-a-half hours or shortly thereafter from the time of the sunrise.

In the Caitanya-caritamrita (Adi-lila, 15-9-10), Sri Caitanya begs his mother to follow Ekadasi, as was expected of all His followers. And in the purport to this verse Srila Prabhupada explains that even though devotees eat food cooked for and offered to Lord Vishnu, prasada, which is spiritually potent and free from all karma, even on Ekadasi a devotee does not eat even maha-prasada that has grains in it, even though it can be saved for the next day.

In this way, by the observance of the special Ekadasi day and its special fast, a person can accelerate their spiritual growth and awareness, and free themselves from negative karma that will only further bind them to the continuous rounds of birth and death. ”

From this articel the Papa Purusha is clearly understood, now there is not statement that Papapursha is in grains on Janmastami , but it appears to be the same :
Brahma Vaivartas Purans not to eat grains on Janmastami are also pretty heavy:

One who eats on Lord Krishna’s birthday is lowest of mankind. His sinful reaction is like that of having raped his mother and murdered a hundred brahmanas.

His pious credits of ten million births are at once destroyed. He become impure. He becomes unfit to worship the demigods or the pitas.

At the end of his life he enters the hell called Kalasutra (the rope of time). As long as the sun and moon shine in the sky he is repeatedly (with constant new rebirths) devoured by giant worms with teeth sharp like spears.

When his time in hell is over he rises to the earth, where he repeatedly becomes a worm in stool for sixty thousand years.

Then he becomes a vulture for ten billion births, a pig for a hundred births, a dog for a hundred births, and a jackal for a hundred births.

Then he becomes a snake for seven births and then a row for seven births. Then he takes birth as a human being, where he is unable to speak and where he becomes a leper, always suffering.

Then he becomes a butcher and then a hunter of wild beasts. At the end he becomes a thief and a murderer, a man with no scruples.

Then he becomes a washerman, then an oil-merchant, and then a professional brahmana, always impure at heart.

Simply for the “socalled pleasure” of eating grains on Janmastami one gets all these reactions-now who wants to eat grains on the next Janmastami?Only a madman.
Why would any TP want to serve grains to the guests at midnight?
Lord Brahma instructs Narada in the Visnu Rahasya, “Anyone who eats grains on Janmastami day becomes filled with all categories of sin performed in the three worlds, and takes birth as a snake in the forest.”
It sure sounds to me Papa Purusha is in the grains on Janmastami me too.
And the benefit of properly fasting is so great:

In the Brahma Purana it is stated, “For those who properly fast on the correct Janmastami day, Kaliyuga cannot influence them.”

In the Narasima Purana Lord Narasimha is chastising those who eat grains on His appearance day, I am looking for that sloka, if there is any devotee scholars reading this maybe they can kindly help , find this sloka
Your humble servant
Payonidhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 15th, 2007
31 Praghosa

Here is a slighty different perspective on comment 29:

Tamala Krsna: Sometimes we have heard that ekadasi is a inauspicious alignment of the planets and therefore one has to counteract this inauspiciousness by more chanting.
Prabhupada: (laughs) No, no. It is the most auspicious. And chanting is more effective.
Tamala Krsna: I remember you were instructing once that all of your initiated disciples should chant twenty-five rounds…
Prabhupada: Minimum.
Tamala Krsna: Minimum on this day. Is that a rule that we should all follow in our temples?
Prabhupada: We are sixteen rounds.
Tamala Krsna: No, I mean on ekadasi.
Prabhupada: Oh yes. Ekadasi, simply you should chant. No other business. Nirjala.
Tamala Krsna: No preaching work? Should they go out for preaching?
Prabhupäda: No, those who are preaching, not for them. Those who are sitting idle, or they… (laughter) …has no other regulation, simply preaching. A preacher is so exalted. He hasn’t got to follow any regulation. But don’t take it. (laughter) And actually if one is busy in preaching work, that is first-class not my manufactured word, my Guru Maharaja, that the… That Madhava Maharaja, when he was a brahmacari, his name was Hayagriva. So he was to go somewhere. So but he was sick. Guru Maharaja was informed that he was sick and “Today is ekadasi. He cannot take his regular meals.” So Guru Maharaja said, “No. Let him take immediately meals and go.”
Revatinandana: For preaching.
Tamala Krsna: …Maharaja would sacrifice everything for preaching.
Prabhupada: Oh yes.

Morning Walk July 5, 1975, Chicago

Comment posted by Praghosa on December 15th, 2007
32 varahanarasimha

yes I agree for those who are preachers maybe half day fast on some days, if they go out and distribute books as it is hard work physically , but only ekadaso prasadam. And Gaura purnima , Janmastami should be afull days fast with no exceptions for anyone. Srila Prabhupada allowed Garga Muni Prabhu to take some fruits and milk on one Janmastami once as he was not well , we where told this by Hari Sauri Prabhu…
My experience best is full fast for all these days, and if one does not have to go preaching on this day it is better, I am taiking after 30 years experience of sankirtana– better to use these days for hearing and chanting..but this example you have given Pragosh Prabhu is an important and famous one
ys
Payonidhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 15th, 2007
33 varahanarasimha

Srila Prabhupada explains Pragosh Prabhus last comment.

750705mw.chicago
Tamala Krsna: Sometimes we have heard that ekadasi is a inauspicious alignment of the planets and therefore one has to counteract this inauspiciousness by more chanting.

Prabhupada: (laughs) No, no. IT IS THE MOST AUSPICIOUS. AND CHANTING IS MORE EFFECTIVE. (break) Yes.

Tamala Krsna: I remember you were instructing once that all of your initiated disciples should chant twenty-five rounds…

Prabhupada: MINIMUM.

Tamala Krsna: Minimum on this day. Is that a rule that we should all follow in our temples?

Prabhupada: We are sixteen rounds.

Tamala Krsna: No, I mean on ekadasi.

Prabhupada: OH YES. EKADASI, SIMPLY YOU SHOULD CHANT. NO OTHER BUSINESS. NIRJALA.

Tamala Krsna: No preaching work? Should they go out for preaching?

Prabhupada: NO, THOSE WHO ARE PREACHING, NOT FOR THEM. THOSE WHO ARE SITTING IDLE, OR THEY… (LAUGHTER) (BREAK) …HAS NO OTHER REGULATION, SIMPLY PREACHING. A PREACHER IS SO EXALTED. HE HASN’T GOT TO FOLLOW ANY REGULATION. BUT DON’T TAKE IT. (LAUGHTER) AND ACTUALLY IF ONE IS BUSY IN PREACHING WORK, THAT IS FIRST-CLASS. (BREAK) …NOT MY MANUFACTURED WORD, MY GURU MAHARAJA, THAT THE… THAT MADHAVA MAHARAJA, WHEN HE WAS A BRAHMACARI, HIS NAME WAS HAYAGRIVA. SO HE WAS TO GO SOMEWHERE. SO BUT HE WAS SICK. GURU MAHARAJA WAS INFORMED THAT HE WAS SICK AND “TODAY IS EKADASI. HE CANNOT TAKE HIS REGULAR MEALS.” SO GURU MAHARAJA SAID, “NO. LET HIM TAKE IMMEDIATELY MEALS AND GO.”

But this quote is taken by some to even advocate eating grains on Janmastami and such days ,this is very offensive.

While constantly distributing books there is so much interference with non devotees, this is why strict observance of days like ekadasi and Visnuttatva appearance days are important to observe with intense hearing and chanting, to counteract material contaminations to the mind , Srila Prabhupada wrote:

68-02-01 Letter: Madhusudana
Ekadasi is observed for increasing the strength of devotion.

and

81021SB.SEA
Tamala Krsna: How do we enter into the modes of goodness?

Prabhupada: Just try to follow the four principles as we have prescribed: no intoxication, no gambling, no illicit sex, and no meat-eating. That’s all. This is goodness. This is goodness. These prohibitions are there. Why? Just to keep you in goodness. In every religion… Now, in the Ten Commandments also, I see that “Thou shall not kill.” The same thing is there, but people are not obeying. That is a different thing. No religious person… Nobody can be religious unless he is situated in the modes of goodness. A passionate person or a person in ignorance, they cannot be elevated to the religious platform. Religious platform means in goodness. Then you can understand. On the platform of goodness, you can understand the All-good. If you are in ignorance platform, if you are in the passionate platform, how you can understand the All-good? That is not possible. So one has to keep himself in goodness, and that goodness means one should follow the prohibitions. Either you follow the Ten Commandments or these four commandments, the same thing. That means you have to keep yourself in goodness. The balance must be in goodness. In the Bhagavad-gita it is stated, param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan. Arjuna accepted Krsna as the supermost pure. How you can approach the supermost pure without becoming yourself pure? So this is the steppingstone to become pure, because we are contaminated. So to become pure… THE EKADASI, WHY WE OBSERVE? TO BECOME PURE. BRAHMACARYA TAPASYA, AUSTERITY, PENANCE, CELIBACY, KEEPING THE MIND ALWAYS IN KRSNA CONSCIOUSNESS, KEEPING THE BODY ALWAYS CLEANSED–THESE THINGS WILL HELP US TO KEEP US IN GOODNESS. Without goodness, it is not possible. But Krsna consciousness is so nice that even one is in the modes of passion and ignorance, at once he’ll be elevated on the platform of goodness, provided he agrees to follow the rules and regulations and chants Hare Krsna. This chanting of Hare Krsna and following the rules and regulation will keep you intact in goodness. Rest assured. Without failure.

Now
imagine eating grains on ekadasi what is does to ones spiritual strenght? It is an offense actually, similarly Visnutattva days, the stricter we can observe these days according to
our capacity
it will help us in our preaching, and maybe if devotees do Nirjala fasting it seems the next day , should be also for hearing and chanting- or many seminars on sastra in the temple-this will make devotees very happy and eager to observe stricter fasting, in the association
of other devotees then
these things become easier and transcendentally joyful.
What I am trying to say the day after a Nirjala fast to rush out and preach ,especially distributing books , is not good for ones health in the long term.
.If the book distribution becomes more and more brahminical and the book distributors develop in KC , this service will attract so many new and old members to this service, Which is so much needed.:

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Tamala Krsna: We should always chant twenty-five rounds on ekadasi if initiated.

Prabhupada: INITIATED? EVERYONE. WHY INITIATED?

Tamala Krsna: So that should be standard for our movement on ekadasi day?

Prabhupada: Standard is sixteen, but if one can chant more, then he is welcome.

Tamala Krsna: It’s not mandatory for ekadasi.

Jayapataka: Recommended.

Prabhupada: No. EKADASI MEANS THAT, FASTING AND CHANTING.

Tamala Krsna: Sometimes I’m wondering, because our men have to go out on BOOK DISTRIBUTION.

Prabhupada: NO, NO. THAT IS ALSO PREACHING WORK. FOR THAT PURPOSE YOU CAN STOP THIS, BUT GENERALLY, ONE WHO HAS NO PREACHING WORK, HE CAN CHANT

Prabhupadas said that is also preaching…what he is saying this fasting is also preaching

I like to add some nice quotes by Srila Prabhupada on fasting and ekadasi and Visnu tattva appearance days if any devotee does a search on the vedabase there is so many statements
about the importance on these days, devotees should also learn and share these as much as possible as they are also Srila Prabhupadas instructions :

SB 7.14.20-23
Visuva, or Visuva-sankranti, means Mesa-sankranti, or the day on which the sun enters the sign Aries. Tula-sankranti is the day on which the sun enters the sign Libra. Both of these days occur only once within a year. The word yoga refers to a certain relationship between the sun and moon as they move in the sky. There are twenty-seven different degrees of yoga, of which the seventeenth is called Vyatipata. On the day when this occurs, one should perform the sraddha ceremony. A TITHI, OR LUNAR DAY, CONSISTS OF THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE LONGITUDE OF THE SUN AND THAT OF THE MOON. SOMETIMES A TITHI IS LESS THAN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS. WHEN IT STARTS AFTER SUNRISE ON A CERTAIN DAY AND ENDS BEFORE THE SUNRISE OF THE FOLLOWING DAY, THE PREVIOUS TITHI AND THE FOLLOWING TITHI BOTH “TOUCH” THE TWENTY-FOUR-HOUR DAY BETWEEN THE SUNRISES. THIS IS CALLED TRYAHA-SPARSA, OR A DAY TOUCHED BY SOME PORTION OF THREE TITHIS.

Srila Jiva Gosvami has given quotations from many sastras stating that the sraddha ceremony of oblations to the forefathers should not be performed on Ekadasi tithi. WHEN THE TITHI OF THE DEATH ANNIVERSARY FALLS ON THE EKADASI DAY, THE SRADDHA CEREMONY SHOULD BE HELD NOT ON EKADASI BUT ON THE NEXT DAY, OR DVADASI. In the Brahma-vaivarta purana it is said:

ye kurvanti mahipala
sraddham caikadasi-dine
trayas te narakam yanti
data bhokta ca prerakah

IF ONE PERFORMS THE SRADDHA CEREMONY OF OBLATIONS TO THE FOREFATHERS ON THE EKADASI TITHI, THEN THE PERFORMER, THE FOREFATHERS FOR WHOM THE SRADDHA IS OBSERVED, AND THE PUROHITA, OR THE FAMILY PRIEST WHO ENCOURAGES THE CEREMONY, ALL GO TO HELL.
69-09-30. Letter: Madhudvisa
REGARDING YOU FIRST QUESTION, WE OBSERVE EKADASI FROM SUNRISE TO SUNRISE. THE 12 MIDNIGHT IS WESTERN ASTRONOMICAL CALCULATION, BUT THE VEDIC ASTRONOMICAL CALCULATION BEGINS EITHER FROM THE SUNRISE OR THE MOONRISE. GENERALLY IT IS SUNRISE. OUR CALCULATION IS LIKE THIS: WHEN THE SUNRISE IS THERE, EKADASI TITHI (DATE) MUST BE THERE. IF EKADASI TITHI IS NOT IN THE SUNRISE AND THE TITHI BEGINS, SAY AFTER A FEW MINUTES AFTER THE SUNRISE, THEN WE ACCEPT THAT DAY AS PREVIOUS TO EKADASI. ALL OUR CEREMONIES ARE CALCULATED IN THAT WAY. THIS MEANS WE MUST SEE THE TITHI DURING SUNRISE. THEREFORE, SOMETIMES OUR DATES OF CEREMONIES DO NOT EXACTLY COINCIDE LIKE THE WESTERN CALCULATIONS. JUST LIKE CHRISTMAS DAY THEY HAVE FIXED UP ON THE 25TH DECEMBER, BUT OUR JANMASTAMI TITHI IS NOT FIXED UP LIKE THAT. MY BIRTHDAY IS ON THE 1ST SEPTEMBER, 1896, BUT THIS YEAR THE TITHI OF MY BIRTHDAY WAS FIXED FOR THE 4TH SEPTEMBER. SO IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO CALCULATE, THEREFORE WE HAVE TO TAKE HELP FROM THE INDIAN EXPERT ALMANAC ASTRONOMERS.

70-04-29. Letter: Pradyumna
2. WHEN THERE IS AN IMPORTANT DVADASI, THE EKADASI FASTING IS TRANSFERRED ON THE DVADASI, AND THIS IS CALLED MAHADVADASI. THE 26TH OCTOBER, 1970, IS ACTUALLY DVADASI, SO THE FASTING IS OBSERVED TOGETHER, OR EKADASI FASTING IS DISREGARDED, AND THE DVADASI (MAHADVADASI) FASTING IS TAKEN AS IMPORTANT.

You were give this old Panjika just to consult the names and spelling only. The dates are different, so whatever date I have given, that is correct. WHY YOU ARE SEARCHING BYANJALI DVADASI IN THIS LAST YEAR’S PANJIKA? WHAT I HAVE GIVEN IS FROM THIS YEAR’S PANJIKA, SO EVERYTHING WILL NOT COLLABORATE.

5. 7th February, 1971–Varaha-Dvadasi, I have explained the position in regard to #2.

6. SO FAR DETERMINING EKADASI IT IS COUNTED 11 DAYS AFTER THE FULL MOON AND 11 DAYS AFTER THE NEW MOON, BUT SOMETIMES IT SO HAPPENS AS YOU HAVE NOTED ONE DAY LATER. HOWEVER, WHAT I HAVE GIVEN IS CORRECT.

SB 8.16.25
AS WE GENERALLY PERFORM DEVOTIONAL SERVICE ON EKADASI BY NOT EATING GRAINS, IT IS GENERALLY RECOMMENDED THAT ON DVADASI ONE NOT CONSUME ANYTHING BUT MILK.

SB 9.4 Summary Ambarisa Maharaja Offended by Durvasa Muni
Once Maharaja Ambarisa was worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead in Vrndavana, observing the vow of Dvadasi. ON DVADASI, THE DAY AFTER EKADASI, WHEN HE WAS ABOUT TO BREAK HIS EKADASI FAST, the great mystic yogi Durvasa appeared in his house and became his guest. King Ambarisa respectfully received Durvasa Muni, and Durvasa Muni, after accepting his invitation to eat there, went to bathe in the Yamuna River at noontime. Because he was absorbed in samadhi, he did not come back very soon. Maharaja Ambarisa, however, upon SEEING THAT THE TIME TO BREAK THE FAST WAS PASSING, DRANK A LITTLE WATER, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ADVICE OF LEARNED BRAHMANAS, JUST TO OBSERVE THE FORMALITY OF BREAKING THE FAST.

SB 9.4.29
TO OBSERVE EKADASI-VRATA AND DVADASI-VRATA MEANS TO PLEASE THE SUPREME PERSONALITY OF GODHEAD. THOSE INTERESTED IN ADVANCING IN KRSNA CONSCIOUSNESS MUST OBSERVE EKADASI-VRATA REGULARLY.

Adi 10.71
In their two houses Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu begged food on the Ekadasi day and personally ate it.

Adi 10.71
THE INJUNCTION TO FAST ON EKADASI IS ESPECIALLY MEANT FOR DEVOTEES; ON EKADASI THERE ARE NO RESTRICTIONS REGARDING FOOD THAT MAY BE OFFERED TO THE LORD. LORD SRI CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU TOOK THE FOOD OF LORD VISNU IN HIS ECSTASY AS VISNU-TATTVA.

Adi 14.39
The Caitanya-bhagavata, Adi-lila, Chapter Six, fully describes the Lord’s accepting visnu-prasada on the Ekadasi day at the house of Jagadisa and Hiranya. REGULAR PRASADA IS OFFERED TO LORD VISNU ON EKADASI BECAUSE, WHILE FASTING IS RECOMMENDED FOR DEVOTEES ON EKADASI, IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR LORD VISNU.

Adi 15.9
From the very beginning of His childhood life Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu introduced the system of observing a fast on the Ekadasi day. IN THE BHAKTI-SANDARBHA, BY SRILA JIVA GOSVAMI, THERE IS A QUOTATION FROM THE SKANDA PURANA ADMONISHING THAT A PERSON WHO EATS GRAINS ON EKADASI BECOMES A MURDERER OF HIS MOTHER, FATHER, BROTHER AND SPIRITUAL MASTER, AND EVEN IF HE IS ELEVATED TO A VAIKUNTHA PLANET, HE FALLS DOWN. ON EKADASI, EVERYTHING IS COOKED FOR VISNU, INCLUDING REGULAR GRAINS AND DAHI, BUT IT IS ENJOINED THAT A VAISNAVA SHOULD NOT EVEN TAKE VISNU-PRASADA ON EKADASI. IT IS SAID THAT A VAISNAVA DOES NOT ACCEPT ANYTHING EATABLE THAT IS NOT OFFERED TO LORD VISNU, BUT ON EKADASI A VAISNAVA SHOULD NOT TOUCH EVEN MAHA-PRASADA OFFERED TO VISNU, ALTHOUGH SUCH PRASADA MAY BE KEPT FOR BEING EATEN THE NEXT DAY. IT IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN FOR ONE TO ACCEPT ANY KIND OF GRAIN ON EKADASI, EVEN IF IT IS OFFERED TO LORD VISNU.

Adi 15.10
It is a PREJUDICE AMONGST SMARTA-BRAHMANAS that a widow must observe fasting on Ekadasi but a woman who has her husband should not. It appears that before the request of Lord Caitanya Sacimata was not observing Ekadasi because of her being sa-dhava, which means that her husband was living. SRI CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU, HOWEVER, INTRODUCED THE SYSTEM THAT A WOMAN, EVEN IF NOT A WIDOW, MUST OBSERVE THE EKADASI DAY AND MUST NOT TOUCH ANY KIND OF GRAINS, EVEN THOSE OFFERED TO THE DEITY OF VISNU.

Adi 15.16
BETEL NUTS ARE AN INTOXICANT, and therefore the regulative principles prohibit eating them. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastime of fainting after eating betel nuts is a solid instruction to all of us that ONE SHOULD NOT TOUCH BETEL NUTS, EVEN THOSE OFFERED TO VISNU, JUST AS ONE SHOULD NOT TOUCH GRAINS ON THE EKADASI DAY.

Madhya 4.169
THE CATURMASYA PERIOD BEGINS IN THE MONTH OF ASADHA (JUNE-JULY) FROM THE DAY OF EKADASI CALLED SAYANA-EKADASI, IN THE FORTNIGHT OF THE WAXING MOON. THE PERIOD ENDS IN THE MONTH OF KARTIKA (OCTOBER-NOVEMBER) ON THE EKADASI DAY KNOWN AS UTTHANA-EKADASI, IN THE FORTNIGHT OF THE WAXING MOON. THIS FOUR-MONTH PERIOD IS KNOWN AS CATURMASYA. Some Vaisnavas also observe it from the full-moon day of Asadha until the full-moon day of Kartika. That is also a period of four months. This period, calculated by the lunar months, is called Caturmasya, but others also observe Caturmasya according to the solar month from Sravana to Kartika. The whole period, either lunar or solar, takes place during the rainy season. Caturmasya should be observed by all sections of the population. It does not matter whether one is a grhastha or a sannyasi. The observance is obligatory for all asramas. The real purpose behind the vow taken during these four months is to minimize the quantity of sense gratification. This is not very difficult. In the month of Sravana one should not eat spinach, in the month of Bhadra one should not eat yogurt, and in the month of Asvina one should not drink milk. One should not eat fish or other nonvegetarian food during the month of Kartika. A nonvegetarian diet means fish and meat. Similarly, masura dal and urad dal are also considered nonvegetarian. These two dals contain a great amount of protein, and food rich in protein is considered nonvegetarian. On the whole, during the four-month period of Caturmasya one should practice giving up all food intended for sense enjoyment.

Madhya 24.342
“YOU SHOULD RECOMMEND THE AVOIDANCE OF MIXED EKADASI AND THE PERFORMANCE OF PURE EKADASI. YOU SHOULD ALSO DESCRIBE THE FAULT IN NOT OBSERVING THIS. One should be very careful as far as these items are concerned. If one is not careful, one will be negligent in executing devotional service.

CAITANYA-CARITAMRTA CONCLUDING WORDS
TODAY, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1974–CORRESPONDING TO THE 10TH OF KARTIKKA, CAITANYA ERA 488, THE ELEVENTH DAY OF THE DARK FORTNIGHT, THE RAMA-EKADASI–we have now finished the English translation of Sri Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami’ s Sri Caitanya-caritamrta in accordance with the authorised order of His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Gosvami Maharaja, my beloved eternal spiritual master, guide and friend.

TLC12
However, one should generally accept the following principles to properly execute devotional service: (1) take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master, (2) receive initiation from the spiritual master, (3) serve the spiritual master, (4) inquire and learn love from the spiritual master, (5) follow in the footsteps of holy persons devoted to the transcendental loving service of the Lord, (6) prepare to give up all kinds of enjoyment and miseries for the satisfaction of Krsna, (7) live in a place where Krsna had His pastimes, (8) be satisfied by whatever is sent by Krsna for the maintenance of the body and hanker for no more, (9) OBSERVE FASTING ON EKADASI DAY (THIS OCCURS ON THE ELEVENTH DAY AFTER THE FULL MOON AND THE ELEVENTH DAY AFTER THE NEW MOON. ON SUCH DAYS NO GRAINS, CEREALS OR BEANS ARE EATEN; SIMPLY VEGETABLES AND MILK ARE MODERATELY TAKEN, AND CHANTING HARE KRSNA AND READING SCRIPTURES ARE INCREASED.),

TLC 16
Lord Caitanya also explained the symptoms of a holy man and the process of satisfying the sage and rejecting the society of undesirable persons. The Lord also advised that one should hear Srimad-Bhagavatam constantly. Also to be followed are duties of the day and duties of the fortnight, as well as fasting on Ekadasi day. ONE MUST ALSO FOLLOW THE DUTIES OF THE MONTH AND OBSERVE CEREMONIES LIKE THE BIRTHDAY OF THE LORD, THE THREE SPECIFIC DATES OF FASTING EKADASI, JANMASTAMI, VAMANADVADASI, SRI RAMANAVAMI AND NRSIMHACATURDASI. WHEN THE FAST DAYS OVERLAP WITH OTHER DAYS (VIDDHA), THEY ARE HELPFUL IN THE ADVANCEMENT OF DEVOTIONAL SERVICE.

NoD 7
IN THE BRAHMA-VAIVARTA PURANA IT IS SAID THAT ONE WHO OBSERVES FASTING ON EKADASI DAY IS FREED FROM ALL KINDS OF REACTIONS TO SINFUL ACTIVITIES AND ADVANCES IN PIOUS LIFE. THE BASIC PRINCIPLE IS NOT JUST TO FAST, BUT TO INCREASE ONE’S FAITH AND LOVE FOR GOVINDA, OR KRSNA. THE REAL REASON FOR OBSERVING FASTING ON EKADASI IS TO MINIMIZE THE DEMANDS OF THE BODY AND TO ENGAGE OUR TIME IN THE SERVICE OF THE LORD BY CHANTING OR PERFORMING SIMILAR SERVICE. THE BEST THING TO DO ON FASTING DAYS IS TO REMEMBER THE PASTIMES OF GOVINDA AND TO HEAR HIS HOLY NAME CONSTANTLY.

NoD 26 Stimulation for Ecstatic Love
Some things which give impetus or stimulation to ecstatic love of Krsna are His transcendental qualities, His uncommon activities, His smiling features, His apparel and garlands, His flute, His buffalo horn, His leg bells, His conchshell, His footprints, His places of pastimes (such as Vrndavana), His favorite plant (tulasi), His devotee and the periodical occasions for remembering Him. ONE SUCH OCCASION FOR REMEMBRANCE IS EKADASI, WHICH COMES TWICE A MONTH ON THE ELEVENTH DAY OF THE MOON, BOTH WANING AND WAXING. ON THAT DAY ALL THE DEVOTEES REMAIN FASTING THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT AND CONTINUOUSLY CHANT THE GLORIES OF THE LORD.

KB 28
The Govardhana ceremony took place on the new-moon day. After this, there were torrents of rain and hailstorms imposed by King Indra for seven days. Nine days of the waxing moon having passed, on the tenth day King Indra worshiped Lord Krsna, and thus the matter was satisfactorily settled. After this, on the eleventh day of the full moon, there was Ekadasi. MAHARAJA NANDA OBSERVED FASTING FOR THE WHOLE DAY, AND JUST EARLY IN THE MORNING OF THE DVADASI, THE DAY AFTER EKADASI, HE WENT TO TAKE BATH IN THE RIVER YAMUNA. HE ENTERED DEEP INTO THE WATER OF THE RIVER, BUT HE WAS ARRESTED IMMEDIATELY BY ONE OF THE SERVANTS OF VARUNADEVA. THIS SERVANT BROUGHT NANDA MAHARAJA BEFORE THE DEMIGOD VARUNA AND ACCUSED HIM OF TAKING A BATH IN THE RIVER AT THE WRONG TIME. ACCORDING TO ASTRONOMICAL CALCULATIONS, THE TIME IN WHICH HE TOOK BATH WAS CONSIDERED DEMONIAC. THE FACT WAS, NANDA MAHARAJA WANTED TO TAKE A BATH IN THE RIVER YAMUNA EARLY IN THE MORNING BEFORE THE SUNRISE, BUT SOMEHOW OR OTHER HE WAS A LITTLE TOO EARLY, AND HE BATHED AT AN INAUSPICIOUS TIME. CONSEQUENTLY HE WAS ARRESTED.

690523SB.NV
So, paravare brahmani dharmato vrataih. So one should execute Krsna consciousness, dharmatah, in right path, and vrataih. Bhajante mam drdha-vratah. Just like today, ekadasi-vrata. Vrataih. This ekadasi-vrata is required. Just see. Here it is that “You have performed all the vratas.” The purpose of ekadasi-vrata is that today we should not eat much usual food, grains. The actual prescription is fasting. Nirjala-ekadasi. Nirjala means there are many devotees who does not take even water. Water, drinking water, according to sastra, it is taking food… It is drinking of food or no food. We can take both ways. So sometimes drinking of water is excused as upavasa also. BUT THERE ARE MANY DEVOTEES WHO EVEN…, DRINK EVEN A DROP OF WATER. WHOLE DAY AND NIGHT THEY FAST AND OBSERVE EKADASI-VRATA. AND THE NIGHT IS CALLED HARIVASARA. HARIVASARA MEANS THE WHOLE NIGHT THEY WOULD CHANT HARE KRSNA, HARE KRSNA, KRSNA KRSNA, HARE HARE. HARE RAMA, HARE RAMA… THIS IS CALLED VRATA. DRDHA-VRATA. DRDHA-VRATA. DRDHA MEANS VERY FIRM, STEADY.

730422SB.LA
Just like… The, everything is described in the Bhagavad-gita. Just like in hospital. IN HOSPITAL THERE ARE MANY PATIENTS, THEY ARE NOT EATING ANYTHING ON THE EKADASI DAY. DOES IT MEAN THAT IS OBSERVING EKADASI? HE IS SIMPLY HANKERING AFTER, “WHEN I SHALL EAT, WHEN I SHALL EAT, WHEN I SHALL EAT?.” BUT THESE STUDENTS, THEY VOLUNTARILY DON’T EAT ANYTHING. WE, WE DON’T SAY THAT YOU DON’T EAT ANYTHING. SOME FRUITS, SOME FLOWERS. THAT’S ALL. SO PARAM DRSTVA NIVARTATE. JUST LIKE A CHILD. HE HAS GOT IN HIS HAND SOMETHING HE’S EATING. AND IF YOU GIVE HIM BETTER THING, HE WILL THROW AWAY THE INFERIOR THING AND WILL TAKE THAT BETTER THING.

750303SB.DAL
But if you want to realize God, as it is said here, tapasaiva, only by tapasya, only by penance, one can realize. Otherwise not. Otherwise it is not possible. Therefore this word is used, tapasaiva. Tapasa eva: “only by tapasya.” There is no other means. Tapasa eva param. Param means the Supreme. If you want to realize the Supreme, the Absolute, then you must agree to certain type of tapasya. Otherwise it is not possible. THE PRELIMINARY LITTLE TAPASYA. JUST LIKE EKADASI. THAT IS ALSO ITEM OF THE TAPASYA. ACTUALLY ON THE EKADASI DAYS WE SHALL NOT TAKE ANY FOOD, EVEN DRINK WATER. BUT IN OUR SOCIETY WE ARE NOT DOING SO MUCH STRICTLY. WE SAY, “EKADASI, YOU DON’T TAKE FOOD GRAINS. TAKE LITTLE FRUIT, MILK.” THIS IS TAPASYA.

750913SB.VRN
So one day he came to Ambarisa Maharaja on the dvadasi day with sixty thousand disciples and ordered the Maharaja, “Maharaja, today we have come to take prasadam in your palace. Please arrange for this.” SO THAT WAS DVADASI DAY. YOU KNOW, ON THE DVADASI THERE WAS… THAT IS A REGULATIVE PRINCIPLE, THAT IN THE MORNING AT ABOUT NINE O’CLOCK ONE HAS TO TAKE SOMETHING, PRASADAM, TO BREAK THE VOWS, BREAK FAST. So this Durvasa Muni along with disciples, they went to the river Ganges to take bath, but they were willfully not coming back. So Ambarisa Maharaja asked the priest that “Durvasa Muni is my guest. I cannot take anything without offering him. So what shall I do? Now I have to observe the dvadasi breakfast.” SO THE BRAHMANA PRIEST ORDERED HIM THAT “MAHARAJA, YOU CAN TAKE LITTLE CARANAMRTA,” THE WATER. SO ACCORDING TO SASTRA, DRINKING LITTLE WATER IS NOT BREAKING FAST, SO IT WILL BE NOT TAKEN VERY… SO WITH THE ADVICE OF THE BRAHMANA… FORMERLY THE KINGS, THEY WERE GUIDED BY THE INSTRUCTION OF THE BRAHMANAS AND GREAT SAINTLY PERSONS. THEY WERE NOT DOING ANYTHING WHIMSICALLY. THAT IS NOT THE FACT. SO WITH THE INSTRUCTION OF THE BRAHMANAS, HE TOOK LITTLE CARANAMRTA.

710407LE.BOM
So this process should be adopted, how to become sukrtina. Sukrti means yajna-dana-tapa-kriya. One must perform sacrifices as prescribed in the sastras, and they must give in charity their hard-earned money for Krsna’s cause. That is called dana. Yajna, dana, and tapasya. Tapasya. Just like tomorrow is Sri Rama-navami. The tapasya will be that all the devotees will observe fasting from morning till evening. This is called tapasya. JUST LIKE EKADASI DAY–THERE IS NO EATING SUMPTUOUSLY. SIMPLY YOU TAKE LITTLE FRUITS AND FLOWERS. TRY TO AVOID THAT ALSO. YOU DON’T TAKE EVEN WATER. THAT IS REALLY EKADASI. BUT BECAUSE WE CANNOT DO IT–IN THE KALI-YUGA THE TIME IS DIFFERENT–THEREFORE WE ARE ALLOWED TO TAKE LITTLE FRUIT AND MILK, WHICH IS CALLED ANUKALPA.

55-01-01.spl BROTHERS
(21) Initiated members shall observe the “Ekadasi Brata” twice in a month and on that day he will be allowed to take only fruits & none of the cereals.

68-02-01 Letter: Madhusudana
Ekadasi is observed for increasing the strength of devotion.

68-04-21 Letter: Malati
Yes, here everything is very joyous, because so many nice boys and girls have joined the society, and they are joyfully dancing and chanting. You can let Syamasundara. know that the calculation of Rathayatra was made one month ahead. The actual date is the 28th of June; beginning of Rathayatra is on the 28th, and it will continue till 8 days, and the general festival may be observed on the 7th of July, Sunday (BECAUSE SATURDAY IS EKADASI).

69-10-27 Letter: Govinda
I have duly received the bananas you sent, and you can send me these dried bananas tons and tons. It is very useful and can be nicely used for OUR EKADASI FOODSTUFFS. AFTER DRYING THE BANANAS YOU CAN MAKE POWDER, JUST LIKE FLOUR, AND OUT OF THIS YOU CAN PREPARE PURIS, HALAVA, PAKORAS AND OTHER FRUIT PRODUCTS.

69-11-11 Letter: Rudra
Regarding the vows and chanting method you have adopted, it is very nice. BUT DO NOT IMPOSE SOMETHING WHICH WILL BE DIFFICULT TO EXECUTE. THERE IS NO NEED OF FASTING ONCE VERY WEEK. TWO DAYS FASTING PER MONTH ON EKADASI IS SUFFICIENT. BESIDES THAT THERE ARE OTHER SPECIAL FASTING DAYS. SPIRITUAL REALIZATION DEPENDS ON AUSTERITIES AND VOWS, BUT IN THIS AGE, BY THE MERCY OF KRISHNA AND LORD CAITANYA, WE NEED NOT UNDERGO VERY SEVERE PENANCES, AS WE ARE UNABLE TO DO IT. THE RULES AND REGULATIONS WHICH WE HAVE ALREADY PRESCRIBED, THAT IS SUFFICIENT FOR ORDINARY MEN. But as you have increased the chanting of beads to 25 rounds daily, that is very nice

69-11-20. Letter: Gaurasundara
Srimati Jayasri Dasi sent me SOME DRIED BANANA CHIPS AND THEY ARE VERY NICE FOR MY EKADASI FOOD. Is it possible to send us in large quantity this foodstuff? If not, please try to send me at least one small packet like that every fortnight.

71-07-09 Letter: Jadurani
Why just 25 rounds? You should chant as many as possible. Real Ekadasi means fasting and chanting and no other business. When one observes fasting, the chanting becomes easier. SO ON EKADASI OTHER BUSINESS CAN BE SUSPENDED AS FAR AS POSSIBLE UNLESS THERE IS SOME URGENT BUSINESS.

76-11-26. Letter: Ramesvara
Because there is a little leniency, immediately faulty things are creeping in. So we should be known as shaven-headed, not hair-headed. This is discrepancy. AT LEAST ONCE IN A MONTH YOU MUST BE CLEARLY SHAVEN-HEADED. ON THE BRIGHT FORTNIGHT, ON THE DAY OF PURNIMA, FOUR DAYS AFTER EKADASI. ONCE IN A MONTH, IN THE BRIGHT FORTNIGHT we must be shaven-headed. It is not desirable that in grown up age also, you be chastised. that is not desirable-that is also difficult because when the disciple or son is grown up, if he is chastised, then he breaks. So before being chastised we should be conscious that this is our rules and regulations, we must observe. Therefore it is advised by Canakya Pandit (Sanskrit) After the 16th year of the disciple or son, he should be treated as friend because if you chastise when he is grown up then he will break up- that is also another risk. So our request is that instead of chastising, with folded hands I request you, don’t you become hippies again by growing hair. Keep your head cleansed at least once in a month.

720422r2.tok
Devotee: On ekadasi, we can offer the Deity grains?

Prabhupada: Oh yes. BUT NOT GURU. EKADASI OBSERVED BY JIVA-TATTVA, NOT BY VISNU-TATTVA. WE ARE FASTING FOR CLEARING OUR MATERIAL DISEASE, BUT RADHA-KRSNA, CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU… CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU ALSO MAY NOT BE OFFERED GRAINS BECAUSE HE IS PLAYING THE PART OF A DEVOTEE. ONLY RADHA-KRSNA, JAGANNATHA CAN BE OFFERED GRAINS. OTHERWISE, GURU-GAURANGA, NO. AND THE PRASADAM SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN BY ANYONE. IT SHOULD BE KEPT FOR NEXT DAY.

750508mw.per
Prabhupada: Huh? What do you mean by machine. First of all define what is your idea of machine. Just like the other day we saw, we saw the Thompson place, being printed, being collected, and so many things are being done. It is like this. By machine the seasonal changes are going on, the sun is rising, the moon is rising, the water in the ocean, the waves are there. Everything, machine working. It is machine. EVERYTHING BEING SYSTEMATICALLY DONE. Such a big ocean, vast water, it is just on the brink, no more. It is so organized. The sun is rising exactly in time, astronomically. The astronomical watch is one ten-thousandth part of a second. It is so accurate. You’ll find everything is going on. (break) Today is ekadasi, eleventh day of the moon, the moon shall be like this. THERE ONE CAN SEE THE MOON AND HE CAN CALCULATE. “TODAY IS EKADASI.” THIS IS NOT MACHINE? IT IS EXACTLY, MACHINE.

.

760607mw.la
Ramesvara: So I’ve been told that if one fasts on Bhima-ekadasi, that it is like fasting on all the ekadasis. Is that true?

Prabhupada: Yes. Ekadasi is meant for fasting, either Bhima or Arjuna. But we cannot fast, therefore we have to take little fruits and…. Otherwise, ekadasi means fasting.

Tamala Krsna: If it is possible, should we go without eating at all?

Prabhupada: Yes. But don’t lie down and sleep.

Mahendra: Eating maha-prasadam is also fasting.

Prabhupada: Who says?

Mahendra: You said that to Paramahamsa Swami once.

Prabhupada: And you heard from Paramahamsa.

Mahendra: No, I was in the room. It was when he was trying to observe Caturmasya.

Prabhupada: I NEVER SAID THAT.

Mahendra: Oh, okay, I must have heard wrong.

Prabhupada: IF THERE IS SERVICE AND, ON MY FASTING, SERVICE WILL BE STOPPED, THEN I CAN TAKE. FIRST CONSIDERATION, SERVICE. NOW IF SOMEBODY FEELS WEAK, HE CAN TAKE MAHA-PRASADA, RENDER SERVICE.

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To advance in spiritual life these things are essential, tapasya. TAPASYA MEANS VOLUNTARILY ACCEPTING SOMETHING WHICH MAY BE PAINFUL. Just like we are recommending no illicit sex, no gambling, no meat-eating. So those who are accustomed to these bad habits, for them, in he beginning it may be a little difficult. But in spite of becoming difficult, one has to do it. That is called tapasya. To rise early in the morning, those who are not practiced, it is a little painful, but one has to do it. So this is called tapasya. So according to the Vedic injunction, there are some tapasyas that must be done. It is not, “I may do it or not do it.” It must be done. Just like in the Mundaka Upanisad it is ordered that one must go to the spiritual master. Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet. So there is no question of voluntarily, but it must be. And one must carry out by the order of a spiritual master and the order of the sastra. That is called tapasya. JUST LIKE IN OUR LINE EKADASI IS COMPULSORY. ONE MAY FEEL SOME INCONVENIENCE FASTING OR SIMPLY EATING FRUITS. NO. IT MUST BE DONE. THERE ARE SO MANY RULES AND REGULATIONS WHICH IS ESSENTIAL. IT MUST BE DONE. THAT IS CALLED TAPASYA. Without consideration whether it is convenient or inconvenient for you, which is, must be done, that is called tapasya. Tapah, divyam… JUST LIKE RSABHADEVA ORDERS THAT THIS HUMAN LIFE IS MEANT FOR TAPASYA.

770125rc.pur
Prabhupada: Yes, that must be. Why Mayapura? Vrndavana, they are accustomed. Ya devi sarva-bhutesu nidra… This sleeping is the maya’s influence. It is stated in the… Ya devi sarva-bhutesu nidra-rupena samsthitah.(?) The Devi, this material energy, has captured everyone, and she is there… The more one sleeps, that means he’s under the control of maya. And the more he is not sleeping, he’s free from maya. Nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau. THE GOSVAMIS, THEY CONQUERED OVER THREE THINGS: NIDRA, SLEEPING; AHARA, EATING; AND MATING. THESE THINGS ARE THE CLUTCHES OF MAYA. More we have sex, more we have eating, more we have sleeping, that means I am entangled. THE MORE WE CONQUER OVER IT, WE ARE FREE. THAT WE HAVE TO TRY. Whether I am in the clutches of maya or not CAN BE TESTED–whether I am sleeping more, whether I am eating more, whether I am more sexually inclined. He can test himself. And bhakti means vairagya-vidya, to conquer over these three things. So practice this. They are… To rise early in the morning and attend mangala-arati is compulsory. It is part of this education, spiritual education. AND NOT TO EAT MORE THAN NECESSARY. THEN YOU’LL NOT SLEEP MORE. YOU’LL FIND, IF YOU OBSERVE FAST, YOU WON’T FEEL SLEEPY. HAVE YOU TESTED THIS?

Gargamuni: Yes. I can remember.

Prabhupada: THEREFORE EKADASI. ONE DAY OR TWO DAYS IN THE MONTH HE SHOULD PRACTICE FASTING, AND THEN HE’LL BE ABLE TO CONQUER OVER THESE THINGS. THESE ARE ALL PRACTICAL. SO WE SHOULD PRACTICE OURSELF AND TEACH OTHERS. THIS IS KRSNA CONSCIOUSNESS MOVEMENT. AND IF HE THINKS THAT HE’S QUITE ALL RIGHT IN THIS MATERIAL ATMOSPHERE, THEN HE’S DOOMED. MUDHAH NABHIJANATI. THAT MEANS APRAPYA MAM–WITHOUT ACHIEVING KRSNA–NIVARTANTE–AGAIN HE GOES BACK–MRTYU-SAMSARA-VARTMANI–THE CYCLE OF BIRTH AND DEATH. TAKE ONE BIRTH, SUFFER, AGAIN TAKE ANOTHER BODY, AGAIN TAKE ANOTHER BODY, ANOTHER BODY.

Sometimes I have seen some devotees become very irritabel ,during fasting , or
others may even be a bit jealous of the other devotees tapasya , this is not good…
actually the “compitetion mood’ due to the bodily concept of life should be decreasing on
such days , and loving devotional service to Krsna be ones only concern.Sometimes while doing lots of Kirtana on Eakdasi or Visnutattva appearance days it is hard not to drink water. I remember -2years ago , while observing Janmastami in Vrindavan , I was participating in the long Kirtana with Aindra Prabhu, and almost
everyone there chanting loudly in Kirtana drank , water before midnight, (someone started passing bottles of waters around at 10:20 PM ).This year I was chanting with some other devotees , from 9 to midnight without trouble. Also some devotees work hard in the kitchen especially cooking grain feasts, then they will certainly easy break the fast before midnight.When however some ekadasi prasadam is served it is easy to cook even in quantity and less streneous, like Gauranga Potatoes , a fruit salad, cold lemonade with real lemons, it is easy to make and does not make devotees work to hard in the kitchen.
Actucally Locananda Prabhu asked about prasadam for Janmastami , this menue seems ideal for Janmastami-eating nuts, ghes preparations extra spices and so on is also to be avoided, but that is there in general also if we go by the instructions given by Srila Prabhupada in Nectar of instructions vers 1
Your servant
Payonifhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 16th, 2007
34 varahanarasimha

My dear Maharajas and ,Prabhus, and Matajis
My pranams at your lotusfeet

all
glories to Srila Prabhupada

Fifteenth Vilasa of Hari Bhakti Vilasa by Sanatana Goswami describes the glories to Janmastami , and this is also sastric praman to clearly prove the glories of fasting on Janmastami as was instituted by Sri Krsna Himself after the killing of Kamsa, There is one vers that seems to suggest Krsna is killing Kamsa on Janmastami:

Vasudeva is addressing Sri Krsna:

Text 255

adya praharño hy asmäkaà
adya jäto janärdanaù
adya malläìga-yuddhena
duñöaù kaàso nipätitaù

Today we are happy. Today Krsna is born. Today the demon Kamsa has fallen in a wrestling match.

In tMahanidhi Maharajas ,Sarartha Dasini the commentaties of Srila Visvanatha Cakravati Thakura– and I found this chapter 45 of 10 Canto text 3 (page 464)

“Then at the age of ten years and seven month on the 11th lunar day of the dark fortnight of the month of Caitra Krsna went to Mathura and on the 14 day thereafter He killed Kamsa.Thus Krsna completed His Kaisora period at age ten and He eternally remains at that age. In other words we should understand that from this point on Krsna remains forever in Kisora”

Krsna on the day of killing Kamsa reveals the glories of Janmastami and how to observe it, thus this part is important
for devotee of Sri Krsna , as you will see He Himself is giving the descriptions on how to observe Janmastami, and how to not eat ,especially grains on this day

I quoted some part , here is the full chapter, this has been translated by Sriman Kusakratha Prabhu, from text 267 Sri Krsna describes the offenses to be avoided till 282

from there the glories of proper fasting etc is described:

Some devotee was objecting to the fasting over night on Janmastami but Krsna says:

The fortunate persons who on that day sacred to Lord Visnu
fast, keep an all-night vigil, and worship Lord Hari, the master of the demigods, never fear having to take birth again in this world. Wherever they stay, Kali-yuga cannot enter.

With folded hands I beg the devotees to please read this entire text about the glories of Janmastami as described by Sri Krsna Himself by hearing this one becomes greatly purified from sins, these are the words of Sri Krsna Himself who has spoken these instructions from His lotusmouth to benedict us all

In the Brahma Puräna, Pürva-khanda
Janmastami Mahatmya
, Srila Suta Goswami
explains:

Krsna Janmästami is a famous Vaisnava holy day. They who in Kali-yuga take shelter of the glory of that day become purified of all sins.

Your eternal servant

Payonidhi das
PS there is such beautiful verses as below verse in glorification of Janmastami.

318

By fasting on Jayanté one attains the same pious result attained by one who gives up his body for the sake of his guru, or for the sake of the brähmanas, or for the sake of his master, or the same pious result attained by they who have dedicated their lives to helping others, or by they who devotedly go on pilgrimages, or by they who follow a vow of truthfulness.

I like to clarifie one vers
319
By once fasting on Jayanti on attains the result of performing austerities and remaining homeless, of performing a thousand räjasüya-yajïas, or of performing an agnihotra-yajïa of a hundred years.

Some may wonder what is so great in being homeless? How is that a benediction, the 10 canto reveals the thoughts of Narada Muni in relationship to Nalakuvera and Manigriva
vers 10.10.15 16 is of special importance in this connection.

SB 10.10.14: By seeing their faces, one whose body has been pricked by pins can understand the pain of others who are pinpricked. Realizing that this pain is the same for everyone, he does not want others to suffer in this way. But one who has never been pricked by pins cannot understand this pain.

SB 10.10.15: A poverty-stricken man must automatically undergo austerities and penances because he does not have the wealth to possess anything. Thus his false prestige is vanquished. Always in need of food, shelter and clothing, he must be satisfied with what is obtained by the mercy of providence. Undergoing such compulsory austerities is good for him because this purifies him and completely frees him from false ego.

SB 10.10.16: Always hungry, longing for sufficient food, a poverty-stricken man gradually becomes weaker and weaker. Having no extra potency, his senses are automatically pacified. A poverty-stricken man, therefore, is unable to perform harmful, envious activities. In other words, such a man automatically gains the results of the austerities and penances adopted voluntarily by saintly persons.

SB 10.10.17: Saintly persons may freely associate with those who are poverty-stricken, but not with those who are rich. A poverty-stricken man, by association with saintly persons, very soon becomes uninterested in material desires, and the dirty things within the core of his heart are cleansed away.

15 chapter of Hari Bhakti Vilasa by Srila Sanatana Goswami

Text 246

Duties in the Month of Bhädra (August-September)

In the month of Bhädra the Vaisnavas should celebrate a great festival on the birthday of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They should perform great worship and fulfill a vow.

Text 247

The Vow of Janmästami

The vow of Janmästami is compulsory for everyone. This is because it is a regular observance, it removes sins, and it grants all benefits.

Text 248

The Origin of Sri Janmästami
In the Bhaviñya Puräëa, Uttara-khanda, Sri Yudhisthira says:

O infallible Lord, please describe to me the vow of Janmästamii in great detail. When did this vow begin? What piety does it grant? How is it performed?

Text 249

Sri Krnaa said: O Yudhishira, after I had killed the demon Kamsa, Devaki embraced Me, placed Me on her lap, and wept.

Text 250

When the wrestling was over she stood up in the grandstand. The Kukuras and Andhakas praised her.

Text 251

Her affectionate kinsmen and their wives surrounded her. Vasudeva came, embraced me, said, “Son! Son!” and wept with a father’s love.

Text 252

His eyes filled with tears, he embraced Balaräma and Me. In a choked voice he said:

Text 253

Today my birth has born fruit. Today my life is lived well. Now I have met my sons, the two glories of the Yadu dynasty.

Text 254

O king, seeing My parents’ happiness, everyone else became happy. Bowing before Me, everyone spoke these words:

Text 255

Today we are happy. Today Krsna is born. Today the demon Kamsa has fallen in a wrestling match.

Text 256

O Lord Krsna, please glance at the people in this festival. Please give Your mercy to them and to others also.

Text 257

O Krsna, O Lord who removes all sufferings, please give to us the day when Devaki gave birth to You. We will celebrate a festival in Your honor. O Krsna, please be kind to Your sincere devotees.

Text 258

Filled with wonder to hear the people speak these words, and the hairs of his body now erect in ecstasy, Vasudeva glanced at Balaräma and said:

Text 259

It should be so. Please tell the people.

Text 260

O son of Prtha, then, on My father’s order, I revealed the vow of Janmastami to the people of Mathurä.

Text 261

.

The brähmaëas, ksatriyas, vaisyas, südras, and all others who are pious, from the age of eight years and older, should observe this vow of Janmästami.

Srila Sanätana Gosvämé comments:

The same is true for observing ekädasi. In the scriptures it is said:

“Children eight years and older should also observe ekädasi.”

Text 262

O people, during the monsoon season, on the astami of the dark fortnight (krsna palsa
) of the month of Bhädra, when the sun was in Leo and the moon and the star Rohini
were both in Taurus, in the middle of the night I was born as the son of Vasudeva and Devaki

Text 264

This day will be known in this world as the vow of Janmastami.On this day celebrate a great festival honoring both Me and the goddess. First this festival will be celebrated in Mathurä. Later it will become famous in the whole world.

Srila Sanatana
Gosvämi comments:

The word “bhagavatyäù” (goddess) here refers to Devaké. It may also refer to Durgä.

Text 265

Hearing of this festival, the people began to observe it. May there be peace amongst them. May they be happy. May they have good health.

Text 266

This festival should be observed every year, for that is pleasing to the Lord. The scriptures also describe some offenses in its observance.

Text 267

Sri Janmastami Should Be Observed Every Year

The Observance of Sri Janmastami Is Pleasing to the Supreme Personality of Godhead

In the Skanda Puräna it is said:

Prahläda and other great kings very faithfully observe the auspicious vow of Janmastami, which is dear to Lord Krsna its purpose is to please Lord Visnu

Text 268

It is also said:

To please Lord Krsna who holds a cakra in His hand, the astami of the dark fortnight in the month of Sravana when the star Rohini is conjoined with the moon, should be observed year after year.

Text 269

.

Offenses in This Vow

First, the Offense of Eating

In the Sri Visnu rahasya Brahmä tells Närada:

By eating on Jayanti one commits a sin equal to the sin of eating a Südra’s food or eating the food in the hand of a corpse.

Text 270

A person who eats on Janmästami day commits the sin of eating the flesh of a vulture, heron, crow, or hawk, or the flesh of a human being.

Text 271

O best of brähmanas one who eats on Janmastami day commits all the sins in the three worlds. Of this there is no doubt.

Text 272

It is also said:

A person who fills his belly in the Jayanti day is tortured by the messengers of Yamaräja. They will not allow him to eat anything more than a single sesamum seed.

Text 273

O king, a fool who eats on the Jayanti day will not easily be delivered from hell, even if he observes the vow of dvädasi.

Text 274

A person who eats on Lord Krsna’s holy day pushes into a horrible hell a hundred and one generations of his relatives past and yet to come.

Text 275

The Offense of Failing to Follow the Vow by Fasting, Worshiping, Observing a Great Festival, and Performing Other Duties

In the Sri Visnu-rahasya it is said:

O wise sage, they who knowingly neglect the vow of SrI Krsna-janmästami become ferocious beasts in the jungle.

Text 276

O tiger of the sages, a person averse to observing the holy day of Jayanti will not find happiness in this life or the next. His sin is equal to that of killing a brähmaëa, a cow, or a woman, or drinking liquor.

Text 277

O wise sage, a woman who year after year declines to observe the vow of Sri Krsna-janmästami becomes in her next birth a ferocious beast in the jungle.

Text 278

A man who does not observe Sri Krsna-janmästami in the bahula-paksa of the month of Srävana becomes in his next life a cruel räksasa.

Text 279

With cruel faces and cruel weapons the servants of Yamaräja torture whoever does not observe the astami day in the bahula-paksa of the month of Srävana.

Text 280

Whoever does not observe the vow of Lord Visnu’s Jayanti day goes to Yama’s world where he suffers the torments of hell.

Text 281

In that scripture it is also said:

A person who neglects the vow of Sri Krsna-janmastami and observes another vow instead does not attain any pious benefit seen or heard anywhere.

Text 282

It is also said:

One should observe the vow of Jayanti
to please Lord Krsna, the son of Devaké. If one does not devotedly observe this vow with the devotees, or if one does not observe it in a way appropriate to his financial situation, he will go to hell for as long as the fourteen Indras rule in their posts.

Text 283

The Glories of Janmastami

In the Bhaviñya Puräëa, Uttara-khanda, Lord Krsna tells King Yudhisthira:

O delight of the Kurus, by once fasting during Janmästami person becomes free from the sins of seven births. Of this there is no doubt.

Text 284

His descendants are righteous. He attains health and peerless good fortune. He becomes devoted to truth and religion, and when he dies he goes to Vaikuntha.

Text 285

O Yudhishira, that person travels on an airplane, sightseeing the universe and enjoying many pleasures. This he does for a hundred thousand years. Then, with what remains of his pious credits, he returns here, to this earth.

Texts 286 and 287

Here on this earth He becomes the ruler of a great kingdom, a kingdom filled with all desirable things, all pious deeds, and many cows, and free of any sufferings. There he lives for a long time and enjoys whatever his heart desires. At the end he goes to the spiritual world, where there is no repetition of birth and death.

Text 288

His descendants are famous for their handsome forms. They are all saintly and pleasing to everyone’s hearts.

Text 289

A country where the day of My birth is always shown in pictures and anointed with sandal paste becomes beautiful with all the ornaments of spiritual life. It becomes a great festival. It is worshiped by all.

Srila Sanätana Gosvämé comments

If the word “likhitam” is interpreted to mean “written” and “carcitam” to mean “studied”, then the first phrase of this verse may be interpreted to mean, “a country where the day of My birth is always written in many books and studied with care”.

Text 290

In that country there is no fear of others and no fear of plagues or other calamities. There the rain falls as much as could be desired.

Srila Sanätana Gosvämé comments

There are six kinds of calamities (éti): 1. excessive rain, 2. drought, 3. plague of locusts, 4. plague of rats, 5. plague of birds, and 6. invasion of foreign armies.

Text 291

All opulences come to a home where My pastimes with Devaki are worshiped. Fearful diseases and other calamities can never enter there.

Text 292

In that home there is no fear of bulls, a mongoose, snakes, tigers, sinful diseases, sins, thieves, or the king.

Text 293

The Lord also said:

O son of Pändu in a home where there is a book describing this vow of worshiping Devaki-devi, there will never be a miscarriage. Nor will any child be born dead.

Text 294

In that home there need be no fear of disease. That is My opinion. In that home no woman will become a widow. In that home there will be no misfortune, deception, or quarrel.

Text 295

Even a person who accidentally observes the vow of Janmästami will go to the spiritual world of Lord Visnu. Of this there is no doubt.

Text 296

j

Janmästami is
a festival of happiness for the eyes and the heart. It delights Nanda Mahäräja. It removes all sins. A person who on Janmästami
worships Devaki and her husband Vasudeva attains many good children and at the end goes to the spiritual world of Lord Visnu.

Text 297

In the Visnu-dharma Puränait is said:

O best of brähmaëas, when the star Rohini is conjoined with the moon on the astami of the dark fortnight, that day is called Jayanti a day that removes all sins.
Text 298

A person who on that day worships Lord Govinda washes away his sins, either great or small, or performed in childhood, youth, or maturity, in seven births.

Text 299

He attains the results of homas, yajïas, and charity multiplied a hundred times. He attains whatever his heart desires.

Text 300

A person who fasts on that day becomes freed from the greatest sins.

Text 301

In the Visnu rahasya it is said

A person who on Jayanti fasts and worships Lord Hari completely destroys the sins of a hundred births.
Text 302

Lord Krsna forgives the
sins of a child, youth, or adult who carefully worships Him on this day.

Text 303

When they are done to please Lord Hari, bathing, charity, homa, Vedic study, japa, and austerity are multiplied a hundred times when performed on Jayanté.

Text 304

.

Jayanti is sacred and auspicious. It brings wealth and grains. It brings devotion to Lord Krsna. On Jayanti the people should carefully observe a fast.

Text 305

In the Brahma Puräna, Pürva-khanda, Janmastami-mähätmya, Srila Suta Goswami
explains:

Krsna Janmästami is a famous Vaisnava
holy day. They who in Kali-yuga take shelter of the glory of that day become purified of all sins.

Text 306

When the star Rohini is
conjoined with the moon on the astami of the Sravana month, that day is called Jayanti. That day destroys a flood of sins.

Texts 307 and 308

The fortunate persons who on that day sacred to Lord Visnu
fast, keep an all-night vigil, and worship Lord Hari, the master of the demigods, never fear having to take birth again in this world. Wherever they stay, Kali-yuga cannot enter.

Text 309

In that scripture Srila Sukadeva Gosvämé tells King Janamejaya:

Then, in order to kill Kamsa, Lord Visnu took birth as the son of Vasudeva and DevakI. That day is the abode of auspiciousness.

Text 310

When, as happens every year, there is a day when the star Rohini is conjoined with the moon during the month of Sravana
that day is called Bahulästami. That day brings liberation to the people.

Text 311

On that day the eternal and primeval Supreme Personality of Godhead descended to the earth. Why should it be a source of wonder that this day brings liberation?

Text 312

In that scripture this vow is described in these words:

Following this vow for Lord Visnu is the greatest good, the greatest austerity, and the greatest religious duty.

Text 313

In the Skanda Puräna, Brahmä tell Närada:

Krsna Janmastami is famous in this world. It destroys sins. It is equal to many millions of yajïas. It is equal to many millions of pilgrimages.

Text 314

.

By fasting on Jayanté one attains the same pious result attained by giving a thousand cows in charity day after day.

Text 315

By fasting on Jayanti one attains the same pious result attained by giving a thousand bhäras of gold in charity at Kuruksetra.

Text 316

O best of brähmanas, by fasting on Jayanti one attains the same pious result attained by giving many millions of jewels in charity.

Text 317

By fasting on Jayanti one attains the same pious result attained by digging thousands of wells and ponds, building many temples, giving millions of daughters in charity to their prospective bridegrooms, and devotedly serving parents and gurus.

Text 318

By fasting on Jayanti one attains the same pious result attained by one who gives up his body for the sake of his guru, or for the sake of the brähmanas, or for the sake of his master, or the same pious result attained by they who have dedicated their lives to helping others, or by they who devotedly go on pilgrimages, or by they who follow a vow of truthfulness.

Text 319

By once fasting on Jayanti one attains the result of performing austerities and remaining homeless, of performing a thousand räjasüya-yajïas, or of performing an agnihotra-yajïa of a hundred years.

Text 320

By fasting on Jayanti one attains a great kingdom and eternal fame, enjoys the pleasures of the earth, and at the end enters the spiritual world of Lord Visnu.

Text 321

O best of sages, the astami day of the month of Srävana brings piety, wealth, sense gratification, and liberation. It fulfills all desires.

Text 322

O king of brähmanas, Goddess Laksmi always stays among those great souls who observe the vow of Janmästami.

Text 323

.

O great sage, I have not seen anything in the Vedas or the Puränas equal to or better than the vow of Sri Krsna-janmästami.

Text 324

O best of brähmanas, when he sees a self-controlled person observing the vow of Janmastami, Yamaräja, his face turned white, at once erases what is written of him.

Text 325

It is also said:

A person who with a vow worships Lord Krsna and Devaki leaves the horrible path to Yamaloka and goes to the supreme abode of Lord Visnu.

Text 326

O sage, a person who at the moment of his death remembers Lord Krsna, attains perfection. In the same way when a person follows the vow of Janmastami, all he has done becomes perfect. Therefore, by my order, please observe the vow of Janmästami and thus attain liberation from this world of birth and death.

Text 327

In the Brahma-khanda after describing the glories of this vow, Sri
Süta Gosvämi says:

Thus I have described the glories of the Sri
Krsna-Janmästami vow, which is very confidential and hidden in all the scriptures. By once hearing this description a person becomes free from all his sins. At the end of his body he goes to the world of Lord Krsna.

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 18th, 2007
35 Unregistered

Dear payonidhi das prabhu: regarding again this issue on grains etc, I only support grains on a feast day not on ekadasi days, if a feast day lands on ekadasi days as lord vamana’s appearance day then yes one should not eat grains, and can feast the next day. It seems that we/you are mixing ekadasi and feastive appearance days, my comment is on feastive days to serve full feasts, not ekadasi days, all ekadasis should be honored as the acharya asked and that is no grains etc. And yes there are very nice preperations temples can make on feastive days that contain no grains. Our cooking today is beyound imagination in variaty. Most temples in the west have excellent cooks and cook books at hand, I myself am a very good cook and have learned while living in temples how to cook up many nice nongrain idea’s. Hari bol agtsp.

Comment posted by Antaryami Dasa on December 19th, 2007
36 Unregistered

It seems to be a topical issue considering so much feedback that has taken place -

It’s not an easy issue to contend with on these days - for two reasons maintaining our principles and at same time preaching -

For instance Nanda kumar Prabhu once asked Srila Prabhupada in Hawaii whether it was okay to eat more raw foods as opposed to eating cooked foods all the time -

Srila Prabhupada replied that for health reasons eating more raw foods was better - but for preaching purposes it was more important to have nice cooked prasadam preps - in other words if we just had salads and other more simple foods how many would turn up for prasadam or be attracted to KC in the first place?

So having nice first class prasadam is an attractive and important part of our preaching strategy

For instance a few times I have seen that many western guests come to the temple as a result of the festival mood on the day as well as knowing that there will be a feast served, so it is important that the feast is both varied and of good quality.

It is not so easy to cook a nice ekadasi feast, it really needs a very experienced cook to manifest a wonderful ekadasi feast etc.

Sometimes if the cook is not so experienced, the feast can be at times be a combination of stodgy potato subji lacking in taste, if not cooked so well, and a sago kitri prep which if not cooked so well, can have clumps of half cooked sago amidst the peanuts, potatoo and coriander etc.

I have personally seen on few a occasions that some western guests come to the temple and wait around all night mainly for the feast at midnight. After taking prasadam I have often heard them comment that the feast was odd and strange, presumably because they don’t know or understand that the feast was a non grain one.

So somehow we have to maintain our personal purity on these days but at same time have either some nice first class ekadasi preps or for the guests some regular prasadam that is also nice and first class

Comment posted by bkt-jace on December 20th, 2007
37 varahanarasimha

dear Antaryami Prabhu
PAMHO
AGTSP
When we discuss such issues we should not just give our personal opinions , like you have done in text 35, I have already proven from sastra and Srila Prabhupadas quotes that Srila Prabhupada said ekadasi feast on Gaura Purnima and Ramanavami—you can do as you please in your home..but for temple standard not to follow Srila Prabhupadas and sastras standard is a deviation. Eating grains on Visnutattva apperance days is an
offense.Like you many don’t consult with Srila Prabhhupadas instructions this is the sad affair of Kali yuga

So far the Advent Day of Lord Caitanya is concerned, I have written a full suggestion to Montreal, in which the main points are that we should all observe strict fasting up till moonrise, and at that time, an offering is made to Lord Caitanya of Ekadasi foods, fruits, peanuts, milk, and so forth. Then, on the next day, Friday the 15th, a full-scale feast is held to celebrate His Advent Day. On the 14th, chanting, reading of Srila Bhaktivinode’s book, Life and Precepts and Caitanya Caritamrta, Introduction to Bhagavatam, may be held all the day in the Temple.” (San Francisco, written 12th March 1968 letter to Balai)

I humbly suggest you try to understand these matters of fasting in the light of Srila Prabhupadas teachings and that of sastra–not some personal opinion is of relevance in this matter.
ys
Payonidhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 20th, 2007
38 varahanarasimha

Bhakta Jace wrote:

“It is not so easy to cook a nice ekadasi feast, it really needs a very experienced cook to manifest a wonderful ekadasi feast etc.”

I wrote priviously it is easier to simply make Gauranga Potatoes , fruit salad and home made lemonade– any cook that can’t make these needs to get out of the kitchen and do some other service.
It will free devotees from not having to spend hours in the kitchen they can use these days for what they are really for namely hearing and chanting about Krsna, and His
different avatars.
We are catering to much in ISKCON to guys that only come for the free feast anyway.
They have to be contend with what is offered and come back next day and have a nice feasts—temples are not meant to attrackt lazies and crazies anyway
Your servant
Payonidhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 20th, 2007
39 varahanarasimha

my response to Bhaktin Jace

you wrote:

It is not so easy to cook a nicee ekadasi feast, it really needs a very experienced cook to manifest a wonderful ekadasi feast etc.

As previously stated it is easy make Gauranga potatoes, a nice fruit salad and home made Lemonade,
everyone will be very satisfied and this will also free those in the kitchen to use these days like Janmastami and Gaura Purnima and other appearance days of Lord Visnu for hearing and chanting, this is what they are really meant for anyway ( I actually suggest to have all decorations done as much as possible the day before also, and alter preparations ready, ) then the focus can be on nice Deity worship and hearing and chanting, this will make everyone in an ecstatic mood—-no one should be cooking for hours on this day
-hearing the glories of Krsna— this focusing on Krsna Katha -or Hari Katha will make everyone very, very happy and ecstatic in KC.Plus there will be many extra guests to the temples on Janmastami, extra preachers and bookdistribution is also much needed , so a great day to preach also

your servant
Payonidhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 20th, 2007
40 Unregistered

In reply to Payonidhi Prabhu,

I agree with your points regarding being more organized the day or days before festivals making decorations etc - except for flower arrangments at times when flowers need to be baught fresh on the day etc - Rather than the festival day being more of a frantic rusing around to make final - arrangements- decorations etc

Saving more time on the Festival days for hearing and chanting and also for entertaining Guests who arrive and looking after the guests who arrive and showing them around answering there questions is as you say best and first class.

I agree with your idea of -Gauranga Potatoes - there is no doubt that its a transcendantal prep and everyone likes this one.

*Also deep fried Curd Subji chunks with Potatoe and Cauliflour with a roasted ground up light peanut sauce made with tomatoe sauce coconut and light small amount green chillis to aid digesting that combo and light spicing - is nice - and is easy to make

*Chidwa with peanuts rasins potatoe staws etc - ( can be made day before )

*Sago milk pudding with cardamon, rasins etc -

*Sago potatoe pakoras -

*some nice soup etc

( A balance of some subjis and Savouries and sweet prep(s) is nice combo
and a nice drink ir hot tea -Chi- as well -)

Fruits or Salad or lassi may not be so good late at night especially on Janmasthami or in winter climates -maybe Gaura Purnima its Ok -

I dont think many would be interested to eat fruits or salads late at night though and I’ve seen that at times these preps are not always finsished which is- natural occurance -when they are served especially after midnight, even Ayurvedically speaking its hard to digest cold foods late at night, as in bananas, watermelon and grapes.

Especially when one mixes them all together milk products fruits potatoe and deep fries late at night after fasting all day etc -

Jason

Comment posted by bkt-jace on December 22nd, 2007
41 varahanarasimha

Dear Devotees
Hare Krishna
Please accept my humble obaisences
All glories to Srila Prabhupada
There is something called the ” flexible standard” according to some devotees in the matter of fasting on Visnu tattva appearance days.
And they quote some times where Srila Prabhupada allegedly ate grains on certain appearance days. However we don’t know all the details why , or if that is even true, secondly, according to some Gaudiya standards children under 8 and old people over 80 does not have to do fasts the way the rest of society is supposed to do. I have looked for the over the 80 quote, and we have seen some sannyasis in India over the age of 80- they strictly observed the various days prescribed for fasting. (ekadasi and Visnutattva appearance days) . So for whatever reason Srila Prabhupada may on some occasions have taken grains like on some Rama navamis we don’t know the reason why, our personal suspicious is that there was no knowledge of the proper standard. And/or Srila Prabhupadas was not consulted.
However he certainly left us testimony to how fasting should be done on many Visnutattva appearance das’s - and as we have mentioned before Tamal Krsna Maharaja was told by Srila Prabhupada the proper standards for fasting should be instituted in all ISKCON temples, we have heard this from Maharaja in 1991-92 in Vrindavan .The under 8 , is there in Hari Bhakti Vilasa.
The brähmaëas, ksatriyas, vaisyas, südras, and all others who are pious, from the age of eight years and older, should observe this vow of Janmästami.

Srila Sanätana Gosvämé comments:

The same is true for observing ekädasi. In the scriptures it is said:

“Children eight years and older should also observe ekädasi.”

your servant

Payonidhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 25th, 2007
42 varahanarasimha

One devotee reminded me of this quote again:

“…. But because we cannot do it–in the kali-yuga the time is
different–therefore we are allowed to take little fruit and milk, which is
called anukalpa.” SP Lecture April 7th 1971

Srila Prabhupada want us to take anukalpa . prasadam which is like ekadasi on these days, how there can be any doubts is really strange any devotees argue like that, we should have a “flexible standard”

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on December 26th, 2007
43 varahanarasimha

ISKCON is a preaching movement, and to allow grains to be served on Ekadasi and Visnutattva days is bad preaching, first of all it is against sastra, and Srila Prabhupadas teachings, some may advocate a flexibal standard , but this is no where to be found in scriptures, thus if ISKCON allows serving grains on these days , we look like hippies from the 60th that has never understood more about vaisnavism than chanting and taking prasadam–but even Srila Prabhupada served cut fruits on the first Janmastami .He did the cooking himself in the early beginning untill some devotees learned from him.He was not flexible ,so why should ISKCON as a society? We are not hippys but devotees.
And the firt devotees and hippies accepted whatever Srila Prabhupada gave them, namely cut fruits…now who is demanding grains on Janmastami unless he is a fool number one?
Your servant
Payonidhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on January 2nd, 2008
44 varahanarasimha

Dear Maharaja’s and Prabhus

Please accept my humble obaisences

all glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I have mentioned this in my text about” No grains on Janmastami” on

Dandavats.com, by Krsna’s grace I found this today, that one should fast from age 8 to 80.though many vaisnava sannyasi and other vaisnavas keep strictly fasting after the age of 80, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada painstakingly showed us how to fast on these days even until the very end. Where he hardly touched any water even—Srila Prabhupada had trained himself to fast , and so should we as much as possible on these holy days.

ASTA VARSADHIKO MARTYO APURNA ASITI VATSARAH
EKADASYAM UPAVASET PAKSAYOR UBHAYOR API

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/75 from KATYAYANA SMRTI)

From the age of eight to the age of eighty, a person should fast on all of the Ekadasis on both the light and the dark parts of the month.

The same is clearly true for Visnu tattva appearance days.

Your servant

Payonidhi das

here are some verses that has greatly inspired me :

HRDAYE VARTATE YASYA SADA YOGESVARO HARIH
MATIR UTPADYATE TASYA DVADASI JAGAROPARI

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/87 from SKANDA PURANA Lord Brahma speaks to Narada Muni)

The Supreme Lord Hari, if He is in anybody’s heart, He will surely give him the intelligence to remain awake overnight on the Dvadasi fast day

SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM BHAKTYA PATHATE VISNU SANNIDHAU
JAGARE TAT PADAM YATI KULA VRNDA SAMANVITAM

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/131 from SKANDA PURANA and PRAHLADA SAMHITA conversation between Lord Brahma and Narada)

If anybody studies Srimad Bhagavatam with full devotion before the Deity of Lord Sri Hari, he will surely go to the spiritual abode with all of his ancestors.

DASTA KALI BHUJANGENA SVAPANTI MADHUHA DINE
KURVANTI JAGARAM NAIVA MAYA PASA VIMOHITAH

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/171 from SKANDA PURANA conversation between Lord Siva and Parvati)

Any person, who on the day of Lord Hari does not remain awake overnight and instead sleeps, one should understand that he has been caught with a one hundred-fold network of illusion and has been bitten by the snake of Kali-yuga.

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on January 4th, 2008
45 varahanarasimha

here is another quote by Srila Prabhupada:

Devotee: On Ekadasi, we can offer the Deity grains?
> Prabhupada: Oh, yes. But not guru. Ekadasi observed by jiva-tattva, not
> by Vishnu. We are fasting for clearing our material disease, but
> Radha-Krsna, Caitanya Mahaprabhu . . . Caitanya Mahaprabhu also may not
> be offered grains because He is playing the part of a devotee. Only
> Radha-Krsna, Jagannatha can be
> offered grains. Otherwise, Guru-Gauranga, no. And the prasadam should not
> be taken by anyone. It should be kept for the next day. [Srila Prabhupada
> Room Conversation, Tokyo, April 22, 1972]
>
> If ISKCON temples allow grains on Visnuttatva days ,then there is no
> fasting really, and the material disease is not cured as Srila Prabhupada
> has described above
>
> ys
> Payonidhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on January 7th, 2008
46 varahanarasimha

Srila Prabhupada took grains prasadam on some occasions when devotees forgot to tell him:

There is an example of this in Hari Sauri Prabhus “Transcendental Diary”

Balrama’s appearance day 1976 (from TD4):

August 10th, 1976
Today is the appearance of Lord Baladeva, but we all broke the fast because
no one checked the calendar until it was too late. Srila Prabhupada wasn’t
happy about it but didn’t react too strongly. He simply told us to observe
it tomorrow.

your servant
Payonidhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on January 12th, 2008
47 varahanarasimha

in Hari Sauri Prabhus transcendental Diary we also read:

August 18th, 1976
Today is Sri Krsna Janmastami. We are fasting all day until midnight.
Surprisingly, considering his weak condition, Srila Prabhupada said that he
would also observe the whole fast. He has also contracted a slight case of
dysentery since his arrival here.
….
In the late evening Srila Prabhupada asked Palika to cook ekadasi-prasadam.

She served it to him around 10:45 p.m. We were all amazed that he had
managed to complete the fast.
[note: the public were also served ekadasi prasadam after the midnight
arati]

This is another example of Srila Prabhupada taking ekadasi prasadam on Janmastami

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on January 13th, 2008
48 Akruranatha

There is a wider question about how much of Hari Bhakti Vilas should ISKCON incorporate, and when.

Srila Prabhupada himself gradually introduced better standards of deity worship, but started out with hippies making circles with a candle in front of Lord Jagannatha as they danced.

I do not know whether Prabhupada eventually introduced all of the rules we now have in Arcana Padhati and the Mayapur Academy and so on. I imagine he wants us to introduce all the rules eventually, but the question remains:

If we are to “gradually” introduce some improved standards, how gradually? In 5 years, 50 years, 100 years?

How should we decide when (and where) to change the way Prabhupada taught us to do things, to conform more with orthodox received Gaudiya Vaisnava rituals and practices? Is there any risk of “jumping over” Srila Prabhupada’s instructions? Is there a risk that we may lose the potency of Srila Prabhupada’s expert knowledge of how to apply Krishna Consciousness according to time, place and circumstance?

Srila Prabhupada used to initiate sannyasis without changing their names, just by adding “Swami” or “Das Goswami.” Now it has become common in ISKCON for sannyasis to be given sannyasi names like Madhava, Govinda, Tirtha, Puri, Kesava, etc. and give up the names Prabhupada gave them.

I get the impression this is how Gaudiya Math does it. But shouldn’t we at least ask ourselves, why did Prabhupada not introduce this? Are there any instructions Srila Prabhupada gave regarding changing the way we give sannyas names?

(I am sure our leaders must have asked and satisfied themselves about this, but I am curious to hear their explanations and answers.)

Sometimes Prabhupada did things differently in India, particularly in terms of social considerations (like women pujaris).

Our natural tendency is to think that Indian standards or Six Goswami standards are always higher, but is there also the possibility that even the Goswamis were accommodating the social expectations of 16th century Hinduism (which had fallen off from true Vedic culture)? Might Prabhupada have given us improvements for our time?

I heard a lecture recently where Prabhupada told a story of a man who made a business by marrying 64 girls whose families needed to marry them into his rare sub-caste. Prabhupada’s mood seemed to be to astonish us at a bizarre aspect of early 20th Century Bengali Hinduism. He clearly didn’t want us to adopt this casteism.

Comment posted by Akruranatha on January 13th, 2008
49 varahanarasimha

Srila Prabhupada has many times stated we don’t need to manufacture anything, we simply follow the privious acaryas–there is no evidence that Srila Prabhupada ever allowed grains on Visnu tattva apperance days- and Srila Prabhupada instructions regarding fasting speaks for themselves- some temples have actually changed from the stricter standard of ekadasi prasadam to grain feasts—my question is based on whoes authority–?
The eating of grain on Visnutattva days is clearly a manufactured standard ,that has zero basis in Srila Prabhupadas teachings.
The question is do we want to follow Srila Prabhupadas instructions, or someone manufactured standard?
It is very simple.

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on January 14th, 2008
50 varahanarasimha

what question is there of gradually introducing things, Srila Prabhupada stated 40 years ago:

So far the Advent Day of Lord Caitanya is concerned, I have written a full suggestion to Montreal, in which the main points are that we should all observe strict fasting up till moonrise, and at that time, an offering is made to Lord Caitanya of Ekadasi foods, fruits, peanuts, milk, and so forth. Then, on the next day, Friday the 15th, a full-scale feast is held to celebrate His Advent Day. On the 14th, chanting, reading of Srila Bhaktivinode’s book, Life and Precepts and Caitanya Caritamrta, Introduction to Bhagavatam, may be held all the day in the Temple.” (San Francisco, written 12th March 1968 letter to Balai)

The question is why is it taking 40 years for some temples to not come up to this standard?
ys
Payonidhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on January 14th, 2008
51 varahanarasimha

PAMHO
AGTSP
It is very interesting to see how Kesava Kasmiri places one that does not offer food to Krsna
and does not observe ekadasi-as more sinful than a person that lives a life of debauchery.Then what to speak of those that cause others to eat grains on ekadasi.It does not mention Visnutattva appearance days, in India we sometime see people that strictly follow Visnu tattva days but don’t understand about ekadasi- but surely we are not trying to add anything ,that is not there in the purport.Just an observation.Of course debauchery is a terrible sin too, but that not following ekadasi is more sinful is an eye opener

madhava-tithi, bhakti-janani, jatane palana kori, krsna-basoti, basoti boli’, parama adare bori

[”I very carefully observe the holy days like Ekadasi and Janmastami for they are the mother of devotion. Krsna stays in these tithis, so by honoring them we can easily achieve Him. By deeply respecting Krsna’s lila-sthana (pastime places), they will give me their blessings.” (Suddha-Bhakata by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, verse 2)]

Madhava-tithi bhakti-janani, jatane palana kori. Jatane means carefully. There is no question of neglecting Ekadasi. and Janmastami. Krsna Himself has becomes these Tithis ,how can any sane person ,eat grains on these days if he is careful?Eating grains on either is neglecting Krsna, and offending Krsna.

ys
Payonidhi das

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary to Gita 9.30

Lord Krishna expounds upon the wonderful position of His devotee emphasising it with the words api cet suduracaro bhajate mam meaning even if a person of extremely abominable habits worships Him exclusively they are laudable. The devotees of Lord Krishna can never be abominable sinners but if some how or other they took birth in a low caste or even out of caste due to sinful reactions such as blaspheming the Vedic scriptures in a previous life; or even if born in a higher caste from righteous family one deviates from righteous conduct as prescribed for their caste and instead lives a life of debauchery due to making offences against devotees in a previous life. Both are equally unfit to be considered pious yet if in spite of this they worship the Supreme Lord exclusively then they are praiseworthy. One who is even more sinful then the two aforesaid mentioned who has incurred great sins such as eating food before offering it unto the Supreme Lord, who eats grains on Ekadasi the 11th day before the new and full moons,

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on January 16th, 2008
52 Locanananda dasa

Dear Payonidhi Prabhu — In comment #51, I believe you meant to say “Ekadasi, the eleventh day AFTER the new and full moons.” You can refer to Srila Prabhupada’s instruction that devotees should shave their heads once a month on the full moon day, which falls four days AFTER the Ekadasi day.

Thank you for your most erudite comments on this thread.

Your servant,
Locanananda dasa
NYC

Comment posted by Locanananda dasa on January 19th, 2008
53 varahanarasimha

Dear Locananda Prabhu
Please accept my humble obaisences
all glories to Srila Prabhupada
Yes that is a mistake it should read 11 days after full moon, thank you.
I have not seen that letter by Srila Prabhupada about shaving on purnima-full moon days- but this is the standard followed in Gaudiya math based on Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupadas instructions, the brahmacaries and sannyasis only cut beards and hair on this day, they shave up, however Srila Prabhupada did not like this standard for ISKCON, he wanted no beards like in Gaudiya math.But traditionally the best day for shaving ,or shaving up is clearly full moon days.
You are very kind Prabhu, I am just trying to bring to attention that some changes is needed, and we should not offend the Supreme Lord ,Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu by eating grains on His apperance day, it is not a sign of love, but of disrespect. And disrespect to Srila Prabhupada very clear instuctions on this subject. Arjuna mentions in the Bhagavad Gita that those who destroy family traditions reside eternally in hell..can we imagine the destination of those who brake ancient vaisnava tradtions?
Your servant
Payonidhi das

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on January 19th, 2008
54 varahanarasimha

I just checked back , and it seems lot of devotees have read this discussion, I really pray to Krsna that many devotees have stopped taking grains on Janmastami as it is detrimental to spiritual advancement

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on September 24th, 2008

Comments are closed. Please check back later.

 
 
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