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Stories and Anecdotes about Ekādaśī

Deliverance of a brahma-rākṣasa

Pūjyapāda Śrīmad Bhakti-bhūdeva Śrautī Mahārāja—the disciple of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Prabhupāda was preaching in the East India. He was a close friend and Godbrother of Parama-gurudeva Śrīla Bhakti-prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja. He preached the pure devotion to the elderly people as well as children in the villages. After one such village preaching program, he inquired from the children of the village if there was any suitable place to stay in the night. The children directed him to a nearby abandoned
house. He entered the isolated home, laid down his mat and proceeded to take rest for the night.

About twelve in the midnight he heard a ferocious voice waking up, “I am a brahma-rākṣasa. I devour anyone who stays in this house. I am also going to devour you.” Despite hearing the ferocious voice, Śrīmad Bhakti-bhūdeva Śrautī Mahārāja remained completely unperturbed. He contemplated in his mind that only way to rescue this wretched soul suffering in the ghostly body is to donate him the benefit of one ekādaśī.

The ghostly body is generally even more painful than the existence in the hell. As soon as Śrīmad Bhakti-bhūdeva Śrautī Mahārāja took water in his hand and sprinkled in the direction of the brahma-rākṣasa, bestowing upon him the benefit of one ekādaśī, a voice came in that direction – “Thank you very much for delivering me. Your bestowal of the benefit of one ekādaśī has rescued from the ghastly body of a brahmarākṣasa.

I am feeling a tremendous relief. I cannot repay for your magnanimous gift. I will remained eternally indebted to
you..

Offering obeisances to Śrīmad Bhakti-bhūdeva Śrautī Mahārāja, that soul left for a better body where he could practice the limbs of devotional service.

 

Safe Delivery

A daughter-in-law of one devotee mātājī was going to give birth to a child. The doctor prescribed the cesarean15 delivery predicting the normal delivery to be impossible and dangerous. Mātājī requested five minutes of time from the doctor to arrive upon a decision and called up Śrīpāda Bhaktivedānta Daṇḍī Mahārāja. Śrīpāda Bhaktivedānta Daṇḍī Mahārāja bestowed the benefit of one ekādaśī fast to the mother. After five minutes, the doctor changed the mind and proceeded with the normal delivery.

 

Remote Relief

One devotee Śrī Śivarāja Kṛsṇa Dāsa, a disciple of Śrīpāda Bhaktivedānta Daṇḍī Mahārāja, is an Engineer in Bangalore.

He visited Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma for annual parikramā with the group about seventy devotees from Bangalore by train. 15The delivery of a fetus by surgical incision through the abdominal wall and uterus (from the belief that Julius Caesar was born that way)

Meanwhile his elder brother in Bangalore suffered a cardiac arrest and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit in a Bangalore hospital. For about fifteen days, he was a borderline case crisscrossing the thin line of life and death. His relatives phoned Kṛṣṇa Dāsa and reported him about the illhealth of his brother. On hearing this, Śrī Śivarāja Kṛṣṇa Dāsa felt very worried, but he expressed his inability to help as he was situated so far away from Bangalore. That very moment, he took some water in his hands and releasing that water on the ground, he bestowed the benefit of one ekādaśī to his ailing elder brother. Instantaneously his elder brother came out of the comatose condition and began feebly inquire about Śrī Śivarāja Kṛṣṇa Dāsa. Everyone told him that Śrī Śivarāja Kṛṣṇa
Dāsa has gone for Navadvīpa Parikramā and will return only after ten days.

Upon the return of Śrī Śivarāja Kṛṣṇa Dāsa, he saw that his elder brother was coming running to greet him. His elder brother hugged him tightly and thanked him profusely for saving his life. Even with the best of the medical care available, the bestowal of the benefit of one ekādaśī fast had rescued the elder brother of Kṛṣṇa from the ferocious jaws of Yamarāja, the god of death. The elder brother was fully aware of this and therefore he was reluctant to let go of his younger brother Kṛṣṇa Dāsa, clutching him tightly with the fraternal affection.

Afterward, the elder brother also took a vow to observe the vow of ekādaśī with complete steadfastness. Having personally experienced the live-saving grace of the vow of ekādaśī, he had developed a steadfast attachment for the observance of the
vow of ekādaśī.

Two Muslim brothers

Two Muslim brothers in a city of India were living a handto-mouth existence. They used to pull luggage carts (rikshwas)on the streets.

Once one rich businessman hired them for transporting a lot of goods from one location to another. It was the day of Śuddhā Ekādśī.

Both the cart-puller brotherscompletely unaware that it was the day of ekādaśī, kept on drawing the carts all day long transporting the goods in the hot sun. They had not taken any food or water that particular day. Due to the sweltering heat, exertion, thirst and hunger, they breathed their last and were taken to the hell by the associated of Lord Yama (the god of death).

On arrival in the hell, they saw that the residents of the hell were suffering from the unbearable torture at the hands of attendants of Yamarāja. They screaming, lamenting and wailing in piteous voices. None was rescuing them from that hellish torment. Sensing the horrible future awaiting them, the two cart-puller brothers began to tremble with fear.

Yamarāja inquired from Citragupta who keeps the records of one’s sins and pious merits. Citragupta reported that these two brothers had not performed no pious activity and engaged in many sinful activities, however they had fasted even from water until afternoon on the day of ekādaśī, therefore they had earned the merit of observing partial vow of ekādaśī. Hearing this, Yamarāja ordered the immediate release of those two brothers and had sent escorted back to the earth planet with full respect.

On coming back to life, the two brothers reminisced and became overjoyed on experiencing the glories of ekādaśī vrata personally.

On one particular ekādaśī, they went to attend the discourse of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam given by one professional reciter of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. After the discourse, everyone was offered grain prasāda by the organizers of the event. However these two Muslim brothers flatly refused to accept any grain prasāda citing the day of ekādaśī. They recounted the entire episode of their going to the hell and being pardoned by Yamarāja personally due to the partial observance of the vow of ekādaśī.

On hearing their account, the Hindu members of the audience also took the vow of observing the complete fast from grains and beans on the day of ekādaśī. ekādaśī fast is indeed the panacea for those who are already suffering the hellish torment and those who are destined to the hell.

Ekādaśī is the mother of Kṛṣṇa- Bhakti, love and affection. If you do not follow ekādaśī, Kṛṣṇa- Bhakti will never come.