Dear BhakthAs :
The famous slOkam is :na GaayathryA para manthra: na Maathu para dhaivatham na KaasyA: paramam theertham na EkAdasyA : samam vratham
(Meaning ) : There is no manthram that is superior to Gaayathri manthram ; there is no dhaivam superior toone's mother; there is no sanctifying theertham bettertha Kaasi and there is no vratham that is more sacred than EkAdasi Vratham .
King RukmAngathA , NampAduvAN Kaisikan , our AchAryAsof all Vaidhika mathams have demonstrated the greatnessand power of observing EkAdasi Vratham .Through his observanceof EkAdasi vratham , a Harijan like NampAduvAn has reached such an exalted status to get an EkAdasiand a chapter of Varaha PurAnam named after him (Kaisika EkAdasi and kaisika MahAthmyam ).Sri ParasaraBhattar wrote a commentary on the Kaisika PurANam inTamil .Parasara Bhattar read this work in fornt ofSri renganathA Vrisichika Maasa (Nov-Dec ) sulka paksah EkAdasi and was recognized by Sri RanganAthAwith a Brahma ratham ( Being carried around the streetsof Srirangam on a palanquin bt BrahmaNAs .
Of all EkAdasis , The one connected with Dhanur MaasaSukla Paksha EkAdasi is the most exalted and is known as Sri Vaikunta EkAdasi .There are number of reasons assoicated with the special significance of this EkAdasi:
(1) This is the day of the churning of the Milky Ocean for nectar . Besides Amrutham , KaamadhEnu , Ucchaisravas ,Iraavatham , Kalpa Vruksham , Apsaras , Kousthubham ,and PaarijAtha Pushpam appeared as a result of the churning .
(2) The most exalted of auspiciousness that happened on this day is the appearnac eof MahA Lakshmi .She appeared with the golden color ( HiraNya VarNAmHariNIm SuvarN arajathasrajAm ) and shining with Herinnate glory like a cool moon ( ChandhrAm prabhAsAm YasasA jvalanthIm ).Like a brilliant lightning boltout of the sky , she incarnated right in front of the Lord engaged in churning the Ocean and madeall the directions shine with Her glory ( Ranjayanthidisa: kAnthyA Vidhyuth SoudhAmini YathA ).
(3)BhagavAn Dhanvanthri appeared thereafter with the amrutha Kalasam ( AmruthApUrNa KalasamBibhrath Valaya BhUshitha: ).
(4) according to one school , the day of the GitAUpadesam to Arjuna by the Lord on the battle field is said to be on Sri Vaikunta EkAdasi day . Some opine that it was oon Vijaya dasami day . Our Lord commentedon the significance of GitA in VarAha PurANam this way :
GitA jn~Anam upAsrithya ThrIn lOkAn PaalayAmyaham
GitA mE paramA vidhyA Brahma RoopA na Samsaya: et al
(Meaning ): I am rooted in GitA .The passages ofGitA are sections of my temple. Thru the Jn~Ana Saaram housed in GitA , I rule the three worlds. GitA is my supreme Vidhyai ( UpadEsam/revealed knowledge to reach me ).It points out to the way for Moksham . It can not beseperated from Me. It is beyond the limits of Desam , Kaalam and other limitations . This is the essence of VedAs and Upanishads .It is the key toto open the lock of Athma VichAram and to gainMoksha Siddhi. That is why the day of birth ofthis sacred revelation ,Sri Vaikunta Ekadasi day isconsiderd the most sacred .
Lord parthasarathy says further :
yOashtadasajapO nithyam narO niscchala maanasa:
Jn~Ana siddhim sa labathE tathO yAthi param padham
(Meaning ) : The One who reads all the 18 chapters of myGithOpanishad and meditates as well as comprehends the meaningsof the verses, will come sthitha Praj~nan , achieve Jn~Anasampath and finally reach the safety and comfort of the shadow of my feet and gets fulfilled in his life'spurpose .
The tattvam behind Sri Vaikunta EkAdasi orMokshEkAdasi is the principles taught by Sri parthasArathy to us through ArjunA asan excuse . They are the essence of VedAs ,Upnishads , AnushtAnAs , ashtAnga Yogam et al . Those who are bot able to comprehend the esoteric doctrines of the Vedas , Upanishads or able to practiseanushtAnams and Yogams can wake up in Brahma muhUrtham on the month declared as the most holy by GitAchAryan( MaasAnAm margasIrsham ) , recite ThirupaLLIyezucchi ,ThiruppAvai ,, paticipate in the Thiru Adhyayana Uthsavam and on Sri Vaikunta EkAdasi day travel with the Lord thru parama padha Vaasal and get Moksha Siddhi . The Lord Himself enacts the role of a Mumukshu on this day .
We will continue with the celebrations inSrirangam on this Sri Vaikunta EkAdasi day in our next posting .Sri Periya PerumAL THiruvadigaLE SaraNam ,Daasan , Venkatesulu.P