Welcome

यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत ।
अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम्‌ ॥

भावार्थ : हे भारत! जब-जब धर्म की हानि और अधर्म की वृद्धि होती है, तब-तब ही मैं अपने रूप को रचता हूँ अर्थात साकार रूप से लोगों के सम्मुख प्रकट होता हूँ॥7॥

Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion—at that time I descend Myself.

PURPORT

The word srjami is significant herein. Srjami cannot be used in the sense of creation, because, according to the previous verse, there is no creation of the Lord's form or body, since all of the forms are eternally existent. Therefore srjami means that the Lord manifests Himself as He is. Although the Lord appears on schedule, namely at the end of Dvapara-yuga of the twenty-eighth millennium of the eighth Manu, in one day of Brahma, still He has no obligation to adhere to such rules and regulations because He is completely free to act in many ways at His will. He therefore appears by His own will whenever there is a predominance of irreligiosity and a disappearance of true religion. Principles of religion are laid down in the Vedas, and any discrepancy in the matter of properly executing the rules of the Vedas makes one irreligious. In the Bhagavatam it is stated that such principles are the laws of the Lord. Only the Lord can manufacture a system of religion. The Vedas are also accepted as originally spoken by the Lord Himself to Brahma, from within his heart. Therefore, the principles of dharma, or religion, are the direct orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (dharmam tu saksat-bhagavat-pranitam). These principles are clearly indicated throughout the Bhagavad-gita. The purpose of the Vedas is to establish such principles under the order of the Supreme Lord, and the Lord directly orders, at the end of the Gita, that the highest principle of religion is to surrender unto Him only, and nothing more. The Vedic principles push one towards complete surrender unto Him; and, whenever such principles are disturbed by the demonic, the Lord appears. From the Bhagavatam we understand that Lord Buddha is the incarnation of Krsna who appeared when materialism was rampant and materialists were using the pretext of the authority of the Vedas. Although there are certain restrictive rules and regulations regarding animal sacrifice for particular purposes in the Vedas, people of demonic tendency still took to animal sacrifice without reference to the Vedic principles. Lord Buddha appeared to stop this nonsense and to establish the Vedic principles of nonviolence. Therefore each and every avatara, or incarnation of the Lord, has a particular mission, and they are all described in the revealed scriptures. No one should be accepted as an avatara unless he is referred to by scriptures. It is not a fact that the Lord appears only on Indian soil. He can advent Himself anywhere and everywhere, and whenever He desires to appear. In each and every incarnation, He speaks as much about religion as can be understood by the particular people under their particular circumstances. But the mission is the same—to lead people to God consciousness and obedience to the principles of religion. Sometimes He descends personally, and sometimes He sends His bona fide representative in the form of His son, or servant, or Himself in some disguised form.

The principles of the Bhagavad-gita were spoken to Arjuna, and, for that matter, to other highly elevated persons, because he was highly advanced compared to ordinary persons in other parts of the world. Two plus two equals four is a mathematical principle that is true both in the beginner's arithmetic class and in the advanced class as well. Still, there are higher and lower mathematics. In all incarnations of the Lord, therefore, the same principles are taught, but they appear to be higher and lower in varied circumstances. The higher principles of religion begin with the acceptance of the four orders and the four statuses of social life, as will be explained later. The whole purpose of the mission of incarnations is to arouse Krsna consciousness everywhere. Such consciousness is manifest and nonmanifest only under different circumstances.

 

अजोऽपि सन्नव्ययात्मा भूतानामीश्वरोऽपि सन्‌ ।
प्रकृतिं स्वामधिष्ठाय सम्भवाम्यात्ममायया ॥

भावार्थ : मैं अजन्मा और अविनाशीस्वरूप होते हुए भी तथा समस्त प्राणियों का ईश्वर होते हुए भी अपनी प्रकृति को अधीन करके अपनी योगमाया से प्रकट होता हूँ॥6॥

Although I am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates, and although I am the Lord of all sentient beings, I still appear in every millennium in My original transcendental form.

PURPORT

The Lord has spoken about the peculiarity of His birth: although He may appear like an ordinary person, He remembers everything of His many, many past "births," whereas a common man cannot remember what he has done even a few hours before. If someone is asked what he did exactly at the same time one day earlier, it would be very difficult for a common man to answer immediately. He would surely have to dredge his memory to recall what he was doing exactly at the same time one day before. And yet, men often dare claim to be God, or Krsna. One should not be misled by such meaningless claims. Then again, the Lord explains His prakrti or His form. Prakrti means nature as well as svarupa, or one's own form. The Lord says that He appears in His own body. He does not change His body, as the common living entity changes from one body to another. The conditioned soul may have one kind of body in the present birth, but he has a different body in the next birth. In the material world, the living entity has no fixed body but transmigrates from one body to another. The Lord, however, does not do so. Whenever He appears, He does so in the same original body, by His internal potency. In other words, Krsna appears in this material world in His original eternal form, with two hands, holding a flute. He appears exactly in His eternal body, uncontaminated by this material world. Although He appears in the same transcendental body and is Lord of the universe, it still appears that He takes His birth like an ordinary living entity. Despite the fact Lord Krsna grows from childhood to boyhood and from boyhood to youth, astonishingly enough He never ages beyond youth. At the time of the Battle of Kuruksetra, He had many grandchildren at home; or, in other words, He had sufficiently aged by material calculations. Still He looked just like a young man twenty or twenty-five years old. We never see a picture of Krsna in old age because He never grows old like us, although He is the oldest person in the whole creation—past, present, and future. Neither His body nor His intelligence ever deteriorates or changes. Therefore, it is clear that in spite of His being in the material world, He is the same unborn, eternal form of bliss and knowledge, changeless in His transcendental body and intelligence. Factually, His appearance and disappearance are like the sun's rising, moving before us, and then disappearing from our eyesight. When the sun is out of sight, we think that the sun is set, and when the sun is before our eyes, we think that the sun is on the horizon. Actually, the sun is always in its fixed position, but owing to our defective, insufficient senses, we calculate the appearance and disappearance of the sun in the sky. And, because His appearance and disappearance are completely different from that of any ordinary, common living entity, it is evident that He is eternal, blissful knowledge by His internal potency—and He is never contaminated by material nature. The Vedas also confirm that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is unborn, yet He still appears to take His birth in multi-manifestations. The Vedic supplementary literatures also confirm that even though the Lord appears to be taking His birth, He is still without change of body. In the Bhagavatam, He appears before His mother as Narayana, with four hands and the decorations of the six kinds of full opulences. His appearance in His original eternal form is His causeless mercy, according to the Visvakosa dictionary. The Lord is conscious of all of His previous appearances and disappearances, but a common living entity forgets everything about his past body as soon as he gets another body. He is the Lord of all living entities because He performs wonderful and superhuman activities while He is on this earth. Therefore, the Lord is always the same Absolute Truth and is without differentiation between His form and self, or between His quality and body. A question may now be raised as to why the Lord appears and disappears in this world. This is explained in the next verse.

 

अजोऽपि सन्नव्ययात्मा भूतानामीश्वरोऽपि सन्‌ ।
प्रकृतिं स्वामधिष्ठाय सम्भवाम्यात्ममायया ॥

भावार्थ : मैं अजन्मा और अविनाशीस्वरूप होते हुए भी तथा समस्त प्राणियों का ईश्वर होते हुए भी अपनी प्रकृति को अधीन करके अपनी योगमाया से प्रकट होता हूँ॥6॥

Although I am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates, and although I am the Lord of all sentient beings, I still appear in every millennium in My original transcendental form.

PURPORT

The Lord has spoken about the peculiarity of His birth: although He may appear like an ordinary person, He remembers everything of His many, many past "births," whereas a common man cannot remember what he has done even a few hours before. If someone is asked what he did exactly at the same time one day earlier, it would be very difficult for a common man to answer immediately. He would surely have to dredge his memory to recall what he was doing exactly at the same time one day before. And yet, men often dare claim to be God, or Krsna. One should not be misled by such meaningless claims. Then again, the Lord explains His prakrti or His form. Prakrti means nature as well as svarupa, or one's own form. The Lord says that He appears in His own body. He does not change His body, as the common living entity changes from one body to another. The conditioned soul may have one kind of body in the present birth, but he has a different body in the next birth. In the material world, the living entity has no fixed body but transmigrates from one body to another. The Lord, however, does not do so. Whenever He appears, He does so in the same original body, by His internal potency. In other words, Krsna appears in this material world in His original eternal form, with two hands, holding a flute. He appears exactly in His eternal body, uncontaminated by this material world. Although He appears in the same transcendental body and is Lord of the universe, it still appears that He takes His birth like an ordinary living entity. Despite the fact Lord Krsna grows from childhood to boyhood and from boyhood to youth, astonishingly enough He never ages beyond youth. At the time of the Battle of Kuruksetra, He had many grandchildren at home; or, in other words, He had sufficiently aged by material calculations. Still He looked just like a young man twenty or twenty-five years old. We never see a picture of Krsna in old age because He never grows old like us, although He is the oldest person in the whole creation—past, present, and future. Neither His body nor His intelligence ever deteriorates or changes. Therefore, it is clear that in spite of His being in the material world, He is the same unborn, eternal form of bliss and knowledge, changeless in His transcendental body and intelligence. Factually, His appearance and disappearance are like the sun's rising, moving before us, and then disappearing from our eyesight. When the sun is out of sight, we think that the sun is set, and when the sun is before our eyes, we think that the sun is on the horizon. Actually, the sun is always in its fixed position, but owing to our defective, insufficient senses, we calculate the appearance and disappearance of the sun in the sky. And, because His appearance and disappearance are completely different from that of any ordinary, common living entity, it is evident that He is eternal, blissful knowledge by His internal potency—and He is never contaminated by material nature. The Vedas also confirm that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is unborn, yet He still appears to take His birth in multi-manifestations. The Vedic supplementary literatures also confirm that even though the Lord appears to be taking His birth, He is still without change of body. In the Bhagavatam, He appears before His mother as Narayana, with four hands and the decorations of the six kinds of full opulences. His appearance in His original eternal form is His causeless mercy, according to the Visvakosa dictionary. The Lord is conscious of all of His previous appearances and disappearances, but a common living entity forgets everything about his past body as soon as he gets another body. He is the Lord of all living entities because He performs wonderful and superhuman activities while He is on this earth. Therefore, the Lord is always the same Absolute Truth and is without differentiation between His form and self, or between His quality and body. A question may now be raised as to why the Lord appears and disappears in this world. This is explained in the next verse.

 

Magh-Krishna Ekadasi, or Sat-Tilaa Ekadasi
Sri Daalbhya Rishi said to Palastya Muni, When the spirit soul comes in contact with the material energy, he immediately begins to perform sinful activities, such as stealing, killing, and illicit sex. He may even perform many other terrible deeds, such as killing a Brahmin.
Oh purest of personalities, please tell me how these unfortunate souls may escape the punishment of being sent to hellish regions of creation. Kindly inform me how, by giving even a little in charity, one may be easily released from the reactions of his sins. Pulastya Muni replied, Oh fortunate one, you have asked me an important and confidential question, which not even Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva or Indra has ever asked. Please listen very carefully to my answer. With the arrival of the month of Magh (January - February), one should bathe, carefully control his senses by giving up lust, anger, pride, jealousy, faultfinding, and greed, and meditate on the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. One should then gather up some cow dung before it touches the ground and, after mixing it with sesame seeds and cotton, form 108 balls. This should be done on the day when the constellation of Purva-ashadha nakshatra arrives. Then one should follow the rules and regulations of Sri Ekadasi, which I shall now explain to you. After bathing, the person who intends to observe Ekadasi should worship the Supreme Lord. While praying to Lord Sri Krishna by chanting His holy name, he should promise to observe the Ekadasi fast. He should remain awake overnight and perform a homa (fire sacrifice). Then the devotee should perform an Arati ceremony for the pleasure of the Lord - Who holds a conch, disk, club, and so on in His hands - offering Him sandalwood paste to his feet, incense, camphor, a bright ghee lamp, and delicious food preparations. Next the devotee should offer the 108 balls of cow dung, sesame seeds, and cotton wool into the sacred fire whilst chanting such holy names of the Lord as Purusha sukta, and other names. Throughout the whole day and night he should also observe the standard Ekadasi vrata (fast, which in this case is a fast from all kinds of grains and beans). On this occasion one should offer the Lord - pumpkin, coconut, and guava. If these items are unavailable, betel nut may be substituted. The devotee should pray to Lord Sri Janardana, the benefactor of all living beings, in this way; Oh Lord Sri Krishna, You are the most merciful Lord and the giver of liberation to all fallen souls. Oh Lord, we have fallen into the ocean of material existence. Please be kind to us. Oh lotus-eyed divinity, please accept our most humble, affectionate and respectful obeisances. Oh protector of the entire world, we offer You our humble respects again and again. Oh Supreme Spirit, Oh Supreme One, Oh source of all our forefathers, may You and Your eternal consort, Srimati Laxmi-devi, please accept these humble offerings. The devotee should then try to please a qualified Brahmin with a warm welcome, a pot full of water (prune cumber), an umbrella, a pair of shoes, and clothes (cloth - Doha, and Ana vesture), requesting him at the same time to bestow his blessings, by which one may develop unalloyed love for Lord Sri Krishna. According to one's ability, one may also donate a black cow to such a Brahmin, particularly to one who is very well versed in all the injunctions of the Vedic scriptures. One should also offer him a pot full of sesame seeds. Oh exalted Daalbhya Muni, black sesame seeds are especially suitable for formal worship and fire sacrifices while white or brown ones are meant to be eaten by a qualified Brahmin. One who can arrange to give both kinds of sesame seeds (black and white or brown) especially on this Sat-tilaa Ekadasi day will be promoted to at least the heavenly planets after leaving this present body, for as many thousands of years as the number of seeds that would be produced if the seeds he donated were sown in the ground and grew into mature, seed bearing plants. On this Ekadasi a faithful person should 1. bathe in the water mixed with sesame seeds, 2. rub sesame seed paste on his body, 3. offer sesame seeds into the fire in sacrifice, 4. water with sesame seeds, 5. eat sesame seeds, 6. give sesame seeds away in charity. These are the six (sat) ways in which sesame seeds (tilaa) are utilized for spiritual purification on this Ekadasi. Therefore it is called Sat-tilaa Ekadasi. The great Devarishi Naarad Muni once asked the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna, Oh mighty armed Lord, Oh You who are so affectionate to Your loving devotees, please accept my most humble obeisances. Oh Yaadava, kindly tell me the result one obtains by observing Sat-tilaa Ekadasi. Lord Sri Krishna replied, Oh best of the twice born Brahmins, I shall narrate to you an account of an incident I personally witnessed. Long ago on earth there lived an old female brahmini who worshipped Me every day with controlled senses. She very faithfully observed many a fast, especially on special days honoring Me and served Me with full devotion, devoid of any personal motive. Her rigorous fasting made her quite weak and thin. She gave charity to Brahmans and to young maidens (kanyas), and even planned to give away her house in charity. Oh best of the Brahmans although this spiritually minded woman gave charitable donations to worthy people, the odd feature of her austerity was that she never gave food to Brahmans or the devas (demigods). I began to reflect on this curious omission: This fine woman has purified herself by fasting on all the auspicious occasions and by offering Me strict devotional worship. Therefore she certainly has become eligible to enter My personal abode, which is unattainable by ordinary persons. So I came down to this planet to examine her, disguising Myself as a beggar. As I approached her, she said to Me, "Oh respectful one, tell me truthfully why You have come before Me". I replied, Oh beautiful one, I have come to get some sacred alms from you - whereupon she angrily threw a dense lump of mud into My begging pot! Oh Naarada Muni I simply turned around and went back to My personal abode astonished at this fine Brahmani's peculiar mixture of great magnanimity and stinginess. At last this austere lady reached the spiritual world in her self-same body, so great were her efforts at fasting and charity. And because she had indeed offered Me a lump of mud, I transformed that mud into a beautiful home. However, Oh Naradaji, this particular house was just like that mud completely devoid of any edible grains, as well as any furniture or ornamentation, and when she entered it she found only an empty structure. She therefore approached Me and said with great anger. I have fasted repeatedly n so many auspicious occasions, making my body weak and thin. I have worshipped You and prayed to You in so many different ways for You are truly the master and protector of all the universes. Yet despite all this there is no food or wealth to be seen in my new home, Oh Janardana, please tell me. Why is this? I replied, Please return to your house. Sometime later the wives of the devas (demigods) will pay you a visit out of curiosity to see the new arrival, but do not open your door until they have described to you the glories and importance of Sat-tilaa Ekadasi. Hearing this, she returned to her house.
Eventually the devas wives arrived there and in unison said, Oh beautiful one, we have come to have your darshan. Oh auspicious one, please open the door to your house and let us see you. The lady replied, Oh most dear ones, if you want me to open this door, you will have to describe to me the merit one obtains by observing the sacred fast of Sat-tilaa Ekadasi. But to this request, not even one of the wives responded. Later, however, they returned to the house, and one of the wives nicely explained the sublime nature of this sacred Ekadasi. And when the lady at last opened her door, they saw that she was neither a demigoddess, a Gandharvi, a she-demon, nor even a Naga-patni. She was simply an ordinary human lady. From then on the lady observed Sat-tilaa Ekadasi, which awards all material enjoyment and liberation at the same time, as it has been described to her. And she finally received the beautiful furnishings and grains she had expected for her home. Moreover, her once ordinary material body was transformed into a beautiful spiritual form made of sat-chit-ananda (eternality, knowledge, and bliss), with a fine complexion. So, by the mercy and grace of Sat-tilaa Ekadasi, both the lady and her new home in the spiritual world were at last radiantly splendid and lustrous with gold, silver, jewels, and diamonds. Oh Naradaji, a person should not ostentatiously observe Ekadasi out of greed, with the hope of attaining wealth dishonestly. Selflessly, he should simply donate sesame seed, clothes, and food according to his capacity; for by doing so he will achieve good health and exalted spiritual consciousness, birth after birth. Ultimately, he will be given release from the bonds of this world (liberation) and admittance into the Lord's supreme abode will be his to enjoy. That is my opinion, Oh best of the demigod’s deva-rishis).
Oh Daalbhya Muni, Pulastya Rishi concluded, One who properly observes this wonderful Sat-tilaa Ekadasi with great faith become free from all kinds of poverty - spiritual, mental, physical, social, and intellectual - as well as all kinds of ill luck and evil omens (sakuna). Indeed, following this Ekadasi fast by donating, sacrificing, or eating sesame seeds frees one of all past sin, without a doubt. One need not wonder how this happens. The rare soul who properly performs these acts of charity in the right devotional mood, following the Vedic injunctions, will become utterly free of all sinful reactions and go back to Godhead, back home to the spiritual world. Thus ends the narration of the glories of Magh-krishna Ekadasi, or Sat-tilaa Ekadasi, from the sacred Bhavishya-uttara Purana of Srila Krishna Dwaipayana Vyaasa.