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Ekadasi: Why Ekadashi is celebrated in Hinduism? – by Dr Bharti Raizada

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Hindu Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi, Wikimedia
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May 22, 2017: 

Ekadash means 11. Ekadasi is 11th tithi in a lunar month, and there is one Ekadasi in the shukla paksh and one in the krishn paksh. Prayers are offered to Bhagwan Vishnu.

Vrat starts before the sunset on the previous day and ends after sunrise the next day. The 2017 dates are January 8 and 23; February 6 and 22; March 8 and 23; April 6 and 22; May 6, 21 and 22; June 4 and 20; July 4 and 19; August 3 and 17; September 1, 15 and 16; October 1, 15, 30 and 31; November 13 and 29; and December 13, 28 and 29. Some of these are consecutive days.

Samarth with family observes vrat on first day and  sanyasis and widows do vrat on the second day. There are different types of Ekadasi vrats- Nirjala, Ksheerbhoji, phalahari and Naktbhoji.

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Sabudana, singhada, shakarkandi, potatoes and groundnut can be consumed in naktbhoji vrat. Only  fruits are consumed in Phalahari Ekadasi vrat and milk products in Ksheerbhoji Ekadasi vrat.  Food items containing beans and grains are avoided.

Ekadasi Devi was born from Bhagwan Vishnu himself and she killed asur Mura by Humkar Shabd.

Ekadasi Arti

ॐ जय एकादशी, जय एकादशी, जय एकादशी माता।विष्णु पूजा व्रत को धारण कर, शक्ति मुक्ति पाता॥
ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
तेरे नाम गिनाऊं देवी, भक्ति प्रदान करनी।गण गौरव की देनी माता, शास्त्रों में वरनी॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
मार्गशीर्ष के कृष्णपक्ष की उत्पन्ना, विश्वतारनी जन्मी।शुक्ल पक्ष में हुई मोक्षदा, मुक्तिदाता बन आई॥
ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
पौष के कृष्णपक्ष की, सफला नामक है।शुक्लपक्ष में होय पुत्रदा, आनन्द अधिक रहै॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
नाम षटतिला माघ मास में, कृष्णपक्ष आवै।शुक्लपक्ष में जया, कहावै, विजय सदा पावै॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
विजया फागुन कृष्णपक्ष में शुक्ला आमलकी।पापमोचनी कृष्ण पक्ष में, चैत्र महाबलि की॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
चैत्र शुक्ल में नाम कामदा, धन देने वाली।नाम बरुथिनी कृष्णपक्ष में, वैसाख माह वाली॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
शुक्ल पक्ष में होय मोहिनी अपरा ज्येष्ठ कृष्णपक्षी।नाम निर्जला सब सुख करनी, शुक्लपक्ष रखी॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
योगिनी नाम आषाढ में जानों, कृष्णपक्ष करनी।देवशयनी नाम कहायो, शुक्लपक्ष धरनी॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
अजा भाद्रपद कृष्णपक्ष की, परिवर्तिनी शुक्ला।इन्द्रा आश्चिन कृष्णपक्ष में, व्रत से भवसागर निकला॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
पापांकुशा है शुक्ल पक्ष में, आप हरनहारी।रमा मास कार्तिक में आवै, सुखदायक भारी॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
देवोत्थानी शुक्लपक्ष की, दुखनाशक मैया।पावन मास में करूं विनती पार करो नैया॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
परमा कृष्णपक्ष में होती, जन मंगल करनी।शुक्ल मास में होय पद्मिनी दुख दारिद्र हरनी॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥
जो कोई आरती एकादशी की, भक्ति सहित गावै।जन गुरदिता स्वर्ग का वासा, निश्चय वह पावै॥ॐ जय एकादशी…॥

Following is a list of the lunar month, presiding deity for Ekadasi, name of the shukl paksh Ekadasi and name of the krishn paksh Ekadasi. I am writing presiding deity name, however, there is only one supreme power.

Month, Presiding deity, Shukl paksh Ekadasi, Krishn paksh Ekadasi

1.Chaitra, Vishnu, Kamada, Paapmochini

  1. Vaishakh, Madhusudna, Mohini, Varuthini
  2. Jyestha, Trivikarma, Nirjala, Apara
  3. Asaadh, Vaman, Devshayani or Hari shayani or Padma or Ashadi, Yogini
  4. Sharavan, Sridhar, Sharavana Putrada or Pavitropana or Pavitra, Kamika
  5. Bhadrapad, Hrishikesha,  Parsava or Parivartini, Anand or Aja
  6. Ashwin, Padmanabha, Paashunkusha or Papankusha, Indira
  7. Kartik, Damodar, Prabodhini or Hari Priya or Dev Uthani or Devutthana, Rama
  8. Marghshirsha, Kesava, Mokshada or Vaikuntha , Utpanna( Utpanna is Utpatti or birth of Ekadasi Devi)
  9. Paush, Narayan, Paush Putrada, Saphala or Shattila
  10. Magh, Madhav, Bhaimi or Jaya, Shat tila
  11. Phalgun, Govinda, Amalaki, Vijaya

Adhik month which comes after every 3 years, Purshottam, Padmini Vishuddha, Parama or Kamla.

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Right of Nature: Are Rivers Living Beings?

Should rivers be considered Living Entities?

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Right of Nature
Many cultures across the globe believe that rivers are living beings or Gods/Goddesses and they just take the form of water bodies.

By Dr. Bharti Raizada, Chicago

Science says that water bodies are not living entities, as water does not need food, does not grow, and reproduce. Water is required for life, but in itself it is nonliving.

However, many cultures across the globe believe that rivers are living beings or Gods/Goddesses and they just take the form of water bodies.

The Maori tribe in New Zealand considers the Whanganui River as their ancestor and the Maori people fought to get it a legal status as a living being. In 2017, a court in New Zealand gave this river the status of living being and same rights as humans, to protect it from pollution. Thus, now if someone pollutes in it then it is considered equivalent to harming a human.

ALSO READ: Worshiping mother nature part of our tradition: Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Right of Nature
Rivers are sacred in many religions, including Hinduism. Image courtesy: Dr. Bharti Raizada

Rivers are sacred in Hinduism also. Hindus believe that the Ganga descended from heaven and call her Ganga Maa. A few days after New Zealand’s court decision, Uttarakhand high court in India gave the Ganga and Yamuna rivers and their tributaries the status of living human entities. The Court-appointed three officials as legal custodians. However, the court did not clarify many aspects related to this decision.

After this verdict some of the questions, which naturally came to mind, were:

Can Hindus still do rituals of flowing ashes, leaves, flowers, diyas in river or no? Can a dam be built on the river after this judgment? If some damage, to a person, animal, plants, or property, occurs because of river e.g. overflow, hurricanes, flooding etc., how the river will pay the liabilities? What if all rivers, oceans, ponds etc. are given the status of living beings? Will drinking water from river become a crime? What about taking water and using it for routine needs,  agriculture or building structures? Will it be illegal? If a child throws a stone in water, will it be a criminal act? Will fishing be considered stealing? What about boating? If someone is using heat near water and water evaporates, is it equal to taking the body part of a human being? What about taking a bath in the river?

Right of Nature
If the river gets a living status, as human, then we cannot use it for anything without its permission, so everyone has to stop touching the water. Image courtesy: Dr. Bharti Raizada

ALSO READ: Decoding supernatural: What is the nature of entities and gods who influence human behavior

Other queries, which arise, are:

Will animals and plants get the same status? What if you kill an ant or a chicken etc. or cut a tree? Will all animals and plants get a legal custodian?

Where is all the waste supposed to go? It has to go somewhere back in nature, right?

Uttrakhand state government challenged the judgement in Supreme Court and the latter reversed the judgment.

Right of Nature
So where do we stand? In my opinion, granting living status to nature is a different thing than giving protected status or preserving nature. Image by Dr. Bharti Raizada

ALSO READ: How nature destroys the negative tendencies in a positive manner

Ecuador’s constitution recognized the Right of Nature to exist, specifically Vilcabamba river, in 2008.

Then Bolivia passed the law of the right of mother earth and granted Nature equal rights as humans.

Many communities in the U.S.A. passed the Right of Nature law.

These laws are creating a dilemma or quandary also, as people need to use these resources. We cannot live without using natural resources. However, there is a difference between using natural resources and afflicting or destroying these. So, please use natural resources very diligently. Try not to vitiate nature.

On World Water Day (March 22), please start taking care of rivers, so that there is no need for future celebrations. It should not be a one-day celebration anyway, we should scrupulously look out for nature all the time.

Dr. Raizada is a practicing anesthesiologist.