I face Problems even after Ekadasi fasting for many years. Why?
Actual Question from a male devotee (Requested anonymity):
“Hare Krishna my dearest prabhu…I have one question…i am a student my exams are next month and syllabus is vast….so i i left chanting… but regarding karma u mentioned that… once u get spiritually advance in bhakti dat means ur bad karma’s are over….yes i am a very bad person.. but i take ekadashi fast… in ekadashi varath katha it is mentioned dat all ur karma’s not only of dis life but last life also will be vanished if u take fast on ekadashi…but in spite of taking fast m still not spiritually advance in bhakti (my bad karma’s are not over)… i am very alternative in chanting also….Please advise.. Your humble servant.”
The stories of ekadasi highlight material benefits just to encourage the people to observe fasting atleast expecting some benefits. It may be useful for the beginners in devotion who may expect some benefits from God. Therefore these stories may encourage them to fast.
Stage by stage, they will come to the position of Nishkam bhakti, ie, not expecting any benefits from Krishna.
(Is violating the karma possible? READ HERE!)
Therefore, if you have any prayers to Krishna, you can use the ekadasi fast.
But, when you stage by stage improve in your devotion to Krishna, you need not pray anything to Krishna because He knows all your needs.
We are trying for a permanent relief from the pains of births and deaths by getting an eternal life with Krishna. Therefore, we have no demands to Krishna.
The actual purpose of fasting on ekadasi is that we are doing a penance for Krishna by sacrificing our likes and comforts that takes us towards the material detachment stage by stage. By sacrificing the food for two days a month and also spending the whole day of ekadasi thinking of Krishna, we can learn to live so on other days also that may gradually reduce some material attachments that naturally develops our gradual attachment to Krishna.
This will gradually take us towards perfection and purity in our Krishna Consciousness.
(FIVE IMPORTANT DOUBTS ABOUT EKADASI FASTING! MUST BE READ! READ HERE!)
Then, should not we read these stories?
Not so. They are real stories and these stories are useful for making the devotees to start fasting and continue the same with a hope.
Because, there are problems in the families of devotees also. Since the devotees have no other ‘care takers’ except Krishna, they will have to surrender to Krishna alone for all their needs.
These stories will make them to START EKADASI FASTS ATLEAST TO GET RELIEF FROM THEIR DISTRESS. Then, the fasting will become their regular practice.
Similarly, ‘Gita Mahathmiya’ says that even if you read a single chapter of Bhagavad Gita, you become relieved from births and deaths.
What this means? Can we stop births just by reading a single chapter of Gita only once?
(What sin we acquire if we do not follow 4 regulative principles and Ekadasi fasts? READ HERE!)
No. The actual meaning is: When we read atleast a single chapter of Bhagavad Gita, we will develop an interest to read all the chapters. Then, after reading entire Gita, we will get an attachment with Krishna. Then, we will look for the association of devotees. Then, we will develop in devotion and finally we will get Krishna Himself. That is why, it was advised to read atleast a single chapter of Bhagavad Gita.
Even a big tree comes from a very small seed. Similarly, reading just a single chapter of Bhagavad Gita will give Krishna Himself stage by stage.
However, you should not expect any miracles after fasting. The real miracle is that the fasting purifies you from material attachments stage by stage.
We should not take the meanings of certain stories and their contents as it is.
For example, we have heard: “If you need to go to Goloka, worship Krishna and have Krishna Prasadam. If you need material comforts, worship Durga devi.”
How will you understand this?
You will understand: “I will go to Krishna temple daily and get the Prasadam. I will get life in Goloka soon.”
(HOW KRISHNA CLEARS OUR KARMA? READ HERE!)
You may not think HOW IT HAPPENS.
But, I am fasting thinking like this:
“When a person likes to run fast, his legs must be free from any bondages. If someone has tied a rope around his leg and is pulling him back, how can that person run forward? Similarly, if we need to go to Goloka, we need to cut all our material attachments that are pulling us back from our forward movement towards Krishna. So, I will evaluate my devotion based on my level of detachment from material affairs. I will fast on ekadasis only as a penance for Krishna, but without any expectations. Krishna has said that every ekadasi offers certain benefits. It is for those who feel that they are distressed. He has said that such distressed people are also His devotees. But, He has also said that those who worship Him without any expectations are very dear to Him. So, I will just fast to show my love for Krishna. But, I am aware that Krishna offers anything to me ONLY AFTER allowing me to clear my karma fast. So, if I fast regularly, Krishna will clear my karma fast and help me to go back to His kingdom fast. Since I have no demands from Krishna, He has right to decide whether to give anything to me or not AND ALSO WHEN TO GIVE. I have left that choice to Krishna Himself. So, let me just fast sincerely. Krishna knows what, how and when to give me anything.”
Thus, we should try to have this maturity while fasting. If an Ekadasi story says that you will get a child if you fast for this ekadasi, that means, Krishna will clear the bunch of karma you have that is preventing your getting a child, and then gives you a child after clearing your karma fast. You have to wait till that and continue your devotional practices including fasting non-stop though it is delayed.
After fasting just one or a few ekadasis, you should not ask your wife whether she has become pregnant or not next month itself. Who knows how much of karma you have from your past births? Krishna alone knows that. So, He has to clear them by giving the reactions through some incidences to you fast.
(EKADASI RECEIPS – THE FOODS TO BE PREPARED ON EKADASI! READ HERE!)
You may ask: Why can’t Krishna clear my karma instantly showing special interest in me?
If Krishna clears all the karma of all the persons instantly, every person will commit serious offences and clear them by fasting only once. Therefore, the people will lose interest in devotional practices. They will stop the devotional practices once their needs are achieved and they become happy.
Only in rare cases of very sincere devotees, Krishna allows the karma of a person deviated instantly. For others, He follows the regular process of clearing karma by allowing them to face the reactions fast. However, Krishna ensures that all his devotees who did penances like ekadasi fasting get FINAL SUCCESS. Atheists do not have this guarantee of final success. The process may be slow or fast depending on the storage of karma.
However, if the need is really urgent, Krishna does not hesitate to solve it immediately.
If you clean the house daily, the cleaning will be faster within a few minutes every day. But, if you clean the house once a week, the cleaning will take more time because there will be more dusts. When we clean more dusts, the removed dusts will come again and get deposited on the floor again. So, we have to clean the floor twice or thrice to get full cleanliness.
(My parents object my ekadasi fasting. What to do? READ HERE!)
Similarly, you may have plenty of past karma. So, Krishna may be clearing them as fast as possible now. After fasting once or for a few times, you should not tell: “Why I have not yet become pure even after 10 ekadasi fasts?”
Since you have a bunch of karma, it will take some time to purify you. So, you have to wait for more period.
When I was a school student, our family was struggling even for one time food because my family was very poor. Only after my school studies, our family situation became comfortable even for eating.
However, Krishna has been protecting me till date and has given some inputs to serve all of you.
If He had deserted me, I would have died even in my school period. Krishna gave me patience and knowledge to wait till He clears part of my bundle of past karma to get sufficient food. I too was waiting, and now, I feel improvement in my living. So, Krishna did not make me fall. He will never allow His devotees fall.
(How to offer worship and prayers on Ekadasi? READ HERE!)
ALL OF YOU MAY KNOW THIS MIRACLE IN Y LIFE AS I HAVE BEEN TELLING THIS EVERYWHERE:
I started business with borrowed funds and was paying heavy interest. But, before the due date, the lenders started to claim their money. I faced a situation on a day that unless I repay a part of my loan of around Rs.5 lakhs within a week to the three lenders, I will have to commit suicide, because I had been given the final date for repayment and they will go to court if I do not repay on date.
For me, it will take atleast 3 months to mobilize that Rs.5 lakhs at that time from my company’s own resources. So, I had no other way to commit suicide.
However, I did not pressurize Krishna to help me because, my relation with Krishna is like a ‘Siksha Guru and disciple’ and only after reading Bhagavad Gita, I became a responsible guy.
(I get headache if I fast on Ekadasi and I take tablets. Is fasting compulsory? READ HERE!)
A disciple should show pure love to his guru without expectations and calculations. And, a guru knows what are the needs of his disciples. So, we need not ask Krishna anything in return for our devotional practices. We have to just perform our devotional practices and develop pure love for Krishna. That’s all. Then, we have to accept whatever happens in our life as the will of Krishna.
What happened then? Krishna will never desert His devotees. So, He entered into action.
This time, Krishna did not wait even for a week because the deadline was the just 4-5 days to repay the loan of a heavy amount. Of course, I would have cleared my karma of loan by facing the mental agony given by the lenders. He evaluated my sincere efforts in devotional path even during this tight corner situation of loans for my business.
Then, He sent an old man who was in need of a good brand within 2 days and he gave me exactly the amount required by me as a payment for selling a brand that does not need to be repaid. I could not expect that person to make such an agreement and instantly pay the amount as cash that was my exact need to save my image and life too.
(A-Z Tips on Ekadasi Fasting with practical considerations! READ HERE!)
The person who made that business agreement with me looked like a 75 years old farmer / worker with dirty dhoti and cotton shirt on his body. I did not believe that he will have that much of amount with him. But, that simple man called me to his home and handed over the money on a plate with a set of bananas, betel nuts and betel leaves.
I saw Krishna on his old face. Tears came out of my eyes. When he gave that money before his puja room, I saw the pictures. A big picture of Krishna was there and it looked as if He was smiling at me with a meaning.
I got that cash and went to my Puja room and placed it under the feet of KRISHNA. Because, I knew that this was the special arrangement of Krishna.
Thus, Krishna knows what your genuine needs are. If a devotee will perform better in devotion if his financial issues are cleared, Krishna will give money. If the money is the barrier for a devotee’s devotional growth, Krishna will take money from him. This is His formula.
(Is it compulsory to donate (Giving dhaan) on Ekadasi? READ HERE!)
If it is a genuine need and If it will affect the image of His sincere devotees, Krishna will never hesitate to instantly interfere to save His devotee.
SINCE KRISHNA SAVED MY BUSINESS AND ALSO MY IMAGE DECADES BACK, NOW, I SACRIFICED THAT “GOOD EARNING” BUSINESS ITSELF JUST FOR DOING THIS PREACHING SERVICE FULL TIME TILL THE END OF MY LIFE, AS I WANT TO SHOW MY LOYALTY & GRATITUDE TO KRISHNA! i SACRIFICED MY EARNING BUSINESS; BUT, KRISHNA GAVE THOUSANDS OF GOOD HEARTS THAT IS NOT EASILY ACHIEVABLE FOR ALL!
So, you too start to show devotion to Lord and fast for ekadasi WITHOUT EXPECTING ANYTHING FROM KRISHNA IN RETURN. Krishna will take care of your needs whenever He feels He must interfere.
One thing is Guaranteed: KRISHNA’S DEVOTEES NEITHER FAILS NOR FALLS. This is Sure.
All you need to have is: YOU SHOULD HAVE PATIENCE and ACCEPT THAT THE HAPPENINGS IN YOUR LIFE ARE GOOD FOR YOU if you face Problems even after Ekadasi fasting.
Everything will be alright.
(My family cooks meat on ekadasi and I am unable to fast . What to do? READ HERE!)