[Advaita-l] Ekadashi Questions (Long)

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 9 23:57:39 CST 2010

Dear Sri Anand Hudli

Thank you very much for a detailed exposition quoting not only from nirNayasindhu and dharmasindhu but also caturvargacintaamaNi and kaalamaadhavam. 

From browsing through the archives, I knew that you were a prolific and well-regarded contributor in the early- to mid-years and then started restricting yourselves to fact-based, or SAstra-based discussions rather than opinions - grounded or otherwise. Now I know first hand why the Llist respects your contribution so much. Sir, you and such others make the List happy, useful and an aalambana for the saadhaka.

There are two specific issues that are clarified for me, and a few issues which arose. These are:

a) Now I know clearly how nyoonyatA, samatA and aadhikyataA of tithis are determined - based on the ending with reference to sunrise. By extension the eighteen types mentioned by sindhukaara are also clear.
b) Application of theory. I read the section on ekaadaSI in Dharmasindhu and came to the conclusion that Feb 25th was the smaarta ekaadaSI! The dasamI-4, ekadaSI-2, and dvaadasI-58 example fits the situation on 24th/25th like a glove and yet I misinterpreted the text. This was due to a fundamental mistake - that of assuming that since ekadaSI obtains at sunrise on 25th, 25th itself is ekaadaSI and that since Dharmasindhu in the given case prescribes fasting on ekadaSI, 25th is the date of fasting. The normal calendar we use at home also confirmed this adding to my 'vyaamoha'. When I re-read, I see that the author of Dharmasindhu had confused Sishyas like me: he takes great care to say 'poorvaa uposhyaa' (the earlier day is the day of fasting) and not ekadaSI or dasamI or dvaadaSI.

Now, the issues causing further confusion / speculation.

In the present example, I see that dharmasindhu clearly calls the dasamI-4, ekAdaSI-2 as a viddhaikaadaSI, but I don't know what prevents us from saying 25th as a SuddhaikaadaSI. OK, I see it, a tithi must prevail from sunrise to sunsent or the time of performing a karma for it to be a SuddhA - though it is still sakhanDA and not poorNA.

On 24th dasamI obtains till about 8 ghaTikAs after sunrise, so if we apply the rule that a tithi should obtain for 3 muhUrtas after sunrise for that tithi to be reckoned throughout the day, can we call 24th a viddhA 'ekadaSI' in the first place? Note that the dharmasindhu example is not of much use because when dasamI ends at 4 ghaTikAs after sunrise, the three muhUrtAs rule allows that day to be of the latter tithi, i.e. ekAdaSI.

Let me see the Dharmasindhu and clarify the above. The section 1-4 entitled 'atha tithi nirNaye saamanyparibhaashaa' states "sooryodayottaram shaDghaTikAparimitatithyantasparSaatmakah praatarvedhah". So much for the 3-muhUrta or 6 ghaTikA rule; a couple of lines late there is a clarification "daSamI pancadaSabhirekAdaSIvedhakrit". So the determination done by you looks proper.

This year, I had bought a number of calendars (kaalanirNay - Kannada, Marathi, Hindi and Gujarati and those reckoned in the three regions of AP) with an intention to study a slightly different topic (how calendars are computed in different parts of India), so let me see what each of those has to say about ekaadaSI. The one we normally use is the one we had been using from as far as my memory goes; to me, this Venkataramana & Co, Eluru's calendar had the same constant presence in the pUjAroom as the Dharmasindhu.

One more issue. What happens when one has to perform a SrAddha on ekaadaSI? nirNayasindhu says, smell the food; our purohita says vaishNavas are karmabhrashTas and will do the upavAsa but we perform the SrAddhA and are in turn branded vratabhrashTas by the vaishNavas!

Thanks once again.

Best regards


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