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CDM Offers Fasting Resources for End of Kartika – Bhisma Pancaka Vrata

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(iskconnews.org) – ISKCON News | CDM Offers Fasting Resources for End of Kartika – Bhisma Pancaka Vrata

By ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry

ISKCON’s Congregational Development Ministry has shared some very helpful resources for devotees to participate more fully in the fasting austerities during the last five days of Kartika (Damodara) Month known as “Bhisma Pancaka Vrata.”  See the graphics below for all the details.

Grandfather Bhisma fasted for these five days, preparing to give up his life. However one observes Kartika-vrata, he should intensify it for the last five days. If someone observes this fast, he is considered to have observed all other fasts, because it is greatly meritorious and frees one from great sins:

arabhyaikadasim panca dinani vratamicaret;
bhagavatpritaye bhismapancakam yadi saknuyat.
“yadi saknuyatditi kamyatvamiti dik” – Srila Sanatana Goswami

“If one is capable the Bhisma-panchaka vow will be observed for the sake of love of God for the five days from the eleventh day (of the bright lunar fortnight in Kartika) up till the fullmoon day.”

The fast should begin by remembering Bhismadeva on the Ekadasi day and should end on Purnima [the full moon]. One should worship Lord Krishna on all days. The significance of this Vrata is given in Vrata-Khanda-Kartika Mahatmya of the Padma Purana, Hari-Bhakti vilas, the Skanda Purana, the Visnu-rahasya and Garuda Purana.

Lord Siva said that the Supreme Lord Himself has given these five days to Bhisma and it is therefore called the five days of Bhisma or Bhisma Pancaka.

The fasting starts on Ekadasi Day which is November 23rd and will continue until the Rasa Purnima Day (last day of Caturmasya, last day of Kartik). The fasting is broken at sunset (or at moon rise) on Rasa Purnima Day. Generally it is recommended to do full fast on Ekadasi and then the following four days fruits and roots fasting. Or one can do five day fruits and roots fasting.

Visit the CDM’s website for many more resources and courses. You can also follow them on Facebook for regular inspiration.

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