Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
You should first understand what 'Vaikunth' (in Indian mythology, referring to the abode of Lord Vishnu) means. It is a place where there is no lack, or shortage; there is only abundance.
It is written in the Srimad Bhagawatam, that everyone in Vaikunth is Lord Narayana Himself (meaning that in such a divine abode, every soul is elevated to Divinity and appears as Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Consciousness that permeates all of Creation). You cannot distinguish who is the Lord (Narayan) and who is the devoted sevak (servant or devotee).
The word kuntha in Hindi means shortage. And a place where there is no lack, or shortage of anything, that is what Vaikuntha is. It is said that everyone in Vaikunth (Paradise) is in the form of Lord Narayana Himself. There is no inferiority complex, no superiority complex.
Do you feel that there is any scarcity here?
When you come close to the Guru, you will find (Mount) Kailasha (the abode of Lord Shiva, also signifying the abode of total bliss), and Vaikuntha also there.
You know, the Guru is a Tattva (the most fundamental element or principle). We often chant: 'Guru Brahma, Gurur Vishnu, Gurur Devo Maheshwaraha', isn’t it? The Guru Tattva has all three powers and qualities: Guru Brahma (referring to the power of the Guru as Lord Brahma. the Creator), Guru Vishnu (referring to the power of the Guru as Lord Vishnu, the preserver and protector of Creation), and Guru Maheshwara (referring to the power of the Guru as Lord Shiva, the great transformer and destroyer of all negativity).
So the Guru Tattva has all the three. So where all these three are present, that is where Vaikuntha will also be.
What is Kailasha? A place where there is only joy and bliss, where there is only celebration; there is only love everywhere. That is what Kailasha is. Vaikunth (Paradise) means that place where there is no shortage, there is only abundance.
Today is Vaikunth Ekadashi, so you can fast and remain hungry, even though here there is no scarcity (laughter). If there is shortage and you have to go hungry, then that is poverty. Here there is no shortage of anything, everything is in abundance, and still you are fasting. This is Vaikunth Ekadashi.
It is said that on this day Lord Krishna gave the Bhagavad Gita. So today is celebrated as Gita Jayanti (celebrating the day the Gita was delivered to the World) also.
Today it is called Devotthana Ekadashi also. All the Gods and Goddesses (implying the Divinity within oneself) are said to be asleep till today. Today they wake up and once again engage themselves in the welfare and upliftment of people.
So the message for today is to wake up the Divinity which is within each one of you. Commit yourself to the welfare of the nation.