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EkAdashi

EkAdashi is the eleventh lunar day (tithi) of either shukla (bright) or krishna (dark) paksha (fortnight) of every lunar month in the Hindu almanac (panchAnga).

EkAdashi is called “hari dina”, meaning a day to be dedicated entirely for worshipping Hari, meditating upon Hari, listening to His glory & studying the scriptures.

EkAdashi upavAsa does not mean mere fasting, it means sAmIpya vAsa (dwelling in proximity to the Lord) with archana, japa, katha shravaNa, nirAhAra & jAgarNa. So, after setting apart sometime to basic necessities, the whole day & night is to be spent in thinking about His glories. Even if shrAddha falls on this day, it has to be performed on the next day only.

Observance of EkAdashi cleanses the mind and paves the way for jnAna (right knowledge). It is an established fact that when one does not take food even though there is a desire for it, there will be an increase in self-control and it develops a strong will power. One who controls hunger will be away from sin because hunger is the root cause of many a sins. Sri Madhvacharya says in kriShNAmRuta mahArNava that the fire of merit of observing Ekadhasi converts the sins of hundreds of births into ashes.

EkAdashi is a fasting day to get rid of for our sins of indulging in undesirable acts through our dasha indriyAs. It is a vaiShNava vrata which is greater than all yAgAs and its power to destroy sins is unmatched if we follow the dos & don’ts of it strictly.

DOs:

Make a sankalpa for three day (dashami, EkAdashi, dvAdashi)
Worship, meditate & think about Hari
On EkAdashi day, take tiirtha only once and have only angAra mark (black vertical line) on the forehead. (no akShate)
Even while in their periods, women have to observe EkAdashi
Even during sUtaka, EkAdashi has to be observed

DONTs:

Do not consume ANY food, water, juice, etc
Do not sleep during day-time
varAha purANa specifies the pregnant women, mothers of infants and people who are very weak are given concession. Only they can take fruits like banana, dates, grapes, milk, curd, coconut milk and uncooked grains.

EkAdashi vrata begins with the sankalpa on the dashami (tenth) day. The sankalpa mantra to be chanted after performing sandhyavandane is:

dashami divasE prApte vratastOham janArdana tridinam dEvadEvEsha nirvighnam kuru kEshava (sharaNam bhave achyuta)

Janardana! Today being Dashami, I am ready for the three day vow. Oh, Lord! Deva Deva! Keshava! please see that no obstacles come in the way of my vow.

EkAdashyAm nirAhAraha stitvahani parEhyaham bhukShyAmi punDarIkAkSha sharaNam me bhavAchyuta

After fasting on EkAdashi, I will eat on dvAdashi, Please be my refuge, Oh, Achyutha!

adya shvashEha nirAhAro bhUtvAham dwAdashI dine vidhAsye pAraNam dEva prIto bhava ma mAnisham

I will be on fast tonight and tomorrow, and break the fast on dwAdashi. Lord! may you be pleased.

The evening meals on the dashami day, both the meals on the EkAdashi and evening meal on dvAdashi day (total FOUR MEALS) are forbidden on these 3 days.

dvAdashi pAraNe sankalpa mantra:

ajnAna timirAndhasya vratEnAnEna kEshava prasannah sumukhO nAthA jnAnadRuShTi pradO bhava

O Keshava, I have become blind due to ajnAna, give me jnAna drishti

bhArateeramaNa mukhyaprANAntargata shree krishnArpaNamastu

6 Responses to EkAdashi

  1. Rajendra TJ

    very informative, need to explained Y this ekhadashi is done whats the history to this ahcharane how it has come

    With Regards,
    Rajendra

  2. Suraj

    Several scientific studies have shown that fasting for a day is extremely harmful for general health and well being. It is time to stop blindly following rituals without giving it a thought

  3. Balachandra

    @ Suraj,
    I am surprised by your comment. In fact several scientific studies have shown that complete fasting for a day, once in a fortnight, is beneficial to our health in general and our digestive system in particular. I leave it to you to find them and study if interested.

  4. Balachandra

    Fasting: The ultimate diet – by Dr. Allan Cott M.D.

    http://www.fastingconnection.com/component/content/article/70-waterfast/246-fasting-the-ultimate-diet

  5. Madwa

    Dear Suraj,
    Science contributions is not a new one to world…….it is an derivative of our Indian Culture and philosophy,Every thing is the contribution of VEDAVYASARU
    All the health tips had been told in Ayurveda.Science is just a Leaf or branch But the root is Our VEDAS and UPANISHAT.

    Things which are not appearing in front of me are not Lie….It may be the defect of our EYE!
    we people need Thirst to know more…. not to Blame….

    Mahabharata line;-

    “YADI HAASTHI TADANYATRA YANNE HASTHI NAATAT KWACHIT”

    “Yaavudu Jagattinalli illavo Adu mahabharatadallooo illa Yaavudu mahabharatadalli Ideyo ade Jagattinalli Iruvudu”

  6. Ananth Noorithaya

    >>Balachandra
    >>December 17th, 2011 at 13:20:43

    >>Fasting: The ultimate diet – by Dr. Allan Cott M.D.

    >>http://www.fastingconnection.com/component/content/article/70-waterfast/246-fasting-the-ultimate-diet

    This is a very interesting article…I always believed that fasting could help, but since I’m young, social issues dont allow me to pursue Ekadashi. Nevertheless, I forcefully perform the fast on Ekadashi and I’m an example of how fasting helps us. I feel very light and energetic and very active to perform any work and I’m doing well in my studies because fasting inculcates a discipline in our lives.

    Thank you for highlighting the effects of fasting.

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