What is Ekadashi?
Ekadashi is the 11th day of the full-moon and new-moon lunar cycles. The day also has spiritual significance, since it represents our body's 11 senses - mind, five action organs, and five sense organs. Hence, it is auspicious to fast on this day to reign in your sense organs to have a healthy mind and body.
Ekadashi is also associated with the worship of Lord Vishnu, who is the protector of all realms. Fasting on this day with his name on lips is said to bring one closer to attaining moksha.
There also exists a scientific reason behind fasting on Ekadashi. Our body transforms every mandala that spans across 48 days. During the process, sages and seers opine that fasting for a minimum of three days with a regular interval between each fasting is a sure-shot way of staying in good health.
Ekadashi caters specifically to this rule. There are three Ekadashi's that occur in a Mandala. Fasting on Ekadashi makes it easier for individuals to keep track without worrying about mandalas and the other intricate details, which is again a blog for another day.
Types of Ekadashi
We have 24 Ekadashi's in a year, according to the lunar calendar. Each Ekadashi is unique, and depending on the season, different fasting rule applies to each. Few of them are:
- Putrada Ekadashi: Occurring mostly in January, for those wanting to conceive, this is the most auspicious day to go one fasting to seek blessings from Lord Vishnu for a progeny.
- Satilla Ekadashi: During this Ekadashi people, donate and receive 'Til' or sesame seeds, and other food items. Hence, the name. Offering guava, pumpkin, and coconut to god is auspicious on this day.
- Amalaki Ekadashi: Amla, or the gooseberry, is one of Lord Vishnu's most favorite fruit. On this day, people consume Amla's food, worship the amla tree, and donate Amla for the general well-being.
- Papamochini Ekadashi: During the month of Chaitra, people celebrate Papamochini Ekadashi. Fasting on the day gets rid of one of all their sins.
- Varuthini Ekadashi: Observing fasting on this day is the equivalent of performing penance for ten thousand years. It is auspicious to offer anna daana to Brahmins.
- Nirjala Ekadashi: The toughest Ekadashi of all, Nirjala Ekadashi, says devotee can have only a single drop of water during the entire fasting hours. For those who cannot follow this, only one meal is allowed per day.
- Aja Ekadashi: Fasting on Aja Ekadashi destroys the sins of seven previous births. Corriander seeds with grains are offered to the lord during worship. Ancient scriptures forbid people from having betel leaves and areca nut on this day.
- Mokshada or Vaikunta Ekadashi: Fasting on this auspicious day and chanting Lord Vishnu's name helps one attain moksha.
Ekadashi Vrat is auspicious and is one the most spiritual and scientific way of keeping your senses active. Millions of people across the globe follow fasting for various religious and health benefits. Anyone, women, men, and even children, between the age of eight till eighty, can choose to follow the vrat to attain its benefits.
Ekadashi Fasting & Customs
- If you cannot follow Nirjal Ekadashi, you can consume non-grains food like water, milk, fruits, cooked or raw vegetables, nuts.
- Start the fast with the sunrise after reciting Vishnu mantra - Om Namo Bhagavathe Vasudevaya, as a dedication to Vishnu.
- Indulge in charitable activities and focus on spreading positivity around you.
- Visit temples and do spend time reading religious scriptures like Bhagavad Geeta to earn good karma.
- Customs dictate that pregnant's, sick, and people who have crossed eighty years should not observe fasting.
- Do not consume grains, meat, or any tamasic food that includes onion and garlic if you cannot follow nirjal Ekadashi.
- The fasting should start with the sunrise on Ekadashi and end with the sunrise on the next day.
- Do not engage in verbal battles, deceit, lying, or any other negative activities.
- Smoking and Drinking are prohibited during Ekadashi.
Food to Eat on Ekadashi
Ekadashi is a day dedicated to fasting. Certain people who have the stamina will go on water-less fasting from sunrise till next day sunrise. For people who cannot fast without water, they can consume the following food.
- The first level of fasting is nirjal or without drinking even a drop of water.
- The second level is consuming only water.
- If you cannot sustain on water alone, then you are allowed to have milk and fruits.
- The next option is to have non-grains food items such as boiled vegetables, soups, fruit and vegetable juice, dry fruits, roots, raw vegetable salad, etc. Take care not to consume onion and garlic in any form; in short, avoid all thamasic food.
- The last option is to consume any of the above three times in a day while avoiding all grains, including rice, wheat, ragi, barley, jowar, etc. and food made of flour of these items like chapati, poori, and others.
- Avoid consuming any form of meat, hing, mustard seeds, food grains, pulses, and even prasadam containing any or all of the above.
Fasting on Ekadashi loads you with health advantages. Our weel-learned sages did not recommend the custom without rhyme or reason. Start the Ekadashi fasting from this month and share your experience and the benefits with the world around you.
Ekadashi dates in 2020
|06-Jan-20||Monday||Pausha Putrada Ekadashi||03:06 AM - 6th January||04:02 AM -7th January|
|20-Jan-20||Monday||Shattila Ekadashi||02:51 AM - 20th January||02:05 AM - 21st January|
|05-Feb-20||Wednesday||Jaya Ekadashi||21:49 PM - 4th February||21:30 PM - 5th February|
|19-Feb-20||Wednesday||Vijaya Ekadashi||14:32 PM -18th February||15:02 PM - 19th February|
|06-Mar-20||Friday||Amalaki Ekadashi||13:18 PM - 5th March||11:47 AM - 6th March|
|19-Mar-20||Thursday||Papmochani Ekadashi||04:26 AM - 19th March||05:59 AM - 20th March|
|20-Mar-20||Friday||Vaishnava Papmochani Ekadashi||04:26 AM - 19th March||05:59 AM - 20th March|
|April 4, 2020||Saturday||Kamada Ekadashi||00:58 AM - 4th April||10:30 PM - 4th April|
|April 18, 2020||Saturday||Varuthini Ekadashi||20:03 PM - 17th April||22:17 PM - 18th April|
|03-May-20||Sunday||Mohini Ekadashi||09:09 AM - 3rd May||06:12 AM - 4th May|
|04-May-20||Monday||Gauna Mohini Ekadashi||09:09 AM - 3rd May||06:12 AM - 4th May|
|18-May-20||Monday||Apara Ekadashi||12:42 PM - 17th May||15:08 PM - 18th May|
|02-Jun-20||Tuesday||Nirjala Ekadashi||14:57 PM - 1st June||12:04 AM - 2nd June|
|17-Jun-20||Wednesday||Yogini Ekadashi||05:40 AM - 16th June||07:50 AM - 17th June|
|01-Jul-20||Wednesday||Devshayani Ekadashi||19:49 PM - 30th June||17:29 PM - 1st July|
|16-Jul-20||Thursday||Kamika Ekadashi||22:19 PM - 15th July||23:44 PM - 16th July|
|30-Jul-20||Thursday||Shravana Putrada Ekadashi||01:16 AM - 30th July||23:49 PM - 30th July|
|15-Aug-20||Saturday||Aja Ekadashi||14:01 PM - 14th August||14:20 PM - 15th August|
|29-Aug-20||Saturday||Parsva Ekadashi||08:38 AM - 28th August||08:17 AM - 29th August|
|13-Sep-20||Sunday||Indira Ekadashi||04:13 AM - 13th September||03:16 AM - 14th September|
|27-Sep-20||Sunday||Padmini Ekadashi||18:59 PM - 26th September||19:46 PM - 27th September|
|13-Oct-20||Tuesday||Parama Ekadashi||16:38 PM - 12th October||14:35 PM - 13th October|
|27-Oct-20||Tuesday||Papankusha Ekadashi||09:00 AM - 26th October||10:46 AM - 27th October|
|11-Nov-20||Wednesday||Rama Ekadashi||03:22 AM - 11th November||00:40 AM - 12th November|
|25-Nov-20||Wednesday||Devutthana Ekadashi||02:42 AM - 25th November||05:10 AM - 26th November|
|26-Nov-20||Thursday||Vaishnava Devutthana Ekadashi||02:42 AM - 25th November||05:10 AM - 26th November|
|11-Dec-20||Friday||Utpanna Ekadashi||12:51 AM - 10th December||10:04 AM - 11th December|
|25-Dec-20||Friday||Mokshada Ekadashi||23:17 PM - 24th December||01:54 AM - 26th December|