Few have asked me how to fast, what to eat and what not to eat on Ekadhasi days.
Hope this helps,
On Dhashami, single time meals is taken, at night tiffin may be taken. But should not use onion and garlic on dhashami.
- On Ekadhasi, the best way of fasting is not to have even a single drop of water.
- If that is not possible, the next option can be water, fruits, fruit juices alone.
- The next option can be fruits, fruit juices, water and milk. (Fruits and milk should not be taken simultaneously one after the other as it will be counted as having food)
– Many are having upma (without onion,garlic,tomatoes), milk, water and fruits. (Upma should not be done with rice flour, wheat flour can be used)
– Few have roti, dosa, poori. But I dont advice that because they contain rice and grains which is grained into paste. One must restrain from grains and beans on ekadhasi. If people are aged and if they cant resist they are having dosa, rottis etc.
On Dwadhasi, one should break his fast after the sunrise,
- First one should have the thulasi theertham and consuming this means breaking the fast.
- Mahaprasadam is consumed after the theertham and before parana (“Mahaprasadam” is one which is kept as naivedhyam to Sri Vishnu on Ekadhasi day and “Parana” means having food).
- Next the food should be offered to god and should be consumed. Even on dwadhasi onion and garlic should be avoided.
1. NEVER CONSUME RICE, ONION, GARLIC, TOMATOES, DRUMSTICK ON EKADHASI.
2. Having thulasi theertham is counted as having food, dont have that. Theertham without thulasi is allowed.
3. If full fast is observed, theertham may be consumed a single drop which just touches the tongue. Even during Sandhyavandhanam and salagrama pooja this is followed.
Fasting to be observed on 21st MAY 2013
The Ekādhaśī that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Vaisākha (April-May) is the Mohini Ekadhasi.
- Lord Rāmacandra asked Vasiṣṭha Muni, ‘O great sage, I would like to hear about the best of all fasting days that day which destroys all kinds of sins and sorrows. I have suffered long enough in separation from My dear Sitā, and so I wish to hear from you about how My suffering can be ended.’
- Sage Vasiṣṭha replied, ‘O Lord Rāma, O You whose intelligence is so keen, simply by remembering Your name one can cross the ocean of the material world. You have questioned me in order to benefit all of humanity and fulfill everyone’s desires. I shall now describe that day of fasting which purifies the whole world.’
- O Rāma, this day is known as Vaisākha-śukla Ekādaśī, which falls on Dvādaśī. It removes all sins and is famous as Mohinī Ekādaśī. Truly, O dear Rāma, the merit of this Ekādaśī frees the fortunate soul who observes it from the network of illusion. Therefore, if You want to relieve Your suffering(s), observe this auspicious Ekādaśī perfectly, for it removes all obstacles from ones path and relieves the greatest miseries. Kindly listen as I describe its glories, because for one who even just hears about this auspicious Ekādaśī, the greatest sins are nullified.
- NOTE: If the holy fast falls on Dwadhasi, it is still called Ekadhasi in the Vedik literature. Furthermore, in Garuda Purana (1:125.6), Lord BrahmA states to Narada Muni: “Oh brAhmana, this fast should be observed when there is a full Ekadhasi, a mixture of Ekadhasi and Dwadhasi, or a mixture of three (Ekadhasi, Dwadhasi, and Trayodasi) but never on the day when there is a mixture of Dashami and Ekadhasi.”
On the banks of River Sarasvatī there was once a beautiful city named Bhadrāvati, which was ruled by King Dyutīmān. O Rāma, that steadfast, truthful, and highly intelligent king was born in the dynasty of the Moon. In his kingdom was a merchant named Dhanapāla, who possessed a great deal of wealth of food grains and money. He was also very pious. Dhanapāla arranged for lakes to be dug, sacrificial arenas to be erected, and beautiful gardens to be cultivated for the benefit of all the citizens of Bhadrāvati. He was an excellent devotee of Lord Viṣṇu and had five sons: Sumāna, Dyutīmān, Medhāvī, Sukṛtī and Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī.
Unfortunately, his son Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī always engaged in greatly sinful activities, such as sleeping with prostitutes and associating with similar degraded persons. He enjoyed illicit sex, gambling, and many other varieties of acts aimed at gratifying the senses. He disrespected the demigods, the brāhmaṇas, the forefathers and other elders of the community, as well as his family’s guests. The evil-hearted Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī spent up his father’s wealth indiscriminately, always feasting on untouchable foods and drinking alcohol to excess.
One day Dhanapāla kicked Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī out of the house after he saw him walking along the road arm-in-arm with a known prostitute. From then on all Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī’s relatives were highly critical of him and distanced themselves from him also. After he had sold all of his ornaments and become destitute, the prostitute also abandoned him and insulted him because of his poverty.
Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī was now full of anxiety, and also hungry. He thought, “What should I do ? Where should I go ? How can I maintain myself ? He then began to steal. The king’s constables arrested him, but when they learned who it was, and that his father was the famous Dhanapāla, they released him. He was caught and released in this way many times. But at last, sick of his arrogance and total disrespect for others, and their property, the ill-mannered Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī was apprehended, handcuffed, and then beaten. After whipping him, the king’s marshals warned him, “O evil minded one, there is no place for you in this kingdom.
However, Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī was freed from his tribulation by his father and immediately thereafter entered the dense forest. He wandered here and there, hungry and thirsty and suffering greatly. Eventually he began killing the jungle animals, the lions, deer, boars, and even wolves for food. Always ready in his hand was his bow, always on his shoulder was his quiver full of arrows. He also killed many birds, such as chakoras, peacocks, kankas, doves and pigeons. He unhesitatingly slaughtered many species of birds and animals to maintain his sinful way of life, the sinful results accumulating more and more each day. On account of his previous sins, he was now immersed in an ocean of great sin that was so relentless that it appeared that he could not get out.
Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī was always miserable and anxious, but one day, during the month of Vaisākha, by the force of some of his past merit he chanced upon the sacred āśrama of Kauṇḍinya Muni. The great sage had just finished bathing in the River Ganges and water was dripping from him still. Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī had the great good fortune to touch some of those droplets of water that were falling from the great sage’s wet clothing. Instantly Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī was freed of his ignorance, and his sinful reactions were reduced. Offering his humble obeisances to Kauṇḍinya Muni, Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī prayed to him with joined palms; “O great brāhmaṇa, please describe to me some of the atonement I may perform without too much endeavour. I have committed so many sins in my life, and these have now made me very poor.
The great Ṛṣi replied, “O son, listen with great attention, for by hearing me your life will change, and you will become free of all your remaining sins. In the light fortnight of this very month, Vaisākha (April-May) there occurs the sacred Mohinī Ekādhaśī, which has the power to nullify sins as vast and weighty as Mount Sumeru. If you follow my advice and faithfully observe a fast on this Ekādhaśī, which is so dear to Lord Hari, you will be freed from all the sinful reactions of many, many births.” Hearing these words with great joy, Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī promised to observe a fast on Mohinī Ekādaśī according to the sage’s instructions and direction. O best of kings, O Rāma Bhagavān, by fasting completely on Mohinī Ekādhaśī, the once sinful Dhṛṣṭhabuddhī, the prodigal son of the merchant Dhanapāla, became sinless. Afterwards he achieved a beautiful transcendental form and, free at last of all obstacles, rode upon the carrier of Lord Viṣṇu, Garuḍa, to the Supreme abode of the Lord.
O Rāma, the fast day of Mohinī Ekādhaśī removes the darkest illusory attachments to material existence. There is thus no better fast day in all the three worlds than this.
There is no place of pilgrimage, no sacrifice, and no charity that can bestow merit equal to even one sixteenth of the merit a faithful devotee of Mine obtains by observing the Mohinī Ekādaśī. And He who hears and studies the glories of Mohinī Ekādhaśī achieves the merit of giving away one thousand cows in charity.
Fasting to be observed on 6th MAY 2013
The Ekādhaśī which comes in the dark fortnight of the month of Vaisākha (March-April) is most auspicious and magnanimous Varūthinī Ekādhaśī.
- Whosoever observes a complete fast on this sacred day has his sins completely removed, obtains continuous happiness, and achieves all good fortune.
- Whatever merit one obtains by performing austerities and penances for ten thousand years is achieved by a person who observes Varūthinī Ekādhaśī.
- Fasting on Varūthinī Ekādhaśī makes even an unfortunate woman fortunate.
- The merit one achieves by donating a great amount of gold during a solar eclipse at Kurukṣetra is gained by one who observes this one Ekādhaśī with love and devotion, and certainly attains his goals in this life and the next. In short, this Ekādhaśī is pure and very enlivening and the destroyer of all sins.
- Upon anyone who observes it, this Ekādhaśī bestows material enjoyment in this life and liberation after the death of this present body. It destroys the sins of all and saves people from the miseries of repeated rebirth.
By observing this Ekādaśī properly, King Māndhātā was liberated. Many other kings also benefited from observing it – kings such as Mahārāja Dhundhumāra, in the Ikṣvāku dynasty, who became free from leprosy resulting from the curse that Lord Śiva had imposed upon him as a punishment.
- Better than giving horses in charity is giving elephants, and better than giving elephants is giving land.
- But better still than giving land is the giving of sesame seeds, and better than that is giving of gold.
- Still better than giving gold is giving food grains – for all the forefathers, demigods (devas), and human beings become satisfied by eating grains.
- Thus there is no better gift of charity than this in the past, present or future.
- Yet learned scholars have declared that giving away a young maiden in marriage to a worthy person is equal to giving away food grains in charity.
- Moreover, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of God, has said that giving cows in charity is equal to giving food grains.
- Still better than all these charities is teaching spiritual knowledge to the ignorant.
- Yet all the merits one can attain by performing all these acts of charity are attained by one who fasts on the Varūthinī Ekādhaśī.
One who lives off the wealth of his daughters suffers a hellish condition until the inundation of the entire universe. Therefore one should be especially careful not to use the wealth of his daughter. Any householder who takes his daughter’s wealth out of greed, who tries to sell his daughter, or who takes money from the man to whom he has given his daughter in marriage – such a householder becomes a lowly cat in his next life. Therefore it is said that whoever, as a sacred act of charity, gives away in marriage a maiden decorated with various ornaments, and who also gives a dowry with her, obtains merit that cannot be described even by Citragupta, the chief secretary of Yamarāja in the heavenly planets. That very same merit, however, can be easily achieved by one who fasts on the Varūthinī Ekādhaśī.
Whoever observes the Varūthinī Ekādhaśī in this way becomes free from all sinful reactions and returns to the eternal, spiritual abode. One who worships Lord Vishnu on this Ekādhaśī by staying awake throughout the entire night, also becomes free from all his previous sins and attains to the spiritual abode. Therefore, he who is frightened of his accumulated sins and their attendant reactions, and thus of death itself, must observe Varūthinī Ekādhaśī by fasting very strictly. Finally, he who hears or reads this glorification of the sacred Varūthinī Ekādhaśī obtains the merit earned by donating one thousand cows in charity, and at last he returns home, to the abode of Lord Viṣṇu.
Fasting to be observed on 22nd APRIL 2013
The Ekādhaśī that occurs during the light fortnight of the month Chaithra Maasa (March-April) is the Kaamadha Ekadhasi.
- Several sin’s carried from several previous births will be burned to ashes by fasting on Kaamadha Ekadhasi.
- By this vratha, the soul gets purified and it bestows the highest merit.
- It eradicates even the sin of killing.
- It also nullifies demoniac curses and cleanses the consciousness.
- In all the three worlds, among movable and immovable living entities, there is no better day.
- Lord Sri Rama’s great grandfather King Dilipa once asked Sri Vashishta muni about Kaamadha Ekadhasi. He related King Dilipa a story. A gandharva was cursed to become a cannibal (a great man eating demon) by a King. But his wife, with the advice of Sage Shrngi, fasted on Kaamadha Ekadhasi and on dwadhasi day she gave away all the merits to her husband which completely burned all his sins and made him back to normal.
- Thus Ekadhasi is a very powerful vratha which nullifies and eradicates any kind of negative vibrations and sins.
- It will neutralize all the negative happenings.
- Let us utilize this great Ekadhasi vratha everytime and follow this life long. Om Shree Raghavendraya Namaha.
Thanks for Shri Chiraan chidambar aacharya for giving me this invaluable stotram. Om Shree Raghavendraya Namaha!!!
Fasting to be observed on 6th APRIL 2013
The Ekādhaśī that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month Phaagluna Maasa (March-April) is the Papamochani Ekadhasi.
- All the influences of ghosts and demons will be completely nullified for one who fasts on this Papamochani Ekadhasi.
- This Ekādhaśī also awards the eight perfections of life, fulfils all kinds of desires, purifies one’s life of all sinful reactions, and makes a person perfectly virtuous.
- Whoever fasts on this sacred day becomes completely freed from having to take birth in any kind of devilish form.
- Sri Krishna has told - “Whoever reads or hears about Pāpamochanī Ekādhaśī obtains the very same merit he would get if he donated a thousand cows in charity, and he also nullifies the sinful reactions he may have incurred by killing a brāhmaṇa, killing an embryo through abortion, drinking liquor, or having sex with his guru’s wife. Such is the incalculable benefit of properly observing this holy day of Pāpamochanī Ekādhaśī”.
There’s one bad incident which happened even for great sages. During spring season, Gandharvas and kinnaras used to group themselves at some beautiful garden to spend their time on devotional services and also to service Lord Indra. There, was a great sage by name Medhavi, who was very powerful for his penances and vairaghyam and the very attractive girls will always attempt to seduce him. Among them Manjugosha was totally attracted to this sage and was trying her best to seduce him. But she didn’t come near the sage as she had fear on his spiritual powers.
After many days of this routine, Sage Medhavi was completely tempted and went for this girl forgetting all his spiritual powers, penance, purity etc. He stayed with Manjugosha for more than 57years. At one point the sage recollected all his spiritual powers and penance. He realized his mistakes and started showing the anger on Manjugosha for tempting him and cursed her to become a evil spirit (pisacha). But later the sage himself advised Manjugosha how to surpass his curse.
Sage Medhavi said that she has to observe the Papamochani Ekadhasi and he will also observe that Ekadhasi so that she will be relieved of the ghostly body and even the sage himself will get back all his spiritual powers back. Thus Papamochani Ekadhasi is very powerful which nullifies several sins and liberates one’s soul. Let us utilize this opportunity and fast on this Ekadhasi to one’s best.
Fasting to be observed on 23rd MARCH 2013
The Ekādhaśī that occurs during the light fortnight of the month Phaagluna Maasa (February – March) is the Aamalaki Ekadhasi.
- The merits of this Ekadhasi was once told by Vashishta muni to King Mandhatha.
- He who faithfully observes a fast on this Ekādhaśī obtains enormous wealth, gets free of the effects of all kinds of sins, and attains liberation.
- Fasting on this Ekādhaśī is more purifying than donating one thousand cows in charity to a pure brāhmana.
- Prahlada says, “Wherever there is a person remaining awake overnight on Ekadhashi, which is very dear to Lord Krishna, all the demigods, including Brahma, Indra and Siva, are all available there. And where there is such a wake going on, all of the great sages, headed by Narada Muni and Vyasadeva, are available there and I (Prahlada Maharaja) who am always engaged in worshiping Lord Shri Hari, am also available there.”
Aamalaki tree is very auspicious to worship. It is told that Aamalaki tree is a offspring of Lord Brahma. It is told that Sri Rama has worshipped Aamalaki tree. Whoever circumambulates (i.e doing pradhakshinam) the Aamalaki tree, their sins will reduce. This Ekadhasi is related with worshipping Aamalaki tree.
Once a hunter, who lives by killing animals, was struck in a forest on Aamalaki Ekadhasi day. There many kings and sages were doing jaagarne throughout the night by worshiping Sri Vishnu and Aamalaki tree. He was taken away by the scared songs and other devotional services which were happening during jaagarne. It become next morning and the hunter died after going home. But due to the merits he earned by fasting and doing jaagarne on Aamalaki Ekadhasi, he was again born as a King namely Vasūratha and ruled like second Indra. Though he had several enemies, no one were able to touch him because of the merits of Ekadhasi.
It is told that whoever observes Ekadhasi vratha, Vishnu duthas will be protecting them. Several negative forces will be destroyed and nullified by the great merits of Ekadhasi vratha. Hope everyone irrespective of caste and creed should follow Ekadhasi vratha. Om Shree Raghavendraya Namaha !!!
Fasting to be observed on 8th MARCH 2013
The Ekādhaśī that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month Magha Maasa (February-March) is the Vijaya Ekadhasi.
- Nārada Muni once asked Lord Brahmā about the scerets and merits of Vijaya Ekadhasi. Lord Brahma told, ” My dear son, this oldest of fasting days is pure, and it nullifies all sins. I have never revealed this to anyone until today, but you can understand beyond any doubt that this Ekādhaśī bestows the result indicated by its name… (Vijayā means Victory).”
- “Sri Rama and his group were able to cross the Lanka and got victory over Ravana because of the merits they gained by fasting Vijaya Ekadhasi.”
- This fast is powerful enough to eradicate all one’s sinful reactions, even the most abominable ones.
- Anyone who reads or hears this history will attain the same great merit as that which is earned by performing a horse sacrifice.
Everyone knows that Sri Rama went to Lanka to save Sitadevi. At one point Sri Rama and the monkey army were finding themselves very difficult to cross the ocean. Then Sri Lakshmana suggested that Sri Bakadaalbhya muni is near Lanka and they can have his blessing and advice. Accordingly they all approached that muni.
Bakadaalbhya muni could understand, however, that Śrī Rāma was actually the Supreme Personality of God, who for His own reasons had appeared on the Earth as a human being. Sri Rama told his situation. Bakadaalbhya muni told him that they will surely corss the river and get great victory if that fast the great Vijaya Ekadhasi. He told them a procedure to worship Sriman narayana with a water pot on Ekadhasi and dwadhasi.
Sri Rama did just as Bakadaalbhya Muni instructed and thus He conquered all demoniac forces. Similarly, anyone who observes the Vijayā Ekādhaśī in this way will always be victorious in this mortal world, and after leaving this world he/she will reside forever in the anxiety free realm of the Kingdom of God.