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 phalahara can 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) milk, water and fruits. (Upma should not be done with rice flour, wheat flour can be used)
– Few have rotis and poori. But I dont advice that because they contain grains. If people are aged or have work and if they cant resist they are having rotis etc. But I was able to sustain very well with fruits and nuts once when I had work the whole day. So I hope everyone can do ekadhashi vratha either nirjala or at least with fruits…
On Dwadhasi, one should break his fast after the sunrise,
- Wake up early morning, finish nithya karma and pooja. Food should be cooked in madi and should be kept as neivedhya to Lord Sri Vishnu.
- People who have salagraama in house will prepare salagraama theertha and will break fast with that.
- People who dont have salagraama in house can take theertha which is used for abhisheka to Sri Vishnu paada or Sri Vishnu vigraha.
- By having the thulasi theertham (which is prepared with salagraama theertha) it means one is breaking the fast.
- Then on can have the food which is kept as neivedhya to Lord which is known as Dwadhashi parane. Even on dwadhasi onion and garlic should be avoided.
1. NEVER CONSUME RICE, ONION, GARLIC, TOMATOES, DRUMSTICK ON EKADHASI.
2. Having thulasi theertham on ekadhashi is counted as having food, one should not have that.
Fasting to be observed on 19th JULY 2013
This is the day where Sriman Narayana falls asleep with the other demigods in Ksheerasagar – cosmic ocean of milk – on Shesha naaga, the thousand-headed cosmic serpent. Vishnu finally awakens from his slumber four months later on Prabodhini Ekadhasi during Oct-Nov. This period is known as Chathurmasya and coincides with the rainy season. Thus, Shayani Ekadashi is the beginning of Chathurmasya. Devotees start observing the Chathurmasya Vratha to please Vishnu on this day. Thus this Ekadhasi is also known as Deva-Shayani Ekadhasi. Deva refers to Sri Vishnu and Shayani denotes resting or sleeping.
Sriman Narayana has told that,
- “Whether one takes fruits, roots, or even water on My sleeping day, or My turning-over-on-My-side day of Ekadhasis, he pierces My heart with a sharp spear.”
The Ekādhaśī that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Āṣāḍha (June-July) is the Shayani or Padma Ekadhasi.
- As Sri Hari will be going into Yoga Nidra on this Ekadhasi, One should fast this Ekadhasi completely even without taking water.
- Whoever observes this sacred fast will never enter into hell.
- This Ekādhaśī bestows perfection upon its faithful observers, removes all kinds of bad elements, and destroys all obstacles on the path to perfection.
- As Chathurmasya starts from this Ekadhasi, by fasting completely on this Ekadhasi brings invaluable merits.
There is a wonderful historical event that was recorded in the scriptures regarding this Ekādhaśī. Just hearing this account destroys all kinds of sins, along with all obstacles on the path to spiritual perfection.
There was once a saintly king named Māndhātā in the Sun dynasty who always stood up for the truth. Once because of some sin in the kingdom, there was a drought for three years. Everything became impossible for everyone without water and grains. The king meditated upon the cause of their problem for a long time, but even after searching his past and present character he honestly said that he can find no sin. Finally the king decided to go into forest searching for advices from sages.
At last he came upon the Aṅgirā Muni, whose effulgence lit up all directions. King Māndhātā was very please and immediately dismounted his horse and offered his respectful obeisances and told him their problem.
Aṅgirā Ṛṣi said to the king, “The present age, Satya yuga, is the best of all ages, for in this age Dharma stands on all four legs. In this age everyone respects brāhmaṇas as the topmost members of society. Only twice-born brāhmaṇas are allowed to perform Vedic austerities and penances. Although this is a standard, there is one śudra who is unlawfully performing the rites of austerity and penance in your kingdom. This is why there is no rain in your land. You should therefore punish this laborer with death, for by so doing you will remove the contamination inflicted by his actions and restore peace to your subjects.”
The king then replied, “How can I kill an offense-less performer of austerity and sacrifice? Please give me some spiritual solution.”
Aṅgirā Ṛṣi said, “O king, you should observe a fast on the Ekādhaśī that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Āṣāḍha. This auspicious day is named Padmā Ekādhaśī, and by its influence plentiful rains and thus grains and other foodstuffs will surely return to your kingdom. This Ekādhaśī bestows perfection upon its faithful observers, removes all kinds of bad elements, and destroys all obstacles on the path to perfection. O king, you, your relatives, and your subjects should all observe this sacred Ekādhaśī fast. Then everything in your kingdom will undoubtedly return to normal.”
Hearing these words King Māndhātā assembled all the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiṣyas and śudras in his kingdom and instructed them to strictly observe this important fast day. After they had observed it, the rains fell, just as the sage had predicted, and in due course of time there were abundant crops and a rich harvest of grain. By the mercy of the Supreme Lord Hṛṣīkeśa, the master of the senses, all the subjects of King Māndhātā became extremely happy and prosperous.
Fasting to be observed on 4th JULY 2013
The Ekādhaśī that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Jyeshta (May – June) is the Yogini Ekadhasi.
- Fasting on Yogini Ekadhasi will nullify all the curses. The curses and its reactions in this birth and in our previous births will be nullified by fasting Yogini Ekadhasi.
- Whatever merit one obtains by feeding 88,000 pious brāhmaṇas is also obtained simply by observing a strict fast on Yoginī Ekādaśī.
- This fast will destroy heaps of past sinful reactions and makes us most pious.
- In the puranas, an incident has been noted that Hemamali, the Yaksha has nullified his curse and its reactions by fasting on this Yogini Ekadhasi.
The king of Alakāpuri – Kuvera, the treasurer of the demigods – was a steadfast devotee of lord Śiva. Hemamali was his personal gardener. Hemamālī‟s daily duty was to visit Mānasarovara Lake and bring back flowers for his master, Kuvera, with which he would use them in the puja offerings to lord Śiva. One day, after picking the flowers, Hemamālī went to his wife for sex instead of returning directly to his master and fulfilling his duty by bringing the flowers for the puja.
Knowing this , Kuvera who was totally angry cursed Hemamali to fall in the lower planets and to suffer from white leprosy and to become separated from your beloved wife. And so Hemamālī fell at once from grace in Alakāpurī and became ill with the terrible affliction of white leprosy.
As he was wandering near Himalayas, he had the wonderful good fortune to come upon the great saint Mārkandeya rishi, the best of ascetics, whose duration of life it is said, extends to seven of the days of Brahmā. Hemamali told the rishi all his story and asked him for help.
Softhearted Mārkandeya rishi replied, “Because you have told me the truth, I shall tell you about a fast day that will benefit you greatly. If you fast on the Ekādhaśī that comes during the dark fortnight of the month of jeshta you will surely be freed of this terrible curse.”
Upon hearing these blessed words from the renowned sage, Hemamālī fell to the ground in complete gratitude and offered him his humble obeisances again and again. But Mārkandeya rishi stood there and lifted Hemamālī up, filling him with inexpressible happiness.
Thus, as the sage had instructed him, Hemamālī dutifully observed the Ekādhaśī fast, and by its influence he again became a handsome Yakṣa. Then he returned home, where he lived very happily with his wife.
Fasting to be observed on 20th JUNE 2013
The Ekādhaśī that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Jyeshta (May-June) is the Nirjala Ekadhasi.
- Whoever fasts on this Ekādhaśī receives the merits of bathing in all the places of pilgrimage, giving all kinds of charities to worthy persons, and fasting on all the dark and light Ekādaśīs throughout the year, in one go.
- Whoever fasts on this Ekādhaśī truly becomes a great person and achieves all manner of opulence and wealth, grains, strength, and health. And at the fearful moment of death, the terrible Yamadūtas will refuse to approach him.
- Even if sins are equal in volume to Mount Sumeru or to Mandarācala Hill, if he or she observes this Ekādhaśī, the sins that have been accumulated all become nullified and are burned to ashes. Such is the great power of this Ekādhaśī.
- Observance of this Ekādhaśī fast alone promotes one to the supreme abode of Śrī Vishnu.
- Whosoever eats any grains on Ekādhaśī becomes contaminated by sin and verily eats only sin. In effect, he has already become a dog-eater, and after death he suffers a hellish existence.
- Who observes this sacred Jyeṣṭha-śukla Ekādhaśī and gives something in charity certainly achieves liberation from the cycle of repeated birth and death and attains to the supreme abode.
- Observing this Ekādhaśī, which is merged with Dvādhaśī, frees one from the horrible sin of killing a brāhmaṇa, drinking liquor and wine, becoming envious of one’s spiritual master and ignoring his instructions, and continually telling lies.
- On the next day (Dwadhasi), if one satisfies a qualified brāhmaṇa with nice sweets and a donation of cows and money – such a person certainly pleases the Supreme Lord Vāsudeva, so much so that one hundred previous generations in his family undoubtedly go to the Supreme Lord’s abode, even though they may have been very sinful, of bad character, and guilty of suicide, etc. Indeed, one who observes this amazing Ekādhaśī rides on a glorious celestial airplane (vimāna) to the Lord’s abode.
- One who on this day gives a brāhmaṇa a waterpot, an umbrella, or shoes surely goes to the heavenly planets.
- Whoever performs the śrāddha ceremony to the forefathers on the dark-moon day called amāvasyā, particularly if it occurs at the time of a solar eclipse undoubtedly achieves great merit. But this same merit is achieved by him who simply hears this sacred narration – so powerful and so dear to the Lord is this Ekādhaśī.
Fasting to be observed on 4th JUNE 2013
The Ekādhaśī that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Vaishaka (April-May) is the Aparā Ekādhaśī.
- This Ekādhaśī is so sublime and meritorious that even the greatest sins can be erased by its potency.
- This Aparā Ekādhaśī is unlimitedly meritorious. Whoever fasts on this holy day becomes famous all over the universe. Even such sins as killing a brahmana, a cow or an embryo; blasphemy; or having sex with another man’s wife are completely eradicated by observing Aparā Ekādhaśī.
- Warriors who fall from their kṣatriya-dharma and flee the battlefield go to a ferocious hell. But, even such a fallen kṣatriya, if he observes fasting on the Aparā Ekādhaśī, is freed of that great sin and goes to heaven.
- One who does not observe this fast must be born again in the material world, like one bubble among millions in a huge body of water, or like a small ant among all other species.
People who bear false witness are most sinful. A person who falsely or sarcastically glorifies another; one who cheats while weighing something on a scale; one who fails to execute the duties of his varṇa or āśrama (an unqualified man’s posing as a brāhmaṇa, for example, or a person reciting the Vedas wrongly); one who invents his own scriptures; one who cheats others; one who is a charlatan astrologer, a cheating accountant, or a false āyurvedic doctor. All these are surely as bad as persons who bears false witness and they are all destined for hellish punishments. But simply by observing Aparā Ekādhaśī, all such sinners become completely free of their sinful reactions.
A disciple is the greatest sinner who, after receiving a proper spiritual education from his spiritual master, turns around and blasphemes him. Such a so-called disciple suffers unlimitedly. But even he, rascal though he be, if he simply observes Aparā Ekādhaśī, can attain to the spiritual world.
The merit attained by one who performs all of the following acts of piety is equal to the merit achieved by one who observes Aparā Ekādhaśī:
- bathing three times daily in Puṣkara-kṣetra during Kārtika (October-November);
- bathing at Prayāg in the month of Māgh (January-February) when the sun is in the zodiac of Capricorn;
- rendering service to Lord Śiva at Varāṇasī during Śiva-rātri; offering oblations to one‟s forefathers at Gayā;
- bathing in the sacred River Gautamī when Jupiter transits Leo;
- having darśana of Lord Śiva at Kedārnātha;
- seeing Lord Badrinātha when the Sun transits the sign of Aquarius;
- bathing at the time of a solar eclipse at Kurukṣetra and giving cows, elephants, and gold there in charity.
All the merit one gets from performing these pious acts is gained by a person who observes the Aparā Ekādhaśī fast. Also, the merit attained by one who donates a pregnant cow, along with gold and fertile land, is attained by one who fasts on this day.
In other words, Aparā Ekādhaśī is an axe that cuts down the fully matured forest full of trees of sinful deeds, it is a forest fire that burns sins as if they were kindling firewood, it is the sun blazing before one’s dark misdeeds, and it is a lion stalking the meek deer of impiety.
Therefore, whoever truly fears his past and present sins must observe Aparā Ekādhaśī very strictly and worship the Supreme Personality of God, Śrī Trivikrama. One who does so is freed of all his sins and promoted to the abode of Lord Viṣṇu.
Anyone who hears or reads this description is certainly freed from all kinds of sins.
NOTE : The Vedas declare, narAh budbudA samAh: “The human form of life is like a bubble in water”. In water, many bubbles form and then suddenly burst a few seconds later. Thus if a person does not utilize his rare human body to serve the Supreme Personality of God, Śrī Vishnu, his life has no more value or permanence than a bubble in water. Therefore, as the Lord herein recommends, we should serve Him by fasting on Hari-vAsara, or Ekādhaśī.
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.