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A Simple Guide About How To Fast on Ekadashi Day

Some of my friends asked me to write an article about Ekadashi day. Find some helpful information about this kind of fast, somewhat exotic for Western culture but very effective in everyday life.


Ekadashi fast with flowers during the daytime

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What Is Ekadashi

Ekādaśī (ekāhdaśī, "Eleven"), also spelt as Ekādaśi, is the eleventh lunar day (tithi) of each of the two lunar phases which occur in a Hindu calendar month - the Sukla Paksha(the period of the brightening moon also known as the waxing phase) and the Krishna Paksha (the period of the fading moon also known as the waning phase). In other words, Ekadashi is celebrated 4 days before the Full Moon or the New Moon.

Wikipedia states that the timing of each Ekādaśī is according to the moon's position. The Hindu calendar marks the progression from a full moon to a new moon as divided into fifteen equal arcs.


Each arc measures one lunar day called a tithi. The time it takes the moon to traverse a particular distance is the length of that lunar day. Ekādaśī refers to the 11th lunar day, corresponding to a distinct phase of the waxing and waning moon. The celestial body will be illuminated about 75% or 25% on Ekādaśī day.


General Information


There are usually 24 Ekādaśīs in a calendar year. Occasionally, two extra ones happen in a leap year.


Each of these days is purported to have particular benefits and blessings. They are attained by the performance of specific activities. Fasting is one of them.


These days are described here more thoroughly. I will only mention some of them to give you an idea of what happens in the Hindu world. You can find it as an inspiration and guidance for your own life.


Intentions of Ekadashi fasts according to Birthastro:


  1. Putrada Ekadashi - Putrada Ekadashi - For the blessing of a boy

  2. Satilla Ekadashi - For freedom from sins and acquiring a heavenly abode.

  3. Jaya Ekadashi - For gaining merit of donating ten times more than offering a thousand cows to a Brahman.

  4. Vijaya Ekadashi - For victory and success in all spheres of life.

  5. Amalaki Ekadashi - For gaining merit of donating ten times more than offering a thousand cows to a Brahman.

  6. Papmochani Ekadashi - For the freedom from sins and wrongful acts.

  7. Kamada Ekadashi - for the fulfilment of desires.

  8. Varuthni Ekadashi - For overall happiness.

  9. Gauna Mohini Ekadashi - For relief from all kinds of suffering.

  10. Apara Ekadashi - For achieving name and fame.

  11. Nirjali Ekadashi - For control over senses and relief from all sufferings.

  12. Yogini Ekadashi - For performing pious deeds.

  13. Devshayani Ekadashi.

  14. Padma/ Devashyani Ekadashi - For Moksha (Salvation and liberation).

  15. Kamika Ekadashi - For freedom from sins committed.

  16. Aja Ekadashi - For gaining spiritual knowledge and higher consciousness.

  17. Vamana, Parivartini or Parsva Ekadashi - For overall purification of body, mind, and soul.

  18. Shravana Putrada / Pavitropana Ekadashi - For being blessed with a child.

  19. Indira Ekadashi - For liberating ancestors from the hell of Yamraj.

  20. Padmini Ekadashi - For a joyous life and ultimate salvation and liberation.

  21. Parama Ekadashi - helps wash away all sins and leads to the heavenly abode.

  22. Papankusha Ekadashi - For fulfilment of desired and Moksha.

  23. Rama Ekadashi - For elevation to higher consciousness.

  24. Devathuna Ekadashi - For purification of the body and mind.

I have to add that some of the kinds listed above have very precise rules to observe during the fast. Here, let's focus on the general rules of Ekadashi as the number of practices is as huge as the number of gods in Hinduism.


 

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The Benefits of Ekadashi Fast


  • Body Detox

  • Weight loss

  • Better hydration


Fasting


In Hinduism and Jainism, this day is considered a spiritual day and is usually observed by a partial fast that spans three days. Devotees take a single meal in the afternoon a day before the fasting day so that no residual food is found in the stomach on the next day.


Then the strict fast on Ekadashi day starts at sunrise that day and ends on the next day, also after sunrise.


You can choose to observe fasting without water, with only water, with only fruits, and with one-time latex food according to your will and body power. However, it should be decided before starting the fast.


Eating all type of grains and cereals are prohibited during Ekadashi fasting. You are not allowed to consume beans and grains because according to the Hindus and the Jainists, they are believed to be contaminated by sin.


Dates


Every year I update this article so that you have the freshest dates of Ekadashi. As we start 2024 soon, here is the current list of dates.


To practise Ekadashi properly, do not forget to check the local times of sunrise on a given day.


There are a good bit of websites stating the days and times of Ekadashi on the Internet. I have chosen a calendar published on Birthastro. Notice that Ekaashi before the New Moon is called Krishna and that before the Full Moon - Shukla.


Remaining Ekadashi Days in 2023


  • November 23, 2023 (Thu) - Devathuna

  • December 08, 2023 (Fri) - Utpanna

  • December 22, 2023 (Fri) - Mokshada


Ekadashi Daysn in 2024


  • 7th January 2024 (Sunday) - Saphala Ekadashi

  • 21st January (Sunday) - Pausha Putrada Ekadashi

  • 06 February (Tuesday) - Shattila Ekadashi

  • 19 February (Monday) - Jaya Ekadashi

  • 06 March (Wednesday) - Vijaya Ekadashi

  • 20 March (Wednesday) - Amalaki Ekadashi

  • 05 April (Friday) - Papmochani Ekadashi

  • 19 April (Friday) - Kamada Ekadashi

  • 04 May (Saturday) - Vaishnava Varuthini Ekadashi

  • 19 May (Sunday) - Mohini Ekadashi

  • 02 June (Sunday) - Apara Ekadashi

  • 17 June (Monday) - Nirjala Ekadashi

  • 01 July (Monday) - Yogini Ekadashi

  • 17 July (Wednesday) - Devshayani Ekadashi

  • 31 July (Wednesday) - Vaishnava Kamika Ekadashi

  • 15 August (Thursday) - Shravana Putrada Ekadashi

  • 29 August (Thursday) - Aja Ekadashi

  • 14 September (Saturday) - Parsva Ekadashi

  • 28 September (Saturday) - Indira Ekadashi

  • 13 October (Sunday) - Papankusha Ekadashi

  • 27 October (Sunday) - Rama Ekadashi

  • 12 November (Tuesday) - Devutthana Ekadashi

  • 26 November (Tuesday) - Utpanna Ekadashi

  • 11 December (Wednesday) - Mokshada Ekadashi

  • 26 December (Thursday) - Saphala Ekadashi


Ekadashi fast

Other Important Information


Ekādaśī is different for Vaishnavites and Smarthas. Check by clicking the link above for more information.


According to Kala Prakashika, a Jyotish text discussing auspicious times for beginning an activity ("Muhurta"), the Ekādaśī fast is performed on a day which is not touched or ruined by any influence of the tenth lunar day. The cut-off time is 96 minutes before sunrise.


If the tenth day completes just 96 minutes before sunrise, then it is celebrated as Ekādaśī. However, in the case of incomplete at 96 minutes before sunrise, the Ekādaśī fast is performed on the following day.


On the other hand, Birthastro distinguishes 3 kinds of fast:

  • Sajala Ekadashi - to fast on water and juice,

  • Nirjala Ekadashi - to fast without water,

  • Farali Ekadashi - to intake only fruits and milk.


Ekadashi Vrat


It happens that Ekadashi fasting is suggested on two consecutive days. Smartha and with family should observe fasting on the first day only. Sanyasis, widows and those who want Moksha should observe the alternate Ekadashi fasting. Both days are observed by staunch devotees who seek for love and affection of Lord Vishnu.


Significance


It might sound a bit exotic to us in the Western world.


However, there is a good point in having a special day every two weeks and if you want, it can be Ekadashi, not necessarily for worshipping Hindu gods, but for increasing general spirituality.


You will also have some time to reflect on your life and an opportunity to cleanse your body.


Meditate During Ekadashi


Combining fast and meditation and be very beneficial. It is easier to focus on the Source and Higher Beings of Light while your body is not preoccupied with food. It does not mean to be sad or suffer deliberately.


Rather, travel with your mind and astral body to the happy memory, then cleanse yourself under the waterfall and recharge with the energy of Mother Earth.


Let's meditate together:


Connect remotely during joint meditation on Saturdays at 8 pm GMT. I will meditate with you and other people then use telepathy. Send your intention to the Universe. Transform your life and the world.


More about meditation:


In A Nutshell


Today I have made you familiar with Ekadashi day, worshipped by the Hindus. It is celebrated on the eleventh day after each New Moon and Full Moon when people fast for one to two days. Good luck with finding your own, special day. Maybe Ekadashi? With lots of love and light,


Vicky


About


Vicky is an experienced holistic writer and coach who inspires, motivates, and encourages everyone to become the best version of themselves - physically, mentally, and spiritually.


DISCLAIMER

The content of Awaken Happy Life is published for educational and informative purposes only. It does not substitute medical or any other professional advice. Please seek professional care if you believe you may have a condition. The author of Awaken Happy Life is not liable for any consequences of applying any piece of advice published on this website by the reader.


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