Wednesday, 27 March, 2019

Ekadasi

 

“the Eleventh”

EKADASI FASTING IS DEDICATED to Lord Vishnu and is observed on the 11th day of the waning and waxing phase of the moon in a traditional Hindu calendar. This is one of the most popular fasts observed in Hinduism. On this day, devotees fast and pay special attention to their connection with the Divine – through meditation, listening to religious discourses, or through doing charity. Some observe the day with spiritual mindfulness, perhaps eating only fruit, and drinking

milk. Everyone abstains from grains however, as rice plays a role in the legend behind Ekadasi.

 

There are two fortnights in a lunar month – the bright and the dark. Therefore, Ekadasi occurs twice a month, in the bright fortnight and the dark fortnight. The special feature of Ekadasi, as most people know, is a fast, abstinence from diet. This is how it is usually understood. ‘We do not eat on Ekadasi’. The significance of this particular observance is not merely constituted of a fast physically, though it is also an essential element; it has other deeper aspects. In fact, the fast is only a practical expression and a symbol of something else that we are expected to do, which is of special significance to our personality. The moon is supposed to influence the mind. Ekadasi is particularly relevant to this relation of moon and mind. The Ekadasi day in both fortnights is the occasion when the mind finds itself in its place.

 

Fasting and meditation! What is their connection? There is really no intrinsic connection between fasting and meditation, but there is some advantage in keeping the body light and the stomach free from excessive metabolic function. When the stomach is given the duty of digestion, doctors will tell you, the blood circulation is accelerated towards the digestive organs, on account of which blood circulation to the head gets decreased after food is taken and so you feel sleepy and the thinking faculty practically ceases to function. Hence, there is no advantage in giving the physical system work on days you want to do Yogic practice. Thus, Ekadasi has also a spiritual significance.

 

Wake up early in the morning. Take bath and offer prayers. Perform a simple prayer to Lord Vishnu at home by lighting a lamp and offering fruit. Pray or meditate for few minutes. If there is a Vishnu temple nearby, visit the temple and perform morning prayers and rituals.

Fasting is for 24 hours. It is believed that a partial or total abstinence from food on Ekadasi is rewarded with bliss. If you have any health problems or are taking medicines, please consult your doctor before deciding on fasting. You can also opt for a partial fast by avoiding food made of rice. Do not eat food made from rice on Ekadasi. Strictly avoid eating rice and grains, honey and meat. Those taking partial fast can consume fruit and milk.

 

Staunch devotees who observe Ekadasi fasting do not sleep on the day.

They spend the whole night at Vishnu temples and by singing prayers or listening to stories dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

But those devotees who have health problems, do sleep at night. Those people who work, take rest at night and avoid keeping vigil at night. The fast is broken on the next day after taking bath. Offer prayers to Lord Vishnu by lighting a lamp and then you can break the fast.

 

The observance of Ekadasi has many advantages – physical, astral, spiritual – and because this day has connection with the relation of the mind with its abode together with the moon, you feel mysteriously helped in your meditation and contemplation, mysteriously because you cannot know this consciously. But you can feel this for yourself by observing it.

Sat-tila Ekadasi 10 Jan.

Bhaimi Ekadasi 26 Jan.

Vijaya Ekadasi 9 Feb.

Amalaki Vrata Ekadasi 25 Feb.

Paapamochanee Ekadasi 11 March

Kamada Ekadasi 26 March

Varuthini Ekadasi 10 April.

Padminee Ekadasi 24 April.

Parama Ekadasi 9 May.

Mohini Ekadasi 24 May.

Apara Ekadasi 8 June.

Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi 22 June.

Yogini Ekadasi 8 July.

Sayana Ekadasi 21 July.

Kamika Ekadasi 6 August.

Pavitropana Ekadasi 20 August.

Annada Ekadasi 5 September.

Parshva Ekadasi 18 September.

Indira Ekadasi 4 October.

Papankusha Ekadasi 18 October.

Rama Ekadasi 2 November.

Utthana Ekadasi 17 November.

Utpanna Ekadasi 2 December.

Mokshada Ekadasi 17 December

Saphala Ekadasi 31 December.

 

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