King Maandhata asked Vashishta Muni, “O Muni, how can one achieve emancipation from life and death?” Muni replied, “O King, the outcomes of following the vrat of Aamalki Ekadashi once helped a hunter achieve happiness. The vrat of Aamalki Ekadashi is the destroyer of sins and donor of all happiness and salvation.”
Ekadashi follows the Hindu calendar on the movement of the moon. a month has 30 days and are divided into two periods of 15 days. First period of the month is called Sud (Sukla pax). During this period, the Moon's size is increasing. The second period of the month is called Vad ( Krishan pax). During this period, the moon's size is decreasing.
Ekadashi occurs on the 11th day of each period (twice a month). Ekadashi mean 11 (Ek meaning 1 and dash meaning 10 therefore 11). It is tradition in Hindu religion to observe fast on this day and is considered a holy day.
Story of Ekadashi
Ekadashi is a Vrat (austerity) which started many years ago. Once Lord Narayan was resting and a demon call Mundanav challenged the Lord for a fight. Mundanav had a boon (wish) that he could not be defeated by a man. So Lord Narayan produced a damsel from eleven spiritual parts of his body. Mundanav was so attracted to this damsel that he asked her to marry her. The damsel agreed with a condition that he had to fight her and destroy her and only then will she marry him. Mundanav was blinded by passion and did not even think twice and agreed to fight with her.
During the fight, Mundanav was killed by the damsel. Lord Narayan was pleased with the damsel and granted her a boon. The damsel asked Lord Narayan that ‘as I evolved from your Ekadash Indriyas (eleven spiritual parts of the body) I shall be known as Ekadashi. I am filled with Taap (penance) so I desire that people should observe Ekadashi Vrata on this day and control their Ekadash Indriyas on this day. Lord Narayan agreed and ever since all Hindus perform Ekadashi Vrat by fasting or eating farrari foods. A number of people do Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat on this day by not taking any food or drink.
Swaminarayan Bhagwan explains in the Vachnamrut that a true Ekadashi Vrat is when one withdraws the ten indriyas (5 sense organs: eyes, ears, nose, skin, tongue and 5 motor organs: hands, feet, mouth, reproductive and excretory organs) and the eleventh, the mind, from their worldly activities and focuses them on God and devotional activities.
Items which can be eaten Ekadashi under farrari foods include: Potatoes, Sweet Potato, Cassava (Mogo), Turnip and Yams, Milk Yogurt, Fruits, Nuts, some vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower tomatoes) and special grain such as Samo and Rajagri. Please Note that on Ekadashi, No outside food must be consumed! Only food prepared at home or temple must be consumed!
List of Ekadashi
|The Vedic lunar month||Ekadashi name|
|Pausha (पौष, December–January)||Putrada Ekadashi & Shatila Ekadashi|
|Maagha (माघ, January–February)||Jaya Ekadashi & Vijya Ekadashi|
|Phalguna (फाल्गुन, February–March)||Aamalki Ekadashi & Papmochni Ekadashi|
|Chaitra (चैत्र, March–April)||Kaamda Ekadashi & Varuthini Ekadash|
|Vaisakha (वैशाख, April–May )||Mohini Ekadashi & Apara Ekadashi|
|Jyeshta (ज्येष्ठ, May–June)||Nirjala Ekadashi & Yogini Ekadashi|
|Ashaad (आषाढ, June–July)||
Padma Ekadashi (Devshayani Ekadashi) & Kamika Ekadashi
|Shraavana (श्राव=90ण, July–August)||
Pavitra Ekadashi & Aja Ekadashi
Jalijilani (Parivartni) Ekadashi & Indria Ekadashi
|Ashvin (अश्विन्, September–October)||
Pashankusha Ekadashi & Rama Ekadashi
|Kartik (कार्तिक, October–November)||
Dev Prabhodhini Ekadashi & Utpati (Abhya) Ekadashi
Mokshda Ekadashi & Safala Ekadashi
Apara Ekadashi takes place on Vaishaak Vad 11. On one occasion King Yudhistir enquired to Lord Krishna, “O Krishna, please enlighten me with the importance of keeping vratt on Apara Ekadashi?” The Lord replied, “The greatness of observing the vratt of Apara Ekadashi has been described in detail as follows in the Brahmand Puran: ...
Dev Prabhodhini Ekadashi
Dev Prabhodhini Ekadashi is referred to as the King of all Ekadashi’s. On this day of Kartik Shud 11, many auspicious events took place in the Swaminarayan Sampraday...
Jaljilani (Parivartni) Ekadashi
On the day of Parivartni Ekadashi, Bhagwan continues to rest for the period of monsoon in the middle of the ocean on the head of Shesh Narayan until Kartik Sud Prabodhini Ekadashi. This day carries great importance for those who observe their Vrat accordingly, as it is a day to wash away one's sins. 'Parivartini' means 'of change' and represents the time when Shesh-Shayi Narayan...
It states in Padma Puran that keeping the vratt of Jaya Ekadashi earns immense benediction for anyone. The rewards include the fulfilment of desires, destruction of great sins and ultimately, help one to progress on the path of salvation. Great rewards and benefits, even greater than performing various donations, yagnas and visits to various pilgrimages (tirthyatra) are earnt by those who observe the vratt with full faith and vigour on this day.
The vratt of ekadashi helps one to achieve one’s personal desires and also inclines oneself to the path of spirituality. Observance of Kaamda Ekadashi destroys evil and removes poorness in the family. It instils great happiness for the future of those who observe the vratt strictly.
On this day of Ekadashi one must perform due respects and poojan to the Almighty Supreme God with fresh flowers and tulsi leaves. One must keep a divo (holy candle) in front of God and sing His praise with great joy and perform continuous devotion. During the night, one should perform jagran, sing bhajans, kirtans and chant the name of Bhagwan Supreme.
Mohini Ekadashi takes place on Vaishakh Vad 11. Mohini Ekadashi donors great benefits to all human beings to live happily in this life and the next. Observing the ekadashi vratt on this day helps achieve peace, honour and the divine pleasure of God to all mankind on this earth.
Mokshda Ekadashi arrives on Maghshar Sud 11. “Moksh” means Salvation and ultimate peace. Moksha can only be given by God Himself. But the supremacy of Mokshda Ekadashi can release one from the severe sufferings of life and deaths. The vrat performed on this day will bestow a place in the heavens.
O Bhim, pursuing the vratt of Nirjala Ekadashi gives a soul great benefit. It equates the fruits to visiting great holy pilgrims; removes the fear of Yamdutts; gives ultimate salvation. O Bhim, one must go through the pain of hunger on this vratt and control all the bodily senses and unite them with devotion to God.”
Padma Ekadashi (Devshayani Ekadashi)
The 11th day of the bright half of Ashadh is known as Padma Ekadashi (more commonly known as Devshayani Ekadashi). It is the beginning of Chaturmaas (“chatur” means four and “maas” means months), the four auspicious monsoon months which are full of festivals and celebrations. In these four months the atmosphere is heavy with moisture ...
Papmochni Ekadashi arrives in the month of Fagan Vad 11. This Ekadashi is the giver of wealth and the destroyer of many sins. The greatness of keeping vrat on this Ekadashi is depicted in Bhavishya Puran. In the Lok of Swarag, there is a beautiful garden in the name of Chaitrarath. Nearly all devtas go to the garden...
Putrada Ekadashi, also known as Sunanda Ekdashi, arrives on the eleventh day of the month Posh. The meaning of the Putrada, as the name implies – “Putra” means child and “da” means giver. Observance of this Ekadashi fulfils the wishes of devotees.
If one follows the vratt, fasts and stays awake the night (jagran) on Safala Ekadashi, one becomes very close and dearest to God. God delivers, answers the prayers and grants all the wishes of the devotee. Even performing the vratt of Ekadashi unknowingly bestows great benediction in this life and the next.
Shatila Ekadashi (also known as Tilda Ekadashi) takes place on the eleventh day of Krishnapaksh in the month of Posh. “Til” means sesame seeds (commonly known as “Tal”). “Da” means to donate. Hence on this day, one has to donate seeds and clothes to the Brahmins and the needy.
Utpati (Abhya) Ekadashi
“Utpati” means create, emerge or appear. Everything has been created by the Supreme Almighty. And there are reasons explained in the scriptures for the various creations of things in this universe. Even God needs a reason for Him to appear on earth, let alone anything else.
Varuthini Ekadashi arrives on Chaitra Vad 11. Observing a full fasting vratt on this day is rewarded with happiness in this world and the next. This vratt is the destroyer of all sins and elevates the observer on the path to ultimate salvation.
“O Prabhu, please enlighten me with the importance of keeping the vrat of Vijya Ekadashi.” Lord Shree Krishna replies, “O King, Brahma has explained to Naradji in detail the greatness of Vijya Ekadashi.” “Vijay” means victory. One who performs this vrat with full vigour achieves victory in whatever task is undertaken. Lord Shree Ram attained victory over King Ravan due to the strict...
Yogini Ekadashi falls on Jeth Vad 11. The vratt of Yogini Ekadashi is described in detail in the Brahmvait Puran. Shree Krishna expressed to King Yudhistir, “O King! Yogini Ekadashi is the destroyer of all sins and the giver of salvation. The vratt relieves one from pain and gives harmony and peace.