What is Ekadashi Vrata?

 

Ekadashi vrata is observed on 11th day of waxing (new to full moon period) and waning (full to new moon period) moon. Ekadashi in Sanskrit means 11. Since moon orbits earth in 28 days so there are two Ekadashis normally in a month.

Observing fast and devoting maximum time in the devotional services unto the lotus feet of Shri Krishna is main objective of this Ekadashi vrata. This is very pleasing to Lord Shri Krishna and enables ones to receive His unlimited causeless mercy.

Anyone who aspires to advance spiritually must observe Ekadashi vrata.

 

Why is it observed?

 

All Vedic literatures recommend observance of Ekadashi. Vrata or upvaas - meaning residing near to Shri Guru or Krishna to offer maximum and best possible devotional services. On Ekadasi days we fast in order to minimize the bodily demands so as to engage more of our time in the service of the Lord by chanting or performing devotional services. On this day we should plan to chant more "Hare Krishna - Mahamantra" rounds than as we do daily and read more devotional literature. If possible we should spend more time in the association of devotees at the temple. The best thing to remember the pastimes of Krishna and to hear His Holy names being sung and chanted. In the book "Nectar of Devotion" Srila Prabhupada tells us the purpose of Ekadasi is to increase our love for Krishna.

 

Myth

 

Many people think that Ekadashi means "no-cereal-day"!! Actually grains are not to be taken (including offered prasadam) on this day, rather fruits and other allowed items can be taken. Complete fasting and nirjala (even without water) is considered the best. Check your health and performance of devotional services before vowing for total fast. Ekadashi is observed to devote more time in Krishna connected activities so as to get mercy of Krishna. But many a times fasting becomes the objective, which is actually just a means to achieve loving devotional services on the lotus feet of Shri Guru & Gaurangau or Krishna.

 

Ekadashi Names

 

There are 24 Ekadashis in a normal year, but during leap year (adhik-maas) two more Ekadashis are added.

  1. Utpanna Ekadashi
  2. Mokshada Ekadashi
  3. Saphala
  4. Putrada
  5. Sattila
  6. Jaya
  7. Vijaya
  8. Amalaki
  9. Papamocani
  10. Kamada
  11. Varuthini
  12. Mohinii
  13. Apara
  14. Bhima/Pandava/Nirjala
  15. Yogini
  16. Sayana
  17. Kamika
  18. Pavitra
  19. Annada
  20. Parsva
  21. Indira
  22. Pasankusa
  23. Rama
  24. Utthana

The names of the two extra 'leap-year' Ekadashi’s are:

  1. Utpanna
  2. Parama

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