What is EKADASHI?
Who should observe Ekadashi vrata?
How to observe Ekadashi?
Ekadashi may be observed in different levels as given below and one may choose a particular level of fasting depending on one’s age, health and various other factors pertaining to one’s lifestyle.
- The real way to observe Ekadashi is to fast completely without even taking water. This is called nirjala fast.
- If you cannot observe a nirjala fast, you can take just water.
- If you cannot do that, you can also take a little fruit and milk.
- The next option is that you can also take other non-grain foods like vegetables (except onion and garlic), roots, nuts, etc., only once during the fast.
- The last option is to take the above items three times like on a regular day.
Breaking the fast?
- Ekadashi fast is broken on the next day, i.e., Dvadashi by taking grain prasadam during the stipulated parana time to complete the vrata.
- If you have not observed a Nirjala fast (a complete fast without even water), it should be broken by taking grains.
- In the case of a Nirjala fast, you can break it with even non-grain items like milk or fruits.
What to Eat & not to eat?
- Food grains, cereals and beans (pulses) must be avoided on Ekadashi.
- While spices can be used for cooking, mustard seeds should be avoided.
- You cannot use powdered asafoetida (hing), since it generally contains grains.
- As far as sesame seeds are concerned, they may be used only on Sat-tila Ekadashi.
- Take care not to use any cooking ingredients which may be mixed with grains. For example, avoid ghee which you have used to fry puris, and spices which you have touched with hands dusted with chapati flour.
- You cannot take even Vishnu-prasadam containing the above forbidden foods. But such prasadam may be kept to be honored the following day.
Mood while observing Ekadashi?
- Remember the pastimes of Lord Krishna or His different incarnations.
- Chant Hare Krishna maha-mantra as many times as possible.
- Read scriptures like Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam
- Visit a temple of Lord Vishnu/Krishna.