Hinduism is often described as a religion of fasts, feasts and festivals. Fasting a Hindu tradition to please God, by controlling and curbing one’s desires. Fasts most commonly known as Upvaas or Vrat are the days when devotees refrain themselves from food or water. Fasts of different Gods or Goddesses are observed on particular days. These stories have given solace to millions of people from time immemorial. It would be worthwhile to explain as to how a particular day of the week was allotted to particular star or planet.

Lord Shri Hari Vishnu

Lord Shri Hari Vishnu

Importance

All of vartas and upvasa the Ekadashi vrat is very important & beneficial for all householders. The purpose of fasting is to experience peace & bliss. Eating less enables the mind & body to function more effectively. Ekadashi or Ekadasi, is the eleventh lunar day of the shukla (bright) or krishna (dark) paksha (fortnight) of every lunar month in the Hindu calendar (Panchang). In Hinduism and Jainism it is considered a spiritually beneficial day. Scriptures recommend observing an ideally waterless fast from sunset on the day before Ekadashi to 48 minutes after sunrise on the day following Ekadashi.

Rules for Fasting

One should not eat any cereals like rice, pulses, wheat etc. and salt. If possible, one should stay on water. Drinking luke warm water or lemon-sugar water is very good as it cleanses the hidden undigested food in the body. If one feels hungry, then one can take milk or fruit. Fruit should not be eaten with milk like therefore no strawberry shake, mango shake, chickoo shake etc. Also Banana is not recommended on this day since it is heavy to digest. One should think that he/she is keeping this vrat to please God and to progress further in their devotion to God. One should observe self-control. One should do more of maun-japa (repeating the name of God in mind) in the day time. One should do more of Dhyan & Bhajan by keeping awake for a longer time in the night.

Legend about Ekadashi

Acording to Hindu scriptures long ago, when the whole universe was filled with a great ocean, Vishnu was sleeping on his bed of Adisesha, floating in the middle of the ocean. From his ear wax, two Asuras named Madhu and Kaitabha were formed. They fed on the ocean-water, and grew strong.

By meditating on beeja mantra they got boon from Adi ParaShakti that they will only at their on wish. After that they became arrogant with a sense of their own importance. They came upon Lord Brahma, who was doing his task of creation, sitting on a seat made from a lotus. They attacked Lord Brahma for his seat. Lord Brahma knew that he was no match for these warriors, so He fled to the abode of the Lord and started praying to Lord Vishnu. Despite His prayers, Lord Vishnu was still asleep. Then Lord Brahma pray to Supreme Goddess who was in form of Sleep in the eyes of Vishnu as Yoganidra. By the grace of Devi Maa, Lord Vishnu awoke. Lord Brahma told him about te terror of both asuras & to save Him from them.

Lord Vishnu Laxmi and Brahma

Lord Vishnu Laxmi and Brahma

Lord Vishnu started fighting them & this great battle stretched for five thousand years. Vishnu was surprised at his inability to destroy these demons. He then divined that these two Asuras have obtained the boon of invincibility from Devi. While he was still battling them, he started to pray to Devi, to show a way to slay these Asuras.

Devi appeared in the heavens above the battleground. Fighting with two hands, Vishnu joined his other two hands in worship for the eternal Goddess. He pray her to show a way to overcome these Asuras, who have become strong as a consequence of Devi’s boon.

Maa Vaishnavi as Ekadashi Devi

Maa Vaishnavi as Ekadashi Devi

After hearing Lord Vishnu’s prayer, Devi cast a look mixed with false-affection in for of Dark-Skinned Bhadra Kali, on the two demons, causing their baser instincts to awaken. The Asuras fell under the spell of Devi.

At that point Lord Vishnu offered then a boon, but completely befuddled by Devi’s gaze, the Asuras laughed outright at this proposal. In a tone of derision, they said they will grant a boon to Vishnu because he is going to be defeated by both of them. This was the opening that Vishnu was waiting for & he tricked them that He want both of them Killed by His hand. Vishnu took up his Vishwa-roopa & then placed the two Asuras on his massive thighs and beheaded them with his Sudarsana-Chakra. From the body fat of the dead demons, land was formed. Since it was formed from an unclean source, soil is not fit for consumption.

After they both killed Devi asked Lord Vishnu that She is came in form as His Vaishnavi Shakti on Ekadashi Tithi. What will be the importance of this day. At this Lord Vishnu blessed this day as His own day of worship. He told Devi that She is worshiped as Ekadashi Devi and the people who perform fasts on this day will get a great devotion & blessing form Devi & Himself also. Devi Ekadshi also Know as Bhadra-Kali or Vaishnavi.

Lord Krishna Telling Ekadshi Importance to Pandvas

Lord Krishna Telling Ekadashi Importance to Pandavas

All Ekadashi Months Details:

Lunar Months – पंचांग मास Krishna Paksha Ekadashi Names Shukla Paksha Ekadashi Names
Chaitra (चैत्र) -> March–April Papamochani Ekadashi Kamada Ekadashi
Vaisakha (वैशाख) -> April–May Varuthini Ekadashi Mohini Ekadashi
Jyeshta (ज्येष्ठ) -> May–June Apara Ekadashi Nirjala Ekadashi
Ashaad (आषाढ) -> June–July Yogini Ekadashi Shayani Ekadashi
Shraavana (श्रावण) -> July–August Kamika Ekadashi Putrada Ekadashi
Bhadrapada (भाद्रपद) -> August–September Ajaa Ekadashi Padhaa Ekadashi
Ashvin (अश्विन्) -> September–October Indira Ekadashi Paashunkushaa Ekadashi
Kartik (कार्तिक) -> October–November Rama Ekadashi Prabodhini Ekadashi
Margashirsha (मार्गशीर्ष) -> November–December Utpanna Ekadashi Mokshada Ekadasi
Pausha (पौष) -> December–January Saphala Ekadashi Putrada Ekadashi
Maagha (माघ) -> January–February Shatila Ekadashi Jaya Ekadashi
Phalguna (फाल्गुन) -> February–March Vijaya Ekadasi Amalaki Ekadashi
Adika Month (अधिक या पुरुषोतम मास) (Once in 2–3 Years) Parama Ekadashi Padmini Visuddha Ekadas

Ekadashi Dates for 2012: January 5th, 19th; February 3rd, 18th; March 4th, 18th; April 3rd, 17th; May 2nd, 16th; June 1st, 15th, 30th; July 14th, 29th; August 13th, 27th; September 12th, 26th; October 11th, 25th; November 10th, 24th; December 10th, 23rd.

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