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What does Ekadashi Mean?
Ekadashi means day of lord Hari. It is celebrated on the eleventh day of moon cycle from Purnima (full moon day) or Amavasya. It is a most auspicious day.
Glories of Ekadashi
In Hari bhakti vilasa12.119-120 it is described-
Ganga, Gaya, Kashi, Pushkar, Kurukshetra, Rekha, Vedika, Yamuna, Chandrabhaga, none of these is equal to Ekadashi on the day of Lord Hari. O king if someone observes the fast of Ekadashi even unknowingly. Then all his sins are instantly burnt to ashes and he easily attains the spiritual world. (Statement of Vashishtha Muni in Narad Purana).
For those who wants to get elevated in their path of devotion should follow this fasting. Just by keeping fast on this day one can attain pure form of bhakti.
“Fasting” or “upavasa” means to get closer to supreme personality of godhead. Ekadashi fasting purifies our soul burning our sins.
Even Srimati Radharani suggested gopis to observe this fasting when they asked her how they can please lord Krishna.
Srimati Radharani said, all of you should observe Ekadashi fast to worship Shri Krishna. There is no doubt that he will be under the control of Shri Krishna.
(Garga Samhita 8.9)
The real meaning of Ekadashi is to decrease the demand of our subtle body and to feed our soul with Hari Nama. On Ekadashi rather than engaging oneself in eating, sleeping, mating, and wasting time on Ekadashi we engage our senses in devotional services.
Just by observing Ekadashi fasting one gets benefit of performing “ashwamedhayagya”. On Ekadashi just by engaging one’s senses in hearing, chanting glories of Sri Hari one can get liberation (moksha) safter life.
Appearance of Ekadashi Vrat Katha
In the Satya-yuga lived a demon named Mura. He was very strong and whole universe was trembling because of his terrorism even Indra, Vivasvan (the sun-god),the eight Vasus, Lord Brahma, Vayu( the wind-god) and Agni (the fire-god) was scared of him he defeated all of them. With his power he brought them all under his control.
Then the demigods went to lord shiva to ask him for the remedy of this situation lord shiva asked demigods to approach Lord Visnu and pray to Him for help demigods prayed to lord Vishnu upon Hearing their prayers and request from Indra, Lord Visnu said: “O powerful demigods, all together you may now advance on Mura’s capital city of Candravati.” Lord Vishnu Along with demigods advanced to mura’s capital.
Then theirbig fight happened between the soldiers of Mura and the demigods. Hundreds of demons were killed by lord Vishnu. At last, the Mura himself came in battlefield and began fighting with the Lord. The Lord fought with Mura for one thousand celestial years and then, apparently fatigued, left for Badarika-ashrama. There He entered cave, named Hemavati, to rest.
The demon mura followed lord Vishnu and upon seeing him resting in cave he planned to kill him. Whiledemon Mura was making plans to kill lord Vishnu, from Lord Visnu’s body there manifested a young girl who had a very bright complexion. She was equipped with various weapons and was ready to fight with demon mura.
She challenged mura to fight with her mura prepared himself to fight with her. Hewas astonished when he saw that she fought with him very strongly. The king of demons himself was fearful of her. Suddenly she shattered all of Mura’s weapons and in a moment deprived him of his chariot. Mura angrily ran towards her to fight with her bare hands.
Goddess saw mura coming towards her she immediately cut his head with weapon in her hand. Mura’s head fell on ground, and he went to yamloka. Supreme lord woke up and saw mura dead and he saw a young girl sitting before him with joined palms.
The Lord, being pleased with the girl, offered to give her a boon. The goddess said she wants a boon to burn sin of those who fasts on her day. Also she askedto bless those whowho strictly observes a complete fast on my appearance day, with controlled senses with place in your abode.
This is the boon she desired to attain. Supreme personality of godhead fulfilled all her wish and even added that all his devotees in this world will surely fast on her day. Because she was appeared on the eleventh day of the waning moon, lord Vishnu named goddess “Ekadashi”.
Scientific Benefits of Ekadashi Fasting
- It is good for our metabolism.
- Fasting means giving rest to our organs. Like machinery requires rest afterworking, similarly our body organs need rest after working for long periods. It helps them to detoxify themselves. So, fasting detoxifies our body.
- It eliminates fat in our body.
- There are several more benefits of fasting like it controls blood pressure, it helps the body to be more active, it controls blood sugar level etc.
Spiritual Benefits of Ekadashi Fasting
It is mentioned in brahma vaivarthapuran-
“Once when Narad muni asked, explaining the importance of Ekadashi, Lord Narayana said, O Narad! This Ekadashi fast is rare even for the gods. This is the father of love for Shri Krishna and the best penance of ascetics.
Just as Shri Krishna is the best among the gods, Nature among the goddesses, Brahmins among the varnas and Shiva among the Vaishnavas, similarly this Ekadashi fast is the best among the fasts.
This fast is always observed by all four castes. Yatis, Vaishnavas and especially Brahmins must observe this fast. In fact, all the sins like Brahmahatya etc. take shelter of rice on the day of Ekadashi. A dull-witted person who eats rice while committing so many sins is a very bad person in this world.”
Not only consuming rice but consuming grains,pulses, onion garlic on this day is considered sinful.
Just by observing Ekadashi fasting one can elevate themselves spiritually and can get vaikuntha after leaving this material world.
There are several Ekadashi celebrated during year in each Ekadashi gives several types of benefits.
Ekadashi 2024 Names and Dates:
Name of Ekadashi
Ekadashi FAQ’S –
1.What one should do if one does not do paran in between paran time?
If this happens then one should continue their fast on Dwadashi as well and then break your fast on Thrayodashi.
2.Unmarried girls can start Ekadashi fasting?
Yes, everyone between the ages of eight years to eighty years should keep Ekadashi fasting.
3.Is it mandatory to keep Ekadashi fasting “nirjal”?
No, it depends upon one’s will and health. If one can keep Ekadashi fasting “nirjal” they should do it. If your health is not allowing you to perform Ekadashi without water, then take water and fruits or other Ekadashi items.