Sanatan Cultural Society

Sanatana Dharma – The Eternal Truth

Ekadashi 2015

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EKADASHI – begins tomorrow 16th January 2015

It is a common practice in most hindu households to observe fast on ekadashi. What is special about this day?

Ekadasi in Sanskrit means eleven. ‘Eka’ means “one” and ‘dasi’ is the feminine form of the word “dasa”, which means “ten”. Ekadasi is thus the eleventh day of both the dark and light fortnight of each month. On these special days, devotees fast from grains and beans and make an extra effort to be in service to the Divine.

There is a beautiful story about the origin of Ekadasi fasting. Once, in the Satya-yuga (the golden age) Lord Narayana was enagaged in battle with a demon called Mura. Feeling tired, the Lord decided to rest from the long battle. However, mura wanted to kill the Lord while he was sleeping. Suddenly from the body of the Lord manifested a young girl, who slayed the demon, Mura. This girl was the Mahasakti…. Pleased, Narayana gave her the name Ekadasi( as she appeared on the eleventh day of the waning moon). He also granted her the boon that anyone who fasts on Ekadasi will become free from sin and attain His transcendental abode.

There are certain rules regarding fasting on this day. For eg., one must strictly avoid eating grains and beans on Ekadasi. Fasting generally means completely abstaining from both food and drink. If this is difficult, one may eat a single nongrain meal once in the afternoon or in the evening.

According to scriptures, one who observes fasting on Ekadasi is freed from all kinds of reactions to sinful activities and advances in spiritual life. These sacred fasting days greatly help any sincere soul achieve, even within this present lifetime, liberation from the cycle of birth and death, it is said… therefore, Ekadasi gives one a real taste of renunciation, thus helping one give up trying to enjoy illusory sense gratification of this material world.

Both western and ayurvedic medicine recommend fasting to maintain and improve health. Indeed modern medial experts and ancient sages agree that fasting benefits one, both physically and mentally. Even from the economic point of view, two such fasting days in a month will save tons of food.

The basic principle is not just to fast, but to increase one’s faith and love for the Divine. The real reason for observing fasting on ekadasi is to minimize the demands of the body and to engage our time in the service of the Divine.

Devotees can choose to observe fasting without water, with only water, with only fruits, with one time latex food according to their will and body power. However it should be decided before starting the fast.

Dates for Ekadashi

16           January (Friday)  – Shattila Ekadashi

30           January (Friday) – Jaya Ekadashi

15           February (Sunday) -Vijaya Ekadashi

01           March (Sunday)- Amalaki Ekadashi

16           March (Monday) -Papmochani Ekadashi

30           March (Monday) – Kamada Ekadashi

14           April (Tuesday) – Varuthini Ekadashi

15           April (Wednesday) – Varuthini Ekadashi

29           April (Wednesday) – Mohini Ekadashi

14           May (Thursday) – Apara Ekadashi

29           May (Friday) – Nirjala Ekadashi

12           June  (Friday) – Yogini Ekadashi

28           June (Sunday) – Padmini Ekadashi

11           July (Saturday) – Parama Ekadashi

12           July (Sunday) – Parama Ekadashi

27           July (Monday) – Devshayani Ekadashi

10           August  (Monday) – Kamika Ekadashi

25           August  (Tuesday) – Shravana Putrada Ekadashi

26           August  (Wednesday) – Shravana Putrada Ekadashi

08           September (Tuesday)  – Aja Ekadashi

24           September (Thursday) – Parsva Ekadashi

08           October (Thursday) – Indira Ekadashi

23           October (Friday) – Papankusha Ekadashi

07           November (Saturday) – Rama Ekadashi

22           November (Sunday) – Devutthana Ekadashi

06           December (Sunday) – Utpanna Ekadashi

21           December (Monday) – Mokshada Ekadashi

Source: Rishimukh

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