Ekadashi is the 11th day of the moon cycle, both from the full moon and from the new moon.
Na Kaashi na Gaya Ganga na rewa cha Gowthami
Na Chaapi KauravamKshethram, thulyambhoopaHaredrinaath.
– Padma Puraanam
Padmapuraanam says that sacred rivers like Ganga, Narmada, Godavari etc. and holy places like Kashi, Gaya, Kurushetra etc., cannot equal the merit of Ekaadasi Vratha.
“Vratagallelavu ekadashi vratava hinde”
Whether one following any vrata/anushtana or not that doesnt matter, Definitely one should do fasting on ekadashi
Purandara dasara lyrics says as follows:
“Hari dinadali unda nararige
Kora naraga thappudhendhu sruthi saruthalidhe”
The lines say, one who ate on ekadashi day will definitely will go to Naraka as told by vedas
What is Dinathraya:
Ekaadasi Vratha begins with the sankalpaon the Dasami day, fasting on the Ekaadasi day and parane on Dwaadasi day. Since it is spread over three days it goes by the name Dinathraya or three-day Vratha.
All together for three days, you will be forbidden four meals. Even on Dasami and dvadasi, You are not allowed to eat meals for the dinner
Science behind Ekadashi
Meanwhile according to modern science, it is known that the air pressure on our planet varies to extreme limits on both the new moon (Amavasya) and the full moon (Purnima) day. This is because of the orbital path combination of the sun, moon and earth.
This can be observed by the change in the nature of the tidal waves on the new moon and full moon days. The waves are very high and rough, but from the next day onwards, the waves become calm, an indication that the pressure has also receded.
Now, based on this fact, the significance of Ekadashi fasting can be explained in 2 ways:
1) According to science, it takes about 3-4 days for the food that we eat today to reach our brain. Now, if we eat light/fast on Ekadashi days, that intake will reach the brain correspondingly on the New moon/full moon day.
On both of these days, the earth pressure is at its maximum, thus leading to imbalance in everything, including ones thought process.
So, if the input to the brain is at a minimum, the chances of the brain indulging in any wayward activity due to the high pressure imbalance also becomes minimum.
2) Another explanation for the Ekadashi fasting is that compared to any other day of the moon cycle, the atmospheric pressure is the lowest on the Ekadashi days. Thus, this is the best time to fast and cleanse the bowel system. If we fast on any other day, the high pressure/strain may damage our system. Thus, it is advisable that after fasting on the Ekadashi, on the immediate next day (Dwadashi), we get up early and eat as soon as possible.
As per both the above theories, the fasting practice on the Ekadashi days have a strong scientific base.
Mostly people fear that by fasting one will become weak. Such a fear is not genuine. A day’s fast gives rest to the machinery of stomach and thereby helps it to function better in the future. Not only that the undigested food material gets proper opportunity for its further digestion, but also by fasting the digestion power increases, better assimilation of food takes place helping in more production of blood and other necessary chemicals, and thereby helping better health and better nutritional effects. It is both a good measure for would be stomach troubles and a cure for a number of ailments. It helps better functioning of the liver, pancreas, intestines and kidney etc., thereby reducing the chance of any ailment relating to these organs.
WHY EKAADASI FASTING?
- It is Haridina-meant for spritual activity only.
- Food will not be digested since the moon is not in full glory.
- Shrimad Acharya has prescribed fasting, so it is mandatory to us.
- Its observance reduces all sins to ashes.
- Fasting tones up our health and keeps the body and the mind trim.
Normally 24 (12 x 2) Ekaadasis occur in a calendar year. When in a year there is an Adhikamaasa(According to Vashishta philosophy Adhika Masa comes in 32months, 16days, 3hrs, and 12mins) 2 more are added.
1. DASAMI SANKALPA
Dashamee divase Parapte Vrathastoham Janaaradan
Thridinam Devadevesha Nirvigham Kuru Keshava
– Brahmavaivartha Puraanam
Janaardana! Today being Dasami I am ready for the three day vow. Oh, Lord! Deva Deva! Keshava! see that no obstacles come in the way of my vow.
2. EKAADASI SANKALPA
Ekaadashyam Niraharaha Sthithvahani Parehyaham
Bhookshyaami Pundareeksha Saranam Me Bhavaachyutha
– Brihannaaradeeya Puraanam XXI – 15
After fasting on Ekaadasi I will eat on Dwaadasi, Please be my reguge Oh, Achyuta!
TWO DAY FASTING SANKALPA
Adyashvasheha Niraahaaro Bhootvaaham Dwaadashee Dine
Vidhaasye Paaranam Deva Preetho Bhava Ma maanisham
I will be on a fast today and tomorrow and break the fast on Dwaadasi. Lord! may you be pleased!
3. DWAADASI SANKALPA
Ajnaana Thimiraandhasya Vratenaanena Keshava
Praseeda Sumukho Natha jnaanadristi Prado Bhava
– Brihannaradeeya Puraanam XXI-20
Oh Lord! Keshava! I am blinded by the darkness of ignorance. By my undertaking this fast on Ekaadasi may it please you to bless me with the light of knowledge.
Ekaadasyupavaasena Dwaadashee Paarnenacha
Yadaarjitham Mayaa Punyam Thena Preenathu Keshavah
– Brahmavaivartha Puraanam
May Lord Keshava be pleased with the merit that accured to me by fasting on Ekaadasi and breaking the fast on Dwaadasi.
Types of Ekadashi:
Dasara padagalu on Ekadashi
Ekadaashi Achara and vichara by Prabhanjanacharyaru