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Ekadasi Vratas, Dos and

Donts According to
Gaudiya Vaishnava
Theology
COLIN KOHAIRSATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2017
So many times devotees, new and old, have questions about
Ekadasi. What can I eat? What cant I eat? or What do we
do? So I decided to compile some resources that I have
collected over the years to cast any doubts.
It is important to remember that sadhana is detailed to the
individual according to time, place, and circumstance. And
should be executed according to three standards first, second,
and third. While first class standards may be the highest, it
might not be applicable to the sadhaka at that particular
moment. We should all strive for higher standards, but we
must also be mature enough to understand and accept our
limitations. It is also important to remember that Ekadasi is a
day that we increase our sadhana so we can strengthen our
spiritual lives.
So let us begin....

The gold standard would be to fast on Ekadashi without


consuming a drop of water and to remain awake for the night.
Srila Prabhupada saw the impracticality of this in the modern
age and advised, that we abstain from grains and beans on
this day and increase our devotional service with additional
chanting. This is not to say that there are no other standards
out there, some more and others less stringent. We do not
wish to argue the merits of the various approaches but provide
this information as a guide to allow individuals to decide
which option to exercise.
When you read the kathas on Ekadashi, the heroes and
characters of the kathas derive enormous benefit from
accidentally (or unconsciously) observing this holy Vrat/fast.
If you receive that kind of punya karma (blessings/merits/
mercy) from unconsciously fasting surely people who
knowingly attempt the vrat cant be worse off? Everyone
needs to start somewhere, you cant start observing every
Ekadashi as Nirjala (the Ekadashi fast that comes in June
where no water is consumed) immediately, it often takes time
and sometimes people are never able to follow it up. But
rather than Ekadashi being projected as impossible to
observe, we should make clear the BASICS and urge
individuals to perform the Ekadashi fast correctly. Many
websites seem to simply demoralize individuals by publishing
long lists of prohibited foods (I am better than you? nana-
nana type of syndrome). This is so unfortunate that when we
think after reading about the benefits of Ekadashi on that day
so many benefits are bestowed upon the individual but
apparently eating a Brinjal (Eggplant) which is not a grain and
not a meat derivative (including onion, garlic, et al) is
catastrophic. Hmmmm...Grains must be avoided on Ekadashi
as they have a detrimental effect on our body. On Ekadashi
with regards to the Moon, it plays havoc with our body. The
water in the sea and so many other things are affected by the
position of the moon. Grain food eaten on Ekadasi retains
water and since the moon plays such havoc with water, it
affects our health adversely.

The essence of this fast is to decrease eating and sleeping so


that one can spend as much time as possible on hearing,
chanting and remembering Shree Krishna. There are some
practitioners whose diet on Ekadashi are much more strict
than others. Those who fully observe this fast do not eat, drink
or sleep on this day. Others consume fruits and milk and
spend more time being absorbed in chanting the Lord's names
and reading our scriptures. To increase the austerity means to
increase the benefit of this fast! So some follow a stricter
regime, but one should not impose it on anyone else. That's
not cool.
We can quote so many do's-and-donts yet Srila Prabhupada
gave us a simpler and easier formula for observing Ekadashi.
Srila Prabhupada, understanding the inadequacies of the
present day society, did not insist on a very strict following of
Ekadashi, other than refraining from mainly rice, dhal and
beans - expecting devotees to increase their hearing and
chanting of the Lords names and pastimes. There is a variety
of prohibited vegetables (carrot, eggplant, broccoli, etc.)
mentioned in our scriptures esp the Kurma Purana, but Srila
Prabhupada never enforced this rule, nor followed it himself.
Thus it is acceptable on Ekadashi for devotees to consume any
vegetable while refraining from mainly rice, bean and dhal. A
complete fast, even from water was not expected by Srila
Prabhupada or his followers. Still, if one is able to perform
this austerity, with increased hearing and chanting it was very
much appreciated by Srila Prabhupada.
In India most people who fast on this day refrain from a range
of vegetables including tomatoes, cauliflower, eggplant, lady
fingers (Okra/Bindi) and leafy vegetables and do not use any
spices except pepper, rock salt and cumin (Jeera). Srila
Prabhupada specified food grains and beans (pulses) as foods
that must be avoided on Ekadashi. One may use spices for
cooking. You should not use powdered Asafoetida (hing),
since it generally contains grains. The whole Asafoetida (hing)
which is black in colour is used instead. All grains, pulses and
beans either whole or ground into flour: rice, wheat, chick-
peas (besan), soya, barley, millet, rye, all dhals and dried
beans, and anything that contains these ingredients:
papadams, tofu, pasta, grain beverages. Vegetables such as
green beans, corn, peas (read below what we say about this),
Oils made from grains: corn oil, soya oil, and products that
may have been fried in these. Please note that snacks fried in
vegetable oil may be have been fried in the oils listed above.
What about Sunflower oil??? .... It is sunflower so that is a
seed and not a grain but you can use pure butter ghee simply
because we cannot vouch for the sanctity of the refining
process for the oil. Once can also use pure unsalted butter.
That is why I suggest that people purchase unsalted butter
just for that day. You can purchase a little tub of ghee for
under R30 and that is enough for a few Ekadashi preps.
personally that is what I do on Ekadashi or else I use extra
virgin olive oil.
Do not use any cooking ingredients that might be mixed with
grains, such as ghee that has been used to fry puris, or spices
touched by hands dusted with flour. There is absolutely NO
doubt about what is NOT permissible to eat on Ekadashi...
ANNA (grains). However it is how you translate this word that
makes the difference. Srila Prabhupada said "Fruits, Roots,
Nuts, Milk". If you stick to these types of foods you should be
fine. Of course the
sure way is to fast completely. Water of course can be taken.
Except if you wish to do Nirjala Fast.
* One who is very strictly observing Ekadashi should avoid all
spices except pepper, rock salt and cumin (jeera). Individuals
may observe these rules if they choose, either making their
own arrangements for cooking on Ekadashi, eating uncooked
foods such as fruit, or observing a full fast.Mahaprashad on
Ekadashi:
On Ekadashi, strict followers of Vaishnava (devotees of Lord
Vishnu) regulations avoid eating any mahaprashad from an
offering that includes grains. The shastra explains that the
papa-purusha (sin personified) takes shelter in grains on
Ekadashi, and therefore we avoid grains at all costs on that
day, not even risking taking non-grain preparations of
Mahaprashad from an offering plate containing grains.
Ekadashi mahaprashad should be stored until the next day; if
that is not possible it can be distributed to persons not strictly
following Vaishnava regulations or to animals. In fact,
mahaprashad maintains its purity on Ekadashi despite the
presence of the papa-purusha, and therefore it will purify
anyone who eats it. Nevertheless, the followers of Caitanya
Mahaprabhu, being strict followers of Vaishnava regulations,
avoid mahaprashad on that day because their strict sadhana
will be hampered by the presence of the papa-purusha.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, especially if one is fasting
entirely, or even just taking water, the malas (stools) absorb
the toxins in the body when fasting. So on the day the fast is
broken it is a good idea to take a gentle laxative consisting of
50-50 warm milk and water, with some rock candy to sweeten
it. Generally 4-5 cups are drunk (up to 7) and within half an
hour to an hour one will expel the malas. After this at lunch
time one takes one's meal of prashadam.
So once again these are the foods, spices etc you can
and can't have on Ekadashi.
One shouldnt get started about seeds because bananas have
seeds and the potato and tomato that everyone eats is also a
seed. The best principle is articulated below.
One MUST abstain from all types of grains and beans
(including derivatives and anything containing grain/beans)
this is clearly articulated and not in question. Also for non
vegetarians clearly the additional restrictions of no meat,
onion and garlic will be relevant. Beyond that we do not see
any value in adding to a list of restrictions BUT we did
anyway. This most holy of days should not to be spent in
trying to side step a minefield of taboo foods, which frankly is
the impression many are left with constantly. For most
Ekadashi seems to be what do I avoid day instead of the
increase my thoughts of LORD KRISHNA DAY .
NB: - All ingredients used on non-Ekadashi days must not be
used on Ekadashi since the possibility exists that grains may
have mixed into it. It is best to keep separate containers for
spices, butter, sugar etc that will be used on Ekadashi.
Masalas and spice mixes purchased from stores are known to
sometimes contain grains, onion, and garlic. It is thus best to
make ones own masalas (which we have provided below).
What is the difference between a "grain" and a
"seed"?
What is the technical difference between a grain and a seed?
Technically, a grain is a fruit with a single seed fused, while a
seed is an ovule (think 'egg') with an embryo enclosed within.
In the case of wheat, the flour we derive is mainly the ground
up fruit part of the grain, the wheatgerm being the seed part
fused within the grain. In the case of, for instance, the Millet,
the ovule part of the seed is so 'meaty', comparatively
speaking, it has properties reminiscent of the fruit part of
grains, and in culinary terms we therefore treat them similarly
to a grain.
Some "grain-like seeds" are used as grains like Quinoa,
Amaranth, Buckwheat and Millet. Wheat, Rice, spelt (another
form of wheat) and oats are clear-cut grains. Sesame mustard,
and pumpkin seeds are, well, "seeds". But these all sprout if
you put them in water.
In seeds like peas and pea-likes, parts of the seed's embryo,
the food storage ones that allow the embryonic plant to push
up to reach the surface when planted and germinated, are,
when the seeds (peas) are dried, so mealy in their properties,
we can grind them up to produce 'flour' (like chickpea gram
flour, for instance), i.e. a substance that, in culinary terms,
reminds us of the properties of grain flour and so we treat
them as though they were actually ground up grains.
Ingredients that one CAN consume on Ekadashi
* Clean salt (meaning salt that only used on Ekadashi and not
on any other day).* Clean sugar (meaning sugar that only used
on Ekadashi and not on any other day).* Clean oil (meaning
oil that only used on Ekadashi and not on any other day).*
Pure unsalted butter, ghee, oil (except those made from
grains: corn oil, soya oil)* Use oils like Helios oil (made with
sunflower seeds) coconut oil, peanut oil * Spices like Turmeric
(ground from raw form), Hing (in its raw form), cinnamon
sticks, bay leaves, ground/whole pepper, Tamarind,
Cardamom (Elachie), Nutmeg (Jaifar), Cloves, Ginger, Chillies
(green or dried red), curry leaves, mint (pudina), coriander
(dhania/cilantro), thyme, saffron, Basil, Parsley, paprika,
nigella seeds, poppy seeds... * Potatoes, Maas (yogurt),
condensed milk, cottage cheese, fresh cream, sour cream,
yogurt, Rooibos tea, Green Tea, peppers, green bananas,
paneer, coconut, desiccated coconut, raisins, jaggery (Gur),
Pista (Pistachio), Badam (Almonds), Cashew-nut, cucumber,
karela (bittermelon), poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, rosewater,
lemon juice, lemons, peanuts, Cabbage, butternut, gem
squash, lettuce, all kinds of fruits... * Masala (If you make
your own masala thats fine but I would NOT recommend
purchasing it from shops as these have powdered grains in it).
The composition of masala differs regionally, with wide
variety across India. Some common ingredients in this
Dipika's Ekadashi Masala are black & white peppercorns,
dried red chilli peppers, ginger powder, curry leaves, sesame
seeds, mustard seeds, ground turmeric from the turmeric
stick, Soomph (fennel), cloves, long pepper (aka pippali),
jeera, cinnamon, elachie, nutmeg, star aniseed and dhania
seeds. Of course some may add other non-grain ingredients.
Varying combinations of these and other spices are used in
regional variants of masala, none of which is considered more
authentic than another. * Chilli powder (If you make your
own Chilli powder thats fine but I would NOT recommend
purchasing it from shops as these have powdered grains in it).
Chilli powder is a generic name for any powdered spice mix
composed chiefly of chilli peppers, most commonly either red
peppers or cayenne peppers, which are both of the species
Capsicum annuum. It can be made from virtually any hot
pepper including ancho, Cayenne, Jalapeno, New Mexico, and
pasilla chillis. Some common ingredients in this Dipika's
Ekadashi Chilli Powder is pure powdered chillies, cayenne,
jeera, oregano, salt, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves,
coriander, nutmeg, and turmeric. Of course some may add
other non-grain ingredients. Varying combinations of these
and other spices are used in regional variants of Chilli powder,
none of which is considered more authentic than another.*
Methi (fenugreek) seeds: - Fenugreek comes from the
Trigonella foenum-graecum plant in the family Fabaceae and
is a seed from the plant.* Jeera (Cumin): - is derived from the
flower and is not a bean or pod. (Iskcon's Juhu temple serves
Kadhi with jeera). Kurma Das (www.kurma.net) says I have
always understood Jeera to be absolutely fine on Ekadashi.
The Whole seeds not the powder (unless ground by yourself.)
Jeera is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, a
member of the parsley family. The cumin plant is a
herbaceous plant, with the fruit containing a single seed.*
Soomph (Fennel) : - Fennel is a perennial herb. It is derived
from the flower and is not a bean or pod. The fruit is a dry
seed.* Sago (aka Saigo) Saigo is from a cycad plant - similar to
a palm tree. It is the seeds of the cones of the cycad plant and
it's the starch extracted from the pith of sago palm stems. So
Saigo is a seed and hence can be consumed on Ekadashi.*
Cheese like Tussers, Parmasen, mozzarella, feta, with NO
animal rennet in them* Vanilla is a POD {the vessel that
contains the seeds of a plant (not the seeds themselves)} is not
a bean.* Buckwheat, quinoa (although it resembles a grain, it
is technically a grass), or tapioca (One must confirm that these
items are not mixed with grains)
Ingredients that one CAN'T consume on Ekadashi
As a rule of thumb we suggest you avoid products like ready-
mixed masalas and ready-ground products. This is simply
because products like ready-ground hing are sometimes
mixed with rice flour which renders them unusable on
Ekadashi. We therefore suggest that you use only whole
products like pure resin hing on Ekadashi.* Any type of
Grains viz. cereal, bread, wheat, flour, rice, dhals, roti,
chapati...* All types of beans* Masala (Not to say you can't use
it. Yes if you make your own masala {like we have given
above} thats fine but I would not recommend purchasing it
from shops as these have powdered grains in it)* Green
beans* Coffee, or typical tea like 5 roses* Onions and garlic*
Any type of meat and alcohol* Spices like powered hing,
powered shop turmeric.* Cheeses with animal rennet in them
(like most of the normal Clover cheeses)* Some Milk powders,
it is found, generally contains soy lecithin, a derivative of soy
grain.* Corn starch - often used as a sweetener in many
products. (Soft drinks)* Starches made from corn or grains
and products made from and mixed with these starches like
ground spices and hing, baking soda, baking powder, custard,
certain yogurts, puddings, cream cheese, candy.* Do not use
any cooking ingredients that may have been mixed with
grains, such as ghee that has been used to fry purees or spices
or salt touched by hands dusted with flour.
Grey Area ingredients
The ingredients below are in the grey department and you can
use your own discretion to consume them or not. It seems
everyone has an opinion on the below.* Some authorities
advise not to consume tomatoes (which by the way is a fruit
and not a vegetable), carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, eggplant,
turnips and beetroots, figs, pumpkin, lady fingers (Okra/
Bindi) and spinach and other leafy vegetables BUT I DONT
SEE THE GRAINS IN THESE FOODS. So for me common
sense always prevails. Srila Prabhupada said stay away from
beans and grains... KEEP IT SIMPLE.* Eggplant (Brinjal) -
Vaishnavas of the Lakshmi Sampradaya tend to avoid
eggplant, so does lots of South Indian temples.* Sesame seeds
(Til): - Sesame seeds comes from Sesamum indicum which is
a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum. It is cultivated for its
edible seeds, which grow in pods. As the name suggests it's a
seed and not a grain. Srila Prabhupad used Sesame seeds.*
Mustard seeds: - Mustard (black) seeds comes from the
Brassica nigra plant. As the name suggests it's a seed and not
a grain. Srila Prabhupad often used mustard seeds. Yamuna
devi uses Mustard seeds in her Ekadashi recipes.* OILS: -
Reading the above on Mustard and Sesame seeds should
answer weather we can use these oils or not.* Srila
Prabhupada used sesame seeds, mustard seeds, and peanuts
Refer to Yamuna's Table Cookbook.* Peas: - A pea is most
commonly the small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the
legume Pisum sativum. Each pod contains several peas. Pea-
pods are botanically a fruit, since they contain seeds
developed from the ovary of a (pea) flower. However, peas are
considered to be a vegetable in cooking. BUT ON THE
OTHER HAND if we can consume peas then we can have
dhal, isnt it? But dhal is not allowed on Ekadashi. As we know
from the kathas of Ekadashi that Paapa-purusha (sin
personified) hides only in grains on the day of Ekadashi and
not in seeds and so forth. This one is seriously tricky, it is true
that it is not a grain but a legume and therefore falls into the
bean family. However it is true that Srila Prabhupad extended
the definition of grain to not just rice but all grain in the form
of wheat, barley, beans etc. To be safe it is worth
avoiding.Pseudo grains and flours that may be used on
Ekadashi(Courtesy from Kurma Das www.kurma.net ) *
Amaranth Flour (rajgira atta): Milled from the seeds of the
amaranth plant, this flour boasts a higher percentage of
protein than most other grains, and has more fibre than wheat
and rice. It is also higher in the amino acid lysine, which some
food scientists believe makes it a more complete protein than
flour made from other grains. Amaranth flour can be used in
cookies, crackers, baking mixes, and cereals. Amaranth can
also be purchased as a puffed cereal in wholefood shops. *
Arrowroot Flour: The rootstalks of a tropical plant are the
source of this flour, often used as a thickener for sauces and
desserts; the finely powdered arrowroot turns completely
clear when dissolved (giving gloss to sauces), and adds no
starchy flavor. Because of its easy digestibility, it is also an
used as an ingredient in cookies intended for infants and
young children. You can use it as a grain-free substitute to
corn flour.* Buckwheat Flour: A common ingredient in
pancake mixes, buckwheat flour is also used to make Japanese
soba noodles. It is available in light, medium, and dark
varieties (the dark flour boasts the strongest flavor),
depending on the kind of buckwheat it is milled from. You can
make your own buckwheat flour by processing whole white
buckwheat groats in a blender or food processor. Buckwheat
groats (use only the dehusked variety) can be cooked like
rice.* Chestnut Flour: This tan flour is made from chestnuts,
the meaty, lowfat nuts that are often served as a vegetable.
The flour is a little sweet and is traditionally used in Italian
holiday desserts. Italian shops sell it.* Potato Flour (potato
starch): Steamed potatoes are dried and then ground to a
powder to make this gluten-free flour, which is commonly
used in baked goods for Jewish Passover (when wheat flour
may not be used).* Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) Flour:
Higher in fat than wheat flour, quinoa flour makes baked
goods moister. You can make your own quinoa flour by
processing whole quinoa in a blender; stop before the flour is
too fine - it should be slightly coarse, like cornmeal. Quinoa
can also be cooked like rice.* Tapioca Flour: Milled from the
dried starch of the cassava root, this flour thickens when
heated with water and is often used to give body to puddings,
fruit pie fillings, and soups. It can also be used in baking.*
Water-chestnut Flour (water-chestnut powder): This Asian
ingredient is a fine, powdery starch that is used to thicken
sauces (it can be substituted for cornstarch) and to coat foods
before frying to give them a delicate, crisp coating.
Of course the above won't be an issue if you just consume milk
and fruits for the day which I highly recommend.In
conclusion we would like to sum up the debate on the
observance of Ekadashi with the following thoughts. There
can be no question of the benefits of observing Ekadashi.
Every recitation of the benefits of the day shows that even
those who accidentally or inadvertently observe the day have
derived enormous benefit. Therefore on this day let us
immerse ourselves in the thoughts of the Lord, and in reduced
eating. For as long as the Ekadashi fasting does not become
Ekadashi feasting one will derive benefits. We would advise to
start slowly by initially giving up grains and then progressing
to consuming only one grain free meal on Ekadashi. If
possible and if one desires it one can work oneself up to
fasting every Ekadashi as Nirjala Ekadashi. This however is
the Gold Standard which many will never achieve
unfortunately. Therefore let the focus of this most holy day
rather be thoughts of the Lord rather than side- stepping a
minefield of prohibited foods.

Ekadasi Vrata according to Hari Bhakti Vilasa/Dik-


darshini tika:
SUKLYE VA YADI VA KRSNE TAD VRATAM VAISNAVAM
MAHAT
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/5 from MATSYA PURANA and
BHAVISYA PURANA)
Anybody who fasts on both Ekadasis on both the light and
dark fortnights of the month and eats on the next day
(Dvadasi), Lord Sri Krsna becomes very pleased with him.
EKA DASYAM NA BHUNJITA VRATAM ETAD DHIH
VAISNAVAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/6 from AGNI PURANA)
Full eating is condemned on Ekadasi and fasting on that day
is certainly very pleasing to Lord Krsna.
BRAHMANA KSATRIYA VISAM SUDRANAM CAIVA
YOSITAM
MOKSADAM KURVATAM BHAKTYA VISNOH
PRIYATARAM DVIJAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/7 from BRHAN NARADIYA
PURANA)
Oh brahmanas, those of brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and
sudras, whoever one may be, who fast on Ekadasi with full
devotion, will certainly achieve liberation.
EKADASYAM NA BHUNJITA KADACID API MANAVAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/15 from VISNU SMRTI)
A human being should never eat on Ekadasi day.
EKADASYAM NA BHUNJIYA NARI DRSTE RAJASYAPI
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/16, Srngi Rsi speaks)
Even if a woman is going through menstruation, she should
not eat on Ekadasi.
VAISNAVO YADI BHUNJITA EKADASYAM PRAMADATAH
VISNU ARCANAM VRTHA TASYA NARAKAM GHORAM
APNUYAT
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/32 from GAUTAMIYA TANTRA)
If due to bewilderment, a Vaisnava eats grains on Ekadasi
day, then whatever merit has attained by worshiping Lord Sri
Visnu becomes fruitless and he falls into hell.
SAMADAYA VIDHANENA DVADASI VRTAM UTTAMAM
TASYA BHANGAM NARAH KRTVA RAURAVAM NARAKAM
VRAJET
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/33 from VISNU RAHASYA)
If, after taking a vow to observe Dvadasi (Ekadasi), if one
breaks it, he falls into a grievous hell known as Raurava.
VIDHAVA YA BHAVEN NARI BHUNJITA EKADASI DINE
TASYAS TU SUKRTAM NASYED BHRUNA HATYA DINE
DINE
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/34 from KATYAYANA SMRTI)
Any widow, who eats grains on the Ekadasi day, becomes
bereft of all of her merits and she suffers the sin of performing
an abortion daily.
YATHA SUKLA TATHA KRSNA YATHA KRSNA TATETARA
TULYETE MANUTE YASTU SA VAI VAISNAVA UCYATE
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/54 from TATTVA SAGARA)
Both the Ekadasi from the light fortnight and the one from
the dark fortnight are equally powerful. All persons who think
that both Ekadasis are equal are addressed as Vaisnavas.
SANER VARE RAVER VARE SANKRANTYAM GRAHANE'PI
CA
TYAJYA NA EKADASI RAJAN SARVA DAIVETI NISCAYAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/63, Devala Rsi speaks)
Oh king, one should never give up fasting on Ekadasi, even if
it falls on Saturday, Sunday, on an eclipse day or on Sankranti
day.
VARNANAM ASRAMANAN CA STRINAM CA VARA-
VARNINI
EKADASY UPAVASASTU KARTAVYO NA ATRA SAMSAYAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/74 from PADMA PURANA,
UTTARA KHANDA conversation between Lord Siva and
Parvati)
Oh dear wife, among all kinds of social and spiritual orders or
even women, everyone should fast on Ekadasi day. Of this,
there is no doubt.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami remarks in his Digdarsini-tika
commentary, "Everyone should fast on such an auspicious day
as Ekadasi. Everyone, among all social and spiritual orders are
said to be authorized to fast on this day. Even grhasthas,
previously as it is said, "brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and
sudras, and even women should fast", and furthermore, "men
and women should fast". Sudras and even women have not
been rejected to fast on Ekadasi. Specifically, "even a widow"
and "with his wife and his son", either a married or unmarried
woman are authorized to fast. As Manu Maharaja says, "There
is no authorization for a woman to separately perform a fire
sacrifice, any fasting". Lord Visnu says, "If any woman's
husband is alive and she fasts without asking him, she reduces
the duration of life of her husband and attains hell herself."
This means, a woman has to take her husband's permission to
perform auspicious functions. Therefore, it is advised in the
Sankhalikhita scripture, "A woman should begin taking vows
for spiritual functions and fasting by the order of her
husband." Therefore, a Vaisnava understands that a grhastha
should fast with his wife and children. A Vaisnava should
automatically understand this statement regarding women. As
stated in Rukmangada, "He should fast with his children, wife,
and relatives together on the Ekadasi day."
ASTA VARSADHIKO MARTYO APURNA ASITI VATSARAH
EKADASYAM UPAVASET PAKSAYOR UBHAYOR API
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/75 from KATYAYANA SMRTI)
From the age of eight to the age of eighty, a person should
fast on all of the Ekadasis on both the light and the dark parts
of the month.
VAISNAVO VATHA SAIVO VA KURYAD EKADASI VRTAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/78 from VISNU
DHARMOTTARA)
Whether one is a Vaisnava or a Saivite, everyone should fast
on Ekadasi day.
EKA BHUKTENA NAKTENA BALA VRDDHA ATURAH
KSIPET
PAYO MULA PHALAIR VAPI NA NIRDVAD ASIKO BHAVET
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/91 from MARKANDEYA
PURANA)
A child, an old man or a person unable to fast can take
something to eat in the evening or once in the day, whether it
be milk, fruit or water, but should properly follow the Ekadasi
fast. One should not give up fasting on Ekadasi.
VYADHIBHIK PARIBHUTANAM PITTA ADHIKA
SARIRINAM
TRINSAD VARSADHIKANAN CA NAKTA-ADI
PRIKALPANAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/93 from BAUDHAYANA SMRTI)
Any person who is diseased, or who is dominated by bile or
who has aged more than thirty years (after householder life),
they are advised to eat in the evening on the Ekadasi day.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami remarks, "Aging more than thirty
years means after household life ends. This is understood to
be around sixty years of age, so thirty years added to that is
ninety years." Furthermore, "One should go to the forest at
the ate of fifty". According to this statement, a grhastha's life
is said to be fifty years, that is he has decided to live in his
family life until the age of fifty. Even then, if one adds thirty
years, if becomes eighty years. Therefore, fasting is
recommended until a minimum age of eighty.
ASTA ETANY AVRTAGHNANI APO MULAM PHALAM
PAYAH
HAVIR BRAHMANA KAMYA CA GUROR VACANAM
AUSADHAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/100 from MAHABHARATA,
UDYOGA PARVA)
Water, fruits, roots, milk, ghee, the request of a brahmana,
the order of a spiritual master and medicine do not wane one's
fast.
MAD UTTHANE MAT SAYANE MAT PARSVA
PARIVARTANE
ATRA KO DIKSITAH KASCID VAISNAVO BHAKTI
TATPARAH
ANNAM'VA YADI BHUNJITA PHALA MULAM ATHAPI VA
APARADHAM AHAM TASYA NA KSAMAMI KADACANA
KSIPAMI NARAKE GHORE YAVAD AHUTA SAMPLAVAN
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/101,102 from KASYAPA
PANCARATRA Supreme Lord speaks)
A devotee who is properly initiated and doing devotional
service, if he eats on My awakening day, sleeping day, or
turning side day, of Ekadasi days, whether he eats grains, or
fruits or roots, I never forgive him for his offense and keep
them in a ferocious hell until the end (annihilation) of this
material world.
MAT SAYANE MAD UTTHANE MAT PARSVA-
PARIVARTANE
PHALA-MULA-JALAHARI HRDI SALYAM MAMA ARPAYET
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/103)
Whether one takes fruits, roots, or even water on My sleeping
day, or My turning-over-on-My-side day of Ekadasis, he
pierces My heart with a sharp spear.
SAMAYASYA MAHAROGAD DUHKHINAM SARVA
DEHINAM
EKADASIM UPAVASO'YAM NIRMITAM
PARAMAUSADHAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/110 from TATTVA SAGARA)
This Ekadasi day was created as the Supreme medicine to
remove the disease of material world of having a miserable
material body and mind.
TAVAT PAPANI DEHE' SMIN TISTHANTI MANUJADHIPA
YAVAT NA UPAVASET JANTUH PADMANABHA DINAM
SUBHAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/114 from NARADA PURANA
spoken by Vasistha Muni)
Oh King, as long as one does not fast on Ekadasi, the day of
Lord Hari, Who has a lotus navel, until that long all of the sins
remain in one's body.
NA GANGA NA GAYA BHUPA NA KASI NA CA PUSKARAM
NA CA API KAURAVAM KSETRAM NA REVA NACAVEDIKA
YAMUNA CANDRABHAGA CA TULYA BHUPA HARER
DINAT
CINTAMINI SAMA HY ESA ATHAVAPI NIDHIH SMRTA
KALPA PADAPA PREKSA VA SARVA VEDA UPAMATHAVA
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/119,120 from NARADA PURANA
spoken by Vasistha Muni)
Neither Ganga, Gaya, Kasi, Puskara, Kuruksetra, Reva,
Vedika, Yamuna, and Candrabhaga, none of them are equal to
the day of Lord Hari, Ekadasi. Oh king, even if one fasts on
Ekadasi unknown to others, all of his sins are at once burnt
and he easily attains the spiritual world.
EVAM SAMASTA SUKHA DHARMA GUNASRAYAN CA
EKADASI VRATAM IDAM KALI KETUR UKTAH
SASTRESU SAUNAKA JAGAT-PATISU PRIYAN CA
SRADDHA PARAH PRAKURUTE LABHATE NA MUKTIM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/137 from BRAHMA VAIVARTA
PURANA)
O Saunaka, Ekadasi which is the source of happiness,
religiosity and good qualities, which is the topmost
meritorious day, which is the most dear day to the Supreme
Lord, the Lord of the universe, anybody who takes a vow to
fast on this day becomes eligible to be completely liberated
from this material world.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami comments on the verse as follows:
"The word Kali Ketu means the topmost meritorious day. Ketu
means 'that which is the source of all kinds of happiness.' It is
stated by all scriptures to fulfill all of one's desires."
NA ASVAMEDHA SAHASRAIS CA TIRTHA KOTY
AVAGAHANAIH
YAT PHALAM PRAPYATE VATSA DVADASI-VASARE KRTE
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/164 from SKANDA PURANA
conversation between Lord Brahma and Narada Muni)
Oh son (Narada), whatever merit one achieves by fasting on
Dvadasi day, one cannot achieve either by performing a horse
sacrifice, or by going to millions of places of pilgrimage to take
bath.
NA BHAVET MANASI PIDA ROGAS CATYANTA
DUHKHADAH
MAHATMYAM PATHATAH PUMSO DVADASI
SAMBHAVAM KALAU
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/170 from SKANDA PURANA
conversation between Lord Brahma and Narada Muni)
In Kali-yuga, if somebody studies the glories of Dvadasi
(Ekadasi) on Ekadasi day, they do not suffer with mental
problems and physical disease.
EKADASI VRATAD ANYAD YAD VRATAM KRIYATE
NARAIH
TAT PHALAM TAD VIJANIYAD DUHKHODHBHUTAM IVA
ANKURAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/178, spoken by Sanat Kumara)
Any person who does not fast on Ekadasi and observes other
day's fasts, he suffers the miseries of performing fasts, but
does not attain sufficient results, or they only achieve
difficulties from fasting and nothing else.
EKATAS CA AGNI HOTRADI DVADASIM EKATAH
PRABHUH
TULAYA TAULAYAT TATRA DVADASI CA VISISYATE
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/179 from SAURA-DHARMA)
The Supreme Personality of Godhead once took a measuring
scale and on one side put sacrifices, austerities etc. and on the
other side Dvadasi day and found that Dvadasi is more
meritorious.
EKADASI-VRATAM YAS TU BHAKTIMAN KURUTE NARAH
SARVA PAPA VINIRMUKTAH SA VISNOR YAT MANDIRAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/192 from VAYU PURANA)
Any person who observes an Ekadasi fast with devotion
becomes free from all difficulties and sins and after becoming
purified, attains the abode of Lord Visnu.
YAH KAROTI NARO BHAKTYA EKADASYAM UPOSANAM
SAYATI VISNU SALOKYAM PRAPYA VISNOH
SVARUPATAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/197 from SIVA PURANA)
Any person who fasts on Ekadasi with devotion, attains the
same form as Visnu, goes to His abode and lives with Him.
EKADASI CA SAMPURNA VIDDHETI DVIVIDHA SMRTA
VIDDHA CA DVIVIDHA TATRA TYAJYA VIDDHA TU
PURVAJA
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/199 from SIVA PURANA)
There are two divisions of Ekadasis - the complete Ekadasi
and the overlapping Ekadasi. The overlapping Ekadasis are
also divided into two - begin overlapping and end overlapping.
The beginning overlapping should always be given up.
EKADASIM UPAVASED DVADASIM ATHAVA PUNAH
VIMISRAM VAPI KURVITA NA DASAMYA YUTAM KVACIT
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/202 from SAURA
DHARMOTTARA)
Ekadasi and Dvadasi are both qualified for fasting.
Furthermore, one should fast when Ekadasi is combined with
Dvadasi, but one should never fast when Ekadasi is combined
with Dasami.
NA UPOSYA DASAMI-VIDHA SADAIVA EKADASI TITHIH
SAMUPOSYA NARO JAHYAT PUNYAM VARSA
SATODBHAVAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/205 from NARADA PURANA)
One should never fast on the days when Ekadasi is
overlapped with Dasami. If one does so, looses whatever merit
he had accumulated for one hundred years.
PURVAM TVAYA SABHARYENA DASAMI SESA SAMYUTA
KRTA CA EKADASI RAJAN TASYA IDAM KARANAM
MATAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/211 from BRAHMA PURANA
Maitreya speaks to Dhrtarastra in answer to his question as to
why all of his 100 sons had been killed)
Oh king, previously, you, along with your wife, had fasted on
an Ekadasi which was overlapped with Dasami day, therefore
you are suffering the separation of all of your sons.
DASAMY EKADASIM PURVAM SAMUPOSYA
JANARDANAH
ABHYARCITAS TVAYA DEVI TASYEDA KARMANAH
PHALAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/214 from BRAHMA PURANA
Valmiki Muni answered Mother Sita's questions of why she
had been vanquished to the forest by Lord Rama)
Previously you had observed an Ekadasi fast which was
overlapped with Dasami and worshiped Lord Sri Hari. This is
the result which you are experiencing now.
DASAMI SESA SAMYUKTAM YAH KAROTI
VIMUDHADHIH
EKADASI PHALAM TASYA NA SYAD DVADASA VARSIKAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/218 from KURMA PURANA,
NARADA PURANA AND VISNU RAHASYA)
Those foolish persons who fast on Ekadasi which is mixed
with Dasami, do not receive any result for performing Ekadasi
fast for the past twelve years.
GANGODAKASYA SAMPURNAM YATHA TYAJYAM
GHATAM BHAVET
SURAVINDU SAMYUKTAM TAT SARVAM MADYATAM
VRJET
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/223 from BRAHMA VAIVARTA
PURANA)
Just as a cup of Ganges water which has been mixed with a
drop of wine is fit for giving up, in the same way an Ekadasi
which has been minutely mixed with Dasami is fit for giving
up.
VIDDHAM EKADASIM VIPRAS TYAJANTY ETAM
MANISINAH
TASYAM UPOSITO YATI DARIDRYAM DUHKHAM EVA CA
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/226 from GARUDA PURANA)
Oh brahmanas, learned souls reject Ekadasis which are mixed
with Dasami because they know that if they fast on this day,
they will only get poverty and misery.
DVAPARANTE TU GANDHARI KURU VANSA VIVARDHINI
KARISYATI CA SENANI MUDHA BHAVAD SIKHI-DHVAJA
TENA PUTRA SATAM TASYA NASAM ISYATY ASAMSAYAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/228 from SKANDA PURANA)
Oh commander and chief of the demigods (Skanda) at the
end of Dvapara-yuga, Gandhari, who will increase the Kuru
dynasty by producing one hundred sons, due to bewilderment
and madness will observe Ekadasi which will be mixed with
Dasami. Due to this, her hundred sons will be destroyed. Of
this, there is no doubt.
DASAMY EKADASI YATRA TATRA SANNIHITO'SURAH
DVADASY EKADASI YATRA TATRA SANNIHITO HARIH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/230 from SKANDA PURANA)
The demons reside in any Ekadasi which is overlapped with
Dasami and whoever fasts on this day achieves negative
results. Lord Hari resides in any Ekadasi which is overlapped
with Dvadasi. If someone observes fasting on this day, he
receives complete results, which is proper.
YE SAMSANTI DINAM VISNOR DASAMI VEDHA DUSITAM
JNEYAS TE PAPA PURUSAH SUKRAMAYA-VIMOHITAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/234 from SKANDA PURANA
conversation between Lord Siva and Uma devi)
Any person who fasts on Ekadasi which is contaminated by
Dasami or makes somebody else fast, has been controlled and
bewildered by Sukracarya, the spiritual master of the demons.
This should be understood properly.
EKADASI DASAMI-VIDDHA DHANA SANTANA NASINI
DHVANSINI SARVA PUNYANAM KRSNA BHAKTI
PRANASINI
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/239 from SKANDA PURANA)
Dvadasi or Ekadasi, if it overlaps Dasami, it ruins offspring of
one who fasts on those days, ruins the merit of all time, takes
away the devotional service to the Lord and gives him a birth
among the devils or ghosts.
DASAMI SESA SAMYUKTAM NISIDDHAM VISNUNA PURA
TASMAD BHAGAVATAIR BHUPA SODHAYITVA HARER
DINAM
UPOSITAVYAM YATNENA PURVA-SANGATI-VARJITAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/244 from SKANDA PURANA
Markandeya Rsi speaks to King Bhagiratha)
Oh king, previously the Supreme Lord Visnu prohibited one
to fast when the Ekadasi overlapped Dasami. Therefore, the
devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead should
endeavor to reject the Ekadasi which overlaps Dasami and
observe a pure Ekadasi fast.
KURUTE VAISNAVO BHUTVA SA SALYAIKADASI VRTAM
JNANATO'JNANATO VAPI NA SA VISNU PRIYO BHAVET
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/246 from SKANDA PURANA)
Any Vaisnava who knowingly or unknowingly observes
Ekadasi overlapped with Dasami should certainly understand
that Lord Sri Visnu will not be happy with him.
TASMAD EKADASI YUKTA DASAMYA NARASATTAMA
NA KARTAVYA PRAYATNENA NISKALA DVADASI MATA
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/248 from SKANDA PURANA)
Therefore, O best among human being, it is not
recommended to observe Ekadasi overlapped with Dasami.
Great sages have recommended and stated to you to observe
only pure Ekadasi fasts.
PUNYAM SUSANCITAM YATI KALPA KOTI SATA ARJITAM
SASALYAM YE PRAKURVANTI MUKTIDAM MAMA
VASARAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/253 from DVARAKA
MAHATMYA spoken by the Supreme Lord)
Any person who fasts on the liberating day of Mine, but which
is mixed with Dasami, their collective merit for the past 100
cycles (one cycle equals 1000 yugas) is destroyed.
SAVIDDHAM VASARAM YASMAD KRTAM MAMA
PITAMAHAIH
PRETATVAM TENA SAMPRAPTAM MAHA DUHKHA
PRADAYAKAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/256 from DVARAKA
MAHATMYA Sri Candra Sharma prays to the Supreme Lord)
Oh Supreme Personality of Godhead, my forefathers had
observed the day of Lord Hari fast some time on the Dasami
day. This is why they have achieved the form of ghost which is
very miserable condition.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami remarks in his Digdarsini-tika:
"Candra Sharma brahmana was a devotee of Lord Siva and
was against the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna.
Somehow, in a dream, he saw that his forefathers had
achieved the form of ghosts due to observing fasting on the
overlapping day of Ekadasi and Dasami. Then he was advised
by a devotee of the Lord to go to Dvaraka near the Supreme
Personality of Godhead. He worshiped Him and prayed to
Him to please free his forefathers from their devilish
condition. The Lord then freed them because of his prayers."
SUKRENA MOHITA VIPRA DAITYANAM KARANENA TU
PUSTY ARTHAM DASAMI VIDDHAM KURVANTI MAMA
VASARAM
VASARAM DASAMI VIDDHAM DAITYANAM PUSTI-
VARDHANAM
MADIYAM NASTI SANDEHAH SATYAM SATYAM
PITAMAHA
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/257,258 from PADMA PURANA
the Supreme Lord speaks to Lord Brahma)
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said, "O Brahma, the
brahmana bewildered by the illusion created by Sukracarya
fasts on the Dasami mixed Ekadasi to enhance the strength of
demons. My day (Ekadasi) influenced by Dasami day
increases the strength of demons. I repeatedly and truthfully
say this. Of this there is no doubt."
YAVAD DASAMYA SAMYUKTAM KARISYANTI DINAM
MAMA
TAT PUNYAM DAITYA JATINAM SURAIR DATTAM
PITAMAHA
TEHA PUNYENA SAMPUSTO HIRANYAKSAH PITAMAHA
NIRJITYA VASAVAM SANKHYE HRTAM RAJYAM
DIVAUKASAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/259,260 from PADMA PURANA
conversation between the Supreme Lord and Lord Brahma)
O Grandfather of the world, as long as somebody fasts on
Ekadasi mixed with Dasami, the demigods extend their merits
to the demons. Therefore the demon Hiranyaksa became
strong due to that merit and defeated Indra in the battle and
usurped the kingdom of the demigods.
PURNA VIDDHAM UPASTE KO NANDAM VEDA BALAD
API
KO VEDA VACANAT TATA GOSAVE GAM NIHANTI VAI?
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/268 from BHAVISYA PURANA
and MARKANDEYA PURANA)
Oh son, after knowing the instruction about fasting on
Dasami, who is that person who would like to fast on the
Ekadasi which overlaps Dasami? Who would be those
persons, after hearing Vedic instructions, who would kill cows
in the name of worshiping cows?
SUPUNYA EKADASI SUTA YADI SALYA VIVARJITA
KARTUR NIRAYA PATAYA SASALYA SAMUPOSITA
SALYAM VEDHA ITI PROKTAM PURANARTHA
VICAKSANAIH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/270 from KURMA PURANA and
BRAHMA VAIVARTA PURANA Srila Vyasadeva speaks to
Suta Gosvami)
Oh Suta Gosvami, if somebody strictly observes a pure
Ekadasi which is not mixed with Dasami, it is all auspicious. If
Ekadasi is mixed with Dasami and is observed, then the
observer who is fasting will fall into the hellish planets.
Therefore, the learned people, the knowers of Vedic literatures
have determined this fasting to be improper.
DVAYOR VIVADATOH SRUTVA DVADASIM
SAMUPOSAYET
PARANANTU TRAYODASYAM ESA SASTRA VINIRNAYAH
DVADASI DASAMI YUKTA YATA SASTRE PRATISTHITA
NA TAT SASTRAM AHAM MANYE YADI BRAHMA SVAYAM
VADET
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/277,278 from KURMA PURANA
Srila Vyasadeva speaks to Suta Gosvami)
If there are two people arguing and due to that argument and
unsteady opinions the exact date of Ekadasi cannot be
determined, then hearing this, one should fast on Dvadasi day
and break fast on Trayodasi. This is the scriptural instruction.
If any scripture recommends to observe Ekadasi mixed with
Dasami, even if Lord Brahma is the writer of that scripture, I
(Vyasadeva) do not accept it.
KSAYE VAPY ATHAVA VRDDHAU SAMPRAPTE VA
DINATRAYE
UPOSYA DVADASI SUDDHA TRAYO DASYANTU
PARANAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/286 from NARADA PURANA)
If there is a reduced day in the fortnight or increase of a day,
or if there are three days combined, then one should fast on a
pure Dvadasi day and break the fast on Trayodasi.
URDHVAM HARIDINAM NA SYAT DVADASIM GRAHAYET
TATAH
DVADASIM UPAVASO'TRA TRAYO DASYANTU PARANAM
EVAM KURVAN NARO BHAKTYA VISNU SAYUJYAM
APNUYAT
ANYATHA KURUTE YASTU SA YATI NARAKAM
DHRUVAM
EKADASI RSINAM TU DVADASI CAKRAPANINAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/293-295 from SKANDA
PURANA)
If Ekadasi appears to be Dasami, it is not called the day of
Lord Hari, therefore Dvadasi is to be accepted for fasting and
one should then break fast on Trayodasi. If one follows this
process with devotion, then he goes to live in the Lord's abode
after liberation. If one does otherwise, he falls into the hellish
planets because Ekadasi is the day of the sages and purified
Ekadasi with Dvadasi is the day of Lord Hari.
UDAYAT PRAK YADA VIPRA MUHURTA DVAYA SAMYUTA
SAMPURNA EKADASI NAMA TATRAIVA UPASAVED GRHI
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/316 from GARUDA PURANA,
BHAVISYA PURANA and SIVA
RAHASYA)
Oh brahmana, ninety-six minutes before sunrise, if there is
an Ekadasi available, it is called a complete and pure Ekadasi.
On this Ekadasi, even every householder should fast.
ATA EVA PARITYAJYA SAMAYE CA ARUNODAYE
DASAMI EKADASI VIDDHA VAISNAVE NA VISESATAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/318 from BHAVISYA PURANA)
Therefore one should give up Ekadasi which is combined with
Dasami, even if it is available before sunrise. Specifically,
Vaisnavas should always reject Ekadasis which overlap
Dasamis.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami remarks in his Digdarsini-tika that if
Ekadasi is mixed with the previous day (Dasami), even ninety-
six minutes before sunrise, it is said to be an unwanted
Ekadasi. It does not matter what moment before sunrise
Ekadasi is overlapping Dasami, it should always be given up,
especially by Vaisnavas. The duty of a Vaisnava is to reject the
mixed Ekadasi of the previous day. Such a statement as this
from the Bhavisya Purana is meant specifically for Vaisnavas.
It may be found somewhere else that Saivites and others can
observe an Ekadasi mixed with the previous day.
ARUNODAYA VELAYAM DASAMI-SAMYUTA YADI
ATRA UPOSYA DVADASI SYAT TRAYODASYANTU
PARANAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/319, Kanva Rsi speaks)
If before sunrise, Dasami is mixed with Ekadasi, one should
fast on Dvadasi and break fast on Trayodasi.
UDAYAT PRANMUHURTENA VYAPINY EKADASI YADA
SAMYUKTA EKADASI NAMA VARJAYED DHARMA
VRDDHAYE
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/322 from GARUDA PURANA)
Even if Ekadasi is available forty-eight minutes before
sunrise, still it is said to be mixed with the previous day.
People who are interested to increase their merits should give
up fasting on such Ekadasis.
DASAMI SESA SAMYUKTO YADI SYAD ARUNODAYAH
VAISNAVENA NA KARTAVYAM TAD DINAIKADASI
VRTAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/336 from BHAVISYA PURANA)
At the time of sunrise, if Dasami (Ekadasi?) is available, a
Vaisnava should not fast on that Ekadasi.
ARDHA RATRAM ATIKRAMYA DASAMI YADI DRSYATE
TADA HY EKADASIM TYAKTVA DVADASIM
SAMUPOSAYET
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/354 from KURMA PURANA)
If Dasami day passes over midnight, then one should give up
fasting on that Ekadasi, but fast on Dvadasi day.
SAMPURNA EKADASI YATRA PRABHATE PUNAR EVASA
VAISNAVI CA TRAYODASYAM GHATIKAI KAPI DRSYATE
GRHASTHO'PI PARAM KURYAT PURVA NA UPAVASET
TADA
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/360 from GARUDA PURANA)
If there is a complete Ekadasi available which begins from
dawn and carries on until the next day which, due to
extension, continues until sunrise on the next day, it is better
to perform Ekadasi on the next day, and this is the duty of
both the grhastha and the sannyasi to not follow the previous
day Ekadasi.
DVADASI-MISRITA GRAHYA SARVATRA EKADASI
TITHIH
DVADASI CA TRAYODASYAM VIDYATE YADI VANA VA
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/362 from PADMA PURANA)
It does not matter if Ekadasi is touching the Trayodasi or not,
but Ekadasi mixed with Dvadasi should be observed among all
other fasts.
EKADASI KALAYATRA PARATO DVADASI NA CET
TATRA KRTU SATAM PUNYAM TRAYODASYAMTU
PARANAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/365 from SKANDA PURANA)
Even if for a moment Ekadasi is available on Dvadasi day and
Dvadasi is not touching the Trayodasi day, one should fast on
Dvadasi and break fast on Trayodasi. This fasting brings the
results of performing one hundred sacrifices.
EKADASI KALA YUKTA UPOSYA DVADASI NARAIH
TRAYODASYANTU YO BHUNKTE TASYA VISNUH
PRASIDATI
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/371 from BAUDHAYANA SMRTI)
Human beings are desired to observe Dvadasi fasts which is
mixed with Ekadasi and break fast on Trayodasi. If they do so,
Lord Sri Visnu becomes pleased with them.
EKADASI BHAVET PURNA PARATO DVADASI YADA
TADA HY EKADASIM TYAKTVA DVADASYAM SAMU
POSAYET
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/372 from SKANDA PURANA)
Although Ekadasi is complete which began from dawn and
also Dvadasi is complete which mixes with Trayodasi even for
a few moments, then one should not fast on Ekadasi, but
should fast on Dvadasi day.
EKADASI TU SAMPURNA PARATO DVADASI BHAVET
UPOSYA DVADASI TATRA TITHI VRDDHIH PRASASYATE
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/373 from KALIKA PURANA)
Even if Ekadasi is a complete day and Dvadasi being
extended, then one should fast on Dvadasi. This is called
extended fasting.
SAMPURNA EKADASI TYAJYA PARATO DVADASI YADI
UPOSYA DVADASI SUDDHA DVADASYAM EVA PARANAM
NA GARBHE VISATE JANTUR ITY AHA BHAGAVAN
HARIH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/376 from BHAGAVATADI
TANTRA)
The Supreme Personality of Godhead says, "If Dvadasi
combines even for a moment with Trayodasi, one should give
up a complete day of Ekadasi fast and fast on Dvadasi. If
someone does fast like this, he does not need to take another
birth in the material world."
EKADASI DVADASI CA RATRISESE TRAYODASI
TRIBHIR MISRA TITHIH PROKTA SARVA PAPA HARA
SMRTA
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/378 from KURMA PURANA)
If Ekadasi and Dvadasi fall in one day, and at night Trayodasi
is combined, in other words, there are three days combined in
day and night, it is called Trisprsa. This tithi or day is said to
be removing sins.
TRISPRSA EKADASI YATRA TATRA SANNIHITO HARIH
TAM EVA UPAVASET KAMI AKAMO VISNU TATPARAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/380 from KURMA PURANA)
Where there is Trisprsa Ekadasi, there Lord Hari Himself
resides. Both the devotees who are full of desires and those
who are desireless should fast on this Trisprsa Mahadvadasi.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami has given his Digdarsini commentary
saying, "It is said that when Ekadasi, Dvadasi and the end of
the night (Trayodasi) are combined, one should perform fast
with his sons, grandsons and all of his family members. This is
because whether one is full of desires, desiring wealth, sons or
many other things or he is a desireless Vaisnava who is
interested to please the Supreme Lord (one who is not
desiring liberation, but is interested to please the Supreme
Lord, Visnu, is called a Vaisnava), all of them should observe
this Trisprsa Ekadasi fast. By doing so, one becomes free from
the sin of killing a brahmana, etc. He becomes free from all
kinds of miseries acquired from different births and attains
the merit of performing sacrifices too. This fasting is the
source of auspiciousness and increases one's merit. Therefore
one should accept it."
PURA CA EKADASI SVALPA ANTE CAIVA TRAYODASI
SAMPURNA DVADASI MADHYE TRISPRSA SA HARI
PRIYA
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/387 from DVARAKA
MAHATMYA)
If in the beginning there is a tinge of Ekadasi, in the middle
there is a complete Dvadasi day and at last, there is a minute
mixture of Trayodasi, that is called Trisprsa Ekadasi, which is
very dear to Lord Hari.
SUDDHAIVA DVADASI RAJAN UPOSYA MOKSA
KANKSIBHIH
PARANAS TU TRAYODASYAM PUJAYITVA JANARDANAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/407 from VISNU RAHASYA
spoken by Srila Vyasadeva)
Oh King, those people who are desirous for liberation from
this material world observe a purified Dvadasi fast and break
it in Trayodasi after properly worshiping Lord Janardana.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami gives his commentary in his
Digdarsini-tika, stating that attaining liberation means to
become free from birth, death, etc. which is the bondage in the
material world. In other words, anyone who liberates others
from the maximum misery is called "liberation", or Lord Sri
Visnu. A real devotee of the Lord is interested in attaining love
of Godhead. That is his liberation and it is his ultimate desire.
It has been accepted here that if the day of Vaisnava (Dvadasi)
is not available, then one can worship Lord Sri Janardana on
Trayodasi and break one's fast. It is specifically recommended
that even on Trayodasi, after worshiping the Supreme Lord
Sri Janardana, one can break his fast. This is undoubtedly an
authorized statement.
ITTHAM SASTRA VICARENA SISTACARA ANUSARATAH
EKADASI VYAVASTHEYAM KRTA VAISNAVA SAMMATA
VIDVANSO'PI ATRA MUDHAH SYUR VINA KRSNA
PRASADATAH
ATAH SADASAU NIRDDHARYA PRASTVA BHAGAVATA
UTTAMAN
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/410,411 from VISNU RAHASYA)
In this way, after studying the rules in the scriptures and
following the statements of realized souls, Ekadasi, which is
pleasing to the Vaisnavas, is established. Unless one has the
direct mercy of the Lord, even if he is very learned, it is very
difficult to determine the correct days for Ekadasi. Therefore,
to perform the Ekadasi fast properly, one should always reach
the topmost Vaisnava devotee of the Lord and ask for the
exact date.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains in his Digdarsini-tika that
the ways for the Vaisnavas and the non-Vaisnavas to
determine the exact dates of Ekadasi have been explained
here. One should consider the statements of the scriptures
and also should discuss this with learned personalities as well.
One should not just rely on the scriptures, but it is important
to also consult the learned souls as well. According to
Vaisnava, following Vaisnava Ekadasi is important, not an
Ekadasi which has been pierced with the previous day
(Dasami). Even on Ekadasi, if Dvadasi is available, if it is
mixed with Dasami, one should completely give it up. Trisprsa
Ekadasi, which is free from Dasami, falling in Caturmasya
during one of the dark fortnights is said to be observable. In
essence, a Vaisnava should always be consulted so as to know
what to do. Due to the illusory influence of Sukracarya, even
the learned scholars, who are expert in Vedic literature,
become bewildered and are unable to determine the exact day
for fasting on Ekadasi. Therefore, one should be a devotee
who is depending on the mercy of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead. That is the exact way to determine the exact Ekadasi
fasting day.
DVADASYA NIRNAYE BHUPA MUDHAM ATRA
JAGATTRAYAM
ATRA MUDHA MAHIPALA PRAYASO YE NARAH PURA
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 12/412 from VISNU RAHASYA
conversation between Markandeya Rsi and King
Indradyumna)
Oh King, the three worlds have been become bewildered on
the subject of establishing the correct day of fasting on
Dvadasi. What to speak of the present day, even in ancient
times great persons were almost bewildered in perfectly
determining the correct days for fasting.
VARAM SVA-MATRA GAMANAM VARAM GOMANSA
BHAKSANAM
VARAM HATYA SURAPANAM NA EKADASYANTU
BHOJANAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/8 from NARADA PURANA)
Worse than enjoying conception with one's own mother,
eating beef, murdering, or drinking liquor is eating on Ekadasi
day. Therefore one should not eat on the Ekadasi day.
DASAMYAM EKA BHAKTANTU KURVITA
NIYATENDRIYAH
ACAMYA DANTA KASTHANTU KHADAYET
TADANANTARAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/18 from SMRTI ANTARA)
On Dasami day, a person should eat only once with controlled
senses. After that, he should wash his hands and mouth and
brush his teeth properly.
DINARDHA SAMAYE'TITE BHUJYATE NIYAMENA YAT
EKA BHAKTAM ITI PROKTAM KARTAVYAM TAT
PRAYATNATAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/21 from BRAHMA VAIVARTA
PURANA)
A person who is regulated will eat only once a day when half of
the day has passed (in the afternoon), and he should eat in a
religious mood for purification.
MATIR NA JAYATE YASYA DVADASYAM JAGARAM PRATI
NA HI TASYA ADHIKARO'STI PUJANE KESAVASYA HI
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/86 from SKANDA PURANA
conversation between Lord Siva and Uma)
One who does not remain awake overnight on a Dvadasi
fasting day is not qualified to worship Lord Sri Hari.
HRDAYE VARTATE YASYA SADA YOGESVARO HARIH
MATIR UTPADYATE TASYA DVADASI JAGAROPARI
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/87 from SKANDA PURANA Lord
Brahma speaks to Narada Muni)
The Supreme Lord Hari, if He is in anybody's heart, He will
surely give him the intelligence to remain awake overnight on
the Dvadasi fast day.
SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM BHAKTYA PATHATE VISNU
SANNIDHAU
JAGARE TAT PADAM YATI KULA VRNDA SAMANVITAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/131 from SKANDA PURANA and
PRAHLADA SAMHITA conversation between Lord Brahma
and Narada)
If anybody studies Srimad Bhagavatam with full devotion
before the Deity of Lord Sri Hari, he will surely go to the
spiritual abode with all of his ancestors.
DASTA KALI BHUJANGENA SVAPANTI MADHUHA DINE
KURVANTI JAGARAM NAIVA MAYA PASA VIMOHITAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/171 from SKANDA PURANA
conversation between Lord Siva and Parvati)
Any person, who on the day of Lord Hari does not remain
awake overnight and instead sleeps, one should understand
that he has been caught with a one hundred-fold network of
illusion and has been bitten by the snake of Kali-yuga.
YAT KINCIT KRIYATE PAPAM KOTI JANMANI MANAVAIH
KRSNASYA JAGARE SARVAM RATRAU DAHATI PARVATI
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/182 from SKANDA PURANA
conversation between Lord Siva and Parvati)
Oh Parvati, on the day of Lord Sri Hari, if somebody remains
awake, all of the sins accumulated for the previous millions of
births are destroyed at once.
YAH PUNAH SUSTHA CITTO'PI SVA STHANE VASATE'PI
SAN
NA HARER JAGARAM KURYAT TENA KARYA NA ME
KVACIT
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/190 from SKANDA PURANA
conversation between Lord Siva and Parvati)
Oh Parvati, what more can I say. A healthy person, while
living in his own house still does not remain awake on the day
of Lord Hari at night, even though he is a devotee of the Lord,
even I do not have any connection with him.
BRAHMANAH KSATRIYA VAISYAH STRIYAH SUDRAS CA
JAGARE
PRAPTAS TE PARAMA STHANAM SRI VISNOR JAGARE
KRTE
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/198 from SKANDA PURANA
conversation between Lord Siva and Parvati)
Whether one is a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, woman or
sudra, fallen person, unwanted progeny, demons, evil spirit or
devil, any of them who had previously observed an Ekadasi
fast and remained awake overnight for the pleasure of Lord
Hari, attained the spiritual abode of Lord Visnu.
TATRA BRAHMA CA RUDRAS CA SAKRADYA
DEVATAGANA
NITYAM EVA SAMAYANTI JAGARE KRSNA VALLABHE
RSAYO NARADADYAS TU VYASADYA MUNAYAS TATHA
AHAS CA TATRA GACCHAMI KRSNA PUJA RATAH SADA
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/219,220 from PRAHLADA
SAMHITA)
Prahlada says, "Wherever there is a person remaining awake
overnight on Ekadasi, which is very dear to Lord Krsna, all the
demigods, including Brahma, Indra and Siva, are all available
there. And where there is such a wake going on, all of the great
sages, headed by Narada Muni and Vyasadeva, are available
there and I (Prahlada Maharaja) who am always engaged in
worshiping Lord Sri Hari, am also available there."
GANGA SARASVATI REVA YAMUNA VAI SATADRUKA
CANDRABHAGA VITASTA CA NADYAH SARVASTU TATRA
VAI
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/223 from PRAHLADA
SAMHITA)
Prahlada Maharaja says, "There only, the Ganges, Sarasvati,
Reva, Yamuna Satadruka, Candrabhaga, Vitasta and other
religious rivers are available there as well."
PRATAH SNATVA HARIM PUJYA UPAVASAM
SAMARPAYET
PARANANTU TATAH KURYAD VRATA SIDDHAU HARI
SMARAN
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/230 from KATYAYANA
SAMHITA)
After taking bath early in the morning and worshiping the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Hari, one should
offer his fasting to Him and then to achieve merit from such
fasting, one should remember Lord Sri Hari while breaking
the fast.
NITYA KRTYAM SAMAPYA ATHA SAKTYA VIPRANSCA
BHOJAYET
KURVITA DVADASI MADHYE TULASIM PRASYA
PARANAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/236 from TRAILOKYA MOHANA
PANCARATRA)
Thereafter, after performing daily service to the Supreme
Lord, according to one's capacity, one should give eating
ingredients to brahmanas in charity and then take a Tulasi
leaf in his mouth and break one's fast.
KRTVA CAIVA UPAVASAMTU YO'SNATI DVADASI DINE
NAIVEDYAM TULASI MISRAM PAPA KOTI VINASANAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/237 from SKANDA PURANA)
After fasting properly on Ekadasi, one should eat
mahaprasada the next day (Dvadasi) and at that time millions
of his sins are burnt.
MAHA HANIKARI HY ESA DVADASI LANGHIT NRNAM
KAROTI DHARMA HARANAM ASNATEVA SARASVATI
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/238 from PADMA PURANA)
As when one goes across the Sarasvati River without taking
bath, he looses his merit, similarly, when one continues
fasting on Dvadasi day, he suffers a great amount of
meritorious loss. (One who does not break fast at the proper
time looses a great amount of merit.)
Srila Sanatana Gosvami states that, "'Without taking bath in
the Sarasvati'" (only) means that if you cross to the other side
of the Sarasvati to take bath, all of his religious merits will be
stolen from you."
EKADASYAM UPOSYAIVA DVADASYAM PARANAM
SMRTAM
TRAYODASYAM NA TAT KURYAD DVADASA DVADASI-
KSAYAT
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/241 from KURMA PURANA)
One should fast on the Ekadasi day and break his fast on
Dvadasi day. It is not recommended to break one's fast on
Trayodasi day. One who breaks his fast on Trayodasi day (one
who does not break his fast at the proper moment), looses the
merit which had gained by fasting on twelve Dvadasis.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami says in his Digdarsini-tika
(commentary) that, "'Passing over' means, not breaking his
fast at the proper time."
DVADASYAH PRATHAMAH PADO HARIVASARA
SANJNAKAH
TAM ATIKRAMYA KURVITTA DARANAM VISNU
TATPARAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/258 from VISNU
DHARMOTTARA)
The first fourth portion of the Dvadasi day is called "the day
of Lord Hari". A person who is a devotee of Lord Visnu should
pass over this portion to break his fast.
DVADASI EKADASI YOGE VIKSATO HARI VA SARAH
EKADASYANTYA PADASCA DVADASYAH PURVA EVA HI
HARIVASARA ITY AHUR BHOJANAM NA SAMACARET
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/259)
Because Ekadasi is connected to Dvadasi it is called the day of
Lord Hari. Learned souls say that when the fourth part of the
day of Ekadasi is combined with the first part of the day of
Dvadasi, it is named as the day of Lord Hari. Therefore it is
rejected to eat during this period.
YATHA RAJASVALA SANGAM ANYAYAM VARJITAM SADA
TATHA DASAMI SAMYUKTAM MAD DINAM VAISNAVAIR
NARAIH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/440 from PADMA PURANA the
Supreme Lord speaks)
It has always been forbidden to have conception with a lady
passing through menstruation. Similarly, on My own day
(Ekadasi) one should never observe fast when it is mixed with
the Dasami day.
JAGARE PADMANA BHASYA PURANAM PATHATE TU
YAH
JANMA KOTI SUKRTAM PAPAM DAHATE TULARASI VAT
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 13/530 from SKANDA PURANA)
While remaining awake for the lotus-naveled Lord Sri Hari,
one who studies Puranas (meritorious histories), then
whatever sins one has acquired for millions of births, burn up
just like a piece of cotton quickly burns to ashes in the fire.
Please visit http://salagram.net/ekadasi-page.ht... for more
detailed information. Thank you to Jaya Dasa ji for compiling
so much information on this most holy day.
Your servant,
Kulavira Dasa
Indira Ekadasi 2017