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Ekadasi is the 11th day of the lunar phase of the Moon – one in the Waxing period (Shukla Paksha) and the other in the Waning period (Krishna Paksha). So, every year, there is a total of 24 Ekadasis.
The names of the 24 Ekadasis are as follows:
Read more about Ekadashi
Ekadasi day is considered ideal for the worship of Lord Vishnu. Observing Vrat (fasting) on this day renders salvation from all the sins in one’s life. It is said in Mahabharata that “Following eight things do not destroy the Ekadasi: water, roots, fruits, milk, ghee, desire of a Brahmin, the order of a spiritual master and medicine do not wane one’s fast.”
According to Brahma Vaivarta Purana, it is believed that Lord Vishnu absolves the sins of those who observe Ekadasi fast. Sage Vasishta in Narada Purana says, “Bathing at the Ganges, Kasi, Kurukshetra, Yamuna, Reva, Vedika, Gaya, Pushkara, and Chandrabhaga, does not equal the fasting observed on Ekadasi. If one observes a fast on Ekadasi unknown to others, all his sins are burnt at once, and he attains the spiritual world.”
Fasting is undertaken to cleanse the body as well as the mind of impurities and negative energies. Ekadasi Vrat is solely dedicated to Lord Vishnu. People observe strict fasting on this day. A waterless fast is ideal; however, under the circumstances, people also find partial fast with milk and fruits.
Fasting begins with a ritual bath at the sunrise of Ekadasi day and ends at the dawn of the next day (Dwadasi or 12th Moon). Food items that can be taken on an Ekadasi day include fruits, nuts, milk, ghee, yogurt, potato, sweet potato, sugar, olives, ginger, coconut, and black pepper. Grains, lentils, spices, asafetida, sesame, and beans are to be avoided during the fast.
As per sacred texts, observing Ekadasi Vrat for Lord Vishnu can bestow the following blessings:
The sacred scriptures prescribe fire ceremony, Abishekam (hydration ceremony), Pooja/Archana (Light and Sound ceremony), Yantra and Mantra (special sounds) as the ways to offer your prayer to the divine. Out of these, fire ceremony is the most evolved spiritual technology on earth to connect with the divine beings. Participate in the remedial services to clear your karma and receive the blessings.
Maha Vishnu is the protector of this Universe; he guards all the living beings on this earth plane. When you worship him, you will be gifted with long life, prosperity, peace, happiness and success. Impediments will no longer stand on your way of achievements.