On every 11th Tithi in Hindu calendar, Ekadashi fasting is observed. Two Ekadashi fastings are observed in a month, one during Krishna Paksha and another during Shukla Paksha. To seek blessings from Lord Vishnu, Ekadashi fasting is observed by the devotees.
Ekadashi fasting is observed for three days. A single meal is taken by the Devotees a day before the fasting day in the afternoon to make sure that on the next day there is no residual food in the stomach.
During Ekadashi fasting, eating of all type of cereals and grains is prohibited. On Ekadashi day, devotees observe a strict fast and on the next daybreak the fast only after sunrise.
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Devotees can choose to keep the fast with only water, without consuming water, with one-time latex food, with only fruits according to their body power and will. However, before starting the fast, it should be decided.
On two consecutive days, at times, Ekadashi fasting is suggested. On the first day only, it is believed that Smartha with family should observe strict fasting.
The second one, which is the alternate Ekadashi fasting is suggested for widows, Sanyasis and for those who seek Moksha. For Smartha, when an alternate Ekadashi fasting is suggested, it coincides with Vaishnava Ekadashi day of fasting.
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On both days, Ekadashi fasting is kept by staunch devotees who seek affection and love of Lord Vishnu. One day after of Smartha fasting day occurs the Vaishnava fasting day.
A wonderful opportunity for all spiritual practitioners to intensify their devotional service is the fast of Ekadasi as it brings the devotees closer to Krishna.
Also See: Ganesh Aarti
The day of Ekadasi can be observed as an austerity – not using your favorite spices or not eating grains; it is believed to be the poison which turns out to be a sugary substance of let’s say nectar.
The most voracious and difficult to control of all the senses is the tongue but as Krishna gives his Prasad to help us conquer this fickle and regular friend.
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Another form of Krishna Prasad can be considered as Ekadashi and just for items previously abhorred as a child may in later life develop taste, ‘maybe Ekadasi is for me after all’, we can perhaps keep an open mind.
mPanchang shows you the date of Ekadashi Vrat and Fasting Rules.