Note: This auspicious day is not only for Hindus to observe. This fast can be observed by anyone. There’s no catch here.
The following things should be given up on the Dashami, (the tenth phase of the Moon), the day before the Ekadashi: (1) eating on bell-metal plates, (2) eating any kind of urad-daal, (3) eating red-lentils, (4) eating chick-peas, (5) eating kondo (a grain that is primarily eaten by poor people and that resembles poppy seeds or agarpanthas seeds), (6) eating honey, (7) eating in another person’s house/home, (8) eating more than once, (9) eating channa and (10) participating in sex of any kind.
On the Ekadashi itself one should give up the following: gambling, sports, sleeping during the daytime, betal nuts and its leaf, brushing one’s teeth, spreading rumours, faultfinding, talking to the spiritually fallen, anger, and lying.
On the Dwadashi the day after Ekadashi (the twelfth phase of the Moon), one should give up the following: eating on bell-metal plates, eating urad-daal, red-lentils, or honey, lying, strenuous exercise or labor, eating more than once, any sexual activity, shaving the body, face or head, smearing oils on one’s body, and eating in another’s home.
SPECIFIC MERITS AND INFLUENCE:-
One who can arrange to give both kinds of sesame seeds (black and white or brown) especially on this Sat-tila Ekadashi day will be promoted to at least the heavenly planets after leaving this present body, for as many thousands of years as the number of seeds that would be produced if the seeds he donated were sown in the ground and grew into mature, seed bearing plant.
Selflessly, one should simply donate sesame seed, clothes, and food according to his capacity, for by doing so he will achieve good health and exalted spiritual consciousness, birth after birth. Ultimately, he will be given release from the bonds of this world (liberation) and admittance into the God's supreme abode will be his to enjoy.
one who properly observes this wonderful Sat-tila Ekadashi with great faith become free from all kinds of poverty - spiritual, mental, physical, social, and intellectual - as well as all kinds of ill luck and evil omens (sakun).
Indeed, following this Ekadashi fast by donating, sacrificing, or eating sesame seeds free one of all past sin, without a doubt. One need not wonder how this happens. The rare soul who properly performs these acts of charity in the right devotional mood, following the Vedic injunctions, will become utterly free of all sinful reactions and go back to Godhead, back home to the spiritual world.Rules for keeping Ekadashi Upvaas:-
One should not eat any cereals ("Ann" in hindi) like rice, pulses, wheat etc. & salt. If possible, one should stay on water. Drinking Luke warm water or lemon-mishri (crystalized sugar) water is very good as it cleanses the hidden undigested food in the body. If one feels hungry, then one can take milk or fruit. Fruit should not be eaten with milk (therefore no strawberry shake, mango shake, chickoo shake etc.).
One should not eat food like "sabudana", potato chips, fried food, etc. Also Banana is not recommended on this day since it is heavy to digest. One should think that he/she is keeping this vrat to please God & to progress further in "sadhana". One should observe self-control. One should do more of maun-japa (repeating the name of God in mind) in the day time. One should do more of Dhyan & Bhajan by keeping awake for a longer time in the night.
An Important note-
भगवान श्रीकृष्ण कहते
हैं : राजेन्द्र ! बड़ी बड़ी दक्षिणावाले यज्ञों से भी मुझे उतना संतोष नहीं होता, जितना एकदशी व्रत के अनुष्ठान से होता है । जैसे नागों में शेषनाग, पक्षियों में गरुड़ तथा देवतओंमें श्रीविष्णु श्रेष्ठ हैं, उसी प्रकार सम्पूर्ण व्रतों में एकादशी तिथि श्रेष्ठ है।
जागरण करनेवाले को जिस फल की प्राप्ति होती है, वह हजारों वर्ष तपस्या करने से भी नहीं मिलता ।
कहा : यदि तुम्हें स्वर्गलोक की प्राप्ति अभीष्ट है और नरक को दूषित समझते हो तो दोनों पक्षों की एकादशीयों के दिन भोजन न करना ।
शंख, चक्र और गदा धारण करनेवाले भगवान केशव ने मुझसे कहा था कि: ‘यदि मानव सबको छोड़कर एकमात्र मेरी शरण में आ जाय और एकादशी को निराहार रहे तो वह सब पापों से छूट जाता है ।’
जो मनुष्य एकादशी को उपवास करता है, वह वैकुण्ठधाम में जाता है, जहाँ साक्षात् भगवान गरुड़ध्वज विराजमान रहते हैं । जो मानव हर समय एकादशी के माहात्मय का पाठ करता है, उसे हजार गौदान के पुण्य का फल प्राप्त होता है । एकादशी के समान पापनाशक व्रत दूसरा कोई नहीं है ।
एकादशी व्रत करनेवाले पुरुष के पास विशालकाय, विकराल आकृति और काले रंग वाले दण्ड पाशधारी भयंकर यमदूत नहीं जाते । अंतकाल में पीताम्बरधारी, सौम्यस्वभाववाले, हाथ में सुदर्शन धारण करनेवाले और मन के समान वेगशाली विष्णुदूत आखिर इस वैष्णव पुरुष को भगवान विष्णु के धाम में ले जाते हैं।
जो मनुष्य एकादशी के दिन अन्न खाता है, वह पापका भोजन करता है । इस लोक में वह चाण्डाल के समान है और मरने पर दुर्गति को प्राप्त होता है ।
जिन्होंने एकादशी को उपवास किया है, वे ब्रह्महत्यारे, शराबी, चोर तथा गुरुद्रोही होने पर भी सब पातकों से मुक्त हो जाते हैं ।
एकादशी के व्रत से ही मनुष्य सब पापों से मुक्त हो जाता है, अत: सदा इसका व्रत करना चाहिए । कभी भूलना नहीं चाहिए ।
दोनों पक्षों की एकादशी समान रुप से कल्याण करनेवाली है । इसमें शुक्ल और कृष्ण का भेद नहीं करना चाहिए । यदि उदयकाल में थोड़ी सी एकादशी, मध्य में पूरी द्वादशी और अन्त में किंचित् त्रयोदशी हो तो वह ‘त्रिस्पृशा एकादशी’ कहलाती है । वह भगवान को बहुत ही प्रिय है । यदि एक ‘त्रिस्पृशा एकादशी’ को उपवास कर लिया जाय तो एक हजार एकादशी व्रतों का फल प्राप्त होता है तथा इसी प्रकार द्वादशी में पारण करने पर हजार गुना फल माना गया है ।
एकादशी के दिन उपवास और रात्रि में जागरण करनेवाले मनुष्य अनायास ही दिव्यरुपधारी, चतुर्भुज, गरुड़ की ध्वजा से युक्त, हार से सुशोभित और पीताम्बरधारी होकर भगवान विष्णु के धाम को जाते हैं ।
यह सब पापों हरनेवाली उत्तम तिथि है । चराचर जगत सहित समस्त त्रिलोकी में इससे बढ़कर दूसरी कोई तिथि नहीं है ।
Vyas Ji said, "If you want to go to the heavenly planets and avoid the hell, you should indeed observe a fast on both the light and dark Ekadashi's."
The essence of what is written in the Vedic literatures known as the Puranas is that one should not eat on either the dark or light fortnight Ekadashi's." As stated in Srimad Bhagavatam (Mahabhagavat Puran)) "One who fasts on Ekadashi's saved from going to the hell"
"Oh Bhimasen, in the Kali-Yug, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy, when all the principles of the Vedas will have been destroyed or greatly minimized, and when there will be no proper charity or observance of the ancient Vedic principles and ceremonies, how will there be any means of purifying the self? But there is the opportunity to fast on Ekadashi and become free of all one's past sins.
What more can I say to you? You should not eat during the Ekadashi's that occur during the dark and light fortnights. "Remember, whosoever eats any grains on Ekadashi becomes contaminated by sin and verily eats only sin. In effect, he has already become a dog-eater, and after death he suffers a hellish existence.
If a person eats once at midday on Ekadasi, the sins of his previous birth are erased, if he eats only supper, the sins acquired during his previous two births are removed, and if he fasts completely, the sins accumulated during his previous seven births are eradicated.
The sins a person has accumulated over a thousand previous births are burned to ashes if he not only fasts but also remains awake throughout Ekadasi night, just as a mountain of cotton can be burned to ashes if one lights a small fire in it.
Whatever merit one has acquired in his life by some pious activities becomes completely fruitless if one does not observe the Ekadasi fast.
Glorification of Sri Hari on the day so dear to the God, Ekadasi, liberates a hundred previous generations. 0 great sages, a person who chants the glories of Sri Hari on Ekadasi achieve the merit earned by donating seven islands."
0 kings, those who have eaten supper on Ekadasi should feed a brahmana the next day. Someone who has eaten only fruits on Ekadasi should donate fruits the next day.
"An Ekadasi fast is complete when one offers a qualified Brdhmana a gold or copper pot filled with ghee and ghee wicks, along with eight water pots containing some gold and covered by cloths. One who cannot afford these gifts should at least offer a Brahmana some sweet words. One who does so will surely attain the full benefit of fasting on Ekadasi.
Shree Krishn said, I do not become as pleased by sacrifice or charity as I do by my devotees observance of a full fast on Ekadashi. To the best of one’s ability, therefore, one should fast on Ekadashi, the day of Sri Hari.
Just as among snakes Shesh-Nag is the best, and among birds garud is the best, among sacrifices the Ashvamedh-Yajn is the best, among rivers Mother Ganges is the best, among Gods Lord Vishnu is best, and among two-legged beings the Brahmins are the best, so among all fasting days Ekadashi is by far the best.
Who took birth in the Bharat dynasty, whoever strictly observes Ekadashi, becomes very dear to Me and indeed worshippable by Me in every way.
There is nothing better than Ekadashi, the day of Shree Hari, in this or any other world. It nullifies even the worst sins if observed properly.
Whosoever chants these sacred names - such as Ram, Vishnu, Janardan or Krishn - especially on Ekadashi never sees Yamaraj, the God of death's punishing abode.
Neither the merit one receives by taking a bath in the sacred place of pilgrimage known as Sankhoddhara, where the God killed the Sankhasura demon, nor the merit one receives upon seeing God Gadadhar directly is equal to one sixteenth of the merit one obtains by fasting on Ekadashi.
It is said that by giving charity on a Monday when the moon is full, one obtains a hundred thousand times the results of ordinary charity. O winner of wealth, one who gives charity on the day of the Sankranti (equinox) attains four hundred thousand times the ordinary result. Yet simply by fasting on Ekadashi one obtains all these pious results, as well as whatever pious results one gets at Kurukshetra during an eclipse of the sun or moon.
Furthermore, the faithful soul who observes complete fasting on Ekadashi achieves a hundred times more merit than one who performs an Ashvamedha-yajna. One who observes Ekadashi just once earns ten times more merit than a person who gives a thousand cows in charity to a brahmana learned in the Vedas.
The merit one obtains by observing a complete fast on Ekadashi cannot be measured. O Arjuna, best of all Kurus, the powerful effect of this merit is inconceivable even to the devas, and half this merit is attained by one who eats only supper on Ekadashi.
The processes of staying in places of pilgrimage, giving charity, and performing fire sacrifices may boast only as long as Ekadashi has not arrived. Therefore anyone afraid of the miseries of material existence should observe Ekadashi.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said, "If a person fasts on Ekadashi, I will burn up all his sins and bestow upon him My transcendental abode. The merit one attains by fasting on Ekadashi is greater than that achieved by observing any other kind of fast or by going to a place of pilgrimage, and even greater than that achieved by giving charity to brahmanas. I tell you most emphatically that this is true." if a person strictly observes Ekadashi; I kill all his enemies and grant him the highest destination.
Whoever completely fasts on Ekadashi, following the rules and regulations, will achieve the supreme abode of Shree Vishnu, who rides upon Garud. They are glorious who devote themselves to Shree Vishnu and spend all their time studying the glories of Ekadashi. One who vows not to eat anything on Ekadashi but to eat only on the next day achieves the same merit as one who executes a horse sacrifice. Of this there is no doubt.
One who hears even one sentence about the glories of Ekadashi is freed from the reactions to such sins as killing a brahman. There is no doubt of this. For all eternity there will be no better way of worshiping Shree Vishnu than observing a fast on Ekadashi.'
Anyone who observes sacred Ekadashi during both the light and the dark fortnight of each month is undoubtedly freed from the reactions to the sin of killing a Brahmin. One should not differentiate between the Ekadashis of the light and dark parts of the month.
As we have seen, both can award pleasure in this world and liberate even the most sinful and fallen souls. Just as black cows and white cows give equally good quality milk, so the Ekadashis of the dark fortnight (Krishna paksha) and the light fortnight (shukla or Gaura paksha) award the same high degree of merit and eventually liberate one from the repeated cycle of birth and death.
The merit obtained by performing one hundred horse sacrifices and one hundred Rajasury sacrifices is not even equal to one sixteenth of the merit a devotee is able to attain by fasting on Ekadashi. There is no higher merit one can achieve than that attained by fasting on Ekadashi. Indeed, nothing in all the three worlds is as pleasing or as able to purify one of accumulated sin as Ekadashi, the day of the lotus-naveled God, Padmanabha.
Supreme God 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.
(Hari Bhakti Vilas 12/101,102 from Kasyapa Pancaratra)
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.
(Hari Bhakti Vilas 12/103)
A human being should never eat on Ekadasi day. (Ekadasyam Na Bhunjita Kadacid Api Manavah)
(Hari Bhakti Vilas 12/15 from Visnu Smrti)
That sacred rivers like Ganga, Narmada, Godavari etc & holy places like Kashi, Gaya, Kurushetra etc., cannot equal the merit of Ekaadhashi Vratha. (Padm Puranam)
Full eating is condemned on Ekadasi and fasting on that day is certainly very pleasing to Shri Krsn.
(Hari Bhakti Vilas 12/6 from Agni Puran)
If due to bewilderment, a Vaisnav eats grains on Ekadasi day, then whatever merit has attained by worshiping Sri Visnu becomes fruitless and he falls into hell.
(Hari Bhakti Vilas 12/32 from Gautamiya Tantra)
Neither Ganga, Gaya, Kasi, Puskara, Kuruksetra, Reva, Vedika, Yamuna, nor Candrabhaga, none of them are equal to the day of Sri Hari, Ekadasi. Oh king, even if one fast on Ekadasi unknown to others, all of his sins are at once burnt and he easily attains the spiritual world.
From: Narad Puran
Oh Brahmanas, those of Brahmanas, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras, whoever one may be, who fast on Ekadasi with full devotion, will certainly achieve liberation.
From: Brhan Naradiya Puran
A child, an old man or a person unable to fast can take something to eat in the evening or once in the day (earliest in the afternoon not in the morning), whether it be milk, fruit or water, but should properly follow the Ekadasi fast. One should not give up fasting on Ekadasi.
(Hari Bhakti Vilasa 12/91 from Markandeya Puran)
Any person who is diseased, or who is dominated by bile or who has aged more than sixty years (after householder life), they are advised to eat in the evening on the Ekadasi day.
(Hari Bhakti Vilasa 12/93 from Baudhayana Smrti)
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