måndag 11 juni 2007


Ekadashi is the eleventh day of the waxing and waning moons. Like the Judeo-Christian Sabbath, it is a day for increased concentration on God. Ekadashi is called Hari Vasara, “the day of Lord Hari [a name for Krishna].”
On Ekadashi, Krishna devotees either fast or simplify their meals and abstain from eating grains and beans. Fasting on holy days, a traditional Bhakti practice, is a sign of one’s dedication to the spiritual path. When offered in devotion, it helps speed up one's progress in Bhakti.
Besides fasting on Ekadashi, devotees increase their chanting, reading of scripture, prayer, and other services to the Lord.


Ekadasi refers to the eleventh day after the full moon and the new moon (once a fortnight). On these special days devotees fast and make an extra effort to render devotional service. Observing Ekadasi increases spiritual advancement.
One has to perform devotional service in full tapasya, austerity. One should fast on the two Ekadasi days, which fall on the eleventh day of the waxing and waning moon, and on the birthdays of Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu.(Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.27.22 purport)
How To Follow Ekadasi

Fast from grains and pulses (legumes).
Chant extra rounds.
Try to do more reading.
Try to become more absorbed in hearing, chanting, and devotion to Krishna.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura said it is a time to step back, get a little out of the normal routine, and take stock of one's spiritual life.
Try to rise above the bodily concept; avoid as much as possible any activities relating to the body (shaving, laundry, going to a doctor, shopping, sleeping)
Avoid strenuous physical labour. Don’t travel long distances.

Why just twenty-five rounds? You should chant as many as possible. Real Ekadasi means fasting and chanting and no other business. When one observes fasting, the chanting becomes easier. So on Ekadasi other business can be suspended as far as possible, unless there is some urgent business.” (Letter to Jadurani, 9 July 1971) ).

One should not overdo fasting. It is supposed to cause buoyancy of feeling and not fatigue. One should only practice as much fasting as one's capacity allows.

The Benefits of Fasting

It gives one a taste for renunciation, and thus helps one to give up sense gratification.
Fasting gives the system a rest: The physiological system may become overworked due to a little overeating or indiscrimination in diet. Fasting gives the system a chance to catch up.
Fasting helps us practice self-discipline in eating and concentrate more on pleasing God.
Fasting helps keep the body light and the stomach free so that one can meditate better. The digestive system draws the blood circulation towards the digestive organs. Therefore blood circulation to the head is decreased once food is taken: so we feel sleepy.
Types of Fasts

Different practitioners observe the Ekadasi fast on different levels:
Completely fasting from food and water ( although acamana water and caranamrita are still allowed).
Taking water while fasting from all food.
Taking water and a little fruit.
Taking water and one meal in the afternoon.
Drinking and eating as usual but without any grains or pulses.
Other Points About Fasting
Ideally, one abstains from eating after the midday meal on the day before Ekadasi.
One following the stricter type of fast may only drink milk on Dvadasi.
Completely fasting from food and drink on Bhima-nirjala Ekadasi atones for any mistakes one has made on all the other Ekadasis for the previous year.
One should not overdo fasting. It is supposed to cause buoyancy of feeling and not fatigue. One should only practice as much fasting as one's capacity allows and not try to artifically impress others.
If one cannot do service because of fasting, he is better off eating.

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