The Importance of Ekadashi and why one should follow it


Ekadashi or Ekadasi is an auspicious day in the Hindu and Jain culture too. Ekadashi occurs on the eleventh day of the two lunar cycles in a month i.e., Krishna & Shukla Paksha.

From the spiritual point of view, Ekadashi signifies the eleven senses constituting five sense organs, five action organs and one mind. On this day, it is encouraged for one to observe a fast controlling the eleven senses and only eating certain types of food.

As a person who follows the spiritual path, I, Pushpam Appalanaidu follow the rituals of Ekdashi every month by observing a strict fast and remaining in silence.

Did you know that there are 24 types of Ekadashi in a year?

Quite a surprise it is, for not many know about this. Every type of Ekadashi is associated with the many incarnations of Lord Vishnu.In each Ekadashi, only certain foods are encouraged to be consumed to allow the mental energy to flow in the right direction!

Do note that irrespective of which Ekadashi one follows, non-vegetarian food is not cooked or consumed. Here is the list of the 24 Ekadashi’s.

Putrada, Satilla, Jaya, Vijaya, Amalaki, Papmochani, Kamada, Varuthini, Gauna Mohini, Apara, Nirjala, Yogini,Padma/Devashyani, Kamika, Aja, Parivartini, Vamana or Parsva, Indira, Padmini, Parama, Papankusha, Rama, Devathuna, Utapanna, and Mokshada Ekadashi.

The one Ekadashi that is popularly followed is the Nirjala Ekadashi. Nirjala means ‘without water’ and as the name suggests, one has to fast this Ekadashi for 24 hours without drinking water.

For the uninitiated, the Hindu calendar and time of the day is different from the English calendar and time. The Hindu calendar follows sunrise or the break of dawn as their start of the day compared to midnight to midnight of the English calendar.

So, one has to fast from sunrise of the Ekadashi to the next morning (of sunrise).

The evening before the Nirjala Ekadashi, people who fast first have to offer a prayer, then eat just once in the day. Their food should not have rice and lentils. What is allowed though is they can have a small drop of water following the purification ritual.

As an ardent believer of strictly following Nirjala Ekadashi, I, Pushpam Appalanaidu follow the Nirjala Ekadashi religiously, and I offer panchamrit to the deity.

Another question that I am asked while observing the fasting ritual, is why rice is not consumed on Ekadashi. There is a scientific answer to this apart from the religious belief. One can choose what best suits them.

As per religious beliefs, a drop of sweat fell on the ground from Lord Brahma’s head. That drop of sweat became a demon. The demon was instructed by Brahma to exist in the grains of rice consumed by people on Ekadashi and convert into worms in their stomach.

Thescientific reason proves rice eaten on Ekadashi can lead to medical complications as the unsteadiness as the moon attracts water and the rays of the moon are said to have more cosmic energy on this day thus creating medical issues for the body.

Thank you.

Hi, I'm Pushpam Appalanaidu

I was born and raised in Perak, Malaysia in a large family. My formal education was in Klang Valley and Petaling Jaya. My roots are from India as my name suggests and from the coastal city of Vizag, on the banks of the famous Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh. With strong connections with India, values my parents imbibed in me and strong inclination to spirituality. I was initiated by Swami Chidananda from Divine Life Society, founded by Swami Sivananda, Rishikesh.

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