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Ekadashi

Ekadashi (Sanskrit: , Tamil: , ekda,


Eleven), also spelled as Ekadasi, is the eleventh lunar
day (tithi) of the shukla (bright) or krishna (dark) paksha
(fortnight) of every lunar month in the Hindu calendar
(Panchang). In Hinduism and Jainism it is considered a
spiritually benecial day and is usually observed by a partial fast. Beans and grains are not eaten during Ekadasi,
as on this day these two foods are believed to be contaminated by sin. Only fruits, vegetables and milk products
are eaten during Ekadasi. This period of abstention runs
from sunrise on the day of Ekadasi to sunrise on the day
following Ekadasi.

here by a Panchang Karta from Dharma Sindhu and Nirnaya Sindhu.)

3 Signicance
Ekadasi Tithi, the eleventh lunar day (Shukla Ekadasi)
and also known as Hari Vasara because it is dedicated
to Lord Vishnu, is a day of fasting and prayers for all
Hindus. One who fasts on this day is considered to become free from the malec planetary inuences, becomes
happy, gains peace of mind to think of Ishvara to attain
moksha. It is a day of Vishtikarana, a day of malec inuences. Vishtikarana, which coincides with the second
half of Ekadasi Tithi, is avoided in all functions associated with worldly prosperity but for such celebrations
the Ekadasi Tithi should not have Dasami Vedha; fasting is to be done when Vishtikarana is in duration and
breaking of fast should not be done during this duration.
Vishtikarana coincides with the second half of Krishna
Dasami. Karana is half of a tithi. Tithi is the time taken
by the Moon to travel approximately twelve degrees of
space with reference to the Sun but as the motion of the
Moon is irregular the duration of tithi is not constant.
There are seven moveable karanas and four xed karanas.
Vishti or Bhadra is one of the moveable karanas which rotate among the other tithis beginning with the second half
of Shukla Padyami. Vashishta states that Vishtikarana
is appropriate for killing, binding, use of poisons, re,
arrows or instruments, cutting and use of black magic;
auspicious functions pertaining to prosperity should be
avoided for they will end in destruction, thus it is good
for waging wars successfully. Jataka Parijata states:-

Two Ekadasis occur in one month according to positions


of the moon. The progression of the moon from full moon
to new moon is divided into fteen equal arcs. Each arc
measures one lunar day, called tithi: The time it takes the
moon to traverse that distance is the length of that lunar
day. Ekadashi refers to the 11 tithi, or lunar day. The
eleventh tithi therefore corresponds to a precise phase of
the waxing and waning moon: In the bright half of the
lunar month, the moon will appear roughly 3/4 full on
Ekadasi, and in the dark half of the lunar month, the
moon will be about 3/4 dark on Ekadasi.
Bhagavata Purana (sk. IX, adhy. 4) notes the observation
of Ekadashi by Ambarisha, a devotee of Vishnu.

List of Ekadashis

The table below describes the Ekadashis and when they


fall in the year.

Calculation

||

Ekadashi is dierent for Vaishnavites and Smarthas.


Whether Ekadashi is today, yesterday or tomorrow is determined by a formula. According to KalaPrakashika, a
Jyotish text discussing Muhurta, auspicious times for beginning an activity, the Ekadashi fast is performed on a
day which is not touched by or ruined by any inuence of
the tenth tithi or lunar day. The cut o time is 96 minutes before sunrise. If the tenth day gets completed, at
96 minutes before sunrise, then that day is celebrated as
Ekadashi. If the tenth day is not yet gets completed at 96
minutes before sunrise, but still continues to be Dashimi
sometime during that day, then the Ekadashi fast is performed on the following day. (Rules need to be included

that one born on Vishti, will be an enemy of all, will commit evil deeds, of bad fame, independent and honoured
by followers, which evil eects according to Kamalasana
(cited by Lalla and supported by Brahma Siddhanta), will
not be witnessed in case Vishtikaranas coinciding with
the second half of a tithi are benec in daytime and those
coinciding with the second half are good at night.[1]

4 See also
Guruvayur Ekadasi
1

6
Prasad (see for food which can/not be oered on
Ekadashi)

Notes

[1] Signicance of the Fourth and Eleventh Lunar Days.


The Astrological Magazine 421: 115116. January
1953.

References
Gangadharan, N., Agni Purana, New Delhi: Motilala Banarsidass, 1985, Chapter 178.
Iyer, N.P. Subramania, Kalaprakasika: The standard book on the election (mahoortha) system: with
original text in Devanagari and English translation,
New Delhi: Asian Educational Services, 1982.

REFERENCES

Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses

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