गङ्गा गीता च गायत्र्यपि च तुलसिका गोपिकाचन्दनं तत् सालग्रामाभिपूजा परपुरुष तथैकादशी नामवर्णा: ।
From above verse in Narayaneeyam, we are able to understand that performing any one of these simple things like dipping in Ganges, reading Bhagavad Gita chanting Gayatri Mantra, performing puja at home with Tulasi, applying Gopi Chandan, doing Saligramam pooja, observing Ekadashi vrat and chanting His Name will lead one to salvation in the easiest way.
Out of these eight simple things as mentioned in Narayaneeyam, observing Ekadashi vrat is the simplest thing. Read on to know how and why to observe Ekadashi
Ekadashi is an important day for the Hindus especially for those who dedicate the day to Maha Vishnu through praying and fasting. All the 24 Ekadashis in a year are considered religious and sacred by the Hindus and behind the religious observance of this day through fasting, there are scientific reasons which make us wonder at the logic and reasoning capabilities of our ancestors and the way they took care about their wellbeing.
Ekadashi is the 11th day in the lunar cycle from the Full Moon day (Pournami) and No Moon day or New Moon (Amavasya). It is said that Lord Vishnu has incarnated this day with His grace and those who pray to Him on this day with fasting will experience His grace and presence to a great extent.
Ekadashi is named after the female deity who arose out of Lord Vishnu to kill the demon Muran. Being pleased with the power of the Deity, Lord Vishnu named her Ekadashi and the day when she performed this feat came to be known as Ekadashi.
In Padma Purana, (one of the eighteen major Puranas, a genre of texts of Hinduism) there is a reference to Ekadashi. Lord Vishnu created Papa Purusha, who is the embodiment of the sins human beings can commit. Due to this creation, there have been lots of sins looming large in the world and the Lord wanted to make the human beings accountable for their sins. As a result, he created Yamaloka and YamaDharma Raja as its lord.
The sinners in the world started undergoing punishments in the Yamaloka after their death and Lord Vishnu on His visit to Yamaloka took pity on the plight of the sinners and gave them a remedy in the form of Ekadashi vrata. He advised that taking Ekadashi vrata will get people rid of their sins in the world.
Thus, it has been the staunch belief of the Hindus that those who fast on the day of Ekadashi will surely get liberated from their sins and attain that spiritual awakening that will lead to Mukthi or liberation of the soul.
It is said that Krishna while advising Arjuna about Ekadashi vrata said that taking Ekadashi vrata on Utpanna or Uttpatti Ekadashi that falls during the waning phase of the Moon during November and December is the right time for starting Ekadashi vrata.
People normally take one meal before the day of Ekadashi (Dasami). On Ekadashi day, they go on complete fasting without taking food. On the next day Dwadasi, they break their fast early in the morning by taking the meal. It is a three-day process wherein the body and the soul get cleansed and renewed with physical and spiritual energy.
There are people who take up complete fasting without taking food and even water. People with the Diabetes and blood pressure are allowed to take some kind of food.
You can take
Fruits, dry fruits, nuts and
Vegetables like potatoes, pumpkin, green papaya, cucumber, Lemon and coconut on this day.
Grains, dhal and flour made of dhals,
Onions, garlic, carrots, tomatoes, brinjal,
cauliflower, broccoli, bell pepper
Peas, chickpeas and beans
products like pappadam made of beans
· It helps you gain the grace of Lord Vishnu
· It takes you to Vaikundam relieving you of the cycle of birth and rebirth
· It assures health and prosperity in life
· It liberates you from the sins of the past
· It purifies your body and enhances the digestive system
· It helps you flush out the toxins
· It allows spiritual awakening, emotional stability and improves self-control.
Observe Fast! Chant HIS Name! Improve your mental faculties, cleanse the body and awaken spiritual being to an elevated plane of thinking.