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Ekadashi

Ekadashi 2010 is when?

Ekadashi means 'the eleventh', which refers to the 11th day of a fortnight belonging to a lunar month--the bright and the dark. Hindus treat Ekadashi as a very holy day and observe fast on that day. Complete fasting from food and water on every ekadashi is highly recommended. However, this is not always practised.

On Ekadashi, strict followers of Vaishnava regulations avoid eating any offering that includes grains. A person who is very strictly observing Ekadashi should avoid all spices except pepper, rock salt and cumin. He should also avoid vegetables such as tomatoes, cauliflower, eggplant, and leafy vegetables. At midday, one is supposed to bathe in a river, lake or pond. Ideally, this should be accompanied by the chants of "O Asvakrante! O Rathakranthe! O Visnukranthe! O Mrttike! O Mother Earth! Kindly remove all the sins I have accumulated throughout many past lives so that I may enter the sacred abode of the Supreme Lord."

Fasting on Ekadashi is believed to be a sign of one’s dedication to the spiritual path. When offered in devotion, it helps speed up one's progress towards attainment of nirvana. Besides fasting on Ekadashi, devotees increase their chanting, reading of scripture and prayer. It is also believed that on Ekadashi the mind finds itself in its own abode. This helps the mind achieve a derep state of meditation.

Amisha Patel
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