Aja Ekadashi Fast
Ekadashi follows the Hindu calendar on the movement of the moon. a month has 30 days and are divided into two periods of 15 days. First period of the month is called Sud (Sukla pax). During this period, the Moon’s size is increasing. The second period of the month is called Vad ( Krishan pax). During this period, the moon’s size is decreasing.
Ekadashi occurs on the 11th day of each period (twice a month). Ekadashi mean 11 (Ek meaning 1 and dash meaning 10 therefore 11). It is tradition in Hindu religion to observe fast on this day and is considered a holy day.
Story of Ekadashi
Ekadashi is a Vrat (austerity) which started many years ago. Once Lord Narayan was resting and a demon call Mundanav challenged the Lord for a fight. Mundanav had a boon (wish) that he could not be defeated by a man. So Lord Narayan produced a damsel from eleven spiritual parts of his body. Mundanav was so attracted to this damsel that he asked her to marry her. The damsel agreed with a condition that he had to fight her and destroy her and only then will she marry him. Mundanav was blinded by passion and did not even think twice and agreed to fight with her.
During the fight, Mundanav was killed by the damsel. Lord Narayan was pleased with the damsel and granted her a boon. The damsel asked Lord Narayan that ‘as I evolved from your Ekadash Indriyas (eleven spiritual parts of the body) I shall be known as Ekadashi. I am filled with Taap (penance) so I desire that people should observe Ekadashi Vrata on this day and control their Ekadash Indriyas on this day. Lord Narayan agreed and ever since all Hindus perform Ekadashi Vrat by fasting or eating farrari foods. A number of people do Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat on this day by not taking any food or drink.
Swaminarayan Bhagwan explains in the Vachnamrut that a true Ekadashi Vrat is when one withdraws the ten indriyas (5 sense organs: eyes, ears, nose, skin, tongue and 5 motor organs: hands, feet, mouth, reproductive and excretory organs) and the eleventh, the mind, from their worldly activities and focuses them on God and devotional activities.
Items which can be eaten Ekadashi under farrari foods include: Potatoes, Sweet Potato, Cassava (Mogo), Turnip and Yams, Milk Yogurt, Fruits, Nuts, some vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower tomatoes) and special grain such as Samo and Rajagri. Please Note that on Ekadashi, No outside food must be consumed! Only food prepared at home or temple must be consumed!
List of Ekadashi
|The Vedic lunar month||Ekadashi name|
|Pausha (पौष, December–January)||Putrada Ekadashi & Shatila Ekadashi|
|Maagha (माघ, January–February)||Jaya Ekadashi & Vijya Ekadashi|
|Phalguna (फाल्गुन, February–March)||Aamalki Ekadashi & Papmochni Ekadashi|
|Chaitra (चैत्र, March–April)||Kaamda Ekadashi & Varuthini Ekadash|
|Vaisakha (वैशाख, April–May )||Mohini Ekadashi & Apara Ekadashi|
|Jyeshta (ज्येष्ठ, May–June)||Nirjala Ekadashi & Yogini Ekadashi|
|Ashaad (आषाढ, June–July)||Padma Ekadashi (Devshayani Ekadashi) & Kamika Ekadashi|
|Shraavana (श्राव=90ण, July–August)||Pavitra Ekadashi & Aja Ekadashi|
|Jalijilani (Parivartni) Ekadashi & Indria Ekadashi|
|Ashvin (अश्विन्, September–October)||Pashankusha Ekadashi & Rama Ekadashi|
|Kartik (कार्तिक, October–November)||Dev Prabhodhini Ekadashi & Utpati (Abhya) Ekadashi|
|Mokshda Ekadashi & Safala Ekadashi|