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What is Ekadashi?

What is Ekadashi?

Ekadashi is an auspicious day which occurs on the eleventh lunar day of the two lunar phases in a month, Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha. In spiritual context, it signifies eleven senses constituting of 5 sensory organs, 5 organs of action and the mind. It is considered to be one of the most auspicious days to observe Vrat (fast). Vrat is observed by controlling the 10 senses and mind and consuming fruit, milk and few vegetables while abstaining from consuming rice, beans and grains. Scientifically, Moon has direct impact on the mental frequency of a person on these days. Thus, Vrat is observed to help direct the high mental energy in right direction and refrain from ill deeds. It is penance done to control our senses and immerse oneself in a higher level of consciousness. There are 24 Ekadashi in a year where each Ekadashi holds a special significance and is associated with different incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

Ekadashi 2023 Iskcon:


Ekadashis are also celebrated on a grand scale by the ISKCON devotees around the world. The Iskcon Ekadasi list for ISKCON is prepared by the Governing Body Commission (GBC) Vaisnava Calendar Committee of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). There is not much difference as it goes by the same same Ekadasi fasting and Parana rules as those followed by Smartians. (Smarta, the followers of Smriti texts, is a non-sectarian society of Hinduism making no difference between Vaishnava, Shaiva or Shakti. They see Brahman (the Divine light) as the source of all deities.

For the Smartians, Ekadashi starts at sunrise and for the Vaishnva (Iskcon) Ekadashi starts at Brhama-muhurata two hours before sunrise.

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Importance / Significance of Ekadashi

Significance of Ekadashi

For every 30th and the 48th day, the body reactivates and rejuvenates itself, and consuming a lot of food during that time may create a negative sensation and discomfort in the body. The Vedas recommended undergoing full or partial fast during those three days of Ekadashi. This relates to the waning and waxing cycle of the moon.

The prominent ways of taking up Ekadashi are:

  • Nirjala: It means not to intake any form of food for the whole day.
  • Sajala: It means to run the body for the whole day on water and fruit juices and other liquid food items.
  • Farali: It means to spend the whole body by taking only milk and fruits.
Ekadashi purifies the mind and keeps the body fresh by detoxifying and refreshing the body fluids. It prevents the formation of any kind of tumour and avoids carcinogenic diseases.

  1. It also helps keep the sugar level under control thereby preventing the chances of diabetic diseases.
  2. It helps fat globules convert to energy and hence the unwanted fat and cholesterol is cleansed.
  3. After fasting, the body is more energetic and fresh.

Ekadashi Story

Ekadashi Story

Each Ekadashi from the above-mentioned types has a different story with a historical background. For instance, the Putrada Ekadashi is observed to attain a male child. This comes from a different story where Lord Vishnu had emerged to satisfy His devotee’s desire to obtain a male child. Similarly, Mohini Ekadashi is being followed by people to wipe away their sins done in a previous life. This Ekadashi has its prominence due to the Mohini avatar of Lord Vishnu and so, people who are suffering from previous sins can get relieved with observing such penance. This despite promoting spirituality; also encourages people to worship women on a social cause. Other such Ekadashi stories depict epic puranic stories too. One best example is the Mokshada Ekadashi, which propagates the principles of Mahabharata, the sermon of Lord Krishna to Arjuna. Each Ekadashi has a different story that convinces the devotee to dedicate himself completely to the ritual so that he can gain the benefits completely.

What to Do on Ekadashi Day? Ekadashi Fasting / Vrat and Puja Vidhi


Fasting is one of the most essential parts of Ekadashi. One should be aware of the puja vidhi of the particular Ekadashi. One should not take any food prohibited during a particular Ekadashi. For instance, Yogini Ekadashi requires a devotee to eat only fruits. So, avoiding unnecessary food items can help you to dedicate yourself to an Ekadashi.

On an Ekadashi, people usually fast for the whole day. Those who cannot fast the whole day observe a partial fast by consuming fruits and liquid items. On some Ekadashi, the devotees stay awake all night till the dawn and worship Lord Krishna. For instance, on Amalaki Ekadashi, devotees glorify the Amla tree as it is believed to be Lord Krishna’s residence. They offer coconut and flowers before the tree and perform rituals.

Benefits of Ekadashi Vrat

  1. Fasting on Ekadashi increases your spiritual strength.
  2. It increases immunity power of the body.
  3. Fasting helps get relief from all the reactionary sins that committed either knowingly or unknowingly.
  4. It detoxifies your body and replenishes it with fresh energy.

To conclude, ancient practices always lead us towards some amazing path as they would have created such rituals out of their experience. We all know that traditionalism should be protected. Here, it is not about protection, But about the trust and maintenance of the Vedic ritual practice. So, pick up your desired practice and choose the date for that particular Ekadashi to happen and just follow up. Let us embrace traditionalism.


Ekadashi is being strictly followed in many parts of India by Hindus and Jains; and hence, it varies according to certain principles, needs and wants of the devotees. There are nearly 25 different types of Ekadashi being observed in a year to purify one’s mind, senses and body.

Paap mochani Ekadashi in month of Chaitra dark fortnight

Date: 28th Mar, 2022, Monday
For freedom from sins and immoral act.

Kaamada Ekadashi in month of Chaitra bright fortnight

Date: 12th Apr, 2022, Tuesday
For desire fulfilment

Varutthini Ekadashi in month of Vaishakh dark fortnight

Date: 26th Apr, 2022, Tuesday
For a sinless life filled with happiness.

Mohini Ekadashi in month of Vaishakh bright fortnight

Date: 12th May, 2022, Thursday
For a relief of all sufferings

Apara Ekadashi in month of Jyesth dark fortnight

Date: 26th May, 2022, Thursday
For name and fame

Nirjala Ekadashi in month of Dwitiya Jyesth bright fortnight

Date: 10th Jun, 2022, Friday
For control over senses and relief from sins and sufferings

Yogini Ekadashi in month of Aashadh dark fortnight

Date: 24th Jun, 2022, Friday
For piety and good deeds

Devshayni Aashadhi Ekadashi in month of Aashadh bright fortnight

Date: 10th July, 2022, Sunday
For Moksha (liberation)

Kamika Ekadashi in month of Shravan dark fortnight

Date: 24th July, 2022, Sunday
For freedom from the results of committing the most heinous crime

Putrada/ Pavitra Ekadashi in month of Shravan bright fortnight

Date: 08 August, 2022 Monday.
For a wish to be blessed with a male child.

Aja Ekadashi in month of Bhadrapad dark fortnight

Date: 23 August, 2022 Tuesday.
For freedom one from all sins and gaining higher consciousness

Parivartini/Parsva Ekadashi in month of Bhadrapad bright fortnight

Date: 6th Sep, 2022, Tuesday
For liberating forefathers from the hell (abode of Yamaraja)

Indira Ekadashi in month of Aashwin dark fortnight

Date: 21st Sep, 2022, Wednesday
For liberating forefathers from the hell (abode of Yamaraja)

Paashankusha Ekadashi in month of Aashwin bright fortnight

Date: 6th Oct, 2022, Thursday
For fulfilment of any desire and Moksha (liberation)

Ramaa Ekadashi in month of Kartik dark fortnight

Date: 21st Oct, 2022, Friday
For elevation of fallen souls to a much higher consciousness

Prabodhini Ekadashi in month of Kartik bright fortnight

Date: 4th Nov, 2022, Friday
For control over senses and relief from sins and sufferings

Utpatti Ekadashi in month of Margshirsh dark fortnight

Date: 20th Nov, 2022, Sunday
For control over senses and relief from sins and sufferings

Mokshada Ekadashi in month of Margshirsh bright fortnight

Date: 3rd Dec, 2022, Saturday
For control over senses and relief from sins and sufferings

Safala Ekadashi in month of Paush dark fortnight

Date: 19th Dec, 2022, Mon
For control over senses and relief from sins and sufferings

Putrada/ Vaikunth Ekadashi in month of Paush bright fortnight

Date: 2nd Jan, 2023, Mon
For control over senses and relief from sins and sufferings

Shat-tila Ekadashi in month of Magh dark fortnight

Date: 18th Jun, 2023, Wed
For control over senses and relief from sins and sufferings

Jaya Ekadashi in month of Magh bright fortnight

Date: 1st Feb, 2023, Wed
For control over senses and relief from sins and sufferings

Vijaya Ekadashi in month of Falgun dark fortnight

Date: 16th Feb, 2023, Thu
For control over senses and relief from sins and sufferings

Amalaki Ekadashi in month of Falgun bright fortnight

Date: 3rd Mar, 2023, Fri
For control over senses and relief from sins and sufferings

Padmini Visuddha Ekadashi

Date: 29th July, 2023, Saturday
For freedom from sins and attaining the supreme abode

Paramaa Shuddha Ekadashi

Date: 12th Aug, 2023, Saturday
For the merit ten times more than offering thousand cows to a Brahman

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