Ekadashi Vrat: Dates, Time, Rituals and Significance

Ekadashi Vrat: Dates, Time, Rituals and Significance

Ekadashi also known as gyaras is a holy day observed by Hindus twice a month, on the 11th day of the waxing and waning phases of the moon. It is a day of fasting and spiritual reflection, and is considered an important opportunity for spiritual purification and growth. 

The list of Ekadashi as per lunar calendar is as follows.

Lunar Month Deity Shukla Paksha Ekadashi Krishna Paksha Ekadashi
Magha Vishnu Shattila Ekadashi Jaya Ekadashi
Phalguna Vishnu Vijaya Ekadashi Amalaki Ekadashi
Chaitra Vishnu Papamochani Ekadashi Kamada Ekadashi
Vaishakha Vishnu Varuthini Ekadashi Mohini Ekadashi
Jyeshtha Vishnu Apara Ekadashi Nirjala Ekadashi
Ashadha Vishnu Yogini Ekadashi Devshayani Ekadashi
Shravana Vishnu Kamika Ekadashi Shravana Putrada Ekadashi
Bhadrapada Vishnu Aja Ekadashi Parsva Ekadashi
Ashwin Vishnu Indira Ekadashi Papankusha Ekadashi
Kartik Vishnu/Tulsi Rama Ekadashi Devutthana Ekadashi
Margashirsha Vishnu Utpanna Ekadashi Mokshada Ekadashi
Pausha Vishnu Saphala Ekadashi Pausha Putrada Ekadashi
Magha Vishnu Shattila Ekadashi Jaya Ekadashi

Note: This list may vary slightly depending on regional customs and beliefs

Ekadashi Dates in 2023

  1. Festival Date
    Varuthini Ekadashi 16 April 2023
    Mohini Ekadashi 1 May 2023
    Apara Ekadasi 15 May 2023
    Pandava Nirjala Ekadashi 31 May 2023
    Yogini Ekadasi 14 June 2023
    Devsayani Ekadashi 29 June 2023
    Kamika Ekadashi 13 July 2023
    Padmini Ekadasi (Adhik Mas) 29 July 2023
    Param Ekadasi (Adhik Mas) 12 August 2023
    Putrada / Pavitra Ekadashi 27 August 2023
    Aja / Annada Ekadashi 10 September 2023
    Parsva Ekadashi 25 September 2023
    Parsva Ekadashi (Vaishnav, Gaudiya, iskcon) 26 September 2023
    Indira Ekadashi 10 October 2023
    Papankusha Ekadashi 25 October 2023
    Rama Ekadashi 9 November 2023
    Devotthan Ekadashi 23 November 2023
    Utpanna Ekadashi 8 December 2023
    iskcon Utpanna Ekadashi 9 December 2023
    Mokshada Ekadashi 22 December 2023
    iskcon Mokshada Ekadashi 23 December 2023

Note: The dates may vary slightly based on the lunar calendar and the location.

Ekadashi holds a significant place in Hindu scriptures and there are numerous facts written about it in Sanskrit scriptures. Some of them are:

  1. In the Padma Purana, it is mentioned that the merit gained by observing a fast on Ekadashi is equal to the merit gained by performing a yajna (sacred fire ritual) or donating a cow.

  2. The Skanda Purana states that Lord Vishnu himself declared that the person who observes a fast on Ekadashi will be blessed with prosperity, happiness, and moksha (liberation from the cycle of birth and death).

  3. In the Mahabharata, it is mentioned that Bhishma Pitamah, one of the greatest warriors and devotees of Lord Vishnu, observed a fast on Ekadashi for several years before leaving his mortal body.

  4. The Brihad Gautamiya Tantra states that Ekadashi is the most auspicious day for performing spiritual practices, such as meditation, yoga, and chanting.

  5. The Narada Purana states that observing a fast on Ekadashi helps to purify the mind and body, and increases one's devotion to Lord Vishnu.

  6. The Bhavishya Purana states that observing a fast on Ekadashi helps to ward off negative influences, such as bad karma and evil spirits.

  7. The Skanda Purana also mentions that fasting on Ekadashi helps to improve one's physical health by detoxifying the body and reducing the risk of diseases.


The Bhagavata Purana, also known as the Srimad Bhagavatam, is one of the most sacred and important texts in Hinduism. It contains numerous references to the significance of Ekadashi and its observance. Some of the key teachings on Ekadashi from the Bhagavata Purana are:

  1. Fasting on Ekadashi helps to purify the mind, body, and soul. It is believed that by observing a fast, one can get rid of all sins and impurities, and attain spiritual upliftment.

  2. Ekadashi is considered to be the day of Lord Vishnu, and it is believed that fasting on this day pleases Him and grants one His blessings.

  3. According to the Bhagavata Purana, fasting on Ekadashi helps to control the senses and overcome material desires. It is said that the mind becomes pure and peaceful, and one can focus on devotional practices such as chanting the Lord's name and reading sacred texts.

  4. The Bhagavata Purana also highlights the importance of charity and selfless service on Ekadashi. It is believed that by helping others and performing acts of kindness, one can earn the blessings of Lord Vishnu and attain spiritual progress.

  5. The Bhagavata Purana also contains numerous stories and legends about the significance of Ekadashi. For example, the story of Ambarisha Maharaja and Durvasa Muni highlights the power of fasting on Ekadashi and the importance of devotion to Lord Vishnu.

Overall, the Bhagavata Purana emphasizes the importance of observing a fast on Ekadashi for spiritual and moral upliftment. It teaches that by fasting, performing devotional practices, and engaging in acts of charity, one can attain the blessings of Lord Vishnu and progress on the path of spiritual evolution.

Generally rice is not consumed on Ekadashi. According to one mythological story, sweat fell from Lord Brahma's head and took the form of a demon. When the demon asked the Lord for a place to live, Brahma asked him to live in the rice that people eat on Ekadashi and turn into worms in their stomachs. It is a religious belief, but there is also a scientific reason for avoiding the consumption of rice on Ekadashi. It is a scientifically proven fact that on the day of a full moon, the air pressure in the atmosphere changes and this manifests itself in tidal waves. Amavasya has a high tide due to strong gravity, but the next day the pressure decreases. Therefore, on the days of the 11th new moon or full moon, the pressure is almost zero. Fasting on other days can be really tiring as the atmospheric pressure stresses the body, but the same is not the case on Ekadashi. Therefore, it is easy to cleanse and detoxify your body, especially your intestines, during Ekadashi. On the next day of Ekadashi (12th day after full moon or new moon) it is recommended to eat early in the morning. This is done to avoid pressure on the body. Breaking the fast is known as parana.

Another belief is that foods with a high water content are avoided on Ekadashi because water is associated with instability. It is a known fact that water is the most important component in growing rice and the moon also attracts water. If a fast observer consumes rice on Ekadashi, his mind will be adversely affected by the rays of the moon. It is difficult for a person to remain determined and fulfill the vrata.

On Ekadashi, Hindus typically observe a strict fast from sunrise to the next day's sunrise, abstaining from food, water, and other physical pleasures. The fast is believed to purify the body and mind, and help the individual focus on spiritual pursuits.

The Vrat Vidhi or the procedure for performing the Ekadashi fast as per the Hindu Sanskrit Scriptures can be outlined as follows:

  1. The day before Ekadashi, the devotee should have a simple meal, free from grains and beans, in the evening.

  2. On the day of Ekadashi, the devotee should wake up early, take a bath and wear clean clothes.

  3. The devotee should perform puja to Lord Vishnu and light a lamp in front of his idol or picture.

  4. Devotees can also chant the Vishnu Sahasranama or other mantras dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

  5. The devotee should abstain from eating grains, beans, and certain vegetables like onion and garlic for the entire day of Ekadashi.

  6. The devotee should also refrain from consuming any food or drink after sunset on the day of Ekadashi.

  7. The devotee should spend the day in meditation, reading religious texts, and doing charity work.

  8. On the day after Ekadashi, known as Dwadashi, the devotee should take a bath and offer food to a Brahmin as a form of charity.

  9. The devotee should break the fast by eating simple, vegetarian food after offering it to Lord Vishnu.

  10. It is also believed that giving a donation to a needy person on Ekadashi brings blessings and positive energy.

These are some of the basic guidelines for performing the Ekadashi fast as per the Hindu Sanskrit Scriptures. However, it is important to consult with a learned priest or guru for more detailed instructions and guidance.

     Significance of Ekadashi

    Ekadashi is considered a highly auspicious day in the Hindu calendar, and is believed to have numerous spiritual benefits. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu sleeps during the four months of the monsoon season, and awakens on the day of Devshayani Ekadashi (also known as Ashadhi Ekadashi)

    Ekadashi (also known as Hari Vasara because it is dedicated to Vishnu) is a day of fasting and prayers for all Hindus. It is believed that those who fast on this day are freed from the harmful effects of the planet, experience happiness and get the right peace of mind to think of Ishvara and attain moksha. It is the day of Vishtikarana, the day of malefic effects. Vishtikarana coincides with the second half of Ekadashi Tithi and is avoided in all activities related to worldly welfare, but for such celebrations Ekadashi Tithi should not have Dasami Vedha. One should fast during Vishtikarana, but one should not break the fast during it. Vishtikarana coincides with the second half of Krishna Dasami. The spindle is half a tenth. A tithi is the time it takes for the Moon to move about twelve degrees relative to the Sun in space, but because the Moon's motion is irregular, the duration of a tithi is not constant. There are seven movable and four fixed spindles. Vishti or Bhadra is one of the movable characters that rotate between the other ten of the second half of Shukla Padyam.

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