What is Ekadashi?
Ekadashi falls twice in month. First on the eleventh day of the waxing moon and second on the eleventh day of waning moon. Well-known as the day of Lord Hari, this is celebrated as one of the highly auspicious days suitable for fasting.
The purpose and benefits of Ekadashi
To observe Ekadashi-vrata means to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Those interested in advancing in Krishna consciousness must observe Ekadashi-vrata regularly.
In the Brahma-vaivarta Purana it is said that one who observes fasting on Ekadashi day is freed from all kinds of reactions to sinful activities and advances in pious life. The basic principle is not just to fast, but to increase one's faith and love for Govinda, or Krishna. The real reason for observing fasting on Ekadashi is to minimize the demands of the body and to engage our time in the service of the Lord by chanting or performing similar service. The best thing to do on fasting days is to remember the pastimes of Govinda and to hear His holy name constantly.
We should not accept any kind of grains on Ekadashi
On Ekadashi, everything is cooked for Vishnu, including regular grains and dahi, but it is enjoined that a Vaishnava should not even take vishnu-prasada on Ekadashi. It is said that a Vaishnava does not accept anything eatable that is not offered to Lord Vi??u, but on Ekadashi a Vaishnava should not touch even maha-prasada offered to Vishnu, although such prasada may be kept for being eaten the next day. It is strictly forbidden for one to accept any kind of grain on Ekadashi, even if it is offered to Lord Vishnu.
In the Brahma-vaivarta Purana it is said:
ye kurvanti mahipala
trayas te naraka? yanti
data bhokta ca preraka?
If one performs the shraddha ceremony of oblations to the forefathers on the Ekadashi tithi, then the performer, the forefathers for whom the shraddha is observed, and the purohita, or the family priest who encourages the ceremony, all go to hell.
Here is an opportunity to receive the special mercy of Sri Radha Krishna. Contribute towards a seva on this auspicious day of Ekadashi.