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Calculation of the Ekadashi in a Tamil Hindu calendar.

Ekadashi (Sanskrit: एकादशी, romanizedĒkādaśī, lit.'The eleventh day') is the eleventh lunar day (tithi) of the waxing (Shukla Pakṣa) and waning (Kṛṣṇa Pakṣa) lunar cycles in a Vedic calendar month.[1] Ekadashi is popularly observed within Vaishnavism and Shaivism, two major paths within Sanatan Dharma. Followers offer their worship to the god Vishnu, Shiva by fasting or just as symbol, the idea was always to receive self discipline and benefits of fasting and it was connected to the way if life via Sanatam Dharma practices.[2][3]

Within Hinduism, the primary purpose of fasting on ekadashi is to gain control over the mind and bodily senses, and channel it towards spiritual progression. In addition, there are several health benefits linked to fasting.[4][5] High protein and carbohydrate-containing foods such as beans and grains are not consumed. Instead, only fruit, vegetables, and milk products are eaten. This period of abstinence starts from sunrise on the day of ekadashi to sunrise on the following day. Rice is not eaten on ekadashi.

The timing of each ekadashi is according to the position of the moon.[6] The Indian calendar marks progression from a full moon to a new moon as divided into fifteen equal arcs. Each arc measures one lunar day, called a tithi. The time it takes the moon to traverse a particular distance is the length of that lunar day. Ekadashi refers to the 11th tithi, or lunar day. The eleventh tithi corresponds to a precise phase of the waxing and waning moon. In the bright half of the lunar month, the moon will appear roughly 3/4 full on ekadashi, and in the dark half of the lunar month, the moon will be about 3/4 dark on ekadashi.

There are usually 24 ekadashis in a calendar year. Occasionally, there are two extra ekadashis that happen in a leap year. Each ekadashi day is purported to have particular benefits that are attained by the performance of specific activities.[7]

Bhagavata Purana (skandha IX, adhyaay 4) notes the observation of ekadashi by Ambarisha, a devotee of Vishnu.[8]


The story behind ekadashi began with Vishnu sleeping or in a meditative state. A demon, Murdanav, approaches and attempts to attack Vishnu. At that time, a beautiful woman sprung forth from Vishnu's 11th sense (often called the "mind"). An infatuated Murdanav asked to marry her, to which responded that only if he defeated her in battle. As they fought, Murdanav was eventually killed. Vishnu awoke from his sleep, and blessed the woman by naming her "Ekadashi", and stated that if anyone were to fast on this day, they would be given moksha (spiritual liberation).[4][9]

List of ekadashis[edit]

The table below describes the ekadashis and when they fall in the year.

Vedic lunar month Presiding deity Krishna paksha ekadashi Shukla paksha ekadashi
Chaitra (चैत्र, March–April) Rama/Vishnu Papavimocani Ekadashi Kamada Ekadashi
Vaisakha (वैशाख, April–May ) Madhusudana (Vishnu) Varuthini Ekadashi Mohini Ekadashi
Jyeshtha (ज्येष्ठ, May–June) Trivikrama (Vishnu) Apara Ekadashi Nirjala Ekadashi
Ashada (आषाढ, June–July) Vamana Yogini Ekadashi Shayani Ekadashi
Shravana (श्रावण, July–August) Sridhara Kamika Ekadashi Shravana Putrada Ekadashi
(भाद्रपद, August–September)
Hrishikesha[10] Annada Ekadashi Parsva Ekadashi
Ashvina (अश्विन्, September–October) Padmanabha Indra Ekadashi[11] Pasankusa Ekadashi
Kartik (कार्तिक, October–November) Damodara Rama Ekadashi[12] Prabodhini Ekadashi
(मार्गशीर्ष, November–December)
Keshava Utpanna Ekadashi Mokshada Ekadashi/Vaikuntha Ekadashi
Pausha (पौष, December–January) Narayana (Vishnu/Krishna) Saphala Ekadashi Pausha Putrada Ekadashi/Vaikuntha Ekadashi
Magha (माघ, January–February) Madhava Shattila Ekadashi Bhaimi Ekadashi / Jaya Ekadashi
Phalguna (फाल्गुन, February–March) Govinda (Krishna) Vijaya Ekadashi Amalaki Ekadashi
Adhika month
(अधिक, once in 2–3 years)
Purushottama Padmini Vishuddha Ekadashi Parama Shuddha Ekadashi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What is Ekadashi? Its types, benefits of Ekadashi fast and foods to be eaten - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  2. ^ Jones, Constance; Ryan, James D. (2006). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Infobase Publishing. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-8160-7564-5.
  3. ^ Melton, J. Gordon (13 September 2011). Religious Celebrations: An Encyclopedia of Holidays, Festivals, Solemn Observances, and Spiritual Commemorations. ABC-CLIO. p. 490. ISBN 978-1-59884-205-0.
  4. ^ a b Fieldhouse, Paul (17 April 2017). Food, Feasts, and Faith: An Encyclopedia of Food Culture in World Religions [2 volumes]. ABC-CLIO. pp. 187–190. ISBN 978-1-61069-412-4.
  5. ^ Verma, Manish (2013). Fasts and Festivals of India. Diamond Pocket Books (P) Ltd. pp. 7–9. ISBN 978-81-7182-076-4.
  6. ^ "Ekadashi Dates & Fast Breaking Times (Parana) for 2018 - Ekadashi Katha - Ekadashi Svarupa Darsana". Ekadashi Svarupa Darsana. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  7. ^ Goswami, Danvir; Das, Kushakrita (2010). Sri Garga Samhita. Rupanuga Vedic College Publishing.
  8. ^ Prabhupada, Bhaktivedanta Swami (1995). Srimad Bhagavatam - Canto Nine. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. pp. 85–170. ISBN 978-81-8957491-8.
  9. ^ "Indriya | Indian philosophy | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 27 May 2023.
  10. ^ N.A (1950). The Skanda-Purana Part 1. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. pp. 154 (18.31–32).
  11. ^ "Indira Ekadashi 2019: Date, Times, Puja Vidhi, Shubh Mahurat and all you need to know - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Rama Ekadashi 2019: आज है रमा एकादशी, जानिए शुभ मुहूर्त, पूजा विधि, व्रत कथा और महत्‍व" [Rama Ekadashi 2019- Date, Time, Significance, Auspicious Time, Puja Vidhi, Vrat Katha and Lakshmi-Puja]. NDTVIndia. Archived from the original on 23 October 2019. Retrieved 27 December 2019.


  • Gangadharan, N., Agni Purana, New Delhi: Motilala Banarsidass, 1985, Chapter 178.
  • Iyer, N.P. Subramania, Kalaprakasika: The standard book on the election (mahoortha) system: with the original text in Devanagari and English translation, New Delhi: Asian Educational Services, 1982.

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