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Ekadashi holds a significant place in Hindu culture, representing a day of spiritual observance and fasting. Derived from Sanskrit, “Ekadashi” refers to the eleventh day of both the waxing and waning phases of the moon. These 24 days, scattered throughout the lunar calendar, are dedicated to spiritual purification and devotion to Lord Vishnu, the preserver god. Observing Ekadashi involves a partial or complete fast, coupled with prayers and self-reflection. But Ekadashi is more than just abstinence from food; it’s a doorway to inner peace, spiritual growth, and a celebration of the divine. This sacred day is observed with devout fervor by millions across the globe.

What is Ekadashi?

Ekadashi is a Hindu tradition deeply rooted in religious beliefs and practices. It marks the eleventh day of the lunar fortnight, occurring twice in a month according to the Hindu calendar. The term “Ekadashi” is derived from “eka” meaning “one” and “dasha” meaning “ten”, signifying the eleventh day.

The origin of Ekadashi dates back to ancient Hindu scriptures, where it is mentioned as a day dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Legend has it that Lord Vishnu observed a day of fasting on Ekadashi to defeat the demon Murasura, thereby establishing the significance of this auspicious day.

Significance of Ekadashi Fast (Vrat)

Ekadashi Vrat is a day of fasting and spiritual discipline dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is believed that observing Ekadashi purifies the mind, body, and soul, leading one toward salvation (moksha). The 11 senses of our body, including the mind, five action organs, and five senses, are symbolically represented on this auspicious day. Fasting on this day is considered equivalent to performing various rituals and penances.

Moreover, Ekadashi is also associated with numerous health benefits. Fasting is believed to detoxify the body, improve digestion, and promote overall well-being. It is considered an ideal opportunity to cleanse both the physical and spiritual self.

The Deity: Lord Vishnu


Lord Vishnu, the preserver and protector of the universe, is the focal point of Ekadashi Vrat. Devotees chant mantras like “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya” or “Om Namo Narayanaya” to invoke His blessings.

A Walk Through the 24 Ekadashis:

As the lunar cycle dictates, there are two Ekadashis in each month – one during the waxing moon phase (Shukla Paksha) and another during the waning moon phase (Krishna Paksha).  Throughout the year, there are 24 Ekadashi days, with one additional Ekadashi observed during leap years, totaling 25. Let’s explore understanding their dedicated deities and significance:


Shukla Paksha Ekadashi (Deity)

Krishna Paksha Ekadashi (Deity)


Chaitra (March-April)

Kamada Ekadashi (Lord Vishnu)

Papamochani Ekadashi (Lord Yama)

Kamada Ekadashi grants wishes and blessings, while Papamochani Ekadashi helps cleanse sins.

Papamochani Ekadashi, observed during the Krishna Paksha, seeks to absolve devotees of their sins, mirroring the significance of Chaitra’s Papamochani Ekadashi.

Vaishakha (April-May)

Varuthini Ekadashi (Lord Vishnu)

Mokshada Ekadashi (Lord Shiva)

Varuthini Ekadashi promises liberation, and Mokshada Ekadashi paves the way for moksha (salvation).

Jyeshtha (May-June)

Nirjala Ekadashi (Lord Vishnu)

Shattila Ekadashi (Lord Vishnu)

Nirjala Ekadashi is the most rigorous, involving complete fasting from both food and water. Shattila Ekadashi is observed with offerings of black sesame seeds.

Ashadha (June-July)

Yogi Ekadashi (Lord Vishnu)

Aamalaki Ekadashi (Lord Vishnu)

Yogi Ekadashi promotes self-discipline, and Aamalaki Ekadashi is dedicated to the sacred Amalaki (gooseberry) fruit.

Shravana (July-August)

Putra Ekadashi (Lord Vishnu)

Sawan Ekadashi (Lord Shiva)

Putra Ekadashi is believed to bless devotees with children, and Sawan Ekadashi holds special importance during the holy month of Shravana.

Bhadrapada (August-September)

Aja Ekadashi (Lord Vishnu)

Indira Ekadashi (Lord Indra)

Aja Ekadashi brings strength and valor, and Indira Ekadashi is dedicated to Lord Indra, the king of Devas.

Ashwin (September-October)

Parivartini Ekadashi (Lord Vishnu)

Indiravatara Ekadashi (Lord Indra)

Parivartini Ekadashi marks a change in Lord Vishnu’s four-month slumber, and Indiravatara Ekadashi celebrates the incarnation of Lord Vishnu as Indra.

Kartik (October-November)

Prabhodhini Ekadashi (Lord Vishnu)

Kartik Ekadashi (Lord Vishnu)

Prabhodhini Ekadashi awakens Lord Vishnu from his slumber, and Kartik Ekadashi is a time for grand celebrations commemorating his awakening.

Margsheersha (November-December)

Utthan Ekadashi (Lord Vishnu)

Vaikuntha Ekadashi (Lord Vishnu)

Utthan Ekadashi signifies Lord Vishnu rising from his cosmic sleep, and Vaikuntha Ekadashi, also known as Mokshada Ekadashi, is considered the most auspicious Ekadashi, offering liberation.

Pausha (December-January)

Putrada Ekadashi (Lord Vishnu)

Saphala Ekadashi (Lord Vishnu)

Similar to Putra Ekadashi, Putrada Ekadashi is observed for the blessing of children, while Saphala Ekadashi ensures the fruition of desires.

Magha (January-February)

Shattila Ekadashi (Lord Vishnu)

Jayanti Ekadashi (Goddess Saraswati)

Observed like the Jyeshtha month’s Shattila Ekadashi, Magha’s Shattila Ekadashi involves black sesame offerings. Jayanti Ekadashi honors Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and arts.

Phalguna (February-March)

Amalaki Ekadashi (Lord Vishnu)

Papamochani Ekadashi (Lord Shiva)

Similar to the Ashadha month’s Amalaki Ekadashi, this Ekadashi is dedicated to the revered Amalaki fruit.

Ekadashi Calendar 2024
Ekadashi Calendar 2024
Ekadashi Calendar 2024

This comprehensive Ekadashi calendar provides devotees with the dates, deities, and significance of each Ekadashi throughout the year 2024, enabling them to plan their observances and spiritual practices accordingly.

How Ekadashi is Observed

Observing Ekadashi involves stringent fasting rules and specific rituals. During the fast, devotees refrain from eating specific vegetables, grains, and beans. Instead, they consume fruits, nuts, milk, and root vegetables as per tradition.

Additionally, devotees spend the day in prayer, meditation, and reading sacred texts. Visiting temples and participating in religious ceremonies are common practices on Ekadashi.


Ekadashi Vrat Puja Vidhi

  1. Wake up early, take a ritual bath, and wear clean clothes.
  2. Set up an altar with Lord Vishnu’s idol or picture.
  3. Offer fruits, flowers and incense to the deity.
  4. Recite Vishnu Sahasranama or other sacred texts.
  5. Observe a strict fast from sunrise to the next day’s sunrise.
  6. Meditate on Lord Vishnu and seek His blessings.

What Should We Eat During Ekadashi Vrat?

During Ekadashi, devotees abstain from grains, beans, and certain vegetables. Instead, they consume fruits, milk, nuts, and root vegetables. Water and herbal teas are allowed.

Beyond the Fast: Embracing the Essence of Ekadashi

While fasting is a traditional practice associated with Ekadashi, its true essence lies in spiritual transformation. Here are some ways to embrace the spirit of Ekadashi:

  • Self-reflection:Use this time to contemplate your thoughts, actions, and inner self. Meditation and prayer can be powerful tools for introspection.
  • Detoxification:Even a partial fast from heavy foods allows your body to cleanse and rejuvenate. Consider including fruits, vegetables, and light meals during your observance.
  • Charity:Extend a helping hand to those in need. Donate food, volunteer your time, or simply offer kindness to others.
  • Devotional Activities:Recite mantras, chant hymns dedicated to Lord Vishnu or the presiding deity of the specific Ekadashi. Read scriptures or listen to spiritual discourses.
  • Service to Others:Help family members with chores, offer support to those in need, or engage in selfless acts.

Remember, the intensity of your observance can be tailored to your personal circumstances and health. The key is to approach Ekadashi with a sincere heart and a commitment to inner growth.

Celebrating Throughout the Year

Ekadashi offers 24 opportunities throughout the year to pause, reflect, and reconnect with the divine. As you observe these sacred days, you’ll cultivate self-discipline, inner peace, and a deeper connection to the divine force. Let Ekadashi be a stepping stone on your spiritual journey, guiding you towards a life filled with purpose and inner light.


Ekadashi is a beautiful tapestry woven with traditions, rituals, and a deep yearning for spiritual growth. As you embark on this journey through the 24 Ekadashis, embrace the opportunity to purify your mind, body and soul through fasting, prayer, and introspection for self-discovery and connect with the divine essence within you. Remember, even small steps towards a more mindful and compassionate existence can have a profound impact on your life and the world around you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the significance of Ekadashi?

Ekadashi holds immense spiritual significance in Hindu culture, symbolizing purification and spiritual enlightenment.

  1. Can anyone observe Ekadashi fast?

Yes, anyone can observe Ekadashi fast, regardless of age or gender, provided they are in good health.

  1. Are there any exceptions to fasting on Ekadashi?

Pregnant women, elderly individuals, and those with medical conditions are exempt from strict fasting rules on Ekadashi. They can opt for partial fasting or alternative practices.

  1. How does Ekadashi benefit health?

Fasting on Ekadashi detoxifies the body, improves metabolism, and promotes mental clarity. It offers various health benefits, including weight loss and improved digestion.

  1. Can Ekadashi be observed in different ways?

Yes, Ekadashi can be observed in various ways, including strict fasting, partial fasting, meditation, and charity. Devotees can choose the method that aligns with their spiritual beliefs and health conditions.

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