Many a times we are questioned about the scientific existence or logic behind keeping fasts on particular days like “Ekadashi”. So here are your answers both astrological and scientific reasons behind the same.
Ekadashi is the 11th day of the moon cycle, both from the full moon and from the new moon. In this month Ekadashi is on the 27th of July.
Astrologically it is believed that whosoever fast on “Ekadashi” gets rid of all the sins that he has committed and is blessed by Lord Vishnu. Special significance is given to avoid intake of beans, rice, grains and cereals as it is believed that if you eat these things you will be cursed and sent to hell.
So on this day you should observe a fast (water less), if not possible then you should at least avoid eating cereals and grains and only take fruits, nuts and milk products.
The mythological story behind the Ekadashi fast is given below.
Jaimini Rishi, a famous sage, once got curious about the Ekadashi pledge, so he asked from sage Vyaasa about the same. Sage Vyaasa said that at first, when the world was made, Lord Vishnu made a devilish animal (Paapa-Purusha) that was the epitome of a wide range of sins. This was done keeping in mind the end goal that whosoever chooses the wrong path of sins would be punished by the papa purush and be sent to Yamloka.
Once when Lord Vishnu visited Yamlok he saw the merciful condition of the people there and felt sorry for them. He then made Ekadashi from his own self and concluded that whosoever takes the Ekadashi vrat would be washed off their sins and they would not have to go to the Yamloka.
Hearing this, the Paapa-Purusha got scared for his existence. He promptly went to Lord Vishnu and argued that due to these Ekadashi vrat soon he might not have any existence. So Vishnuji allowed him that he may dwell in the Beans, Grains and Cereals on the Ekadashi days. Accordingly he may influence any individual who intakes any of these on an Ekadashi. So, people are warned off eating these things on Ekadashi.
The science says that the atmospheric pressure is the lowest on the eleventh day of the moon cycle that is on the Ekadashi. Hence if we fast and cleanse our digestive system of this day we would benefit the most. It is also advisable that after fasting on the Ekadashi, we get up early the next day and eat as soon as possible.
People who fast on Ekadashi should stay away from grains and cereals and should eat a light diet of fruits, nuts and milk.
Fasting gives the system a rest. The physiological system may become overworked due to a little overeating or in discrimination in the diet. Thus, the fortnightly Ekadashi fasting gives the system a chance to catch up. We know that the digestive system draws the blood circulation towards the digestive organs. Therefore blood circulation to the head is decreased once food is taken, hence we feel sleepy. Thus, an observance of Ekadashi helps us recharge our brain and mind keeping us more alert, sharp, focused and more aware.
NOW A QUICK GUIDE ON HOW TO KEEP THE EKADASHI FAST
- Get up early in the morning and take a bath.
- Light a Deepak and offer prayers to Vishnu ji.
- You may also offer Tulsi leaves and fruits to Vishnu ji.(Pluck Tulsi leaves a day before Ekadashi).
- Visit a Vishnu ji temple and offer prayers.
- Do not eat grains, cereals especially rice during this fast.
- You may eat fruits, nuts and milk during the fast. (eating a single meal is advised.)
- In the evening again offer prayers and light a Deepak.
- Next morning get up early take a bath and after praying to Vishnu ji you may break your fast.