Ekadashi Festival, India

Ekadashi festival is a day used for cleansing, aiding in repair, and rejuvenation. Fruit, vegetables, and milk products are the only foods eaten on fasting days. Abstaining from food and drink starts at sunrise on the day of Ekadashi and lasts until sunrise on the day following. It is not permissible to eat rice on Ekadashi. Lunar positions determine the timing of each Ekadashi. In the Indian calendar, the progression from a full moon to a new moon is divided into fifteen equal arcs. Each arc equals one lunar day called a tithi. A lunar day is measured by the time it takes for the moon to cover a certain distance. The eleventh day of the lunar calendar is called Ekadashi. A precise phase of the waxing and waning moon corresponds to the eleventh tithi.

On Ekadashi, the moon will appear somewhere between 3/4 full and 3/4 dark in the bright side of the lunar month, and 3/4 full and 3/4 dark in the dark side of the lunar month. Each calendar year has 24 Ekadashi. On rare occasions, a leap year will have one or two extra Ekadashi (repeated). The 24 Ekadashi names are -
1. Safala Ekadashi (usually fall on January Month),
2. Putrada Ekadashi (usually fall on January Month),
3. Shattila Ekadashi (usually fall on February Month),
4. Bhaimi Ekadashi (usually fall on February Month),
5. Vijaya Ekadashi (usually fall on March Month),
6. Amalkibrata Ekadashi (usually fall on March Month),
7. Atonement Ekadashi (usually fall on April Month),
8. Kamada Ekadashi (usually fall on April Month),
9. Baruthini Ekadashi (usually fall on May Month),
10. Mohini Ekadashi or Trisparsha Ekadashi (usually fall on May Month),
11. Oprah Ekadashi (usually fall on June Month),
12. Pandava Nirjala Ekadashi (usually fall on June Month),
13. Yogini Ekadashi (usually fall on July Month),
14. Shayan Ekadashi (usually fall on July Month),
15. Kamika Ekadashi (usually fall on August Month),
16. Sacrifice Ekadashi (usually fall on August Month),
17. Annada Ekadashi (usually fall on September Month),
18. Bada EkadashiSide XI (usually fall on September Month),
19. Indira Ekadashi (usually fall on October Month),
20. Pashankushao Ekadashi (usually fall on October Month),
21. Rama Ekadashi (usually fall on November Month),
22. Emergence Ekadashi (usually fall on November Month),
23. Utpanna Ekadashi (usually fall on December Month),
24. Mokshada Ekadashi (usually fall on December Month).
The Ekadashi days each have specific benefits that are attributed to particular activities performed on them.

The eleventh lunar day (Shukla Ekadashi), also known as Hari Vasara because it is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is a day of worship and fasting for all Hindus. It is believed that those who fast on this day will get rid of bad planetary influences, experience happiness, and achieve inner peace so they can think of Ishvara and achieve moksha.

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