Ekadashi Fasting Rules and Procedures
What is the Ekadashi Fast Procedure?
Do you know the reason why waves come and go, and why on special days – from Ekadashi to Purnima (full moon) and Ekadashi to Amavasya (dark moon) – waves are very high? Even if there is no wind, still, from Ekadashi to the full moon and dark moon, the water increases and there are so many high waves. Why is this? It is due to the moon. Water and waves increase due to the moon. The moon comes nearer on those days, and extracts the water.
Similarly there is some water in our stomachs and bodies. Therefore, if we are not very careful in these five days in every fifteen, the moon will increase our diseases. You can see in hospitals that most people will die within these five days.
We have rasa, or water, within us, and wherever there is liquid, the moon attracts it. Thus, all kinds of diseases increase. However, if one is very careful and follows the ancient Indian (or Vedic) process of Ekadashi vrat, then this can be controlled very easily.
How do we do this? By not drinking water or taking grains on this day. If one is weak, and is taking water or juice but not grains, then you can save yourself. If one is taking any preparation made from grains, it will absorb the water and become saturated with that water. If a stone or wood is put in water, it will not absorb water, whereas if you put blotting paper or cotton in there, it will absorb so much that it will remain fully saturated for the entire day. It will not dry, even in the sun. If you drink water but do not take grains, then like a stone, you will not be affected. However if you take grains, the moon will attract the water, those grains will become saturated with the water, and so many kinds of sickness will come. You may even die; so be careful about this.
Moreover, the most important reason to follow Ekadashi vrat is that Ekadashi is Krsna Himself. Krsna has become Ekadashi. He descends to this world on Ekasasi day, looks after all the people who are observing its vows, and gives special mercy to them. So we must observe Ekadashi vrat.
For your increased spiritual advancement on Ekadashi, if you hear the holy name, chant and remembering Krsna, and hear Srimad-Bhagavatam and Hari katha in the assembly of devotees, you will quickly develop krsna-prema.
Restricted Foods for Ekadashi fast:
Tomatoes, eggplants, cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, bitter melon, green peas, loki, parmal, toroi, green chili, drumsticks, lady fingers, radish, beets, and banana flowers.
• Peas, chickpeas and all types of beans, including products made from beans like papadams, tofu, and tempeh etc.
• All leafy vegetables, like spinach, salads, cabbages, and leafy herbs like parsley, coriander leaves, celery, herbal tea, and curry leaves.
• Grains, like millet, barley, farina, kinua, bamboo rice, wild rice, jungle rice, samo rice, amaranthseed, pasta,rice,corn,and all types of flour made from grains and beans, like rice flour, chickpea flour, urad dahl flour etc.
• Starches from corn or above mentioned grains, and products made from or mixed with these starches like baking soda, baking powder, so drinks with corn syrup, custard, cake, halava, certain varieties of cream and cottage cheese, certain sweets and candies, and tapioca balls.
• Oils made from grains, like soyabean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, mustard oil, sesame oil, other types of refined oils and products fried in these oils, like fried nuts, potato chips and other fried snack foods). Honey is also restricted.
Spices Used on Ekadashi fast:
Black pepper, fresh ginger, pure salt and fresh turmeric, all taken from a new and clean package.
Spices Not Used on Ekadashi fast:
hing (asofetida), chili, sesame seeds, cumin, fenugreek, mustard, tamarind, fennel, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, bay leaf, cardamon, cloves, oregano, basil and other leafy spices etc.
Foods that can be taken on all fast days: Fruits (fresh and dried), nuts and oils made from nuts and other pure sources, like olive oil, peanut oil, coconut oil, almond oil, and ghee. Potatoes, potato chips, pumpkin, cucumber, squash, lemon, green papaya, green banana, jackfruit, sweet potato, tapioca root, avocado, olives, coconut. Pure milk products.
Forbidden Foods on Ekadashi and Other Vrats:
Non-veg, fish, eggs, onion, garlic, all carrots, all teas, coffee, supplements with Tulasi, products with gelatin, renet, and any animal fats and substances.
Rules for Parana and How to Break the Ekadashi fast:
One should break ekadashi fast during the correct time with that which you have been fasting from. For Example: If you have fasted on Ekadashi without taking water then you should break the fast with water or caranamrita. If you have observed Ekadashi by eating fruit and roots, then you should break fast on the next day by taking grains within the specified time of parana.