EKADASI: The Basic Dos and Don’ts

Posted: September 17, 2009 in Austerity, Ekadasi, Fasting, Vrata
Breaking the fast: If you have observed a complete fast (without even water) you do not need to break it with grains, you can break it with caranamrta or fruit. But if you have observed Ekadasi by eating fruit and vegetables etc., then it should be broken the following day by taking grains at the times mentioned herein.

Mahadvadasi is observed like Ekadasi.

The essense is to eat simply, (one or two times) so one can spend as much time as possible in hearing and chanting and remembering Krishna.

Never eat onions, garlic, carrots and red dahl (and no meat, fish or eggs or products therein).

Foods that are restricted during Ekadasi:

-Tomatos, eggplants, cauliflower, broccoli, bellpepper.

 -Peas, chickpeas and all types of beans, including products made from beans (papadam, tofu, tempeh, brain beverages, etc.)

-Indian vegetables: karela (bitter lemon), loki, parmak, toroi, kunli, drumsticks, okra (lady fingers), banana flower.

-All leafy vegetables: spinach, salads, cabbages and leafy herbs like parsley, curry leaves, neem leaves etc.

-Grains: millet, barley, farina, pasta, rice, corn, all types of dahl and all types of flour made from grains and beans (like rice flour, chickpea flour, urad dahl flour etc.)

-Starches from corn or grains and products made from and mixed with these starches like: baking soda, baking powder, certain soft drinks, custard, certain yoghurts, puddings, cream cheese, sweets, candies and tapioca-balls.

-Oils made from grains: corn oil, mustard oil, sesame oil etc. and products fried in these oils: nuts, potato chips, certain snack foods.


Spices that are used on Ekadasi are: turmeric, black pepper, ginger and salt, taken from a new or clean package.

Other spices not used: sesame seeds, cumin seeds, hing, fenugreek, mustard seeds, tamarind, fennel, celery, poppy seeds, kalonji seeds, ajwain seeds, cardemon, nutmeg, cloves etc.

Foods that can be taken all days of the year, including Ekadasi and Caturmasya:

-All fruits (fresh and dried), all nuts and oils made from nuts.

-Potatoes, pumpkin, cucumber, radish, squash (but no loki), green papaya, lemon, jackfruit, avocado, olives, coconut, buckwheat, all sugars.

-All milk products except pure milk and yogurt during Caturmasya and sweets with starches on Ekadasi.

Q. Who are exempted from fasting on Ekadasi?

A. Hari-bhakti-vilasa only exempts from fasting on Ekadasi children under eight and adults over eighty, as well as those who are ill, and they are to eat only on the evening of Ekadasi. Permissible foods are limited to the five products derived from cows, fruits, sesame, and roots. Standards for observing Ekadasi found in Hari-bhakti-vilasa are very strict. Ekadasi: The Day Of God

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