Ekadashi Fast – Ekadashi in Sanskrit means the eleventh day of two fortnights of the waxing and waning Moon of each lunar month. There are two Ekadashi’s in a month and 26 total in a year. In the Geeta, there is a reference to the day of Ekadashi, where Lord Krishna recites to Arjuna the importance and ways of carrying out the Ekadashi fast.
According to the Hindu Mythology, planets and their movements have a significant impact on the human body, as the different elements of the body correspond to different planets. The impact of the Moon’s varying size and its magnetic pull can be clearly observed during the full moon on the sea-tides.
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Similarly, since the human body consists of about 70 percent water, the Moon has a profound impact on the functioning of it. Our digestive system is majorly influenced by the moon and its magnetic pull as the secretion of certain juices that help in digestion can be affected. To maintain good health and a sound mind, a fast is observed on Ekadashi. In earlier times, the penance undertaken by people and saints were tougher than what we observe today, like they even abstained from drinking water during this day until the next day i.e. Dwadashi, the 12th day which was called as Nirjala Ekadashi, but with change in lifestyle and with other health issues some people include eating fruits and milk, however, there has to be a strict abstinence from eating cereals and grains, especially rice.
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It is also believed that this day is dedicated to the worship of Lord Krishna and Lord Vishnu. The saints in earlier times used to even meditate and sing prayers in praise of the two lords the entire night; they believed this day to be so holy that they abstained from sleeping on this day. It is said that the skills practiced on this day tend to refine and their devotion to Lord intensifies.
Fasting is also helpful in maintaining good health, as it helps the digestive system clean hence detoxifies our body. Fast should be observed at least once in fifteen days, suggests many Hindu scriptures. That’s all you need to know to observe an Ekadashi Fast.