Srila Prabhupada explained that Ekadashi means “the eleventh” and it refers to the eleventh day of both the waxing and the waning moon. So Ekadashi falls twice a month.The shastra explains that the papa-purusha (sin personified) takes shelter in grains on Ekadashi, and therefore we avoid grains at all cost on that day.
Benefits of observing Ekadashi
Although Ekadashi is not difficult to follow, the results, materially and spiritually, are most beneficial.
  • In the Brahma-vaivarta Purana it is said that one who observes fasting on Ekadashi day is freed from all kinds of reactions to sinful activities and advances in pious life.
  • The basic principle is not just to fast, but to increase one’s faith and love for Govinda, or Krishna. The real reason for observing fasting on Ekadashi is to minimize the demands of the body and to engage our time in the service of the Lord by chanting or performing similar service.
  • The best thing to do on fasting days is to remember the pastimes of Govinda and to hear His holy name constantly. (Chapter 7, Evidence Regarding Devotional Principles, Nectar of Devotion). It gives one a taste for renunciation, and thus helps one to give up sense gratification.
  • Fasting gives the system a rest: The physiological system may become overworked
    due to a little overeating or indiscrimination in diet. Fasting gives the system a chance to catch up.
  • Fasting helps us practice self-discipline in eating and concentrate more on pleasing God.