Ekadashi - some questions

Hare Krishna,

For people new or in process to get more information sometimes its hard to find out a text very short and simple for the person understand the bases and after try to build  more information about that subject.  Because of that, i have a few questions about Ekadashi and i would like ddirect information for me to understand the bases andd after to search for more. Because Ekadashi for me its complicated to understand.

Here is my questions:

1) what is the history behind Ekadashi ?

2) Different types of Ekadashi and what type of food we cannot eat in that different Ekadashi

3) Water is permitted in all Ekadashi?

4) For people that are fasting all day, drink water brokes ekadashi?

5) Why Ekadashi all start at midnight but never ends to the other midnight?

6) Why in some special days, that aren't Ekadashi, people do the process of Ekadashi sometimes to night others to midnight?

7) Its correct that is people fast in Ekadashi day to lunch will take Karma for few past lifes, and if just eat on dinner will be 100 past life will taken the Karma? In that process drinkig water can broken the cleaning of the past life?

8) How long before the start the Ekadashi we need to not eat? 1hour before?

Thank you

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  • E-Counselor

    Hare Krsna Mataji,


    1) Ekadasi is blessed by the lord. If anyone fasts on ekadasi, it pleases the Supreme Lord.

    2) Food - I have recently made a mail of dos and donts. Will attach it at the end.

    3) Different levels of fasting - 1st - without eating or drinking anything, 2nd - taking only water, 3rd - water, fruits, milk, curd, dry fruits, honey, 4th - all of the items in 3rd alongwith cooked anukalpa prasadam. One should do what one is comfortable doing. The idea is that on this day, we try to remember the lord more, that is more important.

    4) Depending on how one has done the fast, the breaking fast is as follows: 1st - drinking water will break the fast, 2nd - milk, curd, fruits, grains - anything will break the fast, 3rd & 4th - grains will break the fast.

    5) Ekadasi starts in the morning and is there till next morning. There are different times - each ekadasi, for breaking fast, location wise. YOu should keep track of your breaking fast time as per your local ISKCON temple.

    6) Q not clear.

    7) I personally do not concentrate on this cutting karma part, I do ekadasi to please the lord - whether I will have to suffer for my karma or not doesnt cross my mind - let Krsna decide that. Even if I suffer, it is my own karma only that I will suffer no - then what is there to complain.

    8) Not relevant - eat in the night and sleep - from morning, observe ekadasi.

    Regarding food that can be had on ekadasi, I will give you a list. With these ingredients, you will know what to do.


    1)      Cooking medium should be sunflower oil or ghee. Pls do not use soya bean oil, mustard oil or rice bran oil on ekadasi. This oil/ ghee should be kept separately and not used in daily cooking from same container.

    2)      Salt should be sendha namak. If you cannot get in your locality, then use tata salt, that is kept separately. It should not be used for normal cooking from the same container.

    3)      Dhania/ coriander seeds should be made powder at home. Similarly, dried red chillies should be made powder at home. Keep separately for ekadasi cooking, donot use from same container for daily cooking. Haldi/ turmeric, raai/ mustard seeds, khatai/ amchoor, hing/ asafoetida aur jeera/ cumin seeds do not use.

    4)      I make garam masala also at home – long/ clove, elaichi/ cardamom, dalchini/ cinnamon, tej patta/ bay leaf, saunf/ aniseed, star anise (if you have readily at home) dry roast – powder in mixie and keep separately.

    5)      Allowed sabji – jisme haddi/ beej nahi ho – like aloo/ potato, kumra/ pumpkin, papita/ papaya, lauki/ , gajar/ carrot, parwal, kheera/ cucumber, turai, mooli/ radish, adrak/ ginger, hari mirch/ green chilli, nimbu/ lemon. In ISKCON, patta gobi/ cabbage, capsicum, tamatar/ tomato, phool gobi/ cauliflower is also used. All leaves – dhania patta/ coriander, pudina patta, palak/ spinach patta, kari patta (meetha neem patta) allowed. Methi/ fenugreek patta aur methi seeds use nahi hota hai.

    6)      Not allowed sabji – beans, bhindi,…..

    7)      All fruits and dry fruits allowed. Mungfali/ peanuts allowed.

    8)      Milk, curd, mawa and their preparations allowed. I make paneer at home – I don’t use bazaar ka paneer for ekadasi.

    9)      Gulab jal, kewra jal, kesar, sugar, gur, khajoor allowed.

    10)   Kuttu ka aata, rajghire ka aata, Saamak/ Moriya, Sabudana use karte hain. In your SJM temple, I found one ekadasi atta which I bought and used today. You can use that to make rotis – its got maida consistency, though I thought it was exactly like the now banned Radhika aata.

    11)   No grains – aata, rice, maida, sooji, ragi, jau, daals kuch bhi nahi kha sakte hain.

    12)   Til – only on one ekadasi, til is allowed. Otherwise all through the year, it is considered as grains. Tilkut ekadasi (near sankrant every year), it is allowed.

    13)     Tulsi leaves are not to be cooked. They are not to be plucked or tulsi plant watered on dwadasi and on Sundays. These are the days Tulsi maharani rests. So she should not be disturbed.

    Please ask whatever you cant understand in this mail.


    Your servant,


    • Hare Krishna Mataji.
      Dandavat Prabam

      2 questions

      1) All Types of fruits allowed?

      2) Tulsi Leaves not allowed on Ekadasi or Dwadasi?
      • E-Counselor
        Hare Krsna,

        1) All types of fruits and dry fruits alliowed
        2) Tulsi leaves very much allowed - without tulsi leaves, how will you do offering?

        Your servant,
        Radha Rasamayi DD
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