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Proper process for following ekādaśī

The name of the pure ekādaśī is hari-vāsara. One should give up viddhā-ekādaśī. When mahā-dvādaśī comes, one should observe dvādaśī instead of ekādaśī. One should observe celibacy on the day before ekādaśī, and one should fast even from water on ekādaśī, as well as continuously engage in devotional service throughout the night. Celibacy should also be observed on the after day ekādaśī, and the fast should be broken at the proper time.

These activities constitute real respect for hari-vāsara. If one does not have the strength to observe full fasting on ekādaśī, other arrangements are permitted. One may take, in order of increasing superiority, fruit, milk, water, ghee, or pañca-gavya or air.

According to Mahābhārata Udyoga-parva, one cannot break their fast with water, roots, fruits, milk, ghee, words of the spiritual master,or medicine. The only exception is if one has a diet exclusively of fruits. Controlling one’s eleven senses (five working senses,
five knowledge-acquiring senses, and the mind), one should follow ekādaśī.

 

More Details of ekādaśī

In the instructions given to Sanātana Gosvāmī in the Madhya-līlā of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Mahāprabhu says: ekādaśī janmāṣṭamī vāmana-dvādaśī śrī-rāma-navamī, āra nṛsiṁha-caturdaśī ei sabhera viddhā-tyāga aviddhā karaṇa akaraṇe doṣa kaile bhakti lambhana
(Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya 24.341-342)

If the daśamī even slightly overlaps ekādaśī during the period of aruṇodaya (dawn, or one hour and thirty six minutes before sunrise),that ekādaśī is known as viddhā. If dvādaśī begins in the remaining portion of ekādaśī, there is no defect. It is certainly worthy of following. For more information, one should refer to the twelfth and thirteenth chapters of Śrī Haribhakti-vilāsa.

Ekādaśī is the mother of Kṛṣṇa- Bhakti, love and affection. If you do not follow ekādaśī, Kṛṣṇa- Bhakti will never come.