Update – Vaikunta Ekadashi – Jan 8th/9th 2017


January 8th 2017 is Smartha Ekadashi.

January 9th 2017 is Bhagavatha Ekadashi.

P.S: Please check your local calendars and temples to see the exact date for Vaikunta Ekadashi.

Vaikunta Ekadashi falls in the month December-January. This year it falls on January 8th and 9th 2017. This is observed with all solemnity in the temples of Lord Vishnu. Please check your local calendars to see when it falls.

Vaikunta Ekadashi is of great significance at the Tirupati Balaji Temple, and also all Balaji temples. They prepare what is called a “Swargada Bagilu” also called as ‘Vaikunta Dwaram’ or ‘the gate to the heaven‘ This gate is opened on this day. This is the passage encircling the innermost sanctum of the Lord. Scores of devotees queue up to pass through the Gate of Vaikunta in the temples.

For the devotees of Lord Vishnu, every Ekadashi is a very sacred day No rice should be eaten on Ekadashi days. This is very important.

Those who are unable to fast completely can take some light fruit and milk. So you may ask why we shouldn’t eat rice, so here comes the story for the same.

The sweat that fell down from the head of Brahma assumed the form of a demon and said to the Lord, “O Lord! now give me an abode to dwell.” Brahma replied, “O demon! go and dwell in the rice particles eaten by men on Ekadashi day and become worms in their stomach.” For this reason rice is prohibited on Ekadashi.

If you don’t believe in this story, just think of all the benefits you can get from fasting.

Fasting makes a man strong, both spiritually and mentally.Fasting controls passion. It checks the emotions. It controls the senses also. It is good to fast once in a while as it recuperates the body. Ekadashi observance cleans our body and the digestive organs get much needed rest.

Those people suffering from ailments and on medications should take the advice of a doctor before fasting. Never torture your body in the name of religion. There is nothing wrong in having fruits or milk. And you can bring a certain amount of flexibility in the way it is observed.


55 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Usha Nayak on December 31, 2011 at 11:53 am

    This is a very informative post, thank you so much. Happy New Year to you too, Meera!


  2. Scientifically also, on the day of Ekadashi (There is definite relative position of earth with moon – controller of mind and thoughts, eating rice give rise to disturbance in the digestive system


  3. Posted by Srinivasa on January 1, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Wishing you a very Happy New Year 2012


  4. Posted by Viswanath S on January 2, 2012 at 4:26 am

    Wish you a very happy new year 2012.
    Why is that Vaikunt Ekadashi is on 4th or 5th? Could you please tell me the exact day instead of being ambiguous.


    • Posted by meeraghu on January 2, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      each and every matha in our Madhwa community celebrates Ekadashi based on their dates. In Uttaradhi Mattha it is celebrated on 5th. However, Raraya Matha, Puttige Matha and others are performing the same on 4th.


  5. Posted by Venkat on January 3, 2012 at 3:53 am

    Another reason for observing Ekadasi is as a practice. Our next life depends on what we remember before we leave our body. If you remember your family/relatives, you will be reborn in the same family; may be in the next generation. If you remember Lord Narayana, you will be given Moksha. So if you try to remember god with fasting, you are reharsing, the physical and mental state you will be, near the end of your life. Most of the time you will not be given food and you will be weak on your death bed. It becomes really hard to concentrate on God. By observing Ekadasi fasting you are essentially preparing yourself.


  6. Posted by Bharath M R on January 3, 2012 at 5:52 am

    Hey Meera,
    Thanks for the useful information.
    This is the first time where i had interest to know about Vaikunda Ekadasi.
    Hope i will try to be on fast and go to any Perumal temple on that day morning.
    Just a small clarification,If i celebrate on 5th jan 2012,then i should be on fast on 5th from morning till night or from 4th morning till 5th morning?

    Can you clarify the same.



  7. Posted by KARTHIK BALRAM RAO on January 3, 2012 at 6:59 am

    HI. i’m looking for a song by shri purandara dasa that is sung daily during pooja. the lyrics go something like this ” shri madhwa matada sidhanta bidabye re bidabya bittu kedabya “..the total song is around 4 or 5 paragraphs i think. if you can provide the lyrics of the song and the name of the song, it would be greatly appreciated.


  8. Posted by meeraghu on January 3, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Let me check.


  9. Posted by Ram on January 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    According to the Panchangam Ekadasi time begins on 04 January 2012 at 06:14 and ends on 05 January 2012 at 08:37. I don’t know what to do, any help appreciated, please, please.

    Jay Panduranga.


  10. Posted by priya on January 3, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    Hare Srinivasa. Can you please tell me when is Vaikuntha ekadashi according to US timings. 4th or 5th?


    • Posted by meeraghu on January 4, 2012 at 8:13 am

      Depends on which Matha you follow. SSVT temple and Krishna Vrindavana has it on 4th. However, we are doing it on 5th.


    • Posted by Menaka on January 5, 2012 at 7:59 am

      Thank you Meera.
      Also, Please let me know at what time on 6th can I end the
      fasting and what is that I am supposed to eat.


  11. Posted by Menaka on January 4, 2012 at 6:50 am

    If I have to keep awake, should it be on 4th night to 5th morning or
    5th night to 6th morning?


    • Posted by meeraghu on January 4, 2012 at 8:11 am

      There is no need to stay awake, Menaka.


      • Posted by Menaka on January 5, 2012 at 8:01 am

        Thank you Meera.
        Also, please let me know, at what I should end fasting on 6th.
        What is one supposed to eat after one ends fasting.

      • Posted by meeraghu on January 5, 2012 at 8:40 am

        Fasting is ended early on 6th morning. A full meal is prepared like Rice, rasam, payasa, chitranna, and so on. No food with onion and garlic. Hope this helps.

  12. Posted by Preeti on January 4, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Thank you so much for the detailed information on ekadashi. Wish you & your family a Happy New Year !!!


  13. Posted by Kanchi N. Gandhi on January 4, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Besides getting all the benefits one can get from fasting, I mention the following in the in my botany class: grains, millets, and seeds contain plant embryos (needed for the next generation), whereas fruit pulps do not contain any embryo. I also mention that either knowingly or unknowingly the Hindus avoid eating plant embryos at least once a month.


  14. Posted by vidyavenugopal puttaparti on January 4, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    thank you so much for a very useful information wish you all a very happy new year


  15. Thanks for the information.
    Adding more to the benefits of fast, it is believed that the cosmic energy that enters the human body is more on some special days like Karhika purnima, Vaikunta ekadashi, etc. The food that we take on these days obstructs this energy decreasing its intake. Hence it is good to fast on these days, also besides fast it is good to be calm and pleasant specially on these days thereby opening many ways for the energy.
    I heard this from a friend of mine.
    Please correct me if I am wrong.


  16. Good post once again. Thanks! For Madhwas, every ekadashi is same and we need to do complete fasting as said in our Acharya’s Sri Krishnamrutha Maharnava on all Ekadasi days. This grantha is the last word on Ekadasi as Madhwaru has dedicated around 60+ shlokas on Ekadasi mahime and its significance.

    And one thing is sure, we need to account for each and every grain of food taken on ekadasi days in the court of Yama Dharma Raja later on. Those who take anything on this sacred Haridina will not be spared.


  17. Posted by madhavi on December 9, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    hi meera,
    i am reading a lot about ekadasi fasting and being a devote of lord balaji i want to do this fasting ,actually i fast on every friday for goddess mahalakshmi and sometimes ekadasi falls on thursday and saturday, so fasting two days continuosly is not possible for me.can you please suggest me something we can eat apart from milk and fruits.
    thank you


  18. Posted by madhavi on December 9, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    hi meera,
    avallakki is flattened rice right,but on ekadasi we should not eat any grains is what i read can you please clear this to me and can i eat root vegetables like carrots ,beetroots and any other vegetables which you can suggest that i can cook for my family on this auspicios occassion.
    thank you


    • Posted by meeraghu on December 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm

      I am not an expert, so please consult your parents, elders or in-laws. Without knowing anything much, it is hard to come up with any suggestions.


  19. Posted by madhavi on December 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    i am sorry meera,actually my parents and in -laws dont have much knowledge about this. even they started learning about this now,we are non-brahmins after knowing about ekadasi we all feel guilty that we were not following this all these days,atleast now we want to give up some of the foods.
    sorry and thanks


    • Posted by meeraghu on December 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      Why are you being sorry. I was just suggesting talking to elders in the family. Now that I know some background about you, if you feel you don’t want to eat Avalakki, than you can have sabhudana Khichadi. It is commonly eaten during fasting.
      For me, health is most important. If you can’t maintain your health and work after fasting, there is no point in doing.
      I myself eat something light, I have suffered a lot because of fasting. And I have a full time Job, and family to take care of. So, even though I am a brahmin, I can’t fast completely. I eat fruits, milk shake, and many time Avalakki, Khichadi also.


  20. Posted by vidyavenu on December 9, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    When is next vaikunta ekadashi and what mantra you should chant or even a ekadashi song if you have please post it


  21. Posted by madhavi on December 10, 2012 at 10:36 am

    thanks a lot meera .even these little suggession from experienced people like you will help us a lot.


    • Posted by meeraghu on December 10, 2012 at 10:52 am

      I am just like anyone else. Not really experienced at all. I am glad this blog is helping you, worth all my efforts. May Lord bless you and your family.


  22. Posted by madhavi on December 10, 2012 at 10:53 am

    sabudana is not a good option for me because i suffer with cold most of the times and i am pre-diabetic too. i like eating avalakki .


  23. Posted by ranjan on December 21, 2012 at 9:47 am

    ok fine what is the daru masa for in the madhwas pls reply as this year as from 16th Dec 2012 to 15th Jan 2013


  24. Posted by ranjan on December 21, 2012 at 9:49 am

    ok fine what is the daru masa for madhwas/hindus pls reply as this year as it from 16th Dec 2012 to 15th Jan 2013 pls reply to id ie jayaranjansrilak@gmail.com.
    if you know.



  25. Posted by xyz on December 22, 2012 at 1:48 am

    please display prayer or removal from debts in kannada “saala parihara mantra”


  26. Posted by madhavi on February 6, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    meera if you think the question i asked is not an appropriate one,please dont post it.
    thank you


  27. Posted by madhavi on February 7, 2013 at 9:46 am

    thanks a lot for your response.i fasted yesterday.


  28. Your efforts for sharing aspects of Madhva traditions is commendable.

    That said I would like to bring to your attention inorder for you to get your facts straight and change the following line in you article:

    “Orthodox Madhwa people in South India observe complete fasting on ordinary Ekadashi day.”


    “Staunch followers of Madhva all over the world observe complete fasting (involving No partake food or water of any kind) on the most revered and auspicious day of Ekadashi. This strict adherence roots out of the fact from commandment given by Madhva himself in the work Krishnamruta Maharanva XVI Sloka 156 :

    “Sloka 156: Suta said:: Brahmins must learn about the day when Ekadashi occurs from astrologers who discuss and determine the same. Having determined the same, fasting must be done on that day, else one will attain hell!”

    Readers may refer to following section of Madhva’s work Krishnamruta Maharanava for more details on ekadashi vix :

    Part XVII – Viddhi Ekadashi
    Part XVIII – Viddhi Ekadashi
    Part XIX – Applicability of Ekadashi
    Part XX – Atirikta Dwadashi, Parana rules
    Part XXI – Benefits of Ekadashi
    Part XXII – Violating Ekadashi and its effects”

    Courtesy : http://anandatirtha.wordpress.com/parampare/krishnamruta-maharnava/

    Thank you.


  29. Thank you for your brief explanation about Ekadashi Fasting. I follow every Vaikunda Ekadashi fasting and visiting Vishunu Temples near to place and get the blessings from God.
    In our Rayuru Mutt, during Ekadashi, there will not be any Archanai to Rayuru, because he himself on fasting and worshiping his Guru, so we cannot make Archanai to Ragavendra, the next day onwards Duvathasi we can do pooja to our Rayuru. Chanting Vishu Sakasranam on that whole day (vaikunda Ekadashi)


  30. Posted by shanthisethuraman on January 12, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Wish you all for a “Happy Pongal”. Hope the pongal festival brings you happiness to all
    and enjoy tasting SWEET PONGAL” after offering to “The Sun”.


  31. Posted by Kavita on January 2, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    Wish you and your family also a very Happy and Prosperous New Year Meeraji!!!


  32. Posted by Jaya on January 5, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    hi meeraji,
    I m from UK. If vaikunda ekadesi falls on 8th jan 2017 when should we start fasting and when should we end ?? Plz let me know in IST .


  33. Posted by Jaya on January 7, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Ok mam thanks


  34. Posted by Padma Rao on January 8, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Dear Meera, my cousin had sent me this video of Sri Bananje Govindarcharya which says the importance of Ekadashi both from Scientific and religious perspective.Thought of sharing – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_jAhNpqYTw


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