Ever wondered why the people in ancient times used to have more inner peace and happiness than we do now? How there was a sense of contentment amongst the mass which is nowhere to be seen nowadays? The answer to the above questions is pretty simple, today people run after money, power, success, and material possessions. No matter on which position the person is he/she will be part of the despicable rat race. These scenarios ultimately lead to the doom of mankind. There is a need to understand the power of one’s inner self which is much more powerful than any other money, status, or materialistic possession can bring you.
Why not refer to the ancient Puranas and Upanishads who have answers to every question mankind can ask?
One needs to connect with oneself truly in order to achieve that divine feeling. We are often seen performing various Yagnas (Sacrificial fire pits), Poojas (Prayers) and Vrats (Fasting) to get a spiritual connection and peace. And one of the important Vrat is the Ekadashi Vrat or Ekadashi Upwas (Fasting).
The Story Behind Why We Perform Ekadashi Upwas
Based on the Enchanting Hindu Scripture Padama Puranam, it tells us the story where Lord Vishnu came to the rescue of the universe by channeling his inner self and killing the destroyer demon Murdanav. It is said that even after fighting for over 1000 years with the demon, Vishnu was unable to achieve victory over it. Exhausted, Vishnu decided to take some rest in a cave. Thinking the mighty god was weak the evil demon sneaked behind him to end the god. Just when the sword was about to touch Vishnu a divine lady appeared behind Murdanav with a sword. Enchanted by the beauty of the lady, Murdanav wished to marry the lady. She placed one condition, the only person she would marry would have to defeat her in a duel. Accepting the challenge and making the biggest mistake Murdanav was brought to the steps of death by the Warrior woman. Upon hearing the clashes of the swords Vishnu awakened and he later came to know that the lady was none other than the inner self of Vishnu. She had control over the 11 senses (10 senses and 1 mind) so she was to be named Ekadashi successfully proving the meaning of her name.
Importance Of Ekadashi Upwas
She asked Vishnu to let people observe a fast on every 11th on every dark half and every bright half of the moon to establish control over the 11 senses and to please the God himself. She desired that on Ekadashi none of the people should consume the staple diet of food grains and pulses, etc. Vishnu accepted her request and said that the one who does the purest Vrat of Ekadashi will have the blessings, he/she will have their desires fulfilled, and they will have control over the evils in their life and the power to conquer it. It is considered that a person performing the Ekadashi Vrat will have Punyas equivalent to a person performing a 100 Yagnas, donation of more than a million cows, and the pure bath is done in the holy Ganges who is believed to wash away a person’s sins. Ekdashi Upwas have a positive effect on the stars of a person. It is considered to the greatest Upwas among all the other Upwas’s and known as ‘Maha-Vrat’.
Now coming to the science side of the Upwas, it has been proven that a person who observes a fast has the lowest chances of developing cancer of any kind. When you are fasting you either don’t consume anything or consume healthy, nutritious and light items that help your body to flush out all the toxins easily to make you fit. A good digestive system will lead to higher metabolism which in turn will lead to increased immunity and good health. If there is a problem in having a strict Vrat with even no water you can go for the other two types of Vrat.
There are in total of three types of Vrats –
- Nirjala Vrat – where you can’t eat or drink anything throughout the day.
- Sarjala Vrat – where you can only consume liquids like juices and water.
- And lastly Farali Vrat – where you can consume milk, fruits, and farali snacks.
Recommended Read: Shanti Mantras For The Peace Of Your Mind