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Smarta Ekadasi – What is Smartha Ekadashi?

If you are used to observing Ekadasi fasting, you might have come across consecutive days marked as Ekadashi. The first day will be usually marked as Smarta Ekadasi and next day will be marked as Bhagavat or Vaishnava. So what exactly is Smarta Ekadasi?

Smarta Ekadasi is based on the calculation that when the sunrises if it is the Ekadasi day then it is Smarta Ekadasi.

Bhagavata, or Vaishnava, Ekadashi observance is based on the rule that Dasami or the tenth day during a lunar fortnight should have ended before Arunodaya (96 minutes period before sunrise on the Ekadasi or the 11th day in a lunar fortnight). As the Sunrise occurs at different times of the same day at different places, maximum of three Ekadasis in a year (sometimes none) will have to be observed on different days in different places.

The Smarta and Vaishnava Ekadasi are based on geographical reasons.

Since the difference is purely geographical, you should consult the nearest Vishnu temple from your home when there is a problem arising out of Smarta and Vaishnava Ekadasi.

Apart from this there are certain mutts or ashrams that have different calculations for observing Ekadasi but this is limited to the followers of the particular mutt or ashram.

What should a Vishnu devotee do?

You need not be worried about such confusion and complex calculations.

Perform the Ekadasi fasting on the day that you are comfortable with. Make sure that you break the fast before the end of the 12th day (Dwadashi tithi ends).

Do your prayers. Follow Dharma. Do a good activity on the day like feeding a poor child, helping a needy, feeding animals or birds, planting a tree... There is a whole lot of good things that you can do on the day. This Dharma, and Krishna only wants you to follow Dharma.