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Ekadashi Fasting Madhvacharya Teachings – Madhva School of Thought

Ekadasi is the eleventh day of every fortnight of a lunar month. Madhava Acharya in his work Krishnamrtamaharnava highlights the importance of the Ekadashi fasting.

Srihari Vishnu is the presiding deity for Ekadasi and the day is very sacred to him. The texts proclaim that Srihari Vishnu is immensely pleased with those who observe a total fast on Ekadasi.

Fasting on Ekadasi destroys the effects of karmas of this birth as well as karmas and sins committed in past births.

Puranas warn that all sins reside in food on Ekadasi and so whoever consumes food on Ekadasi becomes a recipient of all those sins.

This austerity has to be compulsorily observed by all men, women and children above eight years and below eighty years, irrespective of their caste or station in life.

Ekadasi stands foremost amongst all austerities.

It has to be followed by all even during monthly periods by women.

The texts declare that the merit earned through thousands of different rituals does not equal one-sixteenth of the merit earned by observing Ekadashi.

Even the merit earned by pilgrimages to Kashi, Gaya, Kurukshetra or by bathing in rivers like Ganga is not equal to that earned by observing Ekadasi.

Madhvas do not perform marriages, fire rituals (homas, Yajnas etc) or shraddha (death anniversary) on Ekadashi.

The scriptures and Madhwacharya assert that in order to gain Srihari Vishnu’s grace, Ekadasi has to be observed with all earnestness.