Ekadashi, Ēkādaśī, Ekādaśī: 12 definitions


Ekadashi means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi, Hindi, biology. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit terms Ēkādaśī and Ekādaśī can be transliterated into English as Ekadasi or Ekadashi, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

Alternative spellings of this word include Ekadshi.

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In Hinduism

Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Devotees Vaishnavas: Śrī Garga Saṃhitā

Ekādaśī (एकादशी).—According to the Garga-saṃhitā 4.8.9, “To attain Lord Kṛṣṇa’s mercy you should follow the vow of fasting on ekādaśī. In that way You will make Lord Kṛṣṇa into your submissive servant. Of this there is no doubt”. During the dark fortnight of the month of Mārgaśīrṣa (November-December), in order to kill the demon Mura, the holy day of ekādaśī was born from the body of Lord Viṣṇu.

The names of the twenty-six most sacred ekādaśīs that appear in the different months:

  1. utpatti,
  2. mokṣā,
  3. saphalā,
  4. putradā,
  5. ṣaṭ-tilā,
  6. jayā,
  7. vijayā,
  8. āmalakī,
  9. pāpamocanī,
  10. kāmadā,
  11. varūthinī,
  12. mohinī,
  13. aparā,
  14. nirjalā,
  15. yoginī,
  16. devaśayanī,
  17. kāminī,
  18. pavitrā,
  19. ajā,
  20. padmā,
  21. indirā,
  22. pāśāṅkuśā,
  23. ramā,
  24. prabodhinī.

There are also two more ekādaśīs, both named sarva-sampat-pradā, during the extra month of leap-year. In this way there are twenty-six ekādaśīs in all. A person who chants the names of these twenty-six ekādaśīs attains the result of following ekādaśī for one year.

On ekādaśī one should control the senses and sleep on the ground. One should be pure-hearted and very clean, wear clean garments, drink water only once, rise for brāhma-muhūrta, and bow down to Lord Kṛṣṇa

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)

Ekādaśī (एकादशी) refers to “eleventh day of the lunar fortnight. On that day, scripture prescribes fasting from grains, beans and other foodstuffs so that the sādhaka can totally immerse himself in activities of pure bhakti. Ekādaśī is referred to as the mother of devotion”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

Source: Pure Bhakti: Arcana-dipika - 3rd Edition

Ekādaśī (एकादशी) refers to one of the various “lunar days” (tithi):—There are approximately 29.5 lunar days in a lunar month. The first fifteen days begin with the first phase of the waxing moon (pratipat) and end with the full moon (pūrṇimā). [...] In accordance with the lunar day, one would utter, [for example, ekādaśī-tithau].

Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Ekadashi in Purana glossary
Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

Ekādaśī (एकादशी).—The eleventh day after a new moon or full moon day. The vrata observed on this day is called the Ekādaśī vrata. King Ambarīṣa observed very strictly and continuously the Ekādaśī Vrata to obtain the status of Indra. (See under Ambarīṣa). (Navama Skandha, Bhāgavata). This vrata would fetch food for the hungry and salvation for those who are in search of it. (Agni Purāṇa). The method of observing this vrata is detailed below:

Those who observe the Ekādaśī vrata should be on a regulated diet excluding meat and avoid sexual acts on the Daśamī day, the day preceding Ekādaśī. On both the Ekādaśī days in a month one should not take any food at all. The period which combines Ekādaśī with Dvādaśī (the twelfth day) is called Harivāsara because of the presence of Viṣṇu at that time. That is a good time for doing sacred yajñas. That day where there is only a small portion of Ekādaśī and the rest Dvādasī is the best day for yajñas. Trayodaśī (the thirteenth day) is good for breaking the fast. The day which merges Dvādaśī into Trayodaśī is the best day for breaking the fast. Do not observe the Vrata on a day which combines Daśamī with Ekādaśī. Hell is the result if one does so. (See full article at Story of Ekādaśī from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: academia.edu: Tessitori Collection I

Ekādaśī (एकादशी) refers to the “11th day” (of the bright half of Mārgaśīrṣa), according to the Maunaikādaśīkathā (dealing with Festivals in Jain literature), which is included in the collection of manuscripts at the ‘Vincenzo Joppi’ library, collected by Luigi Pio Tessitori during his visit to Rajasthan between 1914 and 1919.—Ekādaśī, Mauna Ekādaśī, Mauna Agyāras or “Silence eleventh” (cort, Jains in the World, p. 179) falls on the 11th day of the bright half of Mārgaśīrṣa. It commemorates five auspicious events (kalyāṇakas) connected with the lives of three Jinas: 1) aranātha, the 17th Jina, renounced his status as a Cakravartin in order to become a monk; 2), 3), 4) on that day Mallinātha, the 19th Jina, was born, took initiation and gained omniscience; 5) Naminātha, the 21st Jina, obtained omniscience. Hence singing in honour of these three Jinas is a feature of this sacred day. [...] The story of Suvrata is adduced as an example of somebody who observed ekādaśī in the past and gained good results from it. Hence his case is stimulating for all listeners. there are many tellings of this story in Prakrit, Sanskrit and vernaculars, in prose or in verse (see, for instance, Bhuvanavijayajī, pp. 81-91).

General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Biology (plants and animals)

Source: Google Books: CRC World Dictionary (Regional names)

Ekadasi in India is the name of a plant defined with Pithecellobium dulce in various botanical sources. This page contains potential references in Ayurveda, modern medicine, and other folk traditions or local practices It has the synonym Inga leucantha C. Presl (among others).

Example references for further research on medicinal uses or toxicity (see latin names for full list):

· Flora de Filipinas, ed. 2 (1845)
· Dispositio vegetabilium methodica a staminum numero desumta (1790)
· Tropical Woods (1927)
· Plants of the Coast of Coromandel (1795)
· Species Plantarum (1753)
· Botanische Bemerkungen

If you are looking for specific details regarding Ekadasi, for example chemical composition, health benefits, extract dosage, side effects, pregnancy safety, diet and recipes, have a look at these references.

Biology book cover
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This sections includes definitions from the five kingdoms of living things: Animals, Plants, Fungi, Protists and Monera. It will include both the official binomial nomenclature (scientific names usually in Latin) as well as regional spellings and variants.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

ēkādaśī (एकादशी).—f (S) pop. ēkādasa f The eleventh day of the waxing or of the waning moon. ē0 cē gharīṃ śivarātra Used when misfortune follows misfortune, or when one starved wretch begs of another.

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Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Ekādaśī (एकादशी).—[, Senart's unnecessary em. for °śā Mahāvastu iii.82.4.]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

Ekādaśī (एकादशी) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—śr. Tb. 23.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Ekādaśī (एकादशी):—[from ekādaśa > eka] f. the eleventh day of a fortnight (on which fasting is considered an indispensable observance and very efficacious), [Mahābhārata; Kathāsaritsāgara] etc.

2) [v.s. ...] presentation of offerings to Pitṛs or deceased ancestors on the eleventh day after their death (on which occasion Brāhmans are fed, and the period of impurity for a Brāhman terminates)

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Hindi dictionary

[«previous next»] — Ekadashi in Hindi glossary
Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Ekādaśī (एकादशी) [Also spelled ekadshi]:—(nf) the eleventh day of either fortnight of a lunar month.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Ēkādaśi (ಏಕಾದಶಿ):—

1) [noun] either eleventh day or twenty sixth day of a lunar month.

2) [noun] abstention from food, as a religious service, observed on these days.

3) [noun] the state of being starved for want of food.

4) [noun] ಏಕಾದಶೀ ಮನೆಗೆ ಶಿವರಾತ್ರಿ ಬಂದ ಹಾಗೆ [ekadashi manege shivaratri bamda hage] ēkadaśiya manege Śivarātri bandahāge (prov.) a helpless person asking help from another equally helpless person.

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Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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