Hindu Vaishnavas observe Ekadashi (alternatively called 'Gyaars') by fasting on that day.


“Eka” means one and “dasha” means ten, therefore, eka + dasha= eleven. Eleven refers to the 11th lunar day of both the waxing and waning lunar month. Thus there are two ekadashis each month. Generally these days are observed as fasting days and they are observed by the most pious twice a month throughout the year as a day of prayer and meditation. Each of the ekadashis has a separate name. The two most common ekadashis are the vaikuntha ekadashi (celebrated in December/January) which is a famous Balaji festival, and the nirjala ekadashi. Nirjala means "without water" and so this ekadashi is ideally followed by total fasting including not even the taking of water. It is said that if one can follow just one ekadashi in the year this should be the one. Other pious Hindus may also fast on Mondays in honor of Shivaji or on Tuesdays in honor of Hanumanji.



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