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Ekadasi and Caturmasya Guidelines
The essence of observing Ekadasi is to eat simply, once or twice, so that one can spend more time for hearing, chanting and remembering the Lord.
1) Foods allowed for Ekadasi and Catur-Masya:
- All fruits (fresh and dried)
- All nuts
- Oils made from nuts - coconut, olives, etc.
- Sweet Potatoes
- Black Pepper
- Fresh Salt
- Fresh Turmeric
2) ALL the following foods are NOT Allowed for Ekadasi and Catur-Masya:
NOT Allowed Vegetables:
NOT Allowed Leafy Vegetables:
NOT Allowed Indian Vegetables:
NOT Allowed Spices:
NOT Allowed Grains:
NOT Allowed Oils:
NOT Allowed Products fried in these Oils:
*** NOT Allowed to eat FOREVER as they are extremely, extremely and extremely dangerous to Sadhana ***
For all initiated: NO Shaving, NO cutting nails, and NO day-time sleeping on Ekadasi.
For brahmacaris: Shaving Head and Cutting Nails is done on Full Moon Days
Breaking an Ekadasi Fast:
If you have observed a complete fast (without even water), you do not need to break it with grains. You can break it with caranamrita or fruit.
If you have observed Ekadasi by eating fruit and vegetables etc., then it should be broken the following day by taking grains at the time specified in the Vaisnava Calendar.
Foods that are restricted for ALL the catur-masya times
- urad dal
Particular foods that are restricted additionally cumulatively during each of the four months of Catur-Masya:
- First month: No leafy vegetables, such as spinach, salads of all types, cabbages of all types, kale, leafy herbs like coriander, mint, parsley, curry and powdered leafy herbs and teas
- Second month: No yoghurt (if one requires it for health, it can be mixed with water)
- Third month: No milk (if required, it can be mixed with a drop of lemon juice)
- Fourth month: No mustard oil or sesame seed.