How fasting should be observed on Sri Ekadasi.

By Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Will you take some anukalpa?

Student: Yes.

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: As you like.

Student: No, as you like.

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: You see, service is better than sitting idle. So, prasad-seva, if it is service, if it is done in a serving mood of course. At the same time, the individual position of a devotee should be taken into consideration. The sahajiyas do not observe Ekadasi fasting at all: “Oh! We are in Vrndavan. No fasting here!” Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur and Srila Prabhupad did not like that everyone will go on feeding the senses in the name devotion to Krishna. But when it is necessary for the service of Krishna to nourish the body, then we don’t like that by taking to fasting a loss of energy may be affected. In this way we are to honour Ekadasi. But if fasting does not hamper your service, then you may go on fasting.

Student: Is having a diet of fruit and milk considered fasting?

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Without any water, that is first-class fasting. Then, there is a mixed fasting, and one who cannot do that can take all these things. There is a gradation. One who cannot do without anything can take water. Then, one can take fruit juice. Then one can take underground roots, potatoes and so. Then milk, in this way. Lastly after sunset, one can take havisyanna, a little plain rice. But on Ekadasi, sin takes shelter in grains, so rice must be left. Fruits, roots, and milk may be taken for the purpose of service. We take anukalpa. The ruling is there that service is first; service must be given higher consideration. Why? If I fast and do not take any water, I will lie down and not be able to do any service to the Lord. That is not desirable. So, we take anukalpa and do service to the Lord. That will be better.


Spoken on 3 March 1981 and 31 August 1982.

Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj is the foremost modern exponent of the conception of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the school of Srila Rupa Goswami. Subtle and profound yet vivid and practical, his representation of both the broadest and deepest spiritual truths has and continues to fortify and nurture the faith of spiritual aspirants the world over. For more information on Srila Sridhar Maharaj, please visit his biography page.
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