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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.
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Cucumber
  • Radish
  • Squash
  • Lemon
  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Coconut
  • Buckwheat
  • Sugar
  • Black Pepper
  • Fresh Salt
  • Fresh Turmeric

2) ALL the following foods are NOT Allowed for Ekadasi and Catur-Masya:

NOT Allowed Vegetables:

  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplants
  • Cauliflower
  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Bellpepper
  • Peas
  • Chickpeas
  • Chia seeds
  • All Types of Beans

Including products made from beans

Papadams, Tofu, Tempeh, Grain Beverages, etc.

  • Honey


NOT Allowed Leafy Vegetables:

  • Spinach
  • Salads
  • Cabbages
  • Leafy Herbs

Like Parsley

Curry Leaves

Neem Leaves, etc.


NOT Allowed Indian Vegetables:

  • Karela (Bitter Lemon)
  • Loki
  • Parmal
  • Toroi
  • Kunli
  • Drumsticks
  • Okra (Lady Fingers)
  • Banana Flower


NOT Allowed Spices:

  • Sesame Seeds
  • Cumin Seeds
  • Hing
  • Fenugreek
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Tamarind
  • Fennel
  • Celery
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Kalonji Seeds
  • Ajwain Seeds
  • Cardamom
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves

NOT Allowed Grains:

  • Millet
  • Barley
  • Wheat
  • Farina
  • Dalia
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Corn
  • All Types of Dahl
  • All types of flour made from grains and beans
  • Idly, Chapati, Dosa, Macaroni

Like Rice Flour, Chickpea Flour, Urad Dahl Flour, etc.

  • Starches from Corn

Products made from and mixed with these starches

Like Baking Soda

Baking Powder

Certain Soft Drinks


Certain Yogurts


Cream Cheese





NOT Allowed Oils:

  • Corn Oil
  • Mustard Oil
  • Sesame Oil etc.


NOT Allowed Products fried in these Oils:

  • Nuts
  • Potato Chips
  • Certain Snack Foods


*** NOT Allowed to eat FOREVER as they are extremely, extremely and extremely dangerous to Sadhana ***

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Carrots or products thereof



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.

Mahadvadasi is observed like Ekadasi.





Particular foods that are restricted 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.