Customs · Food Practices · Sanathana Dharma · Vaishnavism

Special delicacies for TamBrahm occasions : Chapter 1 – Ekadasi & Dwadasi

Detoxifying or Cleansing the digestive system is a necessary process. In this process, it is advised to have liquid food as to give rest to the organs of our body. Ekadasi Viratham acts as a cleanser. Ekadasi Viratham is practised by the followers of Lord Vishnu as a step to attain a place in Vaikuntam.

In order to reach vaikuntam one has to endure and undergo certain hardships in life. Ekadasi Viratham is one such. Giving up the love for the food and restricting our food for a day would be hard at first, but it is a necessary one to attain the moksha by cleansing our body and the soul. We have written in detail about the Ekadasi Viratham on our blog.

A wise man once said, “Thyagam seidhaal thaan Yaagam varum, Yen endraal Thyaagam endra Sollil Yaagam irukkirathu” which essentially means that Sacrifice is very much important. Let’s all practise Ekadasi Viratham and attain solace for our body and soul.

Ekadasi Thaligai:

 

The food items to be consumed and avoided on Ekadasi are discussed below. The Ekadasi is observed based on the position of the moon. Hence it is peculiar to notice the food items they used to have scientific reasons behind it.

First and foremost reason for observing Ekadasi Viratham is abstaining from any form of Grains. Grains as we know it retains a considerable amount of water in the body. On the day of Ekadasi it is observed that the position of the moon plays a major role, it plays havoc with water as we can see it with sea tides. This affects our health adversely. All grains including rice and wheat, Dals, dried beans or the flour of the grains and dals should be avoided particularly.

Apart from these Pappads, Soya chunks, Tofu, Grain beverages should be avoided. Also, vegetables such as Corn, Peas, Green Beans and oils made from grains such as corn oil, soya oil etc., Sunflower oil can be used as it is extracted from the seeds but we can’t vouch for the sanctity of the refining process. Rather it is better to opt for Ghee or unsalted butter.

If a person goes on fasting for any other day, the atmospheric strain will be high but on the day of ekadasi it will be minimal or nil. So the body never takes the pain while we cleanse the bowel system and thus refreshing the whole body mechanism – specifically the liver/stomach/bowel and the system movements.

Foods to be taken on an Ekadasi day:

Light refreshments, vegetables, milk, dry fruits, fruits such as lemons, banana, grapes and so on. Also broken rice (kurunai), Rava, yoghurt and cereals can be taken.

Staple dinner in most of the houses is Arisi Upma. Also Another most preferred dish is payatham paruppu kanji ( green dal porridge) this gives strength. Also the Arisi Upma is easy to digest.

Dwadasi Viratham:

                                 

Dwadasi is the day next to Ekadasi. It is the twelfth day of the lunar cycle. Dwadasi Viratham plays a huge role when people observe Ekadasi Viratham. For the people observing fast on Ekadasi, it is important to break the fast properly at Dwadasi. Normally the fast observed on Ekadasi should be broken before Trayodasi arrives. The fasting can be broken with a Tulasi water if there’s insufficient time.

The people who fasted on Ekadasi day will have a Dwadasi Paranai ( Special food or Thali) on this day to finish the fasting. The menu fits perfectly to ease the system after a day of fasting. Plantains and Tamarind are avoided during the whole day and it can be substituted with Mango or Lemon. After a complete fasting for the day, even water can totally absorb the toxins in the body and excrete it. It is suggested to break the fast by taking a gentle laxative consisting of 50-50 warm milk and water with Panangalkandu/ Karkandu / Karuppati (Rock Candy).

Generally 4-5 cups of this are taken and this helps in excrete the toxins within an hour or so. Thus it completes the process of detoxification.

Generally Dwadasi Paranai constitutes of the following foods,

Rice
Mor Kuzhambu
Agathu Keerai Kari/ Karimethu
Poricha Kootu
Poricha Rasam/ Sathamuthu
Nellikai Pachadi
Akkaraadisal / Thirukkannamudhu (any) / Payasam
Sundakkai Vathal fried in Ghee
Curd

Agathu keerai kari/ karimethu is a must as it constitutes healing properties and reduces the acidity level caused due to the fasting. And all the items will be devoid of Tamarind as mentioned above. This balances the acidity level and helps in balancing the digestion again.

 

References:

1.Tamilbrahminsforum
2.TRS Iyengarblog
3.Velukuddi swamigal discourses
4. Sadhana’s kitchen blogspot
5. Subbus’s kitchen
6. Anudinam.org
7. Isckonbirmingham.org
8. http://www.ahobilamutt.org

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