Observing Vaisnava Festivals in Succession

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Gaudiya Vaisnavas observe all Visnu tattva appearance days along with special fasting. Sometimes these days come next to each other or next to an Ekadasi or Dvadasi tithi which is meant for fasting. This happens every year somewhere in the world for Lord Varaha Dvadasi and Lord Nityananda Trayodasi, but not at all locations due to different sunrise times.

The way Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami recommends to observe these Vaisnava festivals, for example, Ekadasi, Sri Varaha-dvadasi, and Sri Nityananda Trayodasi is as follows:

In countries or cities where the first day is Ekadasi which is suitable for fasting, the second day is the appearance of Lord Varahadeva, and the third day is the appearance day of Lord Nityananda (Nityananda Trayodasi): 

  • Those who follow nirjala Ekadasi (full fasting, even from water) may break fast with a drop  caranamrita  after the worship of Lord Varahadeva and continue fasting on Lord Varaha Dvadasi if desired (depending on health) or
  • Those who follow anukalpa (drinking water or respecting Ekadasi preparations) on Ekadasi tithi on the next day they should first offer arati to Lord Varahadeva, pray for forgiveness*[see endnote 1], and then break the fast* [see endnote 2] with grains and continue to respect regular prasadam (grains and all other offerings)..
  • Then, on the third day - Sri Nityananda Trayodasi - devotees  should fast until noon, then take Ekadasi preparations observing the Ekadasi rules and regulations. (Sometimes, but very rare and not recommended,  a Vasinava may  do nirjala fasting on all three days breaking fast the second two days with a drop of caranamrita and with grains the day after Sri Nityananda Trayodasi.)

In countries or cities where Ekadasi fasting is observed on Dvadasi tithi:

  • The devotees who follow nirjala Ekadasi fasting (on Dvadasi), can break their Ekadasi fast by  or honoring caranamrita  on the next day (Sri Nityananda Trayodasi), and for the rest of the day respect anukalpa (regular Ekadasi preparations) or continue fasting. In this situation,  grains should be taken the day after Sri Nityananda Trayodasi to break their fast completely at the appropriate time.
  • For those devotees who observe Ekadasi fasting (on Dvadasi) respecting offerings of anukalpa (water or regular Ekadasi preparations) , the next day they should first offer arati to Lord Nityananda,  then hear His glories. After this they should pray for forgiveness*[see endnote 1] and then they may break their fast by taking grains. The rest of the day they may respect regular prasadam.

*[Endnote 1 – generally the appearance day of Lord Varahadeva, as with any incarnation’s appearance day, is observed by taking only ekadasi preparations.

*[Endnote 2 – to know the exact time of breaking the fast for your city, please check the Vaisnava calendar.

Mahamantra
© Syamarani dasi
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