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Why eating rice is prohibited on Ekadashi? It is practiced in some parts of India (I am not sure about this practice in all parts of India).

Is there any story or scriptural basis for this belief available?

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    it is practiced in many places around the world where there are vaishnavas or brahmins, not just in india. all acharyas have ordained this. Lord Shiva keeps strict upavaas on this day, and says anyone who eats rice is a sinner. In mutts or ashrams, they serve only broken-rice (upma) for visitors on this day, which is symbolic of breaking the demon inside rice, but it is better to avoid even that if you have shakti. – ram Aug 15 '17 at 6:47
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It is said in the PurAnas that the personification of all sins or the pApa purusha resides within the grains like rice on this day. That's why eating all grains including rice is prohibited on the EkAdashi Tithis.

The Kamakoti.com website quotes the Vishnu PurAna in this context as follows:

yAni kAni cha pApAni brahmahatyAdikAni cha | annamAshritya tiShThanti saMprApte harivAsare | aghaM sa kevalaM bhu~Nkte yo bhu~Nkte harivAsare || [viShNupurANe]

Greatest of sins like brahmahatyA are present in anna or food on the eleventh day of every pakSha. One who eats on this day, ingests these sins and attains great misery

This website quotes the Padma PurAna and gives the detailed story of how the pApa purusha got grains as his residence for the EkAdashi Tithis.

The story is quite long. So, i'm not quoting it. In short, Lord Vishnu said to the pApa purusha to make the grains his residence on the EkAdashi Tithis.

[pApa purusha said] Out of fear of Sri Ekadasi I have fled and taken shelter of men; animals; insects; hills; trees; moving and non-moving living entities; rivers; oceans; forests; heavenly, earthly and hellish planetary systems; demigods; and the Gandharvas. I cannot find a place where I can be free from the fear of Sri Ekadasi. O my Master! I am a product of Your creation, so therefore very mercifully direct me to a place where I can reside fearlessly.’”

Vyasadeva then said to Jaimini, “After saying this, the embodiment of all sinful activities (Papa-purusha) fell down at the feet of the Supreme Lord Vishnu, who is the destroyer of all miseries and began to cry.

“After this, Lord Vishnu, observing the condition of the Papa-purusha, with laughter began to speak thus: ‘O Papa-purusha, rise up! Don’t lament any longer. Just listen, and I’ll tell you where you can stay on the lunar day of Ekadasi. On the date of Sri Ekadasi, which is the benefactor of the three planetary systems, you can take shelter of foodstuffs in the form of grains. There is no reason to worry about this any more, because My form as Sri Ekadasi will no longer impede you.’ After giving direction to the Papa-purusha, the Supreme Lord Vishnu disappeared and the Papa-purusha returned to the performance of his own activities.

“Therefore, those persons who are serious about the ultimate benefit of the soul will never eat grains on Ekadasi.

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There is a quotation from the Skanda Purana admonishing that a person who eats grains on Ekadasi becomes a murderer of his mother, father, brother and spiritual master, and even if he is elevated to a Vaikuntha planet, he falls down.

On Ekadasi, everything is cooked for Vishnu, including regular grains and dhal, but it is enjoined that a Vaisnava should not even take vishnu-prasadam on Ekadasi. It is not recommended for one to accept any kind of grain on Ekadasi, even if it is offered to Lord Vishnu.

The foods to be avoided on Ekadashi-: Grains (wheat, rice, etc.), Dahl, peas, bean type vegetables, Mustard , sesame (wheat flour, mustard oil, soya bean oil etc.) For instance, care should be taken in using powdered spices, which, if mixed with flour, should not be used on Ekadasi. Particularly, commercially prepared powdered asafoetida (hing) is always mixed with flour and is not to be used on Ekadasi.


Why eating rice is prohibited on Ekadashi?

What food items are to be avoided on Ekadashi day is described in Skanda Purana -Vol – 6 of 20 – Book II –Vaishnav Kanda – Chapter 12 – Uninterrupted Ekadashi vow.

21-25 : One who is devotee of Vishnu should avoid the following ten items on the Dasami days : (meal in) bell metal vessel , meat ,masura pulse, canakas (chickpea) , grain called kodravas ,greens , honey ,other men’s food , subsequent meal and sexual intercourse.


What food items are to be avoided on Ekadashi day and why is in detail described in Padma Purana - Vol. 10 - chapter 22 - Book page -3513

Here Rishi jaimini asked Vyasa “ I desire to hear of the benefits of fasting on Ekadashi and How it is observed

76-81. Having got up in the morning on the tenth (day) a man should brush his teeth. Then he should bathe without (smearing his body with) oil and (remain) without food. Then having worshipped Vishnu by offering water for washing his feet etc., he should, being highly devoted to the meditation of Vishnu, take one meal (only). On the tenth he should avoid (eating) flesh, salt, meat, pulses, big beans, so also vegetables. On the tenth he should avoid eating twice, the food of another (man), of bell-metal. On the tenth he should avoid nimba-leaf, egg-plant fruit, and dry citron, so also milk without ghee. On the tenth he should avoid eating too much, very much enjoying and eating food and tambula.

  1. O best brahmana, just those articles which are prohibited on the tenth are also undoubtedly prohibited on the twelfth.

Here the story of Vishnu granting a place for Papa Purusha (Personification of Sin man) in grains in given in details , its said that on Ekadashi day this Papa-Purusha takes shelter in all kind of grains and food items we generally eat everyday. So its advised to avoid all type of grains including rice on Ekadashi day.


There is also a specific reference of Not eating grains on Ekadashi day in Caitanya-caritāmṛta Ādi 15:

mātā bale, — tāi diba, yā tumi māgibe
prabhu kahe, — ekādaśīte anna nā khāibe

His mother replied, “My dear son, I will give You whatever You ask.” Then the Lord said, “My dear mother, please do not eat grains on the Ekādaśī day.” - Adi/15/9

Purport: There is a quotation from the Skanda Purāṇaadmonishing that a person who eats grains on Ekādaśī becomes a murderer of his mother, father, brother and spiritual master, and even if he is elevated to a Vaikuṇṭha planet, he falls down. On Ekādaśī, everything is cooked for Viṣṇu, including regular grains and dhal, but it is enjoined that a Vaiṣṇava should not even take viṣṇu-prasādamon Ekādaśī. It is said that a Vaiṣṇava does not accept anything eatable that is not offered to Lord Viṣṇu, but on Ekādaśī a Vaiṣṇava should not touch even mahā-prasādam offered to Viṣṇu, although such prasādam may be kept for being eaten the next day. It is strictly forbidden for one to accept any kind of grain on Ekādaśī, even if it is offered to Lord Viṣṇu.


śacī kahe, — nā khāiba, bhāla-i kahilā sei haite ekādaśī karite lāgilā

Mother Śacī said, “You have spoken very nicely. I shall not eat grains on Ekādaśī.” From that day, she began to observe fasting on Ekādaśī. Adi/15/10

So its clear from above examples that one should avoid normal food items we prepare in everyday meals like Dal , Rice , Grains , vegetables etc. Ekadashi day. Also its clear from Padma-Purana description that the items which are to be prohibited on Dashami day also to be avoided on Ekadashi day. So Rice is a grain item and being grain and its used in Prasada of Lord Vishnu and because on Ekadashi day the Prasada of Lord Vishnu is not to be consumed. Is prohibited on Ekadashi day.


The reason is also stated in BrahmaVaivarta Purana - Krishna Janma Kanda - Chapter 26 - Performing of Ekadashi Vrata. page no.227-228 .Its said there that the person who eats rice on Ekadashi vrata falls to hell. Because sins like Brahma Hatya and others resides in rice that day.

सत्यं सर्वाणि पापानि ब्रह्महत्यादिकानिच |
सन्तेवौदनमाश्रित्य श्रीकृष्णव्रतवासरे ||23||

All the sire like Brahma-hatya and others resides in the cooked rice during the Ekadashi -Vrata.

भुक्त्वैतानि च पापानि यो भुङ्क्ते तत्र मन्धति |
इहातिपातकी सोSपी यात्यन्ते नरकं ध्रुवम् ||24||

Therefore , the one who consumes the cooked rice on that day , he contributes to all the sins .Becoming a great sinner on earth , he ultimately falls to the hell.

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    "It is strictly forbidden for one to accept any kind of grain on Ekadasi..." - what's the source of this claim and also the last blockquote? – sv. Jun 28 '16 at 17:23
  • @ sv thanks for pointing out , My point was , Ekadashi is highly sacred ,and in families only it is forbidden . Any way I am editing my answer, will change the word. thanks again . I am attaching image which is in Narad puran ,, whic contain the verse\shloka. – SwiftPushkar Jun 28 '16 at 18:56
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    It seems like some of your answers are sourced from multiple blogs and articles but you are not giving proper credit to them. As I commented on another answer of yours, plagiarism is not allowed in SE and such answers could be deleted. I suggest you revisit all your answers and fix them. – sv. Jun 28 '16 at 19:35
  • In this answer for example, you say "there is a quotation from the Skanda Puran admonishing that a person who eats grains on Ekadasi becomes a murderer of his mother" - but you don't really say what the quotation is. Now those lines seem to be copied from here or some other article. – sv. Jun 28 '16 at 19:52
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There are many legends associated with this auspicious day. The well-known legend is that it was on Vaikunta Ekadasi that the amrit (nectar) of immortality appeared, while churning the ocean. It is a common belief that those who fast on Vaikunta Ekadasi, singing praises of Lord Vishnu, will definitely be freed from the continuous cycle of birth and death. According to belief, when a bead of sweat dropped from Lord Brahma’s forehead, it turned into a demon and asked the Lord where it could stay. Lord Brahma told the demon to live in rice, and to get converted into worms in the stomachs of people who ate rice during Vaikunta Ekadasi. Such is the holiness of this day.

Another legend that is associated with this day is that the great devotee Nammalwar, entered Lord Vishnu’s abode on this day and that the Lord Himself was waiting to greet His devotee. Hence, it is commonly believed that those who cross the Swargavasal (Gateway to heaven) will be directly greeted by the Lord Himself when they die.

The third legend associated with this day talks about a demon Mura, who troubled the Gods, who went to Lord Vishnu for help. The Lord created Yoga Maya, to kill the demon and once the task was completed, the God renamed Yoga Maya as Ekadashi and granted a boon saying whoever fasted on that auspicious day would be freed of all sins.

Source scribd

एकादशी को चावल नहीं खाना चाहिए। यह तथ्य कहां से अस्तित्व में आया, इसके पीछे कई भ्रांतियां हैं। ऐसे समय अक्सर एक सवाल जेहन में पैदा होता है कि चावल और अन्य अन्नों की खेती में क्या अंतर है?

यह सर्वविदित है कि चावल की खेती के लिए सर्वाधिक जल की आवश्यकता होती है। एकादशी का व्रत इंद्रियों सहित मन के निग्रह के लिए किया जाता है। ऐसे में यह आवश्यक है कि उस वस्तु का कम से कम या बिल्कुल उपभोग नहीं किया जाए जिसमें जलीय तत्व की मात्रा अधिक होती है।

जल का संबंध चंचलता से है।

इसका एक सटीक कारण यह है कि चंद्र का संबंध जल से है। वह जल को अपनी और आकर्षित करता है। यदि व्रत करने वाला चावल का भोजन करे तो चंद्र किरणें उसके शरीर के संपूर्ण जलीय अंश को तरंगित करेंगी। इसके परिणाम स्वरूप मन में विक्षेप और संशय का जागरण होगा।

इस कारण व्रत करने वाला अपने व्रत पर अडिग नहीं रह सकेगा। यही कारण है कि इंद्रियों को संयमित रखने व मानसिक दृढ़ता बनाए रखने के लिए एकादशी के दिन चावल नहीं खाए जाते।

Source jagran

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In general, there are multiple reasons for any rule in Hinduism.

Here, w.r.t asking people to not to eat rice on Ekadashi It is to

  1. Make sure, people eat other grains

Why? a. People/consumers get benefitted from the proteins/vitamins from other grains. b. Helps farmer to grow alternate crops which benefits in maintaining soil fertility.

  1. Cleanse Stomach - if you intend to keep fast by not eating rice.
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    Scientific speculation is off-topic for this site. One should cite Religious or Spiritual reasons. Scientific reasons or explanation is allowed only if they are mentioned in scriptures. Anyways, your answer looks like generic statement and it doesn't say anything about Ekadashi. – The Destroyer Jun 30 '16 at 3:54
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    Oh Sorry, will refrain from posting such answers in future. – Narendra N Jul 1 '16 at 5:16

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