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According to many Vaishnava Puranas such as the Padma Purana and the Garuda Purana, people who have taken tamasic food must perform the Candrayana vrata but not much details are given about it. So how is this vrata to be performed then?

Padma Purana states:

palandu lasunam sigrum alambum grjanam palam

bhunkte yo vai naro brahman vratam candrayanam caret

O sages, one who eats garlic, onions, sigrum (a kind of plant), turnips, bottle gourd and meat, that person should observe a candrayana fast. (Padma Purana, Brahma Khanda 19.10, spoken by Suta Gosvami)

Garuda Purana says:

By eating garlic and onion one becomes sinful and as atonement one should perform candrayana. (Garuda Purana 1.97.3)

The Padma Purana also states that true Vaishnavas perform Chandrayana Vrata regularly:

Those who are free from devotion to heretics, who are highly devoted to Siva, who are engaged in (observing) the vow of Caturdasi, should be known to be Vais- navas. (Padma Purana, Chapter 10, Section 7, Chapter 2, Verse 111)

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    It is usually performed by yatis. – user1195 Jun 16 '17 at 5:01
  • @moonstar2001 yatis? – Surya Kanta Bose Chowdhury Jun 16 '17 at 5:01
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    sanyasis. yateeswara. The quantity of food they partake of increases decreases with the waxing and waning of the moon. – user1195 Jun 16 '17 at 5:01
  • @moonstar2001 yati and sanyasin are not same. Sanyasa is post buddhist origin – Rakesh Joshi Jun 16 '17 at 5:24
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    @RakeshJoshi that is simply not true. – user1195 Jun 16 '17 at 5:26
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The ChaAdrAyana vrata is one of the most difficult vratas to perform. Usually, the doer gets rid of almost all the possible sins he has committed. There are many difficult rules to be followed during this vrata hence very few people are actually take up this vrata. It is considered of great merit to perform this vrata.

During the krShNa-pakSha, the one undertaking this vrata or penitential rite will decrease food consumed, by one mouthful each day; similarly, with growing kalA of the chandra in shukla-pakSha, one increases the quantity of food consumed. On the day of amAvAsyA, one keeps a complete fast. Alternately, some smrtis talk of consuming 240 kabalas during the entire month.

Also, one is required to take a bath at every sandhyA (prAtaH, madhyAhna and sAyam). This is the general description of the chAndrAyaNa vrata. There are variations such as shishu chAndrAyaNa, yati chAndrAyaNa etc for specific circumstances and adhikAra bheda. The amount of food consumed is measured in terms of kabala or balls of cooked rice, the size of which is required to be of the size of a hen’s egg. The food consumed should be sanctified through gAyatrI mahAmantra. Alternately, VaiShNava commentators on dharma shAstras explain that the vrata starts with consumption of fourteen kabalas, decreasing each day by one till ekAdashI, on which day one keeps a full fast. On dvAdashI, fast is broken by consuming a single kabala, gradually increasing the same by one every day during shukla pakSha. While not always followed, traditionally it is said that one needs to offer unhusked rice to a cow with suitable qualities and from the undigested grains collected from the cow dung, cooked rice is prepared for consumption during the vrata. Vrddha parAshara declares the vrata as futile if such rice is not consumed during the vrata. ParAshara also instructs one to begin the vrata from shukla pakSha and conclude the same with brAhmaNa-santarpaNa. Based on whether the vrata begins with increasing or decreasing chandrakalA, there are classifications such as yavamadhya and pipilika chandrayana (Yajnavalkya).

Among the most auspicious times for fasting are the days of Full and New Moon as well as the eighth and the twenty-third of each month (counting from the first day after New Moon). New Moon Day (Amavasya) is that day of the lunar month which begins when the last crescent of the Moon becomes invisible at dawn - for which reason it may accurately be called No Moon Day. The night before this, that is, New Moon's Eve, is the Sacred Night of Shiva (Shiva Ratri) which is also known as The Fourteenth Day of Shiva and The Dark Night of Shiva (Shiva Kalaratri). Fasting during the day and night on this auspicious occasion is particularly meritorious, and is observed for the expiation of sins as well as for acquiring religious merit. (Source)

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