By: Mahanidhi Swami
The most auspicious spiritual month of Purusottama is soon ending. For various reasons, many could not observe the one month long vow or vrata prescribed in the shastras. But do not lament. Since this is the “additional or extra month”, our most merciful and benevolent sweet Lord Lila Purusottama Sri Krishna has given extra mercy in the form of a special five day fast called the “Pancharatri Vrata”.
This five day Vrata or vow, beginning on Purusottama Parama Ekadashi (July 12) and ending on Amavasya (July 16), is full of wonderful boons and benefits. In the Ekadashi Mahatmya, Bhagavan Sri Krishna tells King Yudhisthira, “One who eats only once a day during these five days becomes free from all sinful reactions and goes to the spiritual world.”
Eating once a day means exactly that. You should eat only one time in 24 hours, preferably after 12 noon, whatever pure Krishna prasadam you choose; be it fruits, milk, grains, etc. The balance of time, you can ONLY DRINK WATER.
Start on 16th July with an Ekadashi fast. Then from Dvadashi to Amavasya eat once a day. The Pancharatri Vrata ends on 16th July 7 a.m. On Amavasya, feed Vaisnava brahmanas, give charity, and then take your regular meals.
Purusottama Pancha Ratri Vrata ki jai!
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!