Hindu Fasts: Akhanda-Dvadashi-Vratam
Brahma Said:-Now I shall describe the mode of practising the Akhanda-Dvadashi-Vratam, the merit attending it performance enables the votary to enjoy divine beatitude in life. The votary shall take nothing but the Panchagavyam (the five kinds of articles obtained from a cow such as, milk, etc.,) on the day previous, and fast on the twelfth day of the moon’s increase in the month of Margas’ irsha, spending it entirely in the worship of the god Vishnu. Five metal vessels filled with Vrihi corn, should be gifted away to the Brahmanas each day for the four successive months commencing from the date.
The votary shall pray as follows:-”May the merit of all good and pious acts done by me in my seven prior incarnations continue one and indivisible, 0 lord. May all my pieties continue whole and undivided as the universe is, and just as thou art the one and indivisible spirit which runs through all.” Vessels filled with powders of freed barley corns, should be gifted away by him in the month of Chaitra; and bowls filled with clarified butter, in the month of Shravana. Earthly bliss and the pleasures of fatherhood are the rewards of the vow in this life, and an elevated status in heaven, in the next.