Nirjala Ekadasi

The most glorious yet the most difficult of all the Ekadasi fasts falls during the Shukla paksha (waxing phase of the moon) of the Jyestha month. This particular Ekadasi derives it's name “Nirjala” to mean “without water” and is thus, the most austere of all the Ekadasi fasts. The glories of Nirjala Ekadasi are mentioned in the Brahma Vaivarta Purana.

Glories of Nirjala Ekadasi:

The Pandavas (excluding Bhima), queen Kunti and Draupadi would religiously observe all the Ekadasi fasts throughout the year to please Lord Vishnu. However, Bhima had an insatiable hunger due to the special fire of digestion (vrika) constantly burning in his stomach. He could never tolerate hunger and so was incapable of observing fasts.

Bhima was an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna (Lord Vishnu) and so was worried that his non-observance of the Ekadasi fasts may be an offense to Lord Vishnu. He approached Sri Vyasa to help him with a way to compensate for the Ekadasi fasting. Sri Vyasa advised Bhima to observe a total fast (without water) on Jyestha Shukla Ekadasi every year and that would take care of the sin of not fasting on all the Ekadasi days in a year. Upon the advice of the sage Vyasa, Bhima along with his 4 brothers, queen Draupadi and queen Kunti observed a total fast on Nirjala Ekadasi and gained huge merit.

Appropriate way to observe Nirjala Ekadasi vrat:

• Worship any deity form of Lord Vishnu at home with panchamrita .
• Pray to Lord Vishnu to provide the requisite strength to strictly follow the Nirjala Ekadasi vrat.
• The presiding deity of Nirjala Ekadasi is Lord Trivikrama. Please offer jasmine flowers and mangoes which are abundantly available in this season during worship of Lord Vishnu on Nirjala Ekadasi.
• Keep a total fast (even from water) from sunrise of Nirjala Ekadasi to the parana time on Dwadasi.
• Donate gold, clothes, money or kind according to your capacity to the needy.
• Donate water pot, umbrella and shoes to a qualified brahmana.
• Chant the holy names of Lord Vishnu.
• Visit a nearby temple of Lord Vishnu.
• Complete the fast on Dwadasi day by honoring prasad.

Please refer to our article, “Ekadasi: What to do and what not to do” to know about the proper observance of the Ekadasi vrat.

This year, Nirjala Ekadasi falls on 9h of June. Please break your fast between 05:26AM and 08:12AM on 10 June 2014.

Significance of the observance of Nirjala Ekadasi vrat:

• Bestows the merit of the proper observance of all the Ekadasi fasts in a year.
• One who offers oblations to the ancestors on Amavasya (new moon day) during the solar eclipse gains tremendous merit. Such a merit is easily attained by one who merely listens to the glories of Nirjala Ekadasi.
• Observing Nirjala Ekadasi vrat is equivalent to visiting a pilgrimage.
• Upon the death of the current physical body, Lord Vishnu's associates personally take the soul of the faithful observer of Nirjala Ekadasi vrat to the abode of Lord Vishnu.
• The effects of sins like drinking alcohol, killing a brahmana, developing envy for one's spiritual master and disregarding his instructions and constantly lying are completely nullified by the proper observance of Nirjala Ekadasi.
• Lord Vishnu blesses the sincere observer of Nirjala Ekadasi vrat with happiness, peace, prosperity and forgiveness for all the past sins.

Additional Details:

• Nirjala Ekadasi is also known as Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi
• It is also famous as Bhima Ekadasi/Bhimaseni Ekadasi wishes you all a very happy Nirjala Ekadasi. May Lord Trivikrama bless you all with the strength to successfully observe the Nirjala Ekadasi vrat and may you all be happy and peaceful.

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