Nirjala Ekadashi occurs on the 11th lunar day of the Hindu calendar month of Jayeshtha (May/June). The words ‘Nirjala’ means without water and hence this ekadshi is observed as the day on which a waterless fast is observed. It is also the most important and rewarding of all the 24 ekadshis that occur in a year. Hence, it is very important that this ekadshi be observed regularly.
History of Nirjala Ekadashi
This Ekadashi started being observed because of Bhima, the second and the strongest of the five Pandava brothers. He wanted to observe all the ekadshis but could not do so because of his hunger. Hence, he approached Rishi Vyasa who told him to observe Nirjala Ekadashi so that he can eat food, but at the same time observe the ekadshi. He attained the virtue of all 24 ekadshis by just observing this one ekadshi.
Significance of Fasting on Nirjala Ekadashi
According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that observing Nirjala Ekadashi is also the same as going on pilgrimage. Devotees believe that observing this fast helps in earning their place in heaven. After death, the messengers from Vaikuntha abode of Lord Vishnu takes you and not Yama, the God of death. Devotees who are not able to observe the other 24 Ekadashi fasting which happens in a year must observe a fast on this Ekadashi. It is believed that observing this single fast on this day bestows the blessing and benefits of all 24 Ekadashi fasting in a year.
In all the other ekadshis total abstinence from food is observed but on this particular Nirjala Ekadashi a waterless fast in observed which is said to be very difficult. The fast is to be observed from dawn till dusk, that is, for 24 hours. The person observing this Ekadashi is however allowed one drop of water.
Askganesha wishes you and your family a very prosperous Nirjala Ekadashi.Nirjala Ekadashi: Praying to Lord Vishnu by Vipin Saini