As per Hindu calendar Ekadashi falls on the eleventh day of every lunar fortnight. Ekadashi Vrat is considered highly pious and is assumed to be one of the ways to attain Moksha.
In a year, 24 ekadashi are observed and out of these the Nirjala Ekadashi is the most sacred one. The day of Nirjala Ekadashi is an extremely auspicious one with people observing fast and not consuming even a single drop of water. If one properly observes a fast on this day it is said to give the fruits of 24 Ekadashi observed throughout the year.
Importance of Nirjala Ekadashi
- The greatness of Nirjala Ekadasi was explained by Sage Vyasa.
- It is equal to going on pilgrimage.
- The day provides virtue of all 24 Ekadashi.
- It washes away all sin.
- Grants happiness, prosperity, longevity and moksha (salvation).
- This Ekadasi happens before monsoon season and therefore it is also helps in cleansing the body.
Rituals and things to follow and avoid
* The ruler of Ekadashi is lord Vishnu. On this day in addition to worshiping lord Vishnu and keeping fast, Images of Lord Vishnu and Shaligram is bathed with Panchamrita.
* Sleeping is prohibited as it adversely affects the human system.
* Devotees stay up all night and pray to Lord Vishnu. This is considered to be extremely beneficial and said to bring about positive changes in one’s life.
* As per popular belief, by observing fast on Ekadashis, one can counteract the negative influence that the influence of the moon generates. Fasting helps the mind to gain better meditation capacity.
* People believe that by fasting on Nirjala Ekadashi, one can get the fruits of all 24 Ekadashis that people observe throughout the year.
* After a night long observance, fasts are broken next morning by drinking water, tulsi leaves, fruits and sweets.
* Devotees also visit nearby Vishnu temple and observe Jagran at night.
* People chant bhajans, Vishnu Sahasranama and other slokas dedicated to Lord Vishnu
* As Brahman as considered Narayan Swarup -Clothes, food grains, umbrella, hand fans, a pitcher filled with water, milk, fruits, sherbet, tulsi leaves etc are donated to Brahmins.
* The Mantra “Aum Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya” is chanted by devotees.
* Eating rice is strictly prohibited on this day
* On this day, male devotees as a part of ritual also perform achamana, a purification ritual. While doing this they can have just one drop of water.
A Nirjala Ekadashi Legend
Nirjala Ekadashi is also known as Pandava Bhima Ekadashi as the story of this day is related to Bhima, the strongest of the five Pandava brothers.
All the four Pandava brothers Yudhishthir, Arjuna, Nakul and Shahdeva along with their wife Draupadi and mother Kunti used to observe 24 ekadashi fasts. But Bhima was extremely fond of food and he could not control his hunger. At the same time he was afraid of dishonoring God Vishnu for whom the fast was observed. So, Bhima went to sage Vyasa for a solution. Sage Vyasa told him to observe one day’s fast on Nirjala Ekadashi and with this he would be able to gain the virtue of all the 24 ekadashis.
This year, Nirjala Ekadashi falls on June 23, 2018. According to drikpanchang.com, the Tithi will begin at 03:19 on June 23 and will end at 03:52 on the following day.
The Parana Time (ideal time to break the fast) is on June 24 between 13:55 to 16:33 and Hari Vasara Ends at 10:08.
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