The eleventh day of both dark (KrishnaKrishna
It is described that there are three aspects of the Supreme that must...) and bright (Shukla) lunar fortnight, according to Hindu calendar is known as Ekadashi. This day is considered sacred as it is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. There can be twenty four or twenty five Ekadashi in a year but the most auspicious one is Nirjala Ekadashi. The day falls on the eleventh day of the Shukla paksha (waxing fortnight) in the month of Jyestha (May-June), according to Hindu calendar. Thus, it is also known as Jyeshtha Shukla Ekadashi.
Nirjala is a combination of two words i.e., ‘nir’ meaning without and ‘jala’ meaning water. Thus this day devotees observe a strict fast without consuming even water. This is the most austere and sacred Ekadashi. It also is most rewarding ones. People who cannot keep fasts on other Ekadashi can keep only this one and all their desires will be fulfilled as Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat Vrat is the Hindi term of fast . It is a process in which devotees do not consume food or/and water on the days dedicated to the Gods they believe in, to show their dedication and to gain health and prosperity(fast) is the most fruitful one.
In 2015, Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat is commemorated on 29th May 2015
The auspicious time for the prayers is as follows:
5:29 - 10:36
12:19 - 14:01
17:26 - 19:09
Legend of Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat
Bhima, the strongest of all Pandavas, was a lover of food and was unable to abstain himself from eating. When he saw his brothers and his wife, observing fasts on all the Ekadashis, Bhima felt bad and asked sage Vyasa (the author of the Hindu epic, Mahabharata) for a solution. Vyasa told him to observe only one fast i.e., Nirjala Ekadashi fast. If he is able to observe this fast religiously then he would attain the virtues equivalent to all twenty four Ekadashis. Thus this day is also known as PandavaBhima Ekadashi or PandavaNirjala Ekadashi.
Only staunch devotees of VishnuVishnu
Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,.. should undertake the fast as it falls in extreme summer and in the heat staying without water becomes unbearable. The fast is observed for twenty four hours, from sunrise of Ekadashi to the sunrise of next day. The day preceding Ekadashi, people consume only one meal and that too exclusive of rice.
The morning of Nirjala Ekadashi starts with devotees taking an early bath and chanting Vishnu’s names. They visit temples to offer prayers to him. At home, people bathe Vishnu’s idol with Panchamrit, i.e., a mixture of milk, curd, ghee (clarified butter), sugar and honey.Then clean the idol with clean water and dress him in new and clean clothes. Tulsi (Holy basil), fruits and sweets are also offered to him. In the evening, he is worshipped with Durva grass It has many medicinal values and people who perform the rituals associated with the day, are benefitted by its positive effects on skin disorders, high sugar level, obesity, insomnia, fatigue, anemia and digestion. Hence it symbolizes purity of body. One can also purify his house by sprinkling water in all the corners using durva grass. According to some beliefs, the tip of the grass represents Shiva, the middle represents Vishnu and the roots represent Brahma. Thus it as pure as the holy trinity(CynodonDactylon). People sing hymns and prayers throughout the night and stay vigil and complete their fast the next morning after sunrise and consume water and food, again without rice.
Charity and donations are also a part of the rituals. Some people offer food to Brahmins It is one of the caste of Hindus. They are known for their knowledge of ancient, sacred scriptures(the learned class) and some offer items like clothes, umbrellas, hand-fans and pitchers filled with water to needy.
Observing this fast is considered equivalent to performing a pilgrimage. It is believed that Vishnu himself took the form of the day, Ekadashi to absolve humans from their sins. Devotees who offer their dedication to Vishnu on this day receive happiness, prosperity, salvation and forgiveness. As the fast takes place before monsoon, it is also believed to help in cleansing the mind, body and soul, just like rain cleanses the earth of its impurities.
It is also believed that after death, the soul is taken by YamaYama
Also known as Yamaraja, Yama is the controller of the hell (Naraka).... He judges the soul by giving an account of all the deeds performed and then he decides whether the soul goes to hell or heaven. But one who keeps Nirjala Ekadashi fast, does not go through any judgment. Their souls are taken by the messengers of Vishnu and brought to his abode.