As per Vedic scriptures, every Ekadashi is significantly an auspicious day that celebrates the eternal greatness and power of the Supreme the Sustaining force of the entire Universe - Lord Vishnu. Ekadashi falls twice a month, which is the two lunar cycles in a month as per the Hindu Lunar calendar; the first part of the month is the bright fortnight of the waxing moon phase called Shukla Paksha, and, the second part of the month is the dark fortnight of the waning moon phase called Krishna Paksha. Among the 24 Ekadashis that fall in a year (2 in each month as per Hindu Lunar Calendar), Nirjala Ekadashi/Nirjala Gyaras fasting and rituals as per scriptures is an extremely special and meritorious day to receive Lord Vishnu’s grace and blessings that can wash away many sins and fulfill desires. The meaning of the word Nirjala, Nir means No and Jala means water, combined it means no water or water-less. As all Ekadashis involve observing a fast, Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat (fasting) involves observing fast not only without food but also without drinking water for the duration of 24 hours. The Nirjala Ekadashi/Nirjala Gyaras vrat (fast) begins on Ekadashi sunrise and ends on the next day (Dwadashi) Sunrise. Observing the Nirjala Ekadashi ka vrat (fast) maybe tough for devotees as the month of Jyeshtha or May and June see varying climatic conditions in India, however, the importance of Nirjala Ekadashi and the benefits of Nirjala Ekadashi is so extensive that sadhaks’/worshippers’ and ardent devotees of Lord Vishnu wholeheartedly give up one day to gratify their senses, and, religiously observe Nirjala Ekadashi vrat (fast).
One must know that Nirjala fast/vrat or dry-fast is even scientifically very good as it cleanses and detoxifies the body. So even though staying without consuming water or food on Nirjala Ekadashi is a religious observance but this Nirjala Ekadashi fasting benefits the physical body too.
Nirjala Ekadashi is also known as Bhimaseni Ekadashi/ Bhimaseni Nirjala Ekadashi and Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi. The Nirjala Ekadashi/Nirjala Gyaras is said to be the most important of all the 24 Ekadashis. Even if any of the other 23 Ekadashis have not been observed, just by observing the Nirjala Ekadashi, sadhaks’/worshippers’ and ardent devotees gain all the fruits, which would have been achieved by observing fast and rituals all the other Ekadashis. Some have quoted that even hearing the names of the 24 Ekadashis in the year can remove most of the sadhaks/worshippers and devotees. Ancient texts speak highly about the many benefits of observing the all Ekadashi Vrats and Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat. Along with Hinduism, Jainism too considers Ekadashis to be holy, which has spiritual connotations. Nirajal Ekadashi - the holiest Vedic celebration of the greatness of Lord Vishnu is rewarding on every level; as Lord Vishnu is an eternal giver and sustainer once He is pleased with the sincere intentions and purity of his devotees. The ancient text has a mention of Lord Krishna explaining to Yudhisthira (Pandava brother of Mahabharata) about the importance of Nirjala Ekadashi where Lord Krishna as quoted; “Nirjala Ekadashi is greater than all sacrifices or charity to the needy or the sacrifice of horses (Ashvamedha) or even seeing Lord Vishnu Himself”. Rishi Vyasa (the traditional compiler of Vedas and writer of other scriptures and Puranas) has said that observing Nirjala Ekadashi vrat (fast) has the power of ensuring that the individual after death will never go to hell and Vasu-Dutas (messengers of Lord Vishnu) will come to receive the soul to escort the soul to Vaikuntha, the eternal abode of Lord Vishnu. All sadhaks’/worshippers’ and ardent devotees of Lord Vishnu on Nirjala Ekadashi must follow the Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat Vidhi, and, must read and listen to the Nirjala Ekadashi Katha beautifully explains the importance of Nirjala Ekadashi along with the rules and Nirjala Ekadashi vrat vidhi.
This year Nirjala Ekadashi/Nirjala Gyaras falls on 21st June 2021, Monday, which is the 11th day of the waxing Moon fortnight or Shukla Paksha of the Jyeshtha month (Hindu calendar). The Tithi as below:
TITHI ON NIRJALA GYARAS/EKADASHI 2021 IS ON JUNE 21, MONDAY.
Ekadashi Tithi Begins - 12:51 PM on Jun 20, 2021 Ekadashi Tithi Ends - 10:01 AM on Jun 21, 2021 On 22nd June, Parana Time - 05:47 AM to 06:52 AM
Note: Those with family should observe fasting on the first day only. The two-day (Dwadashi) Ekadashi fasting is only suggested for sanyasis, widows, and those who want moksha (liberation).
Those who observe the fast must break it after sunrise the next day of Ekadashi. It is to be noted that one should break the fast (Parana) within Dwadashi Tithi. Dwadashi ends at 10:22 AM on 22nd June. Another important consideration is that one must not break the fast during Hari Vasara, which is the fourth duration of Dwadashi. The best time to break the fast is pratah kala (early morning).
NIRJALA GYRAS/NIRJALA EKADASHI PUJA VIDHI AND NIRJALA EKADASHI KATHA
We at Rudra Centre; our Karmkandi pundits follow Nirjala Ekadashi Puja Vidhi and Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat Katha for our yajmans. We advise and prescribe the entire process and procedure and work towards assisting our yajmans to gain maximum benefits from the Nirjala Ekadashi Puja Vidhi and Nirjala Ekadashi Katha. It is said that on this day if one performs this puja vidhi and katha, most of their misgivings or sins are washed off. This Nirjala Ekadashi puja vidhi and katha begins with Shree Ganpati devta invocation mantra followed by the invocation mantras of all major deities, Dhyaan, Katha of Lord Vishnu (and His various avatars), Aarti, Pushpaanjali and Prasada distribution.
BENEFITS OF NIRJALA GYARAS VRAT KATHA
Most sadhaks/worshippers experience spiritual growth, find solutions to long-standing problems and receive support to grow health, wealth, and success.
NIRJALA EKADASHI KI VRAT KATHA / NIRJALA EKADASHI STORY / NIRJALA GYARAS KI KAHANI
The Nirjala Ekadashi vrat Katha or Nirjala Ekadashi story is from the Brahma-Vaivarta Purana. Nirjala Ekadashi vrat ki Katha comes through in a conversation between Bhimasena, better known as Bhima, one of the Pandava brothers of Mahabharata, and the grandson of great Sage Vyasadeva or Sage Veda Vyasa (grandfather of the Pandavas). Bimasena asks Vyasadeva whether it is possible for His soul to transcend to the spiritual realm even if all the rules of the Ekadashi vrat/fast are not followed strictly. Bhimasena or Bhima was extremely fond of eating and it is said He could eat huge quantities of food. So, in the Nirjala Ekadashi ki Kahani, Bhima tells Vyasadeva that his mother Kunti, his wife Draupadi and his other brothers, i.e. King Yudhistira, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva observe the Ekadashi fasts meticulously and have many times suggested to him to observe the Ekadashi vrats. But it was impossible for him to think of fasting for 24hrs; Bhima says that the mere thought of abstaining from eating food is scary and makes him shiver, as he was not able to control his hunger. Bhima says that he can easily do any amount of charity and worship Lord Vishnu with lavish offerings but fasting (vrat) was unthinkable for him. Bhimasena pleads to his grandfather to tell him of another way to earn the merits of Ekadashi in the easiest way without fasting.
On hearing his grandson's request, Sage Vyasasena tells Bhima about the many merits one can earn on observing Ekadashi fasts strictly and above all get abundantly blessed by Lord Vasudeva. But understanding the plight of his grandson, Sage Vyasasena said that observing only the Nirjala Ekadashi vrat/fast by maintaining a nirjala vrat (dry fast), along with not eating any food would make it possible to earn all the merits equivalent to that earned by observing fast on all the other Ekadashis. He further specifies in the Nirjala Ekadashi Katha that if anyone observes the Nirjala Ekadasi by following all the specified rules and by being completely immersed in chanting the name of Lord Vishnu/Krishna and sings praises of the Lord on the day and throughout the night of Nirjala Ekadashi, that devotee is sure to be liberated and secures a place at the Lotus feet of Lord Vishnu at his eternal abode Vaikuntha.
Hearing the Nirjala Ekadashi kahani (story) and benefits of nirjala fasting from the great Sage Vyasasena, the Pandava Prince Bhima was satisfied and agreed to observe at least the Nirjala Ekadashi vrat on the auspicious Nirjala Ekadashi.
NIRJALA EKADASHI VRAT VIDHI - WHAT TO DO ON NIRJALA EKADASHI AND HOW TO DO NIRJALA EKADASHI FAST
The Nirjala Ekadashi ki vidhi is specified in the ancient Hindu texts and have been specified by Lord Sri Krishna while answering King Yudhishthira's (the eldest Pandava brothers from Mahabharata) query. The Nirjala Ekadashi benefits are actually innumerable if the nirjala fast/upvas is observed sincerely and with pure intention.
THE NIRJALA EKADASHI VRAT VIDHI:
1) Observe a waterless fast or Upavas. The fast begins on Ekadasi sunrise and ends on the next day (Dwadasi) Sunrise. However, fasting for two days is not possible for everyone. One may fast on the 1st. June, Tuesday, beginning at Sunrise and ending it between 6:00 AM and 12:04 PM on 2nd June (Wednesday). For advanced devotees, they may fast from 2nd June (Tuesday) onwards until the morning of 3rd. June and the Nirjala Ekadashi fast breaking time is during Nirjala Ekadashi Parana time between 6:03 AM and 8:39 AM in Nirjala Ekadashi 2021.
2) Early morning of Nirjala Ekadashi, the devotee should have a bath and should intend on keeping the fast meticulously.
3) Perform Achamana but be careful not to put more than just one drop of water to sprinkle in the mouth during Achamana as then the purpose of observing Nirjala Ekadashi is not going to be served.
4) You should visit Lord Vishnu/Krishna temple and offer prayers. If a temple is not around, you can worship him at your home in the early morning. The idols of Lord Vishnu should be worshipped with sandalwood, flowers, fruits, lighting pure Cow’s ghee Lamp, and light a dhoop as well. You can worship Lord Vishnu by using energized Vishnu Yantras. Offering delicious Bhog to the Supreme Lord Vishnu is a part of the Nirjala Gyaras/Ekadashi vrat vidhi.
5) You can simply meditate on Lord Vishnu and chant His mantra: "Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya". Sage Narada gave this powerful mantra to Dhruva Maharaja as described in the Bhagavata Purana (4.8.54). You can also chant the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra on the Tulsi bead.
6) You should offer flowers and chant Vishnu Sahasranamam (Thousands name of Lord Vishnu). Chanting a thousand names of Vishnu or Vishnu Stotram has a purifying effect on the mind and the body. You can also play it in the morning while you engage in daily work.
7.You should also perform a Vishnu Sahasranama Puja under qualified Brahmins. It is highly recommended on this day. The puja includes Vishnu- Lakshmi Abhishek and Pujan, Vishnu mantra Japa- 1100 times, Vishnu Sahasranama Stotra followed by Homa and Aarti.
8. You can consider wearing a Ten Mukhi and a Nineteen Mukhi Rudraksha beads, as Lord Krishna and Narayana rule them. Wearing these Rudraksha beads on this day and always purifies your inner self and strengthens your willpower. They work like a shield on one's body and the wearer gets immense protection from negative energies, evil eye, and psychic attacks, and the wearer is able to attract luck and abundance.
9. Sleeping at night on Nirjala Ekadasi is not recommended (unless there is a medical condition), also against the Nirjala Ekadashi fast and puja vidhi rules, hence people perform Jagratas to perform night vigil. Chanting of Lord Vishnu's name should be done through the day and night.
10. Next morning, after the bath, donate food, clothes, fruits, sherbet, and milk, etc. to the needy. Donating is an important part of any and every Ekadashi. As per ancient Hindu texts, donate clothes, food grains, umbrellas, and hand-fans, pitchers filled with water, and any other items to Brahmins. The devotee can have breakfast by drinking water.
NIRJALA EKADSHI FASTING RULES
As per specifications in the ancient texts, to get the maximum benefits of fasting on Nirjala Ekadashi devotees should adhere to the rules strictly. But, some devotees may not be able to observe waterless Nirjala Ekadashi due to health conditions or other reasons; therefore, such devotees must at least know and practice some Do’s and Don’t of Ekadashi fasting rules, which applies to all Ekadashis as well.
Usually on every Ekadashi, beans and grains are prohibited to eat.
Hurting any animal is prohibited. Killing animals is out of the question
Sleeping during the day is not recommended at all on Nirjala Gyaras/Ekadashi and the even next day that is on Dwadashi
The devotee keeping fast should not indulge in fights or arguments and should not meet or interact with any cheats, frauds, or people involved in any nefarious activity. The scriptures even say that if by chance the devotee comes into the proximity with such a person should purify him/her self by standing under the sun and looking directly at it
Ensure complete abstinence from sex, gambling and drinking alcohol on Ekadashi and Dwadashi
On Dwadashi (the day after Ekadashi), devotees should not eat in another person's house, and also they have only one meal which excludes honey and urad-dal (black lentil), eat on bell metal plate or cutlery, and should not massage oil on the body
If due to any reason, the devotee is not able to break the fast on the next day, then he/she should have water to signify the completion of the fast and later have food when convenient
As per the ancient text/usually, one has to keep purifying themselves by eating tulsi leaves or an amalaki fruit
Nirjala Kashi - In Kashi or Varanasi, the Nirjala Ekadashi is celebrated with a special ceremony, which includes Kalash Yatra from the Ganga Ghat to Kashi Vishwanath temple.
Nirjala Ekadashi Iskcon - The Iskcon temples around the world have special puja and ceremonies on Nirjala Ekadashi/Gyaras and devotee’s throng to participate in the puja.
We wish all the devotees Happy Nirjala Ekadashi 2021.
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