Nirjala Ekadashi in 2018: Date, Timing, Fasting Rules and Vrat Katha
Nirjala Ekadashi (23rd June, 2018 Saturday) is the most important and significant of other Ekadashis. This is the holiest Vedic (Hindu) occasion is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is observed on the 11th lunar day (or Ekadashi) of the waxing fortnight in the month of Jyestha, as per traditional Hindu calendar.
Date & Day
23rd June, Saturday
24th June, Sunday
Parana Kala (Time) for breaking your fast
24th June, Sunday
Note: Those with family should observe fasting on first day only. The two-day Ekadashi fasting, is only suggested for Sanyasis, widows and those who want Moksha.
Nir-jala means water-less or without water and the fasting on Nirjala Ekadashi is observed without water or any type of food. Due to its strict fasting rules, Nirjala Ekadashi Vratam is the hardest amongst all Ekadashi Vrats. However if observed religiously, it is one of the most rewarding occasions. This fast is the strictest of all. Staunch Vishnu devotees undertake this fast, and they do not drink water or any food while fasting on the day. The fast begins on Ekadasi sunrise and ends on next day (Dwadasi) sunrise.
It is believed that observing Nirjala Ekadashi is also equal to going on pilgrimage. People believe that observers of this fast, after death, are received by messengers from Vaikunta, abode of Vishnu and not by Yama, the god of death. Those who are not able to follow the other twenty four Ekadashi fasting in a year must observe a fast on Nirjala Ekadashi. It is believed that observing a single fast on Nirjala Ekadashi bestows the blessings and benefits of all twenty four Ekadashi fasting in a year.
What to Do on Nirjala Ekadashi: Fasting Rules and Other Activities
Observe a waterless fast or Upavas. The fast begins on Ekadasi sunrise and ends on next day (Dwadasi) sunrise. However, fasting for the two days is not possible for everyone. One may fast on 24th June, Sunday beginning at sunrise and end it between 01:59 PM and 04:37 PM. For the advanced devotees, they may fast on 23rd June onwards until the morning of 24th June till the end of Parana time (04:37 PM).
Sleeping at night on Nirjala Ekadasi is not advised; hence people perform Jagratas to perform night vigil. Next morning, after bath, donate food, clothes, fruits, sherbet and milk etc. to the needy. The person can break fast by drinking water.
You may visit a 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 and dhoop.
One can simply meditate on Lord Vishnu and chant His mantra: ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya’. This powerful mantra was given by Sage Narada to Dhruva Maharaja as described in the Bhagavat Purana (4.8.54).
You can also chant the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra on the Tulasi bead.
You can offer flowers and chant Vishnu Sahasranamam (Thousands name of Lord Vishnu). Chanting thousand names of Vishnu or Vishnu Strotram has a purifying effect on the mind and the body. You can also play it in the morning while you engage in daily works. More details here.
You can also perform a Vishnu Sahasranama Puja under qualified Brahmins. It is a highly recommended activity on this day. The puja includes Vishnu- Lakshmi Abhishek and Pujan, Vishnu mantra Japa- 1100 times, Vishnu Sahasranama Strotra followed by Homa and Aarti.
You can wear a Ten Mukhi and a Nineteen Mukhi Rudrasksha beads for they are ruled by Lord Krishna and Narayana, respectively. Wearing these Rudraksha beads on this day purifies your inner self and strengthens your will power. They work like a shield on one's body and the wearer gets immense protection from negative energies, evil eye and psychic attacks.
Donate clothes, food grains, umbrellas, hand-fans, pitchers filled with water and any other items to Brahmins.
Legend of Nirjala Ekadashi: Why We Celebrate It?
Nirjala Ekadashi is also known as Pandava Bhima Ekadashi or Bhimseni or Pandava Nirjala Ekadashi or Bhima Ekadashi, based on the legend of Bhima, the second and strongest of the five Pandava brothers. Based on the story from Brahma Vaivarta Purana, it is said that Bhima wanted to keep all Ekadashi fasts, but being a lover of food, he could control his hunger. His entire family of four brothers, Yudhishthira, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva, along with their wife Draupadi and mother Kunti, used to observe the Ekadashi fast without fail. He was scared of dishonoring Lord Vishnu, for whom the fast is observed, hence, he approached sage Vyasa for a solution. Sage Vyasa advised Bhima to observe Nirjala Ekadashi, once a year and this way he can attain the virtue of all 24 Ekadashis. Hence, one is able to get the benefits of all Ekadasis by observing one Nirjala Ekadasi.
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