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» Informational Articles » Festivals » Nirjala Ekadashi

The Hindu Lunar calendar is divided into two different cycles/phases of the Moon. One phase is that of the waxing Moon which is known as 'Shukla Paksha', in which phase the Moon grows in size (visually) and brightness everyday bit by bit and the other phase is that of the waning Moon, Krishna Paksha, when the brightness of Moon diminishes in size everyday post the Full Moon. Each phase is of 15 days respectively. 'Ekadashi' is the eleventh (11th.) day in each phase of the Moon, which means that there are two Ekadashis in a month. The term Ekadashi means the eleventh lunar day (Tithi) in each fortnight of the Shukla Paksha and the Krishna Paksha respectively.

To further explain the term 'Tithi' (as per the Hindu calendar), it means one Lunar day which means the time it takes for the Moon to travel a certain distance. So Ekadashi is the 11th. Lunar day or Tithi. In the Shukla Paksha i.e. the brighter phase of the Moon, on Ekadashi, the Moon looks three fourth (3/4th.) and in the Krishna Paksha Ekadashi the Moon appears three fourth (3/4th) dark. There are 24 Ekadashis in a year, with the exception of Leap year when there are 26 Ekadashis.

Along with Hinduism, Jainism too consider Ekadashis to be holy, which has spiritual connotations. It is said that merely by hearing the names of the various Ekadashis one will be free of all sins. Mainly Lord Vishnu is worshipped on Ekadashi. The day is observed by fasting from Sunrise of Ekadashi Tithi to the sunrise of the following day. Fasting on the Ekadashi is an important ritual of this day. The best form of fasting for Ekadashi is to go without water or food. People who do not want to keep a full fast are recommended to have a fruit based diet (Phalahar) or fruit and Milk/milk product diet. Consumption of Rice, Grains and Beans are prohibited on this day.According to the ancient texts both the Ekadashis, whether in Shukla Paksha or Krishna Paksha, are equally holy and auspicious as they have the same tithi.

What is Nirjala Ekadashi and When is Nirjala Ekadashi

Every year Nirjala Ekadashi or Nirjala Gyaras falls on the 11th. day of the waxing Moon fortnight or Shukla Paksha of the Jyeshtha month (Hindu calendar) which is the month of May- June. Nirjala Ekadashi is also known as Bhimaseni Ekadashi/ Bhimaseni Nirjala Ekadashi and Pandava Nirjala Ekadashi.

The word Nirjala meaning is, 'Nir' which means no and 'Jala' means water, compounded it means no-water or water-less. As all Ekadashis are about observing a fast, the Nirjala Ekadashi is about observing dry-fast or fasting without drinking water. Observing fast on Nirjala Ekadashi or Nirjala vrat/upvas, is done by abstaining from consuming food and drinking water for the duration of the 24 hours.

The fast begins on Ekadashi Sunrise and ends on next day (Dwadashi) Sunrise.

The month of Jyeshtha or May-June, in India is the peak of summer season, so observing the Nirjala Ekadashi ka vrat may be tough for devotees. However the importance of Nirjala Ekadashi and the benefits of Nirjala Ekadashi are so extensive that devotees willingly and courageously observe the nirjala fast and eagerly look forward every year with the question in mind Nirjala Ekadashi kab ki hai?

Nirjala Ekadashi in 2020 or Nirjala Ekadashi/Gyaras kab hai or Nirjala Ekadashi date

Nirjala Gyaras/Ekadashi 2020 is on June 2, Tuesday.

Nirjala Ekadashi Time

Particular Date & Day Time starts Time ends
Ekadashi tithi June 1, Mon 2:27 PM
Ekadashi tithi June 2, Tue 12:04 PM
Parana Kala (Time) for breaking your fast June 3, Wed 6:00 AM 8:39 AM

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.

Significance of Nirjala Ekadashi

The Nirjala Ekadashi/ 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 a devotee can gain all the fruits which would have been garnered by observing fast on any other Ekadashi or observing all the other Ekadashis. This is the holiest Vedic (Hindu) occasion and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Nirjala Ekadashi ki katha explains beautifully about importance of Ekadashi Nirjala along with the rules and Nirjala Ekadashi vrat vidhi.

Due to its strict fasting rules, Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat 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 as anyone observing the fast is supposed to stay without food or water for 24 hours at least if not observing the 2 day fast. Staunch Vishnu devotees undertake this fast, and they do not drink water or any food while fasting on the day.

The ancient text has Lord Krishna explaining to Yudhisthira (Pandava brother of Mahabharata) about the importance where the Lord has said it is greater than all sacrifices or charity to the needy or the sacrifice of Horses (Ashvamedha) or even seeing Lord Vishnu Himself.

Nirjala fast/vrat or dry-fast is scientifically very good too as it cleanses and detoxifies the body. So even though staying without consuming water or food on Nirjala Ekadashi is a religious observance but nirjala fast benefits the physical body too.

About the importance of Nirjala Ekadashi, Vyasadeva has said that observing nirjala fast has the power of ensuring that the individual, after death will never go to hell and Vasu-Dutas (messengers of Lord Vishnu) come to receive the soul to escort the soul to Viakunth, the abode of Lord Vishnu.

Perform Dashavatar Maha Puja and Yajna on 2nd June, 2020 on the occasion of Nirjala Ekadashi


Dashavatar represents the ten avatars or incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu is one of the three supreme deities of Hinduism along with Lord Brahma and Shiva. Lord Vishnu is the protector and the preserver of the universe and whenever the universe is in danger, Lord Vishnu takes an avatar for the protection of mankind. Lord Vishnu takes 10 incarnations during various yugas for the protection of mankind and these 10 incarnations together are known as Dashavatar. The 10 avatars of Lord Vishnu are Matsya Avatar, Kurma Avatar, Varaha Avatar, Narasimh Avatar, Vamaha Avatar, Parashurama Avatar, Lord Rama Avatar, Lord Krishna Avatar, Lord Buddha Avatar and Lord Kalki Avatar. The Dashavatar of Lord Vishnu are worshipped for health, protection and prosperity.

Benefits of Dashavatar Maha Puja and Yajna:

  • For divine grace and blessings of Lord Vishnu
  • For Health, wealth and prosperity
  • For protection and relief from diseases

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Ekadashi Vrat Katha Puja:


Vrat Katha Puja is an essential part of this Ekadashi. It is said that on this day if one performs this puja, all their misgivings are washed off. The significance of Apara Ekadashi is beautifully described by Lord Krishna in the Mahabharata. This puja includes Ganpati invocation mantra, Invocation mantras of all major deities, Dhyaan, Katha of Vishnu (the most important part), Aarti, Pushpaanjali and Prasada distribution.

Benefits of Ekadashi Vrat Katha:

  • For health, wealth and success
  • For fulfillment of wishes
  • For spiritual upliftment
  • For blessing of Lord Vishnu
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DASHAVATAR Maha Puja Performed on 2nd june 2020

Dashavatar Maha Puja was performed by Rudra Centre Puja services on 2nd of June on the occasion of Nirjala Ekadashi. Recitation of Lord Vishnu Strotra and chanting of the mantras of the 10 Avatars of Lord Vishnu by Vedic Brahmin priests filled the devotees with joy. This puja provides health, protection and prosperity and bestows success in personal and professional life. All devotees would receive Divine Shaligramji and energised yantra in tokri prasad.

Nirjala Ekadashi ki Vrat Katha - 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 great Sage Vyasadeva or Sage Veda Vyasa, who was the 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, wife Draupadi and His other brothers, i.e. King Yudhistira, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva observe the Ekadashi fasts meticulously and have many a times suggested to Him to observe the Ekadashi vrats. But it was impossible for Him to think of fasting for 24hrs, or rather Bhima says that the mere thought of abstaining from eating food is scary and makes Him shiver as He was incapable of controlling His hunger. Bhima says that He can easily do any amount of charity and worship Lord Krishna with lavish offerings but to fast was unthinkable for Him. Bhimasena pleads with His grandfather to tell Him of any way to earn the merits of Ekadashi in the most 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 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 Ekadashi by following all the specified rules and by being completely immersed in chanting the name of Lord Vishnu/Krishna and sing praises of the Lord, on the day and throughout the night of Nirjala Ekadashi, that devotee is sure to be liberated and get a place at the Lotus feet of Lord Vishnu.

Hearing the Nirjala Ekadashi kahani and benefits of nirjala fasting from the great Sage Vyasasena, Prince Bhima was satisfied and agreed to observe the nirjala vrat on the auspicious Nirjala Ekadashi.

The Nirjala Ekadashi mahatmya/importance is said to have been told directly to Sage Vyasasena and the Nirjala Gyaras ki katha clearly shows that.

Mantra for Ekadashi:

"Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya"

Meaning: I offer my obeisance to or bow down to Lord Vasudeva or Lord Krishna.

Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat Vidhi - What to do on Nirjala Ekadashi and How to do Nirjala Ekadashi fast

The Nirjala Ekadashi ki vidhi are specified in the ancient Hindu texts and is said to 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 intension.

The Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat Vidhi are:-

1) Observe a waterless fast or Upavas. The fast begins on Ekadashi Sunrise and ends on next day (Dwadasi) Sunrise. However, fasting for the two days is not possible for everyone. One may fast on 1st. June, Tuesday, beginning at Sunrise and end it between 6:00 AM and 12:04 PM on 2nd. June (Wednesday). For advanced devotees, they may fast on 2nd. June (Tuesday) onwards until the morning of 3rd. June and the Nirjala Ekadashi fast breaking time is during Nirjala Ekadashi Parana time between 6:03AM and 8:39 AM in Nirjala Ekadashi 2020.

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 Achaman as then the purpose of observing Nirjala Ekadashi is not going to be served.

4) 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, lighting Ghee Lamp and dhoop. 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) 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 Tulsi bead.

6) 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.

7) 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.

8) Sleeping at night on Nirjala Ekadashi is not allowed and against the Nirjala fast rules, hence people perform Jagratas to perform night vigil. Chanting of Lord Vishnu's name can also done through the day and night.

9) Next morning, after bath, donate food, clothes, fruits, sherbet and milk etc. to the needy. Donating is an important part of Ekadashi. As per ancient Hindu texts, donate clothes, food grains, umbrellas, hand-fans, pitchers filled with water and any other items to Brahmins. The devotee can break fast by drinking water.

Nirjala Fast Rules

As per specifications in the ancient texts, to get the benefits of the fasting on Nirjala Ekadashi the person should adhere to the rules strictly.

  • Beans and grains are prohibited to eat on Ekadashi, if complete fast is not possible to observe.
  • Killing of any animal is prohibited on this day for the devotee.
  • Sleeping during the day is not allowed on Nirjala Gyaras/Ekadashi and the next day that is on Dvadashi.
  • The devotee keeping fast 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 proximity of such a person then one should purify by standing under the sun and looking directly at it.
  • Abstinence from sex, gambling, drinking alcohol on Ekadashi and Dwadashi.
  • On Dwadashi (day after Ekadashi), devotees are not to eat in another person's house, have only one meal, Honey and Urad-dal (black lentil) is not to be consumed, eating on Bellmetal plate or cutlery, and should not massage oil on the body.
  • As per the ancient text, if the devotee has to speak to a person from the lower cast, then he/she will have to purify self by eating Tulsi leaves or an Amalaki fruit.
  • 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.

Nirjala Kashi - In Kashi or Varanasi the Nirjala Ekadashi is celebrated with special ceremony which include 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 devotees throng to participate in the puja.
We wish all the devotees Happy Nirjala Ekadashi 2020.

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