Nirjala Ekadashi, the most important of all 24 ekadashis, is being observed on Thursday, i.e. June 13. The word ‘nirjala’ means abstaining from food and water. It is the toughest among all Ekadashis due to strict rules that one needs to follow.
Nirjala Ekadashi falls on the Ekadashi (Day 11) during the Shukla Pakshya of Jyeshtha month. While Nirjala Ekadashi falls just after Ganga Dussehra, during some years Ganga Dussehra and Nirjala Ekadashi fall on the same day. Since it falls in Jyeshtha, it is also known as Jyestha Shukla Ekadashi.
Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat: June 13, 2019
Ekadashi tithi begins: 6:27 pm on June 12, 2019
Ekadashi tithi ends: 4:49 PM on June 13, 2019
What the legends say:
Nirjala Ekadashi is also known as Pandava Ekadashi or Bhima Ekadashi. Bhima, the second Pandava brother, who was a voracious eater, was unable to fast because of his appetite and love for food. Except Bhima, all the other Pandavas and their consort Draupadi would observe all Ekadashi fastings. Upset at his lack of determination and dishonour to Lord Vishnu, Bhima met with the sage Maharishi Vyasa in the hopes of a solution. Sage Vyasa advised Bhima to observe a single Nirjala Ekadashi in a year to compensate for not observing the Ekadashis during the rest of the year. Thus, the Ekadashi came to be known as Bhima Ekadashi.
See: Devotees take holy dip in the Ganga on Nirjala Ekadashi in Varanasi:
Rituals of Nirjala Ekadashi:
Varanasi: Devotees take holy dip in Ganga on Nirjala Ekadashi today pic.twitter.com/xhYgrtB1n9— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) June 13, 2019
The fast should be observed without drinking any water and it lasts for 24 hours, starting from sunrise of the Ekadashi tithi to the sunrise of the Dwadashi tithi. The Nirjala Ekadashi vrat starts with ‘Sandhyavandanam’, a ritual that is practised on the 10th day.
One meal with any form of rise is eaten before sunset. The fast then continues all throughout the Nirjala Ekadashi day. The observer of the vrat ends the fast on the 12th day after worshipping Lord Vishnu.
On the Nirjala Ekadashi day, Lord Vishnu is worshipped with Tulsi leaves, flower, fruits and sweets. Devotees also read the Vishnu Sahastranaam and other Vedic mantras dedicated to Lord Vishnu.