Nirjala Ekadashi is one the most important days out of the 24 Ekadashi vrats in a year. Many devotees were seen on Monday taking a holy dip in river Ganga at Varanasi on the occasion of Nirjala Ekadashi. According to the holy scriptures, fasting on Nirjala Ekadashi is tough and requires courage and determination. As the word 'Nirjala' suggests, devotees of Lord Vishnu observe this Ekadashi vrat without even drinking a drop of water. Nirjala Ekadashi falls during the Shukla Paksha of Jyeshtha according to the Hindu calendar. Many devotees fast on two consecutive days to seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu.
Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat fasting time
Ekadashi tithi began at 4:21 PM on June 20 ended at 1:31 PM on June 21. The Parana time or moment of breaking the fast is on June 22, between 5:24 AM and 8:12 AM. On Parana day, the Dwadashi end moment is 10:22 AM. (Source: drikpanchang.com)
Significance of Nirjala Ekadashi
The Nirjala Ekadashi vrat is the toughest due to the strict fasting rules. Devotees believe that the benefits of observing this Ekadashi is the maximum. Many people who are unable to observe all 24 Ekadashi vrats in a year fast only on Nirjala Ekadashi.
This Ekadashi is also known as Pandava Ekadashi, Bhimseni Ekadashi or Bhima Ekadashi. According to the legends, Bhim, the second of the Pandavs in Mahabharata, was not able to stay without food on Ekadashi. Except Bhim, all the four brothers and Draupadi used to observe Ekadashi vrats. Bhim was upset for not being able to fast and so he met Maharishi Vyasa for help. The sage told Bhim to observe only the Nirjala Ekadasi to compensate for not fasting on all Ekadashi days.