Nirjala Ekadashi is the most important and significant Ekadasi of twenty-four Ekadashis in one year. Nirjala means without water and fasting Nirjala Ekadashi is observed without water or any type of food. Nirjala Ekadashi Vratam is the hardest of all Ekadashi fasts because of the strict rules of fasting. The devotees abstain not only from food but also from water while watching Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat.
Nirjala Ekadashi Advantages: Devotees who can not observe all 24 Ekadashi fasting in one year should observe this unique fasting of Nirjala Ekadashi by fasting to Nirjala Ekadashi, which brings all the benefits of Ekadashi’s twenty-four fasts to a year.
Nirjala Ekadashi is also known as Pandava Ekadashi and Bhimseni or Bhima Ekadashi because of a legend associated with Nirjala Ekadashi. Bhimsen, the second Pandava brother and voracious devourer, could not control his desire to eat and could not observe the fast of Ekadashi. Except for Bhima, all the Pancha Pandava brothers and Draupadi watched Ekadashi’s fast. Bhima, annoyed by his weak determination and dishonoring Lord Maha Vishnu, met Maharishi Vyasa to find a solution. Sage Vyasa advised Bhima to observe the unique fasting of Nirjala Ekadasi to compensate for not having observed all the fasting of Ekadashi in a year. Because of this legend, Nirjala Ekadashi is also known as Bhimseni Ekadashi or Pandava Ekadashi.
Pooja Time:- The Nirjala Ekadashi fast falls during the month of Shukla Paksha of the month of Jyeshtha and falls in May or June. Nirjala Ekadashi falls right after Ganga Dusshra, but in a few years, Ganga Dussehra and Nirjala Ekadashi could fall on the same day.
Parana means breaking the fast. Ekadashi Parana is made after dawn the day after Ekadashi fast. It is necessary to make Parana within Dwadashi Tithi unless Dwadashi ends before dawn. Do not make Parana inside Dwadashi is similar to an offense.
Parana should not be done during Hari Vasara. We must wait until Hari Vasara arrives before breaking the fast. Hari Vasara is initially a fourth run of Dwadashi Tithi. The most preferred time to break the fast is Pratahkal. One should avoid breaking the fast during Madhyahna. If for some reason one can not break the fast during the Pratahkal, one must do it after Madhyahna.
Sometimes the fasting of Ekadashi is suggested for two consecutive days. It is advisable that Smartha with the family should observe fasting on the first day only. The alternative fast of Ekadashi, which is the second, is suggested for Sanyasis, widows and for those who want Moksha. When the alternative fast of Ekadashi is suggested for Smartha, it coincides with the fasting day of Vaishnava Ekadashi.
The fast of Ekadashi of the two days is suggested for faithful devotees who seek the love and affection of Lord Vishnu.