As per our Vedic scriptures, all twenty four Ekadashi’s in a year are auspicious days to fast and worship Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu himself had incarnated in the Form of an Ekadashi to save the humanity from its ever increasing sins.
But, the most important Ekadashi is the Nirjala Ekadashi, as it is the toughest to keep a fast for a day even without drinking a single drop of water. It is thus, powerful enough to grant fruits of all other Ekadashi’s taken together.
Story Behind Nirjala Ekadashi
Nirjala Ekadashi is also known as the Pandav Bhim Ekadashi or the Bhimseni or Bhim Ekadashi or the Pandav Nirjala Ekadashi. The story dates back to the time of the Pandavs when the Second eldest Pandav, Bhim was the most powerful of all. As per the Brahma Viavarta Purana, Pandavs were ardent Vishnu devotees and undertook all the Ekadashi fasts.
Bhim loved food and thus, fasting for 24 days in a year was an issue with him. He asked Maharishi Vyas for a way out. The Maharishi guided him towards the Nirjala Ekadashi fast, the one fast with the fruits of all.
Why is it Celebrated
Lord Vishnu is believed to have taken the Ekadashi avatar to protect humanity from sins and guide it towards prosperity. Thus, the Vishnu devotee Hindus fast for 24 Ekadashi’s in a year to make Lord Vishnu happy.
The toughest of these fasts is the Nirjala Ekadashi fast as it prohibits the devotee the intake of even water for a good 24 hours. Though tough, this one fast is said to provide fruit equivalent to all Ekadashi fasts.
The Nirjala Ekadashi in 2016 begins at 7:22 PM on 15th June and ends at 9:25 pm on 16th June. The Parana of the fast should be done between 6:20 am to 8:30 am on the 17th of June, 2016.
In accordance with the Hindu Scriptures, Lord Vishnu is the God of all prosperity. The Nirjala Ekadashi fast is known to make the God the happiest and the devotee is believed to be the closest to the Lord himself. On demise, he is taken directly to the land of Vishnu, Vaikunth, rather than to Yama Dev. Saints even undertake this fast for consecutive two days. Those who are not able to follow the other twenty four Ekadashi fasting in a year must observe a fast on Nirjala Ekadashi.
Products to perform the puja
The puja performed on this auspicious day should include: