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Nirjala Ekadashi 2019: Here’s why fasting on this day is important

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New Delhi, June 13: Nirjala Ekadashi 2019 is a holy day falling on the 11th lunar day of the waxing fortnight of the Hindu month of Jyestha. This ekadashi derives its name from the water-less fast observed on this day. It is considered to be the most austere.

Nirjala Ekadashi 2019: Here’s why fasting on this day is important

When is Nirjala Ekadashi 2019?

Nirjala Ekadashi falls on the Ekadashi (11th day) during the Shukla Pakshya of Jyeshtha month, which incidentally is sometime between May and June. This year, Nirjala Ekadashi has fallen on Thursday, June 13.

Tithi

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

Why is it important?

While on other ekadashis abstinence of food is observed, but on Nirjala Ekadashi 2019, an absolute fast is observed, without even taking water. The water-less fast is considered extremely difficult to follow as the day falls in the hot Indian summer and thus, it is deemed as very pious.

The story behind Nirjala Ekadashi

Nirjala Ekadashi is also known as Pandava Nirjala Ekadashi or Pandava Bhima Ekadashi. These names are derived from Bhima, the second born of the Pandavas. Bhima is considered the strongest among the five Pandavas from Mahabharata. He was known for his giant appetite. It was also believed that he used to consume half of the total food eaten by the brothers. According to the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Bhima wanted to observe all the Ekadashi fasts, but could not since he did not have control over his hunger. All his brothers and Draupadi would observe the fast and this made him upset over his weak determination. He approached Sage Vyasa for help. The sage advised him to observe fast on Nirjala Ekadashi which comes once a year that will help him to attain the virtue of all the 24 Ekadahis.

How is it observed?

The fast is observed 24 hours from sunrise on Nirjala Ekadashi to sunrise the next day. Some observe it from sunrise to sunset. On the day before Nirjala Ekadashi, the devotee performs the evening prayer (Sandhyavandanam) and takes only one meal, without rice. The devotee is however permitted to have a single tiny drop of water as part of the Achamana purification ritual.

Benefits of Nirjala Vrat

Fasting on Nirjala Ekadashi is believed to give equal benefits one gets from observing fasts on all the 24 Ekadashis that falls in an entire year.

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