Nirjala Ekadashi: Rituals and Significance

In Hinduism, Ekadashi holds great importance. Ekadashi occurs twice a month. It is observed on the 11th day of both waning and waxing phases of the moon. Among the 24 Ekadashi in a year, Nirjala Ekadashi is quite important. Every year the 11th day of the Shukla Paksha of Jyeshtha month is observed as Nirjala Ekadashi.

Why Nirjala Ekadashi is Celebrated

Nirjala Ekadashi is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the nurturer of the Universe. People observe a strict fast on this day and worship Lord Vishnu. Those who observe fast on this Ekadashi must not consume even a single drop of water or grains.

One of the reasons why Nirjala Ekadashi is celebrated can be understood with this mythological story. Bheem, the second and strongest among the Pandavas used to consume a great amount of food and water. He was fond of eating and could never control his hunger.

When he came to know about the importance of Ekadashi, he thought of observing fast and worshiping Lord Vishnu. Unfortunately, Bheem could never control his hunger and therefore, one day he went to seek advice from Rishi Vyasa, a learned sage. The sage advised Bheem to observe fast on Nirjala Ekadashi and blessed him.

The sage said that those who observe a fast on this day will get the benefits equal to observing a fast on all 24 Ekadashi. Bheem agreed to this and was determined to observe Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat. To everyone's surprise, Bheem was not only able to observe a strict fast but also spent his entire day worshipping Lord Vishnu. Since that day, this Ekadashi is celebrated every year. People also call it Bheemseni Ekadashi.

It is celebrated on the next day of Ganga Dussehra.

Rituals of Nirjala Ekadashi

  • One needs to avoid eating onions and garlic on Ganga Dussehra.

  • You need to wake up early in the morning and freshen up. After this, you need to bathe.

  • Wear clean clothes and take a Sankalp to observe the fast with full austerity and devotion.

  • Now offer Arghya to Lord Surya.

  • Worship Lord Vishnu with yellow flowers, Chandan, Akshat, Roli (Kumkum) and Dubh. Offer yellow cloth to the deity.

  • Chant the holy mantra Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya. Now either listen or narrate the Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat Katha.

  • During the evening do the aarti to Lord Vishnu and distribute offerings among children and poor people.

  • Also, feed the poor and needy people. You can also feed Brahmans.

Significance of Nirjala Ekadashi

  • This Ekadashi is considered to be quite important and auspicious.

  • Those who observe this Ekadashi are said to dedicate their entire day in worshipping

  • It is believed that observing a fast on Nirjala Ekadashi is equal to observing all the 24 Ekadashi.

  • This Ekadashi also holds importance in Buddhism and Jainism.