Nirjala Ekadashi is regarded as the most important and significant Ekadashis in all those 24 Ekadashis in a year. Nirjala means without water and Nirjala Ekadashi fasting is observed without water and food consuming for a day.
The Nirjala Ekadashi Vratam is the toughest among all Ekadashi fasting because of its strict fasting rules. Devotees abstain not only from food but also from water when they observe this Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat.
Benefits – Devotees who somehow fail to observe all twenty fours Ekadashi fasting in a year can observe this single Nirjala Ekadashi fasting as this Nirjala Ekadashi fasting can bring all benefits of twenty-four Ekadashi fasting for any damn year.
Nirjala Ekadashi is also widely known as Pandava Ekadashi and Bhimseni or Bhima Ekadashi because of the legendary story associated with Nirjala Ekadashi.
The second Pandava brother, Bhimsen, who was a gluttonous eater, was not able to control his desire of having food so he was not worth to observe Ekadashi fasting.
Except for Bhima, all Pandava brothers and Draupadi used to observe all Ekadashi fasting. Bhima was being sad as he was failed to observe fast which shows his weak determination and doing a dishonor to Lord Vishnu, met Maharishi Vyasa to find some solution as he also wanted to impress the Lord Vishnu.
Sage Vyasa recommended and suggested Bhima observe single Nirjala Ekadasi fasting to recompense for not observing all Ekadashi fasting in a year.
Because of this story, Nirjala Ekadashi is also widely regarded as the Bhimseni Ekadashi or Pandava Ekadashi.
Time – Nirjala Ekadashi fasting falls during Shukla Paksha of Jyeshtha month, so as of now the festival falls in the month of June, 22nd. Nirjala Ekadashi falls just after Ganga Dusshra but in some years regarded as the Ganga Dussehra and Nirjala Ekadashi might fall on the very same day.
The word Parana means breaking the fast. Ekadashi Parana is done post-sunrise on next day of Ekadashi fast.
It is very significant for all devotes to do the Parana within Dwadashi Tithi unless Dwadashi is over before sunrise. Not doing Parana within Dwadashi is like an offense.
Parana should not be done during Hari Vasara. One should wait for Hari Vasara to get after devotes can break the fast. Hari Vasara is first one-fourth duration of Dwadashi Tithi. The most preferred time to break the fast which is known as the Pratahkal.
During Madhyahna period, people should avoid breaking the fast. And if because of some reasons one is not able to break the fast during Pratahkal then they can do the same post-Madhyahna.
At times Ekadashi fasting on these 2 consecutive fasting days, this is being suggested that the Smartha with family should observe fasting on the first day only. The second one, The alternate Ekadashi fasting, is suggested for Sanyasis, widows and for those who want Moksha.
Ekadashi fasting on both days is suggested for staunch devotees of the Lord Vishnu.
Nirjala Ekadashi Parana
On 24th, Parana Time = 13:46 to 16:32
On Parana Day Hari Vasara End Moment = 10:08
Ekadashi Tithi Begins = 03:19 on 23/Jun/2018
Ekadashi Tithi Ends = 03:52 on 24/Jun/2018
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