NIRJALA EKADASHI VRAT (A FAST WHICH IS UNDERTAKEN WITHOUT INTAKE OF EVEN A DROP OF WATER)
Today is the NIRJALA EKADASHI VRAT – a fast which has strict observance conditions i.e. without taking anything, not even a drop of water. In order to get benefits of purification of our body, mind and soul, we should not take anything solid or liquid (Not even water drop) for the complete day and night. Otherwise, we shall not be able to get any benefit of observance of this fast. This fast is being observed today itself. The devout observe fast with piety with prayer on their lips and purity in their heart and mind.
This fast is observed to make the God of Evolution, Lord Vishnu, happy and get his bountiful blessings. Lord Vishnu is the giver and provider of things. He is the upholder and preserver of dharma and part of Trinity; Lord Brahma (The Lord who creates the lives), Lord Vishnu (the preserver what has been produced) and Shiva (Destroyer to create again). He stands for higher consciousness, the destroyer of illusions, bestows knowledge, provides purity of body, mind and soul. Harmony and above all self-realization.
In order to uphold dharma, Lord Vishnu incarnated to remove evil from the world at large. He is the defender of law and giver of bounties when anybody offers sincere prayers on to him. He resides in Vaikuntha in the milky waters on a bed made of the coils of the Adishesha while Goddess Lakshmi attend upon him.
While evil gains ascendance, Lord incarnates to restore dharma. For this, he incarnated nine times and tenth would be in near future.
LEGEND ABOUT NIRJALA EKADASHI VRAT KATHA
We are aware that in one month, there are two Ekadashis are observed. In these Ekadashis fruits, water etc. could be taken But for Nirjala Ekadashi, not to speak of food items not even a drop of water could be taken. Nirjala Ekadashi is also associated with Pandava’s one (Bhimsena) of the five brothers – Yudhishtra, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakul and Sehdev. It is also termed as the Bhimseni Ekadashi. It is known that those who observe this fast receive the graces and benevolence of Lord Vishnu with all the bounties.
Legend has it that once Bhima asked with immense reverence to saint Ved Vyasa that he could perform charity, perform meditation but he could not observe any fast since he feels very hungry to maintain his large body. The legendary Guru who has authored Mahabharata and Puranas besides some other important religious scriptures which had strong bearing on the Hindu traditions.
Giving response to the query of Bhima, Ved Vyasa replied that if he could observe fast on two Ekadashis every month then he would be graced with everything including the Moksha or liberation. But Bhima interjected that he could not observe so many fasts due to his disproportionate hunger and further asked the well-informed one to tell him one day in a year on which he could observe fast so that he could get Moksha. Thereupon, the most knowledge one advised him to observe a fast as NIRJALA EKADASHI – a fast observed without taking anything including not even a drop of water for complete day and night. By doing so, a person could get the bounties of Lord Vishnu. If this fast is observed with all the sincerity while keeping our body, heart and mind pure, we can get all the benefits.
While observing the fast for complete day and night, we should pray Lord Vishnu with complete devotion and utmost sincerity. After having observed the fast, we should again offer prayers to Lord Vishnu for having his eternal graces for our happiness and prosperity.