Nirjala (निर्जला) means ‘Without water’ . This implies that the fast taken on this day should be only without food but also even without water as well. Jyesth month is considered to the hottest month in Indian subcontinent. A very reknowned poet wrotten folliwng line about the heat of Jyeth month thus:
||Dekh dupahari Jeth ki , Chhahoun chahati chhanh||
||देख दुपहरी जेठ की , छाहौं चाहती छाह||
This means the heat of Jyesth is so unbearable that even the shade seems wanting a shade as shade of the tree is long and stretched far in morning but as noon reaches the shade become smaller and shrinks itself to just below the tree in the noon time.
This has been declared as most rewarding Ekadashi by Shri Vyasji himself. Who has sung praises of Jyesth Shukla Ekadashi. Why , we can see the explanation given in the story below.
Jyestha Shukla Ekadashi or Nirjala Ekadashi
Date in 2017 – 5 June 2017, Day- Monday
Once upon a time Sage Sutaji told the story, significance of various Ekadashsi to Eighty Eight thousand Rishis. Sage Sutaji told that Once Bheem , the Pandava asked his grandfather Shri Vyasji thus, ” Dear Grandfather, My Bother Yudhisthir,Mother Kunti, Draupadi, Arjun, Nakul, Sahadev , everyone observes the Ekadashi fast and they insist that I should observe this fast too. They tell me if you eat grans on this day you will go to hell. But I tell them that, I can worship God with full rituals , give large hearted donations but cannot stay hungry at all. Ekadashi falls on every fifteenth day and this becomes the reason of altercation at our house.
Hearing this, Shri Vyasji said, ‘O Bheem if you consider Hell as Bad and Heaven as Good then do not eat grain on both Ekadashis”
Bheem replied,” Dear Grandfather, I already told you that I cannot bear hunger at all. But if there is only one fast in an year, I can try to observe the same. As I explained that I cannot stay hungry for even for a Prahar(A unit of time measurement-roughly equals to 3 hours) then keeping the fast for whole day is very difficult fro me. However if I try I can observe at east one fast in an year. Therefore Please tell me only one fast which can earn me the merit to attain teh heaven. ” Bheem further said that he has a digestive fire named as ‘Vrik’ in his stomach , therefor he could not stay hungry and it was difficult for him to stay hungry for only one Prahar leave apart fasting whole day. he requested Vyasji to tell him some easier method.
Shri Vyasji said, ” Dear Son, various learned Sages and Rishis have written may scriptures which can help a person to achieve the heaven without having to spend a large some of money or going through very arduous procedure. Scriptures have advised to keep the fast of Ekadashi of both fortnights( Dark a& Bright fortnights) . This makes one eligible of attaining heaven. Ekadashi is the means to achieve the heavens and salvation without only very little effort. Not only the devotees of Lord Vishnu and Sanyasis (renunciants) but even the common people also keep the fast of Ekadashis of both fortnight of every month of the year. Also they keep the fast on Ekadashi falling in Adhik maas (This is an extra months which come every after every 32 lunar months, 16 days and 8 ghati ). Every Ekadashi has its own importance. If yow want to be save yourself from punishments of hell the you must observe Ekadashi fast.
Shri Vyasji was an authority on Religious Scriptures and Karm-kanda (The rituals of performing various religious rights ) . Bheem was afraid of hell punishment after listening to his words. He said, ‘ Please suggest me a way. I cannot keep two fasts in a month but can try and keep one fast in an year. Kindly tell me a singe fast which can render me the results of all twenty four Ekadashis and take me to heave with my relatives.
Vyasji softened upon hearing Bheem’s request and said , ” Listen Bheemsen, The Jyesth month which falls between the Taurus transit (Vrish Sankranti) and Gemini transit( Mithun Sankranti) has and Ekadashi called Nirjala Ekadashi on Eleventh day of bright fortnight (Jyesth Shula paskha Ekadashi). You should observe this Ekadashi. The use water is forbidden apart fro bathing and Achamana(The three small sips of water to purify someone before a worship ). But the amount of water in achamana should not be more than six ‘masaas'(A unit of weighing) otherwise it s considered a drinking alcohol. On should not eat of this day. If they eat the entire merits of this fast.
The Charanamrit (The water obtained by washing the feet of Lord Vishnu) is not forbidden in this fast as this is is tamer of the untimely death.
If one observe Nirjala Ekadashi fast with full devotion he definitely gets the merits of all 24 Ekadashis and goes to heaven. The fast observer should not take a single drop of water from the Sunrise of Ekadashi to the time of Sunrise on Dwadashi ( 12th day of month which is second day after Ekadashi as Ekadashi is eleventh day of month). This act gives him the merit of all the Ekadashis combined.O Dwadashi day one should get up before sunrise and do the worship after taking bath, he should give donation to Brahmana after this. Post this he should feed a virtuous Brahman after this and should eat himself after this.
If fast is carried out by aforementioned method it gives the merit of all Ekadashis of the year.
Sri Vyasji further revealed , ” O Bheemsen, This secret has been told to me by Lord himself. The Punya (merit ) attained of Nirjala Ekadashi is more than all holy places and donations. Person gets rid of his sins just by staying a single day hungry. Those who observe Nirjala Ekadashi are not tortured by Yamdootas (The representatives of God of death, Lord Yama) at the time of death. If the person observes this fast with all rituals , The envoys of Lord Vishnu take him on Pushpak Vimana to Lord Vishnu’s Loka , after death. Therefor the best fast in World is Nirjala Ekadashi. One should chant the following mantra on this day:
“Om Namo Bhagavate Vaasudevaay”
And should donate the cow.
Bheem followed the advice of Shri Vyasji and observed the fast of Nirjala Ekadashi. He stayed hungry whole day and night but he fainted in the third Prahar of night due to hunger. But he completed the fast anyhow. That’s hwy this Ekadashi is called Bheemseni Ekadashi as well or Pandav Ekadashi also.
One should worship Shri Vishnuji before observing Nirjala Ekadashi fast and should pray thus, “Dear God, I will keep the Nirjala Ekadashi fast with full devotion and will take food or water next day only. O Lord , May all my sins be destroyed with your grace.”
One should donate a pitcher full of water on this day.
Those who carry out this fast by taking bath in every Prahar, they get the merit of donating One crore Pals (a unit of weight measurement ) of Gold. It is difficult to measure the merits of those who do perform Yagna and Homa (Offering samidha in fire).
One attains the Lokas of Shri Vishnu due to this fast. Those who eat the grains in this day they remain devoid of Lord Vishnu’s grace and go to hell in their afterlife. Those who observe Nirjala Ekadashi even they have murdered a Brahmin, drink alcohol, steal things, connives against their Gurus(teachers ) , or tell lies, They all go to heaven if the observe this fast with full devotion and repentance.
ShriMadBhagawatPuran thus sates the essence of Nirjala Ekadashi fast. If you are eating fruit, you attain the merit of each day of first month Tapasya (Penance) of Dhruva(a child who got Darshan of Lord Vishnu by doing a penance for six months).If you can sustain only on air you get the merits equal to the sixth’s month’s penance of Dhruva. You must keep full devotion should not be with and theirs, should look everything with love, should look everything a manifestation of Lord Vasudeva and pays obeisance to them, do not commit violence, should forgive those who ho commit mistakes, abandon the anger, tell truth always and keep the Lords’ image in their heart and chant the 12 syllable mantras” O Namo Bhagawate Vaasudevaay” get the complete merits of the Nirajala Ekadashi fast.
Shri Vyasji further advises following to Bheemsen, “O Bheemsen Those who observe the Nirajala Ekadashi fast should do the following activities:
Lord’s worship, Singing praises and songs of God, Do the Ramaleela( play of Shri Rama’s life), Krishna Leela( play of Krishna’s life) and stay awake at night. Then Donate cows, offer sweets and Dakshina (Money offered for services to Brahmana and donate them pitcher full of water. One should feed Brahmana and should do the circumbulation of The Brahamana. Ask the Brahamanas to give the merit of Ashwamedha yagna for each step they do of circmubulation. One should donate grain, Cloths, utensils, Shoes, fan, Umbrella,gold, a pitcher made of either silver or soil, fruits and should establish a Pyau(free water dispensers at public places). Those who carry out this fast with full faith and devotion and read or tell this story they are blessed and they definitely go to heaven. The listening to the significance of Nirjala opens the divine eyes and God unveils himself in the temple of mind and soul.
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