Pavitra Ekadashi

Pavitra Ekadashi

We do fasting several times on different occasions throughout the year. Among all fasts, Pavitra Ekadashi Fast is considered as the superior and most dear to God. This is because keeping fast on Ekadashi leads devotees one step ahead towards the Supreme Personality of Godhead. People of all age groups keep this fast, including women. This auspicious tithi of Ekadashi is also known as Madhav tithi.

“madhava-tithi, bhakti-janani, jatane palana kori, krsna-basoti, basoti boli’, parama adare bori”

That means this auspicious Ekadashi tithi is Janani to rejuvenate bhakti in the life of devotees. Therefore, this Madhav tithi should be followed with Yatna (endeavour). So today, we will acquire knowledge about one of the most sacred Ekadashi.


Story of Pavitra Ekadashi by Lord Krishna

In Bhavishya Uttara Purana Significance of auspicious Ekadashi is found in conversation of Lord Sri Krishna and king Yudhisthira.

Once Yudhisthira Maharaj asked Lord Sri Krishna:
Hey, Madhusudan!
What is the name and significance of Ekadashi of Sawan month Shukla paksha tithi? Kindly describe it in detail.”

Reply of Lord Sri Krishna: Hearing Yudhisthira’s query Sri Krishna replied that this auspicious Ekadashi is “Pavitra Ekadashi”.Anyone who will listen to the significance of this fast will acquire the sequel of Bajpayee Yagya. Now listen to the story.

The Story Beyond the Significance of Ekadasi

Long ago, at the beginning of Dwapara-Yuga, there was a king named Mahijit. He was the king of a place called “Mahishmati”. He cares for the people of his kingdom as his kids. Once, he invited all the Brahmins and his people to Rajya Sabha. He said he had never committed any sin on anyone. He had never acquired wealth through immoral acts.

King said, he had never committed any injustice on his people. He had never snatched the wealth of Brahmins and deities. In my kingdom, there is an equal rule for everyone. Even on finding any of my relatives guilty, I punished them. I even honoured and paid deserved respect to my spiritual enemies.

Hey Brahmins!
Even after following this spiritual pathway, I do not have a son. So kindly think about this outlook and advise me on the way out. 

Steps Taken By Brahmins

After hearing this, all the brahmins assembled at a place and thought about it. Then, they decided to donate offerings in various ashrams and ask rishis who know its reason past, present, and future. So, they went to the forest and gave offerings to multiple ashrams. In the end, they reached Lomasa rishi.

Lomasa Rishi was doing long and rigid Tapasya (austerity). His appearance was divine. He was utterly delightful and under strict fasting. He was self-restrained and erudite of shastras. He was glorious and had inestimable hairs in his body. When a Kalpa of Brahma dev occurs, one hair of his body gets detached, so he is known as Lomasa. He has a mystic power and tri-kāla-jñas.

Response on Kings Advisers

On getting darshan of Lomasa Rishi, the king’s advisers were feeling blessed. They said politely that they are blessed to get darshan of this divine Rishi. They are assured that now their king’s agony will soon end.

Lomasa Rishi’s query: Lomasa Rishi asked, who are you all? Why did you all come here? What is the reason behind praising me?

Brahmin’s reply: Brahmin’s replied that they came here to solve this severe problem.

“Hey, Rishiwar!
Our king Mahijita does not have any son. He nurtured us like his children. His pain is getting unendurable for us. So we came here to do Tapasya. But, we are incredibly fortunate to get your darshan. We are sure that after getting darshan of divine Rishi, we will surely get an outcome”.

Reason for king’s Suffering

“Hey divine rishi! Please tell us away so that our king will be blessed with a son”, said Brahmins. On hearing, this Lomasa rishi starts meditating.

After knowing about King Mahijit’s previous birth, Rishi said, this king was a merchant earlier. For business purposes, he used to wander from one village to another. Once he was very thirsty, and that day was Dwadashi. While searching for water, being thirsty, he found a pond. So he reached at the bank of a pond to satisfy his thirst. He noticed a cow after parturition came with a newly born calf and started drinking water. He immediately stopped her and sent her away.

Later on, he started drinking water. This is the greatest sin done by him. This is the reason he does not possess a son.

Way to rectify his sin: On hearing this, brahmins, the king’s advisers, asked Rishi a path to the outcome. They asked by doing which atonement or fasting king can get rid of this sin. 

King’s Atonement

Lomasa Rishi responded and told them a way out. In the coming Shravan month’s auspicious Ekadashi, king and all of you keep fast.

Afterwards, all the blessings you all will gain on doing this fast give it to the king. King will indeed have a son by doing so. On hearing Lomasa Rishi’s word, everyone was pleased. They respectfully greeted Rishi. They returned and described everything to the king. King, along with all his Praja, followed Ekadashi.

On Dwadashi, the next day, everyone gave the blessings they earned by fasting and gave them to the king. After a few days, the queen got pregnant and delivered a beautiful boy. 

Lord Sri Krishna to Yudhisthira

Lord Sri Krishna said, Hey Yudhisthira! Whoever abides this Pavitra Ekadashi fast, all his sins will be absolved, and he can achieve the supreme goal.

So let’s nurture this branch of spirituality by keeping this sacred Pavitra Ekadashi fast with complete devotion. Let’s spend our time chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra, doing kirtans and engage ourselves in devotional activities as much as we can on do this auspicious day.

On this day, we all devotees assemble and provide service to Vaishnavas. In this way, we can please Lord Sri Krishna and make advancements to gain Krishna’s blessings.

Pavitra Ekadasi is on – 16th, Aug 2024

Fast Breaking time – 17th August 2024 5:52 AM – 08:05 AM (ISKCON Delhi)

Your Smallest act of Charity can make a difference and bring smiles to Needy Faces.

Significance of Pandava Nirjala Ekadashi

Significance of Pandava Nirjala Ekadashi

Ekadashi is one of the beautiful celebrations; it is seen eleven days after the full moon and eleven days after the new moon of every month.

Even on the thirteenth or leap moon, it is called Adhi-masa or Purusottama-masa.

Srila Prabhupada’s summarised study of Bhakti- rasamrta-Sindhu states:

One who sees fasting on Ekadashi day is free from taking wrong actions and becoming religious life advances.

Srila Rupa Goswami tells us in the Bhakti-asamrita Sindhu Granth, which Srila Prabhupada has translated.

Especially this, devotion to please God is being presented, and we should follow these methods; many ways out there.

Observing the fasting

One of the first Ten methods is -Observing the Fast on the day of Ekadashi! Every Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha Ekadashi performing at Madhav Tithe is bhakti Janani.

That is why we should try to follow it, Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur, and Jetane Palani kori, it is all helpful to devotion, and that’s why we should accept it.

Said that Ekadashi maa, herself, has appeared from the body of the supreme God, and this date is very dear to our Lord.

By performing the observances of Ekadashi fast, we move to progress very quickly in devotion. On Ekadashi, we should do fasting from food and grains, and Nirjala Ekadashi is considered Maha-Ekadashi, on which we should do fasting from water.

If you cannot do fasting from water, we can consume water; you can take fruit juice if this is also hard for you.

If there is a problem with that too, then it means that you can take fruits. If this is not possible, then fasting with prasad; you can have Sabudana, kuttu, fruits; people choose many things.

We have to follow the purity of Ekadashi. Without any water, one will have to perform rituals like Nirjala.

Prabhupada says about Bhima Ekadashi.

Srila Prabhupada had told this to his Disciple HG Rameshwar Prabhu whether it is Bhima Or Arjuna, is all Nirjala, 

Ekadashi should be performed in the form of Nirjala, yet it is mentioned in Mahabharat itself.

It says that Bhimsen has expressed his helplessness;

 he told Vyasadeva in desperation, “I can’t perform Ekadashi fasting because, in those days, everyone used to perform Ekadashi fast by keeping themself Nirjala.” Bhimsen said a special gastric fire inside inflames not to keep fast on this Ekadashi; what is it?

Then Vyasadeva Ji said that you could perform the ritual of Jyeshtha Shukl Ekadashi once in the year because Bhimsen had Kept it; all the other Pandavas also kept it. Hence it is called Pandava Nirjala Ekadashi.

Once every year, which is the fasting of Ekadashi, it helps move forward in devotion. Its foremost purpose is not to keep Nirjala Ekadashi and sleep throughout the day.

Srila Prabhupada even said that if you could take prasad regularly, and preaching is the primary service, advertising and promotion of Krishna is the highest service.

But while hiding behind the propaganda, we should never do less than our capacity. this is also a service.

Rupa Goswami says, don’t do less than you can; if we can keep fast on Nirjala Ekadashi, we should keep it.

Maha Daan on Nirjala Ekadashi.

About ISKCON Ekadashi

In ISKCON, we do not impose such strict rules because it was formed to expand and spread the practice of Bhakti Yoga. Everyone can’t sit on fasting, and there is no one to spread the message of our Lord Krishna.

Therefore, at least from sunrise the next day till Parana, everyone should observe a fast of Nirjala.

Learning and preaching about Krishna

This day, many devotees chant 64 rounds and more; you can do self-study or listen to discourses.

One can spend more time with the deity of the Lord, whose main objective is to overcome the body’s needs and pay attention to the soul’s needs.

Regarding Nirjala Ekadashi, the priest who is a priest does not have any inconvenience in performing achaman. He can do it.

You can also consume Charanamirt; take only as much charanamirt as a mustard seed that can be immersed in it. It is not that the grain of mustard is put in; it is food.

 But remember that if there are any rules and regulations, they must obey the purpose of all this.

Smartavyah satatam visnur vismartavyo na jatucit sarve vidhi-nisedhah syur etayor eva kinkarah”

This verse is a quotation from Padma Purana, which says Krishna is the origin of Lord Vishnu. Therefore, he should always be remembered and never forgotten at any time. All the rules and prohibition mentioned in the sastra should be their servants of these two principles.” this is the supreme instruction.

On this Jyeshtha Shukla Ekadashi, our aim should increase maximum listening and chanting on Pandava Nirjala Ekadashi. 

Join the devotees and stay in the correct consciousness because we can keep whatever decisions.

 We can go on the day of Ekadashi. So it is very beneficial for us and for our devotion.

Srila Vishwanatha Chakravarti Thakur says this is the perfect time to overview what we have done in the last 15 days.

On the day of Nirjala Ekadashi, we can think about what we had done for the whole last year in devotion and evaluation and about it can do more.

Remember that it is Ekadashi; if you can Nirjala, that is perfect for keeping it. but the main aim should be to remember Krishna as much as possible

It is the true meaning of Ekadashi.

The legend behind this special Ekadashi

Once the Pandav Bhima requested Shree Krishna to solve his difficulty, Shree Krishna asked him what Bhima, the insatiable eater, explained to Shree Krishna despite his serious struggles, and it was challenging for him to follow.

According to the manuscripts, one should obey Ekadashi with great respect by not eating or drinking anything all day. And altogether, engaging yourself functions in the different parts of Bhakti.

Fast all food and water on the perfect day of Ekadashi and eat only once on Dwadashi Tithi, the next day of Ekadashi.

However, fasting from all food and water on Ekadashi proved tough and challenging for Bhima. 

Hence he requested Shree Krishna to find an answer to his situation.

Understanding the situation to him and Shree Krishna being accommodating towards Bhima, 

The Supreme Lord Krishna allowed him to eat fruits and flowers on all the Ekadashi except one; he told Bhima to follow the Shukla paksha Ekadashi in the month of Jyeshta,

Without eating or drinking anything, he was allowed to eat phalahar, fruit on all other Ekadahis except this one. Ekadashi later becomes Famous as Pandav Nirjala Ekadashi.

What should you do if you unexpectedly break Ekadashi?

Srila Prabhupada suggested that if we unintentionally eat some grain on Ekadashi, we should keep the Ekadashi Fast for the rest day and the next day in Dvadasi; if even that is impossible, we should go on with our activities in ISKCON and pray for forgiveness.

Seeks the Blessings of Krishna by donating on the occasion of Ekadashi.

Frequently Asked Questions-

Q- When will be the Nirjala Ekadashi in 2024?
A- Nirjala Ekadashi will be celebrated on 18 June 2024 in ISKCON (India).

Q- What is the Nirjala Ekadashi fast-breaking time?
A- Fast breaking time is 19 June 2024 between 5.24 AM to 07.28 AM.