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.
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 2023?
A- Nirjala Ekadashi will be celebrated on 31 May 2023 in ISKCON (India).
Q- What is the Nirjala Ekadashi fast-breaking time?
A- Fast breaking time is 1 June 2023 between 5.23 AM to 10.00 AM.