Pandav Nirjala Ekadashi comes in the month of jyestha in sukla paksa.
Story of Pandav Nirjala Ekadashi in Bharamvaibhav Puran:
How Bhim Observed Ekadashi?
Once, the smaller brother of Yudhistir Maharaj Bhimsen went near his Pitamaha Vyas dev, a very great saint, and asked, “Without obeying the rules of Ekadashi, is it possible to go back to godhead? You are very intelligent; my elder brother Yudhistir Maharaj, my mother, my wife, and my other brothers, Arjuna, Nakul, and Sehdeva, all obey the rules of Ekadasi very perfectly. But I’m not able to follow the rules of Ekadasi! My entire family is religious, so they all plead with me to obey the Ekadasi. But O! Pitamaha, I want to tell you that I can’t stay without eating! My stomach fire is so huge that I can’t stay without eating. I can worship Lord Krishna under any condition, but I can’t obey the rule of Ekadasi. So, you, please! Tell me how I can get that fortune without obeying the Ekadasi?”
When Vyas dev Ji heard the questions of Bhimsena then, he replied, “Two Ekadasi arrive in a month, in Sukla Paksa and Krishna Paksa. The one who doesn’t follow both Ekadasi can’t ever go back to heaven; rather, he is being punished in hell. If you want to back to godhead and don’t want hellish punishment, then you will have to follow both Ekadasi.”
When Bhim heard this answer from Vyasdeva, he became very disappointed. He again told the same of his condition to Vyasdeva that he can’t stay without eating as he contains a special fire in his stomach which is Vrika Agni.
There are three types of fires.
- Davagni, which is in the wood, fires the whole forest.
- Vdavagni, by which the fog and steam are being created.
- Jitagni, also called Vrikagni, is present in our stomach.
And if we see in Bhagwatgita, Bhim also has a name as Vrikodar means one who eats very much. So, when Bhim heard that there was no eating on days in a month, he got fearful and requested Vyas dev, “You! Please! Tell me the solution; please tell me how I may get the fortune of going back to Godhead. I can obey only one Ekadasi in a year; please tell me a day, an Ekadasi by which I can get the advantage of all Ekadasi.”
Srila Vyas Dev replied, “The Kaliyugi humans are very lazy in their responsibility, penance, and devotion. Therefore, the scriptures say that we should strictly obey the Ekadasi of both; Sukla and Krishna paksha in a month. SrimadBhagwatam also says, ‘we should surrender onto Krishna, and by obeying the Ekadasi, we enhance our devotion for Krishna. This Ekadasi helps us to surrender to Krishna. Therefore, obeying Ekadasi is most significant. One who obeys Ekadasi never has to go to lower planets.”
When Vyas Dev Ji was describing like that, then Bhim; the great warrior by whose name great kings and warriors, started to tremble, he was trembling like a leaf of a Banyan Tree in strong wind, and he got very much fearful again and requested to Vyas dev that-
“I am not able to obey two Ekadasi in a month. Please! Tell me the solution, an Ekadasi by which I can get the advantage of all Ekadasi.”
Then Srila Vyas dev told solution that-
“If someone obeys the Ekadasi of Sukla paksha in Jyestha month without even drinking water, he will get the same advantage you seek. On this day, a devotee should wake up early and take a bath, and after doing 3 acaman, he should engage in devotional activities. And acaman should be like taking water equal to a mustard seed in hand, and if someone takes more water from it, it is almost equal to drinking liquor. Everyone should not eat anything on this day; if we eat anything on this day, our fast will break. This fast will start at the sunrise of Ekadasi and end at the sunrise of Devadasi.
If someone obeys this Ekadasi very strictly to please Krishna, he will get all the advantages of all Ekadasi of a year. On the day of Devadasi, a devotee should wake up, and after bath, he should worship the Lord, and after donating to Bharamans, he should break his fast. Undoubtedly, one who obeys this Ekadasi with all rules will surely get the advantage of all Ekadasi of a year. Krishna said to me, surrender yourself to me and obey my teachings; this type of man never has to see Yamdutas. Rather always Vishnudutas come from Vaikuntha to take this type of man, who all take him to Vaikuntha by Viman. To get this fortune, you must strictly obey this Nirjala Ekadasi. When Vyas dev was saying all that, all the Pandavas were also hearing this by standing aside, then they all took a pledge that ‘we will obey this Ekadasi without drinking water.”
Srila Vyas dev said to him.
“If you want to be safe from all the sins and want to be safe from all hellish punishment and go back to godhead, then obey this Ekadasi. Before obeying this Ekadasi, take the resolution in the morning that today I’m going to obey this Nirjala Ekadasi, pray to Krishna and start the fast after taking blessing from Krishna. If anyone will obey this Ekadasi and if he has sins equal to Sumaroo Mountain, then all that sins will convert into ash. On this day, after bath, one should chant the holy names on chanting beads; if someone is doing this, he does not need to follow any religious rituals. Many types of donations are exits that get destroyed with time, but if someone donates on this Ekadasi, it will never be destroyed. On this day, one should donate cows, gold, water, etc., but if someone has not enough to donate like these things, he should donate water filled Kalash and clothes to qualified Bharaman, and if one will do these types of donations, then he gets billions of times of advantage.
If anyone eats ann on this day, then he is eating all sins, and that also equals to eating the flesh of a dog, and he gets the hellish punishments till many births, and if someone follows the fast of this Ekadasi, then many of heinous sins of him get destroy like-
- To kill Bharamans
- Telling a lie to a spiritual master
- To not obey the orders of the spiritual master
- Drink liquor
All these types of heinous sins get destroyed, and who strictly follows the fast of this Ekadasi. One who obeys this Nirjala Ekadasi and with that if he devotedly worships Sri Krishna, his 100 generations go back to godhead. For that person, the Viman will come from Vaikuntha to take him back to the godhead. O! Bhimsen, after obeying this Ekadasi, one should, according to his strength, donate to qualified Bharamans and take them some food. I request you that obey this Ekadasi fast. No fast purifies and does well to that extent as this fast do. By obeying this fast, all the sins will be destroyed, and you will return to the godhead.
Story of Pandav Nirjala Ekadashi in Padma Puran:
In Padma Puran, it is said that.
SAMVATSARASYA YA MADHYTE
HITASAM PHALAM AVAPNOTI
PUTRA ME NA ATRA SAMSAYAH
ITI MAM KESAAVAH PRAHA
SANKA GAKRA GADADHARA
Lord Keshav, who contains Shanka, Chakra, Gada, and Padma in his hands, has told me that the advantage we get by obeying all Ekadasi of a year is the eligibility we can get by obeying Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi.
In Padma Puran, it is also told that-
ATMADROHAH KRTASTES TU
YAIR ESA NA HY UPOSITA
DUSTAS TE NA SAMSAYAH
Srila Vyas Dev is saying to Bhishma Dev that if someone doesn’t obey the Nirjala Ekadasi without any doubt, he should consider a sinner, corrupt and suicidal.
What to do on this day?
This day is very special and very dear to Krishna; that’s why on this day, devotees should accept only devotional activities which are helping hand of us to take us near to Krishna:
- More Chanting the holy names
- Reading scriptures
- Association of devotees
- Attending aarti in temples
- Ratri Jagran
- Whole night Katha
- Kristen till the whole night
So, we can make our whole day Krishnamay.
But we should avoid and completely stay away from non-devotional activities. On this day, we may feel weak, and we will remember all the verses of the Bhagwat Gita, songs, or poems related to water, but after leaving all the non-devotional works, we should only hear the Krishnakatha.
We should remember Krishna. As much as we sleep extra, we can avoid it, and we should also avoid useless talks. We should inspire ourselves and others with devotion. We can try to take a holiday from our job so that we can make our whole day, Krishnamay. If one feels weaker so he can stay in A.C., we should constantly chant the holy names, and if we will have to take charnamrit or we have to do acaman, then as Vyas Dev Ji told, we should take water as equals to a mustard seed, not more than it.
Questions of devotees related to Nirajal Ekadashi
Q1. When should we start the fast?
Ans1. In many places, it is said that before sunrise or Bharmamuhurta, we can take water till 2.30 o’clock, but after this, we will have to continue our Nirajala Ekadasi fast.
Q2. If one will obey this Ekadasi, then is there a need to obey all other Ekadasi?
Ans2. Yes, we will have to obey all 24 Ekadasi of a year, but on this day, we will have to follow it as Nirajala.
Nirjala means without water, so we should not eat and drink anything on this day. We should take attention to one thing sometimes, we see that we are observing Nirjala fast, and if any devotee breaks the Nirajala fast, then we should pray to Krishna that ‘You have me strength by which I’m able to obey this fast.’ If by observing Nirjala Ekadasi, our arrogance is increasing and we are finding faults in devotees, then our obeying fast is wasteful; so, we should be saved from these mistakes. This is the day of mercy. We must collect grace on this day by doing Vaishnava service and chanting holy names. The devotees who are having Vigrah at their home should give a bath to Vigrah and decorate, and they should worship them. If there is no Vigrah at home, one can perform worship on lamination of god and make a full day as Krishnmay.