May 11 : June 13, 2019 is the 11th day of shukla paksha (waxing moon) of Jyeshta month as per the Hindu calendar. 11th day of each paksha (lunar fortnights) is ekadashi and is a spiritual day for Hindus espicially devotees of Lord Vishnu. The shukla paksha ekadashi of Jyeshta month known as ‘Nirjala Ekadashi’, is considered the most sacred and toughest of all ekadashi.
Nirjala Ekadashi vrat observed by devotees on this day is noted for its ascetic fasting and rigorous austerities. Nir-jala literally mean ‘without water’ and on this day devotees not only abstain from food, but they also refrain from consuming water.
It is believed that completion of Nirjala ekadashi fast with utmost devition and austerity is equivalent to observing all other ekadashi vrats during the year and also the most rewarding. Faithful observance of the vrat and its rituals washes away all sins and ensures happiness and prosperity.
Story of this ekadashi, ie. Nirjala Ekadashi vrat katha traces back to the Mahabharatha era. Bhim, the second of Pandava brothers, was a food lover. He wanted to observe all ekadashi vrats but could not control his hunger and abstain from food, which made it impossible to complete the vrat. Sage Vyasa, the author of Mahabharata who is also Bhim’s grandfather, came to his rescue. Vyasa advised Bhim to observe ekadashi vrat in the month of Jyeshta as it has the benefit of observing all 24 ekadashi.
This year Nirjala ekadashi tithi begins at 6:27 PM on June 12 and ends at 4:49 PM on June 13.