Nirjala Ekadashi 2021: Why this day is so auspicious
The Ekadashi of Shukla Paksha of Jyeshtha month is called Nirjala Ekadashi. On this date, fasting is done by staying without water, hence the name "nirjala", meaning waterless.
Nirjala Ekadashi is considered the most auspicious among all Ekadashi dates as it is said that whoever observes a fast on Nirjala Ekadashi, gets virtue for the entire year. Some believers also donate a pot filled with pure water to a Brahmin or any needy person to mark the celebrations.
Every year, there are 24 Ekadashis, two Ekadashis every month. When Adhikamas or Malmas come (extra months that are added in the Hindu calendars sometimes to keep the lunar and solar calendars aligned), then two more Ekadashis are added to the 24 Ekadashis. This way, sometimes there are 26 Ekadashis in a year.
Nirjala Ekadashi is also known as Bhimseni Ekadashi. It is believed that once during the Mahabharata period, Bhima asked Maharishi Ved Vyas that without observing Ekadashi fast, how can one get the virtue of fasting on Ekadashi? Maharishi Ved Vyas then advised Bhima to observe Nirjala Ekadashi fast.
Vyas ji told Bhima to observe fast on Nirjala Ekadashi by abandoning food and water. By doing this one gets the fruits of all Ekadashi fasts. Following his advice, Bhima completed the fast of Nirjala Ekadashi.