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Nirjala Ekadasi

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The next Ekadasi is Pandava Nirjal Ekadasi. In my calendar, it is dated for the 21st.


You can check the exact date of Ekadasi for your location with Vcal 4.01. program [download here].


The following is an excerpt from "Dearest to Visnu", a book on Ekadasi compiled by Bhrigumuni Das, consisting mainly of translations of Hari Bhakti Vilasa. DDT stands for "Dig Darsini Tika" of Sanatana.

<font face="Georgia">



<center><big>FROM VILASA XV</big>




19. In the Padma Purana (6.51.15, 19-25): ‘Bhimasena said: “Grandfather, what should I do, since I am unable to fast? O master, please describe to me a single vrata which can give plenty of fruits!”


20-22. ‘Sri Vyasa said: “When the sun is in Taurus or Gemini during Ekadasi in the bright fortnight of the month of Jyaistha one should fast diligently, avoiding water. The wise should avoid water, except when bathing or performing acamana. Otherwise one should not taste water, or the fast will be broken. A thoughtful person should zealously avoid water from sunrise to sunrise. He will attain the fruit of the twelve Dvadasis.<blockquote>DDT: ‘The twelve Dvadasis’: The eight Maha-dvadasis plus Sayani-, Parsva-parivartani- and Bodhini Dvadasi, plus Bhaimi Dvadagi. Otherwise it may mean the fruit of all the Dvadasis during the twelve months of the year.</blockquote>23-25. “‘Then, on the pure morning on Dvadasi, one should bathe and according to the rules give water and gold to the twice born. O master of the senses, after performing one's duties one should eat together with brahmanas. Bhimasena, please listen to the merit one gains by doing this. Son, on this day one attains without a doubt the fruit of all the other Ekadasis of the year! This Kesava, the carrier of the conch, disk and club, has told me.’”<blockquote>DDT: The merit is especially great since it is a great effort to refrain from drinking water in the middle of summer.</blockquote>26-28. Furthermore (6.51.30-33): ‘Tiger amongst men, when a man celebrates this day it brings him wealth, grain, merit, sons, for tune and happiness. I am telling you the truth! The terrible, angry messengers of Yama, with enormous, lusty bodies, carrying sticks and ropes, do not bind such a man. That Vaisnava is at the time of death led to the abode of Vigiri by persons wearing yellow garments, holding conches and disks, fleet as the mind.’


29-31. And also (6.51.39-42): ‘That foremost of Vaisnavas who follows the rule of refraining from water gains the merit of ten million donations of gold with every three hours. The bathing, giving in charity, muttering of mantras and sacrifices a man does on this Dvadasi will all be immortal. This is the statement of Krishna. O king, what shall I say about other observances than Nirjala Dvadasi? One who fully fasts and observes the rules attains the abode of Vishnu.’


32-34. Similarly: ‘Bhimasena, those who perform this pure Nirjala Ekadasi all liberate a hundred relatives. Together with them he will be led to the temple of Vasudeva.’ And also (6.51. 50): ‘Those who do not fast on this day commit suicide. They are full of sin, they behave badly and are evil. There is no doubt about this.’ Furthermore (6.51.55): ‘Both one who listens to this with devotion and one who declares this to others will attain heaven. Do not doubt this!’<blockquote>DDT: The verse beginning with ‘Those who’ shows that this vrata is mandatory.</blockquote>




<center>yathA prAg-likhitaM kRtvA saGkalpaM niyamaM vrate

jalam AdAyagRhnIyan mantreNAnena vaiSNavaH</center>

35. After performing the duties explained earlier on, the Vaisnava should, holding water, state the declaration and the rules for the vrata with this mantra:<blockquote>DDT: Having stated the mandatoriness of the vrata he now writes in the next nine verses about the rules for the vrata, following the statements of the Uttara-khainda of the Bhavisya Purana. ‘The duties explained earlier on’ refers to the rules for Dasami, etc., that have already been explained (12.2-22).</blockquote>



<center>THE MANTRA OF RULES </center>

<center>ekAdazyam nirAhAro varjayiSyAmi vai jalam

kezava-prINanArthAya atyanta-damanena ca</center>

36. ‘To please Kesava I will with great self-restraint fast on Ekadasi and refrain from water.’


<center>varjayec cAmbv aho-rAtraM vinA cAcamanArthakam

vinA ca prAzanaM pAdodakasyAtyantapAvanam</center>

37. One should avoid water during both day and night, except water for acamana and water that has washed His feet, for it is greatly purifying.<blockquote>DDT: One should refrain from water both during day and night. In this verse he states that water for acamana and bathing and water that has bathed the Lord's feet should not be avoided, since there will always otherwise be the fault of impurity. Now, avoid water, except when bathing or performing acamana was stated earlier (15.2 1), but foot-bathing water was not mentioned. The reason is that it is greatly purifying, it is even more purifying than acamana. The mandatoriness of acamana has been established earlier (3-304-305).</blockquote>38. After performing one's prescribed duties in the evening of the Ekadasi, one should bathe a golden form of Trivikrama with milk and so on.


<center>vastrAdikaM samarpyAthAbhyarcya gandhAdibhiz ca tAm

praNamya jAgaraM kuryAt tad-agre nartanAdinA</center>

39. One should offer Him clothes, etc, and worship Him with sandalwood-paste and so forth. After paying obeisances one should by dancing and so on keep vigil in front of Him.


<center>prAtaH-snAnAdi nirvartya taM trivikramam arcayet</center>

40. One should bathe, etc, in the morning and then worship Trivikrama.


<center>zaktyAmbukumbhAn viprebhyo dadyAd gandhAdy-alaGkRtAn</center>

41. According to one's means, one should donate to the brahmanas kumbhas with water, decorated with sandalwood-paste and so on.




<center>deva-deva hRSIkeza saMsArArNava-tAraka

jalakumbha-pradAnena yasyAmi paramAM gatim</center>

42. ‘God of gods, Hrisikesa, rescuer from the ocean of birth and death! By giving away this waterpot I will go to the highest destination.’


<center>dadyAc ca kanakaM chatraM vastra-yugmam apAnakau

jalapAtrANi divyAni vibhAve sati vaiSNavaH</center>

43. The Vaisnava should donate gold, a parasol, two cloths, sandals or just wonderful waterpots.


<center>zaktyA viprAn bhojayitvA pItvA bhrAtRkarAj jalam

svayaM vA pIya maunI san bhuJjIta saha bandhubhiH</center>

44. After feeding the brahmanas according to one’s means, one should silently drink water from one’s brother’s hand, or from one's own. Then one should eat together with friends.






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Generally on Ekadasi one may take roots and fruits if one can't fast. This Ekadasi is the big one which one should try to manage through without eating & drinking.


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