Nirjala Ekadashi

Nirjala Ekadashi

May-June; 11th day of waxing half of Hindu month of Jyestha
Of the 24 Ekadashi or 11th-day fasts observed during the course of the Hindu year, Nirjala Ekadashi is one of the more important. No food or even water is taken on this day, which is an act of extreme devotion since the month of Jyestha is very hot. Both men and women observe a strict fast and offer puja (worship) to Vishnu to ensure happiness and forgiveness of their sins. Panchamrata is prepared by mixing together milk, ghee (clarified butter), curds, honey, and sugar. It is then offered to the image of Vishnu, which has been draped in rich clothing and jewels, with a fan placed beside it. Hindus meditate on Vishnu as the Lord of the Universe and worship the deity with flowers, lamps, water, and incense.
Some Hindus believe that faithful observance of the fast and other rituals on Nirjala Ekadashi ensures happiness, salvation, longevity, and prosperity. Those who can afford to do so give clothes, grains, umbrellas, fans, and pitchers filled with water to the Brahmans.
SOURCES:
RelHolCal-2004, p. 170
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Varanasi, June 3 (ANI): The banks of the river Ganga in Varanasi reverberated with Vedic chants as hundreds of devotees gathered for a procession on the occasion of 'Nirjala Ekadashi', one of the toughest fasting days dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the preserver.