Jyotishacharya Shastri Pundit Roshan Singh – Jyotish Astrologer
Procedure to be followed :
Rise early in the morning at Brahma Mahurat (04h30). Take bath while remembering the Lord. Offer pooja, archan and aarti to Radha Krsna our eternal mother and father and pray for their grace and mercy to bless you as you commence this most difficult fast.
While keeping other ekadashis fasts, only the intake of food is prohibited. But for the Nirjala Ekadashi fast, the intake of both food and water is restricted for a complete 24 hours (from sunrise that starts on this auspicious day to the next day’s sunrise). Few devotees observe fast from sunrise to sunset. Along with this, evening prayers are performed by the devotees. Rice intake is also prohibited on Nirjala Ekadashi. People who do not keep fast eat food without rice and other grains.
Devotees get up early in the morning to offer prayers to God Vishnu for whom the fast is observed. Then the mixture of five items known as panchamrita is taken that consists of curd, milk, ghee, sugar and honey. Bhagavan Vishnu’s deity is then given a bath in panchamritaand dressed in royal clothes. On this day, male devotees as a part of ritual also perform achamana, a purification ritual. While doing this they can have just one drop of water. Devotees offer a pot filled with water, hand fans and melon to Brahmins as a part of charity on this day. Next morning, devotees after taking bath donate food and cloth and drink water to complete the fast.
Nirjala Ekadashi’s Significance
As per the holy Puranas, Nirjala Ekadashi is a form of Bhagavan Sri Vishnu and helps in washing away all sins. Also, the devotees are blessed by Lord Vishnu and granted all the happiness, prosperity and a blissful life. It is also believed that by observing Nirjala Ekadashi fast one gains salvation (moksha) as the person at the time of death is not judged by Yama (God of Death). The one who observes fast is taken by the messengers of Vishnu to Vaikuntha, an abode of Vishnu after death.