Nirjala Ekadashi falls in the month of Jyestha, in the Shukla paksha (June),hence it is also called as "Jyeshtha Shukla Ekadashi" and also "Bhimseni Ekadashi",since the Pandava,Bhim,had observed this difficult fast.
Jyeshtha Shukla Ekadashi fast is considered to be the most beneficial and fruitful,among all the 24 Ekadashi's observed throughout the year.The result of this vrat alone is equivalent to the result of all the 24 Ekadashis put together.
Strict,waterless fast is observed on this day,by worshipping the Lord Vishnu,to ensure happiness, prosperity and forgiveness of transgressions and sins.On the 10th lunar day ie on the day prior, Sandhya (evening prayer) is performed and only one meal is taken in the whole day.
Flowers, candles, and fruits are offered to Buddha statues with devotion.The Bodhi Vriksha or the pipal tree,under which Buddha attained enlightenment is worshipped by sprinkling milk and scented waters on its roots and devotees place garlands, colored flags and light many lamps around it.
The pandava-Bhima,could not controll his hunger and hence did not follow any rules and regulations of the Ekadashi Vrat (fast).Then he asked his grandfather,the sage Vyas, "Oh intelligent and learned grandfather ! my all brothers,wife and mother strictly observe every Ekadashi and sincerely follow all the rules and regulations of that sacred day.
They insist upon me that I should also observe the fast on all the Ekadashis. But, Oh learned grandfather, I cannot controll my hunger and can not live without food,being the son of Vayudeva.Oh Sage ! please tell me how can I obtain the same results without fasting."
Listening to this, the sage Vyasa advised, "If you desire to get moksha, you should strictly observe a fast on all the Ekadashis". On this,Bhima explained, "Oh great saint, Within my stomach burns a special fire named 'Vrika', the fire of digestion and 'Agni' the god of fire.
Only when I eat to my full satisfaction,my stomach is satisfied,I might possibly be able to fast only once, so I beg that you tell me of a Ekadashi vrat,that is worthy of all Ekadashi's.I will faithfully observe that fast and should become eligible for Moksha.
Sage Vyasa revealed, "You should fast,waterless,on the Ekadashi of light fortnight of the month of Jyeshtha (June),when the sun travels in the sign of Taurus (Vrishabh) and Gemini (Mithun).According to learned personalities,on this day one may bathe and perform Achaman for pratiprokshana purification .
But while performing Achaman one may drink only that amount of water equal to a drop of gold, or that amount it takes to immerse a single mustard seed.If a person endeavors to observe this great fast very strictly, he easily achieves the result of observing all twenty-four other Ekadashi fasts throughout the entire year".
Sage Vyasa further added that,on Dwadashi the devotee should bathe early in the morning and then according to the prescribed rules and guidelines and depending on his ability,he should donate some gold and water to worthy brahmanas.Finally, he should honour 'Prasada' to a brahmana.One who gives a brahmana a water pot, an umbrella, or shoes,on this day, surely gets 'moksha'.
Indeed, he who simply hears these glories also attains to the transcendental abode of the Supreme Lord, Shri Vishnu.One should clean his teeth properly and, without eating or drinking, observe this Ekadashi to please the Supreme Lord, Keshava.
One who can fast on this special Ekadashi in this manner gets the benefit of having fasted on every Ekadashi during the year. When the other Pandavas heard about the benefits to be gained by following Jyeshtha-shukla Ekadashi, they resolved to observe it exactly as their grandfather Sage Vyasa had explained it to Bhima.
It is believed tha t observing of Ekadashi Vrat is equivalent to performing many 'Yadnya'.This shows the importance of Nirjala Ekadashi in the life of human beings.
24 Ekadashis In Year
01 Putrada Ekadashi
02 Sat-tila Ekadashi
03 Bhaimi Ekadashi
04 Vijaya Ekadashi
05 Amalaki Vrata Ekadashi
06 Paapamochanee Ekadashi
07 Kamada Ekadashi
08 Varuthini Ekadashi
09 Mohini Ekadashi
10 Apara Ekadashi
11 Pandava Nirjala Ekadashi
12 Yogini Ekadashi
13 Sayana Ekadashi
14 Kamika Ekadashi
15 Pavitropana Ekadashi
16 Annada Ekadashi
17 Parsva Ekadashi
18 Indira Ekadashi
19 Pasankusa Ekadashi
20 Rama Ekadashi
21 Utthana Ekadashi
22 Utpanna Ekadashi
23 Mokshada Ekadashi
24 Saphala Ekadashi