Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat is a holy Hindu day event. From the word Nirjala, ‘Nir’ part means no, and ‘jala’ means water. Nirjala means without the drinking water. Ekadashi is a lunar day of the month that falls on the 11th day in the Hindu lunar calendar. Nirjala Ekadashi falls in the Hindu month of Jyeshtha, in the waxing-rising phase of the moon, a phenomenon called the Shukla Paksha. This corresponds to the May-June period in the Gregorian calendar. The dates may vary each year. In 2018, Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat falls on the 23rd of June. Vrat means fasting.
Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat is observed in view of worship, dedication to Lord Vishnu. Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat is different from other Ekadashis. There are total 24 Ekadashis in a year. Nirjala Ekadashi is the only Vrat, fasting where water consumption is not allowed. The fast is observed for 24 hours from the sunrise of the day of Nirjala Ekadashi, e.g., the sunrise on the 23rd of June until the next day morning sunrise. One vegetarian and specified items meal is allowed.
Nirjala Ekadashi is considered by many as the toughest of the 24 Ekadashis Vrats, as both food and water consumption is prohibited. Many devotees observe only this particular Ekadashi in the year due to its significance-high value. Nirjala Ekadashi is also known as Pandava Bhim Ekadashi. Nirjala Ekadashi comes just after the holy Hindu event-occasion of Ganga Dussehra. However, in some years, the two events can occur on the same day.
On Nirjala Ekadashi, many devotees perform Prayers to Lord Vishnu, they visit temples, offer flowers, meditate etc; some devotees make donations of items like clothes, food, sweets etc. Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat helps in washing away of the sins, in bringing happiness, peace of mind, prosperity, in seeking Moksha, to attain blessings of Lord Vishnu, in having a connection etc.
A common Mantra for Lord Vishnu is—
Om Namo Narayanaya, or
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya.